Charley’s Concrete is a premium ready-mix concrete producer with eight plants across North Texas. Since 1985, it has served thousands of customers in six counties surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth.
In 1985 Charles R. Pennington opened his second ready-mix concrete company, Charley’s Concrete. Back then, there was no need for an IT infrastructure. By the turn of the century, businesses relied on computers and the internet to improve efficiency and profitability.
Pennington preferred to do things low-tech even though his company had grown to include eight plants. By 2012 when his son took over as president, almost all business was conducted over the phone and written on paper.
Tayna Shaw, Charley’s Concrete accounting manager since 2001, describes a typical transaction. “Before BNC optimized our network, a customer had to call their designated plant directly since we did not have the ability to transfer calls. Then we would type the order, print a paper order ticket and deliver the order to a driver.” The order ticket went from office to truck, to the customer for a signature—and hopefully back to the main office for filing. Each evening, an employee drove around to all eight plants collecting tickets for the main office. Shaw says,
“At that point, we were at least 10 years behind in the basic technology most companies take for granted.”
Second-generation owner Brent Pennington insisted technology would make the company more efficient, profitable and better able to serve its customers. He hired BNC to make it happen. BNC created a two-phased approach to reach Pennington’s goals. Working from almost the ground up, BNC updated their basic IT infrastructure then created automated processes to streamline orders.
First BNC connected all eight plants with high-speed internet service and replaced the outdated phone systems with VoIP. BNC installed a network and new servers, migrated data and applications and replaced outdated laptops. Now Charley’s customers call one, central phone number to place orders. Orders go directly into the order management system to be dispatched to the nearest plant.
BNC also automated almost all of the business’ paperwork. Before BNC, the office staff handled over 10,000 pieces of paper each week. Now the company is “practically paperless,” with no more paper tickets, paper invoices, envelopes or stamps. “We email an invoice as soon as the system says the concrete’s been delivered. Can you imagine how much time and money that saves?”
Shaw says BNC is helping the company become the technology leader in its industry. As just one example, BNC equipped Charley’s truck fleet with GPS tracking. The company has over 200 trucks running more than 12 hours each day, and “We can monitor all 200 vehicles at one time. That’s huge.”
BNC brings expertise, reliability and responsiveness to the table.
“With all the streamlining BNC has helped us create, we’ve gone from being 10 years behind to being on the forefront of technology in our industry,” Shaw states.
She cites vastly improved communications, operational efficiency and customer loyalty.
She says BNC’s continuous support gives them confidence and peace of mind, referring to system downtime as “almost zero.” But even if it happens at two o’clock in the morning, she knows BNC will take care of things with just a call. “Whatever we need done, BNC is there to say ‘Okay, let’s do this.’ That’s just an awesome feeling.”
The most valuable benefit? For Charley’s Concrete, it’s knowing they’ve built a strong IT foundation that lets them provide fast and reliable delivery of the quality product their customers demand.