by Steve Rasmussen
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked a new prospect to estimate their annual or daily material ticket volume and they can’t readily provide this information. These questions should be easy for companies to answer, whether you're at the office, at home, or even traveling with a mobile device.
The producer and heavy civil markets have often lagged behind when it comes to investing in modern software that enables them to make simple management decisions. A 2015 analysis conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute demonstrates how poorly the construction and bulk material industries stack up in information digitization investment (click chart below to enlarge).
Fortunately, with modern software technologies, companies don’t have to make large up-front investments to make a change. Cloud and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions are offering producers, contractors, and haulers the ability to track material sales and job tracking without large capital outlays. These platforms eliminate much of the cost and challenges faced by companies that operate plants or manage fleets of trucks. Outsourcing information technology can save you time, money, and resources spent managing those systems yourself.
Yes, there is generally an annual or monthly cost associated with these cloud-based software solutions, but when you add up the cost of purchasing on-premise servers, database software, on-site consulting, individual PC software licenses, and backup and recovery plans, you will find that cloud-based platforms typically provide a better solution at lower cost. Companies not taking advantage of cloud solutions are often blind to the total costs incurred from their business software. SaaS vendors, on the other hand, tend to provide upfront, transparent pricing without any hidden costs.
Migrating to the cloud means information can be readily available from any device or location from a simple web browser or mobile device. This provides you immediate access to all information and prevents data from being isolated in the scale house or with your IT department.
Most material ticketing and tracking softwares were developed using technologies that precede the evolution of cloud-based development. These Microsoft Windows programs are not well-suited for the always-connected world of Internet computing and have very limited cloud capabilities due to the underlying design of their system architecture.
The good news is, our industry is hopefully changing! A younger, more Internet-savvy group of leaders is moving up the ranks and demanding better information to make decisions. Software companies are being forced to stay current or be left behind. The Fast-Weigh 10 bulk material management platform is a leader in this new world of web-based technology, with a team of developers that are ready to help companies of all sizes leverage the benefits of cloud computing.