Kemp Quarries is a leading producer of construction aggregates, consisting primarily of crushed stone, sand and gravel. The family-run business mines 12 quarries across Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas.
Kyle Kemp is the Inventory Tracking and Aerial Survey Manager at Kemp Quarries, using Kespry for excellent business results in inventory management and mine planning work. Kyle shares his experience with Kespry on the Drones in Mining Q&A webinar.
Kyle is responsible for tracking stockpile inventory across 12 sites in three states, where an average site measures over 100 acres. Before using Kespry’s drone-based aerial intelligence platform, managing inventory was a challenge. Kyle says, “It was almost just a guessing game, you would have supervisors go and walk a pile and estimate with a pen and paper how much they have in stock. It was pretty inefficient.”
The process now with Kespry is faster, more efficient and more accurate for Kyle to update inventories each month. It takes just 10 days to completely measure all 12 sites and then Kyle spends the rest of the month preparing reports for sales and production. “I’ll get to each mine site on a monthly basis and fly each one to build an inventory list for each site to know how much we actually have in stock each month, and compare to past months to see how inventory is trending and couple with sales numbers to inform our production schedules.”
Kyle uses the Kespry Cloud to create a volumetric output report for each quarry to see a list showing the volumes of each pile. Kyle says that it’s easy to measure inventory piles and changes in inventory. “If it’s a new pile, I’ll go on the map and trace around the edge of the pile and I’ll place the base plane points around the pile. If the pile hasn’t changed much from month to month, I can copy and paste it to the new mission to fly the same pile.”
Mine Planning – Measuring Overburden and Tracking Progress
Kemp Quarries uses the Kespry Drone and 3D models in the Kespry Cloud for mine planning to analyze a mine area. Kyle says, “We can use the volumetric data to determine how much overburden we need to remove from the ledge that we’re mining, and determine how much material is in the ledge before it’s mined.”
Kyle uses Kespry to track changes at the mine site. He flies the site and then uses the Kespry Cloud to draw a polygon to track a specific area. Applying a ‘fill’ measurement to a stripped ledge will measure the overburden, to analyze how much material was removed from that area.
The Kespry Cloud makes it easy for Kyle to compare the current status to earlier data. “If you want to look at the progression of a mine face to figure out how many tons were removed, I would go back to an earlier flight and draw the polygon following the original face of the ledge and compare to the same space today to see how much was removed. Before Kespry, this was inaccurately measured by stepping off the area and estimating by hand.”
Data-Driven Production for Sales
Integrating inventory data with sales tracking directs management how to run the business. Kyle explains, “We can pull the sales numbers each month with inventory data and get a more complete picture of what the inventory is doing compared to sales to know if production is keeping up with sales to know if we need to produce less, or sell more of a specific product.”
This connection between production, inventory and sales is critical to the business. If sales and production don’t match, the company could end up with a huge pile of inventory that isn’t selling and need to discount that product to sell at a lower price. It is more profitable for Kemp Quarries to produce the material that is selling.
The benefit of Kespry is that Kyle is able to fly any site or pile as often as needed, for example as a request from the sales team asking about quantity available to fill a large order. Kyle says, “Sometimes the need will arise at one site to know how much is at one specific pile to do a spot check to make sure that we have enough of that specific product.”
Ad Hoc Applications – Confirming Contract Work
In addition to inventory management and mine planning, Kyle finds other applications for the Kespry System. Kyle is using his Kespry System for fact checking work done by contractors. He explains, “We recently purchased a piece of land that we’re going to use for shipping by rail. We contracted a dirt moving company to set the site to grade and I’m going to go fly the drone to make sure that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.”
Better Information Delivers Business Impact
Kespry is impacting Kemp Quarries to be more efficient and profitable. Kyle says, “It’s helping us make more informed decisions about almost every aspect of our business. We can give the numbers to the sales people to see that they have an overabundance of a certain product and let them know to push product, or give numbers to the production team for scheduling decisions. We might need to change the setup of a plant to make a different product or minimize the products that aren’t selling.”