The plant, positioned near downtown L.A., opened in Fall 2018 after a compressed 10-month construction schedule. Shortly before launch, Lode commented on the new plant's raw material storage capabilities. "We have the ability to store about 5000 tons of live aggregate on site and the capability to house 10 different aggregates at any one given time and batch 10 different aggregates at any one given time."
One year later, that ability has proven itself a useful attribute to meet the tight production schedules of construction projects scattered across Los Angeles. "The Vernon plant can indeed fill all raw material storage at a much faster rate than can be batched," says Lode. "At the end of several very large production days, all materials remained topped off during the day, eliminating the need for extended hours to receive and recharge materials."
The automated system also allows for easy night delivery of materials of reduce hauling during the most congested traffic times of the day.
Now at full capacity, nearly 50 drivers work from the Vernon operation. Each day those drivers professionally navigate the city's busy streets, safely weaving their way through complex traffic to reach downtown job sites. "They deliver concrete on time and in specification every day," says Lode. "These employees are the face of the company and often times have the most direct interaction with our customers."
Backed by batching and logistics professionals including Gus Rios, Jimmy Caldwell, Paul Martineau and David Castillo, Vernon's dispatch team consistently receive positive accolades for 'a job well done'. "They ensure the highest level of customer service and precise accuracy for every customer," Lode says.
The Vernon operation also has quality assurance and quality control teams that work to verify the delivered product meets strict standards. "That's what sets us apart from our competition. Service and quality cannot by underestimated as mentioned by many of our excellent customers," says Lode.
Keeping such a massive and complex operation going requires a top-notch of maintenance staff, well-trained in maintaining the latest concrete batching equipment. "Even with the newest of equipment continual improvement and plant repairs are necessary," Lode says. "Our repair crew keeps the plant fine-tuned, ensuring the facility functions optimally in terms of speed and accuracy. Routine maintenance is critically important to safeguarding the plant’s uptime."
Lode also notes the plant's rolling stock is maintained on-site by team of dedicated mechanics. "Maintaining fleet uptime is extremely critical to our operation and these guys are some of the best in the industry."
Visitors to the operation are also sure to be impressed by the tidy upkeep of plant's yard and surrounding property. "Often times the yard worked position is sadly overlooked. One step onto the Vernon site and you’ll notice the facility’s overall cleanliness. Keeping the yard clean is one of the more crucial aspects to maintaining our high level commitment to environmental stewardship. The crew does an outstanding job of the never ending task of site cleanliness."
One of the core commitments of National Ready Mix is caring for its work force, ensuring all employees work under the highest safety conditions. "Every employee receives a steady diet of safety training and participates in safety discussions. We encourage all employees to always take the high road when it comes to safety. Every employee participates in safety and our program success is a testament to overall safety commitment of every employee."
Today, thanks to those dedicated employees, the Vernon operation is not only meeting its designation of "megaplant" it's exceeding all expectations for production, capacity, quality and service.