Building a Digital Twin for the Forest Based Supply Chain
Bioeconomy and digitalisation - terminologies which are also commonly used in the forestry sector. How can we utilise digitalisation in order to get the most of our biological assets? Mr. Jaakko Kuusisaari, Director of Wood and Fibre Solutions at Tieto, introduced an interesting view on these subjects at the recent Forest & Photonics 2017 Seminar in Koli, Finland.
According to Kuusisaari, one needs to connect together different actors in the ecosystem in order to provide real-time end-to-end supply chain visibility, improved delivery accuracy, stock level optimisation and alignment with demand planning. He presented an example of the Wood and Fibre Supply Ecosystem in Finland that consists of 630 000 forest owners, 650 forest service companies, 1 000 harvesting companies, 450 transportation companies and 550 forest industry companies. Furthermore, this ecosystem model can be extended by including forest machinery vendors.
As the amount of actors in the ecosystem increases, the complexity increases as well, resulting in a higher difficulty in managing assets and an increase in costs. Kuusisaari suggests creating a “Digital Forest Twin” as a solution. The digital twin consists of a digital representation of the physical world and its dynamics - visualisation, simulation, planning, optimisation and decision making.
Interestingly enough, at Simosol we already offer a digital twin solution for optimising the forest based supply chain. With our solution, the possible outcomes can be tested and optimised at a much lower cost when compared to any other solution available in the market.
Our digital forestry supply chain optimisation is delivered through various modular solutions that compose the Iptim product family (Iptim stands for Integrated Planning for Timberland Management). Each solution targets specific needs across the forest based supply chain.
Starting from the outer circle, Iptim Assets addresses the long-term optimisation of the supply chain by allowing analysis of the sustainable levels of wood supply from the forests. On the next planning level Iptim Operations allows companies to match the supply and demand of their round wood. This means that the seller maximizes the net profit from timber sales (under any number of market constraints), while the buyer minimizes the unit cost of sourced wood. The next stop is the optimisation of day-to-day activities. Iptim Teams provides the digital solution to solve the problem of who does what, where, and when. It assigns the tasks to the crews in a way that ensures the lowest execution-cost while still fulfilling the supply chain demands.
However, even the best plans are not worth much unless they are followed. Our solution starts now to merge the digital supply chain twin with its real-world counterpart. Iptim Tracker, LogCount and Mobile - under the umbrella of Iptim Control - provide digital data from the field while the operations are being executed. Iptim Tracker provides data from machines used in mechanised operations, Iptim Mobile from manual operations by the field crews, and LogCount from shipping operations for high-value logs (at the individual log level).
Iptim Manager, the digital twin of the physical forest and team resources, allows our clients to manage and update their resource data in an efficient and secure way. As the resource data is the basis for an optimal supply chain digital twin, Iptim Manager is centered at the core of our solution.
Following Mr. Kuusisaari’s message, the Bio-Digital World requires new business models with online design & delivery and full-tracking. These models should offer online optimisation across the ecosystem, resulting in maximised efficiency and minimised waste. Our core business at Simosol is to deliver those outcomes to our clients in the most reliable and efficient way.