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Case Study: Delta Companies Applies Kespry for Accurate, Efficient, and Safe Inventory Management and Mine Planning

Delta Companies Inc., one of the Colas USA subsidiaries, is a site development and highway contractor, specializing in asphalt paving and road construction materials. Based in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and operating in southern Illinois, northeast Arkansas, and southeast Missouri, Delta is a technology leader using Kespry drones and analytics.

Kespry helps Delta to improve operations, deliver business benefits, and support the company’s core values.

View the entire article by clicking:

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We had witnessed an increase in the number of incidents with one vehicle running into another or running over something on the ground in the latter months of the summer.

Borrowing from our Colas Goal Zero Process, we assembled a cross-functional Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) Team to investigate the issue and determine a solution. The Team met in the Caruthersville Public Library in Caruthersville, Missouri on August 23. The event was facilitated by our own Jordan Janet, Regional EHS Coordinator for Missouri/Illinois construction operations. Personnel from our construction crews, the asphalt terminal, a hot mix asphalt plant, and a quarry participated in the project.

The CPI Team consisted of Kevin Keene – Missouri Shop, Austin Williams – Missouri construction, Greg Mullins – New Madrid Asphalt Terminal, Jess Philips – ASA Asphalt, Chris Taylor – Southern Illinois Stone Quarry, Chad Martin – Southern Illinois Materials Company asphalt plant, and Conley Meridith – Delta Asphalt of Arkansas construction. 

The Current Situation was described by the following:

  • Collisions are occurring in close vicinity during the first moves of a vehicle or equipment.
  • Close calls and incidents are occurring during the first move of a vehicle or equipment. Operator’s focus is found to be elsewhere during the occurrence.
  • Four incidents resulting in minor damage occurred within two weeks of each other. The root cause was found to be that the operator’s focus was elsewhere during the occurrence.

The Team worked through a brainstorming session and determined the Root Cause included:

  • Distractions – focus might be on one particular aspect of job or surroundings.
  • Not aware of surroundings.
  • Rushing.
  • Not thinking.
  • Not utilizing all resources provided.

A solution was determined and has been rolled out across the majority of the Delta Companies operations. The solution is for all members of our company to take a few seconds to walk around their vehicle or piece of equipment before moving it to be sure the area is clear of personnel, other vehicles, tools, and debris. The CPI Team developed a sticker to be placed in an obvious location(s) on the vehicle or equipment to serve as a reminder to “slow down – equipment walk around.”

We are confident with education, training, coaching, and positive recognition the Ideal (Desired) State described as “a natural habit of inspecting the immediate area surrounding a parked vehicle/equipment prior to its operation” will become a reality.

We thank the members of the CPI Team for their willingness to participate in this project toward a solution to this important issue. Through open dialog and by working together, we can solve problems!

If you have issues, concerns, or problems, we encourage you to bring it to the attention of your supervisor or manager. It might just be the next CPI project!

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On Wednesday, October 31 (which happened to be Halloween), Colas Inc. representative Jon Hager (Plants and Equipment) wasn’t sure if he would get a trick or a treat during his final inspection at the Southern Illinois Stone (SIS) Quarry Shop.

He most definitely received a treat!

And, so did our Shop as it was awarded the Colas 6S – Silver Level certification.

Quarry Manager Rodney Lingle and Foreman Jethro Lanphear manage a team of nineteen people from Johnson, Union, and Williamson counties. The team worked diligently to earn the Bronze Level last year. This year they worked smart to earn the Silver Level. When asked how his team achieved the Silver Level, Lingle provided a list of upgrades including relocating a few of the parts bins resulting in more work area and staging area for parts, adding handrails to the area above the training room, and replacing caution tape used to delineate areas in the shop with paint (the paint is more durable and eliminates tripping hazards).

“This is a good thing we are doing here. Everyone is learning to put ideas together, to see the negatives and positives, and to make things better and safer,” added Lingle. He was quick to recognize the entire crew at the SIS Quarry, especially mechanic Kevin Minton.

Other Delta representatives attending the final inspection were Regional Manager Steve Peterson, Plants & Equipment Manager Jerry Farnham, and Aggregates Area Manager Mike Martin.

The Southern Illinois Stone Company is one of the Delta Companies Inc. affiliates operating in southern Illinois along with Southern Illinois Asphalt Company (SIAC) and Southern Illinois Materials Company (SIMCO). Delta Companies Inc. is a highway contractor specializing in asphalt paving and road construction materials, including aggregates, asphalt mixes, emulsions, and other asphalt products. The company operates in southern Illinois, southeast Missouri, and northeast Arkansas.

The Colas 6S Shop Certification was introduced in 2012 to recognize Colas USA companies who sustain best management practices, including environmental and safety, at their facilities. The 6S program requires organizing the workplace, keeping it clean, eliminating waste, and maintaining new standards using the 6S principles of Safety, Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.

Shops achieve the Bronze Level certification by undergoing a formal audit by environmental staff, safety professionals, and senior management. Working through the numerous steps involved in this process is challenging and creates a sense of pride within the team as it works toward certification. In order to achieve the Silver Level or Gold Level certification, the Shop must continue to improve work areas and overall performance, while maintaining all the requirements of each previous level.

Colas USA companies are part of the Colas Group, the worldwide leader in transportation infrastructure construction and maintenance. The Colas Group is active in the construction and maintenance of road, air, rail and maritime transport infrastructure, urban development projects and recreational facilities. With 55,000 employees spanning 5 continents around the world, the Colas Group carries out over 100,000 projects each year, backed by a tight international network of construction materials facilities, including: aggregates mining sites, asphalt plants, ready-mix concrete plants, liquid asphalt terminals, and emulsion plants.

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Members of the National FFA Organization  (formerly Future Farmers of America) from the Jackson High School chapter visited the Delta Companies Inc. Cape Complex on Friday, November 16.

The visit was one of several stops on this year’s Fall Business Tour. The Tour provided students an opportunity to see manufacturing processes firsthand and talk to industry professionals regarding various career opportunities available in southeast Missouri.

Sara Green, Agriculture Instructor and FFA Advisor, contacted us two weeks ago about the possibility of a tour of our facilities. Fellow instructor James McCormack had visited our facilities earlier in the year as part of the “Pathways for Teachers Institute” training session and had recommended us to Ms. Green. (You may learn more about that event by clicking:

Ten high school students accompanied by Ms. Green, Mr. McCormack, and fellow instructor Ms. Shantel Cooper arrived in a very big bus driven by Jennifer Schnurbush. She said she had a lot of experience driving in challenging places, so she would have no trouble driving through the quarry and our other manufacturing plants. She was right! The students insisted to include her and the bus in the photos.

We provided tours of our Cape Complex, which includes the SEMO Quarry, the Cape Girardeau HMA Plant, the Missouri Shop, and the Missouri Quality Control Lab. Don Rosenbarger served as tour guide on the bus. Jerry Neels – Regional EHS Coordinator, Terry Everly – Quarry Manager, Christine Linguanti – Project Engineer, Amos Taylor – Asphalt Plant Supervisor, Joe Vernon – Asphalt Plants Manager, Tony Shafer – Shop Manager, and Shannon Sinn – Quality Control Manager provided site specific commentary for their respective areas of responsibility. Dan Grier with SEMO Ready Mix joined the tour to explain the operation of a ready-mix concrete plant.




Several of the students are studying welding and other hands-on courses, such as woodworking and metalworking. These are skills that will serve them well in the construction industry. When asked by Shop Manager Tony Shafer if anyone was interested in becoming a “mechanic,” several students raised their hands. Tony was pleased and encouraged them to come back and see him after graduation.

The FFA is an intracurricular youth organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership. FFA is not just for students who want to be production farmers; FFA also welcomes members who aspire to careers as teachers, doctors, scientists, business owners, and more.  It helps prepare members for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through hands-on experiences, which give members the tools to achieve real-world success.

You may learn more about the National FFA Organization by contacting Ms. Sara Green at and visiting

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Apex Paving Co., Inc. is accepting quotes from qualified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) for the Missouri Department of Transportation Letting on December 14, 2018.

Interested DBEs may learn more about the Letting and projects by contacting us at (573) 331-7561 or visiting the MoDOT website at

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We once again collected donations for “Coats For Kids.” 

Kathy Barks, who works in the Corporate Office, served as the champion of this event. 

The deadline for donations was Friday, November 2. This allows time for the clothing to be distributed to those in need before inclement weather arrives in The Heartland.

Southeast HealthPoint Fitness, the Salvation Army, and the River Radio stations teamed up for the annual "Coats For Kids" program--a one day, 12-hour effort to get warm clothes to kids in our area who really need them. 

Every year, the community is urged to donate extra coats, gloves, sweaters, hats, snowsuits, and other winter wear that their family no longer can wear. The warm clothing is collected and given to the Salvation Army for distribution to needy families in the area.

Thanks to our employees for filling several large boxes with their generosity! 

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Southern Illinois Asphalt Co., Inc. is accepting quotes from qualified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) for the Illinois Department of Transportation Letting on January 18, 2019.

Interested DBEs may learn more about the Letting and projects by contacting us at (618) 998-1615 or visiting the IDOT website at

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Delta Asphalt of Arkansas, Inc. is accepting quotes from qualified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) for the Arkansas Department of Transportation Letting on December 5, 2018.

Interested DBEs may learn more about the Letting and projects by contacting us at (870) 573-6893 or visiting the AHTD website at

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"Excellence in efficiency, accuracy and safety are three goals aggregate producers strive to achieve every day.These areas are all of high-priority at Delta Companies, a construction materials producer that operates sites in Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas. The use of a drone now helps the company achieve all three goals in the area of inventory management,"  writes Joe McCarthy, Associate Editor of Pit & Quarry.

The entire article is attached below as a pdf document and may be viewed by clicking: courtesy of Pit & Quarry magazine. 

The Pit & Quarry magazine and related products have served the aggregates and mining industries for many years by providing numerous resources, such as articles regarding industry trends and new technologies, webinars, white papers, and roundtable discussions.

You may learn more about Pit & Quarry and become a subscriber by visiting

Pit & Quarry magazine October 2018.pdf

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The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Southeast District held its annual Construction Career Day on October 30 at the Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center on South Silver Springs Road in Cape Girardeau.

Construction Career Day is designed to introduce high school students to construction careers. Construction is one of the country’s largest industries and is facing a shortage of skilled workers. If not addressed, this shortage will only increase. It will affect quality, safety, and the industry’s overall ability to effectively build the infrastructure needed for our future. This event provides an opportunity to educate young people about the various rewarding opportunities available in the construction industry.

Approximately 120 high school students from southeast Missouri participated in the event. The students were able to visit numerous informational booths, walk around and climb in equipment, observe and ask questions during a panel discussion with industry leaders, and tour several working manufacturing facilities.

Exhibitors at the event included: Roland Machinery, Ameren, Sunbelt Rentals, Southeast Missouri State University (Department of Engineering & Technology), Southeast Missouri Carpenters Apprenticeship Program, Buzzi Unicem USA, Job Corps, L. Keeley Construction Company, MoDOT Equal Opportunity Diversity Division, MoDOT HR (Southeast District) – Driver Safety, MoDOT External Civil Rights Division, the AGC of Missouri, and the Delta Companies Inc.

The Panel Discussion was moderated by Pastor Daryl Minner and featured Steve Bubanovich - Construction Manager with H. R. Quadri Contractors, LLC; Andrew Meyer - Assistant District Engineer with MoDOT for the Southeast District; Katy Liley, P.E., - Project Manager with Gerdan Slipforming; Eugene Little – Owner of Little Painting & Drywall; and Phil Heimbecker – Human Resources Manager for the Delta Companies.

We provided tours of our Cape Complex, including the SEMO Quarry, the Cape Girardeau HMA Plant, the Missouri Shop, and the Missouri Quality Control Lab. Mike Martin, Christine Linguanti, Jerry Neels, and Don Rosenbarger served as tour guides for the bus trips. Terry Everly, Robert Walls, Justin Bennett, Amos Taylor, Joe Vernon, Tony Shafer, Aaron Fortner, Kari Wagner, Cody Essner, and Brandon Machen provided site specific commentary at their respective stops. Dan Grier with SEMO Ready Mix joined the tour for a discussion of the ready-mix concrete plant.



Participating high schools were Caruthersville, Portageville, Charleston, East Prairie, and the Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center (CTC). The CTC includes students from Advance High School, Central High School, Central Academy, Chaffee High School, Delta High School, Jackson High School, Kelly High School, Leopold High School, Notre Dame High School, Oak Ridge, Saxony Lutheran High School, Scott City High School, and Woodland High School.

We wish to thank the MoDOT staff, especially April Hendricks-Brown – Sr. Civil Rights Specialist; Kathleen Clayton - Workforce Develop Coordinator and Rebecca Peters - Vocational Guidance/Placement with the CTC; and Brenda Robinson Echols, Rosie Davis, and Felicia Anderson with Lincoln University for their assistance during this event.

You may learn more about the CTC and the various programs it offers by visiting: You may also learn more about the Missouri Department of Transportation at



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