Periods of Great Disruption are Times to Discover the Value of Technology
Like most, your organization is evaluating the new reality of work and the future of its business. And with an intense spotlight on the mining industry, employees are making their way back to physical mines where health and safety will be of the utmost importance, and where technology will start to plan a bigger role in how they are managed.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future, the wellbeing of workers was – and will always be – a priority, even while so much changes. Many operations are suspended and the risks are heightened with respect to travel and accommodations, workers and their working conditions, and the communities in which they work.
Now in its fourteenth month, the impact of COVID-19 has been tremendous. Physical isolation, heightened health and safety protocols and employee self-assessment checks, enhanced personal protective gear, and travel limitations: organizations will be hard-pressed to transition to a future they did not anticipate and plan for.
What Needs to be Done Now?
Considering a transformation at every level of your operations is paramount. From employee scheduling to new technologies, all aspects of your operations should be a part of the digital narrative moving forward. And when considering new technologies, consider them as a means for reducing costs rather than a cost centre (applying automation, taking advantage of analytics, implementing new processes).
A future-focused transformation includes:
- Continuing to make health and safety a priority: Establish requirements and the means to enforce physical distancing protocols by assessing your operations.
- Evaluate the nature of work: New scheduling requirements are needed to ensure employees are physically safe from one another; this may also necessitate an assessment of employee competencies by redefining their roles and duties.
- Unearth gaps: COVID-19 has become a catalyst for change as it has made many of us feel uncomfortable returning to work; workers will have new behaviours and mindsets. With employee absenteeism and anxiety on the rise, organizations need to re-evaluate responsibilities, retrain others to perform new tasks, reduce risks by placing the right people in new areas of the business and do what’s necessary to attract and retain new talent.
- Change happens quickly: Queue the pandemic; COVID-19 has placed a spotlight on scenario planning necessary to help you make numerous assumptions of what the future may have in store and how your business can be impacted. Now is the time to be proactive, so you need to identify possible uncertainties and increase your agility to response.
- Investment in technology: A greater investment in technology and shifting mindsets toward a digital transformation will be the key. Innovative products and technologies will be essential for change and, as new behaviours are sowed all around us, mining operations need to be responsive. Focusing on technology investment will help manage all of the above effectively.
Establish a North Star, a Guide Towards the Future
Businesses today operate in a world of relentless change. New technologies and innovations are reshaping every aspect of a company’s operations – from customer-facing products and services, to back-office functions like finance and human resources.
Adapting to change now and post-pandemic can be an opportunity for growth. As your mine becomes more flexible and open to adjustments in how it works, investing in a long-term transformation that includes technologies can help you reach your North Star – the long-term vision of your organization that keeps you focused without losing direction or risking your business along the way. As you examine lessons learned during these challenging times (and those we are still acquiring), consider how much stronger your business can become by planning and responding better to future predicaments.
Turning Ambition into Reality
For most companies, reaching their North Star might be a highly ambitious endeavor, but it’s not an impossible one. By incorporating an outcomes-driven approach into decision-making processes – in addition to engaging visionaries and getting the people approach right – companies can make sure that every investment they undertake moves them one step closer to their North Star without risking their business along the way.
With SAP Business ByDesign, junior mines, in particular, can run their entire operations on a best-of-breed, cloud-based management suite: streamline end-to-end processes, boost efficiencies, and gain greater insights in the business. And with Illumiti’s IP and templates designed specifically for mines, the cost to a junior mine is much lower than one might expect – it matters more about getting the system up and running quickly, so the benefits can be experienced immediately.
About the Author
“As a graduate of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Andrew Howell has focused his career on becoming a senior-level innovation leader and business process engineer in the SAP ecosystem.” Andrew currently focuses on transforming businesses by leveraging revolutionary, intelligent technologies which ultimately digitalize their organizations.
Illumiti is a modern SAP systems integration and management consultancy committed to delivering strategy, technology, and business transformation to ambitious clients. An SAP implementation leader with a strong history of working with mining industry companies, Illumiti consists of more than 350 SAP consultants with an average of more than ten years of experience, leading processes and world-class mining software, with more than 30 mining customers operating more than 60 mines globally.