Business improvement and technology company Barnstone will, at the end of this month, release its Barnstone Exploration Solution enterprise resource planning (ERP) system aimed at enabling exploration companies to run their operations effectively and efficiently, exploration and mining entrepreneur Dr Tony Harwood tells Mining Weekly.
He states that the implementation of ERP systems by exploration companies will lead to more efficient businesses, which will be welcome, especially as money is currently scarce in the sector.
“The markets and most metal prices are down, therefore, it is imperative for boards and management teams responsible for exploration companies to have a business tool that can help them manage the business efficiently and prevent companies from going into liquidation,” he says.
“I have been working with Barnstone to develop the solution, which is a preconfigured Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing (SAP) system for explorers,” he says, noting that the system will provide real-time financial reporting and consolidation, cash flow management, economic evaluation of projects, breakdown of expenses, tracking of contracts and exploration and mining licences.
Harwood says Barnstone currently offers a preconfigured SAP-based ERP solution to junior and midtier mining companies “that is gaining international momentum as it is the only SAP certified mining rapid deployment solution on the market”.
“The preconfigured Barnstone Mining Solution has been designed to take into consideration the challenges and focus that junior mining companies face. They often do not have the capacity, time and financial resources to design and implement such a SAP system. Barnstone can implement the system in 3 months” he says.
Junior miners and explorers can benefit from a SAP-based ERP business system that is recognised globally and can improve operations and make conducting business more cost- effective, says Harwood, adding that the system can also enable the companies to understand their businesses better and provide transparency and compliance.
Harwood tells Mining Weekly that he was intrigued when he learnt that Barnstone was successfully implementing SAP systems rapidly and cost effectively for junior miners and realised that the system could also be used for exploration companies, which have the same challenges as mining companies.
He says exploration companies have to understand their business, have a recognised business platform for transparency and operate in an efficient manner.
“It is important for exploration companies to be able to comply with accepted business practices, to know immediately if their business is viable instead of using outdated systems that often highlight problems when it is too late,” says Harwood.
He notes that Barnstone has already spoken to a number of exploration companies which have shown interest in the new solution.
Many of these companies also gave input into the practical functionalities that should be added to enhance the solution.
He says licence management is one of the aspects that was suggested by one of the exploration companies, for inclusion in the system.
“Exploration licence management is important as, other than money and people, it is the company’s only asset. The solution contains a process to manage licences and provides management, financial and reporting status of all licences at all times. This includes the storage of all licence documentation, workflow to indicate when a licence payment or report is due, and the tracking of costs against individual licences. The licence information can be accessed by management from anywhere in the world.”
Harwood says implementing the system for exploration companies is inexpensive, given the potential risks of failure.