Yes, You Can Still Be More Productive in 2015!

Have you kept your 2015 resolutions? It isn’t too late. verticalmeasurements

A common theme that we heard from our clients this year, is that they want to increase their productivity.

We understand, because we do, too!

Stockpile Reports put into motion several strategies beginning before January 2015, to increase productivity in 2015.

A Redesigned Stockpiles App

This past year we released a redesigned Stockpiles App for the iPhone, with more tools that makes ground-based stockpile measuring faster and more intuitive for users.

The updated App, in turn, reduced the amount of questions from our clients. The new tools and ease of use gave clients and executives higher confidence in successfully completing a stockpile measurement, time after time after time. That enabled them to be even more productive while measuring piles, in smaller sites and also across a large enterprise.

For example, the Texas Department of Transportation measured thousands of stockpiles during the month of June as part of their annual inventory. The people who performed the measurements weren’t surveyors. They ranged from front-loaders to executives. They were not only very productive (one team measured 185 stockpiles in an hour) but they were also confident in the quality of their report results.

Aerial Offering Takes Off

Stockpile Reports also launched our aerial capability for the US in early 2015. Our aerial offering has become quite successful since then! Subscribers are receiving monthly measurements for the typical price of only one fly-over by other services. This gives them an opportunity to review how a site changes over time, and make future planning easier.

Clients receive the fastest results in the industry — online access to site and stockpile reports are available within hours after the flight. There is no action needed from clients other than tagging materials to the already outlined stockpiles online after the flight. Labor time from clients is reduced drastically— to as low as 20 minutes after an aerial flight.

Debunking Difficult Bunker Measurements

A big source of frustration for our customers was trying to figure out how to get the volume of material stored in their bunkers and bins.

We listened to them, and put our engineers and team members on many different sites across the US, examining various bunker configurations and materials, both indoors and outside.

Typical material stored in bunkers includes:

  • DOT Approved Salt and Sand
  • Recycling- Utilized in the Scrap Metal Industry
  • Aggregates such as Gravel
  • Landscaping/ Nursery Mulches
  • Animal Food
  • Granular Fertilizer- Urea, Ash
  • Livestock Manure Storage
  • Scrap Metal storage
  • Grain

We released another new capability in 2015: bunker and bin measurements using an iPhone. Bunkers containing bulk materials can be located indoors, or outside. Material to be measured may be bounded by 1, 2, or 3 walls in bay areas of varying widths at a typical site.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Drone

All of us saw the explosion of drone usage and interest in 2015. UAVs are now playing an increasing role in company’s strategy for providing rapid turn production and inventory measurements.

Our engineering team has been working closely with drones and remotely piloted vehicles for nearly a decade.  We have seen the ease of use and capabilities increase – while the size and price has dropped dramatically during that time.

Stockpile Reports has been supporting Australian clients by providing stockpile reporting from drone/UAV flights in Australia for 2 years now.

Our US clients can process drone imagery using our company. We are experienced at piloting and operating various models and are also available for consultations. This includes helping you with flight patterns and camera angles.

StockpileReports.com is the only solution to enable enterprise inventory measurements of thousands of geographically disparate stockpiles in hours.  Our support for phones, drones, and planes provides your company the ability to develop a Stockpile Measurement Strategy to meet your business goals and improve your productivity.

Connect with us today. 2016 is almost here. You still have time to achieve your 2015 goal to measure and manage your stockpile inventory more productively!

Client Training and Activity

The end of every month is always exciting for our team. Our customers measure their stockpile inventory by plane, drone and iPhone, and the number of measurement activity always increases at month’s end.

242 TxDOT employees measured stockpiles for June's inventory.
242 TxDOT employees measured stockpiles for June’s inventory.

1 Month + 1 State + 242 Employees = 2000 Stockpile Reports

The TxDOT measured almost 2000 stockpiles for their statewide inventory in June. They did it all in-house, with 242 state DOT employees across 25 Texas districts. This week our team assisted them with measuring material in bins. Richard and Galen trained team members on how to use our iPhone app to measure bunkers onsite, adding to a more complete inventory total for the state.

It is officially the Fall season now, but this week, the weather across the US has been favorable for client training. Our Sales and Support team have been racking up the frequent flier miles by training clients from the east to the west coasts. This is a great way for us to hear first-hand about business’s stockpile measurement challenges and assist clients personally with advanced training.

If you’re interested in seeing what Stockpile Reports can do for your business, please connect with us. We’re here to help you manage your inventory.

Bunker measurement training at the Texas Department of Transportation.
Bunker measurement training at the Texas Department of Transportation.
Reviewing a bunker stockpile report in the classroom.
Reviewing a bunker stockpile report in the classroom.
As the weather begins to change, regular inventory of road salt (stored in bunkers) is essential for state and local DOTs.
As the weather begins to change, regular inventory of road salt (stored in bunkers) is essential for state and local DOTs.
It only took 65 seconds to measure the contents of this bunker.
It only took 65 seconds to measure the contents of this bunker, after the cones and wall dimensions were entered into the app.
This client is clearing the area around a stockpile prior to measurement.
This client is clearing the area around a stockpile prior to measurement.
A customer is getting ready to measure stockpile inventory.
A customer is getting ready to measure stockpile inventory, with measuring tape, 2 construction cones and an iPhone.
Placing the construction cones in front of the pile.
Placing the construction cones in front of the pile.

What is in Your Future?

We love the summer months. Customers are busy and we are, too. Client measurement totals for a recent week illustrates this clearly: over 500 stockpile measurements were made using the iPhone, aerial and drone, at over 100 different sites!

Did you know that the Stockpile Reports system supports multiple measurement methods? Although we are proud of our patent-pending iPhone® App and how easy it is to use, no two sites, nor two stockpiles are alike. Different piles each have varying measurement and access challenges. Your business receives accurate volume and tonnage reports for sites using the method that works best for that location and pile placement.

That’s why we also offer aerial measurements by plane or drone for subscribers. Consider using regular aerial measurements once a month for an entire site, and the iPhone for spot-checking individual stockpiles.

Tracking your stockpile inventory from month to month isn’t impossible. Let us take the guesswork out of the process, and make the future a little more predictable.

Our system is the only way to measure 100% of your site’s stockpiles, with online results available for view in 24-hours via our web portal. This enables your business get the best of ground and air for stockpile measurements.

Did you know that beyond the point of measurement, the Stockpile Reports platform also supports online reconciliation? This provides the data to the CFO quickly and consistently. Here is a shortcut to more information about our custom reports.

If you are a Quarry Manager, an Operations Manager, a Construction Sales Managers or a CFO and want easy, accurate measurements please connect with us. The Stockpile Reports team is ready to help.

 

BYOD: Bring Your Own Drone

The Past

The technology might seem new, but the concept is not. chasThe earliest recorded use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for warfighting occurred on August 22, 1849, when the Austrians attacked the Italian city of Venice with unmanned balloons loaded with explosives.

Later on, balloons were flown in the U.S. Civil War in 1862, with both Confederate and Union forces using them for reconnaissance and bombing sorties.

Although balloons do not generally meet today’s definition of a UAV, the concept was strong enough that once winged aircraft had been invented, the effort to fly them unmanned for military purposes came quickly. The first pilotless aircraft were built during and shortly after World War I.

The Present

Did you know that you can process drone imagery using our company?

Our team has been working closely with drones and remotely piloted vehicles for nearly a decade.  We have seen the ease of use and capabilities increase – while the size and price has dropped dramatically over the past 10 years.

Stockpile Reports has been supporting Australian clients by providing uavblogstockpile reporting from drone/UAV flights in Australia for nearly 2 years. Our clients’ quarry sites are busy, and spread out geographically across the country. This limits the amount of stockpiles and locations that can be surveyed by more traditional methods in limited time periods. Clients use our iPhone Application for spot-measuring stockpiles, but is often impractical and sometimes dangerous to walk around a large site for monthly or quarterly stockpile measurements.

Many of our clients utilize planes for aerial stockpile measurements. However, factors including lower costs, longer-lasting and lighter-weight batteries, powerful processing, more accurate GPS, and updated FAA regulations, are increasing the desire for drone surveys from our American customers. They are buying many models, including the eBee, the Aibotix, DJI Phantom, and 3D Robotics IRIS.

Fly Your Drone

Stockpile Reports works closely with our customers, ensuring that the data gained from drones captures optimal imagery, generating excellent results. We are experienced at piloting and operating various models and are available for consultations. This includes helping you with flight patterns and camera angles.

After your flight, simply upload the data captured by your camera into our system for processing via computer.

Clients receive the fastest results in the industry — online access to site and stockpile reports from drone flights typically are available within hours after the data upload. You can easily download, view and share the resulting stockpile volumes of your site online!

StockpileReports.com is the only solution to enable enterprise inventory measurements of thousands of geographically disparate stockpiles in hours.  Our support for phones, drones, and planes provides your company the ability to develop a Stockpile Measurement Strategy to meet your business goals.

Drones will play an important role in your strategy for providing rapid turn production and inventory measurements. Contact us for more information—we’d be delighted to tell you more about recent site and stockpile measurements using UAVs.

Measuring Bunker Materials with an iPhone

Customers have collected over 15,000 stockpile measurements using an iPhone!Image of bunker measurement

That’s a lot of stockpile reports, especially considering that our company is new to the stockpile measurement industry. Our patent-pending application and platform is now being utilized by top aggregate producers, construction and mining companies around the globe.

Stockpile Reports continues to grow and develop new business applications based on our computing platform.

We provide stockpile measurements via imagery collected by aerial and drone photography. This is a great option for monthly, or quarterly site-wide inventory measurements.

Now, after months of development testing, we’re offering measurements of material that is stored in bunkers for customers. This capability was rolled out as part of our newly updated Stockpiles App.

Bunkers can be located either indoors, or outside. Material to be measured may be bounded by 1, 2, or 3 walls, in bay areas of varying widths.

Measurement report results are ready within 24-hours of data upload, and can be viewed directly from our iPhone App or online.

Read more about bunker measurements and reports, or contact us for more detail.

 

 

Achieving the Goal: Stockpile Inventory Management

2015 is already half over. You only have six more months left to achieve your year-end targets. If you made a resolution last January to lose 10 lbs in 2015, there is still time remaining to make your goal— if you make changes to your habits.

A combination of measuring by iPhone and by aerial methods is the solution for gathering stockpile measurements for inventory.
A combination of measuring by iPhone and by aerial methods provides stockpile measurements for inventory.

Speaking of losses… how are your inventory numbers tracking to your 2015 plan? Are you afraid that the company will need to write off millions of dollars again at the end of the year?

Maybe you are assuming that this year will be “different”, and inventory numbers will come close to reconciling, without making changes in current stockpile measurement methods.

Stockpile inventory management is often a real source of ongoing frustration for the companies that have approached Stockpile Reports for help. The challenges of measuring the volume of stockpiled materials are many.

Accessibility, safety, costs, schedules and competing priorities make it difficult for the quarry manager to measure stockpiles as often as the accounting department would prefer. We hear managers say, “Do they want me to make rock— or measure rock?”

The CFO wants to ensure that production levels remain in alignment with the year’s accounting plan. Accounting departments often struggle with various data entry sources from multiple people. Measurement information comes in from voice, email, paper and spreadsheets. Too often there are data error issues, and sometimes the information arrives late.

Is it unreasonable to want stockpile inventory tracking available on a real-time basis? 

No. Our clients have discovered that utilizing a combination of iPhone and aerial (airplane or drone) imagery provides a complete solution.

The benefits of using an iPhone and aerial combination include:

  • Measuring with an iPhone is easy enough to use that anyone can measure stockpiles with minimal training
  • Using an iPhone on the ground enables frequent measurements
  • Using aerial data by plane or drone provides regular quarterly measurements
  • Aerial stockpile measurements provides inventory information for hard-to-reach, or dangerous stockpiles
  • Stockpile Reports arranges and provides certified aerial photographers to fly your site, and are trained to collect optimal imagery
  • Stockpile Reports has the platform to process your data, regardless of aerial, drone or iPhone collection methods
  • Measurement results are automatically processed and available to corporate with no data entry
  • The measurement results meets the consistency and accuracy requirements of the company
  • iPhone and aerial measurement methods meet safety requirements
  • Competitive subscription pricing gives the company the freedom to measure year-round

Learn from what hasn’t worked before: don’t assume that this time things will be “different” when it comes to your monthly inventory results. Make an action plan that will get you to your target. Contact us today for more information and ask about a demonstration— we can help.

Should Your Company Measure by Aerial or iPhone?

Your company may want to measure stockpiles by both: aerial and iPhone!

Here are a few reasons why we recommend adding aerial measurements:

  • Stockpiles are very hard to walk around. For example, they might touch an adjoining pile, run into bushes, trees or be located next to water.
  • The piles are tall, and one is unable to see the top of the pile from the ground. The top might be quite bumpy.
  • Stockpiles are located in a high-traffic area
  • There are many multiple stockpiles located in a wide-spread area
  • The company has stockpiles located in various locations or across multiple U.S. States
  • The financial team and CFO requires regular measurements of stockpiles across the enterprise monthly, or quarterly, with results available online for every pile within 24-hours of data uploadobstruction
  • Allows for remote site management and accountability, to avoid end of the year write-offs

Here are a few reasons why using an iPhone is great for measuring stockpiles:

  • Appropriate in large or small sites
  • Can easily use in light traffic areas
  • Works best measuring stockpiles that don’t touch are are easy to reach
  • Great for quickly measuring very large stockpiles with flat tops
  • Great for small or large stockpiles having viewable, bumpy tops
  • Reduces third party expenses related to measurements, with lower-internal labor costs
  • Gets the CFO regular measurements and online documented inventory within 24-hours of data upload

busyandbigThe Best of Ground and Air for Your Business

Your company will benefit by measuring by either iPhone or by augmenting your subscription by aerial or by drone. Our affordable subscription plans and 24-hour turnarounds from data collection to stockpile reporting is unsurpassed in the industry.

Customers have the opportunity to get 12 monthly measurements for the typical price of only one fly-over by other services, which makes Stockpile Reports’ aerial solution the most cost-effective aerial survey solution available.

 

Measure stockpiles on the ground with an iPhone or Water-Hazardmeasure your site by air. The choice is yours. To find out more about our service contact Stockpile Reports now.

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Last week we announced that our customers surpassed measuring 125 million tons of material using our platform.

As our readers know, we love data. Just for fun we looked back into our blog, and saw that on May 27, 2014 we announced a similar type of milestone. Customers had measured over 25 million tons of material.

Stockpile measurements by customers have grown 500% in one year!

We dug a little deeper, to compare year to year. Here’s a bit more to share:

Aerial stockpile measurements using an airplane and UAS grew 583% in the same period between 2014 and 2015.

Stockpile measurements using an iPhone grew 264%.

We now have clients in 12 countries.

Year to Year customer growth and usage.
May 2014 to May 2015 growth and usage.

Stockpile Reports’ patent-pending system is the only way to measure 100% of your site’s stockpiles, with online results available for view in 24-hours via our web portal.  This enables your business to get the best of ground and air for stockpile measurements.

Are your current measurement methods… 

  • Easy enough to use that anyone could measure stockpiles with minimal training?
  • Don’t have to be outsourced, and someone is trained how to do it at every site?
  • The results meet the consistency and accuracy requirements of your company?
  • The results are automatically processed and available to corporate with no data entry?
  • Allow you to measure dozens of sites in a day, with the stockpile results available to you online in 24-hours?

If you can’t answer ‘Yes’ to any of those questions, or if your current measurement method doesn’t enable you to measure company stockpiles confidently, quickly, and comprehensively then you should Contact Us.

 

A Successful AGG1 Exhibit

The team at Stockpile Reports had a great time ‘working the booth’ during last week’s Aggregates Academy & Expo and World of Asphalt Shows in Baltimore, Maryland. AGG1 Academy & Expo is owned by the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA).

This year’s event featured industry-focused educational programming and exhibits showcasing new technologies and innovations in equipment, products and services. So, of course we were there!

This year’s convention was the most successful to date with more than 7,500 attendees from 50 countries, 10,000 educational session tickets purchased, and 135,000 square feet of space taken by 450 exhibitors.

In addition to making new contacts, the team in Stockpile Reports’ booth used this opportunity to strengthen existing relationships with customers and announce our new monthly aerial subscription offering. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth! We’ve already signed up for the 2016 show in Nashville.

Baltimore rolled out the welcome mat for the conference, with signage at the convention center and through-out the cite.
Baltimore rolled out the welcome mat for the conference, with signage at the convention center and through-out the city.
Setting up the booth before the show opened. This was a great time to meet our neighboring exhibitors and learn about their offerings.
Setting up the booth before the show opened. This was a great time to meet our neighboring exhibitors and learn about their offerings.
There was some impressive machinery for view on AGG1's exhibition floor!
There was some impressive machinery for view on the exhibition floor!
Leaders from five road and bridge building-related trade associations held a rally for World of Apshalt and AGG1 attendees pushing for more support and activism for a long-term highway funding bill.
Leaders from five road and bridge building-related trade associations held a rally for World of Apshalt and AGG1 attendees pushing for more support and activism for a long-term highway funding bill.
Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The waterfront has been transformed with award-winning parks and plazas surrounded by office buildings, hotels and leisure attractions,
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The waterfront has been transformed with award-winning parks and plazas surrounded by office buildings, hotels and leisure attractions.
Stockpile Reports' booth was busy from when the exhibition opened until the floor closed. Our team demonstrated our stockpile measurement service and reporting.
Stockpile Reports’ booth was busy from when the exhibition opened until the floor closed. Our team demonstrated our stockpile measurement service and reporting.
Thank you to our visitors, we'll be back for AGG1's 2016 event in Nashville.
Our CEO was interviewed on Day 2 by World of Asphalt’s TV team. We’ll be returning to exhibit in AGG1’s 2016 event in Nashville.

Measuring Stockpiles From The Sky

Stockpile Reports is proud to offer aerial measurements to our clients, augmenting our ground-based stockpile measurement and inventory management solution.

The Best of Ground and Air

Aerial photography is the perfect solution for measuring stockpiles in dangerous or difficult to access areas such as mines, quarries, landfills and infrastructure project works. It is especially useful for monthly stockpile inventory measurements, especially in large quarries when it is more efficient to quickly measure from the air, with zero man-time needed on the ground.

Dense point cloud result from a recent aerial measurement.
Dense point cloud result from a recent aerial measurement.

Our clients receive the fastest results in the industry.  Subscribers get online access to site and stockpile reports, which are typically available within hours after the flight. There is no action needed from clients other than tagging the outlined stockpiles with materials after the flight.

Exclusive benefits for subscribers: 

  • Orthographic imagery included
  • Turnkey solution — no action needed from you other than outlining mapped stockpiles
  • Online access lets you eliminate the need to mail photographs or manually edit in Excel
  • Easily download, view and share results with you or your team online
  • Download, save and review archived reports

Customers have the opportunity to get 12 monthly measurements for the typical price of only one fly-over by other services. This enables your team to review how a site changes over time, and make future planning easier. Simply review current aerials and compare those to archived results from previous months!

We have a great team of trained and certified aerial photographers, who are located throughout the US. Each one is very knowledgable about how to capture optimal images for accurate results, have appropriate equipment, and are extremely responsive to client requests.

One of our clients recently said, “I want to thank the team for all the effort to get the flight scheduled and make the data available on such short notice. We didn’t have a confirmed time until Monday and we were able to get the flight scheduled for Tuesday and have the data available by Wednesday morning. The effort to make this happen is greatly appreciated. Thank you again.”

Aerial stockpile measurements are included in a Stockpile Reports subscription with a nominal fee for flights. For information about our subscription-based service please navigate here or call direct at 425-285-4303.