For any mining operation, staying competitive and sustainable means maintaining high levels of efficiency, productivity, and safety – all the time, and – as miners, we know – this is often under very challenging conditions. None of this is easy, but up-to-date, best-in-class technology applications are one way to help mines run more effectively.
Getting technology right for a mine is a challenge. Since the dawn of “mining technology”, statistics have shown that technology projects rarely live up to expectations. They require substantial capital investment, they almost always run over-time and over-budget, and they almost never deliver the return on investment that was used to justify the purchase in the first place. In the end, the traditional deployment model for mining technology simply doesn’t work.
At Ramjack, our mandate is to help mines realize the full value of their deployed production and safety technologies. Bridging this gap between mine operations and technology manufacturers is an enlightening position – we have the opportunity to truly see things from both sides.
Here’s what we’ve learned:
Every real-time system deployment at a mine experiences the exact same challenges:
- The activities surrounding the technology and the desired outcomes that ensure value realization are not aligned;
- The knowledge transfer required for successful and sustainable technology adoption is not achieved and end users feel alienated;
- The responsibility for value generation is not shared between the necessary stakeholders as the interests of the technology manufacturer and the mine operation are not aligned;
- The deployed technology application does not become entrenched into the workflow, and processes and procedures revert back to ‘how it was done before’;
- The quality of decision making – and thus the efficiency of the operation – does not improve.
We find one of the most significant contributors to the phenomenon is that technology projects are being approached as just that – discrete projects, with fixed and firm end-dates, rather than seeing technology adoption as an ongoing continuum. As a result of this mentality, projects become too big to manage, are executed in silos and are demonized as “fads”. The risk of failure skyrockets, and the likelihood of anyone returning to the ‘scene of the crime’ to evaluate whether the return on investment (ROI) was achieved is minimal.
RAMJACK’s approach to technology adoption is different. We believe the lion’s share of attention to a technology deployment needs to be centred on actually achieving the ROI, not simply calculating the ROI to justify a capital expenditure. When achieving the ROI is the mandate, the emphasis changes to focus on sustainable knowledge transfer.
Ingenuity and careful thought are required before just diving in and spending money on technology, yes. But, the decision of which technology to implement is only the beginning (and not the most important component to value realization). The real value from technology comes from using the new application as a positive influencer for change.
Here are a few steps to consider:
- Investigate the most significant pain points and focus on the right technology solutions to solve these – workshops are great for this. It is important to generate a ‘pull’ from end-users; solving the most significant pain point is certain to do that.
- Start small, with technology deployments that move the needle quickly and deliver a guaranteed ROI in a short period of time. Efficient scoping of a project can actually create a phenomenon where the gains achieved in Phase 1 can help pay for the investments needed for Phase 2.
- Take a step back and put together an implementation road map that spans a longer period of time – like two to three years. This helps alleviate the tendency to increase the size of the deployments early on and forces team members to revisit ROI calculations on a recurring basis.
At RAMJACK Technology Solutions, we focus on helping mines solve their immediate challenges and ensure the successful adoption of advanced mining technologies. We provide and implement cutting-edge technology solutions and advanced knowledge transfer services to help your mine:
- Be informed
- Eliminate costs
- Empower your workforce
- Exceed production targets
- Save lives, and
- Stay connected
Contact us now and let us help you realize the value you deserve from your production and safety technology solutions, so you can make your mine a more efficient, productive, and safer place.