Technology

From paperwork to performance with Obzervr

Obzervr has taken the mining industry by storm as it does away with unnecessary paperwork in the field.

As mining companies push ahead with efficiency and optimisation projects, there can be an information disconnect between the backend systems and what is happening on the ground.

According to Obzervr, that is largely driven by the fact efficiencies are more likely to get lost when using a paper-based system to collect information.

For example, supervisors can spend hours re-keying data from manual forms in an effort to put information back into the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system rather than being in the field working with their teams.

For the past seven years, the Obzervr team has worked closely with the mining industry to solve this problem by developing an easy-to-use cloud-based platform that is designed to do away with paper for good.

Obzervr digitises the work to unlock more hours of productivity, enabling a seamless connection between ERP systems and front-end systems used in the field.

The Obzervr team found that field workers and technicians were facing issues with paper-based processes that didn’t support standardised ways of working, leading to inefficiencies and confusion.

“This problem has gone unsolved and almost hidden for quite some time and it’s having a real impact on people’s work,” Obzervr head of growth Peter Livingstone told Australian Mining.

“With Obzervr, we’re streamlining work by going through and adding value in the way that work is done. Through easy-to-use interfaces, field workers can access important information online or offline, attach photos and comments, and even review reference materials.”

Obzervr’s leading digital field mobility solution helps make workplaces safer, and more compliant and efficient.
Image: Obzervr

With so much work to be done in the field, it’s little wonder paper records can be lost or inputted incorrectly.

During his time on mine sites, Livingstone saw there was often a big difference between what the head office system said and what was actually happening in the field.

Obzervr changes this equation by removing the administrative burden from asset-management and minimising the errors typically caused through legibility and double-handling.

An operator can use the Obzervr system through an app on their phone to quickly identify work or log a job as complete, rather than heading back to the office to hand in their paperwork.

Not only does this allow the operator to move on to another job faster but it also means supervisors are spending less time at the desk, potentially saving hours of desk work during a typical shift.

“It gives them more time to be out in the field guiding and leading workers and fixing problems rather than be chained to a desk filling out paperwork,” Livingstone said.

It’s not only supervisors who benefit from the time-saving nature of Obzervr.

“When someone is going out to do their work, whatever that may be, they will have everything they need to do that job at their fingertips,” Livingstone said.

With Obzervr, employees don’t need to walk back to the office to get information about a new job or to get an extra part.

If they do happen to get paused on a job, they can also move straight to the next one, because they have access to the next job on the list.

Obzervr’s solution has been implemented at some of the largest mines in Australia to wide acclaim.

“Obzervr has become an integral cog in the machine for a large number of mines,” Livingstone said. “We’ve even had word-of-mouth instances where a supervisor will use Obzervr at one site and then move to another site and tell them that they also need to implement Obzervr.”

Obzervr digitises field work to unlock hours of productivity for operators and supervisors.
Image: Obzervr

A gold miner, one of Obzervr’s top customers, sang the praises of the system.

“We set out to convert our paper-based work instructions to digital work instructions, removing the paper and improving the efficiency and productivity for our team,” a group asset maintenance team member at the gold mine said.

“What we achieved was a digital mine, gaining access to real-time data streams and preventing catastrophic failure in one of our crushers, something that would not have been possible in the old paper process.”

With a system providing flexibility across all different areas of the business, it truly can be called a ‘one-pane-of-glass’ solution.

“Most of the sites that use Obzervr are expanding, and they are using the system across many different areas,” Livingstone said. “It becomes part of what they do and use on a daily basis.”

At the end of the day, the team at Obzervr is happy if customers are happy.

By freeing people up from desk work and enabling these projects to happen quickly and more efficiently, Obzervr gives teams insight into where breakdowns are happening, where things might need some extra attention.

Above all, Obzervr said, it’s putting control back into an employee’s hands. To put it most simply, Obzervr works to provide the mining sector with the optimisation and efficiency it needs to get the job done right.

This feature appeared in the May 2024 issue of Australian Mining.

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