Command Alkon launched a product known as TicketPro, a product designed to digitize material and haul tickets at a facility or job site by extracting data using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, according to a Thursday (July 8) press release.
The company said this tool can allow material supply operations, construction sites and material haulers to remove the “headaches of paper tickets” from their work, per the release.
A worker, or ticket signer, selects a project in the system, selects what material is being hauled, then takes a picture of the physical ticket, per the release. The system also has the ability to use scanner integration or to capture tickets from a scale printer.
With this system, project managers and office staff will have a fuller picture of all loads that come in but remove the need to spend hours managing tickets with invoices.
This problem is especially prevalent in the heavy construction sector, as PYMNTS reported last year in an interview with Justin Mannina, who was the business development manager for Command Alkon at the time.
Mannina said paper and manual processes hinder visibility into the supply chain, movement of materials and supplier collaboration efforts.
“Day after day,” Mannina told PYMNTS, “the lack of visibility into where the project stands on expenses is whittling away at the ability to make needed decisions that mitigate the risk of blowing the budget.”
By continuing to rely on spreadsheets and paperwork tickets, companies are slowing projects and hurting their cash flow. Although automation technology is crucial to help overcome these challenges, Mannina said supplier collaboration is even more important and is something that should guide the adoption of this technology for businesses in this sector.
With more than 300 million work tickets generated in this industry just in North America, that’s a lot of time and worker energy spent toward reviewing paper documents and entering data into systems manually, Mannina said.
“Working from stacks of paper tickets can cause a conundrum when it comes to daily decision making,” he said. “Slicing-and-dicing through multiple spreadsheets is the only way to receive an inkling of an idea to determine how the project is moving along in terms of the budget. Usually, these numbers are already out-of-date by the time they are compiled.”
Command Alkon isn’t the only one tackling this problem. The PYMNTS June interview with Tom Spencer of Trux discusses their recently launched Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tool to help manage paper workflow documents for the trucking industry.