Discover the Timely Value of Digital Transformation During Periods of Great Disruption
As organizations of all types continue to evaluate the new reality of work and the future of their businesses, there is a particularly intense spotlight on the mining industry as employees begin to make their way back to physical mines where health and safety will be, as always, of the utmost importance.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the wellbeing of workers was constantly a top-of-mind priority. But everything has changed – with so many operations suspended, the risks are heightened with respect to travel and accommodations, workers and their working conditions, and the communities in which they work.
With many predicting the impact of COVID-19 going well into the latter months of this year and possibly into the next (physical isolation, heightened health and safety protocols and employee self-assessment checks, enhanced personal protective gear, travel limitations) organizations will be hard-pressed to build trust as they transition to a future they did not anticipate and plan for.
What needs to be done now?
Mines need to strongly consider transformation at every level of their operations, from employee scheduling to new technologies; all should be a part of the narrative moving forward. And when considering new technologies, consider it as a means for reducing costs rather than a cost centre (applying automation, taking advantage of analytics, implementing new processes).
Part of any future-focused transformation needs to consider the following:
- Health and safety are paramount: Establish requirements and the means to enforce physical distancing protocols by assessing your operations.
- Reassess the nature of your work: Determine new scheduling requirements to ensure employees are physically safe from one another; this may also necessitate an assessment of employee competencies by redefining their roles and duties.
- Uncover gaps: A catalyst for change, COVID-19 has also 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 can happen quickly: Place a focus on scenario planning that will help you make numerous assumptions of what the future may have in store and how your business can be impacted. The need to be proactive has never been greater, so you need to identify possible uncertainties and increase your agility to response.
- Make an investment in technology: For mining operations, greater investments in technology and a mindset toward digital transformation will be key. Investments in innovative products and technologies will be paramount to change. As new behaviours are sowed all around us, mining operations need to respond as well. With a focus on technology investment, all of the above are managed effectively.
It isn’t enough to just focus on the near term.
Be prepared and be responsive.
Adapting to change now and post-pandemic can be an opportunity for growth. As organizations become more flexible and open to adjustments in how they work, investments on a long-term transformation that includes technologies can start. And 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.
With SAP Business ByDesign, junior mines 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 Andrew Howell
As a graduate of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Andrew 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 10-plus years of experience, leading processes and world-class mining software, with more than 30 mining customers operating more than 60 mines globally.