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Why Visibility Matters in Your Oil Palm Plantation

Why visibility matters in oil palm plantations
Complexity a Determining Factor in Business Process Visibility

Analysts from Forrester Research defines business complexity as “the condition of having several interdependent and interconnected stakeholders, information technology systems and organisational structures.”

For businesses that involve a complex flow of end-to-end operations, making value “visible” can be difficult.  Visibility becomes even trickier to achieve with chained processes and decisions involving many stakeholders, such as oil palm plantations.

Findings of a global survey by an execution management consultancy showed that only 16% of businesses say they have complete visibility into their processes. Additionally, just 7% report complete, real-time process visibility.

Cultivating a Landscape of Traceability with Digital Agriculture Management

A management solution that helps you oversee all your plantation processes is a good start for better visibility. More importantly, the first step in the process of increased visibility is full traceability.

What exactly is traceability? The International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) explains that traceability is “the ability to access any or all information relating to that which is under consideration, throughout its entire lifecycle, by means of recorded identifications.”

In other words, to make a particular area of your plantation more visible, all the data pertaining to that area must be traceable.

The Quarto plantation management solution is one such solution designed to match traceability with visibility and with your plantation’s performance. In particular, Quarto provides critical visibility into the issues needing to be addressed in the estates via data automation and integration.

Making the Most Out of Your FFB Harvest Data

As FFB prices reach a record high of RM1,200 per tonne, pilferage and missing bunches are inevitable. Managing your plantation data digitally could enhance visibility into the entire harvesting cycle. Also, it clues you in on how to prevent FFB theft. Here’s how:

Ultimately, what visibility does for your plantation is removing or reducing data “blind spots” while magnifying the when, where and how of harvesting. For instance, harvesting processes that can benefit with a management solution for improved visibility are:

  • Collection and despatch: Record FFB weight, driver, and transport details.
  • Grading and quality inspection: Identify and control diseased crops, and to harvest FFB with optimum ripeness. 
  • Bunch count chit tracking: Monitor movement of FFB chits from estate to mill and track chit details.
  • Crop backlog monitoring: See areas of backlog via map and initiate evacuation plans.
  • Harvesting interval management: Record interval data and compare against FFB count to strategise for better yield potential.

Little to no blind spots mean managers can track the entire harvesting cycle comprehensively. As a result, it prevents fuzzy decision-making and unclear directions, translating to better management and profitability.

The “People-Process-Technology” Perspective for Enhanced Visibility

As with most other industries, the main drivers in agriculture operations are the PEOPLE and PROCESSES. Meanwhile, the binding component that promotes visibility in all aspects of the processes for the people is the TECHNOLOGY.

How do managers benefit from improved visibility with better worker management using an all-in-one plantation management solution? Generally, worker management in oil palm estates is a very detailed process involving many components that go beyond just wages.

Access to transparent worker-related data from a single source to improve visibility enables managers to gain insight into work allocation, labour statistics, and worker performance. As a result, they could perform better capacity planning and assessment of resource requirements in the estates. 

On top of that, they will be able to take immediate action after discovery of issues like worker imbalance between estates, phantom workers, and payment-related issues. Notably, the decision-maker role could then evolve from reactive to predictive problem-solving. 

With Visibility Comes Greater Understanding

Quarto’s data-driven, analytics-based functions promote visibility for better understanding of the direction and growth potential of your plantation business.

“Quarto by LintraMax gives me confidence in the monthly reports presented and helps me make quick decisions in areas of overspending or under spending.”  – Chief Plantations Officer, Kretam Holdings

When plantation managers have access to real-time or near real-time data, they gain the information needed to support the results they want to achieve. On the whole, with data visibility, plantations can thrive despite the industry facing FFB price fluctuations, high agriculture input prices, and chronic labour shortage. 

Thus, making your plantation’s value visible with digital information and data automation could indeed support your plantation’s overall business strategy. And Quarto will help you achieve that!

Learn how Quarto can benefit your plantation management with improved data visibility. Reach out to us for more information!

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