Concrete Products

AUG 2018

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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52 • August 2018 FEATURE BY VICTORIA SICARAS Smith Ready Mix Operations Manager Dave Mestrich uses the fully integrated, cloud-based BCMI dispatch system to schedule deliveries. EASING THE DATA-TRANSFER HEADACHE Smith Ready Mix is known as an early adopter of technology. To maintain its competitive edge in a local market brimming with larger producers, the Valparaiso, Ind.-based operator is always looking for new ways to increase efficiencies. "We streamline our processes and eliminate paper wherever possible," says Doug Smith, president. But even this tech-savvy company was somewhat hesitant to switch to a new, cloud-based dispatch system. "We had years of data in our legacy system that needed to be transferred," Smith explains. "We were afraid it would be a painful process." Software developer BCMI Corp., which programmed Smith's new dis- patch system, is helping to make the transfer as smooth as possible. "We reduce the data-transfer headache by installing our analytics platform months before the actual technology transition takes place," says Craig Yeack, co-founder of BCMI. "The producer's operational data, and customer information, are populated into an industry-standard database housed on a secure cloud server. This database, filled with all of the producer's information, is what our dispatch system taps into." The platform also accesses information from other software systems used by the producer including ready-mix-specific as well as general ERP, fleet maintenance, and vendor replenishment, and integrates that data into the database. Producers choose how much historical information is added (i.e., three, five or 10 years), and that data also is verified, cleaned up and populated via BCMIs proprietary data transport system. By the time the dispatch implementation date arrives, the company's data has already been vetted and transferred. Connecting the system to that database is as easy as flipping a switch. Going forward, the analytics and dispatch components of the platform seamlessly access the same operational data, including any new information that's entered. INTEGRATION FOR ALL Because BCMI employs cloud computing and uses an open application programming interface (API), other software systems can access the data- base as well. "The data flows like water from other approved systems, whether they are BCMI products or not," says Yeack. "Our goal is to gather information from the various systems within the company, which may not communicate that well with each other on their own, and combine their data into one, comprehensive database that all systems can use." By providing one cloud-based database and designing software solu- tions that can each tap into that database, the technology provider enables users to access companywide data no matter which program they are using. There is no need for employees to run multiple reports because they're working with separate systems. PRODUCER OWNS THE DATA After the data is transferred to the cloud, Smith Ready Mix will have full use of the database regardless of what technology tools they choose in the future. BCMI's suite of products is organized in modules, like building blocks, that can run individually or in combination for optimal data-sharing performance. However, the technology provider does not place restrictions on database use for clients who choose to use other software solutions or mobile apps. "Our clients—the producers—own that data, not us," affirms Yeack. PHOTO: BCMI Corp.

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