Here at J. Gibson McIlvain Lumber we believe in both grading and upgrading! In 2011, we upgraded in several areas, including our inventory software. We also installed our Vision Tally system, which scans a piece of lumber and automatically produces a detailed report, including a piece count, length, thickness, and width. This laser scanning system has literally revolutionized the way we do business. We can more easily track our inventory and ensure greater accuracy of outbound shipments. In case you’re interested in how this system works, we thought we’d describe it for you.
The Vision Tally system is essentially a laser scanning system comprised of two powerful cameras that scan a pack of lumber from both ends at the same time. The high-powered lasers have the unique ability to penetrate a pack of lumber, obtaining precise measurements and total volume in a time frame of approximately 2 minutes. The resulting detailed reports then synchronize with our inventory software, providing real-time inventory information of every pack of lumber in our yard.
Since we receive new lumber every day — both from within our state or other parts of the U.S. and from overseas — and ship out orders at the same time, it can be complicated to determine exactly what we have in our lumberyard at any moment. Add to that, the fact that forklifts are constantly running packs to and from the air drying yards, the mill, the grading conveyor, and the kilns, and you gain an even greater appreciation of the complexity of keeping it all straight.
With Vision Tally, much of this tracking is simplified, mapping the progress of each stick from the port all the way to your job site, recording every transformation or movement in between. An additional benefit surfaces regarding shipments from other parts of the globe. Much of what comes from overseas sawmills is shipped according to volume, so we don’t receive individual details about each piece. With our new system, though, we can track exotic lumber in just as detailed a fashion as we do our domestic species.
One of the most practical ways this system impacts you as the customer is that if you call and ask if a particular type of lumber is in stock, we can tell you for sure, right away. In addition, when it’s time for us to ship your order, we can easily come up with a detailed tally as well as an image of your order so you can receive confirmation that your order is exactly what you were expecting, before it gets shipped out.
This system is just one more way that we’re promoting greater knowledge about lumber and bringing you the highest quality service and material possible.