Using PINC Yard Management System (YMS), America’s largest custom coffee roaster has reduced detention costs and eliminated yard inefficiencies while improving visibility and productivity across the supply chain.
Since 1927, S&D Coffee & Tea has been making delicious beverages for consumers worldwide. Made from top-quality ingredients, its coffees and teas are not only tasty but they’re also produced in a very sustainable, eco-friendly manner. S&D’s sustainable sourcing, for example, relates specifically to resilient supply chains for coffee and tea.
“A sustainable supply chain is critical to the future of these global markets,” the company’s website states. “That’s why Raíz Sustainability, S&D’s sustainable sourcing platform, is rooted in impact – in fact, the Spanish word raíz (pronounced rah-ease) literally translates to ‘root.’”
Managing with Spreadsheets
From the beginning, S&D’s founders realized the need to bring coffee to the local area through grocery store delivery. Today, as the largest custom coffee roaster in America, S&D’s capabilities extend into the evolving world of extracts and ingredients — creating new possibilities for culinary applications and exciting new beverage choices for customers.
To support this mission, the company’s drivers used to spend an hour or more physically checking on the location of roughly 150 different trailers. Located at S&D’s five warehouses and manufacturing locations, these trailers provide the vital link between the company’s operations and its customers.
Once gathered, all of the information was entered into a spreadsheet that hardly supported S&D’s dynamic shipping environment. “By 6:30, the information had changed because the trailers had moved,” S&D’s J.T. Hinson told Inbound Logistics.
For help managing its yard activities, S&D began shopping around for a yard management system (YMS) that would help it reduce detention costs and inefficiencies while improving visibility and productivity (among other things). It found what it was looking for in the PINC YMS.
“With a yard management system (YMS) from PINC, that job went away,” Hinson told Inbound Logistics. The YMS gathers data related to every trailer move and also captures information on the type of coffee bean stored in each trailer. As a result, the company has reduced to 15 minutes (from a previous 45 minutes) how much time it takes to move a trailer to the roasting area. “It was a big win,” Hinson said.
Meeting Customer Demand
From its YMS, S&D wanted a solution that fit its specific needs and not the other way around. It also liked PINC’s RTLS (real-time location system) tracking, whereby small, magnetic passive RFID tags are affixed to each trailer and then automatically scanned by an RTLS tracker located on the switcher. “The location and other information associated with the trailer are consistently updated in real-time,” Inbound Logistics points out.
Thanks to its YMS, S&D also has reporting capabilities that can be tailored to the needs of each department (i.e., finance, commodities, manufacturing, etc.). That means it can create pick lists based on coffee bean types, as well as by finished product or raw materials—all without having to work with IT developers. “The reports give visibility and detail to the assets and what’s on them,” Hinson told the publication.
And, when S&D Coffee added another facility and yard, the YMS allowed Hinson’s team to manage it without the need for additional yard spotters, tractors, or drivers. “S&D Coffee is better able to optimize equipment and drivers,” Hinson added, “while still meeting customer demand.”