Connecting End to End – Lauren Concrete Builds Community on CONNEX

November 10, 2020 Karli Langner

Command Alkon’s CONNEX eTicketing was introduced earlier this year and enables heavy material suppliers and buyers to either provide and/or receive material ticket data via the cloud, eliminating hand-to-hand exchange of paper tickets.

Ready mix producers sit in a position in which they can take advantage of electronic ticketing for their outbound and their inbound materials. With CONNEX eTicketing, ready mix producers receive eTickets from their aggregate suppliers for their inbound materials, detailing what is being shipped to them so they can be confident they have the right materials on hand for their orders.

Visibility into the arrival time and order information of inbound deliveries eliminates havoc that can occur if materials arrive at the plant and do not meet project specifications, or if they are running late and can potentially affect the producers’ ability to provide exceptional service to their customers. Producers can also capture Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) via a mobile app showing what materials have arrived at the production facility, which simplifies reconciling for the materials. Managers can view orders scheduled for the day and have a plan for unloading the materials that include needed labor to help with unloading. Future orders can be considered for proactive scheduling of truck assets.

On the outbound side, CONNEX eTicketing helps Ready Mix Producers share digital ticket data from their existing COMMANDseries and Integra systems and allows their customers to connect to receive this real-time data via the cloud. To eTicket via the CONNEX Platform, materials suppliers with existing Command Alkon ticketing and dispatch systems install a CONNEX connector behind the scenes, with minimal disruption to existing workflows. Material Suppliers can allow their Buyers to connect, share ticket data, and digitally collaborate on projects. Inversely, Buyers can connect and request their Suppliers to share their ticket data. Suppliers using third party ticketing and dispatch systems can also connect and share tickets via an API.

CONNEX Connected Now:  Lauren Concrete Builds Consensus & Adoption to Benefit the Austin Texas Market

Lauren Concrete’s journey to getting CONNEX Connected began as a desire to digitize their paper transactions for their Austin, Texas market.  The major pain points they wanted to address were dealing with paper in their business processes involving both their vendors and customers, as well as improving invoicing and payables processes by reducing short pays. 

To combat these issues, they desired a means to empower both their materials suppliers and buyers to adopt a new way to receive and approve material delivery tickets.  Enter Command Alkon’s CONNEX, a digital collaboration platform that enables materials suppliers, buyers, and haulers to share digital processes and simplify supply chain transactions

Lauren’s approach to driving adoption was to start with an influential group of buyers and sellers and create a “Network Effect” that would expand their platform community to all suppliers and contractors in the Austin Market. So, how did they clue their trading partners in to CONNEX?

They requested meetings with their key business partners to communicate their vision of a common digitized environment utilizing the CONNEX Platform.

Their first half-day meeting was focused on their Heavy Civil, Commercial, and Residential Contractors and Testing Agencies. A second half-day workshop involved their Cement and Aggregate suppliers.

During these workshops, it was uncovered that some of their suppliers already had plans to realize the value of digital transactions using point solution that were for single supplier-buyer relationships. Discussions quickly uncovered that the CONNEX approach could deliver a common solution for all suppliers, buyers, and haulers in the market.  Also, the platform remains open to receive tickets and transactional data from ticketing and dispatch systems of the suppliers or contractor’s choice, whether those are Command Alkon system or other third-party systems. 

These collaborative meetings also revealed that many of the contractors in attendance also purchased directly from Lauren’s aggregate suppliers for their own needs.  All of those at the workshops understood the benefits of the CONNEX Platform being a common approach to meet the needs across the Austin market.

Coming out of the meetings it was obvious that any initial resistance to Lauren’s proposed approach of sharing data and processes across a unified platform was dissolved, and Lauren had created a community of business partners that were engaged in a common approach, using the CONNEX Platform they could all grow with. 

All in attendance were eager to reap the mutual benefits of sharing data and a unified platform approach, including real-time visibility of loads, automatically tracking materials delivered, capturing and viewing testing data in the field, improving invoice reconciliation processes, improving time to pay, reducing calls, and removing the hassles of paper delivery tickets. The flexibility of the CONNEX Platform approach makes it possible to pull in this kind of data from multiple systems. As a result, participants across the supply chain enjoy correctly formatted, up-to-date data that is accessible to all – one platform for all your trading partners; one platform for all your heavy materials.

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