- Business: SiteMix – Concrete Atlanta. On-site concrete mixing.
- Location: Atlanta, GA.
- Interesting Fact about SiteMix: Unlike most concrete companies that pre-mix their concrete, SiteMix makes theirs on-site, in their trucks.
- Interesting Fact about Dale Henderson: He first started working at his family’s concrete business when he was eight years old.
Having worked at his family’s concrete mixing business since he was a kid, Dale Henderson is what you might call a concrete expert. But when it came time to branch out on his own, he realized that running a business is harder than it looks–especially one that requires meticulous time-keeping on a daily basis.
Hitting ‘Reset’ on a Family Business
On Dale’s first day of work at his family’s concrete mixing business, he wore a blue uniform his grandfather bought him for the occasion. With his grandfather’s guidance, he learned how to run a plow through slabs of leftover concrete, turning them into crusher material for driveways. He helped his father fix the delivery trucks at the company’s on-site mechanic shop. And he hosed off the mixing equipment to knock down the fine concrete dust. That first day on the job turned into a busy summer for Dale, and he loved every minute of it. He was just eight years old.
“What kid didn’t want to be with their dad and grandfather, driving big trucks and plows and messing around with sand and rock?” he asks. “I was eight years old and driving a loader. It was every little boy’s dream.”
Dale worked at the family business for the next nine years. On weekends and during summers, he’d repair trucks and drive loads of concrete to customers all over Georgia. When another company bought out the family business, Dale changed jobs and managed a concrete plant in Grayson, Ga. He learned everything he could about the concrete industry–from sales and marketing to quality control and operations.
Five years later, Dale and his college friend struck out on their own to start a new concrete business. Unlike most concrete mixing businesses, which deliver pre-mixed concrete to customers, they would make it on-site. Dale and his new business partner came up with the perfect name for it: SiteMix.
“There’re so many things you just never think about when starting a business from scratch,” Dale says. “Like, what about time cards? How do our employees clock in?”
When Running a Business Proves Harder than Concrete
Most people don’t give a second thought to concrete, even though we touch or walk on it nearly every day. After water, it’s the second most consumed substance on the planet. The Egyptian pyramids, Roman ruins, and even the Great Wall of China all have some form of concrete within their structures. “Heck, even the three little piggies knew about it!” Dale says.
Dale loves concrete, and he’s proud of SiteMix’s high-quality product. Their ‘house recipe’ includes cement, rock, sand, chemicals, and fly ash sourced from Georgia and Alabama. Special additives give each batch the desired strength, which is calculated in p.s.i.–3,000 psi for basic residential needs, 8,000 psi or higher for commercial projects.
For Dale, making concrete is child’s play. Running a company that makes concrete is a different story. “There’re so many things you just never think about when starting a business from scratch,” he says. “Like, what about time cards? How do our employees clock in?”
Time-keeping in particular was a big issue for Dale. He guarantees his crew 80 hours of work per two-week pay period; anything more runs into overtime. Before dispatching employees on deliveries, someone needs to make sure that everyone is meeting their guaranteed hours. Driver hours further complicated things: the Department of Transportation requires that drivers go off the clock after a certain number of hours behind the wheel.
“It was nearly impossible to do this with timesheets,” says Dale. “Someone would have to add up the hours every day and physically look at them.” Dale was not in a position to do this: he lived 36 miles from the plant. He knew that if he didn’t streamline the process, the analogue timekeeping would bury him.
“As we’ve grown, ezClocker has grown too, by adding features that we discovered we needed.”
ezClocker Checks All the Boxes
Dale searched for an app that was simple enough for his crew to use, yet robust enough to track a dozen employees’ hours on a daily basis. He tested a lot of products, but nothing fit. Then he came across ezClocker. It checked all the boxes.
“ezClocker is simple and available on the internet, so I could easily put it on the guys’ tablets and phones,” Dale says. “And as we’ve grown, ezClocker has grown too, by adding features that we discovered we needed.”
One of those features is kiosk mode, which gives employees the option of clocking in on a centrally located tablet–like the one Dale installed in the main office, where the crew typically checked in at the start of the day.
Dale also likes the GPS function, which tells him which employees were clocking in, and where they were doing it from. As much as Dale trusts his employees, he’s also realistic. “Obviously, the employer wants to pay the fair time and wage, and the employee would understandably enjoy more time than is allowed,” he says. “ezClocker is the check and balance that helps us all keep in line.”
“Any tool I can use to make my work efficient, so that I can spend more time with my family–well, I’m all for it.”
More Time for the Family
Just thinking about the time he’s saving by using ezClocker makes Dale laugh. “Those timecards were no fun, I’m not going to lie,” he says. “If I were to be doing this by hand, and calculating everything down to the tenths, it would take me five hours a week, I’m sure.”
Relieved of that burden, Dale can continue enjoying the business he’s loved since he was a kid. And he can spend more time with the most important people in his life: his family. “I enjoy working, I really do. It doesn’t even feel like work to me,” he says. “But any tool I can use to make my work efficient, so that I can spend more time with my family–well, I’m all for it.”