By Fintan Robb
The logging industry is far more complicated than it appears on the surface. Behind the scenes is a complex network of suppliers and producers, as well as co-operatives and supply chains that span thousands of miles of terrain. The common thread that ties the sector together is the need to simplify and build efficiencies within operations, while ensuring worker safety and connectivity.
Many workers in the sector spend the better part of their days travelling to and from remote locations, frequently in regions outside of reliable cellular services. In those cases, the most efficient and effective way to ensure seamless communications is satellite-based communications, whether it’s to communicate directly with workers themselves, or track high-value assets at job sites and on the road.
The available satellite resources go beyond voice and messaging communications. Across the logging industry, satellite technology is playing an instrumental role in helping managers accurately log the location and movements of equipment, assets, contractors and lone workers to ensure efficiency, security and safety. This can be in the form of location-based tracking, 2-way messaging, geofencing, and emergency notification services.
With today’s leading satellite-based tracking and tools, managers can enjoy reliable communications access and near real-time visibility into all aspects of their operations, from equipment or logging transportation breakdowns and contractor departure and arrival schedules, to waypoints mapped along travel routes, or ongoing communications to check in on workers in remote locations or enroute.
A growing number of progressive operations are leveraging services such as SPOT for Business, which operate over the Globalstar Satellite Network, including a range of affordable satellite products and services for managing workers and tracking fixed or mobile assets. When used with mapping services, they open numerous new windows to efficiency and cost effectiveness through improved coordination and management of people, assets, and resources.
SPOT Mapping, for example, is a set of advanced navigation services available across devices that includes sharable maps, reporting tools, and a range of map displays, such as satellite, road and terrain options. Its geofencing capabilities also allow users to employ virtual boundaries so managers can be alerted when these perimeters are crossed, to better manage and track resources.
Another example is SPOT Trace, a portable satellite-based asset tracking and anti-theft device that allows owners to track the movement of any asset at any location. When integrated with mapping services, operators can engage in near real-time asset tracking and management to optimize scheduling, identify bottlenecks, plan routes, and pinpoint and record the movement of fleet vehicles, including dwell times at logging areas or mills.
Managers can also access weekly reports or e-mail summaries of truck stops and movements over extended periods, which can prove invaluable for validating billing and verifying invoicing processes.
On the worker safety front, satellite messengers such as the SPOT X 2-Way Satellite Messenger with Bluetooth or the SPOT Gen4 Satellite Messenger are affordable options that can help ensure remote and lone worker safety where cell service is unreliable or non-existent. Workers can use the device to check in with employers or alert emergency services—including their GPS coordinates—at the push of a button.
In the current challenging environment, logging operations and their supply chain partners are under immense pressure to increase efficiencies, secure their supply chains, and keep their workforce safe. That is why a growing number are turning to integrated satellite solutions, including remote asset tracking devices and satellite messengers. W
ith the right tools and processes, foresters can move closer to achieving a more efficient and reliably connected global value chain.
Fintan Robb is Senior Director of Marketing for Globalstar Canada Satellite Co., a leader in satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, and Canadian distributor of the SPOT line of satellite communications devices.
For more information, visit www.findmespot.ca.
This article was supplied to Logging and Sawmilling Journal by Globalstar Canada Satellite.
To learn how satellite solutions can support your business, a guide from Globalstar can be downloaded at www.globalstar.com/en-ca/satellite-whitepaper: “Introduction to Satellite Technology for Business: How satellite technology is driving business advantage in today’s always-on, data-driven marketplace”.
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