Productivity still down in mining and metals sector

Companies must overhaul business models to get productivity back on track

  • Share

(Vancouver, 24 July 2014) Miners will need to drastically transform their business models if they want to reverse the decade-long decline in productivity, according to a new EY report.

Productivity in mining: A case for broad transformation the drop-off in productivity, on both a volume and cost basis, as a result of companies choosing to pursue production growth and headline revenue during the commodity price boom.

“Companies caught in the race to capitalize on high commodity prices are now facing a number of business model challenges,” says Bruce Sprague, EY’s Canadian mining and metals leader. “Operation expansion and inefficient use of labour and equipment are all compromising productivity.”

Many companies adapted processes, performance measures and corporate culture solely toward growth during the supercycle and are now paying the price.

“There’s no easy solution to solving these challenges,” says Sprague. “Cost-cutting exercises and minimal process and technology improvements aren’t enough.”

A narrow focus on continuous improvement will not solve the problem and could even be counterproductive by simply moving the problem along the supply chain, the report emphasizes.

“Creating sustainable change requires broad business model transformation,” says Sprague. “That means looking closely at mine plans, reassessing mining methods, making changes to equipment and considering opportunities for automation.”

An end-to-end business transformation solution includes the following five steps: 

  1. A clear strategy based on a broad set of value drivers
  2. An operating model that is aligned with the strategy
  3. Integration and alignment across the value chain through process integration
  4. Standardization of work procedures
  5. Aligned planning, budgeting and performance measurement

“Understanding all systems and processes is essential to ensure companies make informed decisions. Only then can miners create lasting change,” says Sprague. 

- 30 -

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY is proudly celebrating 150 years in Canada. For more information, please visit ey.com/ca. Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.