Any business that relies on managing yard assets can benefit from yard management software (YMS). This type of software streamlines and optimizes yard operations, which leads to increased efficiency and profitability.
In this guide, we’ll cover the following topics:
What is yard management software?
The challenges of yard management
The impact of COVID-19 on yard management
How to choose the right yard management software for your business
Why is Ubisense’s YMS so special?
What is Yard Management Software?
Yard management software (YMS) is a tool that helps businesses manage their yards more effectively. This shouldn’t be confused with a Yard Management System, which refers to both the yard management software and the data gathering hardware (sensors, tags, mobile apps, GPS etc). Typical YMS includes features such as gate management, asset tracking, and appointment scheduling. The system is not designed to replace inventory monitoring or warehouse management systems but can work in tandem with them. Using sensors, tags of various sizes, mobile apps, and dashboards, the yard management system can generate and process vast amounts of data, which is then processed into dashboards by specialised yard management software. The software can pinpoint dysfunctional patterns, such as failed deliveries and missing personnel and equipment and offer solutions for those issues.
By ensuring that the right people, vehicles, and equipment are in the right places at the right time, many common errors associated with warehouses and transportation services will be diminished and profits will increase.
Most yard management systems will deploy a sensor system and tags which attach directly to vehicles and inventory. These tags come in many varieties, and different yard management systems will employ different sensor technologies with different benefits and disbenefits. Sensors making use of UWB (Ultra-Wideband) radio signals are becoming common due to their precision and ability to avoid interference from Wi-Fi and other radio signals. You can read about Ubisense’s market-leading DIMENSION4™ UWB technology here.
By using YMS, businesses can gain a far better oversight of their yard’s processes, improve the efficiency of their operations, and reduce costs.
The Challenges of Yard Management
There are many challenges that come with managing a yard. For example, you need to be able to track assets accurately so that you can prevent theft and loss. You also need to be able to efficiently schedule appointments so that customers are not left waiting. Furthermore, you need to be able to manage gates so that unauthorized people do not enter the premises. Much of this work will involve physically moving around the yard, checking on various assets, inventory, and personnel. YMS reduces the amount of time needed performing checks around a site. It also reduces the amount of time spent on radio communication as shuttle drivers can start electronically verifying completion of movement requests.
One core challenge is the lack of integration between various logistics systems being used within yard environments. Different platforms used for fleet and inventory management often don’t report in real-time, or connect to each other efficiently. This leads to resources being mishandled, vehicle traffic, increased labour and equipment costs and a strain on working relationships.
But a newer issue driving the evolution of yard management systems and their adoption is the increasing complexities of consumer demands.
As e-commerce continues to proliferate, extra pressure is placed on the logistics industry as it deals with increased demand, sudden changes in demand, and tighter deadlines. Yard software is helping the most forward-thinking companies remain competitive by providing real-time data and predictive insights into systems that are often too complex for traditional management methods (and software solutions) to monitor and interpret.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Yard Management
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on businesses that rely on yard management. For example, many businesses have had to reduce their workforce due to the pandemic. This has led to an increase in the use of automated systems, such as YMS, to manage yards effectively. Furthermore, the pandemic has resulted in a decrease in customer demand for some businesses. This has led to an increase in the need for appointment scheduling and other features offered by YMS.
Another effect of the pandemic is a change in attitude to stockpiling inventory. Before the pandemic, a lean model of manufacturing and logistics was usually adopted, where businesses received their goods just in time for manufacturing or delivery, keeping cost slow and utilizing space efficiently. But the pandemic revealed the flaws in this model, as many businesses struggled to procure basic resources. Now many businesses are storing inventory, and the result is a greater need for efficient inventory management.
How to Choose the Right Yard Management Software for Your Business
When choosing a YMS system for your business, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you need to consider the size of your business and your budget. There are many different YMS systems available on the market, some are only designed for small yards and indoor/outdoor environments. Many use sensors which are far less accurate than the most up-to-date equipment, and therefore are more limited in their applications. Secondly, you need to consider your specific needs. Each business has different requirements when it comes to managing their yards. As such, you need to make sure you choose a system that offers the features you need – software and sensor systems can often be tailored to your precise requirements. Lastly, you should consider the future needs of your business when choosing a YMS system. As your business grows, your needs will change, so you need to make sure you choose a system that can grow with your business.
Why is Ubisense’s Yard Management System special?
Part of what makes the Ubisense Yard Management System unique is its ability to seamlessly locate assets across both indoor and outdoor storage areas, while maintaining precise, interference-free data. The Ubisense software visualizes all your assets in real-time in a browser-based map, allowing you to set alerts for forgotten or ageing assets, create digital twins of your yard, and track space utilization.
The bespoke nature of Ubisense’s software and its use by leading organizations around the world has helped it evolve into a market-leading product. To find out more about Ubisense’s Yard Management Software, please click here.
Yard management software (YMS) is a tool that can help businesses improve the efficiency of their operations and reduce costs. There are many different types of YMS systems available on the market, so it is important that you choose one that is right for your business. When selecting a YMS system for your business, you should consider the size of your business and your budget as well as your specific needs. You should also consider the future needs of your business when making your decision.