100 Cubic Meters of Concrete, 0 Grams of Paper
In cooperation with Opheo Solutions, Geiger Group has introduced the electronic delivery note at its subsidiary Allgäuer Betonpumpendienst, which customers welcomed with open arms. This pilot project is another milestone in the course of digitization and is to be rolled out to other companies of the Geiger Group.
Supplying construction sites requires highly precise logistics. This is especially true for fresh ready-mixed concrete which must be used within minutes of delivery. Upon arrival of the concrete mixer truck, in general, the truck-mounted concrete pump should already be in place to ensure a quality that complies with the standards.
Planning With a Gantt Chart
Reliable, transparent and exact scheduling and deployment planning is therefore one of the core competencies of Allgäuer Betonpumpendienst. The Geiger Group subsidiary operates a fleet of five truck-mounted concrete pumps, which have been dispatched by Matthias Schramm since 2016. Since 2017, the certified forwarding agent uses the transport management and scheduling software OPHEO to support his work. He had been closely accompanying the introduction of this solution. Schramm, who also handles distribution and administrative work in addition to dispatching, explains: “OPHEO shows me the status of all planned orders, the actual locations of all concrete pumps and whether we are on schedule in a clear Gantt chart.”
The vehicles are equipped with tablets running the telematics app OPHEO MOBILE, an application that plays a key role in the overall solution. OPHEO informs the drivers of the addresses of the constructions sites and they can use the integrated truck navigation system to be directed to the customer’s site. Each order status reached is documented and transmitted to the control center together with the current position data.
OPHEO As a Data Hub
Introducing OPHEO was was considered a pilot project throughout the Geiger Group, which was subsequently rolled out after successful implementation. Since 2018, the approximately 25 Geiger-owned truck mixers have also been dispatched using the solution, which is widely used in the construction industry, with the trucks being dispatched automatically at the push of a button. Ever since, Geiger uses OPHEO as a data hub that ensures smooth communication with the other IT systems—including customer address management, a laboratory program for quality assurance, and the control software for the individual concrete mixing plants. All orders are entered in OPHEO, at first.
In 2019, an interface was added via which orders from the concrete mixing plants are transmitted to the concrete pumping service Allgäuer Betonpumpendienst. “This interface represented an important step in the Geiger Group’s digitization strategy. As a result, we no longer have to enter any of our internal orders, which generate around 50 percent of our revenues”, Schramm emphasizes.
The conversion to electronic delivery notes in October 2020 marked the start of the last digitization project for the time being, which was completed in August 2021. Since September, customers on construction sites have only been signing on the tablet display,” Schramm reports, who also acted as sub-project manager for this evolutionary step. Instead of a delivery note, only a small receipt is handed out upon request, which the driver issues on the spot using a mobile receipt printer.
Before that, the operators of the truck-mounted concrete pump update the preliminary job data with the actual values for hose length, service life and pump volume. Furthermore, additional services provided, waiting times or unsuccessful trips to customers are noted, whereby the OPHEO app also guides the user through every step of the process.
Faster and More Transparent
“Once signed at the construction site, we can immediately access the receipted delivery note with the updated data in OPHEO and invoice it straight away,” Schramm explains, who checks and approves the incoming documents. This intermediate step shall be omitted in the medium term and is currently still used for quality assurance purposes until all truck-mounted concrete pump drivers are familiar enough with the new system. Following approval, the signed delivery note is sent as a PDF file to the e-mail recipients stored in the master data. “Our customers benefit from quicker and more transparent procedures, and drivers are spared the hassle of paperwork,” Schramm concludes.
The changeover to the digital process on 1 September 2021 was completely smooth and took place simultaneously for all five truck-mounted concrete pumps. “Throughout the project, we received optimal support from Opheo Solutions at all times and felt very secure during the transition,” Schramm recalls. In preparation, he had already conducted a few isolated tests with digital delivery notes in June 2021. Drivers were trained in person during approximately 30-minute appointments. As an additional safeguard, the drivers will continue to carry paper delivery note forms so that “in the event of an emergency, we are able to provide handwritten documents,” Schramm says. However, due to the smoothly running processes, this has never happened yet.
Ready-Mix Concrete Plants Are to Follow
Verdict: the implementation of the digital delivery note at Allgäuer Betonpumpendienst has accelerated order processing as a whole, relieved the drivers, increased the transparency towards the customers and further improved the data quality. It is therefore no surprise that, as a next step, the three ready-mix concrete plants of Geiger Beton GmbH & Co. KG are to be switched to the electronic alternative.
Background Information: Allgäuer Betonpumpendienst GmbH & Co. KG
Based in Oberstdorf, Germany, Allgäuer Betonpumpendienst is a service provider for ready-mix concrete plants. The company is part of the Geiger Group and one of Southern Bavaria’s largest pumping services. The five truck-mounted concrete pumps available cover a wide range with boom sizes from 28 to 47 meters. Using the machines, the fresh concrete delivered to the construction sites is directly conveyed to the place of use via a pipeline, while maintaining the quality of the concrete. For more information, please visit www.abpd.de.
The family-run Geiger Group is also headquartered in Oberstdorf. With over 3,000 employees and around 50 locations throughout Germany and Europe, the Group supplies, builds, renovates and manages waste for its customers from the infrastructure, real estate and environmental sectors. Since the company was founded in 1923, the Geiger Group has evolved into a diverse group of companies with more than a dozen business segments. To optimally leverage the resulting synergy potential and thus achieve long-term market success, the individual units often work together on a cross-sectoral basis. For more information, please visit www.geigergruppe.de.