It is now more than a year since Claire Tuder was appointed as chief executive officer of mining software developer MICROMINE.
Tuder, who was previously MICROMINE’s general manager and strategic marketing manager, started as CEO in late 2016 as the mining industry edged closer to a recovery following the commodities downturn.
It was also a joyous time for the company, with MICROMINE celebrating its 30th anniversary as software developers.
Tuder’s describes her initiation to the role as challenging, but also “rewarding and actually great fun.”
Being her first experience as a CEO, the challenges she faced stemmed from a lot of on-the-job learning. However, with the support of the growing MICROMINE team, as well as her “wise” mentors, Tuder has been well supported by the company’s positive approach to problem solving.
So, what has changed at MICROMINE since Tuder became CEO? Fortunately for Tuder, not much at MICROMINE needed change — the company’s vision is still to ‘make mining easier’ for companies around Australia and the world.
“Our mission is to provide best-of-breed software and expertise for easy and secure collection, storage and utilisation of exploration and mining data so that important decisions can be made faster and with confidence,” Tuder told Australian Mining.
“As well as sales, profit and product roadmap targets, over the past two years we’ve had a corporate objective to develop happy, high-performing teams. We have done a lot of work on culture, communication, people and team development.”
Tuder is proud of the fact that the MICROMINE team is committed to ongoing improvement. Even during the commodities downturn, the company focused heavily on how it could positively develop for when a recovery arrived, she explained.
In 2014, MICROMINE established a turnaround plan to move the business through the downturn by refocusing, reforming and then rebuilding.
The actions MICROMINE took included closing non-performing operations or turning them into agencies. It also assumed tighter control over activities like sales processes, forecasting and expenditure.
MICROMINE closed the doors of its consulting business and undertook a management restructure. These moves have allowed the company to improve its offering even further with Tuder at the helm.
As well as sales, profit and product roadmap targets, over the past two years we’ve had a corporate objective to develop happy, high-performing teams.
“By the second half of 2016, we had stabilised through ongoing management of operating costs, efficient use of resources, low working capital and conservation of cash,” Tuder said.
With market conditions bouncing back in 2017, Tuder said this had also helped improve the outlook for MICROMINE, with it launching new products and expanding the business in more parts of the world.
“Different geographical markets have recovered faster but generally there are many positive indicators,” Tuder explained.
MICROMINE’s most recent software release – Pitram 4.9 – continues to deliver the company’s aim of offering highly-functional mine management tools.
Pitram 4.9, a fleet management and mine control solution, has again enhanced the power miners have over their operations by allowing sites to increase their real-time data and business intelligence.
Tuder said MICROMINE’s products would remain easy to use, yet “very robust” and with the ability to seamlessly integrate with other system available for mining.
“As we say, our goal is to make our clients’ jobs easier. We also really care that clients are getting the most out of our software so our tech specialists proactively seek feedback from users and undertake system health checks,” Tuder said.
“Clients also contribute to our product roadmaps and new version beta testing. We do a lot of custom development but try make sure the work aligns to the vision for the product and the roadmap.”
Tuder said MICROMINE would keep a strong focus on innovation – not just on the company’s products but also the way it does business. She gave an insight into what the company’s clients could expect next.
“The upcoming Micromine software release will include a new licensing system which will give clients greater flexibility over how they can use their licences,” Tuder explained.
“We’re also doing some exciting work on image recognition, automatic scheduling for underground operations and long-term strategic mine planning.”
Tuder believes MICROMINE is well positioned to adapt to the transitioning market environment that greets mining in 2018. She said digital effectiveness and connectivity would be particularly important for MICROMINE as it navigates any volatility in the marketplace.
“Staying on top of risks is omni-present but the challenge is how the industry responds to the unknown unknowns,” Tuder said. “We will all need to be more flexible and agile to respond to constantly changing market conditions.”