Aussie GIS picked for global cement roll-out

The roll-out of a geographic information system (GIS) at Hanson Australia has been used as the test case for an international roll-out across the global operations of parent company HeidelbergCement.

The roll-out of a geographic information system (GIS) at Hanson Australia has been used as the test case for an international roll-out across the global operations of parent company HeidelbergCement.

(Cement from the mixer image by Chris Northwood, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hanson Australia had been using an Esri Australia GIS for 10 years to select the most efficient routes for its fleet of cement trucks, reducing costs and time spent on the road. It takes into account the most efficient dispatch point and road restrictions such as no right turn or small streets through which trucks cannot pass. Staff can also update road information on the system.

"The Esri GIS system provides time and distance calculations for our truck deliveries. It is essential to get our product to site on-time, given the two hour shelf life of wet concrete, as well as pay our drivers and charge our customers correctly," Hanson's CIO, Rob Downing said in a statement.

The system set the standard for global operations, and 18 months ago Hanson Australia was told to upgrade its GIS to one that was suitable for a global roll-out. The idea was to use the Australian upgrade as the blueprint for an international roll-out starting with pilots in the UK and Hong Kong.

"Developing a single GIS that can be easily customised for individual country requirements will potentially save HeidelbergCement hundreds of thousands of dollars on each additional country installation, shortening project delivery periods from 18 months to as little as just three months," Hanson project manager Andrew Warde said in a statement.

In the future, Hanson and HeidelbergCement want to use the system to analyse delivery locations in relation to their plant footprints, so that it can decide where to expand. The system is being integrated with the company's other enterprise resource planning software to aid analytics around fleet use.