Mining Capital Projects: Achieving Operational Readiness and Driving More Value
During the course of the last twelve months, managing capital expenditure (Capex) to buy, construct, and upgrade assets in the mining industry has become a challenge. And as we continue to wade through the gloomy waters of the COVID pandemic, we’re also finding it challenging to consistently deliver mining Capex on time and budget. This can negatively impact a mine’s overall financial stability.
Challenges are nothing new to the mining industry, of course; however, the stakes have increased as a result of the pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, project delays happened as a progression of business with initial budgets often devastated by cost overruns. Larger companies with money to burn can be an advantage, but today’s environment is different, more challenging and uncertain. Regardless of size, companies need to rein in and control costs better.
Considering that major projects are multifaceted and time-consuming, how can companies in the midst of a pandemic better manage Capex during the construction and development phase of a mine?
Choose to operate smarter, faster, and leaner.
Success or failure can often be determined by the degree to which a company is aligned with its overall strategy. And aligning visions with a partner that understands the industry and the intricacies of small to midsize mines in particular is crucial.
Illumiti has become a leader in delivering mining technology solutions that reduce financial and operational risks to create greater gains by helping to better manage supply chain, mining operations, and risk management, while placing the right people, systems, and processes in place.
With so many elements to consider when running a mine, smaller mines can’t afford to spend frivolously. Like any size operation, smaller mines need to create a connected mining enterprise that’s integrated with operational technologies and business processes. With a cloud-based technology and a templated solution, we’re providing small and midsize mines with what they need, and helping them gain deep insights in an affordable way.
Illumiti’s mining template and IP solutions allow for improved collaboration with vendors and contractors through procurement and workforce management solutions. These ultimately lead to reduced operational financial risks. These companies also need to address the challenges of commodity price volatility, operational efficiencies, environmental constraints, and regulations concerning compliance and safety. With all of this in mind, huge IT commitments are not recommended. Instead, a robust and cost-effective foundation of integrated IT and operational technologies with the essential modules, content, and functionality are needed, so operations can be managed holistically.
SAP Business ByDesign – An affordable ERP solution
SAP Business ByDesign is a single, cloud-based ERP solution for fast-growing, mid-market companies much like small and midsize mines. Engineered with the benefits of large-scale business management applications, without the need for a large IT infrastructure, Business ByDesign can scale and evolve according to a mine’s specific needs, quickly and effortlessly, and as it grows. And it unifies every functional department and process, from accounting and finance to manufacturing, supply chain management, human resources, and more.
For small to midsize mines, the need for a simple-to-use solution that meets business needs today, and in the future, makes total sense. A mine may consist of 20 to 500 employees; it might be a start-up or an established junior mine; it may need to reduce ongoing IT infrastructure costs; or the organization is scaling and planning to incorporate new best practice business processes. By implementing appropriate rigor in their evaluation, prioritization, and optimization of small-to-midsize portfolios, companies can unearth significant savings and develop a strong organization rooted in capability building.
Key benefits of SAP Business ByDesign
With SAP’s state-of-the-art, in-memory computing technology known as HANA and Illumiti’s IP, a mining operation can bring all the parts of its business into a centralized database and gain invaluable visibility into its operations with:
- Real-time access to important financial KPIs that help drive key business decisions.
- The ability to streamline processes to gain operational efficiencies and improve cash management and liquidity.
- Sophisticated yet simple project management capabilities, providing real-time visibility into costs associated with mine development.
- Tools to empower employees with self-service procurement capabilities.
- Streamline every aspect of Human Resources.
- Efficient procurement processes.
- Improved supply chain effectiveness and supplier collaboration.
With Business ByDesign, small-to-midsize mines can run their entire operation—even large-scale projects—effectively on a data-driven, cloud-based management suite to: streamline end-to-end processes, boost efficiencies, gain greater insights into the business, and cultivate the data needed to run efficiently. 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.
Miners are born tough. But the right technology can make them stronger.
About the Author
As a graduate of the University of Ontario’s 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 10-plus years of experience, leading processes and world-class mining software, with more than 30 mining customers operating more than 60 mines globally.