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Marcos Paulo Rossi Sacco

Senior Forestry Operations Manager at Bracell


Integration of forest systems

Maintaining national productivity trends with low cost per cubic meter produced at the factory, in the face of a volatile world economy, are the main challenges facing a forestry company today. To achieve this, having a solid and integrated information system that allows you to make decisions increasingly quickly and assertively makes all the difference in this quest for competitiveness.

However, in practice, this is not what most forestry companies in the country have experienced. Most companies generally have a central system that controls the physical and financial aspects of their business and a series of parallel systems not integrated with this central system, with specific functions for each activity or sub-branch of their main business.

In the case of the Bracell Bahia Forestry Unit, this is no different. Today we basically use the Forest Management System to carry out all planning and physical control of the main forestry operations, such as nursery, forestry, harvesting and transport of wood, and SAP for financial accounting of these activities, verification and payment of suppliers.

However, there is a range of other systems, from long-term planning, forestry research and development and socio-environmental management, such as, for example, managing the impacts of forestry activities and complaints from the main interested parties within the company's area of operation, which they are not integrated with central systems (Forest Management System and SAP). All input and output from one parallel system to another or even to central systems is carried out manually, consuming hours and hours of human resources in data analysis and interpolation, not to mention the risks of errors and compliance when dealing with people.

Despite a large portfolio of systems available on the forestry market today, the challenge for companies is to be able to integrate everything into a single system. It was with this in mind and trying to mitigate these errors, making the system more reliable and reliable to facilitate decision-making in real time that Bracell Florestal Bahia in 2022 created the project “Forest Operational Excellence”, which has as its main objective to unify databases currently allocated in the different types of systems that are used by the company, but not integrated, in a Big Data format, avoiding the need to use different platforms to obtain crucial information in the Forestry Unit's daily decision-making, making it more agile and assertive.

The main idea of the project was to simplify access to information, making it possible to correlate data necessary for analyzing forest performance and quality of forestry operations, through user-customizable panels.

To customize a series of reports that reflect the reality on the ground and that is common not only to the Bahia Unit, but also to other Business Units of the group, the project counts on the participation of different areas of the company, formed by a multidisciplinary team, which includes insights from professionals from Brazil, India and Malaysia, in the areas of forestry, digital, information technology and forestry planning. Creating a single data repository for all areas is an important step in the digital transformation journey of forestry operations. We now have a common platform for the São Paulo and Bahia teams, with standardized KPIs and dashboards, automatic data acquisition and data consolidation from different sources.

Using a solution like this, the company moves towards operational excellence, as it is the necessary basis for the construction and use of several other technologies, such as mobile applications, artificial intelligence and machine learning”.

Other challenges that the forestry sector faces, inherent to the integration of systems itself, but which have a link with the topic and make all the difference in the search for competitiveness, are training the workforce to operate the systems, connectivity in remote regions of operation of companies, infrastructure and the cost of constant updates and new versions.

Despite these challenges, Bracell Florestal Bahia is fully convinced that the digitalization process not only in forestry, but in the forestry sector as a whole, is a path of no return and of great importance for leveraging forestry productivity and competitiveness, making it necessary, therefore, for companies to maintain perseverance and encouragement of large or even small innovations, whether created at home or on the market.