We all have been through this, looking for direction. No matter if it’s driving the family to a new vacation destination or utilizing technology in mine operations to improve efficiency and safety. It’s all the same, we are looking for direction.
Some of the best decisions come from others’ experience.
If it’s driving on vacation, what do you do? Probably get your smartphone and use a GPS app, Waze is my preference. Why do we do this? Because it’s easy, convenient, pretty darn accurate and gets you where you need to go. But what is different about Waze? Why do I and millions of others chose Waze over some of the other options? It’s all the same roads, same routes and same distance, right?
There is one major difference. Waze allows its users to provide feedback for others, helping them down the same path from their experience. As a driver you can mark things such as bad foggy weather, a car swallowing pothole, backed up traffic or maybe a speed trap around the next turn. I even use Waze for trips I know the way. Why? Because it gives me real time feedback of what is going on the road in front of me, from other drivers that were recently down the same road. It allows me to learn from other drivers’ experience.
Leverage your mining partner’s experience to guide you in the right direction.
Now you’re wondering, what in the world am I babbling about. I know how to use my smartphone as a GPS and how to get to work every day. I thought this was about technology or mining, at least something work related.
It is. My point being the same should be true in our jobs. Let other people’s experiences direct your path.
I was recently in a conversation with a customer. This person was a member of a corporate team and had been tasked with ‘improving operations’ which takes us back to my original question, how do we get there?
Many times in our job, we have been given a task but don’t know in which direction to start. We often don’t have the experience of undertaking such a project. As for my customer, he needed a technology partner that had the appropriate mining expertise and years of experience ‘improving operations’.
Several options were available to him:
- Run the project in-house, relying solely on the experience of his team. Some might have run a similar project at their previous company, but how long ago was it and how many times did they run a similar projects? The chances are technology has changed.
- Outsource some or all of the project. If so, again a question raises – which technology partner should he choose? Should he focus on price, technology, delivery time, location of the partner?
Direction over destination.
The best direction is not the same for everyone in my Waze example. However, when it comes to mining, we can all agree that the best direction should be dictated by some common principles:
- 1. First, ensure you select a partner with years of experience in mining, not any industry. Everything in mining is unique, from equipment, applications and processes to the harshness of its environment.
- 2. Make sure you compare the different technologies available. A solution that works great for a nearby mine might not fit your specific requirements. There is no one size fits all.
- 3. Ensure the technology aligns with your business directions and the technology currently available onsite.
- 4. Ensure the selected partner has experience delivering projects on-time and on-budget. That might save you lots in the long term.
- 5. Make sure the process is flexible enough so that any challenges can be overcome. We all know mining is no exception.
At 3D-P, we deploy 10 plus mining projects of this sort each year and have been doing so for over 20 years. We know the industry, we know the process and we know the technologies. There is no one size fits all and that’s why we always start our process with a site survey. If you want direction, contact us and let’s start a conversation.