Published on November 2nd, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi


Tips on Choosing a Yard Management System

If you own a yard, it can be challenging to manage the different aspects of operations. There are so many moving parts, it can be overwhelming for managers to keep track of every little change. Despite such challenges, the yard is the last place that a lot of people think about automating, which shouldn’t be the case. When you automate, you reduce overhead costs which will definitely have a bottom line on business. If you’re out shopping for a new yard system, here are some tips that you can use as guidance.

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Define The Challenges

You can’t go out looking for a solution when you don’t know what the problem is. You could be having challenges keeping track of assignments from dispatch.  Doing such tasks manually can be time-consuming and you might have to employ a lot of people, yet the tasks can be automated. Instead of looking at the symptoms, you should go straight to the problem. You don’t want to spend all your focus and attention on locating trailers when the end goal is delivering goods to clients.

Match the Needs with the Requirements

It is only after identifying the core needs of the business can you come up with a solution.  The system you choose should be configurable and scalable based on the business needs at different stages. The system that you choose should be able to accommodate all business processes.

Data Integration Strategy

The data integration strategy should be clearly defined from the onset before choosing a management system. Key business issues will be given a priority when defining the integration strategy. The technology that is currently in place will also play a big role in how data from different processes are going to be integrated for better decision making.

Cloud vs. Premise-Based System

These two options have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is crucial that you have your business goals in mind before making a decision to have on-location systems or to go for a cloud-based solution. If you’re looking to save costs, a cloud system will be the best solution. Data can be accessed in real-time which will enhance the decision-making process. Make sure to consult with the IT department before making the decision to avoid compatibility issues.

Verify Technology

When working with potential vendors, make sure that you can do a test run on the system before it is incorporated into the organization. This is because you could settle for a system that doesn’t address all your needs, but have already made the purchase. Is there an advantage to common operating systems with their technology? How will the solution being provided address your business needs? Make sure you have someone with a technical background with you when examining the systems.

Real-Time Connection Systems

Yard management requires real-time tracking most of the time. You need to have a deep understanding of all your operations. Not everything can be tracked or needs to be tracked. You need to identify areas that can be improved by incorporating efficient processes. For real-time connection systems, you can check out a company like Exotrac.

Having looked at some of the considerations to keep in mind when choosing a yard management system, the next challenge will be getting the right vendor for the job.

Experience: The experience of the vendor will play a big role in the selection process. You want to work with a vendor that will come up with a tailor-made solution for the challenges with your yard management business. A company that has been in business for a long time will be aware of some of the common challenges and how to overcome it.

Expertise: Expertise is a quality that comes with experience in most cases. Developing reliable and efficient systems requires someone with a good knowledge of software. They should be able to design systems that are robust and adaptable to the needs of the business.

Reputation: Reputation is everything in the software business. A business that cares about their reputation will not cut corners. You can ask for references if you’re not sure about the vendor that you’re working with.

A good vendor should let you do a test run on the system so that you can experience some of the benefits before making a purchasing decision. Doing your due diligence is crucial to make sure that you’re working with a vendor that is reliable and one that will provide a solution that addresses the challenges in your yard management business.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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