New paperwork tool for loggers
May 25, 2018 - Connected logistics startup LoadDocs is tackling one of the logging industry’s most vexing daily challenges: completing paperwork out in the bush.
By combining its proprietary system for capturing and transmitting images with smartphone connectivity, LoadDocs enables loggers and haulers to send and receive log tally sheets, scale tickets, timber sale contracts and other essential documents directly from the cab of their trucks to the home office as an alternative to faxing the paperwork back and forth.
“It’s a simple formula,” said LoadDocs chief operating officer Brian Belcher. “Speeding up the paper flow will speed up the cash flow.”
With the LoadDocs app, all a logger or driver needs to do is take a picture of a document, assisted by guides on the camera screen to help with framing. LoadDocs’ technology takes care of the rest by automatically cropping, rotating and adjusting image colours to produce an as-good-as-original electronic copy.
“Sawmills are not going to pay unless the documents are legible,” Belcher said.
In addition to digitally sending documents, loggers and drivers can attach photos, retrieve date and time details, and add location information. Logging contractors and haulers specifically are unlocking tremendous value in cases where sawmills will only accept logs of a certain length, diameter and species and are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Collecting data for when and where harvesting took place and when and where deliveries were completed with photos provides added visibility and security for the unique operations in the forest products industries.
LoadDocs is designed to manage a wide range of common industry forms, including: bid and log tally sheets, scale tickets, toll receipts, inspection reports and expense reports.
“Having such records available online and on-demand has become increasingly important as log haulers who don’t qualify for the short-haul general exemption from HOS rules are required to provide supporting documents to back up now-mandatory electronic logging devices,” said Belcher.
Expediting invoices is another key function.
“When it comes to billing and invoicing, LoadDocs helps loggers and log haulers go from ‘harvested,’ to ‘delivered’ to ‘invoiced’ in minutes,” Belcher said. “We’ve designed LoadDocs to remove one of the pain points of the forest products industry. As logging contractors and log haulers explore what the system can do for them, they’ll discover lots of ways to speed up workflow and increase efficiency.”
Loggers often harvest trees and haulers pick up logs in places with limited or no cell coverage. LoadDocs is designed to capture and store images the logger and driver take; when it detects a stronger signal, it automatically transmits the documents to the home office.
At the fleet office, managers can use the system’s optical-character-recognition technology to capture data from the electronic documents for reports. They no longer have to type information on a piece of paper into a computer system, and they no longer have to handle or store massive amounts of paper.
“Through artificial intelligence, LoadDocs can learn about the documents and data that the back-office is expecting to further automate the process over time,” said Belcher.
LoadDocs is compatible across any Android and iOS device. It has also recently launched a partnership with Trimble, a leading provider of fleet mobility hardware. Contractors and fleets using Trimble’s in-cab electronic logging device can install the LoadDocs app on the hardware.
In addition to hardware partnerships, LoadDocs has also partnered with the leading transportation management systems to support integrations so the documents are accessible from wherever they are needed.
According to Belcher, LoadDocs also has flexibility in its license model.
“LoadDocs is quick and easy to get started with no long-term contracts,” he said. “Contractors and fleets can pay monthly for their usage to align their costs as they grow with the application.”
LoadDocs is a connected logistics company, offering a mobile-first document and workflow management system for loggers, contractors and haulers in the forest products industry as well as shippers, freight brokers, and carriers in the trucking industry.