The Modern W orkplace - Appointment-Plus

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The Modern W orkplace - Appointment-Plus

Utilizing Cloud-Based

Dock-Scheduling Technology

by Eric Richard

September/October 2011

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44

The delivery process is an important

component of the supply chain for any

facility that routinely receives inbound

shipments. Whether it’s a distributor receiving

its products, a manufacturer accepting

raw materials or supplies, or a convention

center increasing its food and beverage

inventory prior to a tradeshow, a proven and

efficient delivery process can mean the difference

between a well-run operation and one

that struggles to get carriers and drivers in

and out of docking bays quickly.

The process appears easy enough: A delivery

vehicle arrives at the facility, backs up to a

loading dock, facility workers unload the

delivery and the vehicle departs. Although it

may be this simple for a facility that receives

only a handful of shipments each week,

the task of managing deliveries is much

more complex for facilities that experience

dozens or hundreds of deliveries each week.

It requires a solution that helps facility and

dock managers streamline these procedures

and better manage worker resources.

A solution for many facility operators is

“cloud-based” dock-scheduling software.

The need for scheduled deliveries

Like most service-based businesses that

require appointments or reservations, a

“first-come, first-served” approach to

inbound deliveries can create more harm

than good. Although dock managers and

facility operators may be free of the tedious

process of scheduling these inbound

deliveries, they often face even more

daunting challenges that arise from not

knowing if and when the carriers will arrive

with shipments. They could face a backup of

delivery vehicles that all arrive at the same

time or long stretches between shipment

drop-offs. Either way, these scenarios

make it extremely difficult for managers to

properly schedule their dock staff. In some

cases, the lack of a scheduling procedure can

increase operating costs, as worker overtime

pay may be necessary to keep workers onsite

for any lingering deliveries.

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