November 5, 2013

Understanding the Cause of Differences Between Planned and Actual Production

It’s Tip Tuesday! Today’s post comes from Lisa Duncan, our GEOVIA InSite™…

Once production is complete, it is normal for mining operations to check the results of final production against the original plan to check for variances. While regular daily or monthly reports can help identify which areas or materials went under or over target, they are not very good at showing the cause of variance.

With the Variance Analysis feature in InSite 4.4, it is now possible to easily perform advanced reconciliation. Representing a first in the mining software market, Variance Analysis enables users to see the cause of variances in operational activities with little or no training. Here’s how it works:

To start, filter the production activity database by selecting a time range for your chosen investigation. Then select the plan to use as the comparison and the activity you want to investigate. Once these initial filters are set, you can then begin your analysis.

The first step is to review a set of tiles that show information relating to your filtering criteria. What does this all mean? Although it may look complex, it is actually quite simple. Each tile relates a contributor to the activity in question. The colour coding on the left highlights what that contributor is. Contributors are anything that you have recorded as part of that activity. Examples include mining locations, crews, fleet of equipment, employees, material types and more.

Additional information is supplied for that contributor within each tile. The declared value is the amount of activity completed and the scheduled value is the planned amount by contributor for that activity.  Below the declared and scheduled labels is a calculation of the total variance.

Once an item of variance has been uncovered, you may investigate that more deeply. Simply click on the variance tile and Variance Analysis will calculate all items that contributed to that variance. You will see which contributors formed that variance, as well as the total variance of those contributors. The amount of information provided can help to identify what may be the cause of a deviation from plan. Over time, you may notice patterns, and be able to arm yourself with the justification to make an appropriate change to reduce the variance next time.

To help analyse the data, Variance Analysis provides different views of the same data, allowing you to identify something not obvious in the original view. Drawing your eyes to the big box in the upper left, it shows you the item with the largest variance in the filter criteria. The lower right shows the smallest variance item. Just as in the tile view, you can select any individual item and see variance for the individual contributors.

As you can see, with Variance Analysis, it is now easy to identify the cause of variances and can help you prevent them in future.

The new Variance Analysis feature is designed to help you better understand your data. You are presented with the ideal tools needed to investigate why your operation is not meeting the target. Once you understand details of the performance of the operation, you are better equipped to make changes. These changes will help improve the efficiency, production and cost of your operation. You have the justification for your decision, and the historical data to follow and track the improvements.

Be sure to check back next Tuesday for more Product Tips & Tricks. 

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