Karara Mining

iManage WorkSite Implementation Case Study

Western Australian iron ore company Karara Mining is a joint venture between WA's Gindalbie Metals Ltd and Chinese steel producer AnSteel. The company is currently constructing the Karara Iron Ore Project: the development of the magnetite deposit at Karara. 

Overview

This is a world-class ore body in terms of its scale, quality, consistency, and extremely low waste, with known resources sufficient to support production for more than 30 years. Future expansion well beyond its start-up capacity is already being discussed. 

Facing significant growth in the short, medium, and long term, Karara needs scalable technology solutions to handle the changes ahead.

Challenge

Control complex information and document management systems, and mitigate business risk. Structure internal processes to maximise time and cost savings.

Solution

Introduce WorkSite and WorkflowGen information and document control software across the business and ensure swift take-up amongst staff.

Introduction

In early 2009, with some 80 employees already creating and interacting with its information, Karara had no information management strategy whatsoever. They recognised the opportunity to mould the way 
their information management and business processes grew with exploration, construction and operations teams over the short and long term. 
 
Karara Mining’s IT & Communications Manager Ross Thorne was impressed when OIA clearly explained how our information management systems could be implemented, and the benefits that would flow. And so began a project that was to span several months, introducing iManage WorkSite and Advantys WorkflowGen to Karara Mining. 
 
Autonomy iManage WorkSite provides a shared environment for storing business content. Documents, records, email messages and other media are consolidated in a central library, making them easier to find, share, and reuse. Ross Thorne was adamant that Karara needed to achieve “one version of the truth”. Hence, version control, automated notifications and advanced search options simplifying delegation of work among team members – were central to the project. iManage WorkSite provides shared workspaces and secure document management, giving both local and remote Karara Mining teams instant access to content and collaboration tools.

“OIA’s design team were invaluable in  constructing the best approach for implementing the solution, and providing support and upgrades.” 
– Jolene Purdie, Knowledge Co-ordinator – Karara Mining 

 

Improving Productivity

 
The WorkflowGen software has now been in place for some three months, but Karara Mining senior executives already “see the power of the project,” says Ross Thorne. 
 

Staff from Accounts Payable, IT, and Engineering, are noticing an improvement in 
productivity that’s saving up to half a day every week.  Integration with email is the key, as staff don’t need to copy and file email content and attachments. Flexible access rights and version control help staff collaborate on documents, better leveraging the organisation’s resources. Thanks to the easily-understood graphical interface, and a significant training and communications program, users have embraced the system very quickly.
 

Mitigating Risk 


Centralising all of Karara’s content protects its information against human error such as misfiling, loss or accidental deletion. Emails are stored, with their attachments, alongside related project content, ensuring that they retain their full context and meaning, and are readily available for reference and future use. 
 
Even more importantly, WorkSite also helps organisations preserve confidentiality, by preventing unauthorised access to information on an individual or departmental basis. This has proved particularly powerful in Karara’s case, enforcing the separation of powers between KML and its contractors, and 
ensuring access to relevant information.

Streamlining Processes 


The Advantys WorkflowGen workflow software is fully integrated with WorkSite to provide best-of-breed, comprehensive document-handling and workflow management. The Karara Mining WorkflowGen portal has been embedded with the user-friendly SharePoint interface to provide easy access to launch new processes or manage ongoing processes and actions via the company’s portal homepage. 
 
Many Karara departments are already asking for more processes to be migrated to WorkflowGen. Software, hardware and new-user requests, receipting and processing of invoices, performance review processes and project change-of-scope notices are already being delivered through the software, allowing users to track the progress of requests quickly and easily online. Improved cost-consciousness has been an unexpected advantage of the WorkflowGen workflow system. With the costs to the business included on request forms, managers across the organisation are given greater visibility and appreciation of staff-related expenses.
 

Managing Change

 
Ross Thorne stresses that a change management strategy is crucial in a project like this. Staff need to clearly see the “burning platform” – the inferiority of the old way of doing things – prior to being encouraged to take up new systems and processes. The change process was handled very comprehensively at Karara by Knowledge Co-ordinator Jolene Purdie, using communications, training and support. Data migration was also handled by Jolene, whose background as a librarian proved a valuable asset to the team in finding and categorising content. She ensured that content in the new WorkSite 
system was structured in such a way that users could intuitively locate information after migration. Information from entire departments was migrated in very short periods, again supporting a speedy change program for users across Karara.

 

Delivering Outcomes 


OIA’s Information Management team has supported Karara Mining through the design and implementation phases of the project. “I can’t fault them,” Jolene Purdie has generously said. OIA’s design team were invaluable in constructing the best approach for implementing the solution and providing support and upgrades.  
 
They continue to help Karara develop new workflow processes in WorkflowGen. Established in Perth in 1991, OIA is a complete IT provider, with a diverse team of professional staff supplying hardware, software, and services.