We’ve launched a new video series this week spotlighting use cases where Remsoft Operations can save you time, money and effort across forest operations planning and scheduling. The series, titled Operations Log: Planning Use Cases, will explore common challenges and demonstrate how proactive planning can help to address each one.
As an introduction to the series, this post addresses the overarching challenge – disconnected data and planning processes – and reviews the impact that Remsoft Operations can make as an integrated platform for operational planning.
Dark Data Challenge
Forestry is a domain of big data. Trees are living organisms, and there are so many variables in play in a forest operation that impact the supply chain. Along with species information, forestry companies collect, aggregate and store data about the quantity and quality of wood products in their forests from LiDAR, remote sensing, field measurements, digital timber measurement and other sources. They then bring in numerous growth and yield formulations to understand how their forest will grow and respond to silvicultural regimes and harvest prescriptions.
Along with knowing what’s in the forest, forestry companies also collect information related to the operation itself, storing both planned values and actual results. How are the harvesters performing? How much will it cost to thin this grouping of stands? How many m3 of pulp was delivered to the mill last month? How many m3 of sawlogs are we planning on delivering this month and is it enough to keep the mill working?
Forest planners rely on much of this data to help them deal with the complex supply chain planning challenges that impact plans that look out over a week, month and quarter, and also to tackle the daily field issues that come up and need immediate resolution. For most forest planners, the problem isn’t that the data doesn’t exist, it’s that it is not connected. Inventory data is stored in inventory systems and data from the scales in a settlement system. And, of course, a lot of other data is stored in a plethora of spreadsheets ranging from the simple to the astoundingly complex.
Understanding the downstream impact of a change at one stage of the supply chain means copying, aggregating, updating data across multiple systems. Further, despite being so important to operational planning, this data cannot easily be shared or integrated into a partner system without a similar data wrangling exercise that is often best described as ‘swivel chair data entry’. And this is only to speak of the data that is used. In reality, much of the information collected on a daily basis is simply not used at all. This data, as Gartner defines it, is dark data.
Remsoft Operations is an application built on a cloud-based, integrated platform for forest planning. It not only centralizes the planning process and enhances decision support by bringing together this rich data into one unified view, but it can bridge the gap between data collected and data used.
Here are some of the ways Remsoft Operations makes an impact, as an integrated platform for planning.
Top 5 Ways Remsoft Operations Drives Value
- Provides a one-stop shop: A unified platform in the cloud makes everything accessible to all stakeholders and planners, regardless of whether they are on a laptop at home or on a tablet in the field. Managers can review the plan and relevant metrics in real-time without waiting for reports to be run.
- Enlightens dark data: An intelligent operational planning platform can leverage all the data collected to train and deploy predictive analytics, in the form of AI/ML models, to assist day to day planning by making predictions, and to provide valuable insights as to what attributes are impacting your company’s metrics. These predictions can also provide prescriptive models, such as linear programming and mixed-integer programming models, with more accurate predictions and forecasts, which ultimately lead to more accurate schedules.
- Let’s you turn on a dime: The connected nature of an integrated platform means planners can see the results of changes right away instead of going through the arduous process of updating multiple systems to find the answer. Understanding the downstream impact of a crew shutdown now takes minutes, letting you focus on addressing the issue, not figuring out what the issue is.
- Plays well with others: A robust REST API enables integration with other platforms and technologies, including mobile applications. It is scalable, flexible and works seamlessly within workflow environments and modern integration platforms.
- Helps you paint a picture: A unified cloud platform can also help you tell the story of your operation through integration with Business Intelligence suites, like Microsoft PowerBI, or through graphs, maps, and reports available within the application. And regardless of whether you use in-application graphs or within complex PowerBI dashboards, the data is fresh and up-to-date.
Game-Changing Efficiency and Agility
Having a comprehensive operational planning platform is game-changing. Remsoft Operations can turn activities that once took days into hours or minutes, enabling planners to react to and resolve issues as they come up quickly and efficiently.
It also lets you leverage all the data you are collecting like never before; it can not only tell you the result of a decision, but it can help you make it. And when it comes time to share your operational plans and results, you can easily bring this business-critical information into corporate dashboards and reports.
These benefits are real and achievable, regardless of the size of your operations. The Remsoft Operations platform, and our subscription plans, scale from 300,000 m3 to 3,000,000m3 annual harvest volume, to help you start modernizing your operations planning and management today.
Contact us to explore how Remsoft Operations can drive value within your organization.
Sign up for our webinar on The Story of a Block: How to Maximize Potential from Forest to Mill for a closer look at how Remsoft Operations can support every decision point in the lifecycle of a forest block.