7OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2017 whole, is often slow to change and is being commoditized with a low-bid mentality. Thus, finding ways to create efficiencies, add value, and out-perform competition on quality and timeliness is critical, if a company wants to rise above being a commodity in the industry.For this reason, Terracon has developed and implemented processes and technologies that provide clients with a competitive advantage, focusing on quality, speed, and accuracy.Before CMELMS: · The field staff recorded project data and test results on paper at the jobsite, and verbally reported information while on-site.· This information was then delivered manually or via fax by our field staff to a member of our administrative staff, who would enter the data/results into a project report.· A draft of the report would then be printed and given to our project manager for review and editing.· When the preparation and review of the report was complete, it was then printed, physically signed, compiled, copied, bound, and finally mailed to our client and other parties on the project.Now, with our CMELMS technology: · Data is collected by our field personnel on the jobsite and entered into a database through a laptop/computer that is connected to the Internet via cellular technology.· These results are then transferred over the Internet to the project manager in real-time.· Project managers can then review the information on their computer, communicate back to their field staff if needed, and then finalize, digitally sign, and transmit the report directly to a client via email or our client website. No paper, no driving, and no mail­just rapid, efficient, and accurate delivery of information through the use of technology.Delivering technological solutions like CMELMS required the IT group to have strong alignment and understanding of the business, and to be actively engaged with the organizations operations. However, business engagement doesn't just happen. It is something that needs to be cultivated and emphasized at all levels of the organization.Strong project management capabilities, continual communication with key stakeholders, fiscal responsibility, and standardization are keys to establishing and keeping the confidence of the organization. You cannot be a business partner if you are not trusted, so it is critical to honor and deliver on the technology commitments made. Just as important, you must still provide reliable, stable, and available systems to maximize business productivity.To be successful, the business organization should partner with the Information Technology group. I work closely with our business units and executive teams to ensure technology solutions are incorporated into the initiatives for the business units in Terracon's Five-Year Strategic Plan and reinforced within the annual Operations Plan. The goal is to look at changing business landscape, and identify opportunities where technology can be leveraged to grow and transform the business. Our IT Group now spends more time understanding business initiatives to ensure the needed capabilities are delivered successfully.Technology is changing at an ever-increasing pace, driving the need for responsive and rapid delivery of quality services. The technology focus needs to be directed toward leading this strategy forward and the role of the CIO is to accept the challenge while also providing the organization a competitive advantage through the development of capabilities optimized to leverage the diverse technology solutions available. ESOTECHNOLOGY LEADS BUSINESSES FORWARD, AS OPPOSED TO RUNNING THE ORGANIZATION FROM BEHIND THE SCENES
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