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Setting Up Key Process Indicators In a Quarrying Process

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How to start your KPIs

Setting up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) requires strategy. Clearly identifying the information you want to measure and the final objectives of such monitoring will help you to define the data you need to assess it.

Checking and verifying existing standards will be help you in defining your targets. A permanent watch on norms and standards will allow you to update your procedures.

The edition of standardizing measurement procedures, calibration procedures, and reference materials will be then necessary and will have to be updated and adapted in the due course of the KPIs elaboration process.

Only then can start the collection of a base line for each single part of the process you want to monitor. No optimization will be possible without a clear image of the past and an accurate real-time vision of the present.

The inventory and collection of the existing available data will definitely help. A lot of materials are available in one form or another on any quarry starting from delivery order for energy, spare parts, consumables, maintenance invoices, drill logs, GPS or GIS outputs, amongst many others.

It also happens that quarries underused some of their equipment functionality (simulations and modelling software, logistical simulations systems, laser profiling, computerized crusher control, etc.) that could have helped to build the baseline. This second step consists in activating these functionalities to feed the site data base. Similarly the site subcontractors may contribute to the data inflow by providing precise figures such as the by-hole bulk explosives delivered quantity. Such figures could help to set up explosives efficiency ratios versus hole depth, hole diameter or pattern geometry.

Monitoring or measurement devices and resources might be necessary to add also in order to achieve the defined strategy. Be sure that the chosen measuring devices and measurement procedures can be use effectively to quantify the considered criteria. Measurement uncertainty, determination limit, non suitability of the device for field conditions (dust or waterproofness, electromagnetic / electrostatic resistance, temperature and humidity range, use in explosive atmosphere or proximity) might affect your results.

Whatever their nature and source, only a uniform continuous monitoring will provide the quarry with a consistent and statistically sound database.

Reporting on KPIs

The reporting on KPIs should provide credible, relevant, and easily understandable information. KPIs will provide internal management with a consistent decision-aid tool.

To make the KPIs reading easier and allow a maximum return, the KPIs might be organized around a structured dashboard displaying the pertinent indicators for a given group of recipients on a regular basis, depending on the nature of the considered KPIs. This could range from a real-time communication (crusher throughput), up to a by shift, daily, weekly, monthly or end of fiscal year (profitability related KPIs for financial communication purposes).

The industry tends to organize the level of communication with the surrounding communities and stakeholders into 4 major categories:
  • The ad hoc communication, which happens whenever an opportunity occurs. In such cases, some information is transferred but the exchange is informal and the information not always comprehensive.
  • A one-way communication including leaflets distribution, letters with low to no opportunity for questions or discussion.
  • A two-way communication. This involves an exchange of information and ideas between stakeholders and the company. A presentation or a road show could be practical ways to begin such a dialogue. One major difference between stakeholder involvement and a conventional public relations campaign is the commitment from the company to consider and incorporate feedback from stakeholders. That does not mean accepting all stakeholder suggestions, but does mean that stakeholders know that their suggestions have been thoughtfully heard and considered.
  • A participatory or interactive decision-making process. This may occur when companies work collaboratively with stakeholders to make decisions. Shared decision-making is not appropriate in all circumstances but can be effective in helping a company design a plan that, when implemented, will be acceptable to its stakeholders. It frequently appears to be the only way to practically and efficiently address environmental compliance issues.

A given series of KPIs or a given situation (claim) might command the use of one particular communication level. A mix of different levels or a combination of several means is the most common practical form.

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