The ability to run operations at full capacity, and then sustain them, is a major challenge for the mining industry. Vital tasks, such as crushing and transferring minerals, are suffering because people and equipment are not being utilized properly. The end result is low productivity and the high costs that are associated with it. However, our recent findings show that it in many cases it is possible to increase productivity in mining between 20 - 40%, reduce supply costs between 10 - 15% and cut energy costs by 2 - 10% through effective asset management.
So what is the solution? The first step is to look at the organization from a holistic point of view, which can reveal root causes that are otherwise hard to detect. It is amazing how a fresh, new perspective can help executives visually connect the dots to determine where breakdowns occur. Each broken process can create a domino effect, so it is also important to treat the entire operation as a whole instead of using a fragmented approach. Understanding why people behave they way they do in the workplace is another crucial step. Changing the culture within the workplace starts with breaking bad habits and replacing them with a new mindset that will help them succeed in the company's future state. Keeping people involved in each phase of the transition will increase the chance of the workforce "buying in," thus accelerating the speed of change.
Change is a process, not an event. It does not happen overnight. Every level of an organization must be fully invested to evoke change. However, our findings show that companies typically underestimate how difficult it is to engage every level of the workforce. Once executives understand the magnitude of such an initiative, they often realize the bandwidth of their organization is not sufficient enough to engage every employee.