by Rafael Naumann,
June 04th, 2019
Accurate and accessible information: the key to a good forest asset management
In recent years, we have seen efforts to deal with the generation and record of information within a routine of activities that still allows for flexibility, so that everything that is produced generates a record or document that permits the retrieval of this information whenever needed.
Actually, it is well known that companies in the forestry industry that do not follow a strict control methodology invariably face hassles arising from poor resources management, be they human and/or material. “Improvisation” is more common than one might think. Adjustments here and there, forest volume below expections, input stock showing non compliance, an error in an operation that needs to be omitted, a cost that has not yet been determined, but needs to.
All this creates a loose culture within these companies, which get used to mending problems − often wrongly – and pushing the dirt under the carpet, hoping that no one will discover these tricks, holding a feeling that the “ends justify the means”. These tricks are often carried out with good intentions, but they can be considered illicit or unacceptable within a company, even more so at a time when compliance and governance requirements are more demanding than ever.
The implementation of an internal management system, which integrates the areas with no breaches or possibility of deceitfulness often proves to be a reality shock for the employees. These new tools are usually badly perceived in the productive environment because they prevent, at different levels, that the employees act as they please. What is expected of them is often delivered, either by the correct means or not anyway. So, it is not uncommon to hear from many that “the area will not work” after the implementation of the tool.
Even today it is possible to see large Brazilian forest companies err when it comes to controls. There are large volumes of incoherent, inaccurate and fragile data that simply do not match or connect accurately.
Fortunately, experience shows that the initial difficulties during the implementation of new tools are fleeting. Over time, the new practices are absorbed by the teams, who adapt to the new reality and, most of the time, embrace the idea and even defend it.
A modern forest management system integrates all the data related to land management, GIS, data registration, silviculture, harvesting, infrastructure and logistics, forest inventory, nursery of seedlings, human resources and all the generation of economic data from the company’s management. It is up to those who are on the front line to have a well-defined plan of what is being followed and to ensure that all the information needed to boost and control the plan’s schedule is being handled and recorded correctly.
Modern technologies allow for increased assertiveness in controlling activities and incomes, and are increasingly integrated with day-to-day tools. The forest process increasingly moves towards the era of “precision”, which is already in full swing within the agriculture and animal husbandry sector. Divergences between these sectors create new challenges for companies and developers, which pose a challenge to several historical paradigms that only gradually are being overturned.
The industry aims at a highly integrated process, with information control (and use of this information to enhance strategic decision making) and rational use of resources, which leads to more efficient processes. Integrated management models aim to avoid voluntary and involuntary errors, since everything that is done is registered. In addition, the integration process makes sporadic and unusual actions often visible to other sectors within the company.
Companies willing to excel on the market in the future must act in the most professional way possible as of today, at the risk of imploding because of the loss of control over what they manage. We have come to a point where this has become a matter of survival.
Leaving decision making to the creative mind of a man can expose companies, as well as lead to losses and legal problems. Companies need to protect themselves in the most efficient way in order to avoid any hassles.
INFLOR, a leader in forest management systems, helps companies maximize their forest asset management performance and promotes more assertiveness in decision making, by providing systems that enable them to gather and manage information on the entire process, making it available for users in real time.