Construction Computer Software’s Mining and Industrial (CCSMI) division MD Joe de Klerk notes that two CCS software packages can be used simultaneously throughout a mine’s project management phase to maximise its profitability.
He notes that the key to the overall success of any capital-intensive project is delivery on time and within budget while maintaining profit margins: “Having the right project management system in place will enable you to make the right decision, at the right time, to allow for project success.”
The CCS Candy estimating and project control software, as well as the CCS BuildSmart construction enterprise management software, are fit-for-purpose software solutions suited to the mining sector, says De Klerk.
Data can be imported or exported within Candy from or to platforms such as Microsoft Excel. Similarly, data can be disseminated or collated through BuildSmart. However, De Klerk notes that the integration between Candy and BuildSmart is seamless and “make the complete solution together”.
“Candy estimating is your budgeted costs, or what you should be spending, whereas BuildSmart is your actual costs, or what you actually spent.”
Candy consists of integrated and highly scalable modules for estimating, planning, forecasting, cash flow, on-site valuations and earned-value management. Seamless integration of analytical estimating and critical path planning generates estimated forecasts and cash flows, while the valuations and earned-value modules track the progress and performance of the contract objectives for the contractor.
Candy is “an essential software application for the planning of all projects, from estimating to tender award and, ultimately, final account,” De Klerk comments.
He explains that 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.
BuildSmart comprises integrated procurement, accounting and payroll modules, besides other features, to cater for the specific needs of contracting companies. This includes plant, yard and stores management, subcontract management, document control and business intelligence.
BuildSmart, subsequently, provides contractors with real-time, reliable, auditable, accurate and activity-based comparative analysis of costs.
CCS provides the complete enterprise solution through adopting a best-of-breed approach by integrating the essential elements of allowable control and cost accounting.
De Klerk explains that one of the biggest challenges for clients in the industry is numerous, disconnected software systems that are all trying to work together to reach one goal. The key is to have one interface with multiple applications, he stresses.
De Klerk suggests that a client needs to consider whether a solution will streamline business processes, increase accuracy and efficiency, as well as provide auditable and accurate information as and when required.
“Whether a solution will reduce cumbersome and error-ridden data captured manually, collation and analysis and, most importantly, save time and money, should also be taken into account,” he adds.
Further, the client needs to ascertain whether it will allow for access to real-time information to facilitate timeous decisions.
He notes that project performance and progress cannot be monitored using financial data only, as engineering information is just as, if not more, critical. Engineering controls include generating and managing allowable and actual quantities of resources, wastage, person hours and equipment-based production, as well as the necessary time for construction activities.
Referencing the quality of CCS’ solutions, De Klerk notes a client base that includes consulting firm Hatch, multinational mining corporation Impala Platinum, engineering firm Murray & Roberts, as well as technical mining services provider Group T Mining, all of which have advocated its services and technology.
“CCS enables Murray & Roberts Cementation to tackle large projects and underground mining projects in terms of accurate and efficient pricing, which allows for the estimate to be used as a cost-control tool going forward when integrated into cost systems,” comments Murray & Roberts new business director Allan Widlake on CCSMI’s website.
Control is at the heart of project profitability, especially when considering the number of variables, changes, people and equipment involved to undertake any mining project, De Klerk states.
“The power of using one system from the start is to have control over your project costs,” concludes De Klerk.