Data is your reliable ally in decision-making

Photo of Jean-Christophe Champeau
Written by

Jean-Christophe Champeau


18 May 2023

Case study EFFECTO - Champeau

We’ve been using EFFECTO dashboards for over five years and it really has made our short- and long-term decisions a lot easier.

Case study : JM Champeau, Canada, Quebec

You can act with confidence when you have reliable data.

A family-owned and dynamic company

J.M. Champeau is a family-owned hardwood-processing business located in the Eastern Townships of Quebec just a stone’s throw from the American border.
The 225 employees on the teams at our St-Malo and Frontenac plants transform premium-quality wood into top-of-the-line products to meet the specific quality criteria our customers demand. Our total output averages of 25 MMBF a year.

Need more than a "feeling”

Because our saw line includes several pieces of equipment that don’t have advanced dashboards, the machines don’t talk to each other, so it’s up to us to identify improvement priorities or the main causes of downtime. There’s always an element of uncertainty in our decisions since they’re sometimes based on preconceived ideas or even just a gut feeling for identifying urgent problems or bottlenecks. With data, there’s never any doubt. So, naturally, we wanted to integrate digital systems into our plants to automate and simplify data access.

The first challenge was to get equipment from different generations to talk about

We have several generations of equipment using very different technologies, some very recent, others much older. Since the old equipment was working well, we didn’t want to change it, so the major challenge of the project was to collect all the data from all our machines and analyze it. Our equipment suppliers know a lot about their machinery, but they’re not specialists in creating advanced dashboards for them. Especially when the data comes from different generations of different machines from different OEMs.

Our first attempts were inconclusive. In collecting data from each machine and finding a way to cross-reference the machines, we had to compromise either on accuracy or on the time period analyzed. While each machine generates data, it’s really hard to put all the data together to get an overall big picture. Another problem was that everything was done manually. It took a lot of time to get results that were never up to our expectations.

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The difference since we started using EFFECTO Insite is that we can now put our energies where they’re most needed in our daily work because we have an objective vision of how we’re doing at all times. We can analyze our productivity, for example, and the real causes of downtime and determine our improvement efforts accordingly.

Calling on digital experts

That's when we called on EFFECTO

That’s when we decided to call EFFECTO in. After the EFFECTO project team had analyzed our needs, they devised a way to link our seven machines so they could collect data at the same frequency (every five minutes). It was pretty easy for the newer machines but a lot more complicated for the older ones, but they did come up with solutions. We then worked together to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) for creating our first dashboards. We’ve been using them ever since, based on our needs: one for each operator, for maintenance to plan work schedules, and for managers. And in the plant displaying overall performance.

JM Chameau factory - EFFECTO client for digital efficiency

We have had a positive impact on the whole company

In the longer term, we also benefit from productivity gains because we’re able to justify our investments with dependable projections of the profits they’ll generate.

We’ve become more self-reliant over time by developing our own expertise in defining, using, and creating new KPIs. Every department uses them now, from sales to HR.

With EFFECTO, it's a long-term collaboration

We like the flexibility and the fact that it’s scalable. The more we progress, the more we modify our KPIs to make them more precise and more comprehensive. The better the information gets, the better our decisions become.

Our partnership with EFFECTO is rewarding because it’s adaptable and continually innovative. The team is always attentive to our needs. They know exactly where they can add value to our company. We also chose EFFECTO for the renewal of our inventory software, which had become obsolete and was no longer being maintained. With the EFFECTO OnSite module, we now manage our inventories more accurately and more efficiently.

Testimonial from: Jean-Christophe Champeau is the director of operations for his family-owned business in St-Malo, Quebec.


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