Posted by: Peter Collins
At a recent Mining Industry conference, it was hard to escape the words: Optimisation and Utilisation.
But, are they just today's Buzz Words?
They were consistently the big two “value drivers”, discussed in most conference presentations - appearing as the promise on just about every vendor's sales brochure… including ours.
It seems the strength of Optimisation and Utilisation as a goal is waning with overuse, and the value is not connecting at the coalface. Sadly they may well have made it to the conference Buzz Word list.
But we want to keep them alive!
The Big 2 is what we work on everyday with some of the largest mining & resource sites in the world. All striving for greater efficiency with FIFO workforce logistics!
We will post a series of articles on HOW Optimisation and Utilisation is being achieved with travel and accommodation management.
For now, I have listed 5 contemporary high level strategies, already adopted or being pursued.
1. Consolidated Travel Bookings
This is also being referred to as full journey management, or end to end bookings. Back in the day when we developed the SAM software, a worker's travel plan was pretty simple… charter flight in and charter flight out, on a set roster pattern, usually going into the same room. However, nowadays there is more complexity involved and many disconnected booking processes to include commercial flights, hotel overstays, charter flights and sometimes other booking requirements such as hire cars.
Clearly, getting this all processed through a single touch point, is an industry desire
that requires an integrated software solution. We are excited to be working with TMC’s
to provide this "Door to Ore" solution in 2015.
2. Shared Business Services
Consolidating travel teams for multiple sites has been gradually implemented across the majors. Shared Services or centralising is of course not a new business strategy, but is now more common with travel and accommodation teams. This is driving the alignment of processes across multiple sites, requiring consistent business rules and forcing change to the "way it's always been".
3. Moving to the Cloud
Acceptance of the Software as a Service model seems to have arrived in 2014 and many IT departments are converting to the cost effective, off premise model. The users of the applications, who may not value the infrastructure cost savings, are grateful that issues are reported and managed directly with the vendors support team and the resolution time is massively reduced.
4. Integrating Applications
All IT departments are looking to consolidate the number of programs they need to support. Accommodation managers are seeing that what is in the HR system overlaps with the site roster management system. Swipe card security systems can provide real time data to accommodation systems. Linking induction training programs to site travel approvals, and the list goes on. These are all logical desires that have software vendors investing in their integration capabilities.
5. Reporting, Reporting, Reporting!
Workforce Logistic Managers are looking for the data to provide the business with the intelligence to make the right strategic decisions. Austerity measures and the drive for more efficiency has come down on the Travel and Accommodation departments to ensure rooms and flights are optimised, confirm billing is accurate, to look for improvements with new cleaning models and so on. Accurate Workforce reporting can provide the insight to identify and model the opportunities for cost effective change. This is not limited to flight and village management. Administrators are being asked
for data to help HSEC, HR, Supervisors and General Managers.
The expanded visibility provides powerful information for "genuine" Optimisation and
Utilisation objectives… not just buzz words!