How Yard Management Solutions Streamline Operations
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In a new episode of Everything is Logistics, hosts Blythe Brumleve sits down with two yard management technology experts, Colin Mansfield and Severiano Carnera, to discuss how technology can help streamline operations, prevent waste, and improve the driver experience. They share how Yard Management Solutions and process automation can drive major efficiencies and cost savings for companies.




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Show Transcript

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Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We were proudly presented by SPI Logistics and I'm your host, Blythe Brumleve. We've got a special show for you today. I feel like I say that before every episode, but we've been having some really great conversations on the pod as of late, and today is a first for the pod where we have two guests that are appearing on the show, and so we got Sev and we got Colin, both from Yard Management Solutions, and we're going to be talking about just what the hell you're missing out on. When it comes to YMS technology, I have a very, admittedly, very like in introductory level knowledge, so hopefully you guys don't mind my fifth graders style questions when it comes to this. So welcome into the show. First of all.

Colin Mansfield: 0:52

Hey, thank you so much, Blythe. It's great to be on here. I've been a sort of distant admirer of your podcast for a little while and seen you on Twitter and everything, so it's pretty cool to be on here.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:04

I mean, yeah, obviously you got the hat on the. Please advise hats. So, you're part of the gang gang. You know that's been developing on social media, which is great to see. You know the freight community start to come together. Let's start with you. Know sort of job roles, seve, I'll start with you. What is sort of your role? Where are you, you know, calling in from? Give us sort of a lay of the land for you.

Severiano Carnera: 1:28

Sure, sure. So thanks for having us. But yeah, first of all I'm from the Dallas Fort Worth area, so things are super exciting here in Dallas right now, especially with the Rangers about to win the World Series knock on wood. But yeah, so I live in the Dallas Fort Worth area. My role here with YMS is, first of all, I support the sales staff from a solution standpoint. So my background involves over 10 years of experience in the YMS space, meaning I've worked with a lot of YMS products. So I support them from a standpoint of being that trusted advisor, that person that wants to help that customer find solutions to their use cases, to their pain points. And then my second role here is really in charge of the product, making sure that the product needs to be where it needs to be from a standpoint of our customers, making sure that we're competitive against our other competitive landscape as well too. And then making sure that some of the things that I see that need upgrading, fixing things that will get us up to even par with our competitors or even beyond. That is part of my role as well too. So so far I've loved my role here and I love working with Colin and the rest of the team.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:36

Awesome. I appreciate that insight because I definitely want to get into a little bit of the history of YMS technology and where it's come from and where we're going. But before we get to that, colin, give us a sense of your role, where you're calling us from all that good stuff.

Colin Mansfield: 2:52

Absolutely. Yeah, my name is Colin Mansfield. I am in Southern California, east of LA, kind of out by the desert Beaumont specifically. So I always joke because a lot of our companies up in Michigan, when it starts getting cold in California, people really start giving me a hard time. Like that's not cold, man, it goes. It dips below 60. I gotta put the heavy jacket on. My background is not logistics. I've been working for YMS for four years. My title is company VP. Prior to this I was actually in the United States Army working at Air Missile Defense as a lieutenant and then as a captain. My wife and I had our first baby and I decided, hey, I don't want to be deployed all the time, maybe time for a change, sort of looking for other opportunities that were out there and landed at yard management solutions. What's interesting to me about logistics is I had zero interest prior to joining this company. To me it seemed very dull and as I started learning more and more, I learned that there's really always something new to discover. And there's always something new to learn. You can peel back the onion and just keep peeling, keep peeling, keep peeling and, as I'm sure you can attest to, there's always something new. So for me, I developed this love of logistics and supply chain and freight and kind of all things logistics and couldn't be more thrilled to be here. So I'm very excited for this job and where the future of freight is going.

Blythe Brumleve: 4:20

Yeah, I think logistics as a whole like for the overwhelming majority of people, once you joined into it, it just gets its fingernails in you and then it just doesn't let you go. I want to talk about just why. Because you guys have a great brand name, yard management solutions, which is also the acronym that most people use for the technology as well. So great SEO play on that.

Colin Mansfield: 4:42

That's exactly it. Yes, it's wonderful. It can be a little confusing. People will be like, oh, I've used your system before like a YMS and I'm like, oh well, yeah, maybe we are the YMS.

Blythe Brumleve: 4:55

It's almost like there's a restaurant in New York. The title is called Tie Food Near Me, and so they took advantage of local SEO to try to get people who are searching for tie food. So they just named the entire restaurant Tie Food Near Me. So I love it. It's a chess level thinking when everybody else is playing checkers, but for folks who you know Seve, I'll go to you first. What is the history of YMS technology? Was it just paper and pen that slowly evolved into technology? Give us a little bit of a glimpse from the historical perspective.

Severiano Carnera: 5:32

Sure, sure. So you're exactly right. You know a lot of organizations still to this day are still working off paper and pencil activities. So, whether it being going out to the yard, for example, and doing a yard check to identify what inventory they have in the yard at any given point in time, they're doing that manual process where they're walking around the yard writing down what they have in the yard. After they've completed a task which may take a couple of hours, go back inside and turn that into a spreadsheet where that can be shared with everyone within the organization. The challenge is with some of those things, though, is that as soon as you've written it down, it's no longer of any use up to you, because the yard changes dynamically throughout the day, throughout a couple of hours, depending on how large the facility is, and then you throw, you know, additional circumstances like, for example, if you have refrigerated units out in the yard. Refrigerated, we call reefers in the industry. Those units have to be maintained as well too. From a standpoint of understanding. Do they have enough fuel inside that refrigerator unit to keep running? Are the temperatures at the correct temperature settings? Is that temperature setting still staying at what it should be? So there's a lot of intricacies that can be involved with those types of things. So as a result of that, companies came up with the idea of you know what? Let's try and digitize this entire process so you know whether it be the arrival of a trader at the gate. Let's get that important information about that unit coming into the facility and then capture anything like, for example, maybe an inspection process and then digitize all that so that when I sit down and I need that information as a user, I can quickly run a report, run it based off of what happened two weeks ago, three weeks ago, three years ago, and still find that information. So that's how that came up, you know, and in addition to that, a lot of additional technology was also used, whether it be IoT devices such as RFID tags, rfid readers, antennas, etc. But in addition to that, you also have equipment that's also placed inside of yard trucks and for those of you not familiar with yard trucks, those are the pieces of equipment that basically move traders from position a to position b and that then becomes the means of communication with those drivers inside those yard trucks. So instead of the days of having a driver go into a shipping and receiving office Identifying what that next move is, writing it down on a piece of paper, going back into the yard truck performing that move task. Those days are basically eliminated because now that means of communication are done via tablets that are actually inside of the yard trucks and the drivers get very clear instructions as to what needs to be moved from one location to another. So you know, those are just some of the things that have occurred over the past 10, 15 years with these. Yms solutions Is trying just make these processes that much simpler and easier for organizations to complete, streamlining their operations and, in addition to that, having the ability to go back and audit things that may have occurred in the past as well.

Blythe Brumleve: 8:35

I'm curious and either one of you you know feel free to answer this but I'm curious why this wouldn't already be included in like a WMS technology. Is that? You know, just maybe the, the warehouse technology, is managing what's inside the warehouse, versus the YMS, which is managing what's unloading and coming to the warehouse. Do I understand that correctly?

Colin Mansfield: 8:55

Yeah, yeah, absolutely right there. Yeah, we're gonna talk, we're trying to talk over each other. Please do add, add on to this, because I know you have, you have lots of insight here as well. But what we've seen is from a WMS standpoint You're right, blight, that that would be sort of an obvious next step for a WMS. What we've seen is that there are providers who do that. Typically it's sort of treated as an add-on, a bolt-on solution, and whenever you're sort of adding something on to a system and that's not your primary focus, it sort of gets the dredges of you know uh, certainly of of you know how to use it, of the user experience, of the user interface. It kind of gets left at the bottom there. And so a lot of a lot of companies what what we've seen is that they'll implement a WMS you got to have that, everybody knows. You got to have a WMS inside of the facility, right, um, and then they'll turn their attention to the yard and for decades the yard was sort of treated like the black hole. It's like the cost of doing business. That's just sort of what we do and we track it on paper and then when it gets to the warehouse, that's when we really track it Um. Once these companies started turning their attention to the yard and started bringing it up, um, these what what might be called specialty YMS vendors started arising and going hey look, the yard is actually worth focusing on. Uh, modern shipping yards deserve modern software. Not an add-on, not a bolt-on, not an afterthought, but something that's actually dedicated and works really well. Um, and so that's that's what our company is Um. But of course there are other solutions out there and what we've seen is that organizations typically got to do their due diligence. They'll go out and they'll, you know, do an rfp or they'll go out and talk to a lot of vendors Um, and generally, you know, when it, when it stacks up, when companies, especially companies like, are stacked up against Uh add-on solutions, we typically win the business because companies see the value there.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:46

Yeah, absolutely anything to add.

Severiano Carnera: 10:47

seven yeah, without a doubt, he's absolutely right. Uh, you know those WMS systems. They typically don't have a sophisticated enough solution for some of their customers, or the there's some of their customer base. So many times those WMS providers come to us and say, hey, someone's looking for a really Integrated solution that we can actually work with other devices to help streamline operations. What we offer it isn't as robust as what you Offer, so we'd like to partner with you, for example with a customer that we have of ours. So that happens quite often, uh, and I get it. You know, their main focus is the WMS, and I've many times shared this with customers as well too. Look, there's plenty of good WMS solutions out there, tms solutions out there. That's not what we do. Our focus is strictly yard solutions, and that's what makes us a little bit unique as well too, because, uh to collins point, you know we stress All of the yard activities and try and streamline those in a much, much better fashion than also trying to include WMS functions as well.

Blythe Brumleve: 11:49

Yeah, definitely there's um. Back when I used to work it at an asset based Brokerage, they we had, you know, our TMS platform and it had a CRM inside of it and, as a marketer and working in freight, it was not a CRM. It was a glorified just email database. So I understand completely the comparison of like just focus on where you're really good at, and then it sounds like too, because you know from going through your website and listening to the new warehouse podcast. Shout out to Kevin, he does a great job over there, I saw he was just on your show.

Colin Mansfield: 12:21

That was awesome.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:22

Yeah, it's great to like connect with with other industry podcasters, which is crazy to think that there are now, you know somewhere like 40 or 50 of us, all you know, creating content, which is awesome to see because there's so many stories to be told. And so when I was at the conference CSCMP, I was just walking around on the trade show floor and I saw these giant displays of you know touchscreen devices and I was like what the heck is that? And I saw you know yard management solutions and I just went up and just randomly touched one of the displays and I was like oh wow, that's actually really easy to do from someone who knows nothing about you know yard management solutions, except for a very high level. So I imagine, for a lot of the folks that you are onboarding, that you're integrating with you know, maybe they're not, as you know, tech savvy and they see a platform like this and it's the adoption or the ease of adoption is really easy for them. Could you talk a little bit about you know sort of the onboarding experience, what that looks like to help some of these folks, you know, learn new technology, because it feels like with your platform it's relatively easy. Colin, I'll go to you first.

Colin Mansfield: 13:31

Yeah, absolutely. What we say is look, from contract signature to go live takes about six weeks. We can do it in less and we often do because the system's ready, let's just push it out. And a very small portion of that is training. Right, we set aside a few training sessions, but you're absolutely right. I mean, our goal is, whether you're nine years old or 90 years old, you can jump on the system, you can play around with it and you get the hang of it. From a user interface standpoint, we know that the ability for somebody to just sort of hop into, even like a sandbox, and just sort of play around and learn the system and that's irreplaceable. So that's what we work really hard on focusing on, and especially on our Eagle view, which is what you probably went up and played with, which is like the digital map of the yard and it shows where all the trailers are. You can drag and drop them to create those jockey drivers, shunter driver hoesler moves. You can drag a live trailer to generate a text message to a driver who's already in that, in that asset, and get them to move that trailer. So it's just there's some really neat things there, but it's intuitive and it's designed to be. You know, just be able to pick up. So I mean, I could sit down with you, give you a training. In three hours. You would go from a very high level understanding of the system. Three hours later you'd be a pro. It's really that easy. And generally our customers, when they come to us, one of the things they're looking for is that they don't want to have to. You know especially. Sure, go live is go live, but you've also got retraining, you've got new hires, you've got people coming on later, right? So the our ability to make it as intuitive as possible directly correlates to how happy our customers are. So that's what we prioritize.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:09

Seve any comments on that.

Severiano Carnera: 15:11

No, I totally agree. You know, and that's one beauty of our solution, the YMS solution, is that it is very simple to use. I have been a part of other organizations where the YMS solution was not as intuitive or made it too complicated for end users. This solution is very streamlined, very easy to use and I love the fact that it's that easy to use. To Colin's point, a yard driver we can train them in 15 minutes on how to use their portion of the application. So it just depends on the user base, the individual user who you're training. It may take a few minutes to a three hour session, like Colin was mentioning, to make someone a super user. So it does make it that streamlined, very easy process.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:56

Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home? Or perhaps you're a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the Freight Agent Trenches, sponsored by SPI Logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, who helps their agents with back office operations such as admin, finance, IT and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves. And what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI? Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit SPI3PLcom. One of the things too. While I was at CSCMP and I was at your booth I was working through. What does this mean for drivers? Because drivers, one of their bigger complaints is that they arrive at a facility and that they're waiting around for hours. No one can give them any kind of directions and their time is being wasted Any time they're not running a load, that they're not earning money. So from my understanding is that this kind of technology helps them to avoid that extra time where they're just waiting around, not earning money and not doing anything. Is that a safe assumption? Yeah, what are you?

Colin Mansfield: 17:23

doing oh, you want to go to me? Yeah, sure, yeah, no. Basically, basically, how we look at it is look, everybody wins If we can expedite this process. Everybody wins because our customers are often coming to us because they're paying outrageous detention fees. They're not able to turn those trailers around in time. They're getting charged. But just because a company's charging another company detention doesn't mean that other company is happy, right, they still, like you're saying, time is money. They would rather meet all that facility, meet all the time hacks, get that load turned, get it off the facility, get it moving, and certainly the driver would. Who's sitting there? So for us it's a matter of you know, really everybody wins. But we've had to think about it in terms of what does this mean from a user experience, user interface side. What does this mean for our customer? But what does this mean for the driver? A good example of that is a lot of facilities have gates. Right, they have folks that are sitting in the gate, 24, seven, for a lot of operations. There could be two of them there, but the gates gets very busy, but it's not always busy. Right, there's down times. You're still paying those employees to sit there. So what a lot of facilities are looking at now is trying to expedite that by removing the need for personnel at the gate and putting, for example, a touchscreen device like a kiosk out there where a driver can check themselves in. It could have a camera where you can scan a QR code for your appointment. It could be very simple and just be a sort of a touch, a touchscreen where you put in your appointment number. But either way, the result is the same, which is that that driver, instead of having to wait, produce paperwork, do the whole rigmarole back and forth at the gate, now there's a backup and the driver 15 trucks behind is getting frustrated. Right, we can just expedite that whole process, get folks into the yard, get them moving, and so that, by the way, saves that facility a ton of money as well. So again, it's an everything everybody wins scenario and that's that's what we prioritize. The other example that I gave of the live load you know some of our customers are primarily drop load facilities. Driver comes in leaves or trailer leaves. Some of them are primarily live loads. A lot of them are a mix, and so being able to handle those live loads becomes very, very critical from a facility standpoint. They get very frustrated if, for example, a driver comes in, gets sent to a waiting area because their dock's not available, and then, when that dock is available, somebody from the facility has to go knock on that driver's doors. Hey, go to this dock. They don't have a walkie talkie, right, so it's a whole thing. With our system, we can send that driver a text just letting him know hey, your doc's now available, it's time to move. And even if that solves 50% of the issues with getting drivers to the right docks, that's 50% savings in terms of that time and that's great for these, for these operations. So we we think of it from both, from both perspectives, because everybody needs to win for this to be expedited.

Blythe Brumleve: 20:14

For sure there's too many silos right now or not right now, but historically that have existed, you know, within the industry, not just you know on this side, but you know maritime intermodal, of course, as well. I'm curious and Seve, I'll go to you for this one how do you know, as a business, that you're ready for a YMS solution?

Severiano Carnera: 20:34

Sure. So you know, typically we do have demographics that will sort of point you in the direction that you need a YMS system. You know, typically we're talking and I've been a part of some organizations that have very, very large yards, which is very easy to identify hey, you need help with this. But I've also seen some operations that are much smaller, let's say maybe 30 docks, 40 parking spots, but they're running a manufacturing process, for example, and it's very important to obviously keep those manufacturing lines up and running. So you identify things like that out in the yard or when you pay visits to these customers and you identify these things, that these are really some points of improvement that you could use so that you don't quit. You know you don't stop your operations. But from baseline standpoint, there's a lot of things that go into it, whether it be the number of yard trucks in use, whether it be the number of transactions per day coming in and out of the facility, whether it be you have reefers or not. It's just a whole different smorgasbord of items that can be included in there to determine that. But you know what, I don't think I've ever been to a site that's not in need of a YMS solution at some point in some form or fashion, whether it be a very simple solution where you're just taking appointments, for example, to understand what may be coming in at given times and what's leaving at certain times, or it may be something as simple as just understanding what inventory you have at that point in time, so that you don't have to go out there and do those manual yard checks. So, again, the gamut ranges from very small to very large facilities. But at the end of the day, I still feel very strongly that a lot of organizations need these types of solutions and don't realize it yet.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:18

OK, it's one of those. It sounds almost like it's one of those aha moments that happen after you get the system and you start seeing all of the efficiency improvements and then that ultimately adds to ROI. Colin, is that a safe assumption?

Colin Mansfield: 22:31

No, it absolutely is. What I was going to say is just to add on because Seve is absolutely right a lot of organizations that come to us, the sentence that I'm about to say really resonates with them, which is they've outgrown their current manual systems, whatever those are. It could be at bolt-on to a WMS that requires manual tracking, it could be paper and pencil, it could be anything in between, but that feeling of like this isn't working anymore. Whatever system we're using isn't working. Generally, organizations don't come to us because they're doing a bad job managing their yard. Chances are they're doing a very, very good job, but they've outgrown those manual systems and it's becoming frustrating. Most companies that come to us are growing. They're adding capacity, they're adding yards or they desire to grow, and they know they have the resources to make that happen. But they're not sure that when they grow they're going to be able to track all of those new assets at their facility. So I've never met a yard that isn't doing their best. Everybody's trying to do their best out there. All we're doing is enhancing that with additional tools.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:37

So what are those? I guess so say a new customer gets signed on, they get. Within six weeks, they get activated, everything is rolling. What are some of those early, I guess ROI signals to them? Is there a way to create those kind of reports, or is it more of just like a feel of a greater efficiency while working within the system? What are some of those just aha moments that your customers are experiencing?

Colin Mansfield: 24:04

I'll share a few stories and then Seve if you want to jump in and share other insights you've seen from a broader perspective. We had a customer who came to us because they were, for example, opening up the backs of trailers at night, shining flashlights inside, to figure out what they were loading, what they had loaded earlier in the day. They were getting ready to ship out, and they go, oh crap, we don't know what's what. And they said it would be great if you could just tell us what was on each trailer. And so for this customer that was like three employees every night spending a couple hours. What we figured out is if we could implement a solution to keep them from having to do this. It'd save them about 50 grand a year. And so it was a very simple solution. We integrated with their WMS. We did an API integration. Their WMS sends what information is getting loaded onto a trailer in YMS. When you hover your mouse cursor over the trailer, it tells you what's on it and you can type into a search bar a part number and it highlights that trailer on the screen. It's that easy. So things like that sometimes it's bespoke sort of ROI, for customer has a specific problem and we do something to solve it. A lot of customers suffer from the same types of issues, so some of the broad ones. Detention is a scourge. A lot of organizations are paying unnecessary detention fees and it's really what it comes down to is visibility. If we can tell you what's about to go into detention, you can prioritize that and get it moved right, get it loaded, get it off the yard. And so for us, a lot of times that's sending an alert, sending an email, changing a trailer, make it right on the screen and just letting you know hey, this is an issue. One of our customers, michelin Michelin Tire. At one of their facilities they saved $2.5 million in a single year from unnecessary detention. They were no longer paying Another facility $450,000 in a single year. Now, those aren't common numbers, those are outliers, right, but it shows you the power of just visibility and saying things. Another big ROI piece that we've seen is for those yard jockeys, yard drivers, hustlers, whatever you want to call them is being able to prioritize what you know routes, who's moving what where and we've seen this both in terms of ROI, in terms of efficiency, but also in terms of actually greenhouse gas emissions. If we can prioritize and provide ideal routes for drivers to take and they're able to pick the best moves or be presented with the best moves given their current location. That's actually less fuel expenditure. So some larger organizations that are looking for ways to go green are looking for these interesting opportunities that are a little bit outside of the box and allows them to say, hey look, we are actually prioritizing this, not just in the facility but outside the facility as well. So those are a couple areas, seve, if you want to add anything on.

Severiano Carnera: 26:49

Yeah, and it's a great question, boy. Typically I usually tell customers you're not going to see any ROI until probably three months after using the system, because then you've got the data behind it to go back and check and verify certain activities. So, whether it be the number of yard moves that our drivers are completing per hour or whether it be making sure you manage refit units, again those are big cost savings that you see over time. One thing that I have worked within the past is refit units are near and dear to my heart and I've worked with a lot of protein organizations, meaning physical livestock that comes in on hooves and then leaves in packages, so you can imagine how much a trader worth of bacon would cost, for example. And their big number one thing was we cannot allow to have spoilage occur out in the yard and lose one of those loads. So, again, our ability to be able to manage that in and of itself, the saving of one trader would pay for the system on its own. So it doesn't typically happen that quickly because obviously we avoid those things, but those are types of scenarios, use cases that they present us with that they've come across in the past as well.

Colin Mansfield: 28:01

I'll share another story with you real quick, but that's it. I'm sorry not to cut you off, but this is where.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:06

I love this one.

Colin Mansfield: 28:07

We were talking with the steel manufacturer. They came to us because they had this problem and if they had had a YMS they wouldn't have had this problem. Basically, they had two hundred and twenty thousand dollars worth of finished product. Hi, my wife coming in to give me a croissant. I love it.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:26

Nice, that's a good wife.

Colin Mansfield: 28:28

She is an amazing wife. Hannah is amazing, we have. So we had this company that came to us because they had two hundred and twenty thousand dollars worth of finished product. They had gotten mixed up with a scrap trailer. They sent the finished product to the scrap yard and you know those are the types of service failure costs to seven point that pays for the more than pays for the system right and being able to avoid. Sometimes it's what can we save, what can we reduce something. Sometimes it's what can we totally avoid. And every operation is a little different. Less than a year is very common for hitting ROI with our customers To save a point might take three months to realize that initially. The next three months often is when they hit that ROI and certainly by the end of the year.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:11

Yeah, it definitely. It's starting to really make sense, you know, with avoiding the spoilage on food by just simple notifications, avoiding detention fees by simple notifications, just you know, correcting or, I guess, closing the communication gap between the workers within your facility. I'm curious as to, after you know the, the software, is it implemented or integrated into the system? What does that look like from you know? Just, I guess an internal management is someone you know specifically looking at the, your YMS solution, you know, throughout the day. Is it integrated into their current tech stack? I imagine it's probably different. But is someone responsible for now, you know, watching that software or does it kind of just fit in to the current roles or do you have to hire a new role to manage the expectations around? You know, those different notifications and things like that, if that question makes sense. Yeah it does make sense, yeah no, you don't.

Severiano Carnera: 30:10

That that's. The beauty of this is that you really don't need to hire additional folks. If anything, I usually tell customers, instead of having folks, for example, answering phone calls, answering or responding to emails for an appointment, for example, you can then move those personnel to do other things within your yard. So it's a matter of just moving people around and not focusing on those daily mundane types of tasks of you know, responding to emails, phone calls, things of that nature because, again, even a simple appointment management solution which has included in our solution, by the way takes away some of that responsibility and people can do that online now versus having to do that manually. So there's a lot of different things like that. You don't have to have someone monitor the solution. The system basically runs itself and then, based on your role, you're just, you know, interacting with the solution to get activities done. So, for example, if I'm a doc worker and I need a specific trader to be brought to a specific doctor, I can go out into the system, identify the trader that I need, create a move request to have that trader move to that door, and then that move request gets sent to the drivers and then they complete that move. So it's not as if someone has to monitor the solution. It just enhances what they're currently doing and it makes it a much more easier process in that again they don't have to communicate with drivers over radio or things of that nature Just streamlines those operations much, much better.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:39

Yeah, that definitely makes a ton of sense where your employees they can just focus on things that probably have a greater impact than you know dealing with communications back and forth and wasting a lot of time in that regard. One, a couple more questions based on that that. You know the new warehouse podcast. You know one thing I heard that you guys that I really liked is that you are listening to customers and then making additional features and integrations into the platform after listening to them. What does sort of that process look like? Is it, you know, sort of the YMS solution is just you know off the off the shelf and then you can make custom integrations or solutions after that or some of these things more, I guess, dependent on the company that's using them.

Colin Mansfield: 32:24

Well, that's a great question. Kind of both, actually, and this really came out of a desire to be. We call ourselves, we're a customer service company, cleverly disguised as a yard management company. I think any good software company should be that right For us. You know, we started going to the MHI trade shows Modex, promat and we wanted to compete. We said you know, they have a best IT innovation award. We've got some cool stuff on our system. What are we going to show off? Well, we're going to show off what we've built for our customers. Right, every customer that comes to us has some, some variety of either requirements or challenges that they say I don't care how you solve it, as long as you solve it right. So what we do is we sit down, we have a discussion with them, we figure out can current things in the system solve this and if so, let's set those up. And if not, we'll say, look, is this something you'd like us to add in? And they go yeah, absolutely great. And we go to these trade shows, we show off what we've built. We've won awards. You know, five years in a row been recognized or been a finalist or one best IT innovation award, and it's it's not waving a magic wand, it's not like a pat on the back, it's like we just listen to our customers every year without fail. What we found is that there's really no such thing as a unique problem. It might feel unique to many of these operations, but often several different types of of operations are suffering from something similar, and so for us, if we can just prioritize listening to customers getting into the system, that pays dividends later on as well. So, to directly answer your question, sometimes that happens early in that implementation, right, and they, they come to us. They say, look, we really need X, can you provide it? And we say, look, it's not in the system, but we can build it. Sometimes that happens later on. I say most often it happens later on. We go live. For example, we've had customers. Very common for customers to come to us and go let's integrate with our you know GPS units on owned assets in the yard. Let's integrate with our transportation management system so that we can get appointments fed directly into YMS. Let's integrate with the WMS system so we can get that cool hover over a trailer. See what's inside of it. We call that X-ray vision that's our marketing marketing term for it and and so we'll treat that as a phase two, as a phase three after go live. We support both, though we just went live with a customer in Atlanta. Seve and I both flew down there and hung out for better part of a week on my end, and for them they had some specific requests with regards to reefer units. Something that we added into the system that we're making available for all of our customers is the ability to track multiple zones of reefer units. You know, some reefer units have refrigerated in one part of the trailer, frozen in another part and you know, dry in another part, and so the ability to track all three of those, for example, was critical for this operation, and so we added that in right, and we're always happy to do that.

Blythe Brumleve: 35:20

Yeah, that sounds really cool. And there was another feature too that I was reading on your website, not just the you know saving costs you know a potential spoilage on reefers but also from loss prevention. You know, with so much fraud going on within the industry, how does the how does your solution, I guess, help with other areas of loss prevention? I assume maybe the steel example.

Colin Mansfield: 35:45

Yeah, no, the steel example is a great one, Knowing what's in the yard at any given time. A lot of operations are doing current inventory already. Right, they're doing a yard check at least once a day, probably more likely once a shift or twice a shift, to try to get that inventory In our system. You go to current inventory report, you hit Excel, it downloads the inventory, you're done. So it keeps it really easy to see what's on the yard now and if you do that periodically you can see what's on the yard now, what wasn't on the yard before. Run historical reports figure out where things went. You know a lot of our customers have already gated facilities so for them it's like, hey, we thought this trailer was here, it was gated out. Who gated it out? When did it happen? Who touched that trailer with our system? They can go back and find that, whereas in the past maybe that was a bit of a mystery All right.

Blythe Brumleve: 36:33

Well, I think. I mean, obviously it sounds like this was one of those tools that, like I said, I was at the conference and I walked by and it struck me how easy to use the software was, and so that was my reasoning for reaching out to you guys and now to hear so much more about it in the loss prevention, I think is really key. Saving driver's time is also really key. And then also from the customer standpoint, or the you know the, just the warehouse itself, just being able to make your operations much move, much more efficiently. Tough markets like this. You got to be able to find those edges and find those ways to become more efficient and more productive. Seville, I'll go to you. Last question Are there any important features that you think that we should have mentioned that we haven't talked about already?

Severiano Carnera: 37:21

Sure, sure. So I'll mention some features, for example, for manufacturing processes. So when you have a manufacturing process, a lot of times those manufacturing processes include having specific traders with certain product come to the same doors on a regular basis. So I'll give you an example for an automotive industry, for example, you may have three or four doors where everything that goes through those three or four doors are always tires and you don't want to shut down the production line. So what you do is, once that trader gets emptied and you know that there's no more tires on there, an automatic call to remove that trader from that dock door can be generated from our solution and at that point it will look into the inventory in the yard, identify the next trader with tires in it and call that trader to that dock door. So instead of me sitting there and entering those moves into the system, the system can automatically do that and move these traders back and forth, so that there's no human intervention involved there and the possibility of someone making a mistake or forgetting to call the trader to that dock door. So that's just one example. I've done that with automotives, with tubes of toothpaste, you name it. I've done it with many different types of things from the manufacturing standpoint. So it's always important for those types of operations to make sure you streamline those basic functions, to make sure you always have the raw materials at those dock doors in order to keep that production line moving.

Blythe Brumleve: 38:48

Yes, smart. That's something I never even thought of from that lens that it would just make more sense to have all of the tires unloaded at once within one area of the warehouse, versus, you know, scattered all around and then you're scattering your team and creates more inefficiencies. Call it the same to you Anything that you feel is important to mention that we haven't already talked about.

Colin Mansfield: 39:10

Yeah, absolutely. I think a good place to end this is to just if you're in operation and you're listening to this, or you are in an operation and you go. Yeah, this sounds like we're outgrowing our manual processes. This sounds like something that could benefit us. You know there's several solutions out there that you can take a look at, and we mentioned the difference between sort of like an add-on and a bespoke or a specialty tool. Within each of those, there's considerations to make. You know. One of those is do you go with a system that includes sensors or do you go with a system that is process-driven? Sensor-based systems are going to be what Seve talked about at the beginning, something that uses like RFID tags, for example, that you got to put on every trailer, whereas a process-driven system, like we provide, is something that doesn't require additional hardware beyond maybe a tablet you put inside of those jockey vehicles. Now you got to weigh pros and cons to each and every operation has to make this call. From an RFID standpoint, what a lot of operations have to consider is, if you don't own your own assets, you're going to have to put those physical sensors on every trailer that enters or exits your yard, and if you forget to pull them off, then you got to buy new ones. Rfid sensors break. Seve's worked for operations that have implemented RFID solutions and so he can attest to this. Maintenance is required. You got to repurchase tags and, unfortunately, although some really good sales reps may say they're very accurate, they're only accurate up to three to five spots, which means a lot of times. If you really care about what doctrine or what spot is this asset on, and you've got three or four trailers stacked on top of each other, how do you differentiate? You do a yard check, which is what a lot of these operations are doing now. Anyhow, in our solution we can, like I said, get live in six weeks, no additional hardware to purchase. Employees do their jobs as they normally would. They have a tablet where they're tapping buttons on a screen to indicate what's going on. We integrate with every solution that's out there and it's very, very easy to use. So again, what I would say is do your due diligence. If you're an operation that's looking for a YMS, you're not going to make a bad choice. It's better to have a YMS than to not. But as you're weighing different options, look at not only feature set and whether or not there's hardware involved, but also ask for references, Say, hey, who are some of your customers who can give us some feedback on your solution? And, of course, anybody that wants to reach out to us. I'm happy to. Our customers are our best salesman is what I always say. I'm happy to provide you with those references. But it's a lot of fun. Working in this industry is a lot of fun. The very last thing I'll say is it's really a pleasure working with people in the yard space, people from all different backgrounds, people with all different skill sets, all different knowledge levels and all different experience levels. We did a training last, a couple of weeks ago now, where there was somebody who had been with the company for 12 years, for two years, for two months and for two days in that training session and none of them knew anything about yard management. And so to sit down and say, look, we're going to bring a whole new way of doing business into your yard, and to see the excitement. I mean that's why we do. What we do right Is to not so much help the companies. That's great, but really, if I can help an end user, whether that's a person who's using our system or a driver coming onto that facility. Save time. That's really what our job is.

Blythe Brumleve: 42:41

Yeah, and I would just to piggyback off of your, your, your customer sentiment. One of the the I always ask yes, you know, to send in some previous interviews you've done or any kind of YouTube videos or things like that, and one of the YouTube videos that you guys sent over was just clips of your customers talking about the money that they've saved, the problems that you guys have solved for them. It was, you know, no fluff, just straight customer insight. Um, so I thought that that was um really good and um, one couple quick final things um, where can folks follow more of your work? Um, and then also, can we get a glimpse of Seve's dog in the background?

Colin Mansfield: 43:16

We should see the dog first. Show us.

Blythe Brumleve: 43:21

Sitting nice to the fire, next to the fireplace. I think for a lot of folks this time of the year you definitely want to be right there to be a dog.

Colin Mansfield: 43:29

You got to go make some hot cocoa and put it right next to him.

Blythe Brumleve: 43:33

Put a little Santa hat on. It is that time of the year now to officially.

Colin Mansfield: 43:37

Oh, I know I know, oh my gosh, start the Christmas music man. Um yes, I, you can find us, yard management solutionscom. That's our website. You can watch videos. We got client testimonials. We just added a uh, I think, a case study that you can check out for one of our cold storage customers on there. Uh, linkedin I'm on LinkedIn. Colin Mansfield, seve Carnera is on LinkedIn as well. Um, and you can find our company on LinkedIn also. Um, and then, finally, freight X represent, please advise, freight X. Find me on Twitter, colin Mansfield. Our company, yard management solutions, is on Twitter as well. X, formerly known as Twitter, whatever we're supposed to call it.

Blythe Brumleve: 44:15

Just sounds so much better. Well, guys, I appreciate the insight today. I appreciate you know that. You know it's entertaining. My, my fifth grade level questions learned a ton more about you know YMS technology, um, today, and all of the efficiencies that it creates and cost savings, loss prevention, all that good stuff. So this, this was a cool learning experience. So appreciate your guys. Time, um and uh, we'll make sure to put all those links in the show notes to make it super easy for folks. But, um, unfortunately the dog is not included, or the croissant is not included in this broadcast.

Colin Mansfield: 44:50

Watch the video for those special features.

Blythe Brumleve: 44:58

I hope you enjoyed this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in it Freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everything is logisticscom. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate and that's digital dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1,500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus, freight marketing and sales content similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on digitaldispatchio. Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags.

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.