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Case Study: Arctic Cold Storage Uses Dok-Vu to Cut Detention Charges and Increase Loads

Dok-Vu is a paperless software system for management of logistics operations. By replacing spreadsheets, clipboard checks and two-way radios customers like Arctic Cold Storage are connecting with their materials handlers, yard personnel and carriers in real-time.

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The Situation: Chaos in the Logistics Office Leads to Detention Charges

Busy stockyards with old-school communications

The customer’s large warehouse handled between 130-160 truckloads per day, picking and preparing shipments of 17-18 million pounds of refrigerated and frozen food each week for large national franchisees. However, this local distribution business still relied on multiple spreadsheets, two-way radios and yard checks to communicate and manage logistics. 

“The radio chatter was constant,” said Brian Kunkel, Operations Manager of Arctic Cold Storage. “Communication is important but radio chatter all day made it difficult to communicate effectively.” 

Dollars lost to regular detention charges

Moving trailers was often inefficient, leading to costly detention charges. Yard drivers would often come up from the back lot to the front desk to get a new list, which wasted time driving back around the building to pick up another trailer. By the time they reacted to the paper list, it could be obsolete with changes. Warehouse personnel would often have to scroll between a security camera or back and forth between different logs to check the status of trucks at the loading dock. If someone else was in the spreadsheet, or multiple carriers called at the same time to schedule an appointment, they would have to wait until the other person released the file. 

The Solution: Loading Dock Dashboard with Dok-Vu Software

Paperless Dock Management System

Arctic Cold Storage ditched its old-school paper system and switched to Dok-Vu in the spring of 2019.

Managers could now see appointments, monitor dwell times and help keep docks fully utilized, gaining better control of detention and demurrage charges, labor costs and shipping accuracy. Thanks to its intuitive loading dock dashboard, Dok-Vu also allowed managers to review current trends and historical data to make more data-driven decisions and help identify additional improvements that they simply couldn’t see before.

“It’s putting a lot of faith into technology, but that’s what it is today. That’s the day and age we’re in,” yard jockey Andy Fitzgerald said. 

Dok-Vu software also helps its network support truck drivers and carriers who “make their money on the road” and the Arctic Cold Storage team implemented self-check-in procedures as well as text messaging alerts for dock availability. It’s a great step for preferred shippers.

The Success: Reduced Charges, More truck Volume, Fewer Hours in Training

After only one year, the Arctic Cold Storage Team is already seeing the ROI in dramatic ways. 

These days, multiple appointments can now be scheduled simultaneously and information can be accessed through one central location. Scheduling no longer involves waiting for spreadsheets to be updated, saved and closed; they can be made without any waiting or duplicated efforts; there is no paper! 

Though the entire operation is utilizing Dok-Vu software, General Manager Condon said Arctic plans to add onto the 7 docks with smart controls and equipment connected through the IIoT platform. He said 5 more will be upgraded by the end of 2020 and expects

the remaining positions will be connected by the end of 2021 as part of a 3-year plan.

Real-time logistics management with Dok-Vu systems have allowed Arctic to reduce its detention charges by 73% year-over-year. Kunkel said Dok-Vu has been the biggest reason for this rise in productivity. In turn, Arctic estimates an 8 to 10% increase in truck volume per week, which means more orders can be fulfilled.

Material handlers, lift drivers, carriers and facility management are all on the same page when a truck arrives to be unloaded and/or loaded due to the Dok-Vu dashboard on

tablets and monitors throughout the facility. These efficiencies combined with a paperless system allow new employees to get up to speed faster and do the work they were hired to do -- training time for new employees has been cut in half (50%).

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