Lack of adequate infrastructure to flow production, lack of tax incentives, the Brazilian tax complexity and the instability of the foreign exchange market are some of the main difficulties faced by the Brazilian forestry industry. The instability of the foreign exchange market has even destabilized the timber market of Brazil’s Southern region in mid-2008, and the bad consequences thereof − given the degree of uncertainties − are felt by the sector to this day.
The productive sector, in turn, is also affected by events such as fires, frost, strong winds, thefts (in the field and on the road), poor production quality, operational losses, pest and disease incidence and inadequate forest management.
Given this scenario, which contributes to financially burden the production process, companies need to structure and organize themselves in order to meet the challenges that must be faced, guaranteeing a high quality and profitable timber production.
The forestry industry has been demonstrating a high development capacity, but the challenges highlight the importance of managing all forest chain processes more efficiently, including the planning process, the definition of the timber buyer market, the choice of the best materials and services suppliers and the efficient control during the purchase of inputs. The objective is to guarantee better prices and delivery times, the choice of machines and equipment more suitable to the topology and climatic conditions, among other variables.
In pine breeding in particular, the logistics of cutting and delivery to the furniture industry must be made just in time (JIT) in order to preserve the quality of the logs. Furthermore, it is necessary that the sales, planning and operational teams work in an integrated manner.
In a highly integrated process, the customer requests a product and the sales area of the company responds promptly, registering the order and confirming the delivery date. The planner, with solid information on the forest productivity, quality, strategy, logistics, etc., informs the operational team of the areas to be harvested; the operational team controls the shipment of each cargo, from loading, to issuing tax documents for each cargo, thus resulting in a highly traceable process.
In addition, the truck has a mobile phone with geographic positioning data that is sent to a central monitoring station. Finally, the customer can track the route and estimated time for the cargo delivery via internet and, once delivered, the customer approves the receipt and billing is released.
In this regard, companies use computerized systems to plan, record, analyze and manage the entire production process. They can also record and monitor the main costs related to the forest business, i.e., construction costs and maintenance of roads, weather conditions, fuel costs, topography, type of soil, exchange rate and labor. The management systems in this case, allow the company to flexibilize the allocation of these costs according to its needs.
The use of applied technologies in order to boost productivity and management efficiency has reached the point of no return in the productive sectors, and that is not different with timber production. The manager needs to have access to information, not only related to operational control and activities planning, he must also know in detail all the costs involved in the production process, from the prospecting of land to be acquired, rented or leased, to the timber delivery to its final destination. This all allows tasks, such as determinig prices and profit margins and the best time to sell, to be more efficient.
The challenges of the timber industry are numerous, but the search for mechanisms that help overcome them is continuous. The technology associated with properly structured processes, such as those incorporated in INFLOR’s systems, significantly increases the business sustainability.