In 2017 CMPC Mininco, one of the most important forestry companies in Latin America, started using Timbeter in specific areas of their operations. The company saw a 11.5 times return of the investment (ROI) in savings in the areas where Timbeter was implemented, as well as savings of 22,5 tonnes of paint, since the digital solution eliminates the need to mark the diameters on the logs. During the initial pilot project, the company also noted significant improvement of safety as zero accidents were reported. Timbeter brought an overall increase of transparency of the supply chain thanks to the unified approach to all the measurements made. Also, the logistics planning became much more precise as truck routes were planned based on the location on each pile.
Since the beginning of 2021, the company has started a rollout to expand the use of Timbeter throughout all operations in Chile.
In this interview, we talk to Julio Tobar, Chief of Project Area in CMPC Mininco, who has worked closely with the implementation of Timbeter in the company since the beginning. Tobar explains the benefits that this expansion in the use of the technology will bring to different areas of the company, in particular the area of final harvesting, and planning of transportation and logistics, as well as the changes he has seen among the people using the technology.
Question: In general, what would you say are the most important findings that you obtained during the pilot project with Timbeter?
Answer: Beyond being surprised with the speed and precision of the tool, it was to see the contribution in transparency to the measurement process in the production and to improve the working condition of the people who carry out this activity in the field.
What motivated you to significantly increase the use of the technology in your operations?
Our operations underwent a very determined mechanization that began in the 1990s and has continued to the present. This process in recent years not only brought more productive machines, but also these machines became vectors of very sophisticated technologies. We understand this, and the challenge is preparing people to capitalize on the good use of these available technologies. It is common to see nowadays on the streets that people in cars speak on the cell phone in their ear and probably do not know how to use the bluetooth connection, which already exists in the car and the phone, it does not cost more and it can avoid accidents, but we still don’t use it. The above cannot happen to us in our production processes.
What are the areas and processes in which this expansion will have the most benefits? How will they benefit?
The Logistics of wood transportation to our clients’ centers will be very favorably impacted, due to the better knowledge of our wood inventory in the forest regarding location, opportunity and quantity.
“This information has completely replaced what we used to collect manually”
Can you give us examples of how Timbeter is used for company logistics planning, inventory, control or monitoring in the supply chain?
Initially, in our commercial thinning operations, we are keeping the daily production control with Timbeter, to have balance control and integrating this information with our transportation in such a way as to quantify our wood inventory. This information has completely replaced what we used to collect manually and feeds our transportation schedule. Right now we are bringing this model to our final harvest production.
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“Today, people who use Timbeter declare that they do not want to go back to manual measurements.”
Could you give us some examples of how the use of Timbeter has empowered workers and collaborators, and how can it be seen in the daily activities of the company and its workforce?
Well, this has been a process that has taken time and effort from the people directly impacted in their work, as well as from those who are users of the information. It has been gratifying to observe how they orient themselves in the use of the application, and how they are able to train other people. Today, people who use Timbeter declare that they do not want to go back to manual measurements.
Could you give us your feedback on the work that Timbeter has done to understand the company’s needs during this time?
Timbeter has been very receptive to our requirements, to pick up the peculiarities of our business and to recognize its urgencies. We think it has been a fruitful win-win relationship.
With this expansion, how do you think Timbeter will support CMPC Mininco to continue meeting its sustainability goals in the future?
Timbeter makes work more attractive to people, helping to capture talent that is the foundation for other roles in forestry operations. It increases the safety of people in our operation, by considerably reducing the time of exposure to risk as occurs in a traditional measurement operation. Furthermore, the digital markings, which Timbeter makes on logs and rumas, allow a significant reduction in the use of paints.
“Timbeter has turned out to be a promoter of this cultural change”
There is a lot of talk recently about digital transformation and its benefits for the forestry sector. What role does Timbeter play in this process for CMPC Mininco?
Digital transformation can be overwhelming, especially for those who in their work see themselves as more distant from possible technological integrations. In this aspect, Timbeter has turned out to be a promoter of this cultural change, people feel that this tool is a real help for them and their work, that it expands their possibilities and we see that this creates capacities in the sector, these workers gained skills that they will take with them to other jobs and employers. From a technological point of view, the connection between data clouds, the best use of existing communications infrastructure and hardware: smartphones, tablets; the opportunities and the geolocation of the information, give us wide possibilities for a timely and effective decision making and guarantee the traceability of our products.
The last year has been difficult for everyone. The forestry sector has not been an exception, and many companies have had to make major changes to their processes. Can you give us some examples of how Timbeter contributed during this particular past year?
The “non-face-to-face” monitoring of the measurements, carried out through the Timbeter portal (Storage Module), has made it possible to guide training or remedy situations remotely, to create a framework, where people are permanently interacting to solve situations without this necessarily meaning face-to-face activities.