Mekong Timber Plantations in Laos manages an existing plantation estate of approximately 24,000 hectares of lease area under a concession agreement, and focuses on an existing core state of 18,000 hectares of tropical hardwoods.
The company aims to be a leading sustainable plantation forestry business in Asia, with a focus on higher value timber production for regional markets.
They have been using Timbeter since 2018, and their operations and planning team collaborate and share information using many devices in different locations of their plantations, that span across two different provinces in Laos.
In this interview, Ian Du Plessis, Operations Manager at Mekong Timber Plantations, shares their experience with Timbeter.
Initially, what called your attention to Timbeter? What was the problem/issue you wanted to solve with the help of Timbeter?
Many local markets in Laos PDR don’t have any weighbridges so we had to look for a solution in order to get an accurate measurement of the truck loads. Our infield timber stocks were also not accurate and we needed to get a more accurate reading.
What do you use Timbeter for?
Measure truck volumes before leaving for the allocated market. Measuring infield timber stacks in the plantations. We also use Timbeter to show us our log diameter distribution for each compartment. This information then goes back into our growth module for more accuracy.
What are the results of Timbeter implementation? Has the solution speeded up your processes?
Infield stock and truck loads can be measured much faster, we don’t have to measure each log separately. Massive cost saving for us.
Did you have any unexpected results thanks to Timbeter?
Timbeter gave us a more accurate figure for converting our logs from m3 to gmt for our specific species. I was sceptical in the beginning regarding the accuracy, but was proven wrong within the first month of using Timbeter.
What are the main processes in your company that have seen benefits from using Timbeter?
Our operations department is working much more efficiently and our planning department can use the information from Timbeter to fine tune our growth module for the future.
How did the workers perceive the innovation implementation? And how did the transition from a manual method go?
Seeing that Timbeter is a paperless system as well as time efficient, the workers welcomed the transition from day one. They don’t want to go back to the manual method, the training was also easy seeing that it works on tablets and smartphones as everyone is used to working with these devices. The interface is also very simple and easy to use and to understand, as the system is not overcomplicated.
What is your experience with the Timbeter team?
Very professional and helpful with any questions directed to them, Timbeter’s customer support is world class and other companies can learn from them.
What do you like most about Timbeter?
The accuracy, simplicity and customer support.
From your experience, which companies would you say would benefit the most by using this solution?
Would you recommend Timbeter to companies in the forestry industry in other parts of the world? Why?
Definitely, it is very user friendly. Laos PDR is still a developing country and all our plantations are remote with very little cell phone coverage. We can do all our measurements infield and then upload the data later when the team is back at the camp. If it can work in Laos PDR it can work anywhere in the world. Excellent Product!!