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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.

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

 

Australia - Mining Software

Beyond the downturn: new priorities in Australian mining

2018 sees the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector in Australia emerging from the downturn and reassessing its approach to the future.

With market conditions improving, confidence has begun to return to the sector but commodity prices are still marked by fluctuation. How should mining companies approach this new era?

These are the key, interrelated ideas around which the future of mining is developing:

  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Technology

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.

Collaboration

The value of collaboration in mining has gone largely untapped in an industry that’s known for its silos and secrecy.

Mining’s recent tough years taught companies that better cooperation in the workforce is crucial to improving efficiency and productivity, not to mention safety on site.

Collaboration across and outside of the sector is also a rising trend, with the resources industry building relationships with software developers, technical specialists, strategic thinkers and others. The role of diversified knowledge and new perspectives has been recognised in the bid to transform the METS industry and guarantee its future survival.

Innovation

Innovation was a focus for the industry during the downturn, as businesses fought to survive. In the wake of that challenging period, it’s become clear that innovation is now a constant consideration. 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

The upswing in the market has meant that more companies can invest in technology – digitisation is now happening across all levels of business. These investments are seeing improvements in equipment capabilities, workforce management, safety and efficiency, as companies benefit from mobile technology, cloud computing, automation, real-time reporting and big data.

Frontline Mining Software

Fewzion: Power in simplicity

Designed to solve a common problem

Commit Works initially developed its Fewzion product to overcome obstacles to productivity in an underground coal mine in Queensland.

“The planning spreadsheets and whiteboards that were limping along in the mine were simply not up to the task,” recalls Commit Works CEO Paul Moynagh. “They wasted a lot of people’s time (time that was better spent underground), they were hard to manage, the macros broke all the time, and it was impossible to see what other planners were planning or even whether the plan was getting done.”

These problems were not unique to this mine – issues around monitoring KPIs, crews and their equipment from shift to shift are widespread. While good long-term planning tools exist, there was a gap in the market for reliably managing short interval control (SIC) and dealing with inevitable changes and challenges that arise on site on a daily basis.

Visibility and accountability

Fewzion replaces spreadsheets and whiteboards with a comprehensive online shift-planning system that is visible to all teams. It focuses on putting the plan in the hands of crew supervisors every shift, so that they become accountable for delivering on the plan.

Fewzion’s short interval control captures data on shifts at two-hour intervals. This allows project managers, directors and team members to check performance and make adjustments to get back on track if something’s not going to plan. Problems can be picked up early and solved before they become more significant and costly.

Simplicity and ease of use

Moynagh believes that Fewzion’s power lies in its simplicity.

“The thing everyone mentions is how simple it is to use, and that it is easy to set up and doesn’t cost a lot,” he says. “It works through a browser and can be set up either in the cloud or on your servers.”

“People who can’t use computers can still use Fewzion – it’s iPad simple. In just two hours training coordinators, schedulers, planners and under-managers can be set up and ready to create and manage weekly plans and schedules.”

Frontline Planing and scheduling software

Mining technology: key to productivity

In mining and logistics, errors can cost millions, not to mention jobs and reputations. Delivering projects on time and sticking to the budget is vital for bottom line profits.

Mining software that maximises productivity and clear communication is therefore hugely valuable to large projects where complexity can undermine successful operations.

Commit Works’ Fewzion software is the ultimate well-rounded productivity tool, allowing organisations to outplan uncertainty and deliver on time, on budget, every time.

Commitment-based

Planning involves commitments from multiple teams to deliver work on time and within allocated budgets. Fewzion facilitates and tracks commitment-based planning so that:

  • plans are visible to all teams
  • everyone is accountable.

Collaborative

Large projects involve multiple teams and it’s common for work to become siloed. When this happens, inefficiencies and miscommunication can arise. While it’s necessary for teams to work on their own specialised tasks, good communication improves both work quality and delivery times.

Fewzion creates a single, integrated frontline plan that brings all work into one place and makes it visible to everyone. This fosters collaboration, minimising confusion and boosting productivity.

Data-driven

Checking data against targets at regular intervals ensures that a project is on track. Fewzion’s short interval control captures data on shifts at two-hour intervals. This allows project managers, directors and team members to check performance and make adjustments to get back on track if something’s not going to plan. Checking at short intervals means that potential problems can be picked up early and solved before they become more significant and costly.

The get optimal results from mining software all relevant employees need to be trained to use the technology properly. Our Commit Works demo is for all team members who’ll be using our software.

Contact us to see how we can help you plan, track performance and stay on budget to improve your bottom line.

Scheduling Software Fontline Shceduling software

ABC’s and the psychology of operations improvement

The “Antecedent, Behaviour, Consequence” (ABC) model is a well used psychological approach for understanding what drives human behaviour good or bad, desired or undesired.

In a panel discussion about building trust, commitment and results in operations a few weeks back Andy Greig (former President of Bechtel’s Mining and Metals Business Unit) said that 80% of human behaviour is driven by consequences (despite most engineers believing “Antecedents” instructions, process and procedures to be the biggest driver).

“Think about it, it doesn’t matter how many times you tell your child not to touch the stove (antecedent) it’s only the pain of being burnt (consequence) that really drives the child not to touch it next time”

Andy believes this is true for the work place and that the managers’ role is to therefore apply positive and negative consequences in order to drive the behaviours required for safe and productive performance. (Watch a short video of Andy describing the ABC model).

So, how can this be used to manage an operation? The Management Operating System (MOS) or Commitment System (CS) (What the hell is a Commitments System) approach works by ensuring the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle is running at every level of a business. The ABC model can be successfully applied to ensure these approaches have a positive effect on results, in doing so leaders will be called to hold their people to account for behaving in line with their commitment system and for their performance against the plan.

Operations that have successfully implemented and sustained a commitment system almost always start by focusing on the creation of a good plan that supervisors can confidently lead their team with. This is important because without a good plan before the shift starts it is impossible to know whether the team has performed well or not. In addition to this planned work is both safer and more productive than unplanned work. (Watch a short video of Andy talking about planned work being safer at Bechtel).

However, as important as planning is, it is simply an antecedent to the core activity of improving operational performance.

The critical core of operations improvement is the learning that happens when variances from the plan are identified, root causes understood and actions taken to remove the causes of variance. In operations where a commitment system really takes hold and delivers improved results it is the dedicated and systematic removal of the causes of variance that delivers these results more than anything else.

This is where the ABC model connects to the commitment system. With the “antecedent” planning in place the application of consequences, positive and negative requires leaders to choose to hold their people to account both for the observed variances and for following the planning, review, action behaviours described above. Sadly, whilst simple, this can be very uncomfortable and difficult for managers and frontline leaders to do in reality. A couple of practical examples will help to illustrate this

Example 1. Planning
Imagine for a moment what would happen if a planner turned up to a planning meeting without having done any pre planning work to get his plan ready for the meeting. The manager could:

a) let it slide – in which case it’s unlikely that others will plan prior to their planning meetings as there is no direct consequence.

Alternatively the manager could:

b) send everyone back to their desks to complete their plan, delaying the meeting an hour – in this case the poor planning behaviour would be met with a sharp comment from the manager and an uncomfortable “consequence” of wasted time for the planner and his peers.

In option b) all planners will be much more likely to turn up prepared for the next planning meeting.

At daily review meetings a skilled operations manager will expect their superintendents to know what their variances are, to have understood why before the meeting and to have an action for each variance. They would also expect to hear that any actions assigned to each person in the room were being completed when expected.

Example 2. Review and Action
Imagine what would happen if a superintendent came to a daily review meeting with long stories about why they didn’t hit their targets and no actions to fix the causes of their underperformance.

The operations manager could:

a) Listen to the stories and engage in the conversation that they create never getting to an action, i.e. let it slide again as the meeting drags on and wastes everyone’s time.

Or:

b) Cut the story off and ask “what’s the variance” and “what action will you take, by when”.

The outcome of not applying a consequence in option a) is going to be lots of time wasted in meetings, low levels of action to resolve the causes of variance and continued poor performance.

However, because the operations manager applied a consequence in option b), creating an uncomfortable feeling by challenging the superintendent to behave in the desired way, it is likely that the desired behaviours will become more regular, meetings will become shorter and performance will improve. The consequence for superintendents that behave in the desired way will be a growing confidence from their manager, quick, focused meetings, a high performing team that delivers results.

In conclusion, given the antecedent of a good plan, operations managers and superintendents that reliably choose to hold their people to account by applying consequences, are many times more likely to build a high trust, high performance team that reliably delivers sustainable results. Doing this will earn them the confidence of their leaders and increase the likelihood of getting promoted or receiving a bonus.

Commit Works makes software (Fewzion and Visual Ops) that helps operations to out plan and out manage uncertainty. Talk to us or one of our partners about implementing a commitment system in your operation.