Better grip – optimised aggregates sourcing

Press Review

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This article was published in the June issue of International Cement Review in 2019.

Algorithms have become a major efficiency driver for outbound transport optimisation in the ready-mix concrete (RMC) industry. But many RMC producers still lose traction when it comes to finding the optimal sourcing/transportation cost balance for their inbound aggregates supplies. This article explores how the latest software developments help RMC producers with a larger network of batching plants and quarries to further improve their bottom-line.

by Dirk Schlemper and Thomas Bergmans, INFORM GmbH, Germany

As motorsport legend and former World Rally Championship (WRC) winner Colin McRae said: “Straight roads are for fast cars. Turns are for fast drivers.” The world’s fastest man on gravel was fearless in the driving seat and best-known for his “all-or-nothing” driving style.

No doubt, driving a rally car is different to driving a ready-mix truck. But both rally organisers and the RMC industry rely on aggregates as the base material for their business. While the gravel stages make rallying one of the most spectacular motorsports on earth, aggregates are an indispensable ingredient in any concrete mix. Accounting for up to 75 per cent of its volume, they not only influence the quality of a ready-mix but also the RMC producer’s profit. And this applies to vertically-integrated as well as non-vertically-integrated production networks.

Being able to take fast turns in transport planning and aggregates sourcing can mean the difference between winning or losing the daily race against the clock. Due to the perishable nature of ready-mix concrete, only on-time and in-full deliveries will be rewarded with applause by construction site managers. This same pressure is also on the aggregates supply side.

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