In February 2014, the A1 Group acquired an asphalt plant in Morwell, Victoria. The site was previously owned by Boral and dependent on a bespoke weighbridge software that they had developed in-house. A1 staff were required to first manually complete multi-part dockets to record transactional information, and then perform manual data entry into MYOB. A1 sought the assistance of Mandalay to increase operational efficiency through process automation for data capture, processing and reporting at the facility.
A1 Asphalt Supplies is part of the A1 Group, which includes operations around asphalting, civil construction and development. It is an Australian-owned and operated business based in regional Victoria.
The A1 Asphalt Supplies facility is located at 162-170 Princes Drive, Morwell, Victoria. It receives 5 – 10 trucks per day bearing materials for producing asphalt; the amount of asphalt leaving the plant daily varies according to demand from A1 Asphalting and other asphalt-laying companies. The site was acquired by the A1 Group in February 2014 and represents the company’s first venture into asphalt production.
The asphalt facility was previously reliant on Boral’s weighbridge software, which was developed in-house. However, there was no way to maintain such a bespoke software solution so A1 sought a reliable commercial, off-the-shelf solution to meet their needs.
This requirement was urgent because the operation had to resort to manual transaction management and recordkeeping soon after acquisition, which introduced unsustainable operational costs and service performance implications.
The paperwork necessary for site transactions was slow to complete. The two full-time site operators were required to manually complete multi-part dockets that recorded information on vehicles and the product mix. Once the vehicles were loaded, additional details such as net weight and client or sale designations were captured on the docket. These dockets were subsequently forwarded to the A1 Group’s Administration Office in Morwell for data entry into the MYOB system, which would require an additional admin resource in data double handling
The time and resources needed to manage this process were excessive. To increase operational efficiency, process automation was required at the facility as an urgent priority
“We were using a book and pen for ticketing and reporting, and tracking customers,” says Kim McGill, General Manager. “This went on for six to eight weeks. The paperwork was monstrous.”
A1 needed a software solution to improve data capture, processing and reporting at its Morwell facility. The technology had to be easy to use, simple to administer and backed up with reliable, ongoing support and maintenance.
“Simplicity was priority, with one important requirement being that the software must be so intuitive that the company would be able to train new staff in-house within one hour,” states Mr McGill.
Another key requirement was that the system could interface with other core business systems of A1, such as MYOB and A1’s central administration server. MYOB is used to manage debtor invoicing, while the A1 server provides central administrative and management functionality to the Morwell operation with data updates to price, contracts, new clients and debtors.
A1 assessed its options and decided to implement a software solution from Mandalay Technologies: it met all of A1’s requirements.
“We wanted a solution that would fit the small operation that we are today, and yet have the potential to grow with us in the future as we expand,” says Mr McGill.
Mandalay implemented the solution and provided guided training on the system from an administrator’s perspective and a user’s perspective. An interface to MYOB was also configured to match A1’s business processes, facilitating transaction automation between core business systems.
“The implementation was excellent. A Mandalay specialist came on site to guide us through deployment and ensure everything was working as planned,” says Mr McGill. “We walked in on the Saturday to set the system up and were up and running by Monday morning.”
A1’s digital transformation of the Morwell facility was complete. As a result, the operation now enjoys significant operational performance improvements – both for the site operators and the administration team. The ticketing and reporting process is now completely automated. Site operators no longer need to manually complete paper dockets. Importantly, A1 now always knows what its operational income is at any time, thanks to the implementation of pre-programmed pricing and carter charges in the system.
- Increased administration efficiency by 30%
- Business transactions are now six times faster
- Eliminated data entry completely through interface with MYOB
- Significantly improved working conditions for staff
- Project successfully delivered within a tight implementation time frame
- New staff can be instructed to use the system within one hour