Think smart, not small
Five reasons to embrace ERP in your mining operation—from the start
“Start small and think big” is advice often given to startup companies. And it makes sense—up to a point. For example, you don’t deploy your entire gamut of mining resources during the early exploration phase. Instead, you start small and analyze the data before making larger investments in the property. However, when you select business management software to support your young mining company, starting small can end up inhibiting your ability to grow your mining operation with maximum efficiency (and profitability). So, here we offer five reasons to think smart, not small, implementing a mining ERP solution early in your company’s operation.
- From startup to holdup
Sure, you may fall into the small business category now. You may be pre-revenue, have only one site, and your accounting doesn’t seem all that complex. But that’s the way all mining companies start. As you advance through the assessment and development phases and into the operations phase, your needs will no longer be small. Suddenly, recruiting, human resources, inventory control, project management and equipment maintenance will become necessities. In addition, you may open multiple locations or expand internationally further complicating your accounting. Entry-level software won’t be able to keep up.
- ERP implementations can be disruptive
You might be surprised to hear us say it, but ERP implementations aren’t always simple, and they aren’t always fast. In fact, ERP implementations can be disruptive to a mining business’s operations, even when they are well planned and expertly executed.
If all goes as it should with your mining company, you will need the power and functionality that a true mining industry ERP solution provides sooner or later. You will save the future disruption—which will likely occur during a period of accelerated growth—by adopting a mining industry ERP solution early on. In fact, small to midsized mining operations have an advantage over larger companies that delay their move to ERP. Less business complexity results in a simpler, less costly ERP implementation that you can expand in phases as your business scales.
- You may not realize what you’re missing
Mining operations that rely on an entry-level accounting package are likely performing many functions outside of the software. Entry-level packages rarely provide the sophisticated financial reporting mining companies need, meaning you’ve got a portfolio of spreadsheets to maintain. Similarly, if you’re managing equipment and other assets, you’re doing this outside of the accounting software. Mining ERP solutions provide broad, integrated functionality in one cohesive, connected database, including:
- Financial management
- Inventory management and consignment inventory
- Customer/investor relationship management
- Sales and marketing
- Human capital management (HCM)
- Equipment maintenance
- Fixed asset tracking
- Multi-national capabilities
- Intercompany transactions
- Investors’ checkbooks are open
Investors, who recognize the industry’s role in supplying materials for the green economy, have heightened interest in the metal and mining sector. With billions of dollars in their pockets, investors want companies that have the financial and operations reports that allow them to deeply understand your business in familiar, industry-standard formats, and from an accounting system that is secure and auditable.
Entry-level accounting applications do not provide the strict accounting controls and audit trails that businesses seeking outside investment need. However, ERP applications, specifically mining industry ERP software, offer these controls, providing you and your investors with the confidence to proceed with a deal.
- Accelerate your growth
Starting small with an entry-level accounting package that offers limited capabilities may hamper your mining operation’s ability to pivot and adapt to changing market conditions—effectively stymying growth. Entry level applications like QuickBooks lack the broad functionality of a mining ERP application. For example, QuickBooks won’t be of much help tracking a perpetual inventory, nor will it help monitor your equipment expenses, or depreciate your assets. As a result, you’ll be left managing many aspects of the business in spreadsheets or stand-alone applications, robbing efficiencies you could be directing toward growth.
With a mining ERP solution, you can optimize internal efficiencies, increase the speed and standard of execution, and accelerate lean, informed growth. It provides cross-operation functionality and unites your business and eliminates efficiency-killing data silos. In addition, it helps connect everyone in real time, so your operations can run faster and less expensively while maintaining visibility throughout the operation.
Think smart, scale fast
Mining operations that leverage the power of an ERP application to help manage their business are at a distinct advantage over those who rely on spreadsheets and entry-level packages. Mining industry ERP software enables you to establish, enforce and demonstrate clearly defined business processes, workflows, key performance indicators and internal controls that add value and enable your operation to scale.
Caron Mining Solutions is a comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use mining industry ERP solution, built on Sage ERP software, that addresses the challenges modern mining operations face. We invite you to learn more about Caron Mining Solutions and contact us with your questions.