Despite the physical and fiscal size of equipment, keeping track of what’s going in and out of the yard can be a real headache for dealers and distributors. When it comes to yard management software, there is a fine line between having reliable traffic reports and having too much structure and rigidity in operations to the point where yard personnel can’t do their jobs. With some dealers experiencing 100+ equipment movement activities at a single branch in a day, the right mobile technology can empower yard managers and their teams to run a successful operation.
The yard manager who has access to fully integrated mobile equipment inspection software is well-positioned to create a streamlined yard operation where everyone is on the same page. Whether machines are part of the sales fleet or rental fleet, the ideal mobile equipment inspection app would allow the yard manager to search through all the dealer’s equipment, manually enter the serial number, or scan the barcode off the unit itself to easily and quickly process that unit. The equipment inspection app should also allow the dealer to process equipment that is not in the dealer’s business system records – whether the unit was purchased by another dealer, is a trade-in unit, or still belongs to the OEM and is in the yard as a demo unit, the yard manager should be able to process that unit to generate an accurate traffic report.
Check-in and Check-out Activities
Machines are moving in and out of the yard, all-day-every-day. Whether it is a rental/ demo contract, branch transfer, or equipment sale/purchase, the yard manager can perform check-in and check-out activities for all these scenarios to maintain efficient operations. The yard manager should have the ability to create receiving and shipping reports within the equipment inspection app containing important information on that unit including: missing attachments, stakeholder signatures, and even images displaying damage or other notable observations.
At any point in a yard operation, the dealer may want to perform an inspection on the unit. The integrated application will recognize the current owner of the machine and populate the relevant contact information on the inspection form. The yard manager can then complete inspection check lists which can be configured specific to the machine. After important equipment checks are done, the yard manager can choose if they want to generate a service order for the machine, which is immediately available in the equipment dealer business system.
A Picture is Worth…
On any of the three basic activities (check-in, check-out, and inspection) the yard manager can capture images of the equipment and maintain notes, along with images that are then available back in the core business system. At any time, any authorized user in the equipment dealer management system can find that machine and look at all the receiving, shipping, and inspection reports. This helps to avoid the guessing game when determining which activity was performed last for a machine.
Team Friendly Technology
Many dealers have multiple users touching the same machine on its way out of the yard. In an effective mobile application, if a user begins an activity but does not finish, then the equipment inspection app should recognize an activity is in progress. When another user starts an activity on the same machine, the equipment inspection app would then prompt them to continue the existing activity. This removes any chance of duplicate activities for a machine and improves equipment trackability. Additionally, if the app is truly fully integrated, then users of the core business system (equipment/rental managers, coordinators, etc.) should also have access to these equipment movement activities, without having to log in to the mobile application.
Keep Everyone in the Know
On completion of yard activities, the equipment inspection app can send an email to the user who processed the activity, along with branch managers and any other stakeholders. This ensures that every team member who needs to know about an equipment’s movement will be notified and does not need to continuously check in on yard movement records.
No Down Time
Users should have complete access to the equipment inspection app while working without network connectivity through a fully capable offline mode. Users can simply download machines along with their movement history in the equipment inspection app, perform their desired activities, and sync back up once they have connection.
With fully integrated mobile technology for equipment yard teams, equipment becomes more trackable, and the whole dealership experiences the benefits. The sky is the limit for innovative dealerships, distributors and rental companies who see the potential for even more mobile integration with their core business system.
Are you leveraging the latest technology to create a sustainable competitive advantage for your equipment dealership?
-Matthew Clark, e-Emphasys Solutions Consultant