Paul Moynagh - CEO Commit Works

Commit Works expanding global footprint with major investment from Jolimont and Resource Capital Fund.

Commit Works is a step closer to revolutionising mining operations worldwide, having secured a strategic investment from Jolimont Global Mining Systems (Jolimont), which will accelerate its growth in Australia and internationally.

Founded by Alex Retzlaff and Paul Moynagh six years ago, Commit Works has pioneered a suite of innovations that help operations coordinate and manage frontline work. The company makes frontline work management, short interval control and visual management software that are delivering significant productivity and safety results for 60% of the world’s largest miners.

Today the company announced it had secured funding from Jolimont Capital, a private equity group funded by Resource Capital Fund (RCF) that invests in high-growth mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies.

Commit Works CEO Paul Moynagh said the investment would enable Commit Works to expand their global reach. “We are thrilled to receive this significant backing from Jolimont, the world’s best mining technology venture capital fund ­- it will greatly accelerate our growth in Australia, the Americas, Europe and Africa. Our products reliably deliver rapid and significant improvements to operations (in many cases more than 30% increase in production results) – we look forward to sharing our software and these kinds of results globally,” Mr Moynagh said.

“At Commit Works we make software that gets everyone on site working together and pulling in the same direction. Fewzion creates a fully integrated frontline shift plan by bringing together mine planning, maintenance, services and ERP data to ensure all work on site is properly coordinated. Shift plans are instantly available to frontline teams through our app and large touchscreens to ensure everyone is on the same page. Supervisors and crew can perform short interval control throughout the shift, write their shift reports and contribute to daily review meetings all in the same system. This kind of integrated thinking and coordination has helped many mining operations quickly produce large, sustainable production and safety improvements,” Mr Moynagh said.

Commit Works welcomes Lyle Bruce, partner at Jolimont and former Managing Director at GroundProbe, to its board, where he’ll join fellow investor Andy Greig, former president of Mining & Metals Global Business at Bechtel. Mr Bruce said Jolimont invests in high growth mining technology companies. “A focus for us is innovative technology and a customer-oriented team,” Mr Bruce said. “Australia leads the world in mining innovation and Commit Works is another example of an emerging Australian company bringing world’s best technology to global mining operations. Jolimont is proud to support the Commit Works team.”

Michael Sterry, Investment Manager at Jolimont, said precise shift planning was a gap in the market that Commit Works addresses. “The people that make a difference to productivity and safety are closest to operations and production. They want to know how they are performing shift-by-shift. You can’t get closer than real-time performance tracking at the coalface,” he said.

Great news for the METS sector

As Australian METS businesses began emerging from the recent downturn, experts agreed that three key ideas were vital to mining’s future: collaboration, innovation and technology.

  • Collaboration refers to better cooperation in the workforce to improve efficiency and safety, as well as collaboration across and outside the sector, with the resources industry building relationships with software developers, technical specialists, strategic thinkers and others.
  • Innovation was a necessity during the downturn as businesses fought to survive, and now it’s entrenched in the status quo. The world is changing fast, driven by rapid technological advances and volatile markets; “innovation” is the shorthand for all of the ways in which companies can stay relevant and competitive.
  • Technology is creating improvements in equipment capabilities, workforce management, safety and efficiency, as companies invest in mobile technology, cloud computing, automation, real-time reporting and big data.

Commit Works is operating at the nexus of these priorities, delivering software solutions that grow with the industry and facilitate better collaboration on mining operations. Jolimont’s investment in these solutions represents a win not only for Commit Works but for the future of the METS sector.

About Commit Works

Commit Works believes that successful organisations are built by people who make commitments to each other and deliver on them. Doing this consistently improves productivity, builds trust and helps frontline teams to out-plan uncertainty.

Its first product, Fewzion, was developed in collaboration with Anglo American to replace the cluster of whiteboards and spreadsheets traditionally used to prepare shift plans on site. A mobile app allowing real-time tracking of shifts connects to Fewzion, so that progress is regularly measured against plans.

Commit Works again worked with Anglo American to develop their Visual Ops product, which improves site safety and productivity. Visual Ops displays the near-real-time location of hazards, people and equipment on an operation. It is integrated with Fewzion as a holistic, easy-to-use solution for frontline teams, instantly synchronising information across devices, so that teams are always on the same page.

These unique innovations have delivered results beyond expectations, creating safer workplaces, streamlining projects, achieving record-breaking tonnages and empowering workers.

www.commit.works

For all sales, partner or media inquiries please contact Emelia Chalker – Marketing and Communications Manager:  emelia.chalker@d76e8fb6-a511-11e8-b072-36d63035d715.app.getshifter.io

About Jolimont Global Mining Systems

Jolimont invests in high growth mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies. The METS sector presents outstanding investment opportunities, magnified in an environment of volatile commodity prices and historically high operating costs.  Mining companies rely increasingly on METS companies to provide incremental as well as step-change solutions to improve productivity and lower costs.

Jolimont has a highly experienced senior executive team with extensive commercial experience in mining, technology, private equity and finance.  Jolimont Global is a joint venture between Jolimont Capital, a technology investor founded in 2003 and Resource Capital Funds.

Mining Frontline Management System

Mining goes mobile

Commit Works features in CIM Magazine, article reposted here:

Applications to modernize mapping, monitoring and mine management

Mobile technology is ubiquitous today. Seventy-six per cent of Canadian adults owned a smartphone in 2016, according to Statistics Canada, and 54 per cent owned a tablet or e-reader. The numbers are virtually identical in the United States. It is no surprise, then, that mobile devices are changing how people work, even in industries as conservative – and as operationally challenging – as mining.

A handful of companies have begun taking advantage of the new technology space. The mobile applications they offer vary in focus, but each aims to help miners get better visibility, make better decisions and improve the efficiency and productivity of their operations – all at prices far below traditional enterprise-level software. That fact promises to help level the technological playing field between large and small operators.

If you know where you are…

Takor Group is an Australian geospatial technology startup. Their primary product, Mappt, is a low-cost, offline-capable mobile geographic information system (GIS) application. Users record data and photos against geographic locations, such as the position of a drillhole, using configurable forms. “It can pop up questions one by one, and as they’re answered, it jumps to the next question,” said Takor product manager Ciarán Doyle. “In the background, it’s saving all that information against that location.” Users can create geofenced inclusion or exclusion zones, defining them either ahead of time or by walking or driving the perimeter. “The app addresses quite a few of the pain points that field collectors were feeling,” said Doyle.

“The massive time savings” of collecting data digitally, rather than manually with a physical map and pen and paper, is a major selling point, said Doyle, brand and strategy at Takor, as is having all the tools you need in one device. And, he said, “The quality of data has shot through the roof.”

It is also a fit-for-purpose solution, like many of the apps available for mining. “One of the reasons that Mappt came about was due to the frustration of using ArcGIS and their mobile application,” said Doyle. “It’s quite extensive and extremely hard to use and to set up. You couldn’t just go out in the field with a professional tool without spending thousands of dollars, and there’s a massive process involved.” With Mappt, he said, a user can go straight from purchasing the product to being in the field in “literally minutes.”Mappt

Mappt, a mobile GIS app by the tech startup Takor, was designed to be low-cost and user friendly. Courtesy of Takor Group

Chris Devlin, director at iSpatial Solutions, a GIS consultancy which acts as “effectively, the in-house GIS department” for a number of small mining companies, often recommends Mappt to clients. “They like it not only for the functionality and the ease of use but also for the licensing model,” he said. “It’s simple and cost-effective.”

…you can plan where you’re going

MST Global’s Field Analysis & Reporting Application (FARA) uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and a mobile app to provide fleet and personnel management to underground and open-pit operations. Sean Dessureault, now chief innovation evangelist at MST, developed FARA at his company, MISOM Technologies, before selling MISOM to MST in late 2017.


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“Our tablet for fleet management can be installed in a machine in a few minutes,” Dessureault said, and even temporarily in contractor vehicles. The tablets determine their position using GPS or by sensing small, $30 Bluetooth beacons that can be placed around the site – even underground. That location information can be used by the application to automatically track cycles, sequences and even delays and can be leveraged to prompt users for input using location-based triggers. Operators also use the app to fill in digitized forms for things like hazard assessments and pre-operational checklists. Tablet-to-tablet communication means that a supervisor can approach a vehicle and view the forms the driver has filled out, even without Wi-Fi or LTE infrastructure.

“From the operator feedback, they like the digital forms the best. It saves time, and they find the information more engaging,” said Dessureault – especially when the feedback is gamified, as FARA can be configured to be. Employees earn points on a leaderboard for the number of cycles they complete or for providing a good safety share, for example. Shift changes can be improved by rewarding operators for getting on their machine before a certain time. Before, Dessureault said, “even if you did write an excellent safety share during your take-five, nobody would ever really know. Miners love having that feedback. They love to compete.”

The sudden availability of inexpensive apps and consumer-grade electronic devices has spurred some operators to adopt systems like this for the first time. “Some of our installs were in places that have never had fleet management before,” said Dessureault, “so productivity increased significantly.”

Put down the clipboard

For other operators, however, mobile technology may augment existing information management systems and make a technician’s job easier.

Canary Systems’ MLWeb is one such data management system. It aggregates and correlates data from various third-party instrumentation and sensors, data loggers, radars and satellites to provide risk management for projects in numerous industries, including mining, construction and dams. The mobile portion of Canary’s software suite is the data collection tool MLField.

“MLField has been designed to support users in cases where they don’t have automated instrumentation,” said Martin van Balkom, marketing manager at Canary Systems. “A technician would like to go into the field and, for example, go to a piezometer and take a manual reading.”


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“There are still cases where people take the readings manually” with pen and paper, added Andrei Pascu, Canary’s Canadian group manager. “Going back to the office, those readings are transcribed into the system or into Excel.” Using the app to collect data, he said, is both faster and more reliable – previous readings are shown, helping catch entry errors, and the tablet automatically syncs to the project database once online again, eliminating transcription errors.

“One of the advantages of tying this all together is the speed with which you can now manage the risk of this operation,” said van Balkom. “We have a dam client in the U.S. where their data collection in the field, from the time it was collected until the engineer saw it, took about 2 months. That’s basically historical data at that point.” Even engineers used to getting instrumentation readings 12 to 24 hours after collection could benefit from the increased visibility that digital methods enable.

BME, a South Africa-based blasting company, offers XploLog, which like MLField, is primarily for collecting data in the field. XploLog’s data syncs back to BME’s blasting design database, BlastMap.

“As the users are logging into the XploLog system the actual loading and timing of what’s going on in the field, that information is being sent directly back to the office, so the people in the office are aware of any problem,” said BME managing director Joe Keenan. “They might get an alert saying three holes have collapsed, so they can talk about the best workaround. Or they can just log it into the system so the actual design is recorded in the database.”

“It increases productivity, but it also reduces the surprises. These tools give you the ability to see the problem before it becomes the problem,” said Keenan. Before using the mobile app to record blast data, he added, “it was paper reports or word of mouth. And it was a very imperfect system, I assure you.”

Bring your plan to work with you

Eliminating paper from the field makes life simpler for both planners and supervisors. Fewzion is a work management system from Commit Works, which enables short interval control (SIC) on mobile devices in the field. All work on site can be pulled in from source planning systems such as Xact, Surpac, Deswik, SAP, spreadsheets etc., as well as inspections, equipment servicing, training, site development work and the actual production work. It is then planned and can be tracked in short chunks to ensure people can react to problems early enough to reliably hit their targets.

“It contains all the work and targets that planners from each department have agreed to, alongside detailed tasks that crews and supervisors think need to be done for the whole site,” said Commit Works CEO Paul Moynagh. “Then the team can start making some trade-offs to land on a plan that is achievable for each shift.” By making everything visible to the whole team, detailed planning can take place between silos, allowing everybody to understand and commit to a well-coordinated, holistic plan for the operation.

Moynagh notes that at many sites, supervisors still drive around with stacks of paper detailing the week’s work in production targets, Gantt charts, mud maps and even photos of the whiteboard from the production meeting. “If you see these massive piles of paper, you understand why it’s very difficult to find the information supervisors need or get good decision-making out of that kind of data,” said Moynagh. The mobile portion of Fewzion provides an organized, offline-capable digital view of everything in the system. “A phone or tablet is far more convenient to carry around. And if they’re out in the field and see something that needs to be done, they can create a task and suggest a time for it,” he added. That task will be synchronized across the whole Fewzion system once the device is online. “Add to our new mapping system (visual ops) and all work can be seen on a map next to the machines and people that will be doing it and any of the hazards that they might encounter.”

Users of Fewzion have seen 30 to 50 per cent increases in production after implementation, according to Moynagh. “A lot of the things that used to get in the way, a lot of the annoying waste, now gets planned out before it happens,” he said. “All the things that were causing them trouble, which are very hard to pinpoint, just start to disappear with a well-thought-out frontline plan that everyone can see and agree on.”

More than mere technology

In true Silicon Valley style, several of the app makers pride themselves as disruptors with a higher purpose. “Most tier ones would never pay $1,000 for something they could buy for $20,000,” said MST’s Dessureault, only half-jokingly. “Our price point is so low, we can open up the quarry market, the small-to-medium size mines.”

“The big thing for us is the democratization of technology,” agreed Doyle of Takor Group. “We’re reducing or removing possible barriers to entry for people to benefit from technology. Being able to run the app on a cheap Android device and basically have an enterprise-level tool at a bargain basement price, that’s what we want.”

Visual Ops - Commit Works

Anglo American and Commit Works partnership wins 2017 METS Ignited Collaboration Award

A five-year partnership between Anglo American and Commit Works won the 2017 METS Ignited Collaboration Award at the fourth annual International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne on 1 November.

The annual award recognises true collaboration between mining equipment, technology and services (METS), mining companies and researchers in the sector.

Together, the team co-designed and implemented a unique visual management system (Visual Ops)  providing near real-time operations mapping, to monitor hazards and the progress of work at Anglo American’s Moranbah North mine.

David Diamond, CEO of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, congratulated the team involved in developing and implementing the technology.

“We’re honoured to be recognised by the Australian METS industry” said Mr Diamond.

“Through our long-standing partnership with Commit Works, we’ve implemented a significant improvement to our operations.”

Glen Britton, Executive Head of Operations of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, has been an integral part of the long-standing partnership.

“The story of our collaboration began by identifying a clear gap in work management capabilities that no solution on the market could fill. Together, we’ve pioneered a series of unique innovations –Fewzion and Visual Ops. Both have delivered results beyond expectations.”

“We are creating a better, safer workplace, achieving record-breaking tonnages and empowering our workforce.”

Commit Works CEO, Paul Moynagh said he was grateful to collaborate and work with an organisation such as, Anglo American.

“At Commit Works we are passionate about building software that helps ‘hands on’ work teams make commitments to each other and deliver on them. We are extremely grateful to the team at Anglo American for trusting us to design, build and support these products for them over the past five years”.

“We look forward to continuing to innovate together as we take work management and short interval control mobile into demanding workplaces; so supervisors can confidently and safely lead their teams to exceptional results”.

 

Short interval control system

RPM launch their integrated short interval control system “operations manager”