As members of the Construction industry, we are all feeling the weight of the challenges being thrown at us. How can we gracefully deal with the increasing demand to construct, operate and maintain assets faster, at lower cost and risk, and to a higher quality? We’ve been so comfortable and set in our ways over the past few decades, but non-integrated business systems and processes (that are still used by majority of companies today) are simply not good enough any longer – not if your goal is to be a competitive company going forward
Hahn and Iowa DOT Partnership
Hahn Ready Mix Sand & Gravel in Davenport, Iowa is a 6th generation family-owned operation. They operate from 16 locations using a fleet of 100 mixer trucks. Hahn has been using Command Alkon for batch computers for years, and just recently have started integrating their COMMANDbatch systems with COMMANDassurance – Command Alkon’s concrete telematics solution.
With COMMANDassurance, trucks are virtually a rolling lab, offering insights that help reduce out-of-specification issues. Once the driver leaves the plant, material science data is transmitted to their tablet via the COMMANDassurance probe, a durable and reliable sensor system installed in the drum.
“COMMANDassurance enables us to be able to get the slump results back to the batch guys. Having that feedback from the job can help them be a lot better about hitting their target.”
- Griffin Hahn, Hahn Ready Mix Sand & Gravel
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.
CONNEX Takes Partnership to New Levels
The time and materials savings that Hahn has realized with COMMANDassurance are pretty significant, but what’s even better is that that same ticket information can easily be accessed by inspectors in real time as well, speeding up the project even more. The “secret sauce?” Get rid of paper workflows!
Highway projects historically involve paper and wet-ink signatures for documents and other approvals, leading to redundant work, information silos, and data entry errors. Eliminating multi-part paper tickets for heavy materials, removing poor data capture quality in the field, automating information workflows between software applications, and boosting real-time decision-making across a many-to-many buyer, seller, and hauler community are shared goals of the Iowa DOT and Hahn.
To accomplish their goals, both parties have connected to Command Alkon’s supplier collaboration platform, CONNEX. CONNEX is a next-generation vertical cloud solution designed to increase productivity levels and create unprecedented results across project performance, schedule, workforce management, and safety. The platform transforms the way business partners work together to turn knowledge into action.
The Iowa DOT is currently piloting digital workflow capabilities through CONNEX or heavy materials on the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge project. CONNEX-enabled BuildIt automatically shares tickets and other data from materials suppliers directly to all trading partners.
Through digital collaboration, Iowa DOT and Hahn have been able to reduce paper-based workflows and gain many more automated processes, capture clear visibility into inter-company operations, and experience real-time collaboration and business intelligence tools.
Cedric Wilkinson, Senior Engineer Technician at IDOT, plans to eventually deploy a Developmental Specification to make eTicketing the standard on all major infrastructure projects in the state.
“Through electronic signatures, real-time communications, secure file sharing, mobile devices, and web-hosted data archival and retrieval systems, IDOT has realized significant benefits across time, money, processes, communications, payments, and execution.”
- Cedric Wilkinson, Senior Engineer Technician at IDOT
The CONNEX Platform streamlines information from Hahn Ready Mix Sand & Gravel’s disparate systems to produce materials, optimize dispatch, and monitor concrete properties in transit in real time. This removes the need for inspectors to re-enter ticket information; hand-writing data on a ticket, adding it into an excel spreadsheet, and then keying the information into construction management and ERP software. Now, ticket data is collected one time on the job site and flows right through, resulting in quicker documentation that benefits IDOT and facilitates faster payment processes that benefit Hahn.
“Implementing the eTicket was painless; it basically piggy-backs off the systems we already have. The IDOT has loved being able to get real-time eTicket data on their systems at the job site. If we can make the DOT and customers happier, that always works out well for us.”
- Griffin Hahn, Hahn Ready Mix Sand & Gravel
Both Platform Participants Have Realized Significant Benefits of Data Sharing:
- Transparency: everyone on the project – from suppliers, to contractors, to inspectors, and everywhere in-between – can see ticket information live from their smart phone, tablet, or web portal. Hahn Ready Mix can streamline their data, and the Iowa DOT can see batch tickets from the materials in real time.
- Proactively solve issues: the environment of a job site is jam packed with constantly changing conditions. There are many aspects of a project to manage that it is just not physically possible. A solution that allows you to manage the exceptions/out of tolerance situations is vital to success. For example, with CONNEX-enabled BuildIt, all participants on a job site can login and see the batch weights, test data, and location times of a load of concrete. Having the information available to all parties through CONNEX can be helpful in solving issues on a pour immediately and enable better decision-making.
- Remove the duplication of the effort of work: think of all the manual processes involved with paper tickets. How many hours could be saved by getting rid of the duplication of effort of work? It’s unnecessary, and having the information in real time allows both platform participants to focus their time and effort in other areas of the company.
- Standardization and ease of training: most people already use an iPhone and understand the app style. Because of this, training was super simple, with as little as a half hour of training before both teams were up and running with the new solution. The app is very user-friendly, and information is streamlined right away.