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Case Study

Xstrata Coal

‘One Pulse’ was a major ERP consolidation project conducted over 15 months and impacting 14 separate Xstrata Coal subsidiaries and sites. It was completed on-time and on-budget with minimal business disruption to Xstrata.

Glencore Xstrata

Xstrata Coal Australia are the world’s largest exporter of seaborne thermal coal, which is primarily used to generate electricity and make steel and other industrial applications. They employ over 17, 000 staff, the majority working in New South Wales and Queensland.

Website: http://www.xstratacoal.com

One Pulse has been the largest and most complex IS project Xstrata Coal Australia has undertaken, and we are grateful for the can-do attitude Pulse Mining brought which ensured its success.

Earl Melamed CFO, Xstrata Coal Australia

The Problem - disparate Pulse Mining ERP instances across sites

Xstrata Coal Australia experienced a period of significant growth, acquiring several existing coal mining operations in the process. A long-term client with Pulse Mining, the acquisitions resulted in autonomous and disparate ERP installations which spanned multiple servers across their operations.

This caused several problems, including:

The inability to establish standardised business processes

  • Independent Pulse Mining ERP instances prevented enterprise-wide integration
  • Poor visibility from the absence of group-wide comparison and standardised reporting, which clouded direction and decision-making
  • Operational costs could not be regulated which affected efficiency, productivity and budgets
  • It was impossible to scale growth and automate future inclusions for the organisation.

Additionally, Xstrata didn’t have the hardware and infrastructure required to manage the consolidated ERP instances. An upgrade was required to include disaster recovery, patch and release testing and promotion, high capacity storage and archiving.

‘Wanaruah - Land of Hills and Plains’ (detail) by local Hunter Valley artist Denise Hedges. This painting represents the working relationship between Xstrata and the local Aboriginal community.
‘Wanaruah - Land of Hills and Plains’ (detail) by local Hunter Valley artist Denise Hedges. This painting represents the working relationship between Xstrata and the local Aboriginal community.

The Solution - One Pulse

Pulse Mining Systems and Xstrata Coal Australia embarked on their largest information systems project to date. The project was governed by Pulse Mining’s project methodology. The project was named ‘The Xstrata Coal New South Wales ONE PULSE Consolidation Project’, but was referred to as ‘One Pulse’.

Due to the size and complexity of the project, a timeframe spanning 15 months was established, with dedicated project teams from both Pulse Mining and Xstrata working together to meet the project objectives.

The objectives of the project were:

  • To consolidate 14 autonomous Pulse Mining ERP instances into one global ERP instance
  • Develop standardised business processes and master data controls for Xstrata to maximise Pulse Mining ERP utilisation
  • Implement a template to provide a framework for scalable growth
  • Capability for localised operational flexibility
  • Conversion of all legacy data
  • Commission enterprise level hardware and infrastructure.

The One Pulse project was broken into several sub-projects to ensure all aspects were managed effectively,on-time and on-budget.

Global Governance

The Global Governance sub-project focused on the overall project objectives, ensuring they were fully understood by both Pulse Mining and Xstrata Coal and documented accordingly.

Further project responsibilities included:

  • Overseeing the Hardware Infrastructure project
  • Developing the Xstrata Coal Blueprint document, a template outlining standardised business process and utilisation of Pulse Mining ERP
  • Performing a gap analysis of Xstrata's business requirements and Pulse Mining ERP
  • Bench testing the conversion and migration of Pulse Mining ERP instances.

Hardware Infrastructure

To achieve the objectives of the One Pulse project, a substantial upgrade to Xstrata Coal’s hardware infrastructure was required.

The primary aim was to build an enterprise level server environment to support the One Pulse installation long-term into the future.

Consolidation Limitations

The Consolidation Limitations sub-project ensured that Pulse Mining ERP was able to meet all Xstrata Coal’s business requirements.

The following solutions were provided:

  • Increasing in data storage limitations on identified input fields
  • Improving the variety of data types available for work orders, ensuring they could exist in the same database
  • Developing and migrating existing reports
  • Creating additional reports and dashboards as identified by Xstrata for their Business Intelligence needs.

Site Implementations

The Site Implementations sub-project involved a staged roll-out of the Xstrata Coal Blueprint to each Xstrata Coal site. Each implementation averaged 2 months and comprised of four major components:

  1. Change Control
  2. Data cleansing and collation
  3. Final Analysis and Planning
  4. Build and Implementation.

The Result

The One Pulse project was completed on-time and on-budget, culminating in over 35,000 Pulse Mining man hours. Xstrata Coal Australia had a global Pulse Mining ERP instance and experienced minimal business disruption over the duration of the project.

The consolidation effort has opened major opportunities to Xstrata Coal Australia. Previous issues caused by the multiple Pulse Mining ERP instances had been rectified, specifically in common global coding, toolset utilisation and global reporting standardisation. Xstrata Coal Australia has also been able to align their business processes across all Xstrata Coal sites.

Xstrata currently experiences the following benefits as a direct result of the One Pulse project:

  • Data accuracy and global business data integrity of more than 99%
  • Standardised consolidated reporting and business practices
  • Global master data controls
  • The Xstrata Coal Blueprint, which recommends best practices to utilise Pulse Mining ERP
  • A strategic plan for continuous improvement of Pulse Mining ERP
  • An implementation process for future Xstrata Coal projects and acquisitions.
Xstrata Coal focuses on sustainable mining, minimising their impact on the environment.
Xstrata Coal focuses on sustainable mining, minimising their impact on the environment.