Lazer Spot and PINC partner to provide enhanced yard management services and solutions to enterprise customers

Leaders in yard management services and technology to collaborate to bring transparency and efficiency to hundreds of facilities in North America.

Lazer Spot PINC Press Release

Alpharetta, GA and Union City, CA – January 05, 2021 – Lazer Spot, the largest provider of critical outsourced yard management services, and PINC, the number one digital yard™ management solution provider, today announced a partnership to bring enterprise visibility and operational excellence to facilities across North America.

Given the uncertainties with customer expectations and demands, unstable freight capacity, and ever-changing guidance from governments and public health authorities, trailer yards are playing a vital role as extensions of warehouses at distribution centers and manufacturing plants and as a mechanism to expedite shipments, support corporate sustainability goals, and reduce transportation costs.

Founded in 1996, Lazer Spot provides yard spotting, shuttling, trailer rentals and specialized yard services in 400+ locations in North America. PINC digital yard management solutions will empower Lazer Spot’s teams to improve operational efficiency while providing a unique level of safety, visibility, and services to its enterprise customers. Additionally, supply chain and transportation executives will have access to enterprise analytics and performance reports across their distribution yards through the PINC application.

“We are truly excited about this partnership,” said Eric Breen, Vice President of Business Development at PINC. “​Combining Lazer Spot’s network of reliable yard management services with PINC’s yard automated orchestration engine and enterprise visibility capabilities will enable Lazer Spot to continue delivering on outstanding customer service and shippers to safely improve operational efficiency, reduce accessorial charges, and manage carrier contracts and transportation budgets from an enterprise perspective more effectively.”

“One of our top priorities is to continue our investment in innovation to support our customer’s operations and to create a safer environment for our team members,” said Adam Newsome, CEO of Lazer Spot. “Part of that effort is to enhance our partner relationships with tech companies that can help us add more value and grow our services offering to our enterprise level customers.  When we combine our spotting services with PINC digital yard management solutions, we can give our customers a package that truly makes their yard and transportation operations as efficient and productive as possible.”

About Lazer Spot:

Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, Lazer Spot is the market leader in critical outsourced yard management services including trailer spotting and shuttling. Lazer Spot is the only national provider of these services for more than 100 blue chip manufacturers and retailers at 400+ locations across the U.S. and Canada.  Collectively, the company moves 25 million trailers annually with its 1,600 power units and 3,000 employees.  To learn more, visit

About PINC:

PINC provides scalable software, hardware, and services that enable companies to identify, locate, and orchestrate inventory throughout the supply chain predictably and cost-effectively. The company’s cloud-based real-time tracking platform, powered by an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network that includes passive RFID, GPS, computer vision, cellular, and other sensors, provides actionable insights and connected expert guidance that allow organizations to optimize their supply chain execution. Visit PINC at

Technology Trends and Selection Considerations For Yard Management Systems

gartner yard management

Top Gartner analysts say there’s no time like the present to invest in a YMS that can help you offset COVID-19 challenges and future-proof your yard.  

A valuable supply chain asset, the physical area “outside of the four walls” of the typical warehouse or distribution center (DC) is becoming a focal point for companies that are realizing the value of their yards. As part of this trend, more of those organizations are turning to technology to help them run their yards efficiently and safely.

In Yard Management Technology Trends and Selection Considerations, Gartner’s Bart De Muynck and Simon Tunstall discuss how the lack of focus and uncoordinated activities among the yard, transportation, and warehouses—all exacerbated by disruptions like COVID-19—is pushing more companies to adopt yard management technology.

Historically, the need to improve yard operations was overlooked, even where there were well-identified improvement opportunities. De Muynck and Tunstall blame this on an “overfocus” on warehouse and transportation management processes, priorities, and systems.

“Due to this overfocus on warehouse management and transportation management in isolation, there was a frequently missed opportunity to coordinate an efficient flow across all three areas,” they add. “As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold and constrain warehouse and distribution center operations, supply chain leaders are renewing focus on this area.”

Who Should be Using a YMS?

The pandemic is creating longer dwell times for carriers, more congested yards and DC operations, and other inefficiencies. It effectively exposed major interruptions in today’s supply chains and the workflows that they support.

“Yards remain notoriously inefficient as companies waste time and resources searching for trailers and inventory poorly located in the yard,” the authors point out. “Lack of timely location of assets can lead to misaligned inbound processes, incomplete assembly, missed deliveries, and spoiled goods.”

Regardless of their current challenges—or how their WMS and TMS solutions are set up— Gartner says these companies should be considering a YMS:

  • Users with large fleets
  • Users with a high volume of supplier and customer shipments
  • Users who suffer yard, dock door, and throughput congestion
  • Users operating a campus of yards or who need to manage networks of “yards of yards” holistically, to effectively deploy their resources across their network

The authors say DCs and warehouses operating in a high Level 3, Level 4, or Level 5 complexity environment also have a greater need for extended components, such as YMS and advanced dock scheduling to better coordinate their workflow.

“These needs may exceed their WMS capabilities,” De Muynck and Tunstall add. “Additionally, users with significant yard operations and no WMS (i.e., manufacturing sites) should also consider [using] a YMS.”

Steps to Take Now

To prepare their warehouses, DCs, and yards for the future, Gartner says supply chain technology leaders should be taking these steps now:

  • Model yard operations across the network and review the performance of yard activities to determine opportunities for process improvements.
  • Assess the benefits of yard solutions, and the capabilities within and across warehouse management systems (WMS), transportation management systems (TMS), and YMS solutions that best address the operation’s complexity, logistics priorities, and the firm’s current portfolio of logistics solutions.
  • Review technology and market trends and use those insights to determine how you want to bridge the gap between warehouse and transportation management (and, how you can adapt to the external pressures changing these environments).

Selecting a YMS isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. Supply chain leaders should grasp trends, existing capabilities, and selection criteria to support their needs, they add.

“Organizations typically understand and prioritize investment in, and use of warehouse management and transportation management solutions,” De Muynck and Tunstall continue, “while neglecting the sometimes more impactful benefits that yard management solutions offer.”

Gartner’s “Yard Management Technology Trends and Selection Considerations”, Bart de Muynck, Simon Tunstall, November 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.

Adapting to change: More trailers over tractors


The capacity crunch is driving carriers to buy more trailers than trucks. Here’s how the shift is impacting the transportation environment.

As the 2020 holiday season comes into focus, it’s becoming clearer that the uptick in e-commerce orders, the persistent supply chain shortages, and reduced transportation capacity could turn into a “perfect storm” of challenges for companies across many industries.

“The 2020 holiday shopping season will close out an intense, unpredictable year for retailers and consumers alike,” the National Retail Federation (NRF) writes. “With ebbs and flows in retail sales and COVID-19 infection rates, retailers are entering an unprecedented holiday season.”

NRF expects 2020 retail sales overall to grow by 3.5%-4.1% to over $3.9 trillion despite uncertainty from the lingering trade war, coronavirus, and the presidential election. The U.S. e-commerce sector has become a force of its own during this period. Already growing year-over-year, U.S. e-commerce sales grew by 43% in September 2020 after increasing by 42% the prior month.

“Both FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. have told some of their largest shippers that most of their capacity is already spoken for and that any extra trailers with holiday orders will have to wait to be picked up, according to shipping consultants and retailers,” WSJ reports.

“Overloaded carriers are struggling to keep up with the expected surge in online orders during the peak holiday season.”

Managing the Frenzy

The trucking industry has been thrown into a frenzy as it works to address current challenges while also preparing both for the looming holiday shipping season and for what 2021 will bring. E-commerce velocity, for example, is expected to remain strong into the coming year as—even when COVID is no longer a threat—more consumers shop online versus visiting brick-and-mortar stores.

To adjust to these new realities, carriers appear to be acquiring more trailers than trucks right now. “Tender rejection rates continue to hover around all-time highs as carriers struggle to cover the recent freight boom, driving rates and revenues higher,” Freightwaves reports. “The last time this occurred carriers rushed to purchase record amounts of equipment in 2018. But this time around, trailers are the equipment of choice over tractors.”

The publication says preliminary trailer orders for September will be the third-highest month in history at 52,000 units. “This is part of a five-month trend of increasing dry van trailer orders that began in May of this year,” it says, noting that for the year overall, trailer orders are growing in relation to tractor orders.

“Trucking companies are having to adapt like many other businesses to an environment filled with questions about the near future. Investing in trailers over tractors is a far safer bet due to lower costs and the fact that they do not have to hire a driver to utilize them,” Freightwaves points out.

“The growth in trailers over tractors suggests carriers are more willing to drop empty and loaded trailers at shippers and their consignees instead of waiting at their facilities,” it adds. Under “normal” circumstances, carriers pick up loaded trailers after placing the empty ones—a process known as “drop and hook.”

Drop and hook is easier to manage if the carrier has spare trailers to work with as it “leads to fewer wait times that drain driver productivity,” Freightwaves explains. “This is also good for social distancing, which may also be contributing to the trailer pool growth.”

“Trucks aren’t Where the Loads are”

Commenting on the rush to acquire trailers that’s happening right now, DAT iQ’s Dean Croke told Talk Business & Politics that the old adage, “Trucks aren’t where the loads are,” is applicable right now because trucks are more likely to be running more empty miles and spending more time at the loading dock. “There’s a tendency to move light loads to drop trailers,” Croke says, “creating a backlog of equipment through networks.”

“When you’ve got a massive influx of e-commerce freight on a loading dock on the inbound side, you’ve got a big back up of trailers,” he continues. “The trailer people are telling us they’ve never had a higher utilization level of their trailers because they are both in demand and being used as on-site storage as they try to process this surge in demand.”

S&D Coffee and Tea Roasts Logistics and Transportation Costs With PINC

Using PINC Yard Management System (YMS), America’s largest custom coffee roaster has reduced detention costs and eliminated yard inefficiencies while improving visibility and productivity across the supply chain.

S&D Coffee - Yard Management

Since 1927, S&D Coffee & Tea has been making delicious beverages for consumers worldwide. Made from top-quality ingredients, its coffees and teas are not only tasty, but they’re also produced in a very sustainable, eco-friendly manner. S&D’s sustainable sourcing, for example, relates specifically to resilient supply chains for coffee and tea.

“A sustainable supply chain is critical to the future of these global markets,” the company’s website states. “That’s why Raíz Sustainability, S&D’s sustainable sourcing platform, is rooted in impact – in fact, the Spanish word raíz (pronounced rah-ease) literally translates to ‘root.’”

Managing with Spreadsheets

From the beginning, S&D’s founders realized the need to bring coffee to the local area through grocery store delivery. Today, as the largest custom coffee roaster in America, S&D’s capabilities extend into the evolving world of extracts and ingredients — creating new possibilities for culinary applications and exciting new beverage choices for customers.

To support this mission, the company’s drivers used to spend an hour or more physically checking on the location of roughly 150 different trailers. Located at S&D’s five warehouses and manufacturing locations, these trailers provide the vital link between the company’s operations and its customers.

Once gathered, all of the information was entered into a spreadsheet that hardly supported S&D’s dynamic shipping environment. “By 6:30, the information had changed because the trailers had moved,” S&D’s J.T. Hinson told Inbound Logistics.

YMS Wanted

For help managing its yard activities, S&D began shopping around for a yard management system (YMS) that would help it reduce detention costs and inefficiencies while improving visibility and productivity (among other things). It found what it was looking for in the PINC YMS.

“With a yard management system (YMS) from PINC, that job went away,” Hinson told Inbound Logistics. The YMS gathers data related to every trailer move and also captures information on the type of coffee bean stored in each trailer. As a result, the company has reduced to 15 minutes (from a previous 45 minutes) how much time it takes to move a trailer to the roasting area. “It was a big win,” Hinson said.

Meeting Customer Demand

From its YMS, S&D wanted a solution that fit its specific needs and not the other way around. It also liked PINC’s RTLS (real-time location system) tracking, whereby small, magnetic passive RFID tags are affixed to each trailer and then automatically scanned by an RTLS tracker located on the switcher. “The location and other information associated with the trailer are consistently updated in real-time,” Inbound Logistics points out.

Thanks to its YMS, S&D also has reporting capabilities that can be tailored to the needs of each department (i.e., finance, commodities, manufacturing, etc.). That means it can create pick lists based on coffee bean types, as well as by finished product or raw materials—all without having to work with IT developers. “The reports give visibility and detail to the assets and what’s on them,” Hinson told the publication.

And, when S&D Coffee added another facility and yard, the YMS allowed Hinson’s team to manage it without the need for additional yard spotters, tractors, or drivers. “S&D Coffee is better able to optimize equipment and drivers,” Hinson added, “while still meeting customer demand.”

Transportation Innovation For a Future-Proof Supply Chain

Supply chain experts and software leaders converge to discuss the current transportation environment and provide valuable tips on what companies should be doing now to get ready for what’s coming next. 

Transportation and logistics.
What happens when you bring supply chain software leaders, a Berkeley professor, and a top Gartner researcher together in one “virtual” room to talk about the current and future state of the world’s supply chains? You get a full view of what’s going on right now and engaging insights into what companies should be doing currently to reevaluate and future-proof their supply chains.

In a new Berkeley Innovation X webinar, Bart De Muynck of Gartner, Berkeley Professor Robert Leachman, PINC’s Matt Yearling, ORBCOMM’s Ashish Chona, and Christian Piller, VP of Project44 discuss the current market realities, the role that automation is playing in today’s logistics networks, and the rapid changes currently happening in the supply chain.

According to De Munyck, Gartner research shows that the current pandemic is the top supply risk for 2020. “This disruption is the biggest challenge that anyone has seen for most generations,” he says. “It has hit us like nothing we’ve ever seen before in supply chain and it has affected all countries, all industries, and all companies worldwide.”

However, besides the pandemic, logistics and transportation in general are ongoing challenges and still present a lot of other risks, including:

  • Consumers are behaving differently
  • Increasing demand for transportation
  • Increasing demand for last-mile
  • Increasing truckload rates
  • Increasing parcel rates
  • Carrier bankruptcies affecting capacity
  • Increasing carrier cost and verdicts
  • Increased use of digitized freight networks
  • Increased use of technology

“The pandemic has certainly accelerated the digitization strategies of all corporations,” Yearling says, adding that the event also accelerated the shift to online commerce and pushed the need to align inventory to demand.

“There’s been a lot of consolidation and investment in the industry, because it is still highly fragmented and has room for technology enablement,” Yearling continues. “It’s inherent upon us to make sure we come together in the industry for the benefit of the joint customer.”

Unlocking Operational Efficiency

According to Piller, this is the first time in history that the supply chain has had a place in the boardroom and is now part of mainstream conversations. The consumer has driven at least some of this increased awareness of supply chain in the broader scheme of things. “More people are working from home and wondering why packages are taking a little longer to arrive,” Piller says.

Once the threat of COVID passes, companies need to be thinking about how they can create data-driven supply chain planning and management processes. Transportation management will pay a key role in this evolution. “Companies need an integrated view of the inbound and outbound networks across all modes,” Piller explains.

“Just planning all of the shipments you have in one unified central planner versus having a few different ways to plan transportation,” he continues, “will unlock a lot of operational efficiency, cost efficiency, and performance improvements.”

Piller also tells companies to put their customers at the center of the conversation when making these shifts. In fact, he advocates for starting from the customer and then working backward to find the best solutions. Focus on solving your customers’ problems and “doing something that redefines an experience, provides a new experience, or makes the customer feel better about interacting with you,” Piller adds.

Strengthening Supply Chains

Chona says the pandemic has highlighted the weakness in the supply chain and it’s made people aware that they are dependent on other parts of the world for products that they use today. Now, supply chain managers and executives are looking to retool their supply chains in the wake of COVID.

One potential area of improvement can be found in “lean,” or the pre-COVID approach of only keeping enough inventory on hand to fulfill orders during a specific period of time. As we all learned by the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, this strategy doesn’t always play out well during times of crisis.

“Maybe we should start thinking that it’s okay to have some excess inventory during a pandemic when you’re trying to serve the community,” says Chona, “even though in the past we tried to cut down inventory to be leaner.”

The key is to find the right balance between resiliency, efficiency, and agility. That’s where technology steps in to help, with digitization, automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobility, and robotics coming together to help solidify and strengthen the world’s supply chains. Information-sharing is equally as critical, says Chona, who points out that an equal system of partners sharing information ultimately benefits the end customer. “Information sharing in transportation is very critical.”

The Four Stages of Recovery

Wrapping up the webinar, De Muynck shared his thoughts on how the industry is innovating and highlighted Gartner’s four stages of recovery (and the technology that corresponds with each). Here’s a snapshot:

1st – React and respond

  • Transportation visibility
  • Digitized freight platforms

2nd – Redirect to new realities

  • Transportation management
  • Multi-carrier parcel management

3rd – Rebound to the future

  • Driver management
  • Yard management

4th – Accelerate opportunities

  • Network design and modeling solutions
  • Advanced analytics

“Once this crisis is out of the way, we still won’t be able to go back to our old ways,” De Muynck concludes. “Things are going to come at us much faster, and we’ll need agility and flexibility to be able to react accordingly.”

Talking Logistics: PINC and project44 Partnership Commentary


By Adrian Gonzalez

PINC and project44 announced a partnership this week that “aims to empower industry-leading shippers and carriers with end to end real-time shipment visibility and yard management automation capabilities for an enhanced supply chain experience.” Here’s more from the press release:

Distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing plants are looking to improve gate velocity, optimize driver turnaround times, and reduce costs while becoming Shippers-of-Choice. project44’s shipment and ETA data in concert with PINC’s Yard Management System‘s real-time asset and load data will accelerate the check-in process and provide customers with actionable dynamic load scheduling visibility. Organizations will also gain real-time insights into critical yard asset and load lifecycle transitions through project44’s Advanced Visibility Platform™.

According to a research study we recently conducted (to be published soon), companies recognize that having digital yard management capabilities provides a range of business benefits beyond the yard. As one respondent put it, “Yard management is incredibly important and often overlooked. Benefits include improved warehouse efficiency (e.g., labor / scheduling), improved customer service, reduced inventory, and reduced transportation costs (linehaul, detention, etc.).”

And yet, according to Logistics Management’s most recent Technology Usage Study, only 8% of companies are currently using a yard management system (YMS).

Why the low implementation rate? For some companies, their yard operations haven’t reached a critical level of complexity and shipping/receiving volume to justify an investment in a YMS. For many more companies, however, the reason is due to an outdated and limited view of the business benefits a YMS provides “beyond the four fences” of a yard.

We explore this topic in more detail in the upcoming research report, so stay tuned.

With regards to the linking of real-time freight visibility with yard management, it is similar to the integration of visibility solutions with transportation management systems (TMS). As I wrote earlier this week in TMS: Everybody’s Favorite New Partner, the reason companies want visibility is not just to see and observe, but to do something with the data and insights collected. It’s the doing, the actions taken to improve their logistics operations (including yard operations, which impact transportation and warehousing too) that ultimately delivers value.

Source: Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (August 28, 2020)

PINC and project44 partner to deliver the next generation of yard automation and predictability


The world’s number one enterprise yard management system and the leader in supply chain visibility combine forces to provide highly efficient automation and real-time visibility to manage in-transit and on-site shipments.

UNION CITY, Calif. – Aug. 25, 2020 — PINC, the number one digital yard™ management solution provider, today announced a partnership with project44®, the global leader in supply chain visibility for shippers and logistics service providers.

The new partnership aims to empower industry-leading shippers and carriers with end to end real-time shipment visibility and yard management automation capabilities for an enhanced supply chain experience.

Distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing plants are looking to improve gate velocity, optimize driver turnaround times, and reduce costs while becoming Shippers-of-Choice. project44’s shipment and ETA data in concert with PINC Yard Management System‘s real-time asset and load data will accelerate the check-in process and provide customers with actionable dynamic load scheduling visibility. Organizations will also gain real-time insights into critical yard asset and load lifecycle transitions through project44’s Advanced Visibility Platform™.

At the enterprise level, the data exchange between PINC and project44 will enable shippers to improve shipment velocity, enhance sustainability, reduce accessorial charges, and manage carrier contracts and transportation budgets more effectively.

“PINC enables enterprises to find and assign trailer assets and associated loads automatically through their life cycle, and optimize their movement between gates, yard, and docks,” said Matt Yearling, CEO of PINC. “Combining project44’s advanced visibility and predictive tracking and ETAs with our yard orchestration engine will enhance the shippers’ ability to meet on time in full (OTIF) requirements, maximize the productivity of warehouse labor and assets, achieve real-time visibility to available inventory, compete on providing an enhanced customer experience, while significantly reduce costs.”

“As businesses face the increasing demand for faster delivery, our partnership is here to fix the existing supply chain gaps, whether shipment is in transit, in the yard, or in the warehouse,” said Jett McCandless, CEO and Founder of project44. “With project44’s robust API integration capabilities and real-time ETA tracking, we are excited to drive additional value to mutual customers. By having real-time insights into inbound load ETA and shipment details, all players within the transportation ecosystem can increase operational efficiencies and exceed their customers’ expectations.”

On September 3rd, Matt Yearling and Jett McCandless will join Gartner’s VP, Bart De Muynck, and other thought leaders and industry experts on the panel discussion entitled “Re-evaluating The Supply Chain:  Transportation Execution Driven By Innovation in Uncertain Times”. The online event is hosted by UC Berkeley’s Sutardja Center For Entrepreneurship and Technology and will be moderated by Dr. Aleks Gollu. For more information, please visit:

About PINC:

PINC provides scalable software, hardware, and services that enable companies to identify, locate, and orchestrate inventory throughout the supply chain predictably and cost-effectively. The company’s cloud-based real-time tracking platform, powered by an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network that includes passive RFID, GPS, computer vision, cellular, and other sensors, provides actionable insights and connected expert guidance that allow organizations to optimize their supply chain execution. Visit PINC at

About project44:

project44 is the world’s leading advanced visibility platform for shippers and logistics service providers. project44 connects, automates, and provides visibility into key transportation processes to accelerate insights and shorten the time it takes to turn those insights into actions. Leveraging the power of the project44 cloud-based platform, organizations increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, improve shipping performance, and deliver an exceptional Amazon-like experience to their customers. Connected to thousands of carriers worldwide and having comprehensive coverage for all ELD and telematics devices on the market, project44 supports all transportation modes and shipping types, including Air, Parcel, Final-Mile, Less-than-Truckload, Volume Less-than-Truckload, Groupage, Truckload, Rail, Intermodal, and Ocean. project44 has placed second, behind only Amazon, on FreightWaves’ 2020 Freight Tech 25, a list of the most innovative companies across the freight industry, and received the 2020 SAP® Pinnacle Award as the Cloud Partner Integration of the Year. To learn more, visit

Media Contact:
Rafael Granato, Vice President of Marketing, PINC

Mariya Barnes, Director of Communications, project44

Re-Evaluating The Supply Chain: Transportation Execution Driven By Innovation In Uncertain Times.

Transportation Innovation PINC


As markets demand not only efficiency but agility and adaptability from supply chains in our current reality, supply chain executives have been heavily investing in automated execution and real-time visibility technologies to continue moving inventory and delivering on customer expectations.

The Logistics Industry in the U.S. represents approximately 10% of the GDP or close to 2 trillion dollars. However, data shows that the most significant activity comes from trucking. Trucking moves 71% of all the freight in America, and nearly 6% of all the full-time jobs in the country are in the trucking industry.

That translates into an $800B industry moving about 25 million trailers and containers and delivering close to a billion loads in any given year.

With billions of moving parts, and impacted by the convergence of a global pandemic and economic downturn, the trucking industry is in the process of shaking off these negative impacts with the help of innovative technologies.

In this roundtable, we will have innovators and industry veterans discussing the following questions:

  • How has the role of the supply-chain evolved in the current pandemic?
  • What are the key transportation and trucking challenges?
  • How is the industry innovating, how should the industry innovate?
  • How can academia and industry be better partners?
  • What business benefits should organizations expect from their investments in innovation?
  • What lies ahead?

Panelists will include stakeholders from various segments, including

The session will be moderated by Aleks Gollu who is a SCET lecturer and Industry Fellow at UC Berkeley and founder of PINC.



What does ‘on-time, in-full’ (OTIF) mean in the consumer sector?

McKinsey & Co., and Trading Partner Alliance outline some of the key considerations that should go into developing and using the on-time and in-full delivery metric.

Dock Doors - Yard Management Software OTIF

Supply chain complexity is increasing as customers demand a wider selection of products, a broader choice of channels, and more promotional offers. With expectations of higher on-shelf availability and lower inventory costs, the pressure on delivery performance has intensified—as has the need for manufacturers, retailers, and carriers to work together to create efficient, reliable, and responsive supply chains.

The global pandemic has accelerated this trend, and along the way unveiled some major gaps in the world’s supply chains. To fill these gaps, a growing number of companies operating in the consumer sector have adopted the “on-time in-full” (OTIF) delivery metric.

What is OTIF?

According to McKinsey & Co., OTIF measures the extent to which shipments are delivered to their destination according to both the quantity and schedule specified on the order. “In theory, OTIF should be the ideal mechanism to align the objectives of retailers and manufacturers,” the global consultancy points out.

The problem is that there is no standard definition for OTIF. Because of this, supply-chain participants may interpret the metric differently. For example:

  • Does “on-time” mean on the date requested by the retailer, or the date promised by the manufacturer?
  • Does it mean within the specific delivery slot allocated to the shipment, or any time inside a broader, agreed-upon time window?
  • Should “in-full” be measured at the level of complete orders, line-items, or individual cases?

“These differences matter,” McKinsey says in its report, noting that effective supply-chain collaboration depends upon a precise, common understanding of delivery-performance expectations. “Today’s diversity of approaches means partners waste time arguing over the figures, rather than addressing the root causes of delivery issues.”

Survey Says…

To get industry perspectives on OTIF, the Trading Partner Alliance (TPA) and McKinsey surveyed major retailers and manufacturers of North American consumer packaged goods (CPG). Ninety-two percent of those companies agreed that an industry standard for OTIF would create value.

“They noted that a standard definition would significantly reduce discrepancies and confusion and promote collaboration among trading partners,” McKinsey states. “Collaboration would help partners resolve supply problems more efficiently and effectively—creating value for all supply-chain participants as well as for consumers.”

A common definition for OTIF would also:

  • Create a common view. A common view of supply-chain performance would support consumer-goods supply chains by aligning service expectations; enabling joint performance management; and supporting performance benchmarking.
  • Streamline data complexity. “Retailers and manufacturers end up devoting significant time to explaining and reconciling differences in reported data,” McKinsey points out. “Carriers are often caught in the middle, as both retailers and manufacturers push them for improved performance based on inconsistent data and requirements.”
  • Reduce supply chain complexity. Because each retailer has a different definition of OTIF, manufacturers must meet a variety of different delivery standards and keep up with each retailer’s changes to its individual definition. “Even the major retailers use different definitions, and their definitions keep evolving,” McKinsey notes.

So what’s the solution? A viable working definition of OTIF, which McKinsey says would look like this:  “Case quantity that is delivered to the destination by the requested delivery date, calculated as a percentage of the ordered quantity.”

The other parameters would include:

  • Any overdelivered quantity or inaccurate product shall be disregarded.
  • Arrival at the destination facility (rather than when checked in or unloaded, which may be subject to delays outside the manufacturer’s control).
  • The requested delivery window should be the delivery date requested at the time of order placement, adjusted for any retailer-caused appointment delay, measured to the end of the working day and with a one-day early allowance.

$15-$20 Billion in Lost Sales

As the industry works toward a common definition for OTIF, the complexities of running the world’s supply chains will increase exponentially. “Consumers expect products to be on the shelf,” McKinsey points out, noting that the U.S. food retail industry loses an estimated

$15-$20 billion in sales (2%-3% of its total sales) every year due to out-of-stock or unsaleable merchandise.

“The main operational challenge for the consumer sector is to achieve high levels of on-shelf availability,” it adds, “while keeping supply chain costs down and inventories under control.”

PINC named Top Supply Chain Projects for 2020 by Supply & Demand Chain Executive

TOP 100 SDCE Yard Management Solution

Union City, CA – July 29th, 2020 –  Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the executive’s user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, has selected PINC, the leader in digital yard™ solutions, as a recipient of an SDCE 100 Award for 2020.

The SDCE 100 spotlights successful and innovative projects that deliver bottom-line value to small, medium and large enterprises across the range of supply chain functions. These projects can serve as a map for supply chain executives looking for new opportunities to drive improvement in their own operations. These initiatives also show how supply chain solution and service providers help their customers and clients achieve supply chain excellence and prepare their supply chains for success.

Since its founding in 2004, PINC has been a pioneer in providing real-time visibility and workflow orchestration to yard operations across distribution centers and manufacturing plants worldwide. PINC’s platform is currently utilized by an array of Fortune 1000 enterprises and gives companies a cost-effective way to move inventory faster and optimize their supply chain.

“Innovation is essential in driving the supply chain industry forward, and thanks to these valuable partnerships, companies of all sizes are able to achieve success in projects that matter,” says Marina Mayer, editor for Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “From business intelligence systems and supply and demand planning to inventory reduction and procurement solutions, the SDCE 100 offers proof-of-concept that with the right planning and execution, anything is possible.”

“We are very grateful for this award during one of the most challenging years of this century,” said Rafael Granato, Vice President of Marketing at PINC. “Given the uncertainties and increased customer expectations placed upon trailer yards, we are playing a more vital role at the termination points of transportation networks, by expediting shipments and reducing transportation costs.”

About PINC:

PINC provides scalable software, hardware, and services that enable companies to identify, locate, and orchestrate inventory throughout the supply chain predictably and cost-effectively. The company’s cloud-based real-time tracking platform, powered by an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network that includes passive RFID, GPS, computer vision, cellular, and other sensors, provides actionable insights and connected expert guidance that allow organizations to optimize their supply chain execution. Visit PINC at 

About Supply & Demand Chain Executive:

Supply & Demand Chain Executive is the executive’s user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, utilizing hard-hitting analysis, viewpoints and unbiased case studies to steer executives and supply management professionals through the complicated, yet critical, world of supply and demand chain enablement to gain competitive advantage. Visit us at