Päivi Hirvonen from Finnmetko Oy cannot stop smiling. She has recently returned from the FinnMETKO 2018 exhibition, where she demonstrated the Datapankki (Databank) service provided by the Trade Association of Finnish Forestry, Earthmoving and Energy Contractors for its members. The 35,000 exhibition guests produced a steady flow of interested visitors to the stand.
More productivity through monitoring
Account manager Päivi Hirvonen likes to talk about Datapankki face to face to help users understand the benefits of the service. As users can test the functions on their own, they come to understand two things: First of all, surprisingly high savings can be achieved through monitoring alone. Secondly, small streams make big rivers at an annual level.
“For example, if a calibration instrument used to measure timber is always stored in a single location, no time is wasted on trying to find it. If this saves a minute a day, the annual savings will be up to 500 euros. Datapankki helps you see what consumes time and money”, Hirvonen says.
“Proper planning has a significant impact on outcomes. For example, if a shift change takes place by the side of a road where the machine needs to be driven separately, time is wasted unnecessarily. Instead, if the next shift’s operator walks to the logging site, time can be saved and results will also be better.”
A much-needed solution
Datapankki is a response to high demand, as harvesting companies require straightforward tools for monitoring and planning their operations. In three months, the service has been deployed for roughly 40 machines.
“Our initial goal is to distribute this system for at least 200 machines so that it pays for itself and we can keep developing it”, says Simo Jaakkola, vice president of the Trade Association of Finnish Forestry, Earthmoving and Energy Contractors.
“We wanted to develop a service that is available with the turnkey principle and that can be deployed as easily as possible.”
If companies connect one or more machines to the system, they will have access to standard reports, which they can customise according to their needs. These reports indicate key figures, such as felling volumes, average trunk diameter, production per hour, and fuel consumption per hour or per cubic metre. In addition, the reporting view can be arranged according to time, harvesting machine, operator, harvesting method or stand.
The possibility to add customer-specific prices to the system is a completely new feature. The program connects prices to work performance and displays production per hour in euros.
Another significant feature of Datapankki is that it is completely independent of the machine manufacturer. Data can be entered in the system from machines from different manufacturers, as long as the data is produced in a standardised format (StanForD 2010 standard).
“As far as I know, it wasn’t possible to monitor production figures in any previous systems, such as those from machine manufacturers, and they were manufacturer-dependent as well. In this way, Datapankki supplements existing services”, Jaakkola says.
A management tool
In a digital operating environment, business management can be demanding, especially if the expertise of the contractor focuses on machines. According to profitability statistics from the Trade Association of Finnish Forestry, Earthmoving and Energy Contractors, business managers need to move into to the modern age, as there is significant variation in the financial success of companies.
“To really get started, a company needs to invest in HR management, recruitment, setting goals, in particular, and monitoring key figures systematically”, Jaakkola says.
The system has been accepted both enthusiastically and with doubts. According to Hirvonen, in the past people found monitoring to be time-consuming, as no easy-to-use tools were available before Datapankki.
Jaakkola points out that, to get the most out of Datapankki, contractors need to actively use and analyse the data. For example, they have access to averages of all data sent to the system, which offers valuable benchmarking tools.
“Considering development, it is important to analyse key figures on time and throughout the year”, Hirvonen says.
Video clips that offer clear instructions on how to use Datapankki are available on the website of the Trade Association of Finnish Forestry, Earthmoving and Energy Contractors.
“People can easily watched them more than once if there’s something they need to look at again. Help is also available by telephone”, Hirvonen says.
Text: Anu Ruusila/Cordial Communications