SAP Yard Logistics for Distribution Centers

March 13, 2018 – by Michael Augustin, Consultant Yard Logistics

With SAP Yard Logistics, you can cover various business processes with yard management and dock appointment scheduling. One potential and prominent business case for SAP Yard Logistics is the distribution centre scenario. Let us show you how SAP Yard Logistics can help increase efficiency at your distribution centre.

As an example, our yard has 72 doors in total and serves as a national hub for a parcel service. Covering various processes, we see parking lots on the right side of the warehouse for swap bodies and containers and two gates for ingoing and outgoing vehicles.

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Three processes are covered in our yard: inbound processes, outbound processes and swap body processes. Inbound deliveries are mainly operated by big trucks and swap bodies as they bring consolidated parcels to the distribution centre. Outbound deliveries are handled with vans as they carry parcels to the end customers.

To avoid long waiting queues in front of out gates and increase efficiency in the yard, each truck has a planned slot at a door. Planning the door arrivals upfront will prevent all trucks coming at the same time of day. The scheduling of dock appointments is done via SAP Yard Logistics, a better overview for planned doors gives the Westernacher Add-on for DAS (Dock Appointment Scheduling). The application is based on the latest SAP FIORI technology and enables fast, efficient and intuitive door planning. One of the highlights is the ability to react to any changes in the planning by drag-and-drop. The application can be operated either by using the SAP FIORI Client, which is an own installation, or in any web browser.

How to use SAP Yard Logistics for Distribution Centers

Truck and van processes do not vary very much and are quite similar. Before the vehicles arrive, doors are assigned and the slots are communicated to the carriers. After check-in, the vehicles are visible for the first time in the yard visualisation as they appear at the check-in lane. With the loading door already planned, the truck is directly send to the door where loading or unloading is done. After this, the truck is sent directly to the gate, where the check-out process is carried out with SAP Yard Logistics.

In the swap body processes, a door is also planned before the vehicle arrives. However, after check-in, the swap body is sent to a parking lot as the trailer with the swap body is parked and the truck driver leaves the yard. The movement to the warehouse door is handled by internal resources, who can see the number of trailers to be moved. Each internal driver has a mobile device with a SAP FIORI app, showing a personal worklist with the next tasks for the driver. Once the swap body has been unloaded, internal drivers move the trailer back to the parking lot and the carrier is informed to pick-up the trailer.

SAP Yard Logistics can unlock extensive potential to automate and simplify yard processes. With integration to the Internet of Things, check-in processes can be made a lot more efficient and innovative with camera gates, which capture the license plates of the truck and check-in the vehicle in SAP Yard Logistics.

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Furthermore, truck movements can be confirmed in SAP Yard Logistics with the integration to pagers, which are presented when arriving at warehouse doors and inbound or outbound lanes. Another measure in order to monitor movements on your yard is the potential to equip vehicles with sensors and track vehicles in real-time on the yard.

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SAP Yard Logistics offers standard integration to SAP Extended Warehouse Management and SAP Transportation Management to cover end-to-end processes in your supply chain execution. With integration to SAP TM, Yard Logistics recognises upfront which trucks will arrive in our yard by receiving information from Freight Orders. Upon door arrival, SAP Yard Logistics will send an update to SAP EWM, so warehouse processes can start immediately after arrival. Once loading or unloading is finished, SAP EWM will update SAP YL and the truck is allowed to proceed to the yard. When the truck departs from the yard, SAP Yard Logistics sends an update to SAP TM which can further process the truck to its next destination.