Best Practices

The problem with spreadsheets for dock scheduling

Best Practices

The problem with spreadsheets for dock scheduling

Best Practices

The problem with spreadsheets for dock scheduling

Oct 29, 2023

Did you know that over 50% of warehouses in the US still use spreadsheets, phone calls, and emails to manage their dock schedules? These manual and static ways of managing docks is costing warehouses time and money in ways they wouldn't necessarily expect.

If your team is using a spreadsheet to manage their dock calendars, please reach out and we’ll see if we can help.

P&L Impacts

Labor Cost:

Scheduling dock appointments using spreadsheets can cost up to $10 in labor per appointment. It's not the initial appointment booking that takes the most time. It's the changes that happen to the majority of loads–reschedules, changing load details, check calls, etc–that eat away at your team's time. What else could your team be doing besides managing the dock calendar?

Dwell Time:

Manual scheduling and driver check-in can increase dwell times by up to 25%. When drivers are arriving in the wrong order, heading back to their truck to get their paperwork, or the countless other hiccups that can occur during the day, waiting times start to add up. This means your team is less efficient and fewer orders are making it through your warehouses every day. it might be costing you labor, excess inventory, or even potential sales.

Operational Impacts

Excessive Delays Due to Phone and Email:

Take a look at your shipping or receiving clerk's inbox at the start of their day. It's likely chocked full of appointment requests, late truck notifications, and reschedules. While your team may have a set schedule, the trucks do not. The problem is that phone and email scheduling require someone to constantly be on alert for a delay or issue.

There's a domino effect if something isn't caught on time, like when the next day gets booked up before the late truck from the previous day has a chance to reschedule. In the worst of cases, a late notification can go unhandled over the weekend and your Monday starts off in chaos. These cases are largely preventable with better systems.

Security and Change History

Maybe your team shares the dock calendar spreadsheet with your carriers so everyone can collaborate in real-time. Maybe everyone in your company has access to the spreadsheet on a shared drive. If either of those sound familiar then security, data cleanliness, and audit history should be top concerns.

Mistakes happen. No one will be able to tell If someone changed something they shouldn't have. That can mean two trucks showing up for the same appointment, appointments being deleted and not having the staff to manage it, or worse. It's important to be able to be able to set up safeguards so that the entire spreadsheet doesn't accidentally get deleted too.

Visibility and Sharing Information

Scheduling appointments using spreadsheets poses significant limitations for warehouses in terms of real-time information sharing and operational visibility. The use of spreadsheets leads to manual, time-consuming processes prone to errors and delays. Changes in appointments, rescheduling, and managing load details become cumbersome, affecting the team's ability to promptly update and share information. This inefficiency hampers real-time updates, leading to increased dwell times, decreased operational efficiency, and potential confusion among staff and carriers due to data inconsistencies or accidental deletions. As a result, the inability to manage information in real time affects the warehouse's overall visibility into operations, hindering their ability to track, analyze, and respond to evolving needs promptly.

Data Analytics

Spreadsheets fall short in providing comprehensive data for measuring operational efficiency, carrier on-time performance, and vendor compliance. They lack the capacity to capture and analyze dynamic, real-time information essential for assessing these critical metrics. Due to their static nature, spreadsheets struggle to offer accurate, up-to-date insights into operations, hindering the ability to track and evaluate efficiency or performance. They lack the necessary features to provide robust data analytics, real-time updates, and comprehensive audit trails, making it difficult to measure and analyze aspects such as carrier on-time performance or vendor compliance. The absence of accurate, timely data hampers the warehouse's ability to make informed decisions and improvements in these key areas.

Can Conduit Help Your Warehouses?

Conduit is an online dock scheduling tool. We take pride in making the easiest to use and most robust scheduling system on the market. We can save you $10 in labor per appointment as well as reduce dwell times by 25%. There's tremendous value in having accurate data that updates in real-time, a reliable audit log of everything that changes, as well as ways to measure carrier or vendor performance too.

Request a Demo

Ready to see how Conduit can help you and your business? Schedule a free demo today.

© 2024 Conduit Software Inc all rights reserved

© 2024 Conduit Software Inc all rights reserved

© 2024 Conduit Software Inc all rights reserved