We just finished packing up our booth following the conclusion of The Precast Show 2017. (Once again, the NPCA team did a fabulous job!) Going into the show we were excited to meet precast producers and talk about their interests in using technology to improve productivity. We came away impressed with how much interest is out there. But we were blown away by the depth of thinking about how technology should work. Clearly there has been a lot of thought about this since last year's show. Here's what we learned.
Reconstructing the conversations we had with precast and prestressed concrete producers, there are three themes that were very consistent. They want all of their software solutions to be:
1. User friendly
They want the technology to work for them, not the other way around. Most important, they want systems to reflect their work flow... they don't want to have to conform their processes to a new software system. By extension, they want their systems flexible and configurable. It should be simple and easy to manage the type of information a system captures and the types of reports they can get from it.
Producers are now inclined to look for market-leading features from a variety of solutions instead of looking for one universal solution that provides better-than-average features. They recognize that a group of modular solutions can now be economically competitive with one universal offering since cloud technology has reduced the cost of offering software. Using modular solutions also allows producers to start simple and grow into the system, a preference that was stated many times at the show.
They want all of their modular solutions to work together seamlessly. For the time being, producers seem willing to export information from one system into a csv file and then upload that file to another system. However, this won't last long. To this point, a number of producers asked if the product ID number generated in their production planning/scheduling system could become the product serial number that Idencia uses to track cradle-to-grave information. (Yes, instead of using RFID tags, they can print their own labels for bar code tracking.) They also asked about transferring information from Idencia into their accounting or ERP system. (This can be done manually and we will soon be integrating directly.)
We just wrote in our last post about how the precast concrete industry is innovative. Listening to the thought that producers have invested in considering how they want their technology to work, this was in great evidence at The Precast Show 2017!
Our purpose at Idencia is to offer product tracking solutions that improve productivity throughout the construction value chain. Our subscription offering applies RFID and bar code tracking to 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 more, click below.