The mining industry in South Africa faces very specific challenges, creating a need for business solutions that can cater for their precise business processes. So says Johan Hanekom, ERP business unit manager at Datacentrix, a provider of high performing and secure ICT solutions.
He explains that there are a number of hurdles that mining organisations need to overcome, including balancing short-term responses with long-term strategy and weighing the long timescales needed for major infrastructure projects, such as mine development, against sharp downturns in prices and demand.
“As part of a mature industry, these companies must also achieve enhanced profitability, in a large part through best in class performance and disciplined cost control as market demand for their products strongly fluctuates. At any point in time, commodity prices may be high or low, but management teams know that these price levels are cyclical. In the face of fluctuating demand and cyclical pricing, operating an efficient and streamlined business, as well as squeezing costs, is critical.”
High levels of transactions across all segments of the sector, involving industry players of all sizes seeking deals all over the world, continue to rapidly change the face of the global mining industry.
“Major capital investment decisions are being made in this increasingly volatile operating and price environment, where future returns on the capital invested are increasingly uncertain,” says Hanekom. “Given these attributes of their operating environment, global mining companies are placing increasingly higher priority on the need for effective corporate risk management.”
Furthermore, the ability to recruit strategically and retain key employees and scarce skills in mining companies is more important now than ever before and is imperative to the future of the industry.
Hanekom maintains that the Sage ERP X3 integrated business management solution is an ideal option for the mining sector as it drives performance and will rise to the challenges facing this type of business. “These benefits are achieved by helping control the effects of globalisation related to international development, new market expansion, or changes in corporate ecosystem.”
In addition to this, Sage ERP X3 can also:
· Run all of your company’s activities on one system and improve the efficiency of your processes;
· Make internal and external collaboration easier by increasing a business’ ability to respond and anticipate;
· Improve customer satisfaction; and
· Guarantee a quick return on investment and controlling operating costs.
“With its Web 2.0 technology, Sage ERP X3 focuses on collaboration and customisable ergonomics to simplify processes and increase efficiency,” states Hanekom. “Thanks to its application extensions, its international scope and its expert and advanced functionalities, Sage ERP X3 adapts to your company regardless of size or organisational style. It helps to constantly align operations with the company strategy and to run activities with 360 degree visibility.”
According to Keith Fenner, VP for sales at Sage Accpac SA, Enterprise Asset Maintenance (EAM) is a crucial part of a capital-intensive business like the mining industry. “Sage ERP X3’s ability to manage maintenance planning schedules, job cards and rotables management with equipment master files held separately but fully integrated to the fixed assets suite was an essential step forward. Sage ERP X3 EAM allows us to provide a completely integrated maintenance suite that has transactional flows touching assets, inventory, internal issues, procurement, job cards and costing to the general ledger.”
With a network of 200 partners and operations in over 50 countries, Sage ERP X3 has already gained over 3,300 customers and has over 180,000 users.
“As a recognised player within the mid-market ERP space for the past decade, Datacentrix’ Business Solutions unit has built a track record as a reliable implementation partner that gets the work done in budget and on time. Focusing on the manufacturing, distribution and service industries has enabled us to build a vast amount of industry and ERP knowledge and skills,” Hanekom adds.
“We have invested in our Sage X3 ERP skills, which complement our current Microsoft solution set, and believe that it is a solution that can provide for all of the requirements and functionalities needed for day-to-day operations within the mining sector.”