About this Podcast...
With a booming mining industry, production levels and the number of projects in the market has increased significantly – commercial expectations are rising and companies must keep up with increasing procurement demand and skilfully juggle supply challenges and delays.
Here, David Young, Senior Director for Supply Chain Management at Newmont Asia Pacific speaks to Mining IQ about how they manage their SRM and ensure a good relationship with their various suppliers and contractors.
David Young (DY): Certainly, what I have to firstly point out is that Newmont Asia Pacific is a regional entity for Newmont Mining which is based in the United States. As a result, we get a number of commercial initiatives that we then implement in this region, one of which we call Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). And SRM is a discipline and process where we sit down with suppliers, we explain what SRM can mean to them and ourselves and this includes reviewing specific key metrics, and looking at continuous improvement projects and looking at improving the communications between companies. The end result is that by doing these meetings – monthly, quarterly – you can then establish a relationship and firm up the relationship so that if things come up – hurricane or cyclones – you can talk to the suppliers about these events and how you can both benefit from these situations. So SRM is one of the key things we do at Newmont Asia Pacific.
DY: The thing that we do here is that we spend a bit of time to work with vendors to develop meaningful forecasts both from our end customers or those in the processing plants to help understand the demand that we’re looking from our suppliers. This means that if we get into these shortages we can provide in-depth information and so suppliers can tell us whether they can support us.
This sounds basic – and it is – but we’re also in the process called Sales Operations Planning which is something that manufacturing companies are doing and mining companies are learning to do now. So this is another part of our portfolio.
DY: The Sales Operations Planning process is where you meet with your end customers and key business partners and you discuss on a quarterly, or semi-annual basis what has happened in the past in terms of what we forecasted in terms of demand; what did we actually consume; where are we looking to go moving forward; what are the key drivers for putting numbers, and how firm are the numbers. So we spend time with our business partners to go through this to understand the commitments of each party.
The SOP process requires a lot of discipline and time and one that we’re implementing now. I can’t say we’ve got it in place, but it’s definitely something have on the drawing board for implementation this year.
DY: What you need to do with Gen X and Y is to provide them with a challenging environment and expect that they will want to move around. What we in the mining industry face is a matter of communicating with staff and taking their needs for career development seriously. It also means providing them with projects that give a wider understanding of what the business is about. So those are some of the things we do here with our staff.
DY: I’ve been in supply chain management for over 35 years, and I’ve worked in a number of industries, from medical device to aerospace to electronics and now mining. What is the most important thing is that the skills I’ve learnt are transferrable. So I’ve been very blessed to be able to enjoy different environments, supply bases and challenges that all still use the same processes. So it’s been very fulfilling in recognising the transferability of the skills in the procurement industry.