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Promising Partnership to Make Digitalization of the Forest Products Value Chain a Reality for SMEs

Remsoft was among the partners featured in the Northern Hardwoods Research Institute (NHRI) Leaflet magazine, which showcased projects that are making digitalization of the forest supply chain a reality. Our partnership with NHRI is focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses adopt digital forestry solutions.

Forestry supply chains are composed of businesses of all sizes: a complex network of companies that range from large, multi-national organizations, to middle-sized businesses with 100-500 employees, and small businesses with 10 or more employees. Each business fills a niche and plays a key role in growing, harvesting, processing, and delivering wood products to market.

The large companies manage greater volumes of product, have bigger budgets, and more staff with a wider range of skills. Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are leaner and nimbler. Regardless of size, however, they all face the same challenge of managing a complex forestry supply chain.  

Options for managing your forest operation within a complex supply chain sometimes favor the larger companies. Large companies can afford specialized software solutions that help to optimize their planning, tracking and efficiency and allow them to engage more effectively with other stakeholders in the supply chain. In many cases, these software solutions are designed for larger, multi-site operations, and they are beyond the reach of the SMEs who equally need management and optimization tools for their business.

Digital Forestry Solutions for SMEs

Recognizing an opportunity to improve operations and lower costs for SMEs through digital supply chain management, Remsoft and NHRI have partnered to support best practice implementation of the Remsoft Operations Cloud within small and medium-sized enterprises in the forestry sector. The first SME pilot implementation is underway this month with a leading producer of hardwood products in Canada. Research for the project is supported through the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation’s (NBIF), Innovation Voucher Fund.

Remsoft is a leading provider of forestry software solutions for planning, scheduling, and operational management. For more than 25 years, Remsoft solutions have helped global forest companies and government to develop and manage sustainable, repeatable solutions. These solutions focus on increasing efficiencies, managing risks, and reducing cost: outcomes businesses of all sizes strive for.

NHRI brings their unique expertise in data and research related to the management of hardwoods and mixed forests to the partnership; and their experience in developing solutions to forestry management challenges including resource growth, silviculture prescriptions, timber value and long-term sustainability.

The Remsoft Operations Cloud

Remsoft Operations is a cloud, SaaS solution for managing the forest supply chain. Within the Remsoft Operations Cloud, forest product companies can consolidate and connect all the people, processes and data sources needed to manage the entire supply chain from the forest to the mill. It provides real-time supply chain visibility to support better operational management, improve costs and margins.

The ability to see everything in one, real-time view is key to unlocking cost savings, revenue, and performance opportunities across the forest value chain. And, with its cloud architecture and modular design, Remsoft Operations can scale to any company’s needs.

Large, global operators with hundreds of users, across different teams are actively planning and scheduling in the Remsoft Operations Cloud, and the system is being used to manage thousands of harvest units and several millions of tons of fibre. The project with NHRI is focused on streamlining the implementation process, data preparation, and data integration templates and procedures to drive down implementation and ongoing costs such that SMEs can adopt the Remsoft Operations Cloud for improved supply chain management and control.

Planning and Scheduling in the Remsoft Operations Cloud

Planning and Scheduling in the Remsoft Operations Cloud

Shown above: top left is a view of harvest progress, from standing volume to roadside; top right is a Checklist Grid with the status and progress of all units in an area; bottom left is the Transportation Dashboard with a view of planned and actual delivered volumes, against roadside volume; and bottom right is a Map View of an annual plan, symbolized by month.

Steps to Success

A key challenge for small to mid-sized businesses adopting digital forest supply chain solutions such as Remsoft Operations is preparing the necessary data. The NHRI-Remsoft partnership will leverage NHRI’s expertise to overcome this challenge by streamlining the implementation process, including data preparation and integration.

As a first step, Remsoft, NHRI and the SME end users will work together to prepare, review, and validate the SME’s existing operational data. Remsoft experts will then determine the data load requirements and confirm the data transfer schedule/frequency. Next, Remsoft will provide a streamlined version of Remsoft Operations and work closely with the SME to load data, tailor the software to their needs, and configure it to align with complimentary software, such as Esri ArcGIS.

The overall goal of this project is to streamline the Remsoft Operations implementation process for SMEs with a scope and budget that is within reach of the SME market. During the project, Remsoft will work in tandem with clients to identify areas for improvement to the product and implementation process to support the SME market.

Stronger Together

Beyond the pilot project, Remsoft and NHRI hope that by tailoring digital supply chain solutions to SMEs, this will contribute to improved operations, better delivered wood costs for the forest sector and a sustainable and globally competitive SME forestry sector in the province of New Brunswick and beyond.

Article originally published in The Leaflet, Summer 2020 Issue.


  • Read our blog post on what’s driving the need for digital transformation of forest operations, and some of the top opportunities for improvements. 

  • Watch a webcast and demo of the Remsoft Operations Cloud and it’s capabilities for creating schedules that balance supply and demand – and mitigate everyday challenges that can arise.

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