Underground Operators Conference 2020

Commit Works will see you at the Underground Operators Conference 2020!

The Commit Works team are looking forward to creating opportunities in the new frontier at the 2020 Underground Operators Conference at the end of this month.

Chief Executive Officer Paul Moynagh, General Manager of Asia Pacific Terry Henrikson, and Growth and Innovation Specialist, Stacey Steinberg will be exhibiting at the Perth conference from the 25th through to the 27th of March.

The Underground Operators Conference welcomes over 800 delegates from more than 160 organisations in positions such as mining engineers, mine operators, technical service managers and consultants. The conference hosted by AusIMM sets the benchmark for sharing underground operational experiences and industry best practice.

It will feature four internationally recognised keynotes and over 45 technical presentations, the program will also cover key discussion topics on process transformation, innovative mining methods and practices, health and safety, revolutionising the traditional mine and more.

The team view this as an incredible opportunity to join the conversation with international industry professionals discussing important changes and solutions for the future of underground mining.

If you’re heading along be sure to visit us at stand 59!

Learn more: https://undergroundoperators.ausimm.com/

#UGOPS2020

Innovative Technology Executive joins Commit Works’ Board of Directors

Leading operational management technology company, Commit Works, announced today that it has appointed Henry Ye to their board of directors.

Henry, along with co-founder Adam Kossak, founded Aequora Capital, a private principal investment firm focused on high growth technology businesses with global potential, and has become an investor in Commit Works since 2018.

Henry began his career as a software engineer working in technical roles in companies such as EDS Australia, eCorp, TIBCO Software and has also spent time as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.

At the end of 2001, Henry joined a small private software company to develop its international logistics software. Henry became an original investor and a senior development manager at the company, and later as product manager, GM for corporate development, and most recently as Managing Director for Greater China. Today, the company renamed to WiseTech Global, and is listed on the ASX with over $8 billion market cap.

“I’m very excited to be part of another great Australian company that will have a significant impact on an important global industry.” Henry added. “Having been part of WiseTech Global, I can see Commit Works traveling on a similar journey and I’m very keen to share my experience and learnings with the team”.

Commit Works enables frontline teams to plan, coordinate and control work in challenging operational work environments such as underground and open cut mining. Planned work is both safer and more productive than unplanned work. Since adopting this software, mining operations owned by major mining firms like Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Barrick Gold have increased the production of their operations, in most cases by over 30%, whilst also improving their safety records.

Commit Works CEO, Paul Moynagh, is excited to have Henry join the team. “Henry’s experience growing WiseTech into an eight-billion-dollar company will be extremely valuable for us as we scale up to meet our global potential.”

“Henry has strong expertise applying the theory of constraints to growing software businesses and I believe this will help us remove and avoid some of the constraints in our business so that we can consistently achieve more with less effort” added Moynagh.

mining Indaba

Commit Works team is ready for Mining Indaba 2020

Jason Aucamp, Director – Operations and Projects (Africa) and Emelia Chalker, Head of Marketing at Commit Works will be heading to the Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town, South Africa from Monday, 3rd February to Thursday 6th February 2020.

After the roaring success of the 25th Anniversary event last year, there are no plans to slow down. The world’s largest mining investment event will see the largest number of investors, mining executives and junior miners from across the globe come together for this leading deal making forum. 2020 Indaba event highlights will include:

·More space within the Investment Pavilion to allow for even more junior miners and investors.
·The Main Stage will once again host the CEOs, Ministers and maybe even Presidents that you can’t see anywhere else.
·Industry experts from across the value chain will tackle topics including the industry’s role in addressing climate change and decarbonisation and sustainability measures for investment in the next decade.
·Even more innovative digital case stories and technologies will inspire you in the extended Mining 2050, now 2 full days of content.
·A focus on China with more Chinese investors and an unmissable panel about how China is impacting the battery metal supply.

Our Commit Works team looks forward to talking about practical digital transformation on your mine operation and welcome the opportunity to meet with customers and prospects. Come see us in the Austrade Lounge.

If you’re interested in how Commit Works can help your operation, please contact jason.aucamp@commit.works to schedule a meeting.

Scheduling Software

Scheduling tech and short interval control provide a high return on investment, says mining industry report

A high-profile report on technology in the mining sector has identified optimised scheduling and short interval control as two of the best investments for mining companies who are committed to digital transformation.

According to McKinsey & Company’s 2018 report, Behind the mining productivity upswing: Technology-enabled transformation, mining is already reaping the benefits of technological change, and mining productivity is on the rise.

The report stresses, however, that technology needs to be part of a holistic approach to transformation that extends across every facet of a mining organisation. Companies who invest in tech without a broad, organisation-wide strategy may not see the improvements they’ve been hoping for.

“There is no technological silver bullet that companies can buy to achieve their goals,” it states. Instead, transformation depends on the success of three interdependent engines, described below:

1. Harnessing tech

Harnessing digital, analytics and automation technology across an organisation can support productivity, safety, customer satisfaction, and supply chain management.

New technologies are already helping mining companies in many ways, including:

  • Improving throughput and recovery by using data and advanced analytics to inform decisions and improve processes.
  • Optimising maintenance, so it’s performed when needed rather than on a fixed schedule, thanks to sensors and machine learning. Phone- or tablet-based systems also help by giving maintenance workers the info they need while they’re on the job.
  • Reducing operating costs – especially through the use of robotics and autonomous machines.
  • Boosting productivity by coordinating activities. In underground mining, where this has always been a challenge, WiFi or 5G wireless tech on mobile devices allows supervisors to communicate with work teams in real time and adapt plans using short interval control to suit conditions.

2. Adapting management systems

A mining company implementing new technologies also needs to modify the ways in which its employees operate “to embed the new tools and insights into their daily workflow”.

Sometimes the organisational structure may need to change too. Traditional siloed teams typically lead to “slow and inferior decision making. Each team sees only its part of the whole, and when problems arise (as they always do), it works against collaborative and cooperative thinking and action. Most importantly, teams that work in silos know only what they know; they are isolated from the data that drives innovation”.

3. Overhauling culture and capabilities

Breaking ingrained habits is the third part of the puzzle; mining companies need to manage a change in mindset, behaviours and capabilities, formally and through modelling by managers. They will also need to train, retrain and upskill employees, and hire others to fill new roles as technologies are harnessed.

The role of better scheduling and control

The report lists optimised scheduling and control as “a use case that will provide a high return on investment” for companies embarking on tech-enabled transformation.

Commit Works’ Fewzion and short interval control systems are tech solutions that act across all of McKinsey and Company’s “three engines for change”:

  1. They harness mobile technology and analytics to support productivity, transparency, safety and decision-making.
  2. They modify the way that employees work together by giving teams access to a single plan in real time and enabling progress to be tracked – breaking down silos, allowing plans to be adjusted as necessary and making people accountable for the work they do.
  3. They change the behaviours and mindsets of teams and supervisors, through a system based on commitment, trust and accountability.

Commenting on the opportunities provided by mobile solutions for underground mining, the report notes that enabling supervisors to communicate with work teams in real time lets them “react and adapt to changing conditions, allowing an underground mine to function like a modern, sophisticated open-pit operation”. Furthermore, short interval control allows companies to “examine where decisions are made, and by whom, and empower their workers to make informed, data-driven decisions, quickly and safely”.

We’re proud to be delivering products that are so central to the practical digital transformation of the mining industry. Contact us to find out more about how Commit Works can help optimise productivity and safety on your mining operation.

Mine planning software - North America

Commit Works set for North American expansion

The company, which is already providing its integrated frontline scheduling software and real-time tracking solutions to mining operations in Australia and Africa, has opened new offices in Sudbury in Ontario, Canada.

Commit Works chose Sudbury for its vital role as a technology and innovation hub for the global mining industry. With more than a dozen mines within a 250km radius, Sudbury is less than four hours from Toronto, which is home to some of largest mining companies’ headquarters. With the international mining industry undergoing significant technological transformation, Sudbury is poised to become the centre of digital development in mining.

Paul Moynagh, CEO of Commit Works, said that he sees the expansion as an opportunity to create positive impacts abroad, as Commit Works looks to grow its team and recruit North American experts. He commented: “We’re excited to share our journey with some of the brightest minds in technology and mining, and we welcome the opportunity to develop the economy in the area by working with the local community.”

The announcement comes in the wake of two new appointments in the region: Joseph Gladu joins Commit Works as vice president for North America and Derek Polano steps into the role of adoption and results manager.

Moynagh stated: “We’re thrilled to be taking our products to North American clients, and I’m pleased to have Joe and Derek on board to drive that expansion.”

Joseph Gladu will primarily be responsible for growing Commit Works’ business in North America. Moynagh said: “Joe is an expert product evangelist with many years of experience in mining technology. He’s as passionate as we are at Commit Works about helping mining operations achieve improved safety, better adherence to plan and, ultimately, greater shareholder value. His contacts and strong relationships in the industry will be a great asset for us.”

Derek Polano is an experienced business improvement consultant with a specialisation in change management in the mining and industrial sectors. He will be responsible for implementing Commit Works software for clients, integrating it into their work and increasing their usage.

Moynagh commented: “Derek has worked for change management firm PACE and a number of miners in the Sudbury area, so he’s well placed to help Commit Works tap into a thriving mining cluster. We welcome his insight and are excited about the foundations he and Joe will be laying for Commit Works in North America.”

Frontline scheduling - short term interval control

Dead ends on the road to integrated planning and short term interval control

At Commit Works, we’ve spent nearly a decade building and implementing integrated planning and short term interval control (SIC) software to bridge the gap between monthly plans and the work done by frontline teams.

The hours we’ve worked with teams on mine sites have given us a comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing operations and the results that they need to achieve. Throughout the years we’ve watched mining companies invest significant amounts of money and time with consultants, software companies and internal teams to develop solutions to this problem – in most cases, they have run into dead ends.

We’ve written this article to share our insights and guide you through the reasons this kind of project often fails to deliver a useful tool to the team at the frontline.

Common approaches

Why are they falling short? Let’s take a look at the three approaches we’ve seen used, which try to build tools for frontline planning and scheduling and short term interval control (SIC) on mine sites around the world.

The MOS consultant approach

Almost every mine we’ve been on has a set of whiteboards, spreadsheets or paper tools for planning, doing, checking and acting on site. Most of the time these were developed and implemented during a Management Operating System (MOS) project.

In one project we recently helped on, the mine had over 65 spreadsheets stitched together with pivot tables and macros. No one on site really knew how all these were supposed to work together and when one thing stopped working the whole system was broken. A massive amount of time was wasted on this operation in pre-planning, planning and lock-in/commitment meetings in the quest for a plan everyone could agree to – and most weeks the plan was wrong within hours of starting.

Spreadsheets and whiteboards developed by MOS specialists, even if they continue to be used on an operation, require considerable manual work in order to keep them going. Their biggest failing, however, is in their inability to produce real cross-functional/integrated planning and scheduling. This is not a safe or reliable way to coordinate a mining operation, and it doesn’t have to be the case.

In-house IT approach

Sometimes, mines or their head offices choose to go it alone, using an internal IT team to build a solution for the sites. Some of these are successful at delivering useful tools to the front line to meet the particular needs of that mining operation.

However, three things are difficult:

  1. The tool is normally very specific to one operation so can’t easily be used on other operations in the group. This means the whole development cost is covered by one site.
  2. In-house projects are often plagued by issues around product design, software integration, scope creep and change management. Many are ultimately left unfinished following changes in organisational structure or redundancies in the company. This is because effective software in this space takes years to get right and many corporate IT departments don’t last that long without change.
  3. To continue to provide value to an operation, certain support infrastructure and people need to be employed. We have heard of mining companies employing customer success and DevOps teams to look after the software they have built in-house. This can last for a while but recently we have seen these teams being disbanded by new leaders looking to save head office costs. In these cases, sites are left with an unsupported system that no one knows how to fix or improve.

Software mashup approach

Often a number of systems are pulled together into an uncomfortable collaboration, or a systems integrator is brought in to create a “system of systems” for work scheduling and production reporting. They might bring planning and Short Interval Control systems with them to implement in the operation, or they may work with a software company to build a customised solution for the specific need.

A recent example in North America saw no less than six software and consulting organisations engaged to collaborate and deliver a planning and Short Term Interval Control solution. They experienced all the integration and “turf war” issues you would expect and, in the end, spent over $14m to deliver something that can now be bought off the shelf from one vendor (us). The team involved in this work were made redundant recently, so the sites have a system without the support they need and the system is, as far as we know, likely to be replaced.

Another angle on this is the “wrong tool forced to work”. For example, it has been suggested by some that “mining is just like maintenance” so you should be able to set up standard jobs in SAP and schedule them using Prometheus to enable frontline planning. Although there have, no doubt, been some successes in plant environments, where the majority of work is maintenance work, it is very hard to get frontline mining teams to use SAP for this kind of planning. You have to look very hard to find a real mining operation where this toolset has been able to provide frontline teams with a shift plan to deliver each shift.

Why is this so hard to get right?

In spite of good intentions, smart people and big budgets, so many projects fail to deliver a long-term solution. Here are some of the reasons why.

Mining is complex and software people seldom understand how mining operations really work

Consider all the moving parts and processes in a mining operation: production, maintenance of equipment, projects, geology, survey, rehab, safety and hazard management, reporting and analysis. And then there are people too: planners, schedulers, coordinators, control room personnel, site supervisors, operators and tradespeople.

Without a comprehensive understanding of how all of these elements fit together, it’s impossible to develop effective software for these people. Our team has spent years consulting, doing “day in the life studies” and coaching supervisors in the field. We understand what they need because we’ve been listening for more than 20 years.

Inadequate feedback from real users

You need to spend a lot of time with users (and care deeply about what they say) in order to build a system that is both powerful and easy to use.

Good software takes a long time to get right and consulting teams charge too much each day to justify having their best consultants help on software development projects. Neither mining companies nor consulting firms are good at software development or support – it’s not core business – so they tend to be expensive and fail to deliver what the site really needs.

Restructuring means short-lived internal software teams

Most internal software teams don’t stay in their roles for long enough to develop, implement and support a system that can achieve effective integrated frontline planning and short term interval control (SIC). Company restructures generally mean that projects are disrupted or the people that built the system will no longer be around or working in the right department to look after what they built.

Too many point solutions

Point solutions concentrate on fixing one specific problem quickly but often fail to connect with other systems. While many mining software suites perform well in their specific areas of influence (such as operational planning, maintenance, reporting, fleet management, safety monitoring, or analytics) there are no other software or technology firms that can provide an end-to-end solution that connects mine plans to all the frontline work that needs to be performed to deliver the plan.

Most of these point solutions are designed the way they are for good reasons, so it can be very hard to get the busy software companies that provide them to adapt their solutions to meet the needs of frontline workers.

There are many solutions available today that support frontline teams – this diagram shows some of the major ones. But note the lack of connection between the various solutions as you proceed from monthly plans through to the detailed work schedules used by crews.

Lack of adoption

To truly get the benefits of planning and Short Interval Control software it’s vital that implementation, change management and adoption of the new system is managed effectively and that ongoing support is available.

What should you do?

So, what is the best approach? Should you pay a software developer or outsourcer to build customised software that works around your mine’s current systems? Or start from scratch with an integrated provider of planning software? Or would a MOS consulting firm give you the spreadsheets you need to streamline the management of your mining operations?

The technology and innovation projects in the above examples have struggled to deliver tools that the crew at the frontline actually use in the way they were intended to be used.

It pays to avoid these kinds of mistakes, but how?

How Commit Works has succeeded where others have failed.

Commit Works is the only provider of a comprehensive, fully integrated frontline planning and scheduling system (Fewzion) that works with a short term interval control (SIC) app and visualisation software (Visual Ops) to give a complete picture of mining operations, every day, every shift.

In developing our Commit Works products, we built a minimum viable product (MVP) of Fewzion for Anglo American’s Moranbah North mine in 2011. We have continued to develop, support and improve it since. We’ve completed successive implementations for other Anglo American, BHP, Glencore, South32, Peabody, Rio Tinto, Mastermyne and Barrick Gold sites over the past six years. Implementations have taken six to 16 weeks to complete and have all delivered significant improvements in production and safety metrics. Crucially, we continue to support each of these sites and regularly release new features (our latest release is version 19.1) so that they get the benefit of the experience we are always building.

From monthly scheduling of personnel and resources all the way through to the most granular task-based details of a single shift, our mining software allows management to see their operations clearly and make better decisions, whilst empowering frontline teams to get the job done more efficiently and safely.

Implementations of our software have helped deliver massive production and safety improvements for some of the world’s largest mining companies. Most recently a site experienced a 45% increase in mucked tonnes per day within weeks of everyone using the system. You too could get these kinds of results.

Want to hear more about our mining software and how we’re making mines work better? Get in touch or watch a video to see how we do it.

 

Mining Software

See Commit Works at Mining Indaba- South Africa

Mahene Benzane, VP Africa Africa Region & Partner and Emelia Chalker, Head of Marketing at Commit Works will be heading to the Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town, South Africa from Monday, 4th February to Thursday, 7th February.

The 25th Anniversary Mining Indaba event will see the largest amount of investors, mining executives and junior miners from across the globe come together for this leading deal making forum.

Highlights Include:

  • Meet with over 750 investors and dealmakers under one roof
  • Sustainable Development Day – Be a driver of eco-conscious mining. Discuss the role of diversity, inclusion and local communities in the mining sector and discover the newest sustainability-driven innovations
  • Mining 2050 – How can big data, automation, AI and digitalisation increase your efficiency and visibility?
  • Investment Battlefield – Watch as the hottest emerging mining projects pitch against each other to a panel of high-profile investors to be crowned the 2019 champion.
  • Young Leaders Programme – How do you plan to avoid a skills gap? Meet with the young talent eager to start a career in mining.
  • 27 Ministers Confirmed and still growing

Our Commit Works team looks forward to talking about practical digital transformation on your mine operation and welcome the opportunity to meet with customers and prospects.

If you’re interested in how Commit Works can help revolutionise your operation, please contact emelia.chalker@commit.works to schedule a meeting.

Future of Mining Americas

Commit Works takes off for Future of Mining Americas

Delegates from Commit Works will be jetting off to the United States later this month to The Future of Mining Americas conference in Denver, Colorado on 29 and 30 October.

Commit Works’ Director of Global Operations, Terry Henrikson, and Marketing and Communications Manager Emelia Chalker will attend the event, which brings together hundreds of mining professionals from all over the globe.

Last year, our CEO Paul Moynagh spoke at The Future of Mining Australia. At this follow-up event, Terry Henrikson will address attendees on “Creating Trust, Commitment and Sustainable Operational and Safety Results”.

The Future of Mining Americas will connect C-suite, heads and managers of mine operations, METS and support services from top enterprises worldwide to debate and define the current and future mining landscape across the Americas. Presented and curated by Mining Magazine and Mining Journal, the conference includes expert speakers with diverse strategic and operational experience, from project level through to the boardroom.

Our Commit Works team looks forward to learning from other leaders in mining, as well as sharing our insights and success driving improvements in operational performance, communication and safety.

Short Interval control system

Pathways to a Mine that is in Short Term Interval Control

A few nights ago I had a call with Leon Cosgrove from Wipro about short interval control. We discussed the different ways miners can go to improve performance in their operations. Perhaps it was because we’re both involved in the consulting industry but somehow a 2 by 2 matrix appeared as we spoke. See below, we both thought it was helpful for describing the journey to a high performing operation.

On the Y Axis is the extent to which the mine can measure and see where all their equipment is and what it is doing. There is a big range of technologies here but to keep it simple these range from sites with no way of knowing where anything is or what it is doing through truck counts and radio based tools like PitRam up to high precision fleet management systems like Modular, Newtrax or MobileARIS. Telematics and measurement are one thing but getting the data out of the pit is equally challenging, again simplifying terribly, technologies used range from nothing to radios, to leaky feeder to wifi and daisy chaining to LTE.

On the X Axis is the extent to which the mine is planning and scheduling frontline operational work. On the left are operations that believe that a good mining schedule and perhaps a maintenance plan are able to be simply handed down to the operation to execute. On the right are the operations who have the frontline management systems and behaviours necessary to describe in short intervals what needs to be done each shift for everyone on the site. These operations engage religiously in the Plan Do Check Act cycle and use variances from the plan each shift, day and week to drive performance improvements continuously.

Short Interval control

Three routes to high performance

With the matrix above it was interesting to think through the different routes to becoming a high performer, we came up with three options.

1.Technology first. Many operations have invested heavily in connectivity and fleet management systems that tell them where alShort Interval Controll their machines are and exactly what is happening. When these operations want to move towards the high performer quartile they have lots of high quality data but they still need to break their silos and perform short interval, integrated planning and scheduling.

2. Management first. Traditional management operating system (MOS) consultants have done huge numbers of projects with miners getting them to improve their frontline management planning and coordination. Short interval control is a tool often implemented during these projects. However, without an easy to use and integrated frontline planning and short interval control system (most of these consultants still sell spreadsheets and whiteboards) the mature management behaviours they have implemented are very hard to sustain. Operations that use these old fashioned MOS “systems” are very difficult to move into the “High performer” quartile in a sustainable way as the tools often break when the consultants leave.

3. Management and Technology together. The most direct route to the High performer quartile is by integrating mature management practices with mature technology. This way the behaviours of the organisation can be directly supported by and embedded in the way the technology works. Critical to this transition is the use of a fully integrated frontline planning and short interval control system that can connect the enterprise planning systems to the operational technology that runs the mine. Done well this type of project uses mature management consultants to improve management practices while the technologists wire the system together to support mature management behaviours. This approach delivers rapid and sustainable results for much lower cost than option 1 or 2.

Commit Works has been working with some of the largest and the smartest miners in the world to deliver massive production and safety improvements.

Our fully integrated frontline planning, scheduling and short interval control system, Fewzion, has helped miners deliver 25% to 50% improvements in performance in less than 3 months from the start of implementation on site. Many of these sites have sustained their results for over 4 years through successive changes in management and ownership.

To find out more contact us at www.commit.works or call 1300 33 99 46

 

mining Software

The power of planning

It’s not difficult to understand the connection between poor planning and poor results. A lack of coordination on site due to insufficient planning causes unnecessary delays, wasted time and rework. This leads to compromised production levels and budget setbacks.

Good planning involves commitments from multiple teams to deliver work on time and within allocated budgets. That’s why we at Commit Works developed our Fewzion product: to facilitate and track commitment-based planning.

Proven production increases

How soon after implementing Fewzion can you expect to see production improvements on your operation? You may be surprised: our clients regularly increase production by over 30% within two short months of using Fewzion. They attribute their success to better organisation and teamwork.

Just ask our client Anglo American, who recently posted a 4% year-on-year increase in total production in their first quarter this year. Owing to continuing strong performance at the Moranbah mine and the ramp-up of the Grosvenor mine – both of which use Fewzion software solutions – metallurgical coal increased production by 6% to 5.5-million tonnes.

Anglo American sites in South Africa, Zibulo and Greenside colliers (who also use Fewzion)  improved productivity for the quarter.

Anglo American’s improved performance in Australia and South Africa reinforces the enormous value of powerful planning software.

Overhauling frontline planning and coordination has been the key to breaking through performance barriers and boosting efficiency for our other clients too. Over the past five years, while the market has seen a 21% rise in production, Commit Works clients have stormed ahead with an average 74% improvement in production.

Find out more about Fewzion

Fewzion is a frontline planning system that:

  • provides a single, integrated view of what’s planned for everyone on site – daily and weekly
  • shows targets that can be adjusted based on how a project is progressing
  • details the commitments made by each team, and shows when those commitments are delivered on
  • is visible to everyone working on a project, in a format that’s easy to use and understand
  • is cloud-based, accessible on mobile and enables real-time updates.

 

Ready to see how Fewzion can boost results for your operation? Contact Commit Works today to arrange a demo