Explore this issueDecember/January 2013
Food and beverage manufacturers and distributors rely on maintaining environmental control and minimizing the time spent by product on the loading dock to survive in extremely competitive markets. These operations often run multiple shifts with tremendously high loading cycles. Having a system that improves visibility into operations and logistics and, in turn, diminishes increased concerns about food-borne illnesses, allergens, and contamination is essential.
Now that the food safety is focused more on prevention than reaction, supply chain managers need to look carefully at the products they utilize every day for their loading dock operations. One of the best ways facilities can prevent food-related contamination is to limit the amount of time products spend in transit and on the dock by utilizing a yard and dock management system.
This technology is designed to eliminate the most common and costly logistics problems. It uses real-time and physical data to assist facilities in efficiently managing operations such as loading dock visibility, live and staged trailer coordination, and turn-time management. The system integrates loading dock equipment with intelligent software to monitor, communicate, and manage loading dock status, helping companies avoid costly detention charges and product spoilage.
A yard and dock management system provides facilities with increased visibility and productivity in their yard, loading dock, and warehouse. Whether operators need a yard management system to provide real-time data using RFID and GPS tracking, a dock management system to increase loading dock efficiency, or a fully integrated system combining both, a tailored yard and dock management system can give operators the tools to make the most of their operations. This easy-to-implement yard and dock management system acts as an extra set of eyes, allowing operators to keep better track of their facility’s operations and saving time and money, while preventing spoilage or product loss.
Start Beyond the Dock
The yard is a dynamic and continuously changing environment that requires tremendous oversight of trailer movements and other time-sensitive tasks when it comes to moving perishables from place to place. A yard management system effectively and efficiently processes inbound trailers when they enter the yard to optimize movements and prevent lost loads. It also helps monitor and improve yard truck efficiency to increase trailer turn time and accuracy, as well as to prevent spoilage.
Many systems utilize RFID and various sensor technologies as well as GPS tracking so that every trailer movement is recorded. This increased visibility and monitoring creates real-time performance reports, giving operators the ability to reduce yard check time by 90% and yard labor and equipment resources by up to 30% in many cases.
A yard and dock management system provides a better option for managing third-party drivers, too. A single interface captures dock status and allows operators to schedule appointments and send automatic notifications to carriers when a position is ready, using a variety of paging devices that are given to drivers to make trailer movements timely and efficient. In addition, operators can track and facilitate priority movements of trailers to shipping or receiving doors based on equipment requirements, loading or unloading schedules, or product type.
Run the Dock at Full Potential
Increasing yard efficiency is just the beginning of the information and cost reduction potential that a yard and dock management system can bring to an operation. With real-time information and value-added capabilities, this technology can keep a dock running at optimal efficiency by collecting critical equipment analytics. Now, operators can see their entire loading dock, discover areas to increase efficiency, and ensure that product is moved as quickly and effectively as possible.