EASY TO COMPUTE - JSE MAGAZINE

EASY TO COMPUTE

Barnstone helps companies in the mining industry improve their operations by supplying top quality technology

Barnstone, a specialist partner in the SAP channel, with expertise in the mining industry, has aligned itself with recognised business partners in the natural resources sector to change the face of SAP in mining.

In collaboration with local and global business partners iSphere and HCL Technologies, they are leading the way in African mining by providing end-to-end business initiatives.

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Barnstone CEO Conrad Steyn says: ‘Partnerships are what characterise our solutions. We work with talented partners and people in an environment that encourages lateral thinking and diverse views, synthesising these into unique solution sets for unique challenges.’

The scope of services include the globally recognised SAP mining rapid deployment solution; secure hosting solutions (via iSphere); as well as synchronised digital mining (SDM) solutions (through HCL Technologies).

This alliance created with business partners has successfully assisted some of the world’s largest and most successful organisations to implement various processes and controls, and has built a track record with experts across a range of sectors to accurately match what mines need most.

Wesizwe Platinum’s Bakubung platinum mine project
Wesizwe Platinum is a public company started in SA and is listed on the JSE. Wesizwe’s flagship project is the development of the new underground Bakubung Platinum Mine on the western limb of the Bushveld Complex, close to Rustenburg in the North West Province.

Jacob Mothomogolo, a projects executive at Wesizwe, says: ‘The Bakubung Platinum Mine is currently in the construction phase of the mining life cycle. Once it reaches production, this mine will have a lifespan in excess 30 years and produce around 420 000 koz 4E per year of platinum group metals.’

Kobus Pienaar, the company’s GM of IT, says: ‘Wesizwe concerns itself in the early stages of the mining life cycle, with the implementation of technical and business systems ready for use when the mine becomes operational because, apart from the dangers and inefficiencies inherent in non-aligned and non-converged business systems and processes, it also leaves the business open to disruption at a time when it is critical to be operating at full capacity and speed.’ He adds that the disruption is ‘completely unnecessary’.

Wesizwe decided to be proactive and build a company that can achieve business optimisa-tion by correctly deploying processes, technology and people from the start. Implementing these systems early also gives a mine the unique chance to entrench non-silo thinking in its business-unit owners, which allows it to optimise processes, people and technology to ensure that the mine works efficiently.

‘I believe that what you implement now and what you implement later is critical. With these principles in mind, Wesizwe chose SAP All-in-One as the ERP platform that will form the core of the integrated business system and will be the single source of the truth for the company,’ says Pienaar.

Mothomogolo says: ‘Our goals are to synchronise mining and processing operations on a single, comprehensive, integrated landscape for improved performance and lower costs as well as to provide new innovative capability, which delivers immediate business value, ongoing simplification and the reduction in total cost of ownership.

‘We want to achieve this as well as bring industry knowledge and technology together – and obviously we wanted this at an affordable price. Scalability of the system was also a key consideration for us during system selection.

‘Not just scalability in terms of size, but also scalability in terms of the ability to accommodate other commodities, currencies etc. based on Wesizwe’s business ambitions,’ he says.

Wesizwe considered the following when selecting the Barnstone mining rapid deployment solution (which is built on SAP All in One): total-cost-of-ownership; fast deployment; the Barnstone team’s mining-industry knowledge; the company’s strong commitment to partnerships; the functional capability of the system and its ability to grow with Wesizwe as the mine develops.

Pienaar says: ‘The Barnstone SAP mining solution is unique because it allowed Wesizwe to complete the implementation [design, configure, train and go live] for the SAP modules [finance, management accounting/controlling, procurement, inventory and plant maintenance] in just more than three months. Since the majority of the costs in a SAP deployment is due to implementation and commissioning effort, reducing its deployment timeline has a direct correlation to decreasing the costs of implementing a SAP solution.

‘It is extremely important to choose the right solution and the right implementation partner because without this ideal combination, it would be virtually impossible to achieve such a fast-track deployment of a SAP ERP system. This is where the SAP-Barnstone combination was a winner for Wesizwe. SAP is well known for its ability in the market, and the Barnstone fast-track mining template allowed Wesizwe to deploy a world-class solution quickly, and at an affordable cost,’ says Pienaar.

The first step to its goals has been achieved by successfully deploying phase one of the Wesizwe SAP solution in a time frame of just three-and-a half months, with no budget overruns. This fast deployment time frame has greatly reduced costs for Wesizwe in terms of consulting hours (traditionally the most expensive portion of a SAP deployment), putting the company firmly on the road to obtaining its goals of being an efficient and cost-effective mining operation.

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The next step for Wesizwe will be to proceed to phase two of building the company’s information systems and enterprise architecture. This will mainly consist of adding additional SAP modules that include project systems; budgeting (SAP business planning and consolidation); functionality and reporting (SAP business intelligence); expanding the licensing as the business grows and develops; and integrating data flows from other business and technical systems with SAP as these systems come online.

Wesizwe’s goal is to provide a real-time mining business model by the implementation, integration and convergence of business and operational systems; and ensuring the data required for effective and efficient business decisions and processes are available in real-time to the resources that need it (i.e. the right information at the right time available anywhere). SAP mining rapid deployment solution’s (RDS) deployment in this environment during the early stages of the mine’s life cycle ensures that a solid foundation is in place for all landscape enhancements, to dynamically accommodate any requirements this growing business may require.

‘It is extremely important to choose the right solution and right implementation partner’

A company-wide mining solution
Over the years, Barnstone has stayed true to the ideal of being a specialist consulting and implementation partner to the natural resources industry, leveraging a superior understanding of its clients’ industries. Combined with a comprehensive knowledge of technology, they are able to create solutions that are flexible enough to adjust steadily to market shifts as well as robust and practical enough to work at ground level.

Barnstone’s pre-configured mining solution combines SAP software and content with services that can reduce risks and help clients achieve benefits quickly and affordably. The company will install the Barnstone Rapid-Deployment Solution for Mining with predetermined time, cost, and services scope to help customers get up and running in record time.

Lizelle Pauw, director for mining and resources at Barnstone, says the qualification has the potential to assist African mining houses to access industry-leading best practice in the shortest time possible, and extremely cost-effectively.

‘Mining is the foundation of the South African economy and contributes nearly 9% of our gross domestic product, double that when indirect contributions are taken into account,’ she says.

‘It will play the same role in Africa’s renaissance provided it can access global best practices. The Barnstone rapid-deployment solution for mining brings the industry-leading software within reach of even start-ups, enabling them to compete from day one,’ she says.

The independent integrator of advanced network and cloud computing service, iSphere, can offer an aggregation of ISP services to the southern and greater African market. The company specialises in secure data hosting. Their data environments are secure and recognised as superior – globally.

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HCL Technologies’ Mine2Market vision and offerings to the mining industry lies in adopting an information strategy of SDM, which will directly support dramatic improvement in mining efficiencies and reliable production to weather the storm of fluctuating commodity prices, escalating cost and diminishing shareholder returns. The HCL solution includes all relevant components to provide a comprehensive, ready-to-use package that spans reserve management through to product value chain optimisation, all supporting enterprise processes and business analytics across the enterprise and aided by a mobility platform and an as-a-service model.

HCL’s SDM, proposition powered by ‘mineral resource throughput management’, helps establish a systematic and reliable solution deployment that analyses and manages the impact of variable quality of raw materials based on the performance of the mining value chain. Its three core principles (amalgamate, simulate and integrate) not only simplify mine performance but also significantly improve it.

Together we assist our clients to elevate their businesses to optimal performance levels by developing and implementing strategy and optimising the use of technology.

Barnstone provides strategy, advisory, system implementation and outsourcing support services to many leading organisations in SA as well as sub-Saharan Africa. The Barnstone group
focuses on:

  • SAP application management implementation and outsourcing services.
  • Mobility – including managed mobility.
  • Governance, risk and compliance systems.
  • Sustainable development strategies and systems implementations.
  • Point-to-point communications in remote areas across Africa.

Barnstone’s service offerings include a SAP-certified mining RDS; mining KPIs controlled through SAP business analytics; SAP mobile platform and associated applications; as well as business advisory services. Barnstone has offices in Gauteng and Cape Town, SA. It also has branches in Namibia and Perth in Australia.

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Barnstone Corporate Services
Tel: +27 (0)12 665 4042/3
[email protected]
www.barnstone.co.za