Machine data for customer value and new services

Solita: case Ponsse about machine data for customer value and new services

Forest machine manufacturer Ponsse wanted to optimise their operations and boost service sales. They turned to Solita to build a modern cloud-based data platform and integrations to different data sources. Today, Ponsse creates value through data that cuts through all functions and business areas, empowering the company to develop new and innovative services.

Ponsse is one of the leading manufacturers of cut-to-length forest machines. With roots and headquarters in the Finnish countryside, the company operates globally, serving its key markets in Finland, Russia, Sweden, Germany, France and North and Latin America.

The owner of a Ponsse harvester or forwarder expects the best possible return on their investment. Ponsse knew that data-driven services like predictive maintenance could minimise machine downtime in advance. However, the company’s data was spread out in multiple systems that didn’t fully communicate, making data-driven operations borderline difficult.

With Solita’s expertise, data from manufacturing, after sales, services, fleet management and other sources were brought onto a cloud-based platform. The team also built APIs to enable the use of external interfaces.

Benefits of Ponsse’s data platform

  • Improved service sales and savings through better optimised operations.

  • Improved reporting and data archiving capabilities.

  • More accurate material forecasting by utilising data from multiple business areas.

  • New business models around innovative services such as predictive maintenance.

The platform provides possibilities for new and innovative services, not only for us, but also for our partners, dealers and customers.

Miika Soininen Director, Digital Services and IT, Ponsse

Dreaming of a data platform for the entire forestry network

Driven by technology and sustainability megatrends, the forest machine business is in transformation. The rapid advancements in technology and digitalisation, in particular, offer new opportunities to develop products and services. One of the fastest growing areas of Ponsse’s maintenance services is the development of digital services.

Driven by a clear vision, the company wanted a single source for all data that would serve multiple purposes, such as new business applications, APIs and reporting.

Data archiving needed to be effortless, too, since the company generates heaps of new data all the time.

Ponsse also wanted to give easy access to its partner network who could use the platform to add value to their respective businesses, thus contributing to better optimised forestry operations. Together with Solita, Ponsse embarked on a major data overhaul.

Our experts in advanced analytics, data warehousing, integrations and cloud solutions joined the Ponsse team. Through agile software development, we can gain impactful results fast.

Marko Suojasto Account Executive, Solita

A cutting-edge solution for data-driven operations and services

Solita built the solution on cloud-based Microsoft Azure technology, with Snowflake serving as the data warehouse. APIs were built to facilitate the use of – and compatibility with – external interfaces. Modern MuleSoft API management and integrations enable the combination of sensor data from the machines, utilisation data of each individual machine, service data and customer data.

Furthermore, Agile Data Engine (ADE) enables automated solutions around the platform. The addition of data sources and components is easy with the modern DataOps tools.

In their ongoing collaboration, Solita and Ponsse have adopted an iterative approach, which is ideal for gaining quick wins and building the solution in phases.

“Our experts in advanced analytics, data warehousing, integrations and cloud solutions joined the Ponsse team. Through agile software development, we can gain impactful results fast,” says Client Director Marko Suojasto from Solita.

“We start with a vision and see how it works in practice. Based on feedback from the business, we go back to tweak the solution. This way, we can get new data to the business as soon as possible and know if we’re doing the right things”, adds Miika Soininen, Director, IT and digital service development from Ponsse.

We can get new data to the business as soon as possible and know if we’re doing the right things.

Miika Soininen Director, Digital Services and IT, Ponsse

Reaping results in material forecasting and predictive maintenance

In the past, Ponsse’s material forecasting relied on historical information. But since customer needs and Ponsse’s product portfolio are ever changing, past data was not a good indicator for future needs. Today, the company can pull data from multiple business areas –supply chain, R&D and sales – to create better forecasts.

“Our customers get shorter delivery times for their desired machine configurations. Efficient scheduling and resource management also benefit our suppliers. And of course, we can better optimise our entire supply chain and inventories,” says Soininen.

The data platform has also empowered Ponsse to build new business models around predictive maintenance. With a 360-degree view of its fleet, Ponsse can react faster to an individual machine’s condition before the customer even reports an issue. By minimising downtime in advance, customers can enjoy increased machine availability.

In the future, Ponsse will be able to offer customers even more advanced maintenance services.

“Though something has been impossible before, it might be possible now,” sums Soininen.

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