Improve Your Scheduling and Delivery Visibility with SAP Yard Management

  • by Ashish Saxena, Senior Manager, Supply Chain Execution, Amazon
  • July 15, 2007
Understand the features of SAP Yard Management. See some configuration tips, and peek into its interface, scheduling, and integration capabilities.
Key Concept
Yard Management (YM) is a module in which various modes of transportation, such as trucks and containers, are parked and moved. This can occur before or after freight unload or when load activity is complete in a warehouse, plant, or distribution center. YM involves managing the yard activities to synchronize them with warehouse operations to ensure that you load and unload product at the right time. YM also makes sure that you are able to track inventory outside of your warehouse.
Supply chain planners and operators look for ways to manage and track freight outside the four-wall operations, increase inventory visibility, and reduce cost for distribution center operations. I’ve found that most companies find it challenging to keep the information flow seamless as planners and operators are not co-located.

It is not uncommon for companies to use paper-based yard tracking. A typical yard management process starts with a guard registering the trailer and driver information on paper and allocating a spot in the yard based on a visual layout. The guard passes this information either manually or via email to the inbound and outbound operations, which uses the information for dock management. Communication, large data volume, information lag time, lack of visibility, additional labor requirements, and regular spot checking are some of the key challenges in the process of managing the yard and identifying the inventory.

SAP provides YM functionality as part of Warehouse Management (WM) Extension Set 2.0 for R/3 Enterprise to handle many of these challenges. This functionality is also available with SAP ERP Central Component (ECC). SAP Yard Management (YM) tracks trailers, improves receiving dock operations, and provides inventory visibility. As many may not be familiar with this relatively new technology, I’ll help you understand the YM architecture and some of its key features and then show you some quick configuration tips. I’ll also look into the tool’s scheduling capabilities, its visibility and interface, and finally its integration with other parts of your SAP system.

Ashish Saxena

Ashish Saxena is senior manager, supply chain execution, at Amazon. He was previously a senior director at Cognizant Technology Solutions and associate partner at IBM’s Supply Chain practice. He has more than 14 years of experience, including working in supply chain strategy, planning, execution, and technology in multiple industries.

An SAP SCM planning and execution subject matter expert, Ashish has been working with SAP for more than10 years, and has successfully delivered several large-scale global SAP projects. He has helped transform supply chains in wide range of industries, including automotive, retail, energy, consumer products, third-party logistics, and pharmaceutical sectors. His most recent focus is on supply chain digitization and analytics. 

In addition to advising and contributing to SCM Expert, Ashish is a regular speaker at the SAPinsider SCM conference. For information on other SAPinsider conferences, click here.

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