Student Team: Patrick Anderson, Jacob Kingsbury, Garrett Sparks
Advisor: Dr. Shawn Bowers
Sponsoring Organization: FTI America
Liaison: Cal Larson
FTI America in an international forest products export company that specializes in the sales of softwoods and hardwoods (www.ftiamerica.com). In North America alone, there are over 5,000 independent sawmills.
Through the years various internet ventures have sought to establish themselves as the hub for the dissemination of information (letting its users know who was producing what product). At present, no venue has caught on, and for various reasons: being too expensive, too complicated, operating under false understanding of the market or having a false understanding of how sales are conducted, and various other reasons. FTI is one of those who tried to make a system years back, and failed. This project represents thousands of hours and information learned from past failures as well as knowledge of how the market now stands and too knowledge of current competing platforms.
In 2012/13 a team of 4 students in the department established the bare backbone of the project. 2013/14 will be the project to fruition.
GoLumber is a free platform, which uses intuitive functionality to convey meaningful information to unify the global hardwood and softwood community to promote and facilitate sales. This year's team should be able to capitalize on the energies and forethought of the past team, and enjoy seeing their fruits change an industry.
Taking off where the 2012/13 left off, the 2013/14 team will focus on the three remaining key features of the site: inventory broadcast, on-line communication, and uploading product photos. Each of these three deliverables is clearly detailed in the project documents.
GoLumber is a neutral platform for lumber suppliers to input inventory and to broadcast this list to their own customers, while at the same time, being in a format which can be easily searched by buyers throughout the world. The system merges both the hardwood and softwood industry, traditionally, two very distinct sectors. The system allows the user to render information according to their particular preferences (metric v. imperial, language ...). GoLumber facilitates open communication between the user and supplier.
The logic of the data input and search is such that the technology can be duplicated to be used in the various forest product trading centers throughout the world (Asia, South Pacific, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, South America, Africa and so on).
Project Management and Communication Expectations:
The project requirements are currently highly defined, however, there will be solutions primarily gleaned from the student input (one area being whereby the site immolates a key functionality of the Google priority display system).
With regards to the schedules and structure of project management, this will largely be determined through student and professor leadership. We will utilize a team approach, and also a system whereby students take leadership on certain areas of the project.
The sponsor would like to meet with the group to monitor progress and to be talking about functionality and the issues which arise at a minimum of once every two weeks, sometimes even weekly.
Prior to Fall 2013, it would be very helpful for students to learn Ruby on Rails.