The Challenge of Change: Lessons from Mining & Mineral Processing

Responding to Change in Manufacturing

Perhaps no other manufacturing sector is currently facing as tumultuous a landscape as is the Mining & Mineral Processing industry.

From market volatility, financing challenges and regulatory mazes to safety and talent issues, manufacturers in Mining & Mineral Processing around the globe are feeling the effects of change.

How this industry is responding presents an interesting case study on a theme we’ve been stressing the past few months.

Specifically, the value of thoroughly assessing what’s needed in to take operations to the next level, rather than focusing on short-term strategies that ultimately leave manufacturers behind and vulnerable.

What’s being called for in Mining & Mineral Processing is, in fact, no different from what’s being called for in every manufacturing sector: new forms of innovation.

According to 2014 trends reports, it’s time for Mining & Mineral Processing companies to transform the way they do business. Rather than applying short-term solutions or waiting for the market to shift, these companies are being encouraged to adopt the mindset of change that will allow them to, as Deloitte’s Global Mining Leader Phil Hopwood puts it, “lay the groundwork for a new operational reality.”

It’s a timely reminder for industry as a whole.

Not only is manufacturing around the world changing, but it has changed. The question is whether or not you, as an individual company, have been and are going to stay out ahead.

For this industry round-up, we’ve collected several articles that provide both an overview of what’s happening in Mining & Mineral Processing and solutions that are based on the broader concepts of preparedness we’ve been discussion since we published our Move Toward the Future of Manufacturing Readiness Checklist.

As always, we’d enjoy hearing your thoughts and we invite you to leave a comment to this post.

Additionally, we’re inviting our manufacturer readers to tap into our multi-industry experience by taking part in a highly focused, one-on-one conversation about next level improvements. To find out more about this project and to participate, click here

Mining & Mineral Processing Industry Round-Up 

The following articles may, at first glance, appear to be very specific to a single industry (and even to a single subset of that industry), but each also offers ideas that have application in many, if not all, manufacturing sectors.

We’ve found that applying our knowledge of one sector to another sector’s challenge has great advantages and we hope you find as much value as we did in the following:

Short Deloitte Video and Link to the Tracking the Trends 2014 Report

New Thinking Needed on Costly Mining as Ores Get Less Rich

Innovation in Mineral Processing: Where are We Headed? Jonathan Law’s ALTA 2013 Opening Address Slideshow (Australia)

Note from EFI Group: While focused on Australia, the above does a good job of presenting concepts related to innovation that are relevant to U.S. manufacturers broadly.  

Minerals and Metals Management 2020: A Chemicals Management Progress Report from the International Council on Mining & Metals

Note from EFI Group: This report is quite specific to minerals and metals and, therefore, more difficult to glean broader implications. Interesting nonetheless –and, of course, very interesting for those of us working in this sector.

Broad Transformation Needed in Global Mining

Note from EFI Group: This is the EY report, Productivity in Mining – A Case for Broad Transformation. The report ends with 4 critical questions that are highly related to what we’ve been sharing since the start of 2014. They are so important we wanted to include them in this post as well:

EY suggested mining executives consider key considerations to help deal with productivity challenge:

1) Are you improving or transforming?

2) Are your initiatives adding to the long-term bottom line or just moving the problem?

3) Are you thinking about the problem conventionally or with a value-chain view?

4) If you are considering achieving higher productivity with lower input, do not forget to consider the impact on cash flow and profit.

Additional Resources Related to Moving Toward the Future of Manufacturing

Best Practices in Collaborative Innovation: How Manufacturers and Retailers can Profit from Collaborative Innovation

KPMG’s Global Manufacturing Outlook 2014: Performance in the Crosshairs

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