Rock Products

JUN 2013

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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Applications Lead to Reduced Downtime, Increased Productivity Infor, a leading provider of business application software serv‐ ing more than 70,000 customers, partnered with Infor Syteline user Preferred Sands to help increase connectivity at the com‐ pany's six plant locations and 54 distribution terminals. director, Preferred Sands. "Overall, the project has given us an enterprise‐wide perspective on the company, enabling better business decisions that are based on real‐time data and infor‐ mation from Infor applications." Through a deployment of Infor ION, Infor's purpose‐built middleware solution, Preferred Sands has been able to con‐ nect Infor SyteLine, third‐party maintenance and finance ap‐ plications, and the systems employed by the warehouses. Preferred Sands also implemented Infor Mongoose, an inno‐ vative application development framework and platform as a service (PaaS) offering, and Infor Ming.le, a platform for social collaboration, business process improvement and contextual analytics, to move forward with further integration and com‐ munication between the company's applications. The project also had a large impact on procurement and processes related to the terminal distribution network at Pre‐ ferred Sands' third‐party owned warehouses. Employees pre‐ viously had to communicate with warehouse staff via phone or email each time a shipment was sent, delivered or picked up by a customer, then warehouse terminal operators and Preferred Sands employees had to manually enter and update information which frequently led to user errors. Now the company can integrate third‐party terminal systems with Infor SyteLine, and automatic notifications are sent each time a shipment changes location or is paid for and picked up. ION, Mongoose, and Infor Ming.le have positively impacted the way Preferred Sands' users communicate and collaborate by creating visibility across departments that previously would not have worked together. The accounting team now has greater visibility into operations and can provide instant feedback on decisions. With direct insight into spending, rather than waiting for an end of the month report, account‐ ing can alert operations decision‐makers when budgetary limits are reached. Departments now have a better under‐ standing of their financial impact, which contributes to the success of the entire organization. "Our core business applications are able to work independ‐ ently while operating as a unified whole, and this became the catalyst for streamlining and accelerating Preferred Sands' day‐to‐day processes through greater visibility across loca‐ tions and operations," said Luke Rains, systems development Employees can instantly view real‐time information on ship‐ ments, orders and inventories across all warehouse loca‐ tions, and this has significantly reduced the amount of incorrect inventory data and allowed for better decisions re‐ garding product logistics. "Now decision makers have enter‐ prise‐wide visibility into the procurement cycle because ION has connected, automated and streamlined the process," continued Rains. Within procurement information on the number of outstand‐ ing requests, where they are in the process, and how much money each request calls for is quickly viewable in an easy‐to‐ read format. This has enabled better overall budget tracking and allocation because once a procurement request is submit‐ ted, decision‐makers can instantly view its potential impact on the budget before signing off on the request. Wisconsin Rail Upgrade Serves Frac Firms Canadian National Railway (CN) an‐ nounced it is accelerating a $33 million line upgrade in Wisconsin to increase rail‐car loading capacity and train ve‐ locity for growing frac sand business from Badger Mining Corp., Preferred Sands of Wisconsin L.L.C., Atlas Resin Proppants L.L.C. and Taylor Frac L.L.C. The railroad now plans to improve a 74‐mile section of track in its White‐ hall Subdivision between Wisconsin Rapids and Blair, Wis., in three years instead of four. Work began in 2012 and the entire project is slated for 14 ROCKproducts • JUNE 2013 completion in December 2014. The project will enable CN to move loaded frac sand cars weighing a maxi‐ mum of 286,000 lb., helping to boost productivity and velocity."We are in‐ vesting in increased rail capacity on the Whitehall Subdivision to help move more frac sand, and to develop a more robust supply chain for our customers in Wisconsin to connect with the oil and gas shale basins in North America," said Jean‐Jacques Ruest, CN's executive vice president and chief marketing offi‐ cer, in a press release. Badger Mining has significantly in‐ creased frac sand production capac‐ ity at its Taylor, Wis., facility and the trackwork will enhance the com‐ pany's ability to efficiently transport product to new and existing cus‐ tomers, said EVP Stephen Hart. For Atlas Resin Proppants, the proj‐ ect will improve rail‐car utilization, expand product distribution and help the company provide better service to customers in key shale markets, said EVP Dan Valiquette.

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