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YMS: Harmony

Today’s yard management systems offer improved synchronization of the first- and last-mile activities outside the four walls—and shippers are beginning to listen to the benefits.
By Bridget McCrea, Contributing Editor
August 13, 2010

When considering the supply chain software market, acronyms like WMS, TMS, and GTM get a lot of attention from shippers looking to gain visibility over shipments while saving both time
and money through automation. Often missing from the list, however, is YMS, or the yard management systems that track and report on what goes on outside the warehouse walls and away from the dock doors.

At their core, yard management systems handle the scheduling of inbound and outbound freight appointments while effectively managing yard resources.

Unlike WMS and TMS—that focus on warehouse management and transportation management—YMS gets down and dirty, and is most commonly credited with increasing efficiency and throughput runs associated with a shipper’s distribution yard and docks.

“Basically, the YMS handles appointment scheduling and dock door management on the receiving and inbound side,” says Mike Pujda, project manager at supply chain consultancy Tompkins Associates in Raleigh, N.C. “For inbound activity, the YMS handles the arrival event and vehicle check-in.”

Once shipments are onsite, YMS tracks their movement and flow in and out of the dock doors, thus providing visibility into what is available for immediate unloading—and what’s not. “When you have this information on hand, you can make the most effective decisions regarding prioritization of shipments and trailer movement,” says Pujda. “Then you can turn around and do the same thing for outbound shipments, only in reverse.”

About the Author

Bridget McCrea
Contributing Editor

Bridget McCrea is a Contributing Editor for Logistics Management based in Clearwater, Fla. She has covered the transportation and supply chain space since 1996, and has covered all aspects of the industry for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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