What to Look For in Operations Software for Your Tonnage Mill

What to Look For in Operations Software for Your Tonnage Mill

If you’re thinking of buying software to optimize your mill operations, now is a great time to look. Digital transformation has come to the wood mill industry, with several companies now offering software that enables your mill to switch from burdensome paper-based load and scale tickets to digital tickets and digital tracking.

As you likely already know, paper tickets and manual processes cause a number of headaches, including:

  • Delayed visibility into the merchandising of your tracts
  • Tedious manual reconciliation and settlement work
  • A lack of big-picture data

Digital ticketing and tracking eliminate these problems and provide several advantages. As you begin to research potential solutions, here are six key questions to ask that will help you identify the strongest option.

1. Are the software developers familiar with the wood mill industry?

You don’t want wood mill procurement software from a company that either lacks knowledge about the sector or uses contract software developers who aren’t familiar with the industry.

Unfortunately, many companies use outside contract developers who lack experience in the wood mill industry—and their lack of knowledge results in a product that creates new sources of aggravation.

2. What do training and implementation for the software look like?

Will you be trained to use the software and helped with implementation?

The right implementation process can make the difference between a fast, successful digital transformation and a slow, bumpy roll-out.

3. Is the software a cloud-based solution that works on multiple platforms?

This question is especially critical. Your operations are scattered across locations: from your mill office to the yard to the scale house and the tracts you’re merchandising.

You need a solution that works on computers as well as Android and Apple tablets and cellular phones in the field.

It’s also critical that the software is cloud based because then any updates and improvements are automatic. You don’t have to spend time installing updates on each of your devices.

4. Does the software cover all aspects of procurement?

Some solutions on the market handle only some aspects of the procurement process. You want a solution that covers all aspects of procurement: from standing timber to the yard. The solution you choose should help you:

  • Optimize the merchandising of your tracts for maximum revenue.
  • Eliminate tedious, costly administrative work.
  • Prevent zone jumping.
  • Establish a reliable chain of custody.
  • See the big picture of your operations so that you can make data-informed business decisions that increase your profitability.

5. Does the software include U.S.-based customer support?

Just as the training and implementation assistance you receive matters, so does the customer support you receive as you continue to use the software.

Does the support involve overseas call center agents who struggle to understand and resolve your problems? Or do you have U.S.-based support that is well informed and able to quickly help you?

6. Can you import your legacy data into the new system?

You may want to import your historical data into the new software you select. Does the software allow you to do so?

A Software Solution That Checks All the Important Boxes

There’s only one solution on the market that has all the right answers to these questions. Legna’s Angel software solution for wood mills was developed and is continually refined by our in-house, North Carolina-based team, which has more than 35 years of experience in the wood products industry.

Angel covers all aspects of procurement and is a software-as-a-service, cloud-based solution that works on computers and Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. Your data is secure in the cloud, protected by Microsoft Azure’s state-of-the-art, multilayered security, and our data is encrypted in-transit and at rest.

We also offer platform training for your staff and field testing, helping you at every step of the implementation process. After implementation, you’ll benefit from customer support from one of the largest and most responsive customer support teams in the industry, with representatives on the East and West coasts of the United States.

In addition, you can import your historical data into Legna through a seamless connection with PowerBI.  

To learn more about how you can digitally transform your operations at your mill with Angel, contact us or request our e-book “How Wood Mills Can Increase Profitability Through Digital Transformation.

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