Tarmac is the UK’s leading building solutions company, focussed on customer commitment delivered in fast and flexible ways. And with the structured cable and Wi-Fi infrastructure that we built for them – we hope to have played some part in helping them to bring these values to life – through their innovative delivery tracking system.
Tarmac wanted its staff and customers to have access to real-time information that told them where deliveries and drivers were, plus the live status of jobs, including proof of delivery.
With a vehicle fleet of almost 2,000 operating in every corner of the UK – often in remote locations – this was no mean feat. On top of that, this traceability data needed to be accessible via smart, mobile devices.
We’re preferred and trusted advisors in the design, supply, and installation of data networks. Our company ethos is caring for our customer’s needs by providing leading products and high-quality service, through integrity and innovation - all delivered by a professional, experienced, and dependable, nationwide team.
Our mission is to make your business more intelligent. The team is passionate about enabling you to understand the advantages of a smart workspace, from sensor-rich networks delivered over structured cabling, to capitalising on the latest developments in the IoT. We aim to improve the way your organisation connects with technology to achieve responsive results, more efficient systems and, ultimately, business growth.
One of the enablers for Tarmac’s new digital tracking system, was the data cabling and Wi-Fi access points to numerous sites, supporting over 300 devices. From Aberdeenshire to Cornwall – all delivered by our nationwide team of experienced and qualified project managers and technical professionals.
Mark Skidmore, IT business infrastructure manager at Tarmac, said: “The introduction of the new Wi-Fi network has given the company real-time visibility of its fleet, by relaying live GPS tracking information to its UK-wide planning teams. It enables customers to track orders online and receive instant delivery notifications using live information.”
Combine hundreds of sites with several project team members – from both our side and Tarmac – and you get a very exciting undertaking! One that called for meticulous planning.
Like Tarmac, we use clever software to successfully manage complex assignments that involve multiple stakeholder relationships.
To keep on top of every work package – remotely and in real time – we used a cloud-based management tool called Smartsheet. This allowed everybody in the process chain to receive and provide project updates from fixed and mobile devices, and communicate with one another, all in one, secure, online place.
Smartsheet was instrumental in facilitating much quicker decision-making, and made it easier for Tarmac to keep senior management in the loop.
Our managing director, Rob Pritchard, said: “Planning and communication was critical to the success of this project. With many of the sites having different health and safety considerations, the ability to communicate effectively was of paramount importance. The system we used reduced these concerns and ensured the project delivery was not only met, but exceeded expectations.”
Many of the Tarmac sites that needed to be connected to the network, were quarries that were in hard to reach locations.
The solution Tarmac chose for us to install, was the Cisco Meraki suite of wireless access points. This is a cloud-based system that gives Tarmac central visibility and control of what’s happening on their network, at each site.
Whilst we were using our Smartsheet project management software, to co-ordinate the installation of the network infrastructure across 300 sites – allowing us to competently manage every element of the job. At the same time, we were helping Tarmac to do exactly that for their customers and staff.
Mark added: “The new ‘track-and-trace’ technology has immediately improved the experience for everyone involved in our delivery process. By giving people access to the same real-time information, we are revolutionising the way customers access delivery information, providing additional convenience and reassurance to further improve the way we communicate.”
From a technical perspective, here are some of the facts and stats of the project:
✔ 325 Cisco Meraki wireless access points were installed over 300 locations
✔ 700 patch and fly leads were fitted
✔ 12 engineering teams were involved in the project
✔ 16,000 miles were travelled, over 300 engineering days. In other words they travelled twice the diameter of the earth!
✔ The infrastructure Tarmac has, is now used to track the status of a 1,900-large fleet
Our technical director, George Pritchard, summarised: “Our infrastructure has contributed to the introduction of a game-changing customer portal for Tarmac, that will boost their customer satisfaction rates and significantly reduce their operating costs. We were very privileged to help make this happen and we look forward to supporting them, as they continue to expand their operation.”