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You know your warehouse inside and out, and you know that throughout a warehouse, there are many different points and processes that could be modernized or automated. As a warehouse manager, it is your responsibility to choose, prioritize and carry out such warehouse logistics modernization projects.
When people think about warehouse or distribution centre modernization projects, their first thoughts revolve around processes that are happening inside the facility. How inventory is stored, how products are labelled, tracked and etc. However, the best opportunities for modernization usually hide in the logistics processes of the warehouse. The logistics industry is still one of those industries that are in need of modern innovations and technologies.
How do you know if your warehouse logistics are calling for modernization? Just take a look at the warehouse yard. If you see trucks queuing to get to your docks, then you have a serious problem that affects your warehouse operations in multiple ways.
Truck queues usually mean one thing - you don’t have a good Dock scheduling system.
No one really benefits from trucks pilling in your yard. First of all, trucks waiting in your yard earn you detention fees that you have to pay to carriers. If you haven’t agreed on the time when a truck needs to show up and unload, then it is your problem. Truck is in your yard, your team is busy with other trucks and essentially you are wasting that trucks’ time. And well, you pay for it with detention fees.
Trucks lined up behind your docks can easily create a small traffic jam. Your warehouse yard simply can’t fit all trucks that you have to process in a day. Heavy traffic in the yard will only add new problems on top. Loaded trucks will need more time to leave your yard and you even might need to appoint someone from your crew as a temporary traffic controller.
To avoid such problems in the yard, you need to start using an online Dock scheduling platform. With it, your carriers, warehouse crew and 3PL partners will see real-time dock availability and will be able to book a convenient, and available, time slot to the loading dock. This will remove trucks queues since drivers will now know the precise time when they must show up. If they’ll show up not on their time - you won’t have to pay detention fees.
The Dock scheduling platform also gives you information on which trucks and when should be allowed to enter the warehouse yard. Get your gate guards access to the Dock scheduling platform, and they will help you to reduce traffic in your yard.
Are you dealing with congested loading docks? We have prepared a blog to help you with this problem, read "Congested Loading Docks - Causes and Consequences".
Another clear call for warehouse logistics modernization is the use of the phone-excel-phone process (or phone-paper-phone) to book a dock. 20 years ago this process worked just fine but today supply chains are bigger and more connected than ever before. Modern supply chains and logistics processes require visibility and flexibility from everyone involved.
Booking docks manually grant neither of those two qualities and sometimes even deliver the opposite. Phone-excel-phone type process creates an isolated system that requires efforts from multiple parties to exchange, enter and share information. It is a slow process that is prone to errors due to the manual nature of the information handling. As such, it creates delays, inefficiencies and costs.
Dock scheduling platform automates the old school phone-excel-phone process and adds new possibilities to dock scheduling. For example, giving full visibility of the docks to the carriers, setting various constraints for docks and booking time, automating communication with carriers and drivers wouldn’t be possible with phone and paper type of dock scheduling. Automation is a proven way to boost efficiency, eliminate errors and reduce manual work.
Booking your dock manually? Check out how much does it cost to you in our blog "The Cost of Manual Dock Scheduling".
So, think about how products and materials arrive and depart from your facility. Warehouse logistics can be modernized in less than a week since it doesn’t require any hardware installations or large initial investments.
Getting a Dock scheduling platform to modernize your warehouse logistics will be a good step towards modernizing your warehouse operations. To learn more about it, book a 20 min call with our expert.