Robust practices, clear data to support financial planning, and reliable calculations to win tenders. These are among the services offered by Tietohippu Ltd to Finnish harvesting enterprises.
“We tend to estimate the profitability of our business based on our experience. That’s a big mistake,” a harvesting contractor recently told Timo Komulainen from Tietohippu Ltd. The contractor stressed the necessity of reliable data in decision making.
This is where FOBIA project can make a difference. It focuses on the profitability of timber harvesting enterprises, and strives for efficient knowledge transfer from harvesting sites to business planning and accounting.
The current digital solutions provided by Tietohippu Ltd include a wide range of functions such as hour reporting, payroll management, work planning, and even invoicing. If systematically used, the data reveals, for example, site specific factors behind low profitability. The data is also valuable in tendering processes.
– The field of timber harvesting is highly competitive, and profits have declined due to tendering. In my opinion, the best way to secure the profitability of a harvesting business, is the systematic use of tools and methods, as well as consistent follow-up.
Timo Komulainen knows what he is talking about. He has collaborated with harvesting enterprises for over a decade. His company Tietohippu Ltd supplies tailor made information systems to boost the economic viability of harvesting enterprises.
– It’s important to understand the daily reality of your customers. Then you can develop systems that meet their specific needs. We are there for user support, too. We can respond quickly to queries and our customers know us personally.
In Timo Komulainen’s opinion, Finnish forest service businesses range a great deal between each other – from one operator set up to companies employing 100 staff members. Consequently, the financial administration, accounting and planning vary a lot. Small business entrepreneurs handle their accounts themselves, while larger businesses naturally have their own administration and finance units. Also, the volume of administration depends on the requirements set in the contract.
Remote area as an advantage
Tietohippu Ltd is situated in Kajaani, right in the heart of vast forest lands of northern Finland. Timo Komulainen sees this as an advantage.
– We are close to our customers, on their turf.
There are challenges, however. Long distances mean fewer opportunities to attend training and courses. It is difficult to leave the work for a day or two.
– Also, recruiting new forest machine operators can be challenging. However, changing jobs is not common among harvesting operators. Once you have a good job, you hold on to it.
Independent high-tech work
Komulainen describes forestry contractors’ work as independent, practical and varying high-tech work. Digital information follows you wherever you go, and it is possible to report your working hours directly on a harvesting site. The systems developed by Tietohippu are always as user friendly as possible. This means time is not spent learning the ins and outs of the system, instead, the system supports the business.
Forest machinery education and training in Finland includes business skills and entrepreneurship studies. Komulainen mentions the Valtimo Forestry Machinery Training Centre in eastern Finland as a model of education in this respect.
– The harvester operator has a great responsibility and his role is crucial to the profitability of the company. The education at the Forestry Machinery Training Centre consists both the practical work and business aspects.
New perspectives from FOBIA
Tietohippu Ltd brings its business experience and IT knowledge into FOBIA project. Timo Komulainen believes that the digital solutions to be developed in FOBIA will give boost to the profitability of the businesses in remote areas.
– In FOBIA, we aim to increase the operational efficiency of forestry SMEs in remote areas by new digital tools. This will have a positive impact on the profitability of the business.
Timo Komulainen values also the networking aspects of the project:
– This project gives me new perspectives to my work. Collaborating with leading European experts in this field is highly motivating.
Text: Anu Ruusila/Cordial Communications Oy