August 13, 2019
Building material companies are using Stockpile Reports to measure their stockpile volumes worldwide. This move toward the digitization of previously manual processes is in an effort to increase consistency and frequency of measurements and to improve the precision and reliability of collected stockpile measurement data.
The move towards digitization in traditionally under-digitized industries is fast approaching. Given the tightened labor pool in the building materials industry, companies are focused on increasing efficiency with their current business processes allowing them to accomplish more with fewer employees. Digitizing manual tasks also increases production output by reducing the time to complete processes. Waste is also reduced due to the reduction of paper-based record keeping. Most importantly, companies digitizing will reduce operational overhead which increases margins and grows profits. The shift towards digital methods is taking the industry by storm and it is important that companies remain focused on the long-term shift to remain competitive.
Companies are still using manual methods to measure and track stockpile inventory. Stockpile measurement methods range from bucket counts and visual guesses to slightly more informed measurements based walking wheel length and height of the pile. These methods are riddled with inconsistencies, incorrect assumptions, and data entry errors, leaving companies without reliable data to make smart business decisions. Bad data causes a negative ripple effect through the entire organization. It creates frustration and tension between operations and finance teams, unexpected costly write-offs, and eats away at profits.
Stockpile volume measurement is the number one use case for drones on worksites. All stockpiles are of unique shape and size, making them difficult to measure, track, and quantify using stockpile measurement methods such as GPS or walking wheels. Drones are able to capture and render data that is just as accurate as traditional surveying methods at a fraction of the cost and time. In fact, drone photos capture magnitudes of more detail than a traditional survey rover. When companies adopt drone inventory measurement solutions, they build confidence in their inventory reporting, make decisions based on aerial intelligence and thus, experience greater profit margins.
Companies who have jumped on the drone bandwagon, in most cases, will tell you that using a drone makes them more efficient in their inventory measurement processes. Measuring stockpile volumes traditionally took over a week to complete in the past. However, stockpile volume measurements with a drone transitioned the process from a “pile at a time” to a “site at a time.” Drones have enabled companies to measure an entire site with a single flight thus capturing an entire company-wide inventory in only a day or two. The increased data capture speed allows companies to measure inventory at a higher frequency, making them more consistent in their regular inventory counts. They are able to make quick and strategic business decisions because their data is reliable and precise. Their overall inventory measurement and tracking time have dramatically decreased since investing in their own drone program, saving them more money and adding to their profits.
When a company utilizes a drone for their stockpile volume measurements, they are able to reallocate resources to production-centric tasks and responsibilities. Rather than spending employee time on traveling between worksites to measure inventory, they are able to focus on fulfilling orders, managing the worksite, and improving production processes. With an already tight workforce, more production resources on hand means customers receive their orders and deliveries faster, giving companies a competitive advantage.
Drones allow companies to eliminate the risk of year write-offs. Companies who are able to measure often are able to identify issues in their inventory accounting before it becomes a major problem. Using drones for stockpile volume measurement allows companies to identify perpetual inventory errors such as manually entering paper scale tickets into tracking software incorrectly. Companies are able to more accurately forecast material usage trends with increased stockpile volume measurement data, thus providing better insights into crusher production rates. Ultimately, a plant manager will have more granular detail of the stockpile material flow from crushing to sales.
Companies often run with excess inventory on hand in order to avoid the fear of running out (FORO). Excess inventory locks up hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars assets into stagnant material. Companies do not realize excess inventory is costing them millions of dollars annually. From storage to administrative costs to shifting customer demands, excess inventory ties up employed capital that can be used for other high priority initiatives such as new equipment purchases and maintenance and repairs on existing equipment. Eliminating the need for excess inventory allows companies to utilize capital more effectively on investments that lead to profit growth such as new trucks or modernized plants.
Every worker, regardless of where they are located or their position within the company, can quickly and easily take stockpile volume measurements with their iPhone. Companies are able to measure stockpiles on demand without the need for a survey professional or drone pilot on-site. Measuring piles indoors, under canopies, or near large airports is a breeze with the iPhone. Always capture critical stockpile volume measurements when and where you need it.
There are two ways to engage with Stockpile Reports for drones. Companies can utilize their own drones and upload the images to Stockpile Reports or they can opt to save time and have our drone pilots fly for them. Companies receive results within one business day and are able to quickly make plant operations decisions and communicate inventory based financial information with the organization using precise and reliable stockpile inventory data.
Our newest solution for inventory tracking and management is called SR for Logistics. This solution utilizes near-real-time inventory monitoring to auto-trigger replenishment orders of materials and ensures that companies never run out while avoiding the need to keep excess inventory on hand.
It is simple. Get in touch with us and we’ll set you up with an inventory and logistics expert. We’ll evaluate your goals and needs together, putting together a plan to save you significant time and money, enabling you to run leaner and more efficiently.Start Now
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