Time-to-Value for your yard.

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Published on June 10, 2020 – Michael Augustin, Practice Director Yard Logistics at Westernacher
The supply chain world requires visibility across the end-to-end process flow in order to achieve lean processes and reduce the overall costs by being in control of capacity resources and realizing the overall logistics optimization.
In an increasingly challenging and dynamic market environment, significant improvements, quick wins as well as short-term return on investments are vital for any investment decision. For digital transformation projects, other key aspects are the reduction of manual and paper-based processes whilst keeping complexity at a low level as well as enablement of new operational potentials through leveraging new technology. Besides, the topic of safety at work is looked at from different angles with a new need to reduce personal interaction between staff and external business partners and to further automate and digitalize communication. Moreover, the prompt implementation of software and functionality enables customers to react to changing external factors while reducing the risk of missing opportunities.

The Covid-19 crisis has shown that integrated and connected processes are key for a successful supply chain in rapidly changing circumstances—with ever-accelerating innovations and technology, it is crucial to leverage them as quickly as possible to ensure high service levels and enable value-added services and new revenue potentials.

Yard is a part of the supply chain that is not always visible, yet it is vital. It plays an essential role for the success of the supply chain. Especially regarding truck handling—every minute lost due to waiting queues in front of gates, longer than necessary loading or unloading, and the search for references and correct shipments are detrimental to performance in your yard.

Optimize yard processes and overall goals will be achieved by:

  • Integrating yard processes with transportation and warehouse processes to be in control of inbound and outbound shipments and increase storage efficiency.
  • Managing trucks gate-in and gate-out while assuring safety and compliance.
  • Streamlining yard operations by accelerating the tasks inside the yard while managing resources and processes efficiently.
  • Enabling automated and data-driven decision-making processes .
With the growing focus of customers on the digitalization of yard processes and the market trend for fast implementation projects and tangible results, Westernacher offers time-to-value solutions for different levels of complexity and automation which can be extended through one of our optional functionalities:

Fast Solution “Starter”

The Fast Solution “Starter” digitalizes yard processes by using standard functionalities of SAP Yard Logistics. This solution replaces manual and paper-based processes with a centralized system which captures events live and updates statuses accordingly. Additionally, capacity can be planned to avoid bottlenecks and increase yard efficiency and throughput significantly in contrast to yards managed with spreadsheet programs or individual databases.

The Westernacher Yard Logistics Fast Solution “Starter” is implemented in 10 weeks from initial project kick-off until successful go-live and hypercare. It replaces manual, Excel or paper-based processes with a fast implementation of SAP standard functionalities and integration to the existing SAP landscape where possible.

Key benefits:

  • Arrival planning for transportation units and pre-planning of internal processes.
  • Simplified check-in and check-out processes to register transportation units and capture gate-in and gate-out times.
  • Execution of in-yard processes such as movement activities, non-movement activities and loading/unloading activities using generic functionalities.
  • Live monitoring and reporting capabilities to track statuses and react to exceptions.
  • Integration to existing SAP ERP or S/4, SAP TM and SAP EWM using standard integration.

Solution highlights:

  • Coverage of all yard process areas (planning, execution, monitoring and reporting) in one centralized system.
  • Capability to handle different vehicle types (trucks, tractors, trailers, vans) and to replace manual and paper-based processes.
  • Fast and efficient implementation approach for fast return on investment and quick wins.
  • Scalable solution to further digitalize processes in subsequent phases or rollout to multiple sites.

Fast Solution “Automation”

The Fast Solution “Automation” builds on the “Starter” solution and offers possibilities to automate and facilitate yard processes by using selected Westernacher assets to accelerate yard processes. By using state-of-the-art applications and industry best practices, the package allows yard processes to add value to the overall supply chain through process standardization and service level improvements. Additionally, processes can be accelerated by automating yard processes to further contribute to revenue growth and improve operating margins.

The Westernacher Yard Logistics Fast Solution “Automation” is implemented in 16 weeks from initial project kick-off until successful go-live and hypercare. It unleashes the potential of the yard in the overall value chain by increasing productivity and reaching higher standards of quality and service.

Key benefits:

  • Arrival planning for transportation units and pre-planning of internal processes.
  • Check-in and check-out processes to register transportation units and capture relevant data such as driver name, licence plates, weights and reference numbers.
  • Execution of in-yard processes such as vehicle inspection, load securing, shunting and other yard execution tasks using dedicated process applications.
  • Process automation by automated queuing and calling procedures, automated confirmation and exception management of activities.

Solution highlights:

  • Dedicated and process-oriented Westernacher mobile applications to establish mobile in-yard processes such as vehicle inspections, load securing and shunting/execution tasks.
  • Westernacher queueing and calling automatism for inflow of transportation units into the yard based on time and capacity.
  • Westernacher location-based event interface to be called by hardware related subsystems (e.g. RFID, GPS, Terminals) for process automation and automated exception handling.
  • Enhanced integration to SAP ERP (added business logic to map existing ERP processes to SAP YL).

Westernacher YL Assets & Accelerators

For complex or less common process variants, Westernacher offers optional solutions based on industry knowledge and customer experiences to cover complex requirements with or without additional development.
  • Slot management and carrier web portal

The Westernacher slot management and carrier web portal further automates planning processes and allows for close carrier collaboration.

  • Trailer handling concept

The trailer handling concept reflects complex requirements for trailer and swap body processing and allows automated planning and execution without user input.

  • Check-in app for terminal and mobile registration

The Westernacher check-in application is available in multiple languages and facilitates registration processes through additional business logic and safety instructions.

  • Custom-built system enhancements and system integration

Alongside pre-build solutions, Westernacher also offers custom-specific system and interface enhancements to meet individual customer requirements not covered in the SAP Yard Logistics standard. The enhancements will be offered based on a time and material effort estimation.

Explore your transformation towards digitalized and automated yard processes and analyze which solution or asset fits best to your business process.

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