Upgrading the Timber Industry: The Forester

What if the goal of managing timberland was not to make money?

Timber professionals are making money, the industry is creating new jobs, and more efficient ways to grow trees are being developed every day.

But, ironically, very few people have the time to enjoy their success.

With all the technology available these days, why do timber professionals seem to have less free time than ever before?

At Timber Update, we’ve realized that merely making money from managing logging operations isn’t strong enough of a drive for the next generation of foresters and timber professionals.

The goal of managing timber is to support a happy life

In addition to solid paychecks, new foresters want a quality of life that surpasses the generation before them. They want to run an enterprise that employs the latest science and technology, and they also want to hit the lake on Saturday with their friends and family.

But happiness sometimes gets shoved to the side when there are loads to settle, calls to make, and prospective clients to woo.

Because the industry has for a long time been myopically focused on the mill’s check at the end of the week, many facets of the standard timber operation have not matured at the same rate as other industries.

This lack of holistic growth has caused more headaches for foresters despite steady profits.

Technology Upgrade

Let’s face it: Timber People are not techies. Knowing this, the industry has made somewhat of a concerted effort to use the latest technology in timberland management. Satellites now supply data for computer generated growth predictions, and an army of GIS professionals (geographic information system) are employed by large timber companies to map stand planting.

But all the uses of technology in the timber industry have one focus: grow more timber and make more money.

What’s been neglected? A lot.

Communication, for one, still seems to lag behind other industries at a snails pace. Despite the myriad ways an independent forester could communicate with a landowner, logging operation, or mill, the standard modus operandi remains a series of handshakes, text messages and (cough) paper receipts.

In order for a timberland owner to find someone to help them harvest trees, they have to (brace yourself) look one up in the phonebook. Can they see testimonials or watch live video of a forester’s past harvests in that phonebook? Um, no.

In order for foresters to settle with mills and logging crews at the end of the week, they have to spend hours punching numbers into a calculator and a spreadsheet, or–even worse–gather all the paper receipts from the logger and add them up on scrap paper.

Timber Update has decided to upgrade these current systems. It’s time to rewrite the way foresters do business.

Timber Industry, meet Social Media

It’s time for foresters to utilize social media and Google searches to their full advantage in order to win clients.

Timber Update is a platform for timberland owners to meet foresters. When a forester creates an account with Timber Update, they make themselves visible to thousands of potential clients all over the southeastern US. Better wear your nice shirt for that picture. Make-up, anyone?

More than just visibility, Timber Update provides profile pages that help foresters showcase the quality of their work and their community reputation. Timberland owners no longer need to be skeptical; trust is won rather quickly after a client has read testimonials from past jobs.

Go-go gadget Logger Log

In addition to bridging the gap between timberland owners and foresters, Timber Update has created a smartphone app to solve the Friday afternoon load settlement headache.

Logger Log is a forester’s digital personal assistant.

It works like this:

1. Snap a picture of the load before it heads to the mill.

2. Have your driver scan the ticket once it’s delivered.

3. On Friday morning, review the loads for the week and click “Export” to the accounting system where everyone gets paid–including you.

After that, you have two choices: If you’re still expanding your operation, log back onto Timber Update and follow up on messages landowners left on your profile. But if you’re satisfied with business, go home and take your family camping.

Upgraders are Builders

If we accept things the way they are now, we’ll never find the happiness we’re working for.

Timber Update is dedicated to upgrading the status-quos of the current system in order to provide foresters with real solutions to their time-crunch problems.

But the first upgrade will be the industry’s goals. We’re not just building national infrastructure, storehouses of paper, or bank accounts.

It’s time to take back control of your timber operation. It’s time for an upgrade.

 

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