A Greely truck.

Greely goes Live!

It’s an early Saturday morning in Spring, 2017 at Greely Sand and Gravel in Greely, Ontario, just south of Ottawa. Nineteen trucks are standing by, ready to roll into the greater Ottawa area with mulch, playground sand, compost and conventional aggregate, more commonly known as sand and gravel, and even Greely’s trademark top dressing soil, certified for organic growing!

A summer corps of part-time help has been hired and trained to handle the onslaught of phone calls and Internet orders. Greely’s management team has been busy training the new staff and with a brand spanking new software system from Greycoat Software this is a nervous time for them. A bit of nervousness being generally a good thing!

The new software program is used to schedule and route all deliveries, automatically capture all Internet orders and phone orders, bill commercial customers, and provide management information on a state-of-the-art dashboard.

The program has been months in planning, programming and training by our company, Greycoat Software, working with the Greely management team. The benchmark we set for our installations is that the day our customer goes live with new software should be a non-event, or we have not done our job properly.

The day our customer goes live with a Greycoat Compass installation should be an uneventful day, or we have not done our job properly.

Even so, there are always risks. Although our core Compass program has been in service now for two years at a major multi-national materials company, Greely Sand and Gravel has a different business model emphasizing the consumer retail landscaping market. The truck scheduling module that Greely will use is brand new. We have added features for handling landscaping and soil products, and for Greely’s distinctive fleet of boom and small tandem trucks designed to navigate the cul-de-sac neighbourhoods of the greater Ottawa region and eastern Ontario.

Greycoat Software wanted to live up to Greely’s corporate image and high standards of customer service. Greely is a family owned and operated company that has grown its landscape and construction products business for over 35 years, servicing homeowners, contractors and municipalities from a sand pit operation and two landscape depots in eastern Ontario.

Greycoat Software had been able to do all our software work from our Kitchener-Waterloo location with only one on-site visit in the Fall of 2016. For these first busy days in Spring, our product development manager, Ryan Anderson, would be on-site to provide any final tweaks to the program, and, if necessary, provide on-site triage for any serious technical problems. And Ryan did keep busy, adjusting a few report formats, ensuring program efficiency and hardware and network reliability. But orders flowed in, dispatch lists and tickets and trucks rolled out, and invoices printed, as routinely as if the software had been in place for years. All the planning and effort by Greely staff, led by Gilles Laplante, Tara Hall and Neil Quinn, working with our company, had paid off, proving again the ancient adage that an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.

The average life span of a successful software program is 18 years, so a successful effort establishes a legacy for efficiency and continuous growth and improvement. Greycoat is an established software company, but also a tech startup, having served the construction materials industry since 1989, but just recently rolling out our new line of software, called Compass. It’s important for us on a contract to establish a good foundation, and we hope to work with Greely Sand and Gravel for many years to come.

… Henry Slofstra