Evaluating the impact of wood flow management software on administrative costs and efficiency for wood suppliers in the Southeastern U.S.: a case study of Timber Resource Analytics and Contract Tracking software

Main Article Content

Timothy Raymond Miller https://orcid.org/0009-0005-5499-3073
M. Chad Bolding https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6212-7133
Joseph L. Conrad, IV
Sarah Kinz

Keywords

administration, efficiency, logistics, supply chain, wood supplier

Abstract

The southeastern U.S. forest industry serves as a crucial source of raw materials for construction and paper production for the global economy. However, this industry faces persistent challenges in wood supply chain management, often centered around logistical inefficiencies and administrative burdens. Additionally, increased operational overhead, due to rising costs, has exerted strain on the business success of wood suppliers. Administrative procedures and record keeping have traditionally been a labor-intensive process for this sector of the wood supply chain. However, technological solutions, such as new wood flow and logistics management software, can enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness of these procedures. This research investigated the impact of wood flow management software on administrative costs for southeastern U.S. wood suppliers. Utilizing a case study approach, we compared administrative time and cost savings of software users and non-software users, to determine potential financial benefits of software adoption. The research design centered on gathering insight from both user groups, through individual interviews, allowing for a comparative analysis of the software’s efficiency metrics. Results indicated that wood suppliers who utilized software saved an average of 43 hours per week on administrative tasks, resulting in estimated annual savings of approximately $62,000 United States dollars (USD). The greatest reported time and cost savings were attributed to scheduling jobs and organizing information. Adoption of wood flow logistics software may result in additional monetary savings through increased efficiency in administrative procedures and communications. These research findings will be useful to wood suppliers interested in improving operational efficiency and reducing administrative costs.

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