I have handled the Bagdad Mine Project in Phoenix, Arizona, the USA, as a Document Control Specialist from March 2019 to August 2019. Bagdad is a molybdenum and open-pit copper complex. It is home to the world’s first commercial scale concentrate leach processing facility (2003) and one of the longest continuously operating solution extraction/electrowinning (SX/EW) plants in the world (1970). I was responsible for Administering Document Management System (Aeconex) and worked with many engineers and Project Managers together on the project.
Holding an experience of over ten years as a Senior Information management specialist and having been a Document Controller in the project mentioned above, I would say that the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) in the mining industry is necessary. Because it helps reduce costs, improve productivity, profits and maintain global competitiveness. Furthermore, it helps address and subside the various challenges faced in the mining industry.
How can EDMS help in the Mining Industry?
Mining is hazardous and requires various safety control measures for members working on it. Therefore, it needs improvements across all facets of documents, such as transportation, mineral extraction, and processing, to remain cost-efficient to maintain competitiveness. Again, it is where an EDMS comes to the rescue that assists in better collaboration and coordination among the departments to ensure better results. In addition, it can automate field reporting systems to maintain and improve operations by sharing updated operational information.
Therefore, I will give you a brief insight about an EDMS and what importance it holds in a hazardous industry like the mining industry:
What is an Electronic Document Management System?
An Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) is a cloud-based system to assist any organization in storing, managing, sharing, utilizing and retrieving files and documents as required. It serves many functions, from recording and organizing files to managing content to digital imaging and file conversion. Basically, in the mining industry, an EDMS can improve information dissemination, safety enhancement, and increase efficiency to improve productivity, reduce production costs, and maximize profit. In addition, it is a relatively inexpensive solution to ensure accurate, relevant and updated information to the marketing personnel on production schedules and output across various product specifications.
Importance of Electronic Document management system in the Mining industry
Now, let me elaborate on the importance of an Electronic Document Management System in the Mining Industry:
The mining operations are spread across different locations, and many workers are employed in these locations. There is also on-the-job learning at the mining sites, and employees leaving the industry can lose this collective learning if the data is not captured, stored, and shared across the staff. EDMS, in this regard, is crucial to creating and managing repositories for the storage and sharing of the data securely and systematically. It enables the circulation of updated information and easy access to it throughout the industry. Furthermore, it helps them improve the processes by supporting the new employees to learn from experience, enhance efficiency and increase productivity.
The mining industry is situated in diverse locations, and they are highly dependent on the vehicles and equipment used for the mining and transportation of the products. An EDMS can help improve operations by enabling the project managers with updated information on the machinery and vehicles that are used in mining, handling, and storage. You can automate the recordkeeping for each vehicle, keep track of the warranties and maintain planned schedules. It can store the operating manuals and engineering drawings quickly. It enables the employees to access the information who has been given permission. It can automate your mining business of any shape and size. As mining industries are situated in diverse locations, EDMS will help to promote effective collaboration and create a positive environment. But if you find it challenging to operate, you can hire a Document Control Supervisor.
Mining Industries can benefit from automation that helps them improve productivity, improve safety, and enhance efficiency. It enables them to manage mining operations across different locations from a central hub. In addition, an EDMS can ensure system integration to make sure all the systems work synchronously to enable the seamless exchange of the data.
As mining industries are situated in distant areas, connectivity is the core challenge. Therefore, it requires remote-controlled operations to the different sites through an effective centralized management structure. These remote operations help reduce costs and give better safety to the employees and soar productivity.
An EDMS with initial investment benefits further into the mining organization because, over the years, a mining industry will build a mountain of paperwork. But with an EDMS, you can store in a single-centralized system and track, count and align with your finances. It can eliminate the storage space and filing cabinets as your data is stored in a cloud-based system. It eliminates the costs related to printing the required documents and sharing them. It ensures security and eliminates the expenses that might come from the loss of data due to an occurrence of a disaster. It is because it has a backup function to protect the documents in case of a disaster or sudden power shutdown.
In the mining industry, you will have files accumulated within some years and maintaining such a large number of files will not be easy. Moreover, you will have all the important information stacked over the paper-centric document and can be at risk of damage. But, on the other hand, the loss of data will leave you with no crucial information. Therefore, if you wish to implement EDMS in your industry, you can hire an experienced Information management specialist to help you manage and operate it.