We are starting to see a new generation of mining managers taking a fresh broom to mining procurement.
Historically mining procurement was always driven by the bottom line of the spreadsheet. The cheapest product would win the contract because the priority was all about keeping line item costs down.
Lately, we've been noticing a different sort of leadership coming through the ranks. Younger ambitious managers are starting to pay close attention to the performance of equipment that gets purchased rather than always defaulting to the cheapest on the market.
This change is reflecting a new set of values driving decision making in the field.
An Innovation Focus
Mining managers have traditionally been a fairly conservative breed who may be risk averse when it comes to taking on new ideas. If new equipment or methods failed, it could potentially affect their reputation and employment. Understandably this provided enough a disincentive when it came to innovation. As the old saying goes, "You'll recognise the pioneers by the arrows in their back."
It is interesting then to see younger managers becoming increasingly interested in innovative products and practices. They have grown up in a time of rapid change in technology, and it is second nature to them to expect upgrades and improvements in the equipment they use. They all have regular upgrades to their phones, computers and software. Naturally, they are going to extend this thinking to their site equipment as well. They are also focused on maximising the smooth running of their whole operation. This means each part of the process is examined and accessed in its own right.
Collaborative Problem Solving
These same innovative managers are also coming forward to invite collaborative relationships when it comes to solving problems on site. They'll ask for a team to work with them to modify equipment or even design new equipment for specific circumstances.
Testing Performance with Field Trials
There is an increasing trend to test equipment in the field. Most mining dewatering pumps come with performance ratings based on laboratory conditions. Gradually we are noticing a shift to equipment procurement based on performance in the field. This is a development that is particularly pleasing for us at PumpEng as we've always rated our pump performance on real-world operation.
Focus on Overall Cost Benefit
One of our clients, who we consider part of this new generation, recently told us that he had saved hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by switching to tougher dewatering pumps that worked for longer. His operation had fewer disruptions, and he needed less personnel to attend to equipment failure. His focus was on the impact of innovation on his whole project.
All these changes coming through are perfectly aligned with PumpEng. We aren't the cheapest in the market, but we offer a real-world product that can outperform its competitors. We aren't just a pump shop selling a product designed for a single set of conditions. We are designers, manufacturers and innovators. We are always happy to collaborate to solve problems. We are constantly adapting to modern mining conditions. If you have a tricky dewatering problem to solve in your operation, please get in touch - we love a challenge and we love the smart values innovators are bringing to the table.