Empowered by Insight When Too Much Becomes Too Costly

October 21, 2020 Karli Langner

Imagine; creating a product that your customers will be thrilled with, only to have it ruined as soon as it's taken from your plant. You probably don't have to imagine; this is a reality for many ready mix producers. Excess water increases the water-to-cement ratio of concrete and maximizes workability; which is good news for concrete finishers. However, this benefit doesn't come without cost. The additional water that the driver or jobsite personnel adds eventually evaporates in the curing process, leaving a porous network of capillary voids and lower overall strength. The product you’ve created has been compromised – and there isn’t anything you can do about it. Or, is there?

Wayne Davis Concrete Company

For half a century, family-owned Wayne Davis Concrete Company has flourished in Tallapoosa, Georgia, delivering the highest quality customer service and products in Northwest Georgia. They provide ready mix concrete, crushed stone, and sand, to their customers’ jobsites and construction projects.

All of Wayne Davis’ 14 ready mix plants are digitized with automated batching, dispatching, and billing solutions, and they own their own fleet of 100+ ready mix trucks.

Visibility is Viability in the World of Ready Mix Concrete

With Command Alkon’s COMMANDassurance, a stainless steel probe goes into the drum of the truck and integrates the data across functions from batch, to dispatch, to quality assurance. Its end-to-end integration with software and related technology allows typical properties of the concrete mix to be analyzed and communicated in real time all the way through placement. Visibility also allows for continuous improvement where the collected data brings meaningful information to the enterprise as a whole.

A problem that most ready mix producers face is the loss of control over their materials while they’re on the way to the jobsite. There are many opportunities for a completely different product to be delivered than the product that was batched at the plant. Wayne Davis signed on with COMMANDassurance to gain a little more control over their product once it leaves their facilities. A little extra visbility sounds good, right? Who wouldn’t want that?

The implementation was easy; a representative from Command Alkon came to Tallapoosa to demonstrate how to install the new system into a single truck. After being shown how, one Wayne Davis employee was able to install the system onto a truck in less than a day. Now, all of the trucks in their fleet are taking advantage of understanding the in-transit properties of each load, but what they didn’t realize is that the solution would unlock new insights allowing them to control other aspects of their business beyond the material science data of their product.

Wayne Davis knew that the system would give them the information needed to better monitor the plastic properties and temperature of their mix, as well as water demand. But, they quickly realized that before COMMANDassurance, time was tied up at the wash down stand washing trucks and getting them off the yard. The kicker is that prior to the solution, Wayne Davis had no clue just how much time was being wasted; COMMANDassurance truly helped them dig a little deeper and understand areas where they could improve that were not on their radar.

“Having that information from COMMANDassurance has saved us 2-3 minutes per load. When you have numerous loads a day, that's a lot of time saved. Especially by the time the end of the week rolls around.”

- Austin Davis, Field Operations Coordinator at Command Alkon

Assure Quality, Avert Risk

The data that rolls in from COMMANDassurance presents many operational benefits in other areas of Wayne Davis’ business, such as monitoring batch/plant performance, quality control, and producing concrete that is exactly what the customer wanted.

“From a quality control perspective, we use the data we receive to monitor how we're loading the concrete and the water addition on-site to try to improve the mixes. It also assists in ensuring the concrete is produced to the specification of the customer so that we can deliver it quickly with no issues and get the truck back to the plant to get another load.”

Since the implementations, Wayne Davis has captured more data and is seeing more ways to use the data and increase efficiencies just by solely knowing what’s on their trucks at all times – definitely an unprecedented advantage to working more productively.

“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.”

With the system, Wayne Davis has had the ability to capture a true picture of their materials in transit – from water to cement ratio, slump, temperature, and even the plastic additives. This information is consolidated into easily digestible reports and data that can be traced back to the source.

Wayne Davis has run hundreds of thousands of yards of ready mix concrete through the system and haven’t had any major issues. Because of this, Austin hopes that they’ll be able to save several loads of concrete per year if state guidelines would recognize COMMANDassurance data as an industry standard. 

Wayne Davis and Command Alkon have been working with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make this a reality. They have found that the temperature readings from the probe are extremely accurate. In the past, there have been times where the temperature reading that the inspector on the job gets isn’t as accurate. Austin said that he and his team have experienced instances where their materials have been deemed out of specification by the inspector due to issues in the temperature of the product. 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.

Unrivaled Product Quality and Buyers’ Experience

By embracing secure, cloud-based software innovations and powerful data, Wayne Davis is empowering their business to make better business decisions through improved efficiencies and insights – not to mention, they’re taking their excellent customer service up a notch. Their journey with COMMANDassurance is still fresh; we can’t wait to see what new data riches they will discover on this journey.

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On The Front Lines at Wayne Davis Concrete
On The Front Lines at Wayne Davis Concrete

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