Having the most comprehensive concrete plant in Europe, Goudse Betonmortel Centrale (GBC) is one of the leading companies in the ready mix concrete industry in terms of development and innovation. For more than 60 years, GBC has been an expert in the production of concrete in the area of Gouda, The Netherlands. Their silo's along the Gouwe river are a characteristic feature known to many people living in the area.
“We continuously innovate in order to rank among the best in the ready mix concrete industry. This is the reason why we only collaborate with partners who support us in reaching that goal. Therefore, GBC and Command Alkon have been working closely together since 2004.”
- Arjan Goudswaard, Finance Manager Goudse Betonmortel Centrale
In addition to the preparation and production of high-quality concrete, just-in-time delivery to the customer is a daily challenge. Arjan Goudswaard, Finance Manager at GBC explains: “We distinguish ourselves from our competitors because of our timely deliveries to our customers. This may seem an easy task, but it requires a lot on the part of our logistics scheduling.” On an average day, GBC produces between 400 to 600 m3 of concrete and Gyvlon, which are subsequently transported by 22 trucks. In order to have full control over our schedules, we need total visibility on the available production and truck capacity at order intake. Instantly recognizing bottlenecks and being able to inform the customer are both key. This is the only way in which GBC can deliver both the quality and service they are committed to.
The partnership with Command Alkon started in 2014. Our mutual and continuous drive for innovation contributed to this valuable and sustainable relationship. Arjan Goudswaard: “To us, Command Alkon is the only solution provider that “has got their feet in the mud”, but they also have cutting-edge technology and specifically target our industry. Their focus on our industry and manpower to realize this development underpin our confidence that we have chosen the right long-term solution. And this is why we are one of the leading companies in the business.
Since GBC trusts the knowledge and skills of Command Alkon, they use a wide range of Command Alkon’s solutions. Beside Process Control (CP), the quality management solution Conactive Quality Control (CL) and the Track & Trace solution “TrackIt”, GBC has been using the new generation of Conactive Management CM Next Gen since 2017 for their sales and quoting, order intake and transport and production scheduling.
CM Next Gen is a fully automated transport and production scheduling system for efficient JIT delivery. CM contains unique features like scheduling optimizers for both capacity schedules (advance scheduling) and the real-time daily schedules. These optimizers calculate the optimal production and transport schedules based on GBC’s ambition to deliver JIT with the lowest possible cost. The trade-off between service level and cost is made by the operator. On the delivery day, delivery schedules are adjusted to changing circumstances in real-time, based on the truck statuses in TrackIt. In addition, the planner is provided with charging instructions.
The most important result for GBC is a much higher level of customer satisfaction due to JIT delivery of the predetermined load. Obviously, there are more advantages:
- Full visibility on truck and production scheduling
- Manual work is kept to a minimum
- Easier to process a higher volume
- Apps are up-to-date and ready for the future
In order to facilitate a smooth transition to a new system, the key requirements are a flexible organization and properly trained staff. Therefore, the end-users were closely involved and shadowed the Command Alkon Project Engineer during the pilot project. Since the pilot phase is over now, the Project Engineer will shortly schedule an extra on-site training session to ensure the CM Next Gen is optimally deployed and delivers the required results.
The biggest difference with the previous Conactive Management and Next Gen versions is that the latest software is state-of-the-art with new functionalities and allows for customizations. CM is designed for a wide array of users such as Sales People, Planners, Plant Operators, Back Office personnel and General Managers. They all use CM to support their daily activities. Every single one of them can now create their own views and retrieve the information they need. Thus, the user-friendliness has greatly improved. Arjan: “We continuously motivate our employees to assent to our ambitious plans. We know we demand a lot of them. So a solution that offers customized improvements greatly contributes to building acceptance.”
Ready for the future
In addition to Conactive Management Next Gen, GBC also uses Conactive Process Control (CP) and Conactive Quality Control (CL). GBC is so proud of their achievements that they decided to open their doors to other ready mix producers as a one-off. During the Command Alkon CM workshops, they could familiarize themselves with the latest generation of CM and see its performance under real working conditions.
“The people of Command Alkon ‘have got their feet in the mud’ and are specialists in developing and implementing software for concrete producers. A unique combination which suits us perfectly.”
- Ruud van Pelt, Directeur Goudse Betonmortel Centrale