Overview: Lakeside Industries’ history dates back to 1952, when Rhoady Lee, Sr., and his son purchased a sand, gravel, and ready-mix concrete company on the east side of Lake Washington. Today, they are still a family-owned company of locally-managed regional divisions spanning Western Washington, Northwest Oregon, and Central Idaho. With more than 400 employees, they are a full-service asphalt paving contractor with 18 asphalt plants as well as a producer of high quality asphalt mix. Lakeside partners on all types of projects including airports, highways, city streets, and private developments.
Problem: To do year end inventory management, two Lakeside employees had to travel to and physically measure about 30 sites, spread from the Oregon coast to the Canadian border. For accounting purposes, it was ideally supposed to be done on the same day to record a “snapshot” of inventory at that moment. A two-person team could not accomplish this – it took about 2 weeks of costly travel.
Once at the site, the measuring team would physically climb piles to measure the length height and slope, then they’d go back to the office to calculate the volumes, using some basic assumptions that were not always correct. Even when they moved to a laser measurement system, they still had to sometimes climb piles to get at areas not seen from the survey laser. From those measurements an employee would have to open the processing program, download the image of the pile and put it in a separate report for each pile.
Repeatability was an issue. Measuring the same pile twice could yield a 10-15% difference in measurement. Sometimes, these inaccurate counts resulted in material that they were counting on for a project not being there when they went to access it for a project.
Finally, when they hired mobile rock crushers to come on site, they had no way to check to see if they had actually produced what they claimed.
“Besides being inaccurate, it was incredibly dangerous to be climbing on shifting piles. Now, we can measure just by walking around the pile. And now we just have a plane fly over,” said Jeff Crouse, Materials Engineer at Lakeside Industries.
Solution: When Lakeside’s CFO first learned of Stockpile Reports at a tradeshow, he quickly saw the potential for his business. Lakeside immediately adopted the phone app as their method, and no longer needed the same two person team to do their two week tour of their sites. Now, anyone could walk the piles and the reports were automatically sent. There was no need for any computing or data processing by Lakeside employees so even more time was saved – the reports had all the information, right at their fingertips.
“Before we had Stockpile Reports, for our year-end accounting, we had to go out to all of our 30+ sites and physically climb piles, measure slopes, and do the analysis to figure out the volume of each. If we measured the same pile twice, we could get a 10%-15% difference – accuracy was always in question. Now, what took two weeks is done in a day and half, and all the data is sent directly to me.” – Jeff Crouse
The accounting team at Lakeside was thrilled. Their year end accounting was quickly wrapped up in less than 2 days, and reports were accurate and clear. Even happier was the former team members who had be on measurement duty – which was always at the end of the calendar year – not the time anyone wants to be out in the Northwest weather. From the app, they moved to aerial flight measurement, and no longer even have to have employees doing measurements at all. The flights are scheduled, the measurements are taken, and the reports are instantly available to anyone with access to the cloud-based system. Suddenly, the once a year hassle of inventory has been replaced with a process so easy, they are doing it twice a year.
- Measurement time cut from 2 weeks to 1.5 days
- Eliminated travel costs for measurement team
- Doubled full inventory counts from 1x a year to 2x
- Increased accuracy, eliminating supply issues
- Eliminated computing time by Lakeside employees
- Verification of 3rd party mobile rock crusher production
“For the accountants, it’s peace of mind. For me, it’s a definite time saver. It’s easy and accurate. Also, I’m a lot dryer and warmer at the end of December.” – Jeff Crouse
Conclusion: With Stockpile Reports.com, Lakeside Industries has saved time and money as they have moved from a manual, cumbersome inventory process to an almost fully automated one. They are now confident in their twice a year full scale inventories, as well as in third party crusher invoices. They know that the material they need for a project is available and on site so they can meet their project timelines. Their accounting team knows they will not have to take costly write downs due to incorrect counts. Best of all, their key staff members like Jeff Crouse are no longer bogged down with tedious measurements and calculations so they can focus on what they do best – delivering the very best products and services for their customers.