Livegistics Spotlight - Welcoming New Hires to Our Team

Terese Ingram

Customer Solutions Specialist

Born in the City of Detroit, Terese is a product of St. Martin DePorres and Farmington High Schools. Her post high school education has been focused on marketing and customer service. Terese has a long track record with providing exceptional customer service with companies such as Quicken Loans and DTE Energy. Several years ago she also served as a Field Engineer for one of Metro Detroit's largest demolition contractors. These experiences give her a very in-depth understanding of how to relate to customers in the construction industry. In a fast paced, production demanding environment, accessibility and solutions must go hand in hand.

"Every time.... No Exceptions..... No excuses. I learned that while working for some of the most successful corporations in the United States and I have applied that to my day to day interactions with customers. You have to have patience with technology. Technology is forever evolving and everyone doesn’t necessarily feel safe. You have to be their step by step guide until they’re comfortable."

~ Terese Ingram

 

 

 

 

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Blaze Contracting goes digital with Livegistics LTS, Recovering Lost Manifests, and Automating Invoice Reconciliation

About Blaze Contracting

Blaze Contracting, Inc. is a nationally recognized, heavy civil prime contractor that is headquartered in Detroit Michigan. Blaze serves a broad range of markets including transportation, automotive, government, industrial, education, commercial, manufacturing, healthcare, athletic, gaming, aviation, and private multi-housing development. The company is well known for self-performing and managing, high profile, critical acclaimed projects, with great success while maintaining the highest safety standards, exceptional service, and administrative ease for the benefit of its customers. Blaze self performs mass and surgical excavations, grading and land balance, site remediation, aggregate installations, storm sewer and detention/retention systems, sanitary sewer, and water main installations. The company owns and maintains a large fleet of light and heavy construction equipment that is equipped with the latest technologies in the construction industry. Learn more: https://www.blazecontracting.com

The Challenge

   “As advanced as Blaze Contracting was in its job execution, we recently recognized that breaking away from the antiquated paper-based system we were using to manage our trucking production was absolutely necessary and would increase our efficiency. This change to our field operation would be beneficial to every aspect of our business from estimating to project management all the way to accounting,” said Justin Turk, Blaze Contracting’s Director of Program Management.

“The paper-based process has been mind-numbing. The documentation requirements on today’s projects is extensive. Each manifest had to follow its own path through the hauling operation in the field (often involving multiple steps, depending on the job type), and then each manifest had to be collected by Blaze from the truck driver,” Turk explained.

“Then, once the paper manifests had been collected – and we collected ours in boxes – assuming the manifests were correct with the hauling and weight details, they needed to be reconciled with the appropriate invoice. That took hours and hours of labor. After all of the verification steps were complete, many times the owner’s representative wanted these records before invoicing/payment was approved,” Turk said. “Since a reconciliation of a manifest with an invoice is ‘as good as cash,’ we have a vested interest in getting that reconciliation done…and in recovering manifests lost in the field, like when they drop between the seats in the truck, or get sent through the laundry when the driver gets home. As for how many trips we’re talking about here, just one recent job for us, the Red Wings Arena in Detroit, had us hauling one million tons of material, 50 tons at a time. That’s 20,000 loads. Even one lost ticket per day adds up to hundreds of thousands lost each year. Assuming a 1% loss rate on our 20,000 loads, you are talking about 200 lost tickets. You can start to see that paper-based systems are a serious issue directly affecting profitability.”

“As background, there are two essential kinds of trips in the heavy hauling / civil contracting world that we work in,” Turk said. “Those are drop offs, as when we bring material into a site, like from a quarry. And there are haul outs, when we bring material from a site to a waste management facility or to another site. Both types of hauling have idiosyncrasies in record keeping, and some of that extends even beyond our internal tracking systems, such as when we haul regulated or hazardous waste. Sometimes trucks are paid for by the trip, or by the trip and by weight, or just by weight. Sometimes every truck must be weighed and recorded. Some truckloads must have demonstrated chain of custody maintained for each load. Adding to these challenges, every load has a unique project number, often six digits long, and every load must be signed for at least once in the dispatch-to-dump process. Often, records are kept in triplicate. So, we just had to ask: Why can’t we do this digitally? Well, we could.”

The Solution

   To go digital, Blaze Contracting, working with Justin Turk’s guidance, brought in Livegistics™, a new software solution provider for the civil, demo/construction, and heavy-hauling industries. Its flagship solution, Livegistics LTS™, offers logistical capability unavailable from any other software provider. A multi-tiered solution, Livegistics LTS digitizes, captures, tracks, and reconciles every aspect of Blaze Contracting’s trucking operation, replacing paper-based processes, and offering automatic invoice-to-manifest reconciliation. (The “LTS” in the product name stands for load tracking system.)

“All Livegistics LTS data is real-time, cloud-based, always current, and available from anywhere,” Turk said. “Blaze Contracting imports work estimates, track activity by volume, and we can set haul targets by quantity, daily, weekly, or monthly. Livegistics LTS let us see all the data. And it works for our multi-state operations. For some clients that run their own software, we can integrate Livegistics directly with it.”

Blaze Contracting’s project managers, superintendents, and foremen can now monitor real-time activity on any project. In the past, we ran the risk of exceeding our contractual projected quantities because live data was not available. Someone had to add all the tickets together then share that information with the right decision makers. Now with Livegistics LTS Civil, they can receive alerts on project status. The software also generates reports by date, material, activity in PDF, Excel, and custom formats.

“Plus, Livegistics LTS Civil also offers advanced quantitative analysis and job status. Livegistics has become part of our accounting process. Have we even thought about going back to paper only?” Turk said, “No way.”


Interview with TKMS Trucking

  TKMS is one of the largest over the road aggregate hauling trucking companies in Southeastern Michigan. They have over 150 trucks in their fleet servicing hundreds of customers in the area.  Here is what some of the people at TKMS had to say about life before and after Livegistics:

“ Before Livegistics the majority of our dispatch to truck communication was all done by radio making it virtually impossible to track activity. Now that we use Livegistics the communication and tracking between dispatching and trucking has been streamlined to almost completely through the cloud.“

Jon Russell, Dispatch, TKMS Trucking

 

“ Communication with our drivers is a key element of our business.  At first everyone was apprehensive about using a piece of software on an Ipad, but once the drivers opened up the program they were amazed at how easy it was to use.  Now we are able to track load capacity in a real time environment while at the same time significantly reducing mistakes.  At a moment’s notice we can see what trucks are loaded, which ones are empty, ETAs to site and more. The data we are able to get back from the Livegistics system allows us to make educated decisions in a moment’s notice.“

Jon Russell, Dispatch, TKMS Trucking

 

“ At TKMS, we wanted to improve efficiency in several departments. By using Livegistics, our drivers have reduced their time on the jobsite through the reduction of paperwork, our administration was processing north of 500 tickets daily and now all work is done electronically and our dispatchers can now track deliveries in real time. “

Dan Israel, Owner, TKMS Trucking  

 

“ Collaboration between drivers and dispatch has improved significantly with less verbal chatter on the radio. There is also a “major improvement” with communication with the administration department. Information is in real time “ 

Truck Driver, TKMS Trucking  

 

“ The advantages and ROI will be in saving time and money and we are just starting to see these results as we are in the final stages of implementation. Short term this is going to be a competitive advantage because we are one of the first to implement this kind of system. Long term, we expect Livegistics to have profound positive impacts on our firm. “

Dan Israel, Owner, TKMS Trucking 


Landfills, Lawsuits and Liabilities. The Livegistics Systems solves the 3 L's for Construction Managers/Owners/Developers

Landfills

The EPA estimates that between 230 million and 530 million tons of construction debris are generated annually in the United States.  Usually, a property owner hires a contractor to dispose of construction and demolition (C&D) debris at an approved landfill.  Most people assume that it is the responsibility of the hired contractor to ensure that the material is disposed of properly.  This is simply not true.  No matter who is performing the work, it is essentially the “Owner’s” responsibility to ensure that this material is disposed of properly.  Landfills require an “Owner’s Representative” to guarantee that the material being delivered to the landfill comes from their site.  On an average project, an “Owner’s Representative” can sign over 500 documents to approve of hauling C&D debris to a landfill.  This process can easily become redundant and tiresome.

Lawsuits

Every year owners are sued for millions of dollars, because the material leaving their site was not disposed of properly.  For this reason, many owners have invested capital in having people managing the waste streams of a project.  This was done as a result of the large payouts being made by owners who were found to be negligent.  Financially, it made more sense to hire people to manage this process then to risk trusting a contractor to do it correctly on their own.  When the work of a contractor is what supremely decides an “owner’s” fate bad things sometime happen (https://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20180318/news/655571/ford-investor-battle-over-wixom-site).  As important as this process is, the time is now to leverage technology at the landfill so that we can reduce lawsuits.

Liabilities

Even with the investment in environmental oversight, a large liability remains.  What happens when the truck leaves the site?  How do I know each truck made it to the landfill that day?  How am I keeping track of each load of material based on each area it was removed from.  With so much liability involved in this process, it is time that owner’s use technology to limit their liability.  It’s time for Livegistics.  The Livegistics LTS Manifest application is accessible at every Waste Management landfill in the United States.  For the owner that wants to avoid lawsuits and limit liabilities; send your C&D debris to a Waste Management Landfill via Livegistics.

How the LTS Manifest App works with Waste Management

We have created a guide that walks an owner through signing manifests digitally using LTS Manifest.


Livegistics Goes 100% Digital At Waste Management

Three years ago Livegistics set out on a mission to revolutionize the civil and demo industry by creating a cloud based construction operating system for the day to day logistics of the construction industry.  Two years ago we announced the release of our LTS Civil module specifically designed for self performing civil and demo contractors.  With customers like Blaze Contracting, Barton Malow Civil, Bridging North America and Gayanga Co. leading the charge, the industry is finding out that the time for improved technology in construction logistics is now.

TKMS using LTS Manifest

Earlier this year we released our LTS Trucking platform while at the same time introducing  TKMS as our flagship customer.  TKMS has come on board starting a revolution of 100% paperless heavy hauling trucking companies.  Now, we are excited to announce the introduction of our LTS Manifest application.  With the help and support of industry giant Waste Management we are excited to kick off the use of our paperless manifest pilot programs in both Michigan and Illinois.  At Waste Management’s Woodland Meadows Landfill in Wayne, Michigan in conjunction with TKMS; Livegistics will be launching a 100% paperless digital manifest process.  No longer will owners be required to sign manifests with a pen.  The days of trucks showing up with paper manifests at the scale are long gone.  Introducing a completely paperless process with real-time tracking through our cloud based registry.  This is where technology meets production and creates “industry changing” results.

M.T. Transit goes digital at Laraway Landfill

At the same time, Waste Management’s Laraway Landfill in Joliet, Illinois, will be kicking off a similar Pilot Program.  In conjunction with local heavy hauling trucking company M.T. Transit;  truckers will now enter into Laraway Landfill carrying no hard copy paperwork.  MT Transit, a subsidiary of Marina Cartage, Inc. is one of the largest heavy hauling companies in Illinois.  They specialize in waste transfer and construct site imports and exports.

With environmental requirements increasing and project schedules being compressed, streamlining the process of entering landfills is a must.  If you would like more information on how Livegistics can improve your efficiency while lowering your bottom line, please visit our website at www.livegsitics.com for more information.


The Return on Investment

Some of the first advantages you will see while using the Livegistics cloud based platform are how streamlined your everyday processes become. Many times in the past you would have carbon copies of tickets floating around in the most inauspicious locations.   Just like clockwork, some tickets would get lost, and so begins the nightmare of reconciling paper tickets with your vendors.  In some cases over a year’s time, you could lose tens of thousands of dollars just from lost tickets.

After polling customers that have been using our modules ,we have found an average  90% reduction in back office accounting/reconciliation time. Not only are we eliminating the chance of losing tickets, but our reconciliation screen has turned what used to a cumbersome process into a well oiled machine.  What some were spending days doing with multiple people involved at times , can now only take a couple hours to complete with very little error. This means that companies are now saving tremendous amounts of time and money dealing with the most important parts of their business.  The Livegistics System allows you to get rid of the bottlenecks in your business process. Let us know how we can help you streamline your day to day process by using Livegistics.


The New Normal

As companies slowly get back to work, we will be faced with a new challenge that we have never experienced before. The practice of social distancing is being used to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus which has impacted the entire world in such a short time. How will this affect the civil contracting industries day to day interactions? What new solutions could we use to adapt to our new working environment? Enter Livegistics cloud based software. The use of our revolutionary civil operating system will not only allow truckers and contractors to accept, sign and verify digital tickets while practicing social distancing, but they will also help increase productivity and efficiency using live dashboards. This gives business owners the transparency they need to see valuable data metrics to run their company as lean as they need to while we all get our revenue streams back up and running full steam.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. ” -Socrates-