How long have you guys been doing concrete?
We’ve been installing concrete for a few years now.
We just started producing our own concrete about October of last year.
What led you to the decision of producing your own concrete?
We were having trouble getting concrete from outside sources. We were waiting a long time to get concrete from other producing companies and we decided we didn’t want to do that. We wanted to be more efficient with paying our own crew, not waiting for concrete so we wanted to have our own concrete on demand.
How did you make the decision to go with the volumetric mixer?
The volumetric mixers was, it was more of a decision just to be able to have the concrete on demand. With outside customers it was a huge deal for them to pay for what they pour. Just to be able to have that concrete on demand was kind of a huge thing for them and so we just decided to go that route.
How did you actually find out about volumetrics?
Jimmy, our manager, he was the one that put this idea in front of us and said, hey, if we want to be more efficient with our own crew and being able to produce our own concrete for ourself, this is really the way to go and so we started checking into it at that point.
How did you discover, and learn about ACCU-POURTM?
ACCU-POUR was presented to us at the very beginning as something that Cemen Tech provided that first couple of months when we bought the truck. And so we started using it. Like I said, we started using it on small pours in the very beginning when we weren’t as busy. And I realized it was something that was user friendly, easy to use. It wasn’t as complicated as I thought it was going to be. And then we started getting busier and filling up the schedule. And so I was kind of glad that we started using it at a time where we weren’t as busy in the beginning.
What do you think the top advantage is for you using ACCU-POUR?
It’s really user friendly. It’s very easy to make adjustments to the schedule. If somebody wants to cancel pours, change a pour, it’s really easy to go in there and edit that. The other thing that’s easy for me personally, is when you set someone up as a customer, you can keep going back to that customer. You don’t have to keep repeat putting the same information into the system. So that’s nice. I like that it keeps track of everything for us. When we put in orders, as far as completing orders, when they’re done, it keeps track of all that for us. And it just makes everything nice and easy.
What about the reporting side? Has it helped you knowing how many materials you’re using?
Well, it gets the yardage down to being exact, as far as the yards that come out of the truck and then the admixes that come out of the truck, it’s exact on all of that. So we know exactly what to charge the customer. Makes invoicing really, really easy because we just input what comes out of ACCU-POUR and then we put that into our own system and invoice from there. And it’s pretty simple.
Do you think the operator in the field finds it easy to use?
I think so, yes. Training them on that part of it was pretty simple. It wasn’t hard at all to show them how to use it and how to complete a ticket and do everything on that end.
You mentioned you had seen Cemen Tech at World of Concrete, and watched the demos there. So was that your first introduction to volumetrics?
No, we had a volumetric before, actually from another company, Bay-Lynx, and we had some issues with it. It was a manual, it wasn’t automated. And then we heard about Cemen Tech through Jimmy and we ended up going that route. We had purchased a Cemen Tech prior to World of Concrete and we were very happy with the system, ACCU-POUR. It was almost night and day, it seemed like, compared to the manual system we had with Bay-Lynx. It was a lot more user-friendly with the automated system of Cemen Tech.
Do you think the quality of concrete was any different? The manual versus the automated?
I think it’s just the ease of use with the automated. It’s more automatic, it’s just easier to use.
Did it expand the kind of work you could do then?
We were able to get in and out of jobs quicker. We made outside customers happier. Anytime you show up to a job and the mix isn’t right, it just creates frustration and it takes time. With the automated system, with ACCU-POUR and with the Cemen Tech units, it just made the ease of use a lot better and we were able to get in and out of jobs faster. And that was really the key.
Do you do flowable fill or color or fiber?
We do, we do. We’ve done multiple decorative projects with the color. We have one truck that is capable of doing that and we’re very happy with it and how it performs. We do a lot of street patch, flowable fill for utility companies in Kansas city and we’ve been very happy with it.
Are there any other differences you can think of between the competitor unit and the Cemen Tech one? Was the main reason that you made the switch because it was fully automated?
We were just having problems getting the mix right with the Bay-Lynx. And I think as soon as we got that first Cemen Tech in, it was more trial and error. We’re hoping it would work better and it seemed like after the first month it just seemed like night and day. We felt like this is the machine we want to use. This is what we want to continue growing our company with. Now we have three, we’re considering getting a fourth. And the demand right now, it’s pretty incredible. It just seems like all these ready-mix companies, they’re backed up two weeks and nobody can get to them. So we’re in a niche, that a lot of those companies can’t get to those customers. Anything 15 yards or less, or 20 yards or less, that’s really perfect for what we try to do.
So you feel like you’re not really in competition with them, you’re complimentary to what they do because they can’t provide that?
Yes, we’ve actually had ready-mix companies refer people to us, on smaller pours, which is great. We’re actually having to turn away people just because, it’s the demands, it’s so great right now.