COMMANDassurance Delivers Insight to Improve Supply Chain Accountability

November 24, 2020 Karli Langner

The construction industry is highly fragmented, complex, and a unique combination of business relations, communications, and processes.

With separate entities working on a project, there can be major conflicts in the process, resulting in missed deadlines and cost overruns. That’s why accountability in the construction supply chain is so important. To achieve supply chain improvement — and save time and money via damage reduction — you need to know not just what happened, but under whose watch. 

Ready mix producers deal with the wide array of quality challenges surrounding the complex process of designing, producing, and delivering ready mix concrete on each and every load.  The delivery process itself is plagued by an overall lack of visibility into the properties of the concrete once a batch of concrete is loaded into the truck and sent out of the yard.

But Command Alkon’s concrete telematics system, COMMANDassurance, can eliminate this lack of visibility during the delivery process and work in tangent with your existing dispatch, production, and quality management systems are now within the reach of ready mix producers. The information that the system provides hold everyone that has a hand in the concrete accountable – from the batch man, to the drivers, as well as contractors.

With COMMANDassurance, a stainless-steel probe is installed into the drum of the truck to monitor temperature, slump, and W/C ratio, and other information that can help with wiser decision-making. A tablet in the cab of the truck reads the data gathered from the probe back to the driver. Many users have found that the temperature readings from the probe are extremely accurate.

Wayne Davis Concrete has experienced circumstances where the temperature reading that the inspector on the job gets isn’t as accurate, yet their product is deemed out of specification by the inspector due to issues in the temperature of the product. Because of this, they are working to have state guidelines recognize COMMANDassurance data as an industry standard. If the Georgia DOT made it standard to accept the data flowing from the COMMANDassurance probe, not only would the reading be more accurate, but it would also save time on the jobsite.

When I get a call that there’s an issue, I can quickly look at the COMMANDassurance data and determine whether we need to send that truck down the road or dump it out at the plant. You can basically see everything about the truck, so with COMMANDassurance, I feel like I know more information sitting here in Tallapoosa – or wherever I'm looking at the data from – than I did standing beside the truck without COMMANDassurance.”

- Austin Davis, Field Operations Coordinator at Command Alkon

Sensor data provides visibility into the properties of the materials, ensuring quality and that job specifications are met while removing materials waste and saving time that would be wasted adjusting slump.

Sometimes when external factors are at play, such as long delivery times or hot weather conditions, it’s necessary to add air entraining, water reducing, set retarding, or other admixtures to the concrete prior to discharge. The system delivers insight in such circumstances that enable field personnel to take responsibility for fine-tuning of the mix. The supplier can't be held accountable for the quality of concrete that is altered at the jobsite, such as by adding more water.

Typical properties of the concrete mix can be analyzed and communicated for future orders. This newfound visibility allows for continuous improvement where the collected data brings meaningful information to the entire enterprise. The data collected from the probe is fed back into other Command Alkon systems for production, dispatch, quality control, and fleet management so that materials are produced correctly from the start. So, in the event that more water does have to be added at the jobsite, then the batch guys can see that come through make adjustments to the next load going to the same jobsite so that time isn’t wasted adding more water again.

One of the things I really like about COMMANDassurance is that it forces us to manufacture concrete the right way. It requires involvement from the batch man, the drivers, and everybody doing everything right.

- Brad Burke, Technical Services & Marketing Manager, Permian Basin Materials

See how COMMANDassurance provides historical data that you can rely on to understand who in the supply chain can be held accountable when issues arise.

For a deeper dive on this system, visit www.commandalkon.com/getcommandassurance.

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