Rock Products

MAY 2019

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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20 • ROCK products • May 2019 environment. Transport in the shaft might be available once or perhaps twice during a shift, limiting maintenance tech- nicians to precise windows where work can be performed. If they get to the work site without the requisite tools or materi- als, it's wasted time and money, and they will be unproductive until they can get back to a tool crib or parts storage area – which could be hours. This means that software used in this setting needs to deliver tight integration between the mobile work order used by the technician and spares/repairs inventory. Inventory func- tionality may also be used to determine if certain tools or materials should be located closer to the site of consumption. Shared Inventory Spreads the Costs More advanced inventory logistics functionality may deter- mine if certain long-lead time, high-cost parts can be part of a shared inventory across mine sites. A long lead time item like a spare conveyor drive may be located at one of several mining sites or could be in a central facility within reach of different mine sites. Either way, shared inventory will spread the money tied up in a high-dollar spares across multiple sites. The right enterprise software will give each mine visibility of shared inventory, enabling one mine to pull from shared inventory and then trigger either a replenishment transac- tion, an internal depot repair process or both. That part or component is on hand and more rapidly available than if it were ordered from a supplier that may have to fabricate it to order and then ship it over long distances. Strong Financials Required for Public and Private Companies Mining companies need to not only realize value on capital investment, but present that value effectively. Many mining companies are publicly traded, and that means they need to meet the rigorous demands of the exchange, often consoli- dating results in different regions across multiple currencies. Privately held mining companies face perhaps a greater chal- lenge, as they need to present value in a forward-looking fashion to draw private investment required to make new capital investments and start new projects. This requires a strong financials package, and a project-based solu- tion that can present a forward-looking view of the entire mining project lifecycle, from exploration and planning to decommissioning. Centralized Management in Decentralized Operations Mining operations are often geographically dispersed, with active mine sites spanning different countries and potential exploration projects dotting a rugged landscape. This creates two distinct challenges – centralized management of dis- persed operations and decision support regarding potential exploration projects or mining starts in geographical context. However, these challenges can be addressed by operational intelligence software like ERP or EAM systems. These systems are built around a strategic business map, which defines the way that cost and value flow through the different parts of an organization. This graphical represen- tation of the business captures the strategic roadmap to ensure company strategies are available to those who need it and will enable enhanced visibility of key performance indicators. Empowering People, Empowering Business Operational intelligence connects people and processes throughout the organization. Connected management cock- pits can be created for asset managers, process managers, the CEO – anyone who needs to make decisions based on the latest insight. The real power of operational intelligence, though, flows from its ability to not only support executive decisions but to operationalize those decisions in the organization. As priorities, goals or business processes in the business map change, that in turn initiates change in the underlying ERP or transactional systems. Optimization Precedes Excellence From initial exploration through decades of operations, a fully integrated enterprise software environment will help a mining operation achieve operational excellence by stream- lining and standardizing key business processes. It will also ensure that processes are handed off seamlessly between different business disciplines. Applications that lie on top of ERP not only support mining executive team decisions but push those decisions into the operational layers of the product. Only when optimal business processes are centrally instituted and facilitated by enterprise software will a mining organization achieve operational excellence – then they will be in a position to dominate their competition in the market and keep inves- tors happy. Colin Beaney is global industry director for energy, utilities and resources at IFS, a global enterprise software vendor that offers project- and asset-driven mining industry software that manages the entire project lifecycle from exploration, con- struction, operation to retirement – all optimized for remote access.

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