Why It’s Important to Streamline Your Yard Management

Yard Management with Arvist AI

Why It’s Important to Streamline Your Yard Management

When warehouses and yards aren’t optimized, the business and the supply chain suffer. How does it happen? Usually, it’s a matter of poor planning or a lack of data that might otherwise aid in better yard management decision-making.

Yards or warehouses often become the bottlenecks that hold businesses back from optimal efficiency. Especially when consumers have such high expectations for fulfillment speed.

So, it’s no wonder that 87% of the decision-makers in one study said they planned on expanding their warehouses by 2024.

Having more space should solve many problems, but it will only work if that space is properly managed.

Let’s talk specifically about yard management, what it is, its benefits, why it can be a challenge, and recommendations for streamlining your yard management.

What is Yard Management?

Simply put, yard management is the strategic approach around planning and executing yard activities, such as:

        • Loading and unloading
        • Managing yard inventory/ yard space
        • Vehicle tracking
        • Gate management
        • Dock scheduling/load sequencing

A crucial aspect of successful yard management is not just managing these activities but looking for ways to optimize them, as well. Ideally, your yard operates smoothly and utilizes your resources as efficiently as possible. This is what successful yard management looks like and is directly tied to a healthy bottom line (more on this in the “benefits” section).

Does yard management imply the use of automation or software?

While a lot of discussions nowadays are centered on automation, yard management doesn’t necessarily involve automating processes or incorporating software. It should be noted that 27% of decision-makers in the supply chain/ logistics industry plan to implement full automation by 2024. 

If nothing else, it’s a conversation worth having, especially because some of the largest operations are implementing automation to optimize their yard management.

What is a YMS?

However, if we are referring to yard management systems (YMS), then yes, this phrase refers to software used to manage and optimize yards, usually with a strong reliance on automation and data.

Considering that the traditional method of yard management has been on paper with manual processes, the use of automated systems can help optimize yard management by:

        • Reducing the risk of human error
        • Providing important insights and data
        • Creating a digital instead of a paper trail
        • Opening up better visibility
        • Reducing detention time and money spent on detention charges

These are just a few important factors that automated systems contribute to. The key thing is that yard management can be made simpler and more insightful with the right YMS. But before we get into that, let’s talk about why optimizing your yard is important.

The Benefits of Optimizing Your Yard

Once again, effective yard management prevents bottlenecks and keeps your operation running smoothly, resulting in a stronger bottom line. Here’s what a well-managed yard leads to:

Cost savings

If you can improve your yard’s efficiency, you are making the very best of your resources, processing quickly, and keeping your inbound and outbound shipments moving with proper scheduling. This means less time and money spent on delays and detentions. 

It also means you aren’t spending more than you should on resources to make that possible, and that everyone in the supply chain is satisfied, resulting in continued, fruitful partnerships.


A cluttered, poorly managed yard leads to worker confusion and frustration, especially if they’re not properly trained. When you put specific, clear systems in place to keep your yard running efficiently, your teams become more productive. They know what to do because they’ve been trained on their tasks and the strategy behind them.


Another huge benefit of an efficient yard is that it keeps your workers safer. If we once again imagine a poorly managed, poorly staged yard staffed (or possibly understaffed) with poorly trained workers, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. This could affect real human lives (and their families) but also lead to serious financial and reputational damage.


Keeping your yard efficient gives you insight into how well your operation can run. But the truth is, this visibility can be pretty limited without some kind of yard management system in place.

Yes, you can communicate throughout the ranks of your teams and discuss what works, what doesn’t, and what can be optimized. But you won’t have access to the same level of detail and data that the right YMS can provide.

These are only four tremendous benefits that come with effective yard management but it isn’t without its challenges.

Why Yard Management is a Challenge

Yard management requires a thoughtful, strategic, and informed approach. Let’s talk about three factors that make it challenging:

1. Teaching staff

No matter what you decide to optimize, your teams have to be well-informed. The best operations not only train their employees on their tasks, but also provide backup plans, emergency training, and the strategies that are behind those tasks. 

Of course, this is great on paper, but actually doing this requires a lot of time and money. The investment is worthwhile, but employees may come and go, and everyone needs to be trained properly. So, somewhere in your yard management strategy, you have to plan around these challenges.

Implementing a YMS will also require training on the new software, and this can be particularly difficult to manage if employees aren’t used to using these kinds of systems. That being said, these systems are designed to be as straightforward as possible. It doesn’t mean you’ll be able to implement without pushback.

2. Resources

Stepping up your yard management game means you need to dedicate resources to it. When you’re a decision-maker, your time is valuable, and you’re about to be making some potentially big changes. Your plan may require that you try something new, and that may not always go according to plan or lead to the optimizations you expected.

Likewise, choosing to implement a YMS requires an investment, and it will be up to you to figure out if the investment is worth it. With the amount of insight and the potential to optimize your yard and reduce human error, a YMS might be worth it for your operation. But it will depend on what you’re able to invest and the potential return on investment (ROI). Like anything, you have expensive options and more affordable options to consider. 

3. Lack of data

Yard management without a YMS will only get you so far into the insight of your operations. You can only track so much information with paper. While insights from your experience and team can certainly prove valuable, you can supplement those insights with quality data points. Maybe even data points you’ve never thought about before, and you can use these to improve your efficiency.

This is why we recommend considering a YMS, even for the amount of data and insights you wouldn’t otherwise have. A YMS might be an investment, but at least you can use it to quickly learn how to optimize your yard, unlike the manual (and possibly more resource-intensive) approach of trial and error. 

Thankfully, not all YMS options are a massive investment, especially if you could implement one using your existing infrastructure.

How Arvist AI Can Revolutionize Your Yard with Data

How Arvist AI Can Revolutionize Your Yard with Data

If you’re already using a WMS or a YMS or planning to implement one, Arvist AI can be an excellent add-on to automate the inputs into the platform to elevate your yard management. Arvist AI uses all your existing infrastructure like security cameras to automate these inputs.

You can use Arvist AI to get unparalleled visibility into your operation thanks to real-time tracking of vehicles and cargo, automated intelligent scheduling, and enhanced security. 

Thanks to predictive AI and a wealth of real-time data points, you can be sure cargo is processed efficiently without delays, and you can make more informed decisions to increase your throughput and revenue.

More benefits of using Arvist AI in your yard:

  • Reduced operational costs: Get real-time insights around yard activity to reduce detention charges and fees levied by trucking companies
  • Increased productivity: Reduce paper and manual, intensive processes with better, less error-prone automated tasks
  • Affordable: Since Arvist AI uses your existing infrastructure and data, you’ll invest significantly less for an immediate ROI
  • Happy customers and partners: with faster turnaround times in your yard, your smooth operation results in happy customers and partners
  • Scalability: when you’re ready to expand your operation, Arvist AI is designed to scale with you for other applications inside the loading dock like automating quality checks.

Take your yard management to the next level – explore Arvist AI today

If you’re ready to optimize your operation with intelligent automation and predictive analytics, we can help. 

Bringing your yard to optimal efficiency is not that far away – reach out to us today to learn more about transforming your operation for a better bottom line.