Simply because a business has an established way of doing certain things, doesn’t mean that it’s the most efficient way. Many businesses, regardless of size, are overrun with pressing manual tasks, delayed by ever-present bottlenecks. These manual tasks can deter fulfilling customer expectations and cause a decline in business. Innovative technologies can eliminate some of the speed bumps the pop up in daily operations.
The idea that only large companies can benefit from innovation is oftentimes brought up when smaller companies are considering implementing innovative technologies for their business. In reality, there are fewer hurdles for a small business to jump over when it comes to innovation. They can develop and implement new ideas quickly which in turn, forces competitors to have to play catch up to them. This is the case for Novamix, a small producer that adopted a full range of our solutions to maximize their operations and is reaping the benefits daily.
Novamix Mortar and Concrete
Founded in 2009, Curitiba-based Novamix Mortar and Concrete is a member of the AVP Mining and Trading Group, which has been operating for more than 50 years as a provider of sand and gravel for the industrial construction, paving, earthmoving, and mining sectors. Novamix was a fitting addition to the AVP portfolio as a leading manufacturer and service provider of machined concrete and limed mortar.
Novamix entered a competitive market and needed to set themselves apart. They quickly earned a reputation for their volume assurance, high-quality products, and impeccable customer service.
According to Diego de Conto, the Administrative Officer at Novamix, some other ways Novamix stands out in the Brazilian concrete industry include the following:
- Sampling 100 percent of the trucks in their fleet
- Providing customers with a thorough report
- A full-service on-site quality control lab
- An on-site generator at the plant so the batching and concrete jobs go uninterrupted
- An outstanding scheduling and dispatching solution
- Compliance with all applicable standards
Areas for Growth
However, as with all businesses, there was room for improvement. Fast-forward to 2011; Novamix’s production was reaching high volumes, but their outdated manual processes and unnecessarily complicated operations (as well as a lack of recordkeeping) were holding them back from reaching their full potential.
“With the increase of production, this became crazy. The daily stress, increased chances of making errors was too big, and tedious processes were becoming a hindrance. We needed more staff for simple processes. It was all very complicated.”
- Diego de Conto, Administrative Officer at Novamix
For example, there was a massive pileup of notebooks and invoices. This made de Conto’s job particularly difficult, as he had to thumb through mountains of paperwork to access any customer data. This also resulted in an absurd number of incorrect invoices and overweighed cement batches each month.
Novamix sought a solution that would:
- Improve production speed
- Reduce waste
- Capture real-time visibility and control into production operations
- Deliver consistent quality
- Optimize scheduling and dispatching operations
Novamix recognized that concrete that is batched accurately will be able to leave the plant sooner, make the delivery process safer, and speed up placement, resulting in a quality finished product. Consistently delivering with both speed and quality is the key to return business and a growing customer base. Novamix needed a system that could provide control from prospecting and contracting to scheduling and dispatch management, empowering them to easily deliver quality on-time concrete.
Issues like these led Novamix to seek a partnership with Command Alkon and their variety of technology solutions.
After some assessment, it was determined that betonMIX, betonTEC, betonCP, and COMMANDbatch were the appropriate solutions to implement.
COMMANDbatch helps Novamix to accurately batch their concrete while allowing them to improve production speed, reduce waste, and deliver consistent quality. The betonMIX system offers Novamix control from sales and contracting through to scheduling and dispatch management.
betonTEC helps to optimize concrete mixes to comply with strength, durability and aggregate grading requirements while controlling mix costs, and integrating sampling results from betonCP automatically with betonTEC assures their materials meet customer standards of quality and strength.
“We started with betonMIX and betonTEC, respectively. From these two solutions, we started to have a lot of information, controls, and reports. After betonMIX, we implemented betonTEC so we could automate the remaining manual processes in our quality control lab to make them more reliable. And lastly, we went to COMMANDbatch, which brought us savings, time optimization, and many other benefits.”
- Diego de Conto
It took approximately two to four weeks for Novamix to train their employees on the new solution and fully implement the system. According to de Conto, the employees couldn’t have been happier with the change of pace.
“They were very happy, as it took all the stress of the manual processes, like handwriting and the lack of customer information, out of the daily operations. They now had insight into what was happening at the plant and support to work efficiently. All the information was at hand with a few clicks.”
- Diego de Conto
The biggest impact improvement Novamix noticed after implementing the Command Alkon solutions was the amount of organized information that was now accessible, as well as the newfound process guarantees and reliability. Since their processes were almost entirely manual, the company saw a return on their investment in these solutions quickly — within two or three months.
Some of the benefits Novamix experienced from partnering with Command Alkon include:
- Increased productivity and efficiency
- Higher product quality
- Assurance of security
- More streamlined and efficient planning and responsiveness
- Increased visibility
- More definitive decision-making
- Improved Customer Service
- Reduced costs and higher profits
Taking your small business to the next level is a daunting prospect. The marketplace is more competitive than ever, but there’s plenty of room and opportunities for small businesses to innovate their way to success.