Blalock Companies has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1935 by Charles Blalock. Over the years, it has grown into a diversified company with divisions in highway and bridge construction, site excavation and utilities, asphalt paving and production, ready mix concrete production, concrete and precast construction, equipment rentals, and building material sales. With over 700 employees, Blalock Companies has established itself as a leader in the industry.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, the Tennessee Department of Transportation mandated contactless operations for construction sites. This sudden requirement posed significant challenges for companies like Blalock Companies, who needed to find a way to comply with the new regulations while ensuring the continuity of their ongoing projects.
Blalock Companies recognized the need for a digital solution to address the contactless mandate. They partnered with Command Alkon, who was developing Electronic Ticketing and Electronic Proof of Delivery functionalities through Ticket Portal. Blalock Companies quickly adopted this solution, as they had the flexibility to implement it without disrupting their operations. The implementation process was seamless, providing them with the necessary tools to comply with the regulations and maintain business continuity. “It's fast to implement and it doesn't change our process for dispatch,” said Wes Blalock, (TITLE) at Blalock Companies. “It just runs in the background.”
As part of the onboarding process, Command Alkon works with the company’s IT team to set up the DExA, which requires minimal effort and can typically be set up in less than 1-2 hours. Once DExA is set up, it runs in the background and does not require any changes to current business process. Once tickets are shared through Ticket Portal, materials suppliers can set up ticket share rules, where tickets can be shared to other trading partners, including contractors, DOTs, inspectors, and more. This is the materials supplier’s data that is being shared, meaning they have full control over who receives tickets.
The implementation of Ticket Portal has yielded numerous benefits for Blalock Companies. Not only has it improved their operations internally, but they can better serve their customers. Sensible Concrete is the largest concrete contractor that Blalock Companies partners with. The exchange of electronic tickets through Ticket Portal has strengthened their relationship, fostering transparency and providing valuable insights into their operations.
Casey Lawson, the Project Manager at Sensible Concrete, realizes the time-saving benefits of Ticket Portal. One of the biggest value points that he has seen with the system is that he doesn’t have to make a million phone calls to schedule his orders. When concrete is sitting in the hopper, there isn’t much time to stay on the phone and figure out when the materials need to dispatch. With Ticket Portal, he can switch up the schedule without having to dial any phone numbers at all.
Ticket Portal has also simplified the reconciliation process for Casey. “At the end of every month, I get about 10-15 tickets back with questions and have to backtrack, so the internal notes save me time, as I just go back in Ticket Portal and review them there, all in one place,” he said. With all the necessary information available in one location, he no longer needs to chase down paper tickets or decipher illegible handwriting. Internal notes within the platform allow him to address any questions or concerns efficiently. “We pour hundreds of yards of concrete in a week that all go to multiple different projects,” said Casey. “With Ticket Portal, we can login and make internal notes on each individual ticket, saving me a lot of time.”
Casey emphasizes the user-friendly nature of Ticket Portal, stating that even individuals with limited construction management software experience can quickly adapt to it. When he got his invitation to receive electronic tickets through Ticket Portal, he said that it only took him about 15-20 minutes to get familiar with the system. This ease of use has streamlined their operations and enhanced their collaboration with their trusted partner, Blalock Companies.
Effective collaboration between suppliers and partners is essential for achieving shared goals in the construction industry. Blalock Companies and Sensible Concrete have successfully embraced Ticket Portal as a tool to enhance their partnership, improve transparency, and optimize their operations. By leveraging this digital solution, they positioned themselves for continued success in the years to come.