UBC Theses and Dissertations
Analysis of methods of studying operational efficiency in forestry Pfeiffer, Kurt
Increasing effectiveness of use of the agents of production (efficiency) is needed to compensate for steadily rising costs of labor and equipment. Efficiency can be measured in various ways, depending on the type and scope of an operation. The methods available and the circumstances under which they can, and should, be used are the major concern of this thesis. Due to some peculiarities of primary forest production such as highly variable work conditions and irregular stand characteristics, many well known techniques of industrial engineering have not been used widely in forestry. Although progress to date has been limited, time study and several other work measurement techniques can be applied successfully. Time measurements have to be supplemented by costs and other data, to allow for comparison of alternatives. The production methods themselves should be analysed more carefully to find means for technological improvements. The role of the woods worker also deserves more attention because of his heavy and often dangerous work and his outdoor working conditions. In recent years the various activities of forest management, logging and mill supply have been viewed as part of a system which should be optimized for overall efficiency. Operations research has greatly increased the possibilities of studying the influence of variables which govern the system, although the systems approach has not yet been applied fully to an existing forest enterprise. Parts of the system or sub-systems may be complex enough to warrant the application of operations research, and its success should encourage increased research in this field.
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