Dock management: how to reduce waiting time in factory and warehouse?

March 16, 2023

A constant flow of trucks arrives and leaves your factories and warehouses every day. How do you make their loading and unloading more fluid? How do you optimise the occupation of your doors?

Dock management is not an easy task. Often trucks show up late, or need a specific dock that is already in use. Misunderstandings with your carriers can also cause delays. Add to this the subcontractors of your suppliers, and you have a real headache on your hands.

By opting for a collaborative tool for managing docks and time slots, you can optimise loading and unloading and manage the arrival and departure of trucks in an optimal manner.

The challenges of dock management

  • Site entrance congestion

Without scheduling, trucks can arrive at your sites late, early or all at once. Factory or warehouse congestion impacts your logistics costs. Waiting time for drivers translates directly into extra costs in terms of overtime on the docks.

  • Production scheduling

Slot management is about loading and unloading. To be able to fulfil your orders, raw materials from your suppliers must arrive on time. Waiting times at logistics sites therefore have a strong impact on your ability to schedule your production and produce the ordered quantities on time.

  • Quality of goods

Organising loading and unloading is crucial to ensure the quality of your goods, especially in the case of bulk. You cannot store different qualities in the same tanks or silos. As these containers are affiliated to different docks, slot management is essential.

  • Safety on the logistics site

Safety protocols vary from site to site, and drivers serve many different locations in a working day. As a manufacturer, it is your responsibility to ensure safety at your sites, but it is a difficult task. You operate with many transporters, and their drivers do not necessarily speak your language. How do you ensure that safety measures are known and respected by all?

  • Quality of life at work

The yard men in your factory or warehouse experience both peak and off-peak periods. During peak hours, they operate under stress, which can lead to mistakes.

  • Productivity in making appointments

Faced with these challenges, the first reflex is to manage the booking of appointments oneself. This requires numerous exchanges with the carriers. Manually, the management of docks is therefore often time-consuming and can cause misunderstandings between the manufacturer and the carrier. How can you guarantee the reliability of exchanges with your suppliers and carriers?

How can a digital dock management tool meet these challenges?

  • How can I ensure that transporters do not queue up at the entrance and know the security protocols?
  • How to facilitate factory scheduling to unload products at a given time slot?
  • How to integrate slot validation constraints?

Using a dock and time slot management tool, you can empower your carriers and suppliers to make appointments. On a secure portal, they indicate the time they wish to arrive and reserve an available slot. When validating their slot, they consult the security protocol and confirm their reading.

On your side, you configure the maximum site capacity, so that you never have to deal with long queues of trucks at your sites again. You can create typical weeks with open and closed slots, and assign each of these slots to product families. Other resource constraints can even be taken into account when validating bookings (shifts, equipment, etc).

Is this what happiness looks like? 😛

Request a demonstration of our dock management tool by clicking here!