About Us


CMO in its current format was founded in 2014 by Michal Brink, Ben Potgieter and Andrew Mc Ewan. At the time the name was changed to the Centre for the Modernisation of Operations

The company’s initial focus was on providing consulting, training and auditing services to the forest industry globally. Today, CMO operates world-wide, having a footprint of over 70 countries, where country visits have taken place. We have a staff, partner and associate contingent of 25 persons. We have partners in several countries, including Panama, Uganda, Namibia and Russia. We have also opened our first affiliate office in Thailand in 2019.

Over the last two years, the founders of the company have realised that the true value of the organisation lies in its ability to convert forestry competencies tied up in our core team into software solutions.

Michal Brink is an extraordinary professor in forest sciences at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, has a PhD in forestry, and an MBA. He studied both in the USA and South Africa. He has worked for forestry companies and held positions of global responsibility in large corporations. Michal specialises in forest compliance systems.

Ben Potgieter has a B Tech in forestry and over 40 years of experience in forest operations and fire risk management. Ben has established himself as the no1 forest fire risk management consultant in Africa.

Andrew MC Ewan has a PhD in forestry from the University of Florence and also studied in South Africa. He has worked in large forestry companies and also lectured in forest engineering – his areas of expertise include timber harvesting, forest roads and transport.

CMO’s vision is to constantly improve forestry and natural resource competencies in Africa and beyond. We believe that one of keys of unlocking this vision lies in cutting edge software solutions that converts data into intelligence.
CMO is currently the leading forestry training and consulting firm in Africa with a leadership team of experienced foresters, backed up by a world-class technology development partner. Over the last two years, CMO has been systematically complimenting its consulting and training business model with software solutions. Our competitive advantage lies in our unique ability to integrate our 400man years of technical expertise into world class software solutions that are unique in their simplicity and problem-solving ability the forestry arena. There is nothing more difficult than taking complex concepts and converting them to simple useful solutions. However, once achieved, you will change the world.
Our purpose is to improve the performance of our customers throughout the forestry value chain by focusing on solutions in the performance areas of:

  • Safety
  • Productivity
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Quality of operations
  • Social accountability

We focus on the whole management cycle to ensure the establishment of lasting solutions through continuous improvement:

  • Planning
  • Doing
  • Checking
  • Acting (PDCA)

We provide risk-based solutions. Companies need to focus their attention on hazards that pose intolerably high risks to the SPEQS performance areas. It is an integrated approach to risk management that covers all 5 our performance areas, referred to as:

  • Hazard Identification
  • Risk Assessment
  • Control measures (HIRAC)


Our staff, affiliates, partners and associates
CMO Group operates out of South Africa


Affiliate offices:

  • Namibia: Michal Brink (Acting Managing Director)
  • Uganda: Ruddolph Hoffman (Managing Director)
  • Thailand: Chittiwat Silapat (Managing Director)
  • Kenya: Ben Potgieter (Acting Managing Director)