Digitalized delivery processes in the forestry industry
Transporting logs from forest to sawmill: A process that used to involve lots of paperwork
The quality of the wood determines the price the forest business gets for it. In the past, the forest business’s driver would estimate both quality and quantity while loading the wood in the forest. He would then complete a paper delivery note, which he handed over to the sawmill when delivering his load. The sawmill would weigh the wood and assess the quality for a second time. The sawmill would then credit the forest business with the price they determined.
Several days could pass before the delivery note was entered into the database, once again by hand, i.e. the forestry operation only got their credit note after the wood had been processed. Disputes between vendor and customer over the quality of the wood were common. What happened when the forest business was of the opinion that they delivered a better quality wood than was credited to them? How could they prove that when the logs had already been turned to lumber?
Now it’s a process using a mobile app and digital delivery noteThe web app developed by DAM-EDV has changed this process significantly. Instead of manually completing a paper delivery note the driver now simply opens the app on his smartphone and enters the relevant data. The simplicity of the input screen makes that easy.Then he takes photos of the load with the built-in camera. Up to seven images can be processed. This makes it much easier to prove the quality rating the wood he delivered should get, and hence the value of the load. Videos can also be transmitted. “A 60-second video is about 5 MB and takes about 20 to 30 seconds to send”, says Werner Dam, Managing Director of DAM-EDV.With a single tap of his finger, the driver transmits the delivery note, plus pictures and videos, to the DAM-EDV server. An email is generated there which sends the digital delivery note from the forest and the images to both the forestry operation and the carrier. The sawmill receives the data relating to the load via XML file.When the logs arrive at the sawmill, the barcode generated by the app is scanned with a barcode reader, eliminating any manual entries. At the same time, both the forest business and the carrier are being notified that the load has been delivered.
Same-day summaries of loads and revenue
There are many advantages to supporting the delivery process digitally: The driver can easily record and send the data from the delivery note along with the captured photographic/video evidence. The forestry operation saves itself double entry of the data and is likely to receive its credit note much sooner. What’s more, they always have a clear picture of how many loads are on their way, but not yet credited, and estimate the amount of revenue they can expect.
This new process makes resource and financial planning much easier. “The biggest customer of our partner for this pilot project takes up to 200 loads of logs out of the forests every day. That means, up to now about 600 loads have been on the road “blind”. Now they have a same-day summary of their forecast revenue and expended transport resources”, explains Werner Dam. The forest business also benefits from the app automatically tracking the drivers’ whereabouts and their times.
Project time: All of two weeks
“We needed about 80 man-hours to realize the web-based solution with BBj, spread over a three-month period”, estimates Werner Dam. His client, Leobner, was on board throughout the entire project. They tested new program versions under real-life conditions and provided valuable feedback, resulting in a very stable and functional application.
The intuitive smartphone app has an additional advantage: There is no need for training when there is a change in staff. The new employee receives all access data for the app and can use it with his smartphone and be productive practically from the start.
Working with BASIS made it easier
DAM-EDV was in constant contact with the BASIS Europe team throughout the entire project; attending face to face training, discussing issues “on the fly”, and getting help with programming specific modules. “For instance, BASIS Professional Services developed the module for uploading images from the phone to the server. We could have managed to do the job ourselves because the documentation for the tools is very good”, says Werner Dam, “but an experienced BASIS programmer can it within a few hours, saving us several man-days which can be better used for looking after our clients.”
Werner Dam is also considering creating a mobile app for clients in other sectors. “I am thinking about builders’ merchants in particular, who could also make efficiency savings with mobile software. The experience gained with this project would let us develop this new app in no time at all.”
» We could have managed doing the job ourselves because the documentation for the tools is very good. But an experienced BASIS programmer can do it within a few hours, saving us several man-days which can be better used for looking after our clients. «
Werner Dam, executive Director
BASIS partner: DAM-EDV
DAM EDV was founded in 1988 in Austria. It now supports more than 110 clients from a variety of sectors in Austria and neighboring countries, in the forestry industry, logistics, as well as the extraction and processing of wood, sand, and gravel. Werner Dam has been Managing Director right from the start.
DAM EDV offers its clients solutions that are tailored to their customers’ particular needs by combining standard solutions for finance and accounting and HR with industry-specific applications.