Doing more and doing better with less, part 1: wood purchasing

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Written by

Benjamin Doucet


13 September 2023

There’s a good selection of digital tools you can use today to help save time and money.

This is the first instalment in a series of three articles designed to show you how to put digital tools to work in managing your business more effectively.

Purchasing can be a complex web of details 

Incoming raw material (round wood) can be a real headache for management, involving many internal and external factors (suppliers, carriers, unions...). This complexity is compounded by the fact that the purchasing function handles a huge volume of transactions in an environment of permanent urgency, generating an endless barrage of paperwork in the process.

The combined effect of these inputs often results in measurement errors, load assignment errors, and management errors (including invoicing and claims).

It’s not surprising that purchasing is one of the most critical factors in any successful wood-processing operation.

Digital solutions to the rescue

Flexible and mobile services you can count on

Scalers, yard operators, and even truckers must be able to move about freely outside with appropriate documents on hand at all times. Fortunately, mobile technologies now make it easy to measure wood inventory and record any load coming in with handheld devices. These rugged units are protected against the elements and accidents and they’re connected online or locally on Wi-Fi making them workmates you can rely on no matter what.

You can take efficiency up to next level by installing a connected scale that records all the details of each delivery so truckers can come and go as they please.

The result is a win-win for any operation. You no longer have to manually check the delivery since the tally is based on a weight/volume ratio and that means truckers get paid faster, too.

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In most cases, investment in our solutions quickly pays for itself with the time saved and the errors prevented.

Eliminating paperwork and errors

Wood purchasing requires precisely managing the links between all parties involved. In Quebec, for example, you have the truckers and their unions. With a system like EFFECTO OnSite everything is already pre-configured, including the administrative documents, so most of the back-office tasks are done automatically. Here we’re talking about eliminating double or even triple entries and all related searches for statistical purposes.

There are still plants today using reams of paper and Excel files trying to keep up with the purchasing avalanche. By simply integrating management systems like ERP/MES (Enterprise Resource Planning/Manufacturing Execution System) with specific mobile apps, you can make the whole process a snap. With just one single entry in a pre-configured interface the job is done, saving precious time and eliminating tedious errors.

Automating all repetitive tasks

You can also connect purchasing data to the billing system or accounting software. A digital tool can also automate invoicing the moment electronic validation of delivery is received. The whole process is fast, simple, and reliable enough to keep your suppliers and accounting staff smiling from ear to ear.

The advantage of working with a supplier like EFFECTO is that we’re not only software developers specializing in the wood-processing sector but we also install automation systems in plants in North America and Europe. So, we’re holding all the cards when it comes to the best solutions for your specific business operation and location. 

wood purchasing

Positive impact at the enterprise level

The benefits of automating the purchasing process will extend to every level of your business. Those in human resources will certainly appreciate how much easier it will be bringing new employees on board since the software is there to guide them and most of the steps are automated. Developments like these also improve the working environment for everyone on the payroll while at the same enhancing the image of your business as an innovative place to work, a powerful recruiting tool in itself.

And, of course, it will do wonders for your relationship with suppliers who can count on being paid more promptly with reliable documents that will make their administrative work easier, too.


About the author: Originally from France, Ludovic has been working in Quebec for many years, and has an in-depth understanding of conditions on both sides of the ocean. As an IT specialist and former tech executive, he’s committed to developing solutions that maximize efficiency for EFFECTO users in order to make their digital investments profitable as quickly as possible.


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