How the pandemic could accelerate mining’s digital transformation
ERP Ready- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are the central nervous systems of most businesses, helping companies with financial management, supply chain management, asset tracking, HR and more. One of the biggest ERP providers is SAP, and Illumiti, a consulting company and system integrator that mostly focuses on SAP software, has helped many majors and mid-tiers implement the platform.
Lorraine Howell, Illumiti’s vice-president of Innovation and Continuous Improvement spoke with CMJ in April about how miners can use their ERPs to cope with some of the challenges that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic, and over the longer-term, to facilitate their digital transformation plans. Howell also speaks about some of the advantages of S/4HANA, SAP’s new platform introduced in 2015.
Canadian Mining Journal: What are some of the issues that Illumiti has seen affecting mining customers so far during the pandemic?
Lorraine Howell: Different countries and regions have handled the pandemic differently – some are trying to keep the lights on and to keep people at work; others are taking more drastic measures and have shut down mining activities.
Most of our customers are trying to keep the lights on, but they have certain constraints around travel – for example, we have fly-in mine sites in remote places like Canada’s North. With travel now restricted, they’ve had to lengthen the time that people stay on site so as to minimize their interaction with other people, then have them offsite for a longer period of time so they can self-isolate. So, travel to and from mines has been restricted, even in places where it’s not remote. In those cases, they’ve had to reduce their crew sizes, so productivity has declined as well.
At corporate offices, people are finding working from home to be quite disruptive, so that has been an adjustment.