We build top quality information systems to ensure that Ponsse’s customers always enjoy business continuity.
Ponsse’s yellow Scorpion King is an impressive sight in a snow-covered forest. It is a powerful workhorse that obeys its driver’s commands. At the same time, it is so agile that its rubber wheels barely leave a trace on icy terrains. Power meets intelligence in this machine that an experienced driver can gracefully operate.
Ponsse is best known for the design and production of the world’s best forest machines. All production at Ponsse is guided by the customer business support system. Customers include individual forest machine operators, machinery contractors, forest management associations and sourcing departments for timber companies. When it comes to its product development work, Ponsse takes into account all players in the forestry value chain.
Uninterrupted business continuity is at the heart of Ponsse’s customer promise. “We help our clients do their job better. When we succeed in fulfilling our customer promise and a little more, we will be as successful in the future as we have been until now, ” said Miika Soininen, Manager, IT and Digital Service Development.
Harvesters and forestry tractors can withstand harsh conditions from scorching tropical heat to freezing arctic temperatures. If the machine requires off-road maintenance or a spare part, the maintenance service must be ready to step in, regardless of time and place. Each downtime hour can cost the customer a whole lot of euros, dollars, reals or rubles.
“In order to be able to service our customers’ machines in the way we promised, spare parts management, inventory management, job supervision, and work instructions must be up-to-date and constantly available. My job is to make sure that the information systems that support these functions are working properly,” Soininen says.
The compatibility and high usability of dozens of systems are the cornerstones of information system development. However, the systems need to be constantly tested even as they are being developed and updated.
Ponsse and Qentinel began their collaboration in 2017 as part of the EU-funded Testomat project. Qentinel provides Ponsse software development with test automation that improves application quality and complexity management.
Test automation has been especially used for the development of the Ponsse Manager application, which allows a machinery contractor to look at the working conditions, locations, maintenance needs and history of the machines. It also provides continuous support for product development.
Qentinel has also worked on a business development project for Ponsse’s 1800-person organization, along with a related IT system upgrade. The project, which is set to run until the end of 2021, will modernize and streamline Ponsse’s business processes to improve operational reliability and quality in all areas of business.
The information systems are built to support revamped business processes from sales to production, and supply chain management to after-sales services. At the same time, a working model for future development is created, covering all sections of business and information systems.
When it comes to dozens of systems architecture, test automation is the most efficient and fastest way to ensure disruption-free operation of business support systems and Ponsse’s business continuity.
“Our aim is that test automation supports the continuous development of our systems in a flexible manner. This way we can identify the project phase and gain practical experience from the projects more quickly than ever, before moving on to the next phase of development,” Soininen says.
Qentinel has been instrumental in assisting Ponsse with managing a large project, process development, test automation of critical systems and to ensure that old systems perform smoothly during system upgrades.
The review of the current status of the renovation project lasted from summer 2018 to February 2019, which was followed by a definition phase that lasted until November 2019. The first system projects were launched at the end of 2019 which aim to look for significant development steps to boost business.
Stable web services
Upgrading systems that are visible to Ponsse’s customers is an essential part of the internal systems development project. Test automation has been used for quality assurance of the new Ponsse.com website, Ponsseshop.com, and the spare parts service called Ponsse Parts Online. The high usability and quality of service guarantees that customers will continue to be loyal to Ponsse and recommend its products and services to colleagues.
“One example of how we improve our customer experience is by integrating the digital services we provide our customers into an easy-to-use package. At the same time, we look for opportunities to develop new digital services for our customers, ” Soininen explains.
Websites that need extensive revamping demand more comprehensive testing than manual testing along with a broader service quality assurance. Continuous development of information systems and their smooth operation ensure that Ponsse enjoys business continuity. By partnering with Qentinel, information system administrators can enjoy peace of mind knowing that all systems are of high quality and will operate smoothly.
“While developing our business support system is part of our core operations, developing test automation is not. That’s why working with Qentinel is an important guarantee for our quality operations. Qentinel Pace with its continuous and easy-to-use service is an excellent and cost-effective operating model for us”, Soininen sums up.