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Conventional vs Digital: Can it coexist?

Why it is important to innovate in old(fashioned) industries and the benefits that can be achieved.

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Digitalization is a fact that cannot be denied, but at the same time there's still a large number of people who are not familiar with all aspects of digital life both privately, but more importantly in their professional environment. For many of us, the digital versus conventional debate is not a new one. Most businesses in the timber industry have consistently relied on traditional methods of working, but it’s becoming more clear to them that we are living in a ‘digitalised’ world and no one can escape it. More importantly, they will need to embrace it to go ahead.

Reducing overall costs

As a driving force of change across global commerce, digitalisation is helping businesses to improve their operational efficiency, reducing overall costs, resulting in fewer human errors and greater scale. Meanwhile here in Europe, policymakers are continuing their course of updating EU legislation to the current digital reality, further influencing commercial activity. In spite of its traditions, the timber trade is not immune: in the past, modernizsing timber production largely came from improving the bulky machinery in use, while today, improving overall operations is tied to state-of-the-art harvesting technology along with extensive use of data. Digitalisation in the industry is currently in the implementation stage, expecting to yield distinct advantages in paperless data management, transport cost optimisation, improved flow of goods, and enhanced machine utilizsation. Meanwhile, cloud solutions are being implemented to ensure rapid communication with order management in timber logistics, improving overall operations.

So, what does digitalisation mean for the timber industry? 

Aside from efficiency, the benefits of digitalisation are being seen in other areas, improving not just logistics but also boosting sustainability. According to McKinsey, digital advances are helping the industry to simultaneously drive both sustainability and production efficiency. Enhanced access to high-quality digital information flows is making it easier to take sustainable actions in forestry. Digitalisation is key to better monitoring of forest areas, allowing for easier tracking of the development of ecosystems while following individual trees from the forest to industry and to the final finished product. 

As these trends take off, further adoption is needed to fully benefit from the rapidly emerging industry technology. This ranges from methods using laser scanning to satellite images and data registered by harvesters. Nonetheless, as the technology becomes more established in the trade, we can expect their use to feature more predominantly in standard industry practice, slowly transforming the outdated traditional methods, but staying true to the spirit of the industry traditions. In the end most people who work with wood have a deep passion for the material and understand the importance of keeping it alive for the future. In essence much of the traditions won't change with the adoption of many innovations, but the way we run our businesses will.

The digitalisation trend has started last century, but has really moved at an incredible pace in the last decade. Most modern industries can no longer operate efficiently without it.

We are fortunate to sit at the crossroads where production meets trade. Nowhere else do we see the impact of digitalisation as we do at this stage of the supply chain. Our marketplace allows you to tap into the digital benefits that enable you to expand your market while increasing your efficiency and lowering your cost. Or should we say, increasing your profitability.Here at VonWood we will be guiding you through each twist and turn. We'll help you understand how the shape of the supply chain is changing and how we can prepare you for this in your daily operations. We believe that the digital world can not only coexist with the traditional world in a sustainable way. In fact, wWe believe that the beauty of both lies in their diversity and complementarity, making them stronger together.

You can't afford to be left behind. There are some incredibly powerful new tools, and trends that are changing the way we work in the timber industry. If you want to get ahead of the curve, we have a 7 trends shaping the timber trade today whitepaper for you. Or get in touch with us to find out how our digital platform kan accellerate your business.

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