There was a great article in today's edition of Construction Dive that speaks to what we've been preaching for some time now: Maintaining pace with investment in technology is critical to competing effectively and improving the bottom line. While the article addresses construction contractors, the same principle obviously applies to all parties in the value chain. We thought it would be interesting to review how the conclusions of the article apply to manufacturers of precast and pre-stressed concrete.
Brad Robinson, past chairman of the Construction Financial Management Association, summed up the importance of early adoption to competitive advantage this way:
"You want to be on the curve of that wave because, for that magical period of time between when it's first adopted and before everybody else jumps in, you get a very strong competitive advantage."
Then there are the cost advantages. Citing the apparently counter-intuitive notion of investing in technology as a cost savings measure, Stuart Binstock, current president and CEO of the CFMA, added:
"At the end of the day, you have saved money because you've done some things that probably give you better information. You're able to make quicker decisions, so, therefore, you become more competitive."
Both of these statements apply equally to the value of precast RFID tracking to the concrete manufacturing industry. As we wrote in Why Product Tracking Wins DOT Bids, project owners such as state departments of transportation now want their manufacturers to help them streamline inspection processes. Likewise, Why It Pays To Be Lean for Railroads discussed the prospective savings to railroad companies from purchasing concrete ties that can be individually associated with the exact concrete batch from which each was produced.
Concrete tracking provides customers with several benefits that, in turn, provide the manufacturer with a competitive advantage. With it, customers can:
- Receive and store QC and production information electronically
- Associate each individual product record with the concrete test results of the batch from which it was produced
- Review a timeline history of each product from the time of manufacture through end of life
- Locate products in the laydown yard (and within the project) on GPS maps
For the manufacturer, lower costs result from elimination or reduction of time spent:
- Creating forms
- Entering QC data
- Collecting, organizing and filing QC information
- Retrieving QC information
- Running QC reports
- Running production reports
- Providing status reports to internal and external customers
- Searching for products in the yard
- Conducting physical inventory counts
- Managing shipping forms
- Rectifying shipping errors
As construction contractors and project owners embrace technology, the manufacturers who do the same will experience the rare combination of improved competitive advantage and a better bottom line.
Our purpose at Idencia is to offer infrastructure asset tracking solutions that improve productivity throughout the infrastructure value chain.. to create lean infrastructure. Our subscription offering applies RFID tracking to infrastructure products from the time of manufacture through end-of-life. As a cloud-hosted product tracking system that is seamless between manufacturers, contractors and asset managers, Idencia adds information value to all, eliminates redundancy and saves time. If you would like to learn how Idencia can help your company, we invite you to download our Idencia Deck by clicking below.