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The most dangerous software for mining businesses

What are the most dangerous pieces of software a mining company can use? If you answered spreadsheets you are on the right track. Australian Mining explains.

Many companies not only rely on spreadsheets as a reporting tool, but also use them to store valuable data and for business-critical calculations.

The information contained in company spreadsheets is often outdated and prone to human error, according to Australian software company Intov8.

Such inaccuracies threaten companies by presenting a false picture of production volume, productivity, inventory and personnel records. Bad information can send management in the wrong direction when making vital decisions.

And one wrong entry or miss-used set of calculations can cost a company millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Most mining companies have “horror” stories relating to unreliable data caused by erroneous entries.

Recently, there was a case of a major coal mining site that miscalculated its monthly production by more than 200,000 tonnes, causing them to sign off on a report with a greater than $20 million inaccuracy.

The problem was caused when the person responsible for a myriad of company spreadsheets was on leave. This led to mass confusion by fill-in staff – and worst of all – inaccurate reporting to the market.

There is a better way, according to Intov8, which has developed software to streamline the entire data process.

Intov8 partner development manager Matthew Whyatt says mining companies can get all of their latest mining data from multiple sources on a single screen on and off site, in real time.

“Data collection and analysis can be viewed as soon as it’s available typically within minutes comparing plan vs actual numbers whether you are measuring people, process or production from any site location,” Whyatt says.

“Being able to view production volumes against planned volumes and identify issues early by having that data on your mobile device empowers supervisors to respond quickly.”

Intov8’s software aims to help mining companies keep their ‘finger on the pulse’ of what’s happening at mine sites in real time.

With the technology, supervisors can monitor and control data in the field and oversee and fix problems as they occur.

The software reduces the risk of human error delivering more accurate data at the end of each month. It means senior management are in a better position to make strategic decisions based on more accurate numbers.

Intov8 software is easily integrated with current systems and can be partnered with any data source for practical, cost-effective solutions.

The company recently launched its POLR software suite – a revolutionary data management software solution that automates and analyses mining production systems.

“POLR has been developed by miners for miners,” Whyatt continues. “It connects directly with your existing fleet and plant monitoring systems, bringing multiple sources of information together for powerful results.

“You’ll get visibility over the data being reported and the ability to export to other business systems and software using purpose-built, Intov8-certified data access tools.”

Intov8’s software suite is made up of several distinct modules, including Axiom, Live Monitor, Wall, Dashboards, Organiser and Warehouse.

These modules can be used together or in isolation to meet the needs of a particular site, running the gamut from coal handling, warehousing and end-of-month reporting duties, through to machine maintenance and time saving implementations.

A software platform like POLR Organiser allows mining companies to track who’s available within crews or units in a matter of seconds to manage rosters and for the deployment of tasks and projects.

Supervisors can swap team members between crews, monitor leave rosters and manage training within a single, streamlined system.

Previously, mining companies used outdated, time-consuming spreadsheets to keep track of personnel and crews. POLR Organiser has been designed to streamline the entire process, providing updated information on all staff and crews in real time.

Intov8’s POLR Goods Tracking (GT) application, meanwhile, is a goods tracking solution that ticks every box. It tracks and controls all ‘goods out’ data from one central point.

“With this application, mining companies mining companies can significantly improve efficiency and boost productivity,” Whyatt says.

“Multiple users at different security levels across the mining site still provide input, but now there is instant visibility on what has been sent off site, where it is, expected return dates and what is being requested as urgent freight.”

POLR GT also stores the tracking numbers and automatically links with the transport service provider, ensuring greater visibility and reduced lost and missing items.

That means supervisors and staff can now work more efficiently, with less stress.

POLR delivers immediate and measurable operational and financial benefits.

“Intov8 software is a smart way to improve operational efficiency and reduce administration costs. It’s easy to install and simple to use. And best of all, it reduces paperwork and costly errors, resulting in increased productivity and profitability,” Whyatt concludes.

This article also appears in the October edition of Australian Mining.

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