The Iowa DOT Has Implemented An eTicketing Solution From Command Alkon To Process The 9000 Tickets Generated Per Year
Marketing Specialist, Karli Langner, speaks on behalf of Command Alkon's eTicketing capabilities via the CONNEX Platform with SuperbCrew.
Q: How have your customers utilized your technology? What business goals did you help them to achieve?
A: The Iowa DOT has implemented an eTicketing solution from Command Alkon to process the 9000 tickets generated per year. The goal of the project is to remove paper tickets, reduce duplication, and limit paperwork. Command Alkon’s CONNEX streamlines data to everyone on a project, allowing them to see all the batch tickets electronically, getting rid of duplication of work and saving hours of an inspector’s time.
The transparency of the application allows everyone involved to see the data, including concrete engineers who can help if an issue arises. Because of eTicketing, you can’t lose tickets and you remove piles of paper. Work is more factual and more professional and productivity is increased. Data can be leveraged to make faster, more informed decisions.
As DOTs and the FHWA continue to embrace e-Construction initiatives that promote efficiency through technology and partnering, more and more contractors, suppliers, producers, and haulers will use these solutions to deliver value across their work.
Highway projects historically involve paper and wet-ink signatures for documents and other approvals, leading to redundant work, information silos, and data entry errors. Eliminating multi-part paper tickets for heavy materials, removing poor data capture quality in the field, automating information workflows between software applications, and boosting real-time decision-making across a many-to-many buyer, seller, and hauler community are some of the shared goals brtween the Iowa DOT and their supplier and fellow platform participant, Hahn Ready Mix.
Both Platform Participants Have Realized Significant Benefits of Data Sharing:
- Transparency: everyone on the project – from suppliers, to contractors, to inspectors, and everywhere in-between – can see ticket information live from their smart phone, tablet, or web portal. Hahn Ready Mix can streamline their data, and the Iowa DOT can see batch tickets from the materials in real-time.
- Proactively solve issues: the environment of a job site is jam packed with constantly changing conditions. There are many aspects of a project to manage that it is just not physically possible. A solution that allows you to manage the exceptions/out of tolerance situations is vital to success. For example, with CONNEX-enabled BuildIt, all participants on a job site can login and see the batch weights, test data, and location times of a load of concrete. Having the information available to all parties through CONNEX can be helpful in solving issues on a pour immediately and enable better decision-making.
- Remove the duplication of the effort of work: think of all the manual processes involved with paper tickets. How many hours could be saved by getting rid of the duplication of effort of work? It’s unnecessary, and having the information in real-time allows both platform participants to focus their time and effort in other areas of the company.
- Standardization and ease of training: most people already use an iPhone and understand the app style. Because of this, training was super simple, with as little as a half hour of training before both teams were up and running with the new solution. The app is very user-friendly, and information is streamlined right away.
Q: What is electronic ticketing? How does it work?
A: eTicketing is an electronic means of producing individual scale tickets and providing material haul summaries for construction businesses. An eTicketing solution helps ensure your employees are safe at the job site. Instead of having the traditional ticket taker—whether it’s the “dump man” or field tester/inspector—in the way and often not in view of the truck driver, eTicketing allows users to electronically and safely view tickets, capture proof of delivery, and add test results directly from a mobile device.
eTicketing removes paper tickets from the construction process. Inspectors at the job site can acknowledge the arrival of a truck at a job site on the eTicket, can note the delivery temperature and time, and can tell the location information of the truck at the job site. Lost paper tickets (and unreadable ones) are a thing of the past. By having all the tickets submitted electronically with a daily summary report, lost tickets go away, which minimizes quantity and quality disputes. All tickets can be viewed by everyone on the job site.
eTicketing reduces the amount of time needed to retrieve material tickets and facilitates comparisons of reported delivery amounts to actual shipment weights. Knowing where haul trucks were located on a jobsite helped improve turnaround times for deliveries.
Q: What about electronic transactions? How are they changing the construction industry?
A: By digitizing construction business processes, these benefits can be realized:
- Increased transparency across the construction supply chain so that all players know what is going on at all times.
- Reduced time collecting information from the field; reduced errors and admin time by eliminating the need to re-key information into office systems.
- Real-time access to data with eTicketing applications speeds documentation processing and payment processing.
- Improved communications.
- Increased collaboration and sharing of information.
Q: What are you most excited about in the industry at the moment and what future trends are you expecting to see?
A: Supply chain trading partners like haulers, suppliers, producers and contractors are collaborating with each other over a digital network like Command Alkon’s CONNEX to streamline operations and ensure everyone has a single version of the truth. Connect once to the platform, and you have access to other partners on the network, making it easier to share data, collaborate on projects, and communicate everything from change orders to shipment dates.
Command Alkon’s mantra, “Together We Build Amazing,” encapsulates their goal to ensure frictionless supply chain collaboration between all construction trading partners so that jobs can be completed on time and budget. With an open industry collaboration platform, Command Alkon has begun to reinvent the construction industry by bridging the technology gap. Their technology automates processes, boosts productivity, increases savings, assists in reducing carbon emissions and improves communication and collaboration.
CONNEX can gather data from IoT devices, telematics, and more, running analytics on it to inform about a business’ performance. The CONNEX Solution Suites automate business-critical processes in a company and across its trading partners. Whether procuring, making, dispatching, selling, tracking or tracing heavy building materials, the CONNEX Platform delivers what is needed to maintain a competitive edge.
Q: Where does a construction firm start with digitization?
A: First, set goals and objectives for your digital transformation. Evaluate and rethink how the organization operates. Second, share these goals and objectives with all parties involved both inside and outside the organization. Suppliers need to know that your business will be automating order processing; project managers need to be aware that all project details and operations will be online; and so forth.
Next get support from management. Help everyone understand that this is a journey, but one that the company must undertake in order to not only survive, but to thrive. Make sure the right people and tools are in place for the transformation.
Create a plan or roadmap for how the company will undergo a digital transformation. Think about manual processes that are easy to start and take digital. Identify time-consuming processes such as re-keying order information or ticketing. You can eliminate paper tickets that are often hard to read and misplaced.
Build a digital ecosystem to support the transformation. Help your trading partners to transform their business as well by sharing best practices. While the future is not always perfectly clear, a strongly aligned business leadership and project team, working together and being prepared to innovate appropriately, can achieve significant benefits through adopting new and innovative technology.