Below is our recent interview with Karli Langner, Marketing Content Specialist at Command Alkon:
Q: For those who haven’t heard of it, what is the best way to describe Command Alkon?
A: Command Alkon is the Leading Supplier Collaboration Platform for Construction’s Heavy Work. At Command Alkon, we believe in building an amazing world with solutions that deliver automation, visibility, collaboration and simplification to producers, suppliers and haulers of ready mixed concrete, aggregate, asphalt, cement, and manufactured concrete. Our integrated supply chain solutions create a digital collaboration platform where tools and data capture and coordinate interactions among supply chain trading partners to drive efficiency and profits. For over 40 years, our people, software, and automation enable clients to interact and transact with one another.
Q: What is the most significant effect of digitization in construction industry?
A: Digitization in the construction industry removes paper from business processes. Manually printing paper tickets, re-keying in orders from paper purchase orders, re-keying in quotations that are now orders are just some of the things that bog down operations that aren’t digitized. With digitization, the construction industry is able to improve productivity, increase efficiencies, foster better communications and collaboration, and lower operating costs.
Q: Can you give us insights into your solutions?
A: Command Alkon provides solutions that automate business processes and eliminate paper for producers, haulers, contactors, and suppliers. These solutions include quotation, bid, dispatch and logistics, invoicing, payment, trucking and telematics, quality control and assurance, sales automation, and more.
Q: How did you get the idea to create CONNEX? What makes it unique?
A: The Construction industry is ranked second to last in digitalization. It is very slow to adopt digital capabilities, because most people are content with doing their jobs the way they’ve always been done – even if that means juggling millions of paper tickets each year. This is a significant factor as to why jobsite productivity has remained stuck over the past two decades plus. As the world’s second largest industry, construction projects positively affect communities all around the world, and their impacts are decades or centuries lasting. Today, the opportunity to both fund more, better steward resources, and enrich lives – enabled through new construction technology – is massive.
Many construction project stakeholders, such as ready-mix concrete producers, bulk materials haulers, aggregate suppliers, contractors, project owners, or Departments of Transportation, have been using several incompatible software platforms, which leaves opportunity for improving efficiency with time and materials. To improve efficiency Command Alkon is working to increase collaboration and the decision-making process across the construction industry by bringing different roles together through their solution called CONNEX. Our CONNEX collaborative platform connects all stakeholders in the supply chain, allowing them to share data collected from across the supply chain, including from IoT devices. With more accurate information in real time, companies can operate more efficiently and generate greater profits. In a short time, the platform has generated over $102 million in cost savings across 150+ projects.
Q: CONNEX consists of several layers – physical, connectivity, processes and insights. What exactly is insights layer?
A: The insights layer is an analytics platform that provides actionable information to enhance decision-making for companies. It takes data transmitted across the CONNEX platform from all of the partners attached and runs analytics on the information for monitoring KPIs, performance, and more. It allows managers to make better, more informed decisions.
Q: What are some of the main objectives for Command Alkon going into 2020 and how do you plan to achieve them?
A: Imagine a world where real-time order confirmations, inventories, schedules, material origins, material properties, properties in transit, proof-of-delivery, quality assurance, invoices, and payments all come together to form an end-to-end digital story. Data sharing is highly valuable when there are multiple entities on a supply chain (like in the Construction world). Many companies across many different industries are shifting from a traditional linear value chain to the more open and participative infrastructure of a supply chain platform.
Data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two technologies that will shape the construction industry this year and for years to come. Imagine having the ability to sync all the equipment, materials, and personnel at a job site and monitor that activity in real time. If all of these devices could connect and communicate with each other, your construction firm would be transformed.
The IoT has grown in usage within the construction industry as it becomes embedded in project lifecycles with real-time monitoring and data collection. It will be used more on the job site to monitor things like security, asset usage, and worker productivity. Construction firms are using IoT to better track assets by attaching or embedding sensors into expensive equipment or tools.