CARROLL SERVICE COMPANY FS >LANARK, IL
WHAT THEY NEEDED
Experiencing year-after-year of revenue growth, Carroll Service Co. of Lanark, IL, needed to expand their operations. Recent labor shortages and supply chain disruptions were major pain points, particularly as they grew volume and footprint.
Carroll Service Company, in conjunction with Growmark Construction’s Kyle Kowalski, constructed a new multi-use facility to increase the speed, accuracy, scalability, and storage capacity of its fertilizer and crop protection operations.
The location features 2 loadout bays, 40,000 gallons of crop protection products and 1,000 gallons of fertilizer.
ICS Controls were chosen because of their intuitive operator interface and their powerful integration with their Agronomy software.
The intuitive ICS 24-7-8 Controls verify drivers and equipment. The same ICS Control Pro software that runs the facility is used in the touch screen control panel for seamless operation.
Precise flow meters ensure accuracy of both workorder fulfillment and inventory management.
One of the two bays also provides 24/7 unattended loadout as well as offloading capabilities.
A conveniently located touch screen panel allows employees to quickly create accurate batches.
What used to take 20-30 minutes to load now takes 5-10 minutes thanks to automation.
The equipment, plumbing, metering, and ICS controls were provided by Murray Equipment.
Storage capacity was added to solve supply chain issues. There is planned space for additional bulk tanks as demand continues to grow.
The multi-use facility includes space for tote storage and maintenance. All the products are behind a secure door to allow 24/7 access to the dual-purpose unattended loadout bay.
ICS Controls are intuitive and simplify the hand-add micronutrient process, while maintaining accuracy.
Analyzing their internal processes, procedures, and talking with their members, building a new fertilizer and chemical facility became a top priority.
“Speed, accuracy, and supply were most important to our members,” shared Chase Sellnow, Carroll Service Co. GM. “Automation, increased storage, and scalability became the clear solution.”
First, Carroll Service needed to figure out how to continue to deliver a faster and more accurate service with newer, less experienced staff.
“Not only does automation help us accomplish more with our existing staff, ICS and ControlPro’s intuitive interfaces help less experienced employees maintain accuracy, for both our customer blends and our own internal inventories,” Sellnow explained.
Second, Carroll Service wanted to ensure that they had the necessary products on-hand to meet demand, rather than relying solely on logistics, wholesalers, and distributors being timely. This meant increasing storage capacity across product lines.
WHAT WE DESIGNED
Carroll Service opted to shut down smaller manually controlled facilities and build a more efficient, technologically enabled location that integrates automation with increased storage capacity, and a 24/7 access bay option. Having done projects with Murray Equipment previously and their familiarity with ICS Controls, the decision was easy for Carroll Service.
The company built an 85-foot X 115-foot multi-use facility with warehouse space, heated storage, and two secure bays with restricted access to products. One bay provides 24/7 load out services and year-round offloading capabilities.
The facility is automation enabled with Murray Equipment’s ICS Controls.
“What stood out to us is that ICS ControlPro software is an intuitive easy to use software for the guy in the chem shed,” said Sellnow. “For us, that meant less training and more accuracy, without sacrificing speed.”
Increasing the speed of their operations has also helped Carroll Service with some of its labor issues.
“What took us up to 20 minutes to load is now down to five minutes,” Sellnow shared. “Increasing speed creates hours. Instead of waiting for trucks to load, time can be reallocated to other areas such as applying product to the field.”
Other benefits include billing, inventory, and blend accuracy.
“We’ve had great experience with ControlPro’s integration with AgVance. It has improved the efficiency and accuracy of both producing workorders and billing,” said Sellnow.
One unexpected benefit of the project was increased business from large area farmers that had previously managed their own blends.
“Farmers are also facing the same labor and supply challenges as we are,” articulated Sellnow.
“Thanks to our increased speed and on-hand inventory, larger farmers are finding it more advantageous to have Carroll Service create their blends while allowing their experienced employees to stay out in the field.”