Ready Mix USA veterans map business intelligence tools for industry-wide integration

Following its debut as an independent information technology company in August of last year, Irondale, Ala.-based 323 Technology Solutions kicked off the formal launch of its ready mixed producer offerings at World of Concrete 2012. The group of 20 passionate employees emerged from Ready Mix USA after having spent 15-plus years as technology consumers within the construction materials industry. Over the years, they have developed their own solutions to technology issues facing construction materials producers. Their primary focus is to provide general support as professionals who understand the complexity of technology and the demands of the industry.

As veterans of the construction materials industry, 323 Technology Solutions staff has brought to market two flagship software products addressing weaknesses that developers contend have been holding the industry back for years: Scout, a comprehensive bid-tracking solution, and Compass Utilities, a business intelligence and data visualization platform.

“Our basic philosophy is that technology should be simple, easy to use and conform to the unique needs of the business,” says 323 Technology Solutions President Keith Rickles. “The business shouldn’t change to meet the constraints of technology. Technology should wrap around the business and add value by enhancing current processes and business drivers.”

Scout. Users are able to follow the bid process from the rumor mill to the pour schedule in a simple, intuitive, web-based system. Scout interfaces with a client’s pre-installed systems by pulling sales staff, plants, products, prices, customers, and costs into one platform. It gives managers instant insight into historical sales and the current sales pipeline, then generates forecasts. Sales staff can track customers and projects. Another significant feature is the Customer Scorecard, which provides an overview of the health of each account. The next phase for Scout will include an expense module to provide fully burdened margins for all customers a producer tracks.

Compass Utilities. Compass is a business intelligence platform. It provides the right information to the targeted audience on demand. With Compass, clients can consolidate large amounts of data from almost any number of systems. The platform provides rich data visualizations, reporting, and alerts so that clients can make business decisions based on the best possible information. 323 pre-built a core of industry-specific visualizations and metrics. The platform is also highly flexible and can be tailored quickly and easily to a user’s way of doing business.

In addition to the charter offerings for ready mixed producers, 323 Technology Solutions also has a general IT services group that handles everything from service desk calls through data center management. The IT services group is well versed in construction materials industry systems and accustomed to a 24/7 schedule. Members have been involved with mergers, divestitures and greenfield implementation and support projects.

323 Technology Solutions’ approach is to listen to what customers want and why, Rickles affirms, adding that a conversation is the best way to explore potential solutions for whatever issue the customer has described. “There are always many ways to solve a problem. Not all require technology. But for those problems that need technology, 323 is there to answer that call,” he says. — 323 Technology Solutions, 205/777-0034;