economysmartphone, stupid!” Find software that allows your customers to do business with you on their smartphone, and do it now.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CONCRETE CONTRACTOR
Customer:Disorganized, distracted and dismissive … “Hey you, concrete contractor! It’s your problem, take care of it.”
Concrete supplier:Gives the bigger customers better service … hard to get through to dispatch when needed. The contractor worries that the price is too high, the load will be late or they’ll short the load.
One huge benefit for the producer is the smartphone notifies the customer to positively accept the quote. Only then can the quote be formally converted to a project. This removes the headache of a quote being sent, and one fine day the customer calling to ship on it even though they never accepted it.
Orders placed by phone take time, and often the preferred dispatcher or allocator is not readily available. When a customer “remembers” they need an order for the next day or must make a change and it’s after working hours, they have to wait until dispatch resumes in the morning. Orders placed or changed within hours of shipment often do not get the best service.
Onsite load receipts are a distraction. Often the customer is a “player-coach” and provides critical direction to his hardworking, but perhaps less than managerial-savvy finishing crew. The customer just wants the truck to show up and unload.
Use the smartphone. During fulfillment, the customer can see in real time the exact truck status including loads, location, product and progress. The customer knows the exact load size, with no doubt. Tickets can be automatically receipted either one by one or for the entire order, and all load information is immediately available.
代理保管链s stakeholders is critical. In the past, it required paper tickets to be photocopied or scanned and painstakingly distributed by a back office to perhaps as many as eight additional parties. With a smartphone, the customer can forward a ticket or all tickets on an order to any stakeholder in seconds.
Use the smartphone. The customer has immediate access to statements, invoices, the tickets that compose the invoice and the full delivery detail for each ticket. Some customers are even given access to complete batch weights. Immediate access to information kills most disputes before they are started. The remaining issues can be quickly identified and resolved.
Concrete finishers have a tough time managing cash flow so, in part, they use the ready-mix producer as a bank. That’s a hard reality. However, making the payment process easier will chip away at the days sales outstanding. One company, BASYS Processing (basyspro.com), specializes in credit, debit and ACH payments specifically for the ready-mix concrete industry. Modern mobile tools can incorporate the “pay now” button right on the phone.
BUILDING A BETTER CONTRACTOR
Concrete finishers are really good at, well, finishing concrete. Sometimes they are not so good at the fundamentals of business and operational management. They often need help.
Handheld mobile tools not only provide real-time information, but also long-term analytics of every aspect of the concrete finisher’s interaction with the ready-mix producer. The ready-mix sales staff can transition from bringing doughnuts to the jobsite to bringing actionable insight to the finisher for improved profits.
Craig Yeack has held leadership positions with both construction materials producers and software providers. He is co-founder of BCMI Corp. (the Bulk Construction Materials Initiative), which is dedicated to reinventing the construction materials business with modern mobile and cloud-based tools. His Tech Talk column—named best column by the Construction Media Alliance in 2018—focuses on concise, actionable ideas to improve financial performance for ready-mix producers. He can be reached at[电子邮件保护]