Errors, quality issues and lack of rigor are very common in the wood industry.
The main obstacle is to break with inertia, to adopt new ways of working, in such a traditional world.
In this sector it is also common that the director of the company has to travel frequently to visit clients and suppliers, who are normally located in remote places where there are no good communications. It is common that operations do not continue their usual course during these absences and that due to poor communications important questiions cannot be resolved. When you are negotiating with customers and suppliers you usually do not have easily accessible information about yields, costs and stocks, and you can make important mistakes that can lead to economic losses or missed business opportunities.
During the daily management, dozens of emails, calls, orders, logistical management and many processes are made to the wood. It is common not to know the exact location or the amount of raw material stock, in process or finished, wasting a lot of time counting and literally walking around the plant to take control of the situation. There is no dashboard or data based decision making tools, no simulation tools of possible scenarios, opportunity analysis, or future forecasts.
The wood industry uses unsophisticated machinery in many cases and many of the jobs are dangerous, painful and monotonous. This translates into low efficiency, low yield to the wood and the risk of accidents, casualties and unmotivated staff.
Especially when a company is faced with audits, whether initial, follow-up, re-certification, for multi-site organizations, or verification of corrective actions, the experience is often stressing.
Small companies cannot always afford to travel to the country of origin to carry out the relevant checks. They use excel sheets with a high risk of error that can lead to non-compliance with regulations or audits. They spend many hours a year between production and administration staff, at an average cost of thousands of euros. Traceability slows down daily operations, which translates into a loss of efficiency.
Large companies do travel to the countries of origin to carry out the due diligence procedure, usually accompanied by consultants.
Although they use ERPs, there are currently none specific to the sector so they have to make expensive custom developments and then extract the data to comply with regulations and pass audits. Between trips, consultants and staff dedicated exclusively to certification they spend thousands of euros.
On the other hand, the work of consultants in these large companies can be complicated because they do not have many specific tools to offer their customers to provide a comprehensive solution.