Our Industry Solutions
Since our beginnings, in 2000, we’ve developed particular expertise in helping organizations with their yard management and dock scheduling challenges in five key industries. Our consultants understand the ins and outs of these industries.
We’re familiar with their regulatory and competitive environments. We also know how to integrate our yard management system and dock scheduling software with existing systems to produce maximum synergies throughout your supply chain.
Third-party warehousing companies, be they contract or multi-tenant, need to maintain high service levels with all parties while operating on slim margins.
Eliminating driver wait times, maximizing the labor utilization rate, and monitoring strict compliance KPIs are some of the reasons why 3PLs select C3’s yard management system and online carrier appointment scheduling software.
Relative to dock appointment scheduling, one of the challenges this industry faces is that appointment requests come from a broad spectrum of parties (customers, carriers, the customers’ customers, suppliers, brokers, freight forwarders, etc.) The CSRs are doing their best to coordinate timely deliveries and pick-ups but are often restricted by the tools they use (phones, emails, shared calendars and spreadsheets).
With C3 Reservations in place, all parties are connected and synchronized. Operations now have a quick visual report on how the day is looking and carriers appreciate having automated appointment numbers and email confirmations. CSRs have easy, real-time visibility on schedule availability, appointment status and enjoy an intuitive and centralized scheduling tool.
Some third-party warehousing companies have expressed their concern that requiring carriers to schedule appointments may negatively affect their relationship with these carriers and, ultimately, their clients. The first-come, first-served approach for them is the only true ‘customer-service-oriented’ approach; at the expense of drivers waiting occasionally and having their dock floor completely congested at times.
The first rule of success is to understand that the worst thing for drivers is the waiting. C3 Reservations’ web portal access is so easy to use that carriers prefer it over other communication means. To quote two satisfied carriers: “Just wanted to say I got to book my appointment on the web this morning. I love it! Wish we could do this for all of our customers”. “This is SOOOOO much easier than calling every location and sitting on hold”.
In the contract warehousing business, margins are thin and service levels need to be high. No matter how many appointments and sites you manage daily, communicating with your clients’ vendors, end-customers and a variety of carriers is time consuming and challenging.
C3 Reservations’ web based portals provide 24/7 access, real-time updates and automatic email confirmations for every step of the appointment lifecycle. No more communication errors, no voice mails and pending emails. In addition to the productivity gains, the business benefits from real-time visibility and reporting capability over all sites.
In order to meet their client’s policy standards, a contract warehouse operator may be required to take a picture of every load prior to completion. In the past, the pictures were attached to an email and filed. This made the reporting and archiving process clumsy and labor intensive.
With C3 Reservations, the dock personnel simply attach the picture (or any other file) to the appointment. This provides all users instant visibility on the load integrity while saving time and facilitating access to historical data.
Transportation and logistics companies (3PLs) have customers who cover a broad spectrum of industries. For this reason, they need a yard management system that is versatile and adaptable to their customers’ specific needs.
C3’s yard management system was first created for a 3PL and has continued to serve this industry by demonstrating its versatility, depth and execution accuracy. One customer is managing 8 locations for 5 companies working in totally different industries using one system. The C3 Yard configuration tools are detailed enough for them to restrict and tailor the access of each customer while they benefit from the global visibility required to control (and optimize) their operations as a whole.
As a grocer, whether you are a wholesaler or retailer, a national or regional player, you face many of the same challenges: is the food getting to the stores fresh? Is my yard set up to handle key challenges like recycling and salvage? Am I running a lean operation? Do I have the flexibility to ensure that I can make last-minute adjustments?
See how C3 Solutions has helped other companies in your industry with our dock scheduling system and yard management solution.
Dedicated to specifically support food and grocery industry leaders in their quest to become globally recognized as the cream of the crop. We all know the grocery game is changing and in order to lead the pack, companies need strong and optimized operations.
For the last 20 years, C3 Solutions has dedicated its efforts to elevate operations like yours through a tailor-made and powerful Yard & Dock Management technological platform – and the F.O.O.D. program is no exception.
The high turnover and freshness of the produce accentuates the need for grocers to receive the right loads at the right time, all this while maintaining a balanced workload on their docks. The challenge is rendered even more complex by the variety of load types (palletized or other) and load modes (prepaid, collect, over the road, standing appointments). A basic calendar or generic scheduling system doesn’t provide enough parameters to set rules which will respect the business’ priorities.
Using sophisticated constraints, unload duration computation rules and PO information (EDD, SKU, Qty…), C3 Solutions’ dock scheduling system provides a planning and execution tool which ensures the right product will arrive on time while balancing the dock workload.
It is common for national grocery chains to have a centralized appointment desk, managing the inbound schedules for all the distribution centers. In one case, the main challenge was to modernize and streamline the appointment desk thus reducing (with the objective of eliminating) the phone calls. They also wanted, through real-time data integration, to eliminate the need for schedulers to duplicate data entry.
C3 Reservations allows operations to maintain a centralized appointment desk, if so desired, but with a fraction of the labour previously required. The web portals provide real-time communication between external parties (carriers, suppliers, customers) and internal parties (schedulers, buyers, CSRs). In addition to the increased productivity, management now has visibility on all schedules.
A grocer was using a TMS for dock scheduling when their inbound loads were a mixture of collect and prepaid. Since typical TMS’ are most efficient with collect freight only, this created issues and exceptions that burdened the scheduling team.
Since C3 Reservations is focused on planning and scheduling, it can handle collect, prepaid or any other type of load that may be expected. The scheduling information can easily be communicated in real-time to a TMS (or any other IS). By implementing C3 Reservations, that grocer now benefits from the added performance of a true dock scheduling application while seamlessly having the key appointment data available in their TMS.
Implementing a SaaS dock scheduling application doesn’t mean that you have to change your legacy ERP/WMS systems. We’ve seen a few grocers who have highly customized WMS systems (which they do not want to change) and are looking for ways to improve their dock scheduling process.
With C3 Reservations, the application can integrate data by either file uploads, SFTP file transfers or Web services integration. In one case, middleware was easily created so that their AS/400 based WMS system would communicate in real-time through Web services to C3 Reservations. By doing so, P.O. data and appointment information could be shared in real-time, saving on labor and providing excellent visibility on inbound activity.
Buyers and analysts appreciate knowing when orders are booked into the warehouse, as well as being able to track their progress and any compliance issues that may arise. Obtaining this information, for one grocer, represented a tedious series of emails, phone calls and spreadsheets.
C3 Reservations helps the buyers and analysts by providing them visibility on purchase orders and bookings in several ways. For instance, the buyers and analysts may have a view-only screen into C3 Reservations to consult, track and report on activity related to their purchase orders. Furthermore, through data integration, C3 Reservations can feed the time of booking and any relevant data into their information system for them to have accurate and timely data via their traditional reporting tools/systems.
Grocers have many pieces of critical data related to a purchase order which need to be tracked. The challenge for one grocer was to capture the events occurring at the time of booking and receiving an appointment (such as best-before-dates, arrival times, unloading duration and seal numbers) and to adjoin it in order to complete the information related to the purchase order.
Through real-time data integration using Web services, our grocery customers typically feed the purchase order information into C3 Reservations. When the appointment is confirmed and then received, the pertinent data is returned to the grocer’s information system, providing the important missing information easily and automatically.
When dealing with mixed loads (multi-temperature regimes or others) where trailers have to be brought to multiple docks, it is essential for yard managers to efficiently plan the loading sequence and, more importantly, not to lose track of the assets in the process.
Many grocery customers rely on C3 Yard to manage their outbound loads. C3’s yard management system ensures that trailers are automatically brought to doors on time and in proper sequence, even if they need to be parked up until their next door is ready. The warehouse thereby obtains complete visibility of the outbound trailers’ status and location.
Tracking the temperature on the refrigerated trailers is essential, as well as having visibility on their location.
The C3 Yard supports tracking and reporting for temperature-controlled units. This feature has allowed a customer to include the temperature requirements as part of their outbound loads. This information can be communicated to the yard driver as part of the task to bring the empty trailer to the dock door.
Certain grocery distribution centers look more like a campus; grouping several buildings on a compound to serve manufacturing, frozen, dry and general distribution. What these grocers require is a versatile yard management system which can be tailored to either manufacturing, general distribution, cross-docking, etc.
C3’s yard management software is specifically designed to handle single or multiple-site operations with different departments or business units. For certain customers, having the ability to configure rules and priorities by site or to dedicate drivers to key areas are absolute requirements. Other customers rely on C3 Yard to manage and optimize their shuttle moves by reducing bobtail travel distance.
Just-in-time manufacturing is synonymous to having no margin for error. This means that logistics, both in terms of supply chain and delivery chain, play an increasingly important role in the overall success of the organization.
See how C3 Solutions has helped other manufacturers with our dock scheduling system and yard management solutions.
Our customer suffered from a breakdown in communication between its multiple DCs and factories. The product was leaving the factories according to their respective production schedules, forcing the DCs to cope with unpredictable peaks of trailer arrivals.
With C3 Reservations, our world-class dock scheduling system, the manufacturing sites have visibility on each DC’s schedule, providing the means to communicate to the carriers the appointment time. This real-time communication ensures that trucks arrive on time and in the desired sequence, preventing congestion and therefore improving the flow of goods
For a manufacturer of wellness products, the relatively low volume of inbound traffic didn’t justify by itself the implementation of C3 Reservations. In fact, their biggest challenge was to capture and report on the characteristics of the products arriving, all the way down to the product description.
C3 Reservations’ custom fields allow manufacturers to capture data on either the appointment, purchase order or line items. In this particular case, the ample reporting capabilities of C3 Reservations provides the manufacturer reports which can validate and corroborate complementary information found in their manufacturing information systems. Admittedly, the scheduling aspect of C3 Reservations has become a secondary priority for this customer.
For manufacturers who operate in several different countries, finding a dock scheduling application which can be easily translated into any language is a challenge.
The fact that C3 Reservations automatically adjusts to the user’s browser language was a true asset for a European manufacturer who started using the system to manage appointments for multiple facilities worldwide.
Another manufacturer’s challenge was not so much the volume of inbound traffic, but rather the multiplicity of sites and the numerous, repetitive, standing appointment confirmations. Although the phone calls were a burden, the numerous spreadsheets (one per site) were difficult to manage and provided management no visibility on their incoming shipments.
C3 Reservations eliminated the phone calls since the carriers are now able to confirm their standing appointments 24/7 via the web portal. Depending on the users’ access rights, all the schedules are easily visible. Managers have the added benefit of site and enterprise wide dashboard and reports.
Manufacturers are often dealing with import containers, FTL & LTL domestic, prepaid and collect by accepting loads on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. They believe their business logistics is too complex to implement a scheduling process – until the pains created by fluctuating peaks of traffic, such as lengthy driver wait times and a cluttered dock space proved them otherwise.
C3 Reservations can allow for different levels of automation and can be progressively rolled-out; planning and scheduling dock activity differently for different types of loads as well as varying the level of automation accordingly. Certain manufacturers started implementing C3 Reservations to handle containers only. Others targeted specific carriers until all parties concerned were comfortable with the new process.
Our customers in the automotive industry require just-in-time deliveries to their production floor; without which the consequences are extremely expensive. From a yard management perspective, it was no longer good enough to simply have visibility on the trailers’ contents in the yard.
C3’s yard management solution, provides sequencing capabilities, ensuring that the right trailers arrive on the right door, just-in-time. It can also help keeping the assembly line rolling by dedicating just enough yard drivers to key areas.
If your manufacturing facility receives containers from off shore; you require visibility so that the “return dates” be respected. In such cases, managing containers by using spreadsheets (per site) has its limitations.
C3 Yard’s container management functionality compiles all the necessary information that are specific to container management; conveniently and accurately. For some customers, this translates into significant savings in detention costs.
Manufacturing companies often have multiple sites, requiring them to manage their own drivers who shunt trailers from site to site in addition to managing external deliveries. In the past, customers needed two or more applications to manage the multiple asset entering the various sites.
C3 Yard efficiently manages multi-sites and inter-facility transfers, ensuring the most productive use of the company’s assets as well as providing visibility over the entire operations, including outside carriers.
Retailers have distinct logistic challenges related to either their DCs or inbound to their stores. How do you maximize the dock flow-through, maintain strict control on compliance and provide visibility on the operations?
See how C3 Solutions has helped other companies in this industry with our dock door scheduling and yard management solutions.
The Retail Industry is moving at a dizzying pace!
In order to play the game, companies need strong and optimized operations.
For the last 20 years, C3 Solutions has dedicated its efforts to elevate operations like yours through a tailor-made and powerful Yard & Dock Management technological platform – and our retail initiative is no exception.
Learn more about how C3 has helped retail leaders across the world elevate their business, quickly adapt to changes within their industry and stay competitive and ahead of the competition.
Retailers were among the early adopters of a dock door appointment scheduling process; enforcing a very disciplined inbound schedule. Although the Internet has been around for many years, few have yet to modernize their process beyond the use of emails and spreadsheets.
C3 Reservations’ multiple schedule templates allow the users to replicate their traditional schedule, providing a familiar interface to their current system. Through this, the schedulers’ jobs are made easier due to the significant reduction in phone calls and emails – hopefully eliminating them completely. From management’s perspective, they now have the reporting tools to ensure that the planned schedule is executed efficiently.
Retailers’ store deliveries also have scheduling challenges due to the stores’ limited receiving hours/staff, restricted floor space and few dock doors.
C3 Reservations’ simplified dock door scheduling screen eliminates all appointment phone calls and ensures that driver wait times and dock floor congestion is a thing of the past. Each store controls its schedule, while corporate management has visibility on all of them.
If you require your unloading personnel to conduct a receiving audit on a standard form and then to fax it over to the transportation or compliance department, you understand that obtaining 100% of the forms and compiling the data is very difficult and time consuming.
For companies who are not satisfied with simply measuring on-time deliveries and relevant KPI’s related to appointments scheduling, C3 Reservations permits the dock manager to capture faults configured to match the merchandising policy. The audit functionality also allows setting up a disciplined audit of loads in accordance with personalized business requirements.
As a scheduler in the retail industry, you are able to manage a ‘tight ship’ because you have excellent knowledge of your business (vendors, carriers, load types, unloading times, etc.). Schedulers and managers alike are concerned that a scheduling software could not ‘think’ through all the variables they know affect the performance of their docks.
C3 Reservations‘ rule engine can estimate the time to unload based on information found in specific fields such as load types, the number of line items, vendor groups, etc. In addition, by comparing the appointment booking time with the actual arrival and departure times, a scheduler can review and improve the plan – taking the guess work out of dock scheduling.
In the retail industry, it is understood that trailers need to be loaded in a sequence which respects the store delivery schedule. Finding and making the most efficient use of the available empties is more often than not a real challenge.
Many of our customers in retail rely on C3 Yard to manage the execution of their outbound schedule. C3’s yard management software takes care of bringing empty trailers to the loading docks on time to meet their planned departure time and alerts managers in case of delays or missing equipment.
Implementing new systems is never easy. The user experience matters.This video case study shows you what to expect when working with C3’s dedicated team.
Today, more than ever, the holistic experience a customer travels from sales to adoption to the usage of the product will make or break the success of its implementation.
Neil McEvoy, VP of Customer Experience at C3, sits down with the project’s original implementation team to hear which best practices helped make this a project C3 will never forget!
For distribution centers located in high density traffic areas, gate-in processing times are critical; otherwise the parcel post trucks will aggravate traffic on the neighboring roads and intersections. In the case of one of our customers, the initial requirement was to process trailers under 30 seconds.
C3 Solutions’ yard management system currently checks in trailers through the gate, capturing all the required information and printing a gate pass, in under 20 seconds. Quite an impressive process!
Parcel Post companies often have many powered trailers (or rigids) sitting in the yard waiting for a dock door.
C3 Yard’s mobile application facilitates the communication between the warehouse and the yard, allowing for a single yard marshal to direct staged drivers to doors and update trailer statuses.
The challenge, and that which truly defines an efficient Parcel Post company, is their ability to execute on time their shipping (outbound) run out of their hub. Prioritizing and discriminating between trailers sitting in the yard and incoming trailers (not yet arrived onsite) is instrumental.
For this reason, C3 Yard prioritizes the loads to ensure the distribution center transfers the right mail and parcel in time; maintaining a high service level. This is achieved by establishing business rules, inbound priorities and integrating with the business’ information systems.
Parcel Post companies are willing to invest huge sums in high tech sorting equipment to ensure mail is processed at an incredibly high speed. However, one customer underestimated the importance of having a best-in-class yard management system (YMS) and ended up having the mail sitting in trailers onsite; thus completely annulling the expected service level gains from their investment into the high-tech sorting center.
Now that C3 Yard is in place and integrated with other information systems, tasks in the yard are executed according to the business rules and priorities – helping them achieve the desired service levels all the time.
Be it sports venues, residential, commercial and healthcare facilities, property managers in core metropolitan areas share similar challenges regarding trucking traffic as traditional warehouses.
Poor or ineffective planning leads to traffic congestion that can block downtown cores. Tenant services are affected, and accountability is difficult to enforce. Sports venues and healthcare facilities have increasingly strict security guidelines permeating the industry, definitely beyond what clipboards and spreadsheets can handle.
Docks quickly become congested when truck traffic is not arriving on a regular schedule or when drivers disregard requests to leave within a reasonable delay. This action will undoubtedly spill over into the downtown streets and cause significant jams.
With C3 Reservations, property managers provide a collaborative tool to the delivery companies. They can easily select available time slots driven from a rule-based schedule that will respect pre-defined priorities. Furthermore, you can digitize your security audits and upload documents – even from your mobile devices.
Whether it be bulk fertilizer, grain, sand or liquid natural gas (LNG), it would be challenging to run a successful operation if trucks arrived anytime to fill their orders. How would customers react with their drivers waiting for extended periods? Keeping traffic lanes and overall flow running at an optimal level would become a nearly impossible task.
Bulk material sites do not operate as a 1M sq. ft. warehouse with a hundred doors; they have lanes or bay areas that have limited capacity and are most often dedicated to specific products. Unless site capacity is underutilized, proper planning of truck traffic is required to fulfill orders and provide customers with excellent service.
If clipboards and spreadsheets are still the primary scheduling methods, it’s time to digitize. In addition to levelling and prioritizing traffic flow, automated processes significantly improve other factors such as driver validation, security and regulatory audits that are not efficiently handled when using manual tools.
C3 Reservations provides the proper controls for pre-arrival check-ins and on-site controls. By leveraging the same configuration features for creating warehouse capacity plans, bulk material sites will thrive by the array of rules governing the smart schedule. Carriers and customers appreciate the ease with which they can select their appointment and contribute to the overall site efficiency and safety.