New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. Inc.
Offering a wide variety of blacktop, aggregates and ready-mix concrete products and services, New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. Inc. has established itself as a leader in the world of high-spec, high-performance building materials. This year, the company overhauled its transportation operations and shifted from plant-based dispatch to two central dispatch centers in October and November to streamline its fleet management process.
With a background in equipment and transportation management, Mike Modica joined the company in January 2015 as vice president of transportation to manage the fleet out of the new regional dispatch centers in Roaring Springs, Pa., and Denver, Pa.
The plants used to dispatch trucks themselves, but after a nine-month planning process to prepare for the overhaul, New Enterprise now controls delivery and transportation from its Roaring Springs and Denver Transportation Service Centers and has streamlined all internal processes to complement this change.
This is also part of a larger plan to merge all subsidiaries in like businesses to a single operating entity under New Enterprises’ name. These former companies include Burkholder Paving, Martin Limestone, Eastern Industries, Valley Quarries and Buffalo Ready Mix. “Everything used to be separated, but now everyone has been rolled into one, central structure,” Modica says.
The company’s customers call in with their orders and the dispatch centers allocate trucks to the customers’ orders before sending them out, usually to a construction site or to customers wanting stone for their driveway.
“Now that we control it, we can level our plant demands,” Modica explains. “If you get ahead at one plant, you can go help the other plant. Centralized dispatch has a major impact on the efficiency of logistics.”
As soon as one of the new dispatch centers was online for ready-mix concrete, New Enterprise’s sales went up 15 percent at one major location due to the increased scheduling efficiency. A significant amount, Modica says, that all ties back to the fact that the company is now able to better utilize its fleet.
After the overhaul of its dispatch operations, New Enterprise has become more profitable, and it is working to upgrade its truck fleet. The fleet was forced into extended replacement cycles through the recession like many others in the construction industry. Now, New Enterprise is investing in lightweight, fuel-efficient new trucks, with an eye also kept on driver comfort to help with recruiting new drivers.
A major upgrade is the installation of Five Cubits GPS and Tracking system, which is referred to as “Track It.” That system feeds back into the dispatch center, improving utilization and control of the fleet with the assistance of dispatch software from Command Alkon and JWS. New Enterprise can now fully control the quality of the product and how long each truck has been in transit, along with reassigning the unit to new locations before returning to the loading point.
Quality control is a key component of fleet management for New Enterprise because many of its products, such as ready-mix concrete, are perishable, or may fall victim to the elements, especially its lime products that can be damaged by a change in pH levels.
But Modica says the new process ensures that after a product is picked up at a plant, it will arrive in the same condition at the customers’ jobsite.
Modica says the most dramatic effect of the changes, however, is the buy-in demonstrated both by ownership and employees at all levels of the company. He’s found that because of this inclusiveness from upper management, the workforce’s morale has improved greatly. Modica says he is especially grateful that he could have an impact on so many different things throughout the company.
“It’s better than any place I’ve worked at in my career,” Modica says. “People involve you. You contribute, say what you have to say, come up with the best product or solution for what you’re working on and everyone goes forward.
[It’s] hard to believe that I’ve been here more than 10 months and I have not had my first bad day yet.”