BMA optimises contractor management

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance launched its new contractor management system “Go Live” across all sites in February and has already recouped the costs of the project through greater efficiencies.

Blair Price

Published in June 2009 Australian Longwall Magazine

BMA relies on the wide-ranging services of more than 1200 contractors across its operations in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, covering 10 mines and two ports.

Managing contractors is no small undertaking, as they account for roughly half of all hours worked at BMA.

Given the large numbers of contractors present on any of the miner’s sites at any time, overhauling the previous Contractor Management System (CMS) was targeted as one of BMA’s main areas for operational improvement.

“It made good business sense to ensure we had a simple, standard but effective system in place,” BMA manager supply Peter Mifsud said.

Mifsud said CMS was a formal, documented, standard and simple end-to-end operating procedure tailored to BMA’s needs.

“Although the new CMS has only been implemented across all BMA operations since February, the benefits and cost savings have immediately been recognised as being substantial,” Mifsud said.

“Direct savings achieved so far have already covered project costs to date and it is expected that future savings will be as a result of standardisation, simplicity, user acceptance and clarity of ownership and responsibilities.”

“There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the new CMS from both BMA staff and our contracting partners. The challenge, as always, in implementing any new process or procedure, is in getting user acceptance,” Mifsud said. He added that BMA had held focus groups and stakeholder workshops to gain acceptance for the system.

“BMA’s approach was to remove unnecessary complexity in the system, ensure value adding was always the goal, and making it easier for users to do the right thing by providing them with appropriate tools, adequate systems and support.”

Mifsud said the project had a six-month preparation phase which covered market intelligence, gap analysis, scope development, tool design, executive committee endorsement and the development of Go Live. An extra month was allocated to awareness and implementation sessions for the new system.

“BMA is currently in a transitioning period where transition plans on all existing contracts are being developed by the end of the financial year,” he said.

“This was not an extensively funded project, and costs were kept to a minimum, with the majority of work being done in-house by the project team members.”

Go Live applies to all contractors and employees engaged by BMA to do work and also to the company’s representatives involved in the management and supervision of contract workers.