Digital Collaboration: An Integral Part of the Concrete Delivery Ecosystem
Best practices can be shared collectively across a variety of different industries. Over the last year, many businesses have had to adapt to a more hybrid approach to working remotely and learn how to work more effectively and efficiently. As a result, Ready-Mix Concrete producers have found that using digital collaboration platforms like iStrada have dramatically improved the way project stakeholders exchange and communicate with each other within the concrete delivery ecosystem. Ready-Mix suppliers are quickly finding out that some of these new digital workflows have positive benefits beyond employee health and safety during the pandemic, including strong returns on investment such as reducing costly delays and creating more efficient data workflows using better communication tools.
The major trend in the Concrete industry is the digital transformation of batch, dispatch and concrete delivery management powered by the cloud and online collaboration platforms. Endless numbers of exchanges between dispatchers, contractors and DOT inspectors can be handled by simply logging into Sysdyne’s iStrada App to visualize concrete delivery status and performance data as it happens. Stakeholders can download digital copies of the tickets and inspection reports anytime, anywhere using any mobile device. The enhanced ability to share information from a central online location cuts down on miscommunications and promotes more efficient ways of being able to act on information throughout the day. Due to the heavy demands on Ready Mix Suppliers to manage and anticipate order delivery times, the use of integrated collaboration platforms like iStrada have been helping improve the delivery process for all stakeholders by making data more easily accessible.
The returns from leveraging collaboration platforms are generally broken down into two categories, quantitative such as improved delivery times and the more qualitative metric such as more streamlined and accurate information workflows. By measuring delivery times, producers and contractors can better understand the variables that impact idol times, material production and delays at the job site to make the proper adjustments. By leveraging an online collaboration platform, contractors can access truck locations in real time on a digital map to better manage work crews and reduce delays at the job site. The ability to monitor delivery performance metrics using KPI dashboards on the iStrada platform, both producers and contractors can save significant time, minimize delays and reduce costs. Inspectors can access ticket information such as water details, batch weights easily online and input test results directly using any mobile device. The key to successful collaboration is first centralizing the data on a single platform, almost like creating a data repository, then making it easily accessible to the entire ecosystem using an online portal that is easy to use and effective. The result is a more robust communication channel where all stakeholders can access critical delivery performance data in real-time. This “single source of truth” approach simplifies data sharing and allows stakeholders to be more proactive in mitigating risks, managing work crews and reducing delays.
In analyzing the return on investment in more quantitative measures, stakeholders are quick to point out that enhanced communication is the largest return, though more challenging to measure and attribute a dollar amount. The improved communication workflow can directly impact savings on manpower, fewer unnecessary phone calls and more accurate data that makes their job a lot easier. Contractors can anticipate delivery times more effectively and manage their crews accordingly. Inspectors can enter test data and view ticket information from the safety of their vehicle at the job site. Producers will manage fewer unnecessary calls allowing dispatches to focus on getting ‘mud’ out the door. The iStrada online collaboration platform promotes transparency, trust and efficiency. Centralized access to delivery also data eliminates the notion of ‘where’s my concrete’ and makes everyone’s lives a little easier.
Advanced features such as Online Ordering will continue to push the envelope of what is possible in the Ready-Mix Industry. The technology is tried, tested and approved and has never been more easily accessible to any size Ready Mix organization. The ability to collaborate online with customers using an integrated platform is quickly becoming the new norm. The business benefits for the entire concrete delivery ecosystem which include; producers, contractors and inspectors are already being felt as more digital projects are being approved and piloted by the FHWA and state DOTs.