Goldcorp Realizes Mining and Organizational Potential Through use of Innovative Technologies
By Mark Fawcett
A recent study from the institute for competitiveness and prosperity highlighted the importance of investing in our own skills and knowledge, and in assets such as machinery and technology, as critical drivers of increased productivity. Productivity growth is absolutely necessary for any company to realize its full revenue potential. Canadian companies are reportedly slipping deeper into a productivity gap compared with the United States.
In our everyday lives, information helps us to make better decisions and work more productively and typically that information comes from our investment in technologies, such as smart phones, tablets or computers. Successful businesses leverage information to spot efficiencies, new ways to grow and establish competitive advantages to stay ahead of the curve. With high value being placed on information, the ability to extract massive amounts of data and analyze it in a way that quickly adds value to the business is becoming a strategic imperative for enterprises across the board.
For a typical mining company, this issue of investment to improve productivity becomes even more apparent. Goldcorp is one of the world’s fastest growing senior gold producers. It has achieved tremendous growth while keeping cash costs relatively low and conducting business in a socially responsible manner. The company is poised to grow production by another 70 per cent in the next five years.
The challenge for Goldcorp, however, is that although it successfully acquired many mining assets throughout the Americas, it was left with a decentralized group of companies, which were operating under the same umbrella but quite independently.
Goldcorp recognized the need to centralize its global business processes in order to improve economies of scale. The solution came in the form of technology from SAP which would unify business processes as well as providing big data solutions.
“As part of our big data strategy we had a vision to pull together our traditional data, such as financial and production information, together with data that is not traditionally analyzed, such as HR and safety performance data and the results were eye opening,” said Luis Canepari, VP of Information Technology at Goldcorp Inc. “Individually, all of our mines carry massive amounts of operational data related to gold production from the different sites and regions; information on geology; our use of key consumables like energy, fuel, tires and other inputs; machine maintenance, and the list goes on. This information is just sitting in there, and we could be leveraging it more to truly realize our mining and organizational potential.”
“Tools like SAP Business Objects, Data Warehouse and SAP HANA can pull all of this information together and provide quick analyses to help us make fast decisions. This includes information about geology, production efficiency, enterprise asset planning, safety and people data that could fundamentally change how and where we mine, and the revenue we can generate.”
For Goldcorp, however, mining data analytics wasn’t their only concern: “We’re also moving a lot of our HR data into a cloud system called SAP SuccessFactors. With our very
geographically dispersed company we try to come up with ways to add fast value to our people. We plan to continue expanding the use of SuccessFactors in order to improve our growing people-centric culture and give us more data to do analytics around it.”
Goldcorp recently invested in SAP Business Objects and SAP HANA. SAP is looking to deploy it fully throughout its site over the coming year.
Mark Fawcett is Regional Vice President, Western Canada, SAP.
Source: Canadian Mining Magazine, Fall 2013