An interview with Jon Heidar Palsson, Director of Sales and Marketing at WiseFish was published on 3rd February in WorldFishing and Aquaculture magazine.
“We can say, and there’s no doubt about this, that there has been a technological revolution in vessel operation and the processing of marine products that have helped the Icelandic fishing industry to become a leader in this field. Icelandic fish processing plants are high-tech, and the fishing vessel fleet is equipped with the latest and most cutting-edge technical equipment for fishing operations,” said Jón Heiðar Pálsson, the company’s VP Sales, as he took stock of the achievements since Wise was established, and what the future has in store.
He said that the digital changes in the fisheries sector have been ongoing for some time, and much has changed over the thirty years that WiseFish has been under development.
“With the enormous progress that has been made in software design, technology has solved and is still solving complicated aspects within the business environment through automation and by reducing the amount of duplicated efforts and repetitive processes,” he said.
He listed numerous developments, such as electronic invoicing that dispatches invoices digitally, with lines in each invoice read into the system automatically and sent to the approval. Added to this, vessel reports containing data on catches and location are likewise routed directly into the systems, ensuring that it is possible to see in advance when and what will be discharged when the fishing vessel docks.
He commented that connections with peripheral devices, scales and printers have become standard, thus making it possible to “eliminate” typos.
“Repetitions of certain work are also eliminated. Information and inventory management become more accurate in a company’s systems. By using bar codes, all inventory management in and out of warehouses has become more consistent, as systems are as reliable as the information entered in them. All these factors have an impact on any company’s competitiveness. It’s in the hands of executive management to understand that technology is not only here to stay, it is also used to the greatest possible extent by competitors. Companies in the fisheries sector now have more and more detailed information on their operations, a better overview of inventory figures, more accurate utilization of the resource and the perfect traceability of products,” he said.
He is adamant that it has never been more critical for the industry to ensure that machines, networks and software are kept up-to-date
“In a world of ever-increasing competitiveness, gaining an advantage is based on utilizing the latest software technology to ensure better and more dynamic processing of data to facilitate decision making and ensure the best success in operations at any time,” he said.
“Wise Cloud Solutions, together with the latest software versions, is the key to achieving better results and becoming a competitive success,” Jón Heiðar Pálsson said, explaining that WiseFish software not only handles the management of fishing and fishing methods, tracking catch composition and volumes, but the software can also monitor catch quota status and manage production processes. WiseFish can be connected to other systems such as Innova software from Marel. The system also allows connections to peripheral equipment, such as scales and hand-held computers.
Gaining new insights
“It is vital that managers have a good overall view of all operations. WiseFish was recently updated, and that update coincides with the Microsoft update from NAV to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central,” he said.
“The new update includes the Microsoft Power BI analysis tool, easier access to Microsoft Outlook, easier reporting and software support for peripheral devices such as tablets. The WiseAnalyzer is essential with WiseFish This allows businesses to easily analyze and interpret data from Microsoft Dynamics BC. New additions to WiseFish such as dynamic analyses in Power BI and WiseAnalyzer allow businesses to view their operations in a new light. A new function of WiseFish in warehouses, compatibility with peripherals and general additions to the new version of Microsoft Dynamics BC make it possible to thoroughly study the data for streamlining as well as gain a competitive edge,” he said.
“We all face having to examine our operating processes in light of available current technology. The majority of companies in Iceland’s fisheries sector are well on their way to completing the renewal of their fleets, infrastructure and software solutions. Resting on one’s laurels, deciding that things have always been done in a certain way and that this has always worked does nothing for expansion potential, improved utilisation or improving product value.”
He added that “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality can be dangerous – although there are undeniably companies that operate successfully on this basis and continue to return solid profits.
“It’s one thing to embark on the digital change of a company and quite another what methodology is used,” he said.
“One factor that is absolutely crucial is that all changes need to be defined, they must fulfill all the values of the company and be implemented with the agreement of the management and the employees. An essential requirement for all changes is to know whether it is necessary to change and why,” he explained.
Valuable market data
Companies around the world have been increasingly seeking to do business with Wise and have adopted WiseFish for processing and fishing operations. According to Jón Heiðar Pálsson, these companies are first and foremost seeking traceability and analyzable data to gain better overviews of catches, inventories and sales traceability.
“These companies come to South America, Australia and Europe, and as we increasingly use cloud solutions, this simplifies all installation and management. Our staff are based in Iceland when installing WiseFish overseas, and we service our client companies from our operating units in Reykjavík and Akureyri,’ he said
“The year has been good to us, companies are increasingly updating to Business Central in order to be able to gain access to the undeniable advantage that it has with all its connections to Microsoft software, integration of e-mail systems, accounting systems and WiseFish. In addition, it provides even further possibilities of tailoring processes to the system with the Flow solution from Microsoft.”
He added that with Flow, it is possible to tailor specialized solutions for each and every company into business processes. A good example is adding the utilization of inventories. In such a case, one asks “the system” to send an e-mail with a reminder when inventory has reached the 60-day limitation period in the warehouse. This makes possible a two-pronged approach to monitoring inventories, preventing wastage and loss of product value. In addition, the system offers automatic report preparation for managers, who can program the system to send them the information they require in the form of a report on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, all according to individual requirements.
“The vision of the future is to better utilize statistical approaches,” he said. “AI and connections between devices to make WiseFish even more dynamic and reliable. Business Central already offers statistical approach – the better the data, the more accurate the decisions.”
He commented that at the recent Seafood Conference held in Iceland, and there were plenty of discussions focused on the reliability of data, and phrases such as rubbish in = rubbish out could be heard in the corridors.
“The reliability of data plays a key role in the progress of using AI and statistical approaches, as the software feeds on the information available and has no other data to work from,” he said.
“This brings us back to the importance of automation, that data is sent in digital format, from reliable systems and without much interference from external parties. As a result, it is vital to properly manage all data and to make every effort to increase reliability and speed to maintain the progress of the digital revolution in the fisheries industry,” Jón Heiðar Pálsson said.