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Jamieson's iMOS adds technological edge to toolkit

A desire to help mining companies improve productivity by combining tried and tested techniques with new technology has seen boutique consultancy the Jamieson Group expand its client list globally over more than 20 years in the industry.

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Jamieson's iMOS adds technological edge to toolkit Jamieson's iMOS adds technological edge to toolkit Jamieson's iMOS adds technological edge to toolkit Jamieson's iMOS adds technological edge to toolkit Jamieson's iMOS adds technological edge to toolkit

The Jamieson Group is well-versed in traditional and tech methodologies to address productivity and cost containment

The company has continued to build on its solid reputation, working for emerging miners to contractors and industry majors, with a past and present client list including Barrick Gold, Goldfields and Rio Tinto.

Among the company's success stories are a 19% productivity improvement on all excavators at an Indonesian coal mine, a 23% increase in development rates at an Australian underground coal mine, a 25% improvement in gold output at a Tanzanian mine and almost halving the preventative maintenance time at a gold mine in Nevada.

Chairman and founder David Jamieson, who founded the company in 1996, said the business had recently entered a new chapter as it embraced technological innovations, allowing it to assist miners achieve further significant productivity and bottom line improvement.

The Jamieson Group has developed iMOS and has a globally registered trademark for the "intelligent management operating systems", designed to turn real-time data into information that can be used by miners to enhance operations.

Speaking to Mining Journal on his way to the US, Jamieson said the company had not positioned itself to be a technology consultant but to work in with technology to augment what it could offer.

"We still have traditional, tried and proven methodology, processes and systems and we have people that have helped build Jamieson's reputation over the years," he said.

The company typically takes a two-stage approach, starting with an in-depth operational review leading to a plan to develop and implement recommendations.

Under the second stage, Jamieson works with key people across the company to create ownership of the solutions, leading to sustainable productivity outcomes.

The added iMOS initiative brings together digital solutions and management operating systems - the required behaviours to align a frontline team's focus with management's goals - to drive ongoing productivity improvements.

"Every organisation has a MOS (management operating system) but the question is how effective is their MOS in contributing to the achievement of the organisation's goals?" Jamieson asked.

"iMOS turns data into information, which triggers actions, and gets it to the right people to free up management time to work on value-adding activities for the business by enabling the delegation of accountability and responsibility to the lowest possible levels."

alt='iMOS delivers real-time solutions' iMOS delivers real-time solutions

He said the Jamieson Group considered itself within the mining industry and had devoted a countless amount of time keeping close to the latest innovations and making sure it could integrate those with what it had done in the past.

"It's the best of the old and the best of the new," he explained.

With the current climate of global economic uncertainty having an impact on commodity prices and access to finance, Jamieson said miners were seeking solutions to reduce costs and/or increase productivity, to capitalise on rising commodity prices or minimise loss when in a downturn.

Adding to this climate was a new generation of managers and employees expecting an engaging work experience, plus frontline managers being given new KPIs to ensure they were embracing the information technology available.

"All this points to the need to revisit traditional cost reduction strategies, productivity improvement methodology, processes and systems and employee engagement practices," Jamieson said.

"At the same time, there's the need to be aware of and utilise the latest innovation such as advances in technology providing data acquisition, real-time data, programmable triggers, enhanced process monitoring and improved reporting and tracking."

He said mining companies were adopting digitisation but many were struggling with which technology provider to utilise, or how to best use the data generated.

"We are often coming across operations that have an abundance of real-time information accumulated and at their disposal, but do not know the most effective way to gain the full benefit or return on this enhanced technology investment," Jamieson said.

"Technology needs to be designed to enhance MOS, not drown MOS in technology."

He said the real strength of the group's "iMOS" approach, hand in hand with process change strategies, meant that the data that could be available on a smart phone or tablet was integrated into the mine's management operating system.

"This ensures that managers are not just following ‘mechanical' compliance or just looking at the numbers generated but are also trained and coached in the ‘conceptual' understanding so they can make real-time decisions and take actions based on data, the triggers driving behaviour, perform real-time follow-up, and ensure meaningful reports are being generated," he said.

"The next step is to ensure site management at all levels exhibit full ‘ownership or buy in' to facilitate action and sustainable outcomes.

"Improvements are being made and new opportunities are being identified, full compliance to system process and procedures is being followed, continuous system refinement is taking place.

"It's a closed loop system driving actions to achieve true continuous improvement."  

The mining industry has evolved since the group was founded, with Jamieson building on his reputation and gaining work based on the strength of results his company was delivering.

The Jamieson Group prides itself on its continued willingness to "roll up the sleeves" to fully understand clients' organisations, plus its focus on maintaining low staff turnover and looking to the future by keeping abreast of technological changes.

"We don't see technology as a threat," Jamieson continued.

"We see it as a benefit because it means whatever we put in place on site is enhanced because the information that is now available through digitisation means better and faster access to information and allows what we develop and put in place to be far more robust and far more effective than it was in the past.

alt='Jamieson Group chairman and CEO David Jamieson' Jamieson Group chairman David Jamieson

"That's what is emerging at the moment and where we see strong niche market for us, with our understanding of technology combined with our more than 25 years' experience in making sure that people use the right information at the right time to lift that productivity."

The Jamieson Group has 50 full-time employees based around the globe and a bank of regular consultants it can call on.

It has branched out to extend its offerings to other sectors but Jamieson was quick to point out the company retains a wealth of experience in its strong mining division.

"We do more than any other mining consultant company globally," he said.

"Our focus on mining gives us the width and breadth to take on smaller and larger assignments."

The Jamieson Group has been involved with mining companies at construction level, at pre-start, ramp-up to achieve steady state and being called in to improve an operation's bottom line.

"We do also get involved in organisational readiness - that is before a mine opens - but we usually get contacted by someone saying ‘the ramp-up isn't going well and we should've got you in six months ago'," he said.

"With over 500 assignments in mining, we're well-versed in both the traditional and the latest methodologies to address productivity, cost containment and the latest innovation and technology developments within the mining industry.

"We focus very hard on innovation and delivering on all our promises."

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