With commodity prices under pressure, the future of mining depends on accessing real-time information for quick management decisions. Financial and non-financial reporting is now the difference between a profitable mining future and no future at all.

Mining companies need to focus on high production to spread fixed costs. Calculation of unit prices across multiple operations needs to be standardised and this requires accurate, relevant data. Managing supplier performance and pricing is critical, as is stock control and mitigating variances, to trim costs at a department and cost centre level.

SYPRO marketing director Meryl Malcomess said: "Our ERP software is fast becoming the mining industry’s best friend.

"We provide our clients with a history of usage at the time of creating and approving requisitions. This means management can easily control expenses through quick and easy access to vital information, translating into substantial cost savings."

Accurate data is also critical for legislative requirements like tax returns, as reliable numbers reduce penalties and interest charges resulting from potential under provisions; volatile labour negotiations is another area where accurate data plays a positive role in quick resolution.

Fraud and corruption remain a prevalent risk in the industry, especially in multinationals operating in developing countries. A comprehensive ERP solution provides evidence through trends, gaps and rigorous controls, which strengthens areas potentially open to corruption.

"SYSPRO ERP offers consolidated reporting across a group of companies, facilitated by a structured chart of accounts," Malcomess added.

"Other features include integration from plant maintenance to ERP to help manage equipment costs and workflow to manage authorisations, fraud, budget checks and controls.

"Our software takes the guess work out of key management decisions."

The very nature of the industry requires that financial data be of a high standard, accurate and inputted in a consistent manner. This gives executive leadership confidence in the data’s quality and can be relied on for comparing things such as the performance of business units and various operations. An ERP system must be suited to the size of the organisation in order to deal with the outputs required.