When I was a kid in the early 60s, I watched Saturday morning cartoons like most of the other kids in the neighborhood. One of my favorites was “The Jetsons.” I looked at all the technological wizardry and could only dream of what the future might be. Remember, this was at a time of tabletop, vacuum-tube radios and televisions that took a minute to warm up.

” Technology has helped strengthen relationships with customers.”

Recently, I was in a hotel room one Saturday morning, killing time before heading home. I was surfing through the cable channels when I chanced upon the Cartoon Network, which was airing an original episode of “The Jetsons.” Just as I remembered her, there was Jane Jetson, talking on a candy bar-sized phone in her hand with an antenna protruding from it.

Yet today, cell phones have become a key to productivity. We can only imagine what the next 20 years will bring to the many different technologies that now dominate our lives.

So what does that mean to our industry? Recently, I spoke with some of the leaders in the technology race who shared their visions on the changes that are coming.

Jim Wagner of Command Alkon thinks greater integration of dispatch is inevitable. He calls dispatching the “air traffic control” of our industry. Jim feels producers who embrace the new technology will be able to share with the customer, in real time, all of the key dispatch, communications and truck control issues that affect that customer’s job. This results in greater productivity for all.

John Rabchuck from Systech thinks a key driver in technology advancement will be even greater improvements in the area of wireless communications. More data will travel faster and more reliably.

Producers will benefit in two important areas. First, they will be able to add more and more truck monitoring functions, like multiple on-board sensors and cameras. Just as importantly, customers equipped with tablet PC-type devices will be able to monitor mixers as they approach a jobsite and direct them accordingly.

Pierre Villere is President and Managing Partner of Allen-Villere Partners. Contact Pierre Villere at pvillere@allenvillere.com or telephone 985-727-4310.

© 2005 Hanley Wood, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Republication or dissemination of “Jane Jetson Was Cool” (The Concrete Producer, October 2005) is expressly prohibited without the written permission of Hanley Wood, LLC. Unauthorized use is prohibited. Allen-Villere is publishing “Jane Jetson Was Cool” under license from Hanley Wood, LLC.