A Tally You Can Trust

Lumber is an exceptional commodity, it is renewable and it is sustainable. It is visually appealing and no two boards are exactly alike. Whilst this quality tends to give the lumber a sense of beauty and mystique, it can also make it challenging to categorize, sort, and measure quickly and accurately. On the market today there are a number of semi-automated tallying systems, but none are more accurate and advanced as VisionTally. 

Let me go back in time for a moment to explain how and why MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company became such a strong advocate of the VisionTally system. During the early days of MacDonald & Owen, lumber would often be tallied using the ‘block tally’ method. Over time the company invested in a number of end-tallying systems that would progressively improve the accuracy of our tallies but ultimately not satisfy our mission to achieve increasing levels of spead and accuracy. The decision was made to find a system that allowed us to tally lumber faster and more accurately. 

This led us to the folks at VisionTally. After working with their team, we were able to integrate the VisionTally system seamlessly into our in-house built inventory management system. The first of our VisionTally systems was installed at our Sparta, Wisconsin facility in 2010. Since then MacDonald & Owen’s acquired 3 more VisionTally systems that have scanned 315,000 bundles totaling 237 million board feet. They have a combined in-service time of 27.75 years and have required very minimal repair and maintenance in that time.

The VisionTally system has proven to be the most accurate, labor-free, and efficient end-tally system. It scans bundles automatically from both ends at once. This feature alone still sets it apart from some of the more recent systems developed that cannot accurately measure width and length simultaneously. 

“Having the ability to scan an incoming pack of lumber without breaking the bands is awesome”

– Clint West. 

Another aspect of the VisionTally system that MacDonald & Owen is proud to promote is that is does not permit the measured footage to be manipulated by applying shrinkage or by configuring how widths are rounded. 

On a monthly basis, all MacDonald & Owen facilities audit the VisionTally systems. We do this by scanning auditing packs against our inbound green system as well as using a handheld device. We also work closely with the VisionTally team to ensure all our units are performing accurately on a daily basis. So whilst I have outlined some of the primary reasons for our investment in the VisionTally system, the biggest reason is that we want our customers to know they are getting EXACTLY what they paid for.