Precast and prestressed concrete producers are embracing RFID tracking for the productivity it provides them with paperless quality control, inventory management, GPS tracking and production management. The added advantage is that they are well poised to serve as preferred vendors for state departments of transportation that want similar productivity benefits for their own account. Here are the reasons that DOTs are now asking their vendors to adopt the practice.
1) Shrinking budgets
States are experiencing severe budget pressures that require departments of transportation to get more done with fewer resources. Technology that can save time in administration of paperwork is a natural (partial) solution to the problem. Product tracking systems accomplish this by eliminating time spent producing and filing reports, since these reports are produced automatically upon collection of the information. The North Carolina Department of Transportation estimates annual cost savings of over $1 million from requiring its concrete vendors to use RFID tagging and submit QC information electronically.
2) Workforce attrition
As operating budgets are reduced and Baby Boomer employees retire, volumes of information walk out the door. Concrete tracking solutions are used to create a timeline history of each product from the time of manufacture through end of life. DOT's can easily research this history since systems are web-hosted. They are no longer at risk of losing the information with the employee.
3) $4.6 Trillion infrastructure investment need over the next 10 years
Over the next 10 years, DOTs will be engaged in the most massive infrastructure build-out in the history of the planet. In its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, the American Society of Civil Engineers graded the current state of US infrastructure as a "D+" and estimates that $4.6 trillion will be required over the next 10 years to meet future needs. All this while operating budgets are being streamlined. The ONLY way that DOTs (as well as manufacturers and contractors) can meet this challenge is by becoming more productive... in a quantum leap.
4) Buy America
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 prohibits use of public funds for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States. It is the responsibility of the state DOT overseeing the project to do document compliance with this provision. As the country embarks on its $4.6 trillion infrastructure overhaul, the use of technology will be paramount in documenting this effectively. With RFID tracking, the DOT can have the manufacturer document compliance and this information will remain with the product record.
Producers typically start product tracking in response to the pain of their own inefficiency using paper. As more DOTs start requiring the practice, they will find it a source of competitive advantage as well.
Our purpose at Idencia is to offer precast RFID tracking solutions that improve productivity throughout the value chain. Our subscription offering applies 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.