Although there is much room for growth and the implementation of effective project management tools in mines across Africa, the current global economic climate has led companies to refrain from investigating in project management software., says mining software solution provider CCS Mining & Industrial (CCSMI) MD Joe de Klerk.
The right software project management tool will not only ensure that a company maintains control over its actual spend, but also provides an intimate-level understanding of budgetary amounts, quantities, rates and actual costs. Thus, it brings all the key role-players in the company together to make informed decisions from a complete holistic view of the project costs. The key to the overall success of any capital-intensive project is delivery on time and within budget while maintaining a profit margin, he adds. Subsequently, the right software with the right controls will help mining companies understand where they have already overspent, but more importantly, assist them forecast the project-to-completion and highlight upcoming problem areas, De Klerk points out. The foreseeable problems will enable management to take timely corrective action, effectively mitigating unwanted scenarios.
He laments that, without the right project management tools, companies run the risk of information being late or nearly impossible to compare, as the information comes from independent silos. This leads to poor project management, owing to the lack of collaboration. When it comes to a project, control is at the heart of profitability, as the number of variables, changes, people and equipment involved to undertake any mining project need to be considered. Project performance and progress cannot be monitored on financial data alone and engineering information is just as, if not more, critical. Therefore, engineering control includes generating and managing allowable and actual quantities of resources, wastages, man hours of labour, the production of equipment and time for construction activities, adds De Klerk.
To ensure a projects success, De Klerk says CCSMI has migrated one of its key solutions the CCS Candy estimating and project control software, into the cloud environment (Candy Cloud Solution). He explains that CCS Candy, together with CCS BuildSmart ERP both designed to mitigate overspend and delays for projects allow for the accurate comparison of what is actually happening on a project against what was planned/budgeted. BuildSmarts architecture allows for all cost information (payroll, plant, stock, yard stock and manufacturing resource planning) to be entered once where the information is first produced such as on site or at head office, and then to be managed through one database for full integration and real-time analysis, De Klerk explains. Candy consists of integrated and highly scalable modules for estimating, planning, forecasting, cash flow, on-site valuations and earned value management. It also consists of seamless integration of analytical estimating and critical path planning, which generates estimate forecasts and cash flows, while the valuations and earned value modules track and monitor progress and performance of the contract for the contractor or mine owner. CCS Candy streamlines all project-related processes, providing the accuracy and increased productivity required by mining and industrial professionals to improve margins, minimise risk and deliver on time. CCS BuildSmart is a Web based enterprise resource planning accounting and costing business solution, comprising integrated procurement, accounting and payroll modules, among others, to cater for the specific needs of contracting companies, including plant, yard and store management, subcontract management, document control, business intelligence and human resources. CCSMI provides the complete enterprise solution through adopting a best-of breed approach by integrating the essential elements of budgetary or allowable control and cost accounting to provide contractors and mine owners with real-time, reliable, audit- able, accurate and activity- based comparative analysis of costs and allowables, concludes De Klerk.