The success of implementing and successfully tackling the last mile of the supply chain is critical to the long-term success of your yard management system. The key to having a seamless last mile delivery is through automating your yard management system. This article is going to discuss the importance on improving last mile logistics, last mile delivery best practices, and how yard automation impacts the success of your yard operations.
Within an operations yard, a Yard Operations Manager oversees the entire operations process. However, with multiple moving parts happening in the yard, it is impossible for one manager to oversee everything in the yard. Everyone is responsible for their part in the yard by ensuring their tasks are completed successfully to complete a last mile delivery. The Yard Operations Manager requires oversight from everyone in the yard by collecting status updated, data insight, and tools from essential personnel. When everyone in the yard is moving efficiently and is swiftly getting tasks done, it will result in a seamless last mile delivery to the end-user.
To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the last mile delivery in your supply chain logistics process, it is critical to understand the following key steps that need to be taken to tackle the last mile successfully.
These next few sections will go more in-depth on each step toward how to improve the last mile of your supply chain.
Identifying problems within your supply chain and implementing improvements will drastically impact the last mile delivery and improve customer satisfaction. Before the last delivery, take a step back and determine where the problem originated: the distribution center, the warehouse, the operations yard, or somewhere else in the pipeline. Once you have discovered the source of the problem, you can learn and understand what caused the issue and come up with solutions to resolve it.
When data is integrated and combined into one cohesive unit, finding what you are looking for will become much more accessible, smoothing future processes in the long run. Currently, you may be accessing different data collections across multiple software across the warehouse, transportation, and operations yard. Instead of hopping to and from different software platforms, centralize the data into one system so you then have a top-level, eagle eye view of what is happening on the ground. With this newfound grasp, the centralized data can provide you with important insights on what is happening in the yard and what can be implemented to further improve processes, ensuring a smooth last mile delivery.
Since your drivers are a critical component of the last mile delivery, it is important to update and improve your driver management systems. This will allow you to keep a real-time track of updates for your truck drivers and yard drivers, as well as streamline communication between the distribution center and the customers’ doorstep. Additionally, this will allow for you to monitor their performance and come up with ways to enhance productivity in the future.
Once you have determined and identified improvement measures to streamline the last mile of your supply chain, it is time to put your plan into action. One way to get your plan ready for implementation is by establishing Standard Operating Procedures (otherwise known as SOPs). These basic operating procedures can eliminate a lot of questions and speed up yard decisions and processes. Once you have operating procedures in place, all personnel will understand what needs to be done whenever a question is asked, establishing performance benchmarks, and putting best practices into place. Additionally, SOPs allow the opportunity to compare planned performance versus actual performance.
Across the industry, the operations yard is referred to as the ‘Black Hole’ of the supply chain from creating problems within the last mile delivery. If not handled properly and effectively, the black hole can cause long lasting issues to your supply chain and negatively impact customer satisfaction. A poorly managed operations yard is caused by the following:
A way to attack these problems head on and ensure the success of your yard operations is by implementing and automating your YMS software, because it boosts visibility, reduces expenses and fees, decreases turnaround times, enhances accountability, and provides real-time analysis so you can improve your yard operations before the package arrives at the customers’ door.