Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

RFID Rocks at Graniterock

The construction materials company deployed an RFID system to improve customer service and boost customer loyalty.
By Bob Violino
Jan 22, 2007—Ever since Graniterock Co. was founded in 1900, the construction-materials company has made it a priority to provide its customers exceptional service. About a hundred years after the company opened its first granite quarry in Watsonville, Calif., Graniterock launched an initiative to use radio frequency identification technology, in combination with business intelligence software, to bring customer service to even higher levels. The company now uses RFID to speed up the arrival and departure of trucks through eight of its asphalt- and quarry-loading locations.

Major events of the twentieth century had a huge impact on the company's growth. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Graniterock helped meet the new demand for construction. When automobiles began replacing the horse and buggy early in the century, street paving became a necessity and Graniterock received numerous contracts to pave over the dirt and mud streets.

The firm continued to grow as construction boomed throughout California. In the midst of the Great Depression, Graniterock supplied material for Works Progress Administration (WPA) construction projects, and during World War II, the company supplied materials to build several military facilities. In the 1960s and 1970s, Graniterock grew with the huge development of the Monterey and San Francisco Bay areas.

Today, Graniterock has 850 employees and 17 locations throughout Northern California. Along with this growth has come an increasing reliance on operational data—and the accurate and timely reporting of that data to internal users and external customers is one of the key elements of providing effective service and winning new clients, says Steve Snodgrass, CIO at Graniterock.

In the late 1990s, the construction company began using Business Objects Enterprise and Crystal Reports, a business intelligence (BI) and reporting application created by Business Objects, to deliver data from its PeopleSoft enterprise resource-planning applications to key managers at Graniterock. The Business Objects software delivers information on multiple facets of the company's business, including finance, customer service, employee safety, vehicle compliance and maintenance programs. Users of the BI system include senior- and mid-level managers in the areas of finance, accounting, sales, operations and maintenance.

The BI application enables Graniterock to consolidate data from different operating groups, which has long been stored in separate operational data silos. "Our business is very vertically integrated," says Snodgrass. "We crush granite and sell it internally to plants, and we also have a construction arm that places the granite on roadway surfaces. Each process has had different systems associated with it, and to get at the data has been problematic."

Two years after the company began the BI implementation, managers decided to invest in RFID technology to improve service at Graniterock's quarries, and to collect data on inventory and supply movement. They realized it would make sense to link the new RFID capability with the BI application.

Prior to the company's using RFID, a customer truck would drive into a quarry and onto a scale for pre-load weighing. The driver would tell a Graniterock worker at the gate leading to the scale the customer for whom he was hauling, and to which particular construction job the material was headed. The worker would enter the information, including the weight of the truck, into a computer.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 1,531 words and 3 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations