Seeing the whole: systems that only focus on a segment of your operation can’t deliver top quartile results
Lifting performance and productivity in a mining operation is no small task. Mines are complex, and require an extremely high level of planning, scheduling, coordination and reporting if they’re to run as well as possible.
Across all industries, software companies are promising to transform efficiency levels and boost profits. In mining, the sheer scale of operations can make the task of finding smart, resilient and effective solutions daunting to say the least. Added to this, most mines are already dealing with legacy systems that are failing or limping along with unsatisfactory results.
Investment in technology that delivers results is crucial if mines are to compete and remain profitable – the good news is that technological advances are giving us unprecedented opportunities to improve operations. But not all solutions are created equal.
Consider all the moving parts and processes in a mining operation… production, maintenance of equipment, projects, geology, survey, rehab, safety and hazard management and reporting and analysis. And then there are people too: planners, schedulers, coordinators, control room personnel, site supervisors, operators and tradespeople.
This diagram is an attempt to capture this complexity and the lack of connection between the various solutions available today.
Any mining software that hopes to significantly improve the coordination and performance of a mining operation needs to consider all of these parts of the process and make it easier for the people on site to see reality, make plans and execute on them.
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 software or technology firms that can provide an end to end solution that connects mine plans to all the work performed to deliver the plan at the frontline.
So what’s 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 do a better job of streamlining the management of your mining operation?
Recent examples have sought to “mash up” a number of the “point solutions” into an integrated whole, kindly assisted by “smartest people in the room” consultants. These “technology / innovation projects” have really struggled to deliver tools that the guys at the frontline actually use, the way they were intended to. Basically, because it’s really hard to get busy software companies to adapt and integrate their solutions to meet this need, change management can be forgotten and at the same time technology and innovation projects seldom have the hard-operational edge they need to deliver results for the site. These issues lead to poor adoption and mean that the expected benefits aren’t delivered.
So, it pays to avoid these kinds of mistakes, but how?
An approach that is paying handsome dividends for those that have invested in it is to ensure that everyone on site has a well-coordinated and easy to understand plan each shift, that this shift plan is visible to everyone (so that they are all on the same page) and that actual results and shift reports can be fed into it to facilitate the plan, do, check, act improvement cycle. This approach is making it possible for mine sites to (for the first time) do effective integrated planning and short interval control. This has resulted in massive improvements in the coordination of work on site, reduces waste and delivers upward of 40% improvements in production or development results.
The only holistic solution
Commit Works is the only software provider of a comprehensive, fully integrated frontline planning and scheduling system (Fewzion) that works with a short interval control app and visualisation software (Visual Ops) to give a complete picture of mining operations, every day, every shift.
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.
We have delivered massive production and safety improvements for some of the world’s largest mining companies. Our easy-to-use, complete solution has:
- helped large miners and small contractors to deliver 25 to 50 percent improvements in performance less than three months after implementation on site.
- And, enabled many mines to sustain their results for over four years, through successive management teams and ownership.
Want to hear more about about our mining software and how we’re making mines work better? Get in touch.