What is a Yard Management System (YMS)?
Yard Management System by Exotrac is a Web, IOS and Android application built to help yard managers locate and oversee their assets. These assets can include: company personnel such as spotters and security, trailers, cargo, or vehicles, and yard managers/ office personnel. A Yard Management System (YMS) is typically implemented into a distribution center when a company is looking to cut down on detention and demurrage costs as well as to help their office personnel keep track of inbound and outbound shipments
Some key features of a Yard Management System (YMS) include the ability to integrate with preexisting Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Transportation Management Systems (TMS) as well as creating customized Android commands to replace forms that would be manually entered while out on the yard. Facilities that implement a YMS system notice a variety of positive changes in their yards which include up to: 45% reduction in the trailer pool, 20% of overall savings to the center due to a redeployed central dispatch that is run through the Yard Management System, 29% reduction in the average cost per yard move, 45% less time for spotters to perform yard moves, and a savings of up to 95% when it comes to annual detention and demurrage costs.
Is a Yard Management System (YMS) Right for my Yard?
A yard’s needs differ depending on the industry and size of the center. For example, if you are a car dealership looking for a Yard Management System (YMS), your needs will be different from a clothing distribution center. A grocery distributor’s top priority may be preventing spoilage, whereas auto parts does not have this concern. But any facility with a few yard spotters that has cargo coming and going on a regular basis, a Yard Management System (YMS) will help to better manage and maintain yard operations.
The best way to assess your yard’s needs is to schedule a demo with Exotrac to learn all of the possible YMS options that are available for your industry. A demo can also help to further educate you and your colleges on the ins and outs of yard management and what to look for in a YMS system.
What are the Benefits of a Yard Management System (YMS)?
A yard management system (YMS) comes with many benefits when switching from an old system of radio dispatch and paperwork. For example, one of our clients worked with roughly three dozen forms in order to check in a vehicle, inspect the vehicle once it is on site, weigh the truck, load and unload the truck, and then to finally depart the truck and have an outbound inspection. In our YMS system, that process was streamlined to seven screens that each used a unique step by step process that integrated the necessary paperwork while cutting out the redundancies.
Other benefits of switching to a yard management system (YMS) include massive demurrage and detention savings, a 45% reduction in the trailer pool, a 29% increase in operational savings, a 17% increase in switcher productivity and a 45% savings on yard checks.
Exotrac’s Yard Management Systems (YMS)
Exotrac is a Software as a Service (SaaS) company that offers a wide range of Yard Management Systems. We mainly focus on offering four different solutions: YardTrac Pro, YardTrac Lite, TracAhead, and LotTrac.
YardTrac Pro is an advanced Yard Management System that has premium benefits including custom built screens, GPS mapping of your yard, Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Transportation Management System (TMS) integration, and the ability to select which functions you would like included in your yard management application.
YardTrac Lite is our most affordable Yard Management System (YMS). YardTrac Lite comes with a free ninety day trial and comes with the basic functionality of the YardTrac application which includes: yard checks, inspections, security functions, and simple dispatch.
TracAhead is our in depth Dock Door Scheduling application that empowers Yard Managers to schedule appointments down to the level of which doors they would like their cargo to be loaded and unloaded from. Appointments can be restricted to client facility access, or opened up to allow carriers to login and choose available appointment slots according to set business rules. TracAhead allows managers to track their shipments from within the yard and on the open road as it moves to different yard locations and to its end destination.
LotTrac is Exotrac’s YMS system built with car dealerships and central storage facilities in mind. There are two different roles including a specialized application for the car dealership and for the storage yard. LotTrac provides the ability to request vehicles between dealerships and the storage yard as well as to track vehicles from any location to ensure that they arrive when salespeople need them.
What is the Yard Management System (YMS) Implementation Process Like?
Since our applications have many customizable options, Exotrac has become the top choice of fortune 500 companies to help them solve issues they are having and progress with additive solutions going forward. Because we understand that every company has its own language and process, we have constructed our solution to adapt and morph to the client’s needs and we are able to work with any platform.
Our system works with any type of barcode nomenclature and RFID tags and piggy backs on what works best in the yard. Companies for whom we have provided solutions include major retailers, numerous manufacturing companies, food processing and distribution, and many 3PLs.
Any company that has multiple facilities where they move in, transfer, unload or load trucks can benefit from our yard management system (YMS). We provided a YMS system for one of our clients that connected the manufacturing processes with the yard and distribution facilities. For another client, we provided a YMS system for a very fast moving yard with 800 loads in and out per day.
Minimization of detention charges and optimization of yard efficiency provide the cost justification for the yard management system (YMS). We are focused on providing a rapid return on investment in months rather than years. We are flexible in that we will do a test or prototype location that may be a microcosm of the whole, and use that success to amplify the affect across the enterprise - creating value as additional sites are implemented.
There is a very short training window, usually no more than five days, resulting from the fact that we adapt our yard management system (YMS) to the current operation providing enhancement but keeping much of the continuity so that we can streamline the training process.
Our main focus is to understand as much about what our clients are currently doing and what they need so that our YMS system can create the efficiency expected and to ensure that the cost savings are expedited, creating value of for the customer.
The Yard Management System (YMS) becomes a data transfer conduit for the Warehouse Management System and Transportation Management System within the Distribution System. We improve the value chain by providing a connection between the various participants: the carriers, the various vendors, warehouse, import/export companies and all constituent groups thereby creating a high level of efficiency through the the Yard Management System.
We essentially optimize the efficiency of the warehouse or distribution center as well as the hostlers and jockeys because we can preplan the movements within the yard to provide the utmost efficiency relative to warehouse and distribution center productivity facilitated by the efficiency generated in the yard and with the yard team. We know where everyone is, what they are doing and what they are going to do next.
This provides ongoing efficiency that is lacking without an advanced yard management system. We maintain a history of each move and create performance reports examining the number of moves and every request made of the yard team.
We have also become very innovative with the use of Android Technology with tablets as our vehicle to manage the arrival of trailers, security within the facility, over, short and damage, with all data maintained within the cloud - allowing us to make visible all of the key data, including photographs of damaged items and allowing the management to understand when the unit is emptied so that it can be repurposed as immediately as possible. The faster the trailers are turned the faster they can be reused by the carriers, creating efficiency for the carrier partners as well. All of this creates the spirit of partnership necessary for ongoing and sustainable relationships.
We have the capability to combine every movement within the yard complex (this could mean a campus or could include multiple transportation entities and yards within proximity to one another). We also have the capability to age the container allowing us to prioritize and reduce or eliminate demurrage charges because we are focused on those that may fall into delinquency.
We can do demos on line through web casts as and normally we work on site with the target company. We can achieve the return on investment quickly. Many times we work out a monthly charge for the system and hardware because that seems easier to manage within the budget of the corporate department with which we work. The monthly budget is many times more flexible than the major appropriations budget for fixed assets. The monthly fee rather than a large fee upfront is more palatable and many time easier to sell.