Today Supply Chain 247 published an article: What’s at the Core of Supply Chain Execution Convergence? The article does a great job of describing what convergence means to shippers and talks to the importance of thinking beyond the traditional silos of warehousing and transportation. The core value to an organization is better visibility and improved collaboration across parties involved in shipments.
Where PINC’s view diverges from the article (which focused on transportation and warehouse perspectives) is that we believe the yard management system is the natural place to converge information from the warehouse management and transportation system siloes. The greatest degree of visibility comes from having a real-time view of shipment execution over-the-road, in the warehouse and in the yard. Supply chains are increasingly using sensors to replace manual input. The YMS in particular can instrument assets, yard trucks, and fixed locations at the facility, such as gates to pass real time location information to operations staff. This removes the dependence on manually entered data and electronically validates that drivers dropped the trailer where they directed to.
Integrating the data captured by the TMS, WMS and YMS is the key to delivering a holistic view across supply chain execution. The TMS provides inbound shipment visibility. PINC maps trading partner networks to provide shipment visibility across locations. The ASN provides shipment details that accelerates check-in processing at the yard. Next the yard management solution uses RTLS to provide real time locations for the trailer in the yard.
An integration to the WMS confirms the outbound trailer is being loaded and finally, the YMS managed check-out from the facility provides positive confirmation that the shipment has left the warehouse. In many ways, the TMS, YMS and WMS are planning systems. By using real-time IoT sensors, they get actual execution data which can be used to improve future planning accuracy.