I am sure all surveyors in the mining industry can relate to that one beloved time of the month: End of Month. The whole month’s worth of development needing to be compiled into one neat and tidy report so that all other technical teams can compile their own neat and tidy reports, that then finally end up on a manager’s desk/inbox. You have triumphantly completed this whole painstaking process, only to be told that it does not match the other reports from the month. Time is ticking, blood pressure is rising, head is pounding.
This all needs to be done without stopping the drills, the loaders, the trucks… the list goes on. So inevitably, this is more than likely a fairly stressful time of the month (a complete understatement, but we’ll run with it), especially for smaller survey teams. I have been in this situation one too many times, but I can confidently say the head pounding has decreased through the years; simply becoming an untimely, irregular visitor at most.
So, how did I manage to say farewell to the pounding headaches and flying tempers? Well, if you have a look at every Month End Report that you have painstakingly produced, there are actually a lot of things that are simply repeated from month-to-month. These tedious tasks aren’t necessarily hard, but they sure as hell took away many precious hours out of my days. But I did them. I completed them. I checked them. Then at the end of the day, I somehow found that my spreadsheet had broken formulas riddling the page, and links had magically, but oh so definitely, broken.
I stared, I sighed, I brushed off my sweat, I fixed the faults and was back on my way. Until… the next month’s end of reporting time came creeping in… and the almost forgotten head pounding had come back with a vengeance.
But now, times have changed for the absolute better. Just by automating this repetitive and cumbersome process, I was able to reduce that incessant ‘POUND POUND POUND’ into something quieter and much more agreeable. With all of these ever-growing technological innovations at my doorstep, why was I not using them?! There are software solutions with in-built processes that will take your finalised spatial data and calculate all the outcomes that you need: distances, volumes and compliances. It then automatically populates a customisable template for you, generates the associated plots and images, and voila! A sparkly, error-free, ready-to-publish report you can use to confidently impresss your managers that:
- reduces errors through consistent, automated reporting with no need for user input;
- eliminates broken formulas through the use of reporting templates;
- saves time with automated plots that are already configured to a set standard;
- reduces the amount of rework needing to be done;
- and saves precious time when you need it most because operators, supervisors and other mining staff don’t always get what needs to be done at that one time of the month.
And so that’s it; that’s the secret. AUTOMATION. And I would really encourage every surveyor out there to implement the same process. Reports aren’t fun and headaches aren’t fun, but with a little help, we can all go through each month with at least one less rage fit here and there. Let’s all have: a headache-less future.