Continental Tire, Mt. Vernon, IL
Truck and car tire manufacturer Dave Majdanski, Distribution Manager
Until a year-and-a-half ago, Continental Tire had no reliable way to measure the performance of the truckload carriers it hires to transport tires from its largest manufacturing plant in Mt. Vernon, IL.
Dave Majdanski, distribution manager for Continental Tire, says, “We have only 17 dock doors and we ship on average between 70 and 90 loads a day, so we're constantly turning rucks in and out. One of our biggest problems was with carriers not picking up their loads on time.”
To make matters worse, the tire manufacturer had no good way of keeping track of the number of trailers in its yard and how long they were sitting there either empty waiting for loads, or filled but waiting for delivery appointments.
Detention charges from holding equipment beyond the carriers' allotted grace period (usually two days) were a common event. Majdanski notes these charges can range from $25 to $50 a day per trailer.
KT3 yard management software from Virtual Yard Management provided the solution needed to improve trailer visibility and ensure that they are now picked up by the carriers on time.
“Leasing the yard management software involved changing our processes,” Majdanski reports. “We used to have only a security guard at the point of entry who hand-wrote details, such as date and time of shipments. There was no good way of tracking trailers and loads.
“Now we have a computer operator stationed at the guardhouse to log in every transaction on a PC using the KT3 software. The computer is networked back to the office, where management can access the data and print out customized reports any time they wish.”
Virtual Yard Management modified the software to accommodate some special requests by Continental Tire, such as giving them a way to record and track weights of trailers entering and leaving the yard, as well as noting the condition of trailers, which are inspected upon arrival.
Using the arrival date and time data that has been entered into the computer, trailers that have been sitting in the yard the longest can now be moved first. Majdanski says trailer detention charges have dropped 50% since using the yard management software.
“We've also improved communications with our truckload carriers. As soon as a trailer is loaded, the yard switcher radios the information to the guardhouse, where it is entered into the computer. The software program then automatically sends a fax to the carrier telling them they have a load ready for pickup,” he explains.
When a carrier picks up a trailer, that event is also entered into the computer. Majdanski says the information has allowed management to determine which carriers are best meeting the company's on-time pickup criteria. “Our JIT shipments have improved dramatically since installing the software,” he reports.