Dan Hillier   |   19 May 2021   |   3 min read

Five Reasons Why Now Is Right Time for Digital Transformation in Mining


Spurred by the impacts of COVID-19, the mining sector is moving fast to ensure business continuity through digital transformation. In most cases this has taken place across two areas:

  • Increased automation of mining operations (enabled by the growth of IoT) with the goal of fully autonomous mining sites that would be unaffected by COVID-like restrictions.
  • Digitisation of business processes and a rapid shift to cloud environments to enable team members to work effectively from home.

But digital transformation is not just about survival and recovery. According to Deloitte’s COVID-19: Shaping the future through digital business report, transformation should be about producing lasting change and putting businesses in a position to thrive in the long-term.

Here are five reasons why 2021 is the right time to invest in digital transformation.

1. Generation Z expects slick tech solutions

Mining companies work hard to attract young talent with the promise of an exciting role in a high-tech sector, but so often let their new hires down with outdated technology.

Having grown up with user-friendly and highly-efficient technology solutions to suit their every need, members of Gen Z are often disillusioned to discover that they will be working predominately with emails and spreadsheets. This situation not only results in inefficiency, but can ultimately lead to talent attraction and retention problems.

2. Lack of skilled workers on-site due to travel restrictions

With the FIFO workforce hit hard by travel restrictions, many organisations can struggle to have the right staff, in the right place, at the right time. This can mean that the workers who are available may not be adequately trained or tech-savvy to use the systems in place.

Two solutions to this challenge are:

  • Invest in easy-to-use, intuitive platforms with a minimal learning curve and requirement for training.
  • Invest in platforms that enable location independence, so your best employees do not need to be on-site to do their job effectively.

3. Manual processes are resulting in lower efficiency

Inefficient, manual and time-consuming business processes are not only frustrating for employees; they impact the bottom line and erode competitive advantage. Manual processes are not sustainable, not scalable, and often hinder visibility of data. More concerningly, they also create barriers that restrict companies’ ability to react fast to changing market conditions.

Where to start? Survey your team to discover the areas that require the most manual input and time, automate those, then move on to the next.

4. The emergence of best-in-breed tech stacks

In 2019, Forrester released a report on the future of business applications that made ERP salespeople worldwide nervous. Arguing that the ERP era is over, the report states:

“The ERP model of a single integrated suite to handle every process for every division within the enterprise does not work, for many reasons … Leaders need a new, eclectic strategy based on a handful of modern, open, smart, flexible SaaS platforms.”

In other words, businesses are moving from monoliths to tech stacks, or (as we like to call them) software ecosystems. This involves taking a best-in-breed approach to software and reducing cost and risk and accelerating time-to-value by building your ecosystem piece-by-piece.

5. Integration is a better option than ever

The key to an effective software ecosystem lies in each component’s integration capabilities. Data must flow seamlessly between all parts for the whole to function as it should and unlock the ecosystem’s full value.

In practice, having a technology ecosystem does not mean jumping between several platforms or having dozens of tabs open on your computer screen. Using a hub-and-spoke approach means having one platform as your central workspace with other software feeding into it.

VendorPanel, for example, can act as the hub while communication and data-sharing take place in the backend with other platforms such as compliance software. Similarly, VendorPanel can act as a “spoke” in a larger procurement tech stack and has the flexibility to work with ERPs, bolt-ons, and other parts of the digital ecosystem.

Get in touch to learn more about VendorPanel.

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