Scofield Timber was founded over 40 years ago out of the realization that timber harvesting techniques available at the time possessed many drawbacks – not well suited for sensitive properties and often left land diminished of its value. As one of the first companies in the Atlanta metropolitan area to challenge the traditional methods of timber harvesting, Scofield quickly grew as a leader helping to open up new markets for landowners, while also preserving the land value. The company grew to be one of the largest timber dealers in the Southeast and evolved into a full-service timber enterprise, harvesting more than 1 million individually selected trees every year.
The process of harvesting timber is a large undertaking. In addition to the weeks of work required to properly harvest forest land, plans for the land following the timber harvest should also be determined and mapped out ahead of time. Simply put, harvesting is not just cutting down or thinning out trees and packaging it up for sale; there are many more intricacies involved in the process. For a company like Scofield, which managed over 20 projects at any given time, proper documentation was the cornerstone of their successful business operation.
Each new project that Scofield started began with a preliminary plan to map out the process of thinning trees and preserving land. Throughout the process, there was frequent correspondence between multiple parties – i.e. land owners, loggers, Scofield project managers, etc. – that was documented and filed away for later viewing. The plans were also often amended to address new developments and challenges, contracts were drawn up, new tickets were established, and invoices were generated. The overall process of harvesting timber – from beginning to end – generated a multitude of paper documents and required immense organization to manage. If done incorrectly or if one document is misfiled, the entire project could be affected, and money could be lost.
After deploying the first ScanSnap, I realized this piece of technology could handle much more than simply our accounts payable. In addition to changing our entire payments processing system and enabling us to pay our loggers quickly, it also helped to create a more efficient operation overall with quick access to information anywhere we are.
The company began a new workflow process and deployed several ScanSnap devices in their Atlanta headquartered office. The benefits were clear immediately; archiving contracts and invoices made accessibility instant and sharing seamless.
The business operation of Scofield supported transactions performed in the office or at an onsite harvesting location. Access to these transactions and the contracts generated in multiple phases of the project development and across distributed locations was imperative. To help address what was quickly becoming a paper-intensive environment, while also balancing the demands of its loggers and mill delivery points, Scofield began exploring a new document workflow system.
They realized that document scanners could help to both expedite the timber harvest-to-sale process, while also eliminating the delay in waiting for tickets in the mail, filing invoices and contracts, locating misplaced files, and accessing imperative documents while on project sites. The Fujitsu ScanSnap document scanners presented the answers to many of Scofield’s paper management challenges.
Initially, Scofield introduced the ScanSnap devices for specific use in the accounts payable department. After noticing the immediate success of the seamless payment system and record archiving, Scofield implemented additional devices to help address multiple functions - including digitizing all the contracts, invoices, timber tickets, plans, and correspondence. Within a year the company was almost entirely paperless, eliminating four oversized filing cabinets, which freed up space and made all invoices accessible instantly without relying on faxing or postal mail.
“After deploying the first ScanSnap, I realized this piece of technology could handle much more than simply our accounts payable,” said Kelly Dean, chief operations officer, Scofield Timber. “In addition to changing our entire payments processing system and enabling us to pay our loggers quickly, it also helped to create a more efficient operation overall with quick access to information anywhere we are.”
- One touch scanning
- Scan wirelessly to PC, Mac, iOS or Android mobile devices
- Built-in GI microprocessor
- Scan a color document in 5.2 seconds
- Dual Scan for scaninng two small documents at the same time
- Auto two page stitching for scanning documents larger than A4.
As one of the largest suppliers of hard and soft wood, Scofield relied on their loggers to cut timber, haul it to the mills for weighing and obtain a load ticket. Each load ticket generated equated to a pay check for the loggers. In order for payments to be completed, the load tickets needed to be sent to Scofield for processing, which historically relied on snail mail. To do away with the lag in postal mail and the high costs of FedEx shipping, not to mention the inconvenience of faxing ticket copies, Scofield introduced mobile scanning to its loggers in the field.
Not only did the ScanSnap scanners support Scofield’s new seamless payment processing system, but the lightweight, wireless mobile version helped to increase the speed by which load tickets were processed and loggers were paid.
“As a contracting logger, I get paid based on the amount of lumber I cut; however, the legacy system of mailing load tickets to headquarters and waiting for the processing to be complete added another, unnecessary administrative layer... the waiting game,” said Derrell Greenway, president, Crossed Timbers Harvesting, Inc. – a Scofield core logger. “The new document scanners have changed my business. I simply scan each load ticket after weighing is complete and send to Scofield for processing. Just like that, the waiting is cut and I get paid.”
Unlike other mobile scanners, the ScanSnap iX100 is an appealing tool for those in the field because of its rich features, packaged in a small, portable form factor. Specifically, the speed at which Scofield loggers could transform load tickets into digital formats and quickly send away to the main office meant loggers could be out on the field harvesting additional land. Moreover, with loggers spending much of their time in their trucks going from tract to tract, creating a mobile office required small devices that would not compromise performance for size. With the ScanSnap iX100, loggers could do batch scanning of all of their load tickets and no longer needed an AC power adapter, thus providing a full functioning mobile office anywhere they were – from their truck office, out on harvest land or after weighing at mills.
What began as a project focused specifically on building a more seamless accounts payable system quickly changed to support an entirely new method for communicating, sharing and engaging with the various parties involved in the harvesting process. With the Fujitsu ScanSnap devices, Scofield gained tremendous efficiency, while also reducing the amount of paper used in the organization and ultimately impacting the bottom line of its business. Additionally, Scofield gained tremendous environmental benefits in reduction of paper consumption with the help of ScanSnap.