Q&A: Extracting insights for miners
To gain some insights into their areas of expertise, AustMine caught up with Terry Leister, business development manager at Pronto Software, who shared his thoughts on how mining corporations can utilize technology to streamline complex business processes and make smarter decisions.
Why is technology an import component for Australian mining companies?
Mining companies are constantly drawing on best of breed technology that helps solve practical challenges around managing growth, reducing operating costs and improving production efficiencies to achieve profitability. Buzz words such as ‘cloud solutions’, ‘mobility’ and ‘data’ are not pigeonholed to particular industries, with these ‘tech terms’ also very relevant to the mining industry.
At the beginning of this year, Deloitte identified in its report, “Tracking the Trends 2015: The top 10 issues mining companies will face this year”, that miners must innovate in order to survive and technology plays a major role in fuelling innovation. Having an intuitive business management software system in place can help miners enhance business processes by providing management with the intelligence to make informed decisions.
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Choosing to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system deeply integrated with Business Intelligence (BI) technology provides managers with greater visibility and faster access to key business information across various departments. The Deloitte report notes that the mining industry is traditionally conservative when it comes to embedding innovation into a corporate strategy. Solutions suggested for combatting the ever changing and competitive landscape included: thinking big; testing small and scaling fast; leveraging emerging technologies; becoming part of an innovation ecosystem; and preparing for new operational realities. We have seen our customers in the mining sector take a courageous step and move beyond conventional business methods, in order to gain a competitive advantage.
One way a mining corporation might benefit from implementing an all-encompassing IT solution, is by utilizing the smart data that’s made available to help maintain and track equipment performance. For example, assessing data obtained from sensors attached to both fixed and mobile equipment can allow staff to predict and prevent equipment breakdowns, as well as other downtime events, significantly boosting productivity and safety. By doing so, mechanical problems can be identified before they occur, increasing accuracy, efficiency and performance on a mining site.
How does the mining sector compare to other industry sectors when it comes to embracing technology?
In an industry where information accuracy and reliability is crucial to business performance and successful execution, technology is paramount. From tracking and tagging of personnel and equipment, to monitoring, communicating and automating machinery and processes, technology is fundamental.
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Mine sites often span across vast areas, and often there are many disparate operations and separate procedures taking place, all at the one time. Having a system in place that supports each individual function on the site, whilst also provides wider management with visibility into all overarching functions is invaluable.
What does Pronto Software provide to mining companies?
Pronto Software is a software developer of next generation ERP software that integrates with advanced BI solutions. With in-built intelligence and flexibility, Pronto’s flagship product, Pronto Xi, provides mining companies with the ability to discover rich, real-time business insights, for fast and informed decision-making. For the mining industry there are particular modules that are paramount to the sector, including Financial Management (including multi-currency), Project Management and Costing, Asset Management, Maintenance Scheduling as well as Inventory Management and Planning. The software is multi-user, providing insights to anyone, anywhere – with the right information fed to the information needs of specific staff. Pronto Xi is suitable for the diverse mining industry, providing an end-to-end solution, which caters to a site that is in the exploration phase, going through the remediation of a site or aiding the entire life cycle of the project.
Who are some of Pronto Software’s mining customers benefiting from the use of technology?
Pronto Software provides a significant number of mining organizations around the world with a platform to better manage data, gain deeper insights into business operations and embrace mobility. Some of these customers include: Tribune Resources, K92 Mining, Carey Mining and Zara Mining.
Axora launches global challenge for digital technology
Axora is launching the world’s first international competition to discover new cost-saving digital technology for industrial companies, which can produce rapid benefits within a year.
The Metals & Mining and Oil & Gas sectors have recently experienced budget cuts of 20% on average, driven by a variety of factors including the global pandemic, slump in demand and price wars. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge aims to transform these industries by discovering innovative, digital solutions that reduce cost fast and pay for themselves, whilst achieving the same or improved productivity, health and safety and sustainability standards.
“While digital solutions can help to get work done quicker and more cost-effectively, they typically require a three-year ROI, and if there’s no flexibility in the budget, a full budget planning cycle is needed to get things moving”, said Dr. Nick Mayhew, Chief Commercial Officer, Axora.
“Yet, extra financial cost is often incurred in delaying digital projects, so customers have asked us to highlight solutions that can have an ‘in year payback’ whereby the cost spent on the solution and deployment will be more than recovered within the budget year - this accelerates the timeline and drives positive business impact, quickly.”
The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge
Axora is keen to learn of any digital cost-saving innovation which: meets the 12-month payback timeframe; can be deployed in any part of the value chain including upstream, downstream or midstream oil and gas, metals processing or mining; and is ready for market. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge is open to entrepreneurs, start-ups, academics and sector leaders across the world. The competition will be judged by a panel of leading industry experts.
“We’re passionate about supporting our industries and customers through all forms of digital transformation and the cost-saving solutions we are searching for could also provide a lifeline to many mining and metals and oil and gas companies in the current economic climate,” added Dr. Mayhew.
Improving productivity, safety and sustainability
Up to ten finalists will be chosen to pitch their solutions at a digital pitch day later this year, after which Axora will validate the ROI models and vet the solutions. The winner will receive the ‘Axora Market Accelerator’ sales and marketing package worth £10,000. This includes a two-hour workshop, promotion through Axora’s thought leadership content and inclusion into its digital demand engines, providing the opportunity for the winning solution to benefit thousands of industrial companies. Entries are open until May 31. Full details of the competition including terms and conditions can be found here.
To learn more about the Axora B2B digital solutions marketplace read our feature in the latest issue of Mining Global magazine.