The future of the logging industry
Logging has been, traditionally, a largely manual industry. Logging is heavy, dangerous, and physical work that involves strength and cunning on the work crews, to ensure the right timber is harvested, from the right place, and that the crew’s safety remains uncompromised. To a degree, logging will always remain a manual task for those crews working out in the field, and in the sorting yards. Nevertheless, a logging business must adapt to always evolving business conditions, to maintain profitability, and quite frankly, to survive into the future.
The business’ survivability depends on many factors, but innovation and new technologies to help reduce the burden of that heavy, manual work, is key. The future of the logging business Worldwide economic conditions can change quite rapidly. From a period of relative prosperity in the early part of the 2000s, the financial markets took a nosedive halfway through the decade, crashing down completely by 2007-2008. Many businesses went under, some because of mismanagement, perhaps, others because they got caught in the downturn. But many businesses failed because they were not future-proof yet. Innovation should be at the top of the list, to ensure that the operation does have a future. Heavy machinery out in the field has become more sophisticated over time: Cutting machines, forwarders, cranes, etc. But this expensive machinery needs regular maintenance, to avoid breakdowns, downtime, and the inevitable financial costs that these incur.
A digital solution can help keep a tight schedule on vehicle maintenance logs, for instance, to let you know when vehicles are due for service, etc. And if implemented as part of a larger IoT plan, sensors can accurately predict when a breakdown is likely to occur, or when a piece needs replacing due to wear and tear. That data can then be fed into a central database to help you maintain a constant overview on your business. Heavy machinery in fact has become quite sophisticated over time. Prospective drivers of forwarder and harvester vehicles for instance need to undergo rigorous training that involves simulators, much like airline pilots. These training courses involve digital software solutions that are part of larger innovative plan. On-board computers and wireless technologies keep everything connected, reducing downtime and enhancing data transfer speeds. Also, Big Data is set to make a big impact on the forestry and logging world. As your operation grows and develops, so does the need to process the data gathered.
Big Data in itself prompts and aids decision-making, while enabling smart data transfer, which in turns helps improves overall yield. A digital solution will give you the necessary Big Data platform to jump safely into the future. Generally speaking, all these elements come to down to a collaborative effort between logging crews, administrative staff back at HQ, sorting personnel, drivers, etc. All these people need to stay connected in order to develop a sustainable business model that can survive amidst rapidly changing circumstances, in a worldwide economy that can go from boom to bust in a matter of weeks. The digital future is now The time for innovation is not five, or ten years’ time. By then, it might be too late.
The time to innovate is now, so that your current operation expands and survives. The digital future of the logging industry is becoming a reality with every passing day, with new technologies and innovation leading the way. Big Data, IoT, drones, wireless technology, etc. All these elements foster the right environment to develop a future-proof, streamlined operation that is safe, profitable, and long-lasting. Without innovation, the business will stagnate and then go under.
The digital life of your forests starts here. We have prepared an eBook to show you how.
Read From traditional to revolutionary: roots of success with increased operational efficiency and learn how digital transformation can make all the difference: