What Exactly Does "Real-Time" Mean?

Is "real-time" instant, or more like every 15 – 30 seconds or more?

Everybody talks about how an action occurs in real-time, like an order sent to a supplier or the update by a delivery truck driver who has just dropped off a load at the job site. But what exactly does real-time mean? Does it mean that the action happens instantly?

Per several dictionary definitions, real-time means that when something is done there is no noticeable delay between the action and its effect or consequence.

What does our industry mean by real-time and why?

Other industries may think of real-time as “near real-time” – not exactly instantaneous but near enough.

This doesn’t work in our industry. When we say real-time, we mean, “now.” Why? Because it is important to know the exact time an order of fresh concrete will arrive in the yard. If you don’t have the right amount of labor scheduled at the job site to lay the concrete when it arrives, the concrete can get too hard to pour, and the total amount of concrete is wasted and can’t be used.

Real-time tracking of trucks with Command Alkon TrackIt maps exact locations of trucks, providing real-time statuses and alerts. Telematic devices can alert managers of truck positions while also tracking driving habits, helping to uncover risky behaviors like hard braking, speeding, and sharp turns.

Real-time supply chain visibility means you will know when orders have left the plant and when materials will get to the right place at the right time—and in the right condition. Real-time visibility provides the information you need when you need it to help make more accurate decisions. Supply chain visibility works best when suppliers, producers, haulers and contractors, who all play different roles within the supply chain, operate as a hub in the movement of goods as well as in the flow of information. With this visibility in real-time, companies get precise information regarding material flows, orders, and deliveries.

With real-time visibility of your supply chain processes, from production through to end-delivery, companies can provide greater customer responsiveness, enhance efficiencies, optimize processes, and improve business metrics.

When we say “real-time,” we mean when the action occurs, helping project managers to better manage their supply chains from end-to-end.

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