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Digital Yard Management Prove Essential During COVID-19 Disruptive Times

Rafael Granato
by Rafael Granato on Jul 13, 2020 08:28:57 AM

New Gartner Market Guide for Yard Management shows the role that YMS plays in helping companies automate processes and offset the impacts of the global pandemic and other supply chain disruptions. 

Gartner Yard Management Market Guide

It didn’t take long for global supply chains to take center stage during the worldwide pandemic, what with the many shipping delays, supply disruptions, and related issues that made the world’s headlines. A critical juncture that sits between the warehouses where goods are stored and the end destination for those supplies, the yard quickly became a focal point for companies that scrambled to develop more streamlined, frictionless supply chain strategies.

Some of the world’s largest brands would agree that yards are the most significant opportunities for digitization and optimization in the supply chain. As inventory often goes through multiple yards during their shipment lifecycle, any inefficiencies or errors in the yard are propagated through the entire supply chain. Additionally, 80% of transportation delays happen when trailers and containers are at distribution centers and manufacturing plants, costing organizations millions of dollars in inefficient operations and excessive accessorial charges and transportation contracts.

Driving Greater Yard Efficiency

To drive greater efficiency for the yard and better collaboration with carriers, vendors are focusing more on yard orchestrated automation capabilities as part of their offerings. “Companies have put considerable effort into optimizing their processes in the warehouse and transportation,” Gartner analysts Bart De Muynck and Simon Tunstall point out in the new Gartner Market Guide for Yard Management (subscription required.)

“However, operations in the yard that connect transportation and, specifically, the truck to the warehouse, for both inbound and outbound operations, have in many cases been left behind or ignored,” they continue. “Often, the yard operations operate in a very manual and non-technology-driven way. The need for more automation and digitization caused by the recent disruptions and concerns around social distancing has created more visibility of the gaps that exist in many yard operations.”

The 2020 Market Guide for Yard Management, which identifies PINC as a Representative Vendor, says  “shorter transportation lead times and increasing transportation costs push companies to increase their efficiencies in the yard, as time spent on a yard can be unproductive and costly. More regulated hours of service and an increasing driver shortage have a negative impact on the total number of hours trucks are on the road at any given point. Consequently, it becomes even more critical for shippers to find time savings elsewhere in their supply chains. Boosting throughput by using a YMS means trucks spend more minutes with their wheels turning.

More Enterprise YMS Wanted 

The report further states, “in 2020, Gartner saw an increase in inquiries from clients in this area and has seen additional developments from both WMS vendors and niche providers” and “companies are looking into YMS solutions to help close the supply chain gaps that exist in their own backyards such as long trailer wait times, unproductive personnel numbers, poorly synchronized movement of goods and ineffective dock planning.”

Based on PINC customer data, here’s how shippers can close those gaps and deliver value across the network:

  • Finding and assigning trailer assets and associated loads automatically through their life cycle, and optimizing their movement between gates, yard, and docks.
  • Minimizing the operational footprint (people & assets) required to operate the facility effectively.
  • Improving sustainability by reducing truck idling time, eliminating excessive reefer trailer and yard spotters fuel consumption, and reducing empty miles.
  • Supporting the management of transportation contracts and accessorial charges from a site and enterprise level.
  • Optimizing driver turnaround times while becoming a Shipper-of-Choice.
  • Taking advantage of all available data exchanges between the TMS, YMS, and other transportation system data sources.
  • Enhancing operational capabilities by promoting social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gartner, Market Guide For Yard Management, Simon Tunstall, Bart De Muynck, 25 June 2020.

Gartner Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s Research & Advisory organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Rafael Granato

Written by Rafael Granato

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