Know Your Flow to Simplify Supply Chain Management

November 7, 2018 Karli Langner

When it comes to balancing supply and demand, the Concrete industry has been mainly focused on the outbound aspect of the equation for many years; the same concern each day – get the materials in the mixture truck, and get the mixture truck out of the gate and to the jobsite on time.

There is an entire process surrounding outbound visibility; insight into when the truck leaves, knowing when the truck arrives on the jobsite, knowing when it returns, and having an idea of where it's going to deploy next – all because this information is visible on a screen. 

Having this data helps to manage downstream supply, but what about when you look back upstream? The same amount of focus hasn’t been placed on ensuring that raw materials are constantly being replenished.

This creates a situation where the ready mix dispatch demand is being managed fairly well when it comes to visibility, but then when it comes to getting the material to the plant, the process is very decentralized. The same tools aren’t available like the ones that are used to get the concrete to the jobsite.

This is a real problem, because contractors constantly change their mind. To deliver the best customer service possible, suppliers must stay on top of it and try to anticipate what they're going to need. Having no visibility into the downstream demand change can make this very challenging.

This may sound overly simple, but the best way to solve this issue is to open that visibility. You can't make better decisions if you don't have the data and the insights in order to do so, and that pivot is fundamental when you're talking about replenishment by demand. How can you open up that visibility?

supplyCONNECT, Command Alkon’s solution for direct materials management, provides Ready Mix Producers with a real-time view into their inventories; which materials they have on hand and which materials are needed. Knowing that information establishes a foundation to make better decisions when it comes to trucking, materials, and scheduling. The tool also fosters better collaboration with partners. Ready Mix Producers can easily create and manage replenishment plans centrally and coordinate with all partners in a timely fashion, and Bulk Materials Suppliers have insight into their customers’ true demand and can better anticipate customer needs.

The ability to be proactive in replenishing materials is very powerful. Having that information at your fingertips enhances decision-making, which can have a huge impact on your entire business. Want to learn more? We’d love to walk you through simplifying your supply chain management.

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