May 21, 2019

Ascension Quality Materials Relies on Coretex for Optimum Efficiency

Article originally posted on Modern Work-Truck Solutions

For an industry where every minute is critical, it only makes sense that a fleet rely on the most accurate and nearest to real-time information as possible. Lagging fleet management systems with malfunctioning devices and complicated user interfaces have no place in the ready mix and aggregate industry, and some companies are waving goodbye to those subpar solutions.

One company in Louisiana, Ascension Quality Materials LLC, has found its solution with Coretex—a fleet management solutions provider that delivers services worldwide to more than 70,000 vehicles in the construction, mixed fleet, and waste and recycling industries. 

THE BUSINESS

Ascension Quality Materials has provided quality ready mix services to communities in Louisiana for two decades. The company has seven plants and employs 64 trucks with more on the way. Ascension Quality Materials’ concrete specialists ensure each batch is made according to the specification of the contractor. The materials are batched at the plants, partially mixed in transit, and completed at the jobsite—a process that avoids premature hardening and slump loss.

An accurate and reliable fleet management system is crucial to Ascension Quality Materials. If a truck’s system malfunctions it cannot be dispatched or tracked, potentially leading to the loss of a job, lost time, and lost money. Accurate management systems help ensure productivity, happy customers, and a job well done. Enter Coretex.

Coretex keeps Ascension Quality Materials ahead of the game. With a simple installation process, user-friendly interface, and accurate tracking, Ascension Quality Materials is able to focus on ready mix services and let Coretex handle the rest.

THE SOLUTION

Ascension Quality Materials chose Coretex’s construction fleet management solution. The solution provides a single platform to actively monitor, manage, and control all the vehicles and drivers within a fleet. This system generates data logs from event-driven actions using HD sensors specifically designed for use in a ready mix environment such as bowl/drum rotation, water-added, and load-switch for aggregate.

From the perspective of Wayne Silva, CFO of Ascension Quality Materials, Coretex’s installation process was simple. Coretex provides its services in a “GPSLockbox” that installs in vehicles as a plug and play device. Each box works in tandem with a tablet that also installs inside the vehicle. These tablets include Coretex software that works exclusively on Android devices. Coretex provides Samsung tablets, complete with a data plan, cases, and screen protectors, but companies can choose to have the software installed on existing Android-powered tablets.

Once the system is installed, companies can reap Coretex benefits. One of which is truck status.

Coretex allows fleet managers at Ascension Quality Materials to know when a truck leaves the plant, arrives on a job, is pouring concrete, leaving a job, and arrives back at the plant.

“Right now we’re capturing right about 96 to 98 percent of our statuses,” Silva says. “With our previous installs we were running at about 80 percent.”

Which leads to additional benefits…

“Our labor cost per yard has dropped extremely due to the fact that we can efficiently schedule our trucks because we can see exactly where they’re at,” Silva says. “So later in the day as we’re working through the delivery cycle, we can schedule afternoon (jobs) … which is leading to a lot more efficiency.”

Accuracy isn’t the only aspect that keeps operations running smoothly. The Coretex system also features an easy-to-use interface for both drivers and fleet managers.

“(The Coretex integration has) allowed us to get it in and out of the shop quickly,” Silva says. “It helped us set up an actual shop and maintenance routine within our company.”

IT’S THAT SIMPLE

What good is accurate data if you can’t put it to good use? Silva says Coretex has done a great job of keeping its user interface simple. In the past, Silva had meetings with his drivers to teach them how to use competitors’ systems, but with Coretex, “We literally were able to communicate via radio to tell the drivers how to sign in a log into it.” Just push a couple of buttons and then the system runs itself, Silva says.

Although the system is easy to use, there are solutions for drivers who experience difficulties. If a driver ever has an issue with the system and the problem is a little advanced for the fleet manager, Coretex support can help. “I can get with Coretex support, and somebody can remote into the box and help the driver through it or see what the driver is seeing inside that tablet itself,” Silva explains.

SUPPORT SYSTEM

Silva said the Coretex support team is quick to respond to any issue that may arise with Ascension Quality Materials’ fleet—which is sometimes rare for fleet management providers.

“I’ve had quick turnaround with anything I’ve emailed in,” Silva says. “Even if it’s something that’s not fixable right away—I’ll at least have a good estimation of when it will be fixed. If I turn something in, in the AM it’s fixed by midday.”

When Silva’s fleet managers lose communication with a truck, they lose not only the truck, but timekeeping on the driver. It’s during those times that a fleet management’s support services are most critical and crucial. “I’ve been fortunate,” Silva says. “I’ve been impressed with my support.”

Obviously support is important to the end-user, but it isn’t always as important to the service provider. That isn’t the case for Coretex. Dean Marris, EVP of construction materials at Coretex, says customer support is the most important aspect to him.

“In ready mix and aggregate … you’re dealing with minutes, and we can’t afford to let these guys down,” he says. It isn’t enough to be just reliable. According to Marris, “It’s got to be perfect.”

FOR NOW AND LATER

Every minute counts in ready mix and aggregate. Marris shared that the National Ready Mix Concrete Association has a standard saying that it costs $1.75/minute to run a truck, giving real meaning to the saying “Time is money.”

Coretex recognizes this and created a solution that collects and automates real-time truck statuses with the dispatch system a customer is already using. With a Coretex integration, both systems are communicating with each other and providing real-time statuses of each truck. And that isn’t all.

There’s more in store for Coretex customers in the future. Marris says the Coretex team is focused on support and execution, but the team is also working on future innovations for the never-stopping ready mix industry.


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