It is well understood that technology itself will not deliver on its value proposition unless an appropriate focus is also placed on the process it is meant to improve as well as the people who are meant to use it. The fundamental process we aim to improve is the production system that transforms raw material into finished product to be sold to the customer. The sequence of steps in this process makes up the revenue-generating value stream of the core business in every operation, that is mining and mineral processing. Other business processes (such as planning, maintenance, supply chain, finance, human resources, exploration, etc.) support or enable the production system with their own activities. Technology can offer tools for safe operation, higher productivity, as well as data-driven and timely decision-making in order to enhance the performance of processes and people while continuously reducing costs. However, the most powerful form of innovation stems from introducing new ways of working together to promote collaboration, knowledge sharing and better thinking and acting as a learning organization. Managing the change required to develop internal capability to proactively adapt to changing conditions and new challenges is paramount to the ability to innovate and sustain performance improvements. The intersection of a balanced approach between People, Process, and Technology produces value-creating business integration, i.e. the execution of our LEAN MINING® program produces a production system that synchronizes with supporting functions; as well as develops a learning organization whose performance is reflected in visible KPIs.
An Innovation Strategy can address both incremental improvement and step change, depending on how aggressive the business imperative or how challenging the desired future state. At one end of the spectrum, existing technology is fine tuned to deliver expected business benefits, while at the other, disruptive technology is introduced to change the game of mining. In either case, business integration of the production system with organizational and information systems is the key to making value flow.