How BOLT has Brought New Confidence to a Key Planning Team at BHP
This was originally published by Polymathian.
Polymathian recently spoke with Kieran O’Loughlin, Superintendent Logistics and Planning, BMC. BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) owns and operates two open-cut metallurgical coal mines in the Bowen Basin, situated about an hours’ drive apart and some 130km west of the Hay Point port facilities.
Kieran operates out of Brisbane, remotely managing his planning team whose primary objective is to maximise throughput to port for both mines while satisfying constraints and meeting customer vessel quality requirements. It’s a big job for a small team but they have the right tool in the form of Polymathian’s leading supply chain optimisation software, BOLT.
BOLT allows the team to automate decision-making to ensure they can produce optimised forward looking plans. It also captures historical data which helps them improve forecasting accuracy and predictive capabilities. With the information they get from BOLT, they are able to dig a little deeper and find ways to improve their processes. As a result, BOLT has greatly improved efficiency as well as their confidence in the plans they are outputting.
With a background in geology and many years working in mining, Kieran sees the industry as ripe for disruption and innovation. In his view, we are at the tipping point where mining organisations are examining how decisions are made, and how to improve operational efficiencies.
“The key is data. All these great tools require accurate data feeds from the right sources. There’s a lot of mining organisations out there realising the benefits of being able to access and use their data. But your output is only as good as the input and this will be the key to producing real change that brings value,” he said.
Originally attracted to mining through an inherent sense of adventure and a love of the outdoors, Kieran spends his spare time training for extreme events. In 2018 he toed the starting line in minus 15 degree temperatures wearing crampons for the Polar Circle marathon in Greenland. As he said “Lots of planning goes into it.” It would seem Kieran has chosen his occupation well.