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.”