Western Forestry Co-op was established in 1985 by the Dairy Co-operatives in the Western Counties in response to a need for support services for landowners considering forestry. Since that time the Co-op has afforested thousands of acres along the Western seaboard and is the largest and longest established forestry co-operative providing professional forestry services that include forest establishment, forest management planning, harvesting, forest roads and a forest insurance scheme.
There was a recognition that the Harvesting Services business processes with their long complex cycles, needed to be reviewed and efficiencies made to optimise the benefits for forest owners and the Co-op itself.
With the assistance of Enterprise Ireland and their own resources, Western Forestry Co-op engaged RIKON to assist with this project.
Western Forestry Co-op Ltd required RIKON’s skills and assistance to enable them to understand their current manual processes so that they could be improved and redesigned. The central objective was to all up to date management information for the Forestry Harvesting business, which had been done manually and was cumbersome and difficult to aggregate. The knock on impact of this situation that business decision making was slowed and management time consumed understanding where opportunities to improve client service and maximise resource usage.
RIKON facilitated a collaboratively executed project, which also included in the project team our preferred supplier following selection. The approach assured the adoption of a best of breed CRM solution with optimised workflows and business process management.
There were three distinct project phases:
1. Establish current process. The “As Is” situation was digitised using BPMN notation from information gathered in participative workshops with co-op staff. Recommendations and a roadmap for a robust, flexible and optimised “To Be” solution were produced.
2. Identify Gaps and Opportunities. These were then turned in to requirements and assistance was given to establish a Minimum Viable Product that would satisfy them. Techniques such as Route Cause Analysis, from the Lean toolbox, and the MoSCoW framework from the Agile methodology were used to arrive at the required solution.
3. Assistance with the Vendor & Solution Selection best practice and project execution. Project management assurance advice was provided from initiation through to go live
followed by migration to business as usual support. The team were exposed to best practice project management and testing, including the use of RAID logs and testing using real business scenarios to validate their solutions against their requirements. Quick wins were identified such as the use of a cloud-based service, which increased flexibility while reducing long-term hardware ownership and maintenance costs.
Coaching and mentoring of staff through this project allowed them to own the solution and new process. They are now equipped for Continual Improvement and are empowered to take ownership of future process improvement projects.
Marina Conway CEO Western Forestry Co-op:
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RIKON really helped the team to successfully transform the way we work in our Harvesting Business. Adopting a cloud-based solution was invaluable when the Covid restrictions arrived as it allowed us to continue to work and support the co-ops clients remotely. Considerable efficiencies have also been achieved both in the services we offer and in our back office productivity