Alpha Software | Case Study: Mining App Case Study

 

Mining App Case Study

Offline-Capable Mobile App Improves Equipment Safety for Major Mining Company 

 

Offline Equipment Inspection App Increases Worker Safety and Data Accuracy

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"We selected Alpha Anywhere because of the enterprise scalability of the platform and the overall ease of use. We were surprised how easy it was to develop our first app. We are now making the platform available to other lines of business for them to develop their own apps.”

— Operations Manager, Major Mining Company 

Major Mining Company

A major gold and copper mining producer has operations in the United States and around the world. 

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Productivity

Accomplishes more with fewer resources; Faster time-to-market

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Offline

Works even without cell or WiFi Connection

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Customer Success

Mentoring and education to speed proficiency 

Business Challenge

Paper-based systems for performing equipment checks are commonplace within mining, and a proven method that has worked for years.  However, there were numerous downsides to this method for one major mining company.  The results from these audits needed to be hand entered back into the Company's SAP system, and the equipment work orders printed out and distributed by hand to the right people.  This produced a significant time lag for critical audit information and increased company risk around equipment.

Company management felt that a mobile data-collection app that leveraged workers' personal smartphones would save costs, while allowing the Company to streamline critical equipment checks, significantly improve data accuracy, and streamline safety processes. However, the Company had several challenges to digital transformation. First, the Company lacked knowledgeable mobile app development staff and resources to tackle the project. Second, the data-collection app had to integrate seamlessly with existing systems of record (like SAP), and resulting work orders needed to be distributed quickly to the right employee within the 400+ user base. And given the physical location of equipment in mines, the app had to work offline -- deep in mines where there was limited or no WiFi connection.

The Company wanted a development platform that would allow them to build the app in-house so that they were not dependent on an outside services organization for all the development work and future app updates.  As a result, developing, deploying and updating the apps needed to be fast and simple.

The Company selected the Alpha Anywhere app development and deployment platform to deliver on its mobile strategy and radically speed time-to-market.

Solution

The Company looked at a number of solutions on the market and selected Alpha Anywhere due to its ease of use, robust data integration, offline capability, and outstanding record of customer success.  Company employees took advantage of Alpha Software's unique mentoring program, in which an Alpha Anywhere expert coached the Company's development team during the development of its app. 

“The ability for Alpha Software developed apps to work offline became critical to the adoption of the app by our users and the overall success of the project.  There was nothing for us to do to enable this capability.  It just worked!” 

The Company's team developed and tested the app in just weeks and have now deployed this app to their workers.  “We were amazed at how easy it was to develop the app with Alpha Anywhere,”  said one operations manager. “We are now developing other apps on our own and have starting to look at Alpha TransForm technology to take our app development time from days to minutes.“

"Because of the success of the first application, we are looking to apply Alpha Anywhere through our mining portfolio and add additional apps. Alpha Anywhere’s flexibility can apply to virtually any department or business problem."

Results/Benefits

The new equipment inspection app has increased the overall productivity of employees -- both within mines and at the home office. Workers saw an immediate productivity improvement as they worked off of the latest equipment information and eliminated paper-chasing within underground operations. Automatic data capture and faster equipment checks dramatically improved data accuracy as the app eliminated lost paper reports and mistakes during manual data logging. The Company was able to reallocate office staff to more valuable business needs because they no longer had to input manual equipment checklists from paper. 

Once they realized the impact of mobile apps on the business, and the ease of developing apps on the Alpha Anywhere platform, Company management started to apply the technology to mobilize other business processes within the organization.  

“We’ve got hundreds of people using the equipment application,” said one operations manager. “Because of the success of the first application, we are looking to apply Alpha Anywhere through our mining portfolio and add additional apps. Alpha Anywhere’s flexibility can apply to virtually any department or business problem.”

"Now that we’ve mastered Alpha Anywhere, I expect us to continue to build new apps with it across the organization. Alpha Anywhere’s flexibility can apply to virtually any department or business problem."

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