6OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2017Sometimes the technology landscape can seem overwhelmingly diverse and challenging. As an IT leader it is important to observe the IT landscape, identify technologies or services that fit our business needs, and develop a strategy that leads to a solution. There are two demands that have increased precipitously since 2012 at Terracon. The first is, rapid delivery of quality services, resulting in a re-invention of how our employee-owners conduct business and the second, is a demand for the IT group to be more engaged with our various business units as they evolve to meet our client needs. Each demand presents its own unique challenges to the IT Group.The proliferation of handheld devices, tablets, smart-phones, and cloud tech-nology are primary contributors to an increased demand for enterprise ca-pabilities and in-formation accessi-bility. Technology leads businesses forward, as opposed to running the organization from behind the scenes. It also provides the communication, marketing, and collaboration capabilities for our com-pany that enhances the delivery of services to our cli-ents. In many cases, technology becomes the "face" to the clients.For instance, our company's internal development of a program called the Construction Materials Engineering and Laboratory Management System (CMELMS), electronically connects our field professionals to our office staff and their clients. This technology has benefitted our company and clients in the areas of speed, efficiency, quality, and standardized deliverables to the client.CMELMS was developed with four major objectives:1. Create internal organization and efficiency by main-taining a central company-wide database for all field and laboratory test data, observations, and reports that can be easily accessed and managed by our staff.2. Provide a reliable process to get critical information to our clients and other related parties quickly.3. Create ease-of-use for our clients by providing a track-ing system for material performance, report distribution, and non-conformance items.4. Allow for real-time management and communication of our project scopes, information, and budgets by being able to digitally connect our field staff, office personnel, and clients.As one can imagine, there is an extremely large quantity of items that must be inspected and data that must be collected, in addition to the written documentation, tracking, and communication that is required by all parties on a construction project. This is a paperwork-intensive business where tracking and delivery of timely information is critical for success. The construction industry as a Driving Engineering through Process OptimizationFounded in 1965, Terracon is an employee-owned engineering firm with its headquarter at Olathe, KS. The firm specializes in engineering consultants, environmental facilities, geotechnical, construction materials, and facility services.By Jason Kephart, CIO, TerraconJason KephartIN MY VIEW
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