Good Ticketing = Changing the status quo
If it’s not broken, it still might need to be fixed. Here’s how one operation cut down its ticketing time from nearly a minute per truck to about 21 seconds.
By Tina Grady Barbaccia, News/Digital Editor
Before installing new equipment and revising the ticketing process, several operations of Lhoist North America weren’t as efficient as they’d like to be in their ticketing processes.
With nearly 20 mines as the result of a buyout of Franklin Industrial Minerals and Chemical Lime, Lhoist had different ticketing and accounting systems, some of which were inefficient or antiquated. But with close analysis, several of the operations — Texas Aggregates and Brierfield Quarry (see sidebar) in particular — have made changes to their systems that have resulted in significantly improved productivity.
“We are still in the process of merging companies into one cohesive operation,” explains Chip McClellan, director of information technology for Lhoist North America. “It’s a pretty big challenge.”
McClellan, who implemented many of the new systems for Lhoist, installed ticketing software and hardware from JWS, a division of Command Alkon. The software requires very minimal information to get a truck off the scale, which has sped up the ticketing process, he points out. Moreover, installation of a remote printer at the Lhoist Texas Aggregates facility (which was part of Franklin Industrial Minerals) has markedly increased productivity at the operation. The plant now averages more than 530 trucks per day over one scale. Prior to the installation of the new ticketing system, it took 50 to 55 seconds for a truck to enter the scale, have the scale settle, print a ticket, and give it to the driver. After the installation of a remote printer, the operation has been consistently moving a truck off of the scale in about 21 seconds, says Lenard Steglich, sales manager for Texas Aggregates. During one 11-hour shipping day after the new system was installed, the operation set a record of moving 598 trucks over a single scale.
More than 30 percent of contractors say ticketing influences their purchase of aggregates, while one in three says billing is very important.
“I have seen so many places just keep on doing things as they have been and not taking a fresh look at their business practices to see how they could be improved,” Steglich says.
But both Steglich and McClellan knew that there had to be room for improvement at the Texas Aggregates facility. “We only have one scale at that operation,” McClellan says. “One of the problems is that a truck would pull on the scale, the ticket is printed and handed to the driver, and then [he or she] would start talking to the scale master. So we wired a remote printer about 100 yards from the physical scale and hooked up some simple red and green lights.”
Now, as soon as the truck settles on the scale, the weigh master can hit print, turn the light from red to green, and have the truck pull down to the remote printer to pick up the bill. “This has streamlined the ticketing process,” McClellan says. “It reduces the impact of traffic in the plant. In many cases in an aggregates operation, your hauler is your customer because [the hauler] is funneling business your way.
“If they are generating business and coming into your plant, they aren’t going to haul as many loads if a ticket is being handwritten or the driver is sitting on a scale,” he adds. “If they are sitting on a scale, they can’t make as many circuits during the day and then can’t make as much money.”
MORE FROM Articles
SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW
- Former gravel quarry-turned-landfill transforms into nature reserve517 Views
- North Carolina grants Martin Marietta water quality certification for limestone quarry256 Views
- Vulcan-blocking bill dies in Alabama legislature251 Views
- Road restrictions may stop quarry construction in Kentucky214 Views
- Two suspects charged with arson in Jack’s Mountain Quarry case in Virginia128 Views