What is a Time Slot Management System?
Time Slot Management Systems allow for optimization of logistics processes, are easy to deploy and deliver measurable results in cost savings.
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Logistics IT solutions are emerging and the standard for managing processes through verbal information, Excel files, notebooks or phone calls and emails are becoming a huge disadvantage for staying efficient & competitive.
Today gives way to innovative online solutions that not only help detect hidden shortcomings in the supply chain but also improve the efficiency of logistics process management.
One of these solutions is Warehouse Time Slot Management. This solution helps to optimize the operations of warehouse workers and loading gates. It also reduces truck downtime and eliminates chaotic truck clutter and unnecessary movement in the warehouse. One of the most important values in the long term is centralized information, which allows complete traceability and the development of efficiency plans.
In the initial stage of supply chain management, many companies control information using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. At the other end of the production process, they use the Warehouse Management System (WMS). Prior to the occurrence of Time Slot Management Systems, companies did not have an opportunity to control the time interval from the time the goods arrive to the warehouse and until they are unloaded, or vice versa. The process was not completely digitized, therefore inefficiency & communication errors occurred.
Often, Time Slot Management Systems not only provide more convenient & transparent management but also save direct costs. For example, when drivers arrive at the warehouse, they have a certain time to unload or reload their cargo. Downtime caused by uncertain work schedules results in paying fines and additional tasks to manage the disputes. Without traceability, a lot of time and money is needed to control verbal information.
How does it work?
The system works as a calendar of your warehouse loading/unloading docks where all necessary logistics & shipment data is stored. Conveniently, your carriers have easy online access to the calendar and are able to book the time slots without the need to contact anyone to see the warehouse availability. Moreover, the systems can be easily integrated into business ERP & WMS systems with the help of API. This is a huge advantage for Supply Chain Officers who want to monitor performance and have a transparent & fully trackable supply chain process.
Can you afford a Time Slot management system?
The cost can often be a reason to discourage companies from integrating new solutions, especially considering that such solutions weren’t as available as separate & affordable modules for any size business. Such software market conditions led businesses to create custom tools, but this strategy requires huge timeframes & even bigger costs often unreasonable for small & medium manufacturing companies.
However, conditions are changing and SaaS (Software as a Service) companies are arising. Such companies offer a simple cloud-based Time Slot Management system. Numbers suggest that cloud technology can significantly reduce a company’s operating costs, as the customer only pays a monthly subscription fee, which is several times less than the real cost of the product even after taking several years of payments.
Usually, the fee is calculated based on the volume of your warehouse loading docks & a few other factors which lead to progressive & reasonable billing. Moreover, solutions are constantly updated and always are up to market standard, the product support is provided by the solution provider. Using the system has become an absolutely affordable tool for both large and small businesses with relatively modest budgets. The benefits are obvious in both cases.
Time Slot Management Systems allow for optimization of logistics processes, are easy to deploy and deliver measurable results in cost savings. It also allows companies to centrally manage all information, have full traceability and create efficiency plans.
Article by Jevgenij Polonis, co-founder of GoRamp. GoRamp is a provider of Time Slot Management software.