Today more than ever, companies that produce cement, concrete, asphalt and related equipment are looking deep into their organizations to find opportunities for cost savings and productivity improvements.

Lehigh Cement, LaFarge and Essroc are major industry players that have, in just the past year, discovered the benefits of automating the distribution of MRO supplies, PPE, and both high-use and mission-critical tools and supplies through Internet-based industrial vending systems by Apex Industrial Technologies. "Adding control and automation to the distribution of MRO materials typically drives cost savings of 20 to 30 percent of the spend," said Apex CEO Kent Savage. "Technology costs dropped dramatically in the past year. Now, this technology is easily affordable for all businesses. Many MRO suppliers now offer Apex solutions as part of their supply agreements."

As the trend builds momentum, Apex's Edge 5000 system is now being utilized by other cement, concrete and asphalt industry leaders including Carlson Paving, TXI and Jensen Precast, as well as 33 Fortune 500 companies.

Apex's Connect n' Go technology provides industrial vending systems at the point-of-use in manufacturing and distribution facilities. There is no software to purchase or to install. Users just plug into an electrical outlet and an Internet connection and they are up and running.

The Edge 5000 features the next generation of technology for dispensing supplies, replacing the inefficient standing and handing at tool cribs or traveling to a central distribution site while providing automatic inventory usage tracking reports as well as re-ordering.

The cost-savings benefits are detailed in a free white paper, "Issues and Considerations in Calculating Economic Benefits for Point-of-Work Implementations" and in a series of free white papers and case studies, all available at