Mankind’s fascination with unearthing natural resources dates back to civilization’s beginnings. Over the centuries, technology has advanced mining practices, furthering exploration, worker safety, and sustainability practices. While the industry still recognizes the value of the old ways, it has advanced from using pickaxes and chisels to extracting resources with heavy duty haul trucks and state-of-the-art drilling machinery. With the help of Microsoft technologies, a multinational mining and commodity trading giant is outpacing industry advancements to stay at the top of its game.
The Swiss-based diversified natural resource leader — one of the largest companies in the world – operates mines across the globe. When it sought multiple technology solutions at one its largest North American mines, to streamline vehicle operations and site maintenance, and to optimize site finances, it turned to its long-time trusted technology partner, BlueGranite.
A Canadian outpost of this nearly 50-year-old company needed a way to ensure the operational efficiency of its haul trucks and operators, as well as a way to streamline mine maintenance schedules; critical to operations safety. It also wanted a dynamic, on-premise finance reporting solution.
While cloud technology has its advantages, many organizations require on-premise reporting, whether because such a solution is best suited to the corporation’s culture, or the industry is highly regulated, with laws or corporate security mandates governing where data must be stored.
A traditional, on-premise Microsoft business intelligence stack – SQL Server, SQL Server Integration Services, and SQL Server Analysis Services tabular – work together to keep the mine’s data secure and centralized. Using the interactive, visually rich Power BI, and R integration, we built bespoke advanced data visualization, allowing the mine to manage its fleet with precision. The dynamic reporting platform is cloud-compatible should this organization ever want to migrate. Our custom reporting, designed around the mine’s haulage vehicles, highlights standard productions times, how much each vehicle is hauling, whether it’s moving or stationary, for how long, and other indicators that impact profits. Management is able to see, in real time, the status of any one vehicle or group.
We also used Power BI to streamline maintenance here; optimized operations are key to safety. Operators are able to stay on top of all maintenance tasks – from ensuring haulage trucks have appropriate tires for each season to making sure lightbulbs are changed on schedule. Centralized maintenance management reporting keeps the mine in top shape, helping electricians, plumbers, and maintenance workers carry out tasks on time.
Most recently, BlueGranite used Microsoft’s Power BI and Analysis Services tabular to build very traditional financial planning, strategy, and analysis reporting for the mine, replacing its burdensome, expensive legacy system.
Besides streamlining and optimizing operations, these new capabilities offer faster insights, improved data quality, and a competitive advantage. The successful, easy-to-use solutions are proving to have enterprise-wide possibilities, and the company is considering a similar financial solution across its global operations.
BlueGranite’s experienced team tailors its solutions to help your organization maximize its data. Contact us today to discover what we can do for you.