PMP TeamMate dashboards on planing line in front of worker

Why you need a data solution despite reduced spending 

You’ve heard the persisting rumours of an impending recession. If history is a guide, your first reflex will be to curtail investments. Here are the 5 reasons why it is imperative that you nevertheless invest in data solutions for your mill—right now.

Mill workers consulting PMP TeamMate dashboards on the planer mill floor

5. Data Solutions Allow You to do More with Less

Data solutions such as ERPs (e.g., Oracle NetSuite, Sage Intacct, SAP Business One), MRPs (e.g., Katana, Epicor, Genius), manufacturing execution systems (MESs), and other such systems help automate, plan, and manage business and operational processes for better performance. They add a layer of relational intelligence to processes (accounting and planning, for example), which were traditionally handled independently of one another and required analysts to make sense of. Imagine having to do that manually today. Unthinkable.

Over the 15 years we’ve spent on the floor of more than 100 mills, one place we’ve noticed is often neglected is the mountain of data from the production lines. This data can be used to gain valuable and, more importantly, actionable information about the health and performance of your mill, and—by extension—its profitability. Automating the collection, processing, and delivery of this information; and bridging it with other information systems in place with a data solution like PMP TeamMate™ consistently enable your employees to work faster and better—even if they’re not data literate, something increasingly crucial in today’s technological world.

PMP WePlane dashboards on planer line
Hands taking notes next to laptops on desk

4. Data Solutions Drive More Efficient Work

Data solutions, once deployed and mastered, automate time-consuming tasks—gathering, analyzing, and reporting production data being the usual suspects—which leaves more time to do value-added work.

Take the example of LIB Lumber. When the mill began operating in 2021, Sarah-Eve BLONDEAU, Operations Manager, had no experience in the wood transformation industry. She immediately began working with PMP TeamMate and mastered it in very little time.

Thanks to this solution, Sarah-Eve was quickly able to single-handedly manage every aspect of the sales and operations planning (S&OP), reporting, and scheduling of the state-of-the-art mill and its yearly production of about 60 million FBM. She manages to do all this in a matter of hours—something that usually takes several people days. In her own words: “[…] without PMP TeamMate, we’d need three of me to get the job done.”

3. Data Solutions Help Mitigate the Loss of Experience

Amid labor shortages and experienced workers gradually retiring, there’s a serious hemorrhage of knowledge in the wood transformation industry. Under these conditions, solutions that communicate information (not just report data), are easy to master, and are intuitive—for experienced and inexperienced workers alike—are essential.

Solutions like PMP TeamMate communicate the information that inexperienced plant floor workers need to work efficiently. This information is the same as the one in the head of experienced workers, who used it instinctively, through years of learning.

In fact, because it’s derived from data, the information supplied by solutions like PMP TeamMate is better because it allows everyone to see more, understand more, and do more than experience-based instinct, effectively mitigating the gradual loss of experience in your mill.

PMP WePlane dashboard overlooking production line
Cockpit control panel

2. Data Solutions Help Tackle Real Issues

It’s very easy to lose control over a production run. Whether it’s because a trimmer trims just a little too much for a little too long, an optical sensor is covered in gunk but has gone unnoticed, a misaligned sawblade, or any other real-world issue.

It’s a little bit like a plane during a storm: to land it safely depends on a juggling act of having control over pitch, yaw, airspeed, course, etc. Without the information from a control panel, the pilot can only rely on experience and natural skills to stick that landing. We can probably agree that without onboard systems there would be significantly more crashes.

Your production runs are the same. The only way to address the very real machine and human issues that arise during a production run while staying in control is to give plant floor workers the information—in the form of dashboards—they need to act in a timely manner. So, data solutions like PMP TeamMate help you to stay on course and reach your goals.

1. Data Solutions Save You Money and Help You Make More

In times of economic downturn, especially, quality becomes more important than quantity, because demand usually goes down. Supposing your manufacturing costs and output volumes remain constant, the quality of your products is the only factor that has an impact on your earnings.

To increase quality, capacity, and productivity, the wood transformation industry tends to invest in multimillion-dollar equipment. During a downturn, the industry typically curtails major investments and tries to make the most of what it has, focusing on improving operations. Under these conditions, only high-quality information from an automated solution like PMP TeamMate enables irrefutable data-driven decision-making that helps streamline operations and drives quality up.

Furthermore, most modern data solutions are now offered as services, so they only require a small upfront investment to deploy. From an investment standpoint, it’s better than purchasing new equipment.

Installing this equipment is also extremely disruptive to your operations, which can put a real dent into your bottom line. PMP TeamMate, specifically, can be up and running in very little time and does so without disrupting production.

In times of economic unrest, management-level employees are usually called upon to wear more hats. With this added pressure, investing in tools that lessen workloads and enhance your control over the quality of end products becomes a no brainer. Since data solutions are offered as services, you are assured that they keep evolving and become more useful for your business, guaranteeing a return on your investment.

As you begin to discover trends with the help of your data solution, you’ll be able to adjust your drying recipes so that your kilns yield lumber that’s dried better, for example. That decreases the risk of issues caused by drying at the planer mill, increasing the quality of your end products.

All these factors guarantee the quick return on your time and monetary investments in data solutions.

PMP TeamMate Power BI insights


PMP TeamMate is the operating system for your wood transformation business—whether it’s a single or multiple-mill operation. It's a complete operating system for your mill—each module PMP TeamMate can be used individually or in any combination, but they are all designed to offer you the information to get more out of your mill and the people who work in it, because our solution is your teammate.
Improve sawmill performance with real-time information and reports.
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Improve your control over moisture content and optimize the use of your kilns.
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Improve the quality of your end products with real-time information and reports.
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Improve your ability to deliver by knowing where and what is in inventory at all times.
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Improve sales and operations alignment to deliver the right products at the right time.
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