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The problem of digital information stopped being “not enough data” long ago. Today, we are absolutely awash in bits and bytes. So many devices, applications, and processes are throwing off data at a dizzying rate each day that storage capacity has become a thing.

Data scientists and academics are dreaming up new ways to deal with capacity, including creating innovative optical drives that can store more than a petabyte. Still, the nagging issue is how to make the data troves we already have actionable.

In logistics, all of your data – basically digital records of inventories and transportation – is as useful as a cow with a kickstand if it can’t be relied upon for accuracy.

The Role of Data in Logistics

The two broad categories listed above can serve as fairly handy buckets, so let’s take them separately through the lens of data accuracy.

Inventory Data

Each product in a warehouse, store, or manufacturing facility gets assigned a SKU number — a digital record of all its individual characteristics. Without accurate data, orders go out wrong or are unfulfilled because the website isn’t synced with the actual inventory on hand. This can also lead to overstocking, as orders are placed even though inventory levels are sufficient to meet current and projected demand.

In the warehouse, data accuracy equals lower mis-pick rates – which means fewer returns and their attendant cost and markdown issues – better demand and order forecasting, improved resource allocation and greater efficiency in packing processes.

Transportation Data

As goods are transported by truck, rail, ocean, or air, all kinds of data are created, stored, exchanged, analyzed, and reported. Every truck trip and transshipment handoff involves multiple data transmissions and receipt acknowledgments.

First and foremost, data accuracy helps ensure goods are moving where they’re supposed to, when they’re supposed to, and to whom they’re supposed to. For shippers, inaccurate or incomplete data spells all kinds of trouble:

  • Increased costs (carrier overpayment, chargebacks, etc.)
  • Inaccurate capacity forecasts
  • Lost opportunities
  • Poor customer experiences.

A transportation management system (TMS) is a powerful tool for ensuring data accuracy through automated data entry, system integration, and standardization. It also improves transportation spend efficiency by optimizing carrier selection and route planning. This leads to better data-driven decisions and a continuous improvement process.

Data Accuracy Is Key to Smooth Yard Operations

Think of all the data required to keep yard operations running smoothly. This often unsung aspect of logistics is responsible for gate security (verifying vehicles and drivers), scheduling slots at the bay doors, and monitoring yard assets and their locations.

Unfortunately, yard operations have come to be known as the data “black hole” of the supply chain. Investments in technology, automation, and analytical tools simply have not kept pace with warehouse or transportation departments.

Thus, human data entry errors in log books or spreadsheets can lead to:

  • Misallocation of arriving vehicles and available bays
  • Delays in loading and unloading
  • Inventory discrepancies
  • Higher operational costs and reduced throughput in yard operations at warehouses or manufacturing facilities.

The location and retrieval of trucks, trailers, and chassis can also suffer, leading to further delays and higher labor costs.

How Technology Is Improving Data Accuracy in Yard Operations

Yard Management System (YMS) software, dating back to the late 1990s, started as an extension of WMS and TMS technology. It was designed to increase yard visibility and efficiency, including asset tracking and dock scheduling. Over time, it has gotten more sophisticated, incorporating RFID, GPS, and cloud computing.

Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) have enabled next-generation “yard vision” technology. These systems go above and beyond the capabilities of a legacy YMS, using real-time data to automate and optimize many yard processes.

EAIGLE: Data Accuracy Is Baked In

EAIGLE, a pioneer in AI-driven yard logistics, has developed an innovative platform to manage yard operations from the gate to the loading bays and everywhere in between. It seamlessly bridges the gap between TMS and WMS while complementing any existing YMS.

Leveraging existing security cameras, EAIGLE’s  AVAC™ (Automated Vehicle Access Control) solution is designed to optimize gate operations. Its optical scanning technology taps AI to pull in 25 separate vehicle data elements in real time. This enables fast, precise identification and verification – plus a high degree of data accuracy.

Similarly, YardSight™ from EAIGLE also uses AI to analyze vision data to show incoming drivers the availability of a facility’s loading docks and parking locations, so they can quickly navigate the yard, saving time and driving efficiency.

The benefits of this real-time, accurate data include better asset management, improved vehicle flow, faster, more secure gate access, and cost savings from labor reduction.

With Logistics Data, Accuracy Matters

Poor data management in logistics can only spell trouble for all concerned. It facilitates supply chain efficiency, better inventory control and transportation management, and savings that flow directly to the bottom line.

To learn more about how EAIGLE’s AI technology enhances data accuracy to improve overall yard operations metrics, request a demo today.