M&R Ready Mix Improves Productivity and Profitability with Innovative Technology Solutions!

July 12, 2021 Karli Langner

There’s this idea that only massive companies truly realize a return on investment when implementing technology solutions into their daily processes and workflows, but technology has important effects on business operations – no matter the size of the enterprise. Technology investments have both tangible and intangible benefits that will help generate cash flow and produce the result of customer demand. One Ready Mix producer in Ohio knows all too well about the inefficiencies that ensue before investing in new tech, as well as the productivity and profitability gains that can result from implementing these systems into everyday processes.

M&R Ready Mix

Since 1967, M&R Ready Mix has offered high-quality concrete products to their customers in Pettisville, McClure, and Stony Ridge, Ohio. The Gerken Companies acquired M&R Redi Mix Trucking, Inc. in 2019, updating the name to M&R Ready Mix. Operating with four plants from Toledo all the way to the state line, M&R Ready Mix provides high-quality ready mix products and excellent service to their customers in residential, commercial, and industrial construction.

Not Your Typical Batch of Concrete

Concrete that is batched accurately will be able to leave the plant sooner, keep the truck cleaner, and make the delivery professional’s job safer and with less stress. Ultimately, when the concrete arrives on site, ready to pour, it speeds up the entire placement resulting in a quality finished product. 

Therefore M&R uses Command Alkon's COMMANDbatch suite of products to deliver greater quality and consistency through the batching process and ensure that their customers are 100% satisfied with their products.

M&R also utilizes the Precisions Water System (PWS) module with their COMMANDbatch system to combat the issues that excess moisture in aggregates can have on the quality of their concrete. With PWS, they can eliminate wet loads, keep a history of moisture samples and bake-out pairs that they can send to their customers at ODOT, reduce in-yard time adjusting the slump, and avert risk and waste. With the system, they’ve realized that they can deliver more consistent loads, better yield management, lower costs, and improved customer satisfaction.

“There’s valuable time savings with the system, but what is truly valuable is the improvement in the consistency of our product. Before the probes, the moisture in the bin would change the batch weights to where some loads would have more or less stone than other loads. Now, we are able to deliver a more consistent mix.”

- Ryan Saunders, Operations Manager at M&R

Simplify Processes – From Order All the Way to Delivery

Once the product is batched, M&R uses Integra for their dispatch operations. Integra offers M&R a complete quote-to-cash system to quote, order, ticket, deliver, and bill their concrete. With Integra, M&R can connect all of their operations into one singular system, improve customer service, and ensure timely deliveries.

Oftentimes customers will call dispatch and want to know where their orders are. The order screen on the Integra program lets them see individual truck numbers that they can click into to determine real-time delivery status of the order. Their dispatchers get a better feel of how far away the truck is from the plant so that they can determine when to schedule the rest of the trucks for dispatch.

The Integra system streamlines the process from the time that an order is entered all the way through to billing for the order. With MOBILEsales, M&R Ready Mix can create more accurate quotes and streamline their sales process and shorten their sales cycle. MOBILEsales provides sales teams with easy access to sales materials, CRM data, and workflow management tools so that they no longer deal with the pain of duplicate data entry. Once the quote is created, it flows through to dispatch and then to the back office. Equipped with real-time analytics, MOBILEsales also helps identify important data patterns and analyze sales performance.

“Our sales representative is now generating quotes with MOBILEsales, and it only takes him one to two minutes to do so. In the past, he had to type everything out, and the process was not as streamlined and simplified.”

- Ryan Saunders, Operations Manager at M&R Ready Mix

Keep Up with Maintenance and Health of Vehicles

M&R has a fleet of 24 trucks – all equipped with Command Alkon’s telematics system, TrackIt.

Now that TrackIt is working in conjunction with Integra, they have been able to fully maximize productivity with the trucks that they have. The efficiency boosts are equivalent to adding two additional trucks to their fleet; but, they haven’t actually had to purchase two new trucks. They saw an increase in production with less trucks because they were able to fully utilize the fleet that they already have, which is extremely powerful.

“When I think TrackIt, the words that come to mind are ‘visibility, accountability, and streamline.’ We can map the location of our trucks in real time at all times, monitor how our trucks and drivers are performing, and we can keep better track of driver hours, which helps tremendously when paying our drivers.”

- Ryan Saunders, Operations Manager at M&R Ready Mix

TrackIt also includes an Engine Data Analysis and Alerts feature that will deliver real‐time insights for fleet asset management to improve the health, safety, and performance. This can include remote diagnostics, alerts, action plans, health and safety scoring, and other actionable vehicle information.

This feature helps monitor the health of their vehicles to enable real‐time decision making of how to handle truck malfunctions and avoid engine failure. With this insight, their fleet manager will know the exact diagnosis so that they can decide what action to take, whether to bring a vehicle back to the shop, or to recommend immediate shutdown.

Get Rid of Manual Processes and Simplify Workflow

Exchanging paper tickets presents a lot of challenges because the tickets can get lost, the information has to be keyed and re-keyed, and sometimes, tickets mysteriously disappear when payment is due. A major problem with paper tickets is that they result in large amounts of time being spent reconciling invoices for payment.

To eliminate these manual, paper-based workflows, M&R is sending digital ticket data to their customers via eTickets on the CONNEX Platform. The eTickets are a digital representation of order information, batch results, delivery status updates, inspection/test results, and job cost/cost codes for each order. The materials buyer, whether that be the contractors that M&R works with, or the ODOT, can log in a view these tickets through the CONNEX ticket portal on their desktop, or through their mobile application.

From the field, M&R’s customers can view the tickets electronically and capture proof of delivery. Testers or inspectors also have the ability to digitally capture and append test results. Having this ticket data in a digital format has been very beneficial in working on projects with the ODOT.

“In the past, the ODOT wanted PDF copies of our tickets; but, that’s just another electronic copy of the paper ticket. This digital ticket data is a real-time, digital representation of materials’  load information throughout the procure-to-pay or order-to-cash lifecycle of the project.”

- Ryan Saunders, Operations Manager at M&R Ready Mix

Investing in new technology can sometimes be a sizeable venture. Regardless, operations of all sizes can capture a substantial return on investments when implementing technologies to increase productivity and efficiencies.

“In this business, the more product that we can get out, the more profitable we can be. Command Alkon technologies help us to do just that. I’d hate it if I had to go back to the old way of doing things; these tools are valuable in keeping our operation running.”

- Ryan Saunders, Operations Manager at M&R Ready Mix

Need a toolkit to keep your operation running at maximum efficiency? Visit www.commandalkon.com to learn more!

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