|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 to the Cloud. Sysdyne is now the only company in the industry to have updated their entire line of software – concrete dispatch, concrete batch, and concrete truck tracking 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 software, and iStradaView online collaboration platform. These innovative tools were specially designed for concrete producers and have fundamentally transformed business processes for the better. The transformation helps reduce costs, free up IT resources, generate real-time business insights and build customer loyalty. It maximizes the return on investment by improving operational performance, communications, and production efficiency significantly.
As a result, we’ve been experiencing rapid growth in customer acquisition in the US and around the world, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. By leveraging Sysdyne products, managers, operators, and executives are able to monitor their business remotely in real-time using their mobile devices as the day unfolds. This allows them to react promptly and avoid potential problems at the job site. The iStradaView mobile collaboration platform improves communication with contractors and project stakeholders while reducing the need for physical interaction between drivers, inspectors, and the job site project managers by using paperless ticketing. Many concrete producers have adopted Sysdyne’s cloud solutions quickly to keep employees safe without interrupting their business.
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. In some cases, software providers have enjoyed good margins by continuing to offer old technologies without investing in new ones, even though the benefits of new technology have become increasingly obvious. Cloud technology is a perfect example. It’s a technology that 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 has yet to be widely adopted in our industry even though it was first introduced over two decades ago. The primary dispatch software used by the majority of concrete suppliers is still based on the old client-server technology that demands a lot of resources to procure, maintain and upkeep.
“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 Cloud Batch – Pioneer” – Jill Zhang, President of Sysdyne
The adoption of new technology has accelerated in recent years. It’s driven by the desire of using mobile devices to gain real-time access to business insights, collaborate easier with project stakeholders, monitor and react quickly as business situations change, and accomplish functional tasks. Quickly evolving programming tools and libraries have made this adoption much easier. That is why we have seen technology startup companies quickly develop Apps and software to mine data from traditional dispatch software. To build intuitive charts, graphs, and reports that can be easily viewed on a mobile device. To a certain extent, they have fulfilled a market demand of acquiring much-needed business intelligence.
Link to original article in Concrete Products Magazine (opens in separate tab)
However, as the CTO of Manatt’s, Mr. Bridger Moreland once said: 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 the information to gain insights all the way through, end to end, into what they are trying to produce. Otherwise, we have a lot of data we can’t do anything with and the business insights presented are only partial.
This is particularly true for concrete batch controls which have traditionally worked in a sort of silo with batch data more often hard to reach and underexploited. Sysdyne has taken on that challenge and applied IoT technology to concrete batch controls to provide a solution. IoT (Internet of Things) is a network of physical devices that are connected and capable of exchanging data over the Internet. So IoT devices are all about interoperability and breaking down silos. In fact, we have seen more and more smart devices in our industry built using IoT technology.
With data from the batch, dispatch, and delivery tracking more easily accessible using the Cloud, concrete producers can expect much more in terms of gaining access to business intelligence in real-time and keeping their finger on the pulse of their operations.
Another good example of the challenge with interoperability is the interactions between concrete suppliers and the supply chain of raw materials – how to achieve “Just in Time” results between raw material fulfillment and concrete production. We have yet to see a fully integrated solution to fulfill this important market need.
How did Sysdyne start with the development of Cloud Batch? What is the next innovation on the horizon?
Actually, what we just discussed about breaking down the silos and doing a better job at leveraging data is almost an afterthought. What triggered the development of Cloud Batch is the attempt to address the challenges of inventory and mix management. I’ve seen the struggle with inventory reconciliation when I visit our customers. Similarly, many concrete producers manage mixes at the batch panel level, which presents its own set of problems. It’s extremely difficult for Quality Control managers to make changes in mix designs if the batch panels are all stand-alone. And it’s almost impossible to manage material inventories. So, the thought process was “why don’t we make dispatch and batch one software package and make it accessible using the Cloud?” One database to become the single source of truth for material receipts and consumption. Managing mixes locally also means managing mixes remotely through dispatch. The need for an interface between batching and dispatch is therefore completely eliminated, simplifying and optimizing data fluidity at the same time. The Cloud offers more flexibility, better connectivity, and advanced visibility to interpret and analyze concrete batch data. The ability to monitor the entire batch processes in real-time and make adjustments remotely reduces reliance on batch operators. It also improves the consistency of concrete quality and productivity. The ConcreteGO Cloud dispatch open API represents a powerful tool to enhance data exchange capabilities in a more open environment. Predictive maintenance schedules based on data analytics will help further reduce costs and downtime at the plant.
Sysdyne thrives on developing and innovating, it’s in our DNA. We will continue to leverage the latest in technology in developing our products to help concrete producers grow their bottom line and improve productivity.
We have another big product release in Q1, 2021. Stay tuned!