Mitigating Risk And Adapting To Change–
How the current health crisis highlights the need for an effective mining industry ERP solution

The coronavirus has shaken the foundations of businesses across virtually every industry, including mining. With measures ranging from complete shutdown, to social distancing while performing essential tasks, to travel bans, to work-from-home mandates, the pandemic is forcing companies to adapt—or risk closing forever. The current health crisis is highlighting the need for an effective mining industry ERP solution that supports mining companies’ efforts to mitigate risk and adapt to change.

Compliance and reporting

Regulatory and compliance mandates are an ongoing concern for every mining company. The Canadian mining industry is governed by dozens of federal, provincial and territorial acts and regulations across a broad spectrum of subject matter. As part of the government’s response to the coronavirus, additional compliance mandates were rolled out, some of which will directly impact mining operations. For example, in most jurisdictions, minimum annual investments are required to be made on projects in order to keep the constituent mineral claims in good standing. Government-mandated shutdowns and other measures in response to COVID-19, present meaningful challenges for businesses that could affect their ability to complete necessary project expenditures.

It’s more important than ever for mining companies to have strong back office financial management software. A strong financial platform, one that provides the flexibility and configurability to keep your operations fast and fluid, will ensure you are keeping the records necessary to prove compliance with changing regulations. You’ll also want to be sure your financial platform includes a powerful reporting engine — and business activity monitoring tools that allow you to mine your database for the necessary data.

Global flexibility and agility

Mining enterprises with global operations will face additional sets of regulations. For example, Latin America, which accounts for 54% of Canadian mining companies assets abroad, has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus, and many mining operations came to a complete halt. Some countries, including Peru, have begun to restart mining operations, but the response to coronavirus throughout Latin American countries is varied.

While it may not be possible to be prepared for every contingency, companies that have invested in a Mining Industry ERP solution have more options. A single, global ERP solution that supports both local and international operations provides the operational visibility mining companies need to make strategic, timely business decisions during a time of crisis.

Workforce and staffing

Canada’s mining sector directly employs 426,000 people across the country, and tens of thousands more throughout Latin America. As mining companies take the necessary and required steps to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees, it becomes vital to maintain a records of those steps, surrounding actions, and incidents — and to track both paid and unpaid leave. Now is also the time for mining companies to plan for their workforces in a post-pandemic economy, making strategic hiring and training decisions, maintaining productivity, and managing people costs.

Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions provide the structure and feature set necessary to record, monitor, review, and analyze the myriad of details required of the modern employer. Ensure you choose a HCM solution that supports multiple compliance zones, multiple locations, multiple languages and multiple currencies if yours is a global operation. Also look for a dynamic solution that is easily configurable and continually updated to ensure compliance with fluctuating mandates.

Supply chain cost control

Supply chain challenges are familiar to most mining companies, but the worldwide impact of COVID-19 is placing new pressure on global supply chain structures, forcing miners to become more resilient. There are actions mining companies can take now to mitigate disruption, while strategizing for the future. In this recent article, Ernst & Young (EY) outlines some of those actions, which include conducting an end-to-end supply chain risk assessment, identifying gaps, prioritizing critical focus areas, and reviewing supplier contracts.

A Mining Industry ERP solution is a helpful tool in effective supply chain management, helping you seamlessly manage the purchasing process from beginning to end, with key capabilities including supplier and product category management, purchase planning, ordering, and requests, purchase orders, delivery, and scheduling, requests for proposal, supplier invoice entry and returns, and more.

Equipment maintenance and repair

It’s possible your equipment isn’t seeing a lot of use right now — which makes now an excellent time to address maintenance and repair issues that may have been postponed during busier times.

A mining equipment management solution is an ideal way to manage your mining resources, at any time, but especially now when cost control is crucial. An effective equipment tracking and maintenance application helps you manage each piece of equipment and the costs associated with running, maintaining and repairing them. With insight into which equipment is profitable and which equipment may be nearing the end of its productive life, you can make smart, economical decisions and better prepare your organization for busier times.

While the right business management solution cannot completely mitigate the effects of a global health crisis, Mining Industry ERP provides mining companies with the agility, scalability, and configurability needed to weather economic extremes and emerge from the crisis strong and ready for action.

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. Learn more about Caron Mining Solutions here, or by contacting us here.

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.