Tracking Infrastructure

Connected Concrete: An Information Sharing Platform

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Apr 13, 2019 1:35:46 PM

At the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver last week there was discussion about how to make the most productive use of the enormous amounts of data that will be connected as cities implement smart city initiatives. Dell EMC's Chief Technology Officer, Rob Silverberg, said that cities should consider creating a singular data platform for collecting all data rather than  creating information silos that will ultimately need to share data. He suggested a "system of systems" strategy for creating a holistic smart transportation system rather than a series of individual initiatives... such as smart parking, smart lighting, etc.

This strategy is not unique to smart cities. With data collection and analysis becoming central to improved productivity, data centralization is critical to most industries these days. This includes the manufacturers that provide cities with their infrastructure.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Connected Concrete, Productivity

Precast Show 2019 Takes: Productivity

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Mar 10, 2019 2:39:44 PM

 

With The Precast Show 2019 in the books, we've taken stock of our conversations with producers and distilled what we've learned into a list of top-of-mind issues for the precast industry. We will present them in two posts separated categorically into the broad topics of productivity and technology. Today we will start with productivity challenges we observed in our conversations.

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Topics: Market Insights, Productivity

Reduce Waste to Grow Profits

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Feb 3, 2019 3:45:43 PM

 

Late last year the National Precast Concrete Association released its 2018 Precast Industry Benchmarking Report, a report based on a survey of membership that describes the state of the industry and offers performance metrics for precast concrete manufacturers. This is a valuable resource for the industry and one we purchase every year. The 2018 report includes interesting data that we found very consistent with reports we have heard in our own discussions with precast producers. One glaring statistic jumps out as an immediate opportunity to grow profits. 

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Topics: Market Insights, Idencia Use Cases, Productivity

Manufacturing Ecosystem or Lone Wolf?

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Jan 5, 2019 1:10:02 PM

 

It is the new year, a time that we all take stock about what has been and think about the future.  As we gave pause and reflected, a very clear (and, in hindsight, obvious) picture emerged: Before we know it, the manufacturing environment will experience the same relational shifts that we've seen with consumers since the early 2000s. (In this age of consumer technology, consumer adaptations always precede business adoption.) Here is what this means.

 

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Topics: Market Insights, Connected Concrete, Productivity

AJ Foss' Technology Transformation

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Dec 20, 2018 10:12:10 AM

 

One of the most enjoyable elements of our work is that we get to visit precast plants. It is always enlightening to talk to the principals about how they manage their businesses and learn what they do to continually improve. Most often we hear about time- and cost-saving practices being applied to help their companies make more money in very tight bidding environments. Last week I traveled to AJ Foss (Farmington, NH), a very innovative, family-run company with a story of a slightly different twist.

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Topics: Market Insights, Connected Concrete, Productivity

Learning RFID Tracking

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Dec 8, 2018 12:27:13 PM

 

We don't usually promote our products or services in the lede of our blog posts, but we are so excited about our new Idencia 101 program that today is the exception. On January 7, 2019, the first group of precasters will start this guided, self-managed program that will leave them skilled in implementing their plants with RFID tracking. They will be heroes for saving money by reducing paper, enhancing inventory management and expediting shipping documentation!

We've received some great questions about the program so we thought we would address them in this post.

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Topics: Idencia Tips, Connected Concrete, Productivity

5 RFID Implementation Tips

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Dec 1, 2018 3:42:54 PM

 

Sometimes the notion of implementing an RFID tracking system can seem more difficult than it really is. Naturally, anything new and different looms much larger in the mind than in practice. Transitioning from paper to digital records is no exception. We've drawn on our collective experience in helping customers implement the Idencia concrete tracking system to offer tips gleaned from best practices we have seen and encouraged.

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Topics: Market Insights, Idencia Tips, Connected Concrete, Productivity

Why 'Reality Capture' Will Change Precast

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Nov 23, 2018 4:41:08 PM

 

If you are not familiar with the term 'reality capture' you are probably not alone. Now is a good time to become so, however, because this will be the core of 'smart infrastructure'. You are probably thinking: "Sure, some day, maybe."                  (Graphic courtesy of National Geospacial Advisory Committee)

Our guess is that precast manufacturers will need to offer some form of reality capture with every infrastructure product they sell in 5 years or less.  

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Market Insights, Connected Concrete, Productivity

RFID Tracking Direct to Your ERP System

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Nov 10, 2018 4:37:59 PM

Customers tell us that the biggest headache in managing precast operations is in dealing with inventory. They subscribe to our RFID product tracking service because they want a more efficient way to do this. Though their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems automate management of most other business functions, they do not offer the complete inventory tracking solutions that precasters need. How nice would it be to automate this as well? 

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Topics: Market Insights, Idencia Use Cases, Connected Concrete, Productivity

Jump Start Performance With OKRs

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Nov 3, 2018 11:11:33 AM

 

Infrastructure product manufacturers face two pressing challenges today: tight margins and hiring/retaining high-performance people. Fortunately, there is a business practice called OKRs that addresses both of these. Originally introduced in the 1970s by Intel's Andy Grove, OKRs are now standard in virtually every company that has dominated its industry: Google, Amazon, Oracle and Microsoft to name a few. But, OKRs are not just a passing fancy for glitzy tech firms. They are also applied by stalwarts like GE, Anheuser-Busch and the Navy. Early adopters in manufacturing have an opportunity to become industry leaders that provide an environment for growing profits and attracting/retaining the best people.

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Topics: Market Insights, Productivity

About this blog

Tracking Infrastructure is a blog about innovation in the manufacture, construction and management of infrastructure.

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