In July 2017, Ponsse invited TID Informatik to Finland to initiate the next major step of successful collaboration. The Service Information System (SIS) of the leading forest-machine manufacturer uses the software CATALOGcreator® and is one of TID’s largest projects.
Each visit at Ponsse is an event in its own right.
Ponsse is a family-owned business deeply rooted in the Finnish woods. For the leading forest-machinery manufacturer, face-to-face contact with customers and suppliers is key. Today, the founder’s home is a guesthouse, the Ponsse Club, featuring a smoke sauna and karaoke hut and bringing together visitors from around the world under one roof. It celebrates Finnish traditions to introduce visitors to the local culture and mentality. An excursion into the forest is a well-established item on the agenda, enabling visitors to see the innovative and extremely robust forest machines in action.
Finnish High-Tech Forest Machines
Ponsse specializes in both forest machinery applying the cut-to-length method, and the corresponding information systems. While the method trims tree-trunks in the forest to the desired length, a system passes information on the expected type and quantity of wood to the machine operator. All of this works without wires and in real-time. Today, the cut-to-length method covers 20% of the global timber harvest, its share growing constantly.
SIS: Service Information System
SIS is the central information system covering service and maintenance of forest machinery. Apart from easy identification of spare parts, Ponsse offers many other useful features in its online portal: Once customers open their products in SIS, a direct connection to the ERP system ensures that they see all available information about their machines. This information not only includes prices and part availability but also customer service or alteration records of the forest machines. An overview of the overall machine structure in the catalog is also very useful.
Project Meeting with Top-Class Management
The managing director of TID Informatik GmbH, Rafi Boudjakdjian, and the responsible project manager, Hermann Arya (Head of Project Management) along with Project Assistant Claudia Leutenbauer, visited Ponsse for some days in July and enjoyed hospitality out of the ordinary. It was a token of the high attention paid to the project by the Finnish enterprise that Tapio Mertanen, Ponsse’s Service Director, also joined the project-planning board.
Agile Project Management at Ponsse
The Ponsse project uses the agile project-management method, particularly suited for projects of large duration. This means in practical terms that a team works through clearly defined goals in each sprint and accept the outcomes before they continue with the next sprint. Despite the complex requirements, work on the project is easy to plan and perform on an ongoing basis using service quota.
Project Goal: Integrated Documentation
While on the way, another highlight was the meeting with Ponsse, TID, and one of Ponsse’s external service providers in Helsinki. The documentation specialist AAC Global translates the entire documentation for Ponsse and plans to integrate it with the electronic catalog in the near future. Hence, an interface to CATALOGcreator® is one of the many goals to achieve by Ponsse and TID.
Further Project Goals for 2018
Today, the Finnish company already has a large number of online catalogs and many users around the globe who have access to the SIS portal. So far, Ponsse has used 2D online catalogs and 2D offline catalogs directly in the machines. The future will see the integration of 3D models with the catalog to provide even more visualization aids and to improve graphical navigation. Furthermore, the forest-machinery manufacturer would like to benefit from the new features of CATALOGcreator® to continue optimizing the SIS.
Nature & Emotions: Meeting with the Scorpion King in the Forest
In order to give the visitors an idea of how Ponsse products actually work, they visited the forest in between the fixed dates. The three TID guests not only enjoyed the ride as passengers on one of Ponsse’s flagships, the Scorpion King – they also tried it out themselves.
“Experiencing the cut-to-length method first hand was really impressive,” says Claudia Leutenbauer. Rafi Boudjakdjian adds, “You can feel that Ponsse is just one big family. The employees’ enthusiasm for the forest machines is incredible and it is just as fantastic to see the ideas that Ponsse fans come up with, only to mention:
Ponsse Visits cDAY 2017
By the way, Ponsse’s project manager pays regular visits to TID at Lake Ammer, most recently on occasion of cDAY 2017 in the Allianz Arena in Munich, where Marko Oravainen gave an interview. Conclusion: our collaboration is not only highly innovative but also very enriching in terms of its human dimension.
Interview: Marko Oravainen at cDAY 2017