Ultimate Central Dispatch

The recent consolidation of Ozinga Bros., Inc. operating companies Illinois RMC, Indiana RMC, Chicago RMC and Concrete Products under Ozinga Ready Mix

Don Marsh

The recent consolidation of Ozinga Bros., Inc. operating companies – Illinois RMC, Indiana RMC, Chicago RMC and Concrete Products – under Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Inc., has netted anticipated delivery efficiencies and a frontrunner for the industry’s most impressive central dispatch office.

The producer has combined its Chicago, suburban Chicago, and Gary, Ind., dispatch offices into a single theater-style setting at the Mokena, Ill., headquarters. The office has 22 workstations across a floor level and two slightly higher platform rows. Dispatchers and customer service representatives work with four desktop screens and face a front wall tracking enterprise-wide activity. The wall has six groups of four 42-in. flat screen monitors capturing feeds from three to four cameras at 30-plus ready mixed plants and materials distribution points.

The workstations are commercial grade, as are the carpeting and cone-shaped lighting fixtures. The office oversees northern Illinois and Indiana plants; 400-plus rear and front discharge mixers; and, a dump and bulk tanker fleet of sister businesses, Ozinga Materials and Chicago Cement.

This is the third version of our current dispatch office. Originally, we created one with eight cubicles for our Chicago RMC division, followed by a 12-cubicle version for Illinois RMC, says Jeff Ozinga, vice president and director of Dispatch. We have opened up lines of communication that didn’t exist before the divisions were combined. There is better sharing of information and asset utilization.

Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete dispatchers and their Materials and Cement counterparts run Systech’s Integra 7 Ready Mix Dispatch module, which includes order entry, scheduling, ticketing, COD pricing, planning, dynamic demand graph monitoring and performance analysis. The module allows staff to custom configure workstation monitors by dragging sections of a main screen on to other screens. Ozinga also uses Integra’s optional phone-number based customer ID system to automate order entry. Additionally, each station’s phone can be set to receive calls for certain areas, mostly defined by the former operating companies, or the Materials and Cement divisions.

The Ready Mix Dispatch module interfaces with a GPS-enabled platform, Track Your Truck, Ozinga Ready Mix has been running for nearly a decade. The system includes truck cab-mounted transponders and screens to which dispatch can relay text messages, retrievable when trucks are idle. Developers from Lemont, Ill.-based Track Your Truck have recently added Google Maps features to their web-based system.

The most recent technology addition Ozinga Ready Mix has integrated with its Integra Dispatch and Batch controls is the Systech-supported Labsys quality control software, which developer Contek Inc. notes offers advanced statistical analysis of mix designs and materials; test result management and reporting; enhanced submittal process; and is configurable as a multi-user Windows-based application. Ozinga staff finds Labsys an effective tool for housing all mix designs in a central location, and consolidating data that had formerly been spread out among different divisions’ quality control managers. The software also provides ready access to mix material details Û especially supplementary binding material or recycled aggregate content Û for customers seeking LEED rating points.