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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.

Commitment Manifesto

Commitment Manifesto

We wrote the commitment manifesto to spark a conversation about how high-trust, high-commitment organisations work. We believe that organisations that work in alignment with these principles create a committed workplace which delivers extraordinary employee, shareholder, community and customer results.

  • We lead workplaces where leaders trust their people to make and fulfil commitments to each other.
  • As leaders, we set clear expectations with our teams and negotiate realistic commitments from the board room to the coal face
  • We plan our work to deliver on targets with our people and equipment.
  • Everyone can have input to the plan, either by suggesting work, improving processes or accurately sharing their reality.
  • We collaborate across all functions and crews so everyone on site knows what will happen next and people say, “Things get done when they are in the plan”.
  • We commit to plans that are both based in reality and focused on outcomes. But the world we operate in changes fast, so we adapt quickly and transparently.
  • At regular intervals we reflect on progress, provide feedback and adjust our practices accordingly.
  • We adhere to the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle and act on the learning opportunities we get from any variance from the plan.
  • We fix root causes to improve the “real” work process where it happens.
  • We use technology to improve our work processes, our productivity and the results of our organisation.

 

Jason Aucamp - Commit Works

Project Director Jason Aucamp joins Commit Works’ mission to improve operational planning in Africa

Regional mining expert says Australian software will transform work on African mines

Leaders in work management software for mining operations, Commit Works has continued to expand its capability across Africa, with the appointment of Jason Aucamp as Director of Operations and Projects.

“Jason Aucamp’s track record as a business and operational leader in African mining is impressive,” said Commit Works CEO Paul Moynagh. “We are thrilled to have him on the team to bolster our efforts to improve performance and safety in Africa’s extensive mining operations.”

Mr Aucamp has more than two decades’ experience specialising in business development and project management on scores of major operations in Africa. A driven professional who has developed profitable projects across a range of commodities and in most African countries, he brings with him in-depth knowledge of the challenges and opportunities of the region’s mining industry.

Mining operations in Africa still face significant challenges, many of which can be attributed to lack of resourcing, poor planning and safety, particularly in the execution phase of projects.

“Practical digital transformation strategies can boost production and minimise variance through better management of human behaviour and more effective utilisation of resources via work visibility, integrated planning and coordination,” Mr Aucamp explained.

“Commit Works’ Fewzion, Visual Ops and Short Interval Control software closes these gaps and delivers proven customer results,” said Mr Aucamp. “We plan to make a meaningful impact that will benefit both employees and investors within the mining sector in Africa.”

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.

TradeMutt-Longwall Conference - Commit Works

Commit Works partners with social enterprise TradeMutt for Longwall 2019 conference

We’re pleased to be joining forces with Aussie workwear company TradeMutt at Longwall 2019. Commit Works and TradeMutt will be exhibiting together at the conference, held at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, on Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 October.

Commit Works’ General Manager Asia Pacific Terry Henrikson and our Site Operations Engineer Rick Pestoor will be attending alongside TradeMutt co-founder Dan Allen.

We’ve chosen to team up with TradeMutt at the conference because we believe the work they’re doing in our industry is vitally important. Like TradeMutt, Commit Works is a company dedicated to improving the safety of workers.

TradeMutt is a workwear brand that aims to start conversations around the rate of suicide in Australia, particularly in young men. Its bright shirts are designed to break down barriers, start conversations and build camaraderie around the issue of mental health.

After losing a friend to suicide in 2015, Dan Allen founded TradeMutt with his apprentice at the time, Ed Ross, describing it as “a brand by tradies for tradies designed to make an invisible issue impossible to ignore, and positively change the outlook of the mental health space in Australia forever”. We congratulate Dan on his work and look forward to sharing our exhibition space with him this week.

Longwall is Australia’s only event specifically tailored for the nation’s elite underground coal mining operators. Building upon 2018’s focus on automation and technological advancement, Longwall 2019 will delve deeper into the human element behind the technology. This year’s conference will share insights on operator health and safety, rescue teams and the ongoing industry-wide safety narrative, alongside operator success stories, production milestone updates, mechanical innovations and technical case studies.

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.

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.

Shift planning software for mining

Shift Planning Software for Mining – All your planning in one place, for everyone

The power of one plan

We all know that knowledge is power. So why keep teams in the dark when it comes to complex operations?

Everyone’s got a job to do

When there are lots of people working on different aspects of a project, although they may be working independently or in different locations, the work of one team affects the work of others.

Poor planning and coordination can lead to costly inefficiencies, mistakes and delays. Conversely, great planning and coordination optimises communication, builds trust and commitment, and has the power to revolutionise productivity.

So, get everyone on the same page using our Shift Planning Software or Mining

An excellent frontline planning system is one 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.

Our Fewzion  – Shift Planning Software does all of this. It replaces spreadsheets and cumbersome IT systems with a single plan. It integrates all your core IT systems, connecting scheduling, planning, maintenance, HR, ERP and site safety. Plans and progress can be seen by everyone – teams, supervisors and managers – in real time. Its “shadow tasks” feature ensures that cross-functional tasks are visible to all teams, so everyone understands the plan and their role in delivering it.

Expect big results

A single, integrated plan revolutionises operations by:

  • enabling collaboration across different project teams
  • empowering frontline workers to set goals, track progress and meet commitments
  • facilitating trust and accountability.

Our clients regularly increase production by over 30% within two months of implementing Fewzion. They attribute their success to better organisation and teamwork.

When your teams are truly committed to delivering scheduled work and can see their results and progress, you boost productivity and strengthen your business. Give your people the gift of the big picture; when everyone sees clearly, they work better together.