Uncertainties caused by a pandemic, issues with sustainability, decreasing commodity prices, workforce management complications, and supply chain restrictions are creating extraordinary challenges that have intensified common mining industry issues. Compound those with typical finance, procurement, inventory, and maintenance obstacles and the future of mining can seem more difficult than ever before.

But the mining industry can think creatively. And can look to the future with optimism by responding to challenges today, so your operation is better prepared for tomorrow.

Better business outcomes can be enabled with cost-effective, digital solutions. With an enterprise resource management (ERP) system, your operation can harness the power of the Cloud and place improved productivity at your fingertips. And you’ll be better prepared to effectively reply to a wider array of emerging disruptions and demands.

The benefits of digitizing the core of your mine

The right technology has numerous benefits:

  • Increased process efficiencies.
  • Improved decision making.
  • Better control of costs.
  • Empowered employers.

With most mines performing business processes such as finance, procurement, inventory, and maintenance in the same way, a digital solution improves everything. Illumiti takes SAP software and tailors it to the core activities common at all mines and mills. Ultimately, mines will watch revenues grow.

By leveraging industry best practices and implementing a system quickly and responsibly, you can accelerate the time to value and give your stakeholders a platform that enables better visibility into the core of your operations and a system to continuously improve upon.

For a mining operation, looking to establish ERP protocols can often be deceived thinking they need to create the perfect system. To be successful, you need to make hundreds of decisions immediately out of the gate and take as long as two years before improvements to the business are seen. But it’s worth the investment in time.

A bespoke feel with a templated solution

With a modular template including the necessary processes common to all mine and mill operations, Illumiti has created a solution where 80% is pre-built, so your company can focus efforts on the remaining elements that are unique to your particular operation. And with the template can be implemented in as little as 12 to 16 weeks.

While the software is generally introduced as early as the post-feasibility study, the modular nature of the template means the capabilities needed earliest can be implemented first and additional capabilities added as your operation develops. By the time production starts, the core modules are in place and customized to the unique needs of the project.

The goal? Implementing the templated solution and tailoring it to your specific needs and as you use it.  This allows you to place more focus on your real needs.

An ERP software has its benefits

What Illumiti offers is a platform to get a system running fast and executing on more efficiencies earlier.

Consider how entering data is done on a tablet in the field. When a maintenance superintendent walks through the mill, for example, and pulls up the history for a piece of equipment, they can see available parts and generate a maintenance request on the spot. The days of returning to the office and entering data manually from notes on paper are long gone. Everything is performed in real-time.

A digitized approach eliminates errors that may sneak in when a second party is entering data. This enables the manager to be more of a problem solver since they can see the operation as a whole and feel confident in the software organizing the data.

Silos between finance, supply chain, and maintenance are eliminated and mines can create better integrations between stakeholders across a business process and establish efficiencies and streamline operations.

Process automations and machine learning can be leveraged as well, one of which is to scan incoming accounts payable (AP) invoices quickly and accurately. The system then performs a three-way match against goods or services received. Your staff is now free to manage by exception and focus on analysis of data as opposed to data entry.

Extracting data into multiple spreadsheets and performing various analyses are eliminated. And by using the standard embedded key performance indicators (KPIs), SAP allows a business to set targets across process chains and perform peer comparisons—this sets the stage for improvement. With all data now in one system, drilling down to retrieve required information and understanding the root cause of a problem is easier done with ad hoc reporting and advanced analytical capabilities.

We’re learning new lessons everyday. And those lessons are helping us to better understand the mining industry’s trajectory and the next normal. The new normal is here and it’s digital.