Al-Pac Takes Data-Driven Approach to Optimize for Maximum Efficiency and Sustainability

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Highlights

Al-Pac leveraged Remsoft’s Tactical Optimization solution to streamline and integrate planning across its supply chain, maximizing efficiencies to sustainability harvest the forest resources it manages.

With a focus on maximizing efficiency and forest resource sustainability, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries (Al-Pac) is using optimization technology to improve tactical harvest scheduling and wood flow across its North American operations. Using optimization modeling for forest planning decision support has enabled Al-Pac to manage high harvest volumes by modeling different scenarios and evaluating outcomes. The data-driven approach has also been a catalyst for promoting integrated forest resource management between the multiple Forest Companies operating within its management area.

Our data-driven approach and optimized, integrated planning between Forest Companies, has helped us manage fibre flow to minimize operational inefficiencies and maximize the benefits from the forest resource.” Remi L’Heureux, Al-Pac Business Unit Leader, Integrated Land and Fiber Logistics

Challenge: Managing a large and complex supply chain

Al-Pac is committed to innovation and continuous improvement and uses the best available technology and the philosophy to create more products with less raw materials. The company is focused on managing its complex supply chain to make the best decisions, ensuring cost competitiveness and long-term sustainability, and this required a more efficient way to manage the entire supply of wood coming into its mill.

Al-Pac’s Woodlands team is responsible for fibre procurement from a variety of sources, including its Forest Management Agreement (FMA) area. Under their FMA, Al-Pac has access to about 6.4 million hectares of public forest land and, within that FMA area, approximately 2.2 million hectares are verified as harvestable. That wood, along with timber purchased from private landowners and coniferous sawmill chips, provides fibre for the mill.

  • Because it operates in a large FMA area, there are often long distances between harvestable stands, which creates more variables to consider in terms of harvesting, scheduling and transportation.
  • The company has to make complex decisions regarding inventory management as it strives to schedule the right wood volume at the right time to and from the right locations

Solution: Finding balance with a data-driven solution

With new technology available to optimize and integrate operational planning, Al-Pac has been able to augment that knowledge with data intelligence that provides a new level of decision support that can drive efficiency improvements.

  • A tactical model was developed, using Woodstock optimization technology, that brings together a range of planning activities to help schedule the right activity, in the right place, at the right time.
  • The company optimized planning for over a three- to five-year period by taking a holistic approach that considered various aspects of the business.
  • The tactical model has given Al-Pac the best of both worlds: self-sufficiency and the ability to address challenges using the model internally with consulting support from Remsoft when needed.

Results

  • Al-Pac uses its tactical wood flow model as a decision-support tool to answer critical tactical questions and address challenges.
  •  The tactical model gives foresters a data-driven support tool to explore potential forest planning scenarios. The company is leveraging its data to enhance operational decision-making and place greater emphasis on getting more value from the data it generates.
  • The development of an integrated planning decision support system has paved the way for greater transparency and collaboration on joint planning between participating quota holders.
  • The ability to track alignment to operational plans is helping Al-Pac enhance management of forest resources through continual improvement.

About Al-Pac

Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. (Al-Pac) is the largest single-line kraft pulp producer in North America. For more information, visit Al-Pac’s website.

About Remsoft 

Remsoft is an intelligence software leader that helps forestry organizations plan with precision, act with confidence and adapt to change. Learn more about Remsoft Forest IntelligenceTM solutions.

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