Within the last months I had the chance to talk to many Retail people about warehouse management and in this context about the big yards they frequently have to manage and optimize. As Solution Manager for Retail Digital Logistics and SAP Leonardo, I am happy to join these discussions and show how SAP can provide significant benefit for Retailers in this area.
Retailers Distribution Centers
Retailers manage huge assortments of goods that in most cases consist of articles known as fast movers which only spend a very limited time in warehouses and stores before they are sold and refilled. This is independent of the retail segment they are operating in. Different assortments and fast movers result in a high turnover in the warehouse and may also lead to the fact that trucks have to load goods at several buildings in a warehouse complex or at several doors of a single warehouse. In most cases warehouse processes need to be done under time pressure, as for example, delivery windows for fresh products in stores need to be met by the delivery driver.
In the distribution center of a retailer goods issue is much more complex than goods receive. The focus must be on fast, reliable and effective procedures. Picked and packed store orders and the right delivery trucks must be at the same time at the same loading door. There’s no time for reparking the truck or transferring the orders ready for loading to another door.
We also need to consider that there are many different buildings or areas in the yard, for
- Empties, returned waste, fresh or frozen assortments, dry goods, and big tickets,
- Bakery, meat production ….
A close monitoring and control of incoming and outgoing activities for the sake of security and food traceability is important. The yard gives access to many different external parties. It’s key, never to lose track of goods and assets in the yard and identify and remove bottle necks.
SAP Yard Logistics
With SAP Yard Logistics, simplified and streamlined transportation and yard operations are possible. This yard management solution maximizes visibility into all yard processes and lets preview planned workloads. Retailers can take advantage of yard visualization and reporting tools, optimize resource use – and support planning, execution, and billing in a single system.
Reduce bottlenecks at gates and doors by planning transports with dock appointment scheduling
Retailers can now exactly plan and schedule their transports and loading activities. Reduced bottlenecks at gates and doors by planning transports with dock appointment scheduling is especially important for sensitive products, like fresh or frozen grocery.
Increase visibility into different types of inbound and outbound transports – and show alerts and exceptions
Retailers are handling high value goods in their distribution centers as well as goods whose supply chain need special attention like food traceability or proven origin of goods. So, it is important that yard activities do not influence these requirements and ensure save storage and handling and avoid thefts.
Driver self-check-in ensures compliance of trucks and resources entering the yard
- Camera based identification of incoming and outgoing trucks
- Automatic recording of weight utilizing weighbridges
- Barrier and traffic light control to steer the truck
- Automatic check-in/check-out posting of trucks in the system
- Significantly speed up the gate processes & reduce the manual effort for the gate agents
- Steer the traffic approaching the yard
Create automatic processes and tracking scenarios using Internet of Things (IoT) services
As mentioned above, trucks in the yard need to head for various building in the yard. Its key for Retailers always to know where all the trucks are. SAP Yard Logistics uses an intuitive UI and mobile apps to improve efficiency for dispatchers, drivers, and security personnel.
Seamlessly integrate with SAP Transportation Management and SAP Extended Warehouse Management
SAP Extended Warehouse Management and SAP Transportation Management are proven solutions in the retail community. SAP Transportation Management is used for planning incoming and outgoing transports in the supply chain processes. The planning results, the freight orders, are then transferred as workload to SAP Yard Logistics. Additionally, the billing of yard activities is based on freight/forwarding agreement and charge calculation which are features of SAP Transportation Management. SAP Extended Warehouse Management gives you more control over your warehousing processes. SAP Yard Logistics uses some of these advanced features for the creation of a yard structure and for handling activities in the yard. In addition, the warehouse billing functionality is used also in SAP Yard Logistics.
For more information on SAP Yard Logistics, please watch this video SAP Yard Logistics maximizes visibility into all yard processes and lets you preview incoming workloads.