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Transforming the Concrete Industry Through Innovation

An Interview with Jill Zhang,
President of Sysdyne Technologies
Please provide us with a brief overview of Sysdyne

Founded in 1976 in Stamford Connecticut, Sysdyne has been dedicated to serving the concrete industry for over 40 years. Sysydne has a long history of leading the industry in innovation. We are one of the first in the country to develop computerized concrete batch control systems, the first to introduce Cloud technology to concrete dispatch, and the first to make concrete deliveries go paperless. With the debut of Pioneer – our Cloud batch control system, we’ve become the first in the world to bring concrete batch controls into the Cloud. Sysdyne is now the only company in the industry to have updated its entire line of products with the latest in advanced Cloud computing technology. Sysdyne’s fully integrated suite of enterprise software includes ConcreteGO Cloud dispatch, Pioneer Cloud batch, iStrada delivery management, and iStradaView online collaboration platform. This digital transformation helps reduce costs, free up IT resources, generate real-time business insights, and builds customer loyalty. It maximizes the return on investment by improving operational performance, communications, and production efficiency significantly.

In your opinion, what is the state of technology in the Ready-Mix concrete industry?

Having worked in the industry for almost 20 years, I still remember the days during which email was not even “our thing”. The Ready-Mix industry is notorious for its slow adoption of new technologies, and industry technology providers have to bear some responsibility for that. For example, cloud technology provides the highest uptime, can be easily be scaled up or down based on business volume, and allows users access anywhere at any time using any device. It doesn’t require capital investment, in-house IT infrastructure, or maintenance. Cloud architecture is the natural evolution away from the client-server architecture, just like Windows evolved out of the old DOS operating system. However, it is yet to be widely adopted in our industry even after the public Cloud platforms became available 15 years ago.

 

At Sysdyne, we see it as our responsibility to move the industry forward and pass along the benefits of new technology to our customers. That’s the very reason we pioneered the development of Cloud dispatch – ConcreteGO and now Pioneer Cloud batch.
– Jill Zhang, President of Sysdyne Technologies

 

The adoption of new technology has accelerated in recent years. It’s driven by the desire of using mobile devices to gain real-time business insights, collaborate easier with project stakeholders, and react quickly as business situations change. New and exciting programming tools and libraries have also made the adoption much easier. We’ve seen some technology startups developing Apps and software to meet the market demand for business insights. However, these efforts are limited by the baseline technologies that generate sources of data. As the CTO of Manatt’s, Mr. Bridger Moreland put it “one big challenge remaining across the industry is the interoperability between systems – how to break down the silos to make information flow fluidly. Concrete suppliers need fluid information in order to have insights all the way through, end to end, in what they are trying to produce”. This is particularly true for concrete batch controls which have always worked in silos with batch data largely inaccessible in real-time.

Pioneer Cloud batch provides a solution. Using IoT (Internet of Things) technology, batch controls can now be networked and the data is more easily accessible. The single batch and dispatch database provides producers a full operating picture of their business. Another example of the challenge in interoperability is between concrete suppliers and the supply chain of raw materials – how to achieve “Just in Time” between raw material fulfillment and concrete production. We have not seen a fully integrated solution to address that specific market need.

Cloud batch
How did Sysdyne start with the development of Cloud batch? What is the next innovation on the horizon?

What triggered the development of Cloud batch is the attempt to address the challenges of inventory and mix management. Many producers manage inventories and mixes at the batch panel level. I’ve seen the struggle with inventory reconciliation and it’s cumbersome to manage mixes since batch panels are not networked. So, the thought process was “why don’t we make dispatch and batch one Cloud software package?” One database to become the single source of truth for material receipts and consumption. There is no difference between managing mixes on a batch panel versus managing mixes in dispatch if you are using the same database. The need for a batch or dispatch interface is also eliminated, which is a huge benefit. The Cloud offers more flexibility, better connectivity, and enhanced visibility. The ability to monitor the entire batch processes in real-time and make adjustments remotely reduces reliance on batch operators and improves the consistency of concrete quality and productivity. The open API enhances data exchange capacity, while predictive maintenance schedules based on data analytics help further reduce costs and plant downtime.

Innovation is in Sysdyne’s DNA. We will continue to leverage the latest in technology and develop our products to help concrete producers grow their bottom line and improve productivity.

Bookmark Q1 2021 for another exciting product release!