What is the Efficiency Portal?
The Efficiency Portal is your entry point into the world of productivity, information and advice on how to continually improve the efficiency of your operations. It is built around a hands-free data transfer system, then uses state-of-the art methods to analyse your data and highlights your strengths as well as areas that you might be able to improve on. This includes:
• Central and highly secure storage of your data – long term, and standardised across any machine types
• Daily production reporting to whoever you appoint
• Benchmarking: Efficiency analysis and guidance on improving your operations
What sort of packages does the Efficiency Portal offer?
• Me & My Machine: information for the individual machine operator about his/her machine and work. Did my production rates meet or exceed expectations? How did I compare with similar earlier operations with the same machine? How well did the tree size distribution match my machine’s specifications? What are my machine utilizations rates and where do I deviate most from the average operator in the industry?
• My Machine Fleet: information for the machine owner with multiple machines, in a standardized form, no matter what mix of machine brands you run. Similar analyses to Me and My Machine, but My Machine Fleet gives you further insight into how your machines compare with each other, how well you are matching the right machine to the task, and how your fleet compares with the output of similar fleets in the industry.
• My Forest Stand: summary information for the machine owner about a single operation summarized over all the machines working on site. For a forest owner, the My Forest Stand login provides maps of volumes and species distributions as well as detailed summaries of volumes produced by assortment.
• My Forest: summary of all the harvested stands for the owner and/or manager, specially designed for forest owners that have longer term agreements with participating contractors. My Forest matches and accumulates My Forest Stand data using a unique key matching forest owners with contractors that have agreed to this arrangement. MyForest therefore provides a basis for precision forest management.
• My File Storage: possibility to retrieve originally submitted files as well as manual upload of new files. By going into your My File Storage package you get full access to all the files as submitted since you started participating. You can also submit new files if you prefer to do that via a USB flashdrive and your computer. Either way, you can be sure that your files are safely archived for you.
Motivation: The good and the bad days of contracting
Machine contractors experience some good days, some bad days, and maybe even some terrible days. But as time flies by, it is difficult to remember how many there were of each. So how does your profile of great, good, and bad days look? Are you sure that your costing model reflects these correctly? And can something maybe be done to make your bad days average, your average days good, and your good days great?
Only a small improvement in your daily operations is needed to make a huge impact on your bottom line at the end of the financial year. This is where the TECH4EFFECT Efficiency Portal comes in.
Your own personal online coach?
The Efficiency Portal is your personal online coach. It’s not just another report. It doesn’t just repeat the production figures that you already know and are so tired of looking at. The Portal actively points out exactly what it was that led to your bad, good or great days. It also doesn’t have any favourites. Basically, it whispers specific information to you, what you can adjust or do differently – giving you a clear competitive advantage in the market.
We are not interested in you, personally
This doesn’t mean we don’t care about your business – we are simply not interested in your personal details (except maybe your age -some people think young people are more effective). What we are interested in knowing is much more about what makes good days and bad days in forest operations. The EU has mandated us to help make all days good days for forest contractors. This is the way to develop a vibrant, but also accountable, forest sector contribution to the bio-economy. So we are especially interested in sharing this knowledge with all our participating contractors.
How does the Efficiency portal actually get my data to work for me?
Simple. Econometrics – i.e. mathematical analysis of economic data. Our system is developed by world leading experts, and they will continually improve the algorithms and system outputs over the next 3 years. You will receive useful feedback every time you submit data. Initially, only your technical efficiency is considered – i.e. how did a range of parameters actually affect your overall productivity. And here we base the analysis on parameters either directly measured in your StanForD files, or derived from them. For example, you will know how the stand size, spread in tree size, or tree species mix on the site, influenced productivity. You will also know how much you would have produced if the trees were a bit bigger or smaller. The system even considers the design specs of your harvesting head and how well it is suited to the trees you cut.
The Portal compares your present operation, with your past data and looks for trends. It also considers how other – always anonymous – operators performed in similar conditions to what you were working in – and how you compare to them. Are you, e.g. ahead of the group, more or less in the middle, or even falling a little bit behind the average contractor?
The feedback provides insight into these and a range of other factors that will help you improve your performance on a day by day basis.
What about my data- who has access to it?
You sign a contract, stating exactly which of your data can be used for what. Because this is an EU funded venture, all users are protected by the world’s most modern laws on the protection of personal data (EU Data Directive 95/46/EC). You can also decide how many years you want to have your data securely stored on the portal. Remember, your data is now in an easily reasonable table format and you can access it whenever you like. Most importantly – if you ever choose to opt out of the Portal, you take ALL your data with you.
Will my data be safe?
Your data will generally be much safer than it is today. Laptops lying around the house, home-office computers, USB flashdrives or even leaving the data lying on the machine’s onboard computer is really risky. Once in the TECH4EFFECT Efficiency Portal, your data is encrypted and protected by state-of-the-art technologies. It is also standardised, and easy for you to look into, no matter how many different machine brands or operators you have in your business.
But what’s the catch?
It’s no secret – our Horizons go beyond 2020. We think the Efficiency Portal is going to be much too useful to end when the project terminates. So, we want to find a way to keep the Efficiency Portal operating beyond 2020, so that you can continue to grow your knowledge, improve your profit margins, and contribute to making the forest sector an attractive workplace for the next generation. So, until November 2020, there simply is no catch, perhaps just a token fee to help offset the cost of the device in your machine. All the analysis and feedback is already covered by the BBI.
So, how do I participate?
Send an email (in any European language) to firstname.lastname@example.org just stating which country you work in and we will put you in touch with your national TECH4EFFECT contact point.
Once you register, you will receive a login to your room in the Efficiency Portal. Right now, we accept only StanForD data from CTL Harvesters and Forwarders. Any brand of machine that generates StanForD files can participate. You download an app, and you connect a small box to the USB port of your onboard computer (OBC). The box sends your data to your smartphone app, which stores it until you get into a WiFi zone, which is when it uploads to your room in the Portal. It is also possible to submit files via email, or directly from your computer using the MyFileStorage package.