Computerized Maintenance Management Systems for Mining Companies

“Requiring a large amount of care.” “Tending to cause problems or demand attention.” “Temperamental.” Mining is the definition of a high-maintenance operation. Mining companies in nearly every stage of the mining cycle rely on parts, equipment, and supplies — and lots of them — to do their work. Downtime at any time is costly. A Computerized Maintenance Management System, or CMMS, is essential to help ensure mining equipment, accessories, and even fleet vehicles remain on the job, safe, and performing optimally. We’ve assembled seven must-haves when choosing a CMMS for your mining company.

1. Scalable

Look for a CMMS that can scale with your mining operations as you grow, enter new development phases, and expand into new areas. Switching a CMMS mid-venture to accommodate growth is disruptive. It’s more strategic to invest in a solution capable of growing with you from the start.

2. User-friendly

The value is any software application remains locked unless it gets used. While a CMMS must provide broad functionality in order to be useful, it must also be easy for employees to learn and to use. Modern CMMS solutions offer a user-friendly interface that’s quick to set up and intuitive to use.

3. Remote and mobile access

Remote and mobile access is imperative for all essential business applications. Look for a CMMS that will run on your employees’ smartphones and tablets, speeding and simplifying data entry of field data and increasing the productivity of your teams. 

4. ERP Integration

While mine maintenance software is an important component in your overall operation, the backbone of any business is its accounting or ERP application. Integration between business-critical applications eliminates duplicate data entry, improves overall accuracy, promotes cross-department collaboration, and facilitates corporate reporting. Points of integration could include:

  • Integration with purchasing and inventory control streamlines the initial procurement of equipment and the ordering, receipt, and tracking of spare parts
  • Integration with general ledger and payables simplifies cost tracking and expense reporting

5. Preventive maintenance scheduling

We can all agree that preventative maintenance is money well spent. But sometimes, knowing when to spend it is challenging — especially when you’re managing hundreds of pieces of expensive equipment. Consider a CMMS that not only supports the scheduling of routine maintenance based on calendar increments but one that supports a more predictive approach, suggesting equipment maintenance based on various usage or condition parameters collected in the field. You can use the maintenance data collected to define the best maintenance strategies going forward to achieve your company’s maintenance objectives.

6. Insight into costs

This point may seem a bit obvious — certainly a maintenance management system should collect maintenance cost data — but what we’re referring to here is a bit more sophisticated and requires a CMMS that provides robust data analytics. In addition to the obvious costs related to maintenance and repairs, such as filters and bolts, to truly understand how equipment maintenance impacts your bottom line, you need data like:

  • Downtime costs
  • Cost by asset family
  • Cost by asset (e.g., 10 most expensive)
  • Cost by category (e.g., parts, sub-contracting, labor)
  • Time spent per WO per engineer

7. Global capabilities

If your company has — or is planning — international operations, you’ll want a CMMS to support it. Multi-company, multi-site, and multi-language capabilities ensure you can put the application to use at each location, providing a holistic view of your operations. 

Mining equipment is high maintenance and requires a Computerized Maintenance Management System that understands the industry’s unique requirements. The CMMS applications we work with all integrate with Caron Mining Solutions — both Sage X3 and Sage 300.  DIMO Maint, in particular, provides a CMMS that delivers powerful functionality, including the seven “must haves” we’ve highlighted here. We’re happy to answer your questions. Contact us at 877-560-5063 or info@caronbusiness.com.

Paul has been involved with Sage 300 software for almost 30 years. He brings a well-rounded perspective to business management software implementation projects. His depth of knowledge and expertise in business process analysis has benefited several clients.