Timber Technology As A Source Of Competitive Advantage

There has never been a greater need for businesses to keep up with the rapidly increasing rate of technological change. More and more timber businesses are realising this which means more companies are embracing technology as a source of strategic competitive advantage.

eCommerce and the Internet

The Internet has had a phenomenal impact on the way we do business. Not only does it offer one of the most visible sources of competitive advantage to timber businesses, it has also evolved considerably from being a mere marketing tool.

Nowadays, the Internet allows businesses to trade securely online through eCommerce networks, using customised software applications that are specifically designed for the timber industry’s requirements. It offers a practical way of accessing the very latest business management tools, which can then be deployed internal to organisations, thereby replacing traditional client/server IT infrastructure.

Web enabled software is the perfect solution for small to medium sized business that must keep track of the latest technology. Accessing business management software via the internet means businesses can use up-to-the-minute technology at an affordable price, and since the software is hosted externally, the latest software developments and upgrades can be rapidly deployed without interruption.

One Australian timber business recently reported the benefits that it gained with this technology. In the three years since implementing eCommerce technology, the company saved more than six times on purchasing price and reduced staffing requirements by two thirds. This case highlights the immense value that eCommerce can contribute to any business, and shows how the internet and its evolving set of business tools can complement a businesses’ strategic position and profitability.

Barcode scanning

Barcode scanning is another form of technology that has assisted timber businesses in greatly improving productivity and profitability. It is used by many successful companies throughout Australia with significant quantifiable benefits. One Western Australian company dramatically reduced operational costs whilst doubling production after implementing barcode scanners. They claim that barcode scanners revolutionised their business and that the formerly labour intensive task of tracking and managing stock has become a simple operation.

Barcode scanning can now benefit timber businesses of all sizes by offering a fully integrated supply chain solution. As barcode scanning technology becomes more prevalent – and therefore more affordable – it brings them one step closer to real time inventory control.

Custom reporting

As the timber industry becomes increasingly “tech savy” businesses are demanding increased levels of technical functionality and business reporting. Given the complexities of managing timber inventory and accounts, more businesses are opting for customised business applications that provide managers with unit specific reporting.

This general industry trend sees more timber companies choosing custom developed business software rather than “off the shelf” generic software systems that require heavy customisation. This is because the software needs to “talk the timber language”.

Once customised inventory and accounting software is established, businesses can maximise the benefits of technology by streamlining the combined advantages of eCommerce and barcode scanning.

As technology and businesses evolve, successful companies need to constantly innovate and continue to incorporate new technology and strategies. Technology offers an undeniable competitive advantage to the timber industry, and the businesses that will ultimately benefit the most will be those that view technology as something that complements, rather than obstructs, traditional forms of competition.

Disprax specialises in the design, development and support of leading business software, providing mid-sized organisations with software solutions including Financial Management, Supply Chain Management, Inventory Management, eCommerce and Importing.

Andrea Dixon is the Marketing Coordinator for Disprax. She can be contacted on (03) 9682 3700 or emailed at: andread@nulldisprax.com.au

www.disprax.com.au

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