SEQUELLO-news: Digital concrete ordering in pilot operation


Digital concrete ordering in pilot operation

Max Gebert is the link on PORR’s side to our software development team. Max defines the pilot construction site and is in close contact with the operators on-site and the SEQUELLO team. He thus plays an important role in the transfer of know-how. During his discussions with the users on the construction site, he takes the recommendations and feedback from the field and passes them on to the developers. 

SEQUELLO: Hello Max. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about your experience with SEQUELLO on the pilot job sites. Can you start by explaining how you go about selecting construction sites?  

Max: Currently, we are working with selected concrete suppliers who are already using SEQUELLO’s features for testing purposes. When a construction site is supplied by one of these suppliers, I only need the approval of the foreman in charge that he wants to handle the pilot project.  

S: That sounds pretty simple.  

M: Well. In the beginning, there was quite a bit of scepticism among the foremen. Some were worried that they would end up with more work and that it wouldn’t be as easy as promised. 

S: And how did you deal with that?  

M: Of course, I first approached those foremen whom I considered to be innovative. I was able to convey to them in conversation that they would receive active support from me. Together with the foreman, I called the scheduler while we were sending the order. I asked the dispatcher to read off what information he had received. When the foreman saw in real-time how simple and reliable the new method was, his doubts vanished.

S: Is it still quite so complicated to recruit foremen and pilot construction sites?

M: No, in the meantime it works quite differently (grins): Only recently we’ve had a construction site where building construction and special civil engineering were at work at the same time. When one foreman found out that the other one was handling the concrete orders digitally, he went straight to his supervisor because he wanted the same thing.

S: And on the suppliers’ side, how has the new way of processing orders been accepted by the dispatchers?

M: At the beginning, we had the occasional case where some dispatchers manually transferred the orders into the production system. This meant that important additional information was missing for the foreman, for example, the construction stage or the building component. However, after making the employees at the supplier aware of this, it was no longer an issue.

S: And why is this additional information so important in practice?

M: With that info, the foreman can track the construction progress via the order and delivery history in the app. With a glance at his smartphone, he can see a) what has already been ordered b) when concrete deliveries are scheduled and c) what work has already been completed. If the construction section is missing from the scheduled deliveries, the foreman knows he’s getting concrete, but not for what. On the other hand, if the info is known, he can plan ahead and schedule work more efficiently for his crew.

S: What other advantages does digital ordering have rather than ordering by phone call?

M: With digital ordering, there are definitely fewer transmission errors. The foreman receives an immediate confirmation and can be sure that the quantity he orders is also accepted by the supplier. With verbal transmission, the documented order confirmation is missing. In addition, foremen like the fact that they can order from several suppliers, in the same way, using a single application. They don’t even have to think about what the process is in the software.

S: What disadvantages have you encountered in practice so far?

M: Currently, none to report on. In practice, the solution has been very well received. Herbert (Herbert Dürnbeck, foreman; note) recently announced that he would be “ang’fressen” (colloquial Austrian term for “upset”) if we took the tool away from him again.