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Top 10 questions you should ask when selecting a forest management software

Selecting the best forest management system can be challenging. Check out the questions you should ask a provider before partnering with their team.

The answers you need to choose the right management system for your forestry business

As a forest manager or investor, tapping into the speed and agility of a forest management software system can streamline your task management, optimize resources, and ensure goals are reached.

If you’re new to the forestry software arena, the array of options can be overwhelming, so it’s important to be meticulous when selecting a forest management software for your bio asset. 

To help guide you in your decision making process, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 questions you should ask a forestry software service provider before committing to a partnership with their company. In an effort to provide you with the most accurate and high-level information possible, we interviewed our very own Antonio Tatagiba, CEO of INFLOR USA, to lend us his expert opinion on how he answers these common questions from clients and others interested in using INFLOR software. 

#1: Is your software specialized for forest management?

As you begin your search for the right forest management software, it’s extremely beneficial to find one that’s specialized for forest management instead of simply being adapted from an existing software or segmented for forest management.

“Some of our competitors started out by creating a vertical for a forest solution within their existing software or buying other companies with comparable offerings,” explains Antonio. “INFLOR Forest was solely developed from the beginning to be a dedicated forest management solution that fulfills all processes and needs throughout the entire forestry chain.” 

#2: How often do you run software updates? 

When investing in a forestry management software, it’s important to know the number of updates and bug fixes that are released each year. Technology is constantly evolving, so it’s essential to partner with a provider that is committed to consistently improving their solution. 

At INFLOR for example, we release three major updates of our products each year in addition to bug fixes every month to ensure our offerings are running as smoothly as possible and providing the best value to our clients.

“Our monthly updates cater to requests made or issues reported by our users and other minor developments like new reports, data cubes, and small enhancements in features,” explains Antonio. “At the beginning of the year, we share a deployment update calendar with our clients, so that they know when to expect all updates.” 

#3: Are software updates run automatically or do I have to be involved? 

In addition to the cadence, the level of involvement required of your team when it comes to software updates is another helpful question to ask when choosing a forest management solution partner. 

The level of involvement required of our clients at INFLOR in software updates all depends on how the software was configured within our client’s company and the level of auditing they require.

In addition to offering our clients automatic updates through the cloud, we can also send a package of the updates for your internal IT team to publish the solution on your on premise environment.

#4: How much does your system cost?

When choosing a forest management software, the pricing models available to clients is an important aspect to analyze before entering into a partnership.

At INFLOR, we offer licensing per user, per managed area, and a fixed price per business unit, and all of that mixes with the modules used. This variation allows us to cater to the unique needs of all companies. We also allow our clients to transition from license types once they grow to ensure their budget is best allocated for their company as a whole.

#5: How customizable are your software solutions? 

When implementing a software, it’s also beneficial to know the custom capabilities offered by a potential provider.

For example, at INFLOR, we offer a standard version of our forestry software that fulfills approximately 75% to 90% of our clients’ needs, but we also have the flexibility to offer customizations for our solution. When a client requests a customization, we’re always willing to develop the customization and we check to see if the new addition would fulfill requirements for our other clients. 

“If a new customization we create is beneficial for all of our clients, we develop and release it as part of our regular updates at no additional charge,” explains Antonio. “If the customization is a feature that only the one client needs, we can still create the customization and enable it to be turned on and off based on individual client needs.” 

#6: What support services do you offer to clients who utilize your software? 

Most software systems, especially those as sophisticated as a forest management system, are not easy to use at first. Oftentimes, software solutions come with a manual, but it’s impossible for it to fulfill every need a user has when utilizing a system with so many features, screens, and steps. 

To cater to our clients support service needs at INFLOR, we offer a help desk where users can submit service tickets to get assistance and have their problems solved as part of our service level agreements (SLAs). Our tickets are tended to by humans, not automated robots. We offer email, phone calls, videos calls, and every other form of communication preferred by our clients to have their issues solved. Through the SLAs, we work as efficiently as we can to solve any issues and support our clients as best as possible. 

#7: What is your partnership like with your clients?

The way that a potential forest management software provider answers this question is very telling to the type of support service and consultancy you can expect to receive from their team. 

“At INFLOR, we are committed to forming long-term partnerships with our clients instead of simply supplying a software solution,” says Antonio. “We evaluate the complex issues in our clients’ forest management processes and work to transform it as much as possible to generate better value for the users and companies. It also allows us to learn how they function and better optimize our forest management software to benefit all of our clients.” 

#8: Why do clients usually choose to work with you over other companies? 

Just like the prior question, asking this of potential forest management software providers can give you valuable insights into the support they provide to their clients. 

“INFLOR can provide a more comprehensive service to our clients than our competitors. Our system is very customizable based on the knowhow that we have acquired over the years by working with clients in South America, North America, Asia, and Europe,” explains Antonio. “We also always try to put ourselves in our client’s position to understand their unique needs and challenges. We consistently check to see if our clients are using our solution in the best way possible and provide additional training if needed.”

#9: Can you work across different time zones? 

If you’re a company with a global presence or looking to partner with a company in a different country than yours, it’s beneficial to ask how they manage supporting their clients across different time zones. 

With the widespread utilization of virtual meeting platforms, emails, and instant messaging, our team at INFLOR is able to seamlessly work with clients across different time zones. We can also set-up a local support staff in your time zone/country of origin, if needed in the future. 

#10: Do you provide onsite training support, if needed? 

In addition to time zones, you may be concerned with working with a company that’s headquartered in a state or country different from yours because you want a support person to come onsite if needed.

At INFLOR, we do not hesitate to invest the time needed to provide our clients with the onsite support that they need, regardless of where they’re located around the globe. 

Additionally, a lot of our training and software support can be completed remotely and we set meetings according to what works best for our clients.

Interested in partnering with the best in the industry? 

At INFLOR, our team is proud to provide our clients with INFLOR Forest—our high-end forest management system that manages all stages of the forestry cycle with sustainability, agility, and efficiency. Through INFLOR Forest, you plan and control all stages of the production chain, monitoring both physical and financial variables.

In addition to providing an extremely sophisticated, configurable, and scalable software solution, our team at INFLOR is committed to cultivating trusted, long-term partnerships with our clients. We will function as your trusted forestry technology partner that helps you make smarter decisions for your timberland investment for the life cycle of your ownership. 

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