There are many items to worry about when managing a warehouse. But dock scheduling doesn’t have to be one of them.
By Molly Goad
I’m a pen and paper gal — I love to write things down. But as much as I loved marking up my weekly planner back in the day (with all its color-coded events, cross-outs, and sticky notes), I wouldn’t be able to survive without an electronic calendar that syncs to all of my devices. I’m especially delighted when a meeting comes via email and the calendar is updated automatically.
I can’t imagine all of the things that need to be taken into consideration when managing a warehouse appointment planner with numerous inbound and outbound shipments moving throughout the day. That would require a lot of sticky notes!
There’s an easy way to gain control of your warehouse. BOLD VAN’s distribution enablement system (DES) software includes a handy dock manager that takes care of the day’s itinerary for you.
In a previous post, I wrote about the DES Dock Manager, and its ability to help companies identify inefficiencies. I explained how DES allows you to create unique user profiles for each warehouse worker, so you can easily see who is getting the job done effectively, and where there may be slowdowns. In this post, I will share another component to the DES dock manager that can change the way you run your warehouse.
First, let’s look at common scenarios that often cause huge headaches for all parties involved in warehouse logistics.
Sent to Detention
When a dock isn’t scheduled properly, long lines of trucks waiting for their turn to unload or load cargo are formed. Carriers pay their drivers by the hour, and when the trucks sit around in a waiting game, that extra cost is passed on to you. The delay is called “detention time,” and carriers often assess detention fees to the warehouse. (I shudder when I hear the word “detention,” but that’s a story for another blog.)
Another situation that makes me tremble is sitting in traffic. Warehouses only have so much space for loading and unloading. When things get backed up, long lines of freight trucks cause congestion and local traffic in the area slows or comes to a halt. Repercussions include fines from local authorities or an order to shut down operations until the situation is cleared up. No one wants that!
DES to the Rescue
For large warehouses with hundreds of bays and smaller outfits with just a few docks, DES Dock Manager can be a lifesaver. Not only does it allow you to schedule each dock throughout the day, but it also signals when trucks are late or early.
Figure 1 shows an example of what’s on tap for dock #6 in this warehouse. You can see the 7am carrier was late and flagged in the system. The truck scheduled for 8:30am was early and the scheduler indicated the time of loading. This visibility is a valuable asset that can help companies gain control of their warehouse: The late truck can be sent to an open dock, and you’ll know when the early arrival is finished and on its way.
Figure 2 shows how simple it is to schedule a dock appointment. Because this is all within our DES software, the information is at your fingertips, and it’s super fast to schedule the time slot. There is no need to toggle from a different program; DES is completely seamless.
This tool is fully customizable, too, so you can add drop downs and information that pertains to your operation.
One Program. Lots of Options.
Why choose DES for dock planning? It’s simple. We let you do everything in one place. The convenience of scheduling out your dock and managing all of your shipments, carriers, orders, EDI documents, invoicing, from the same exact location and at an affordable price is invaluable.