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MICROSOFT

Digital Transformation with Power Platform

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The Customer

New Gold is a Canada-focused intermediate gold mining company committed to responsible mining.

The Project

Digital Transformation with Power Platform

Overview

New Gold approached Improving (Toronto) formerly known as Jump Analytics Inc. for assistance in addressing challenges related to accessing information on their mine site operations.

Leveraging their expertise in Power Platform, Improving (Toronto) helped architect a data and artificial intelligence (AI) strategy using their mine analytics playbook, establishing a foundation for collecting, storing, and making data available to business users at each mine site. They developed customized apps and automations to address specific scenarios, such as streamlining the shift-change process and reducing the workload for annual Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

Michael Matrick

VP, Improving
Today, Power Platform is at the forefront of our business. We lead every customer engagement with a Power App, which focuses our conversations with customers more on business process transformation than just data analytics strategy

The Challenge

After working with New Gold on several SAP-focused projects for its corporate office, the CIO asked Improving (Toronto) if they could help address challenges the company was experiencing around accessing information on mine site operations.

Improving’s team stepped in to help architect a data and artificial intelligence (AI) strategy using its mine analytics playbook, creating a foundation for collecting, storing, and making data available to business users at each mine site. From there, the Microsoft Solutions partner began fielding requests to enable specific scenarios, such as tracking safety indicators or providing analytics for maintenance tasks, in some cases automating processes that would otherwise require the company to license additional software.

Two major concerns New Gold wanted Improving’s support to tackle were streamlining its paper-based shift-change process at mine sites and helping reduce the workload required for annual Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting,

The Solution

After performing a business and technology assessment, Improving (Toronto) developed an end-to-end data analytics blueprint for Canfor outlining how the company could deliver its analytics vision across the organization using Microsoft Azure as its data platform. Because Azure provides a comprehensive, integrated data and analytics tool set, Canfor could realize faster delivery times and reduced complexity, while also increasing cost efficiencies.

Michael Matrick

VP, Improving
Microsoft Azure makes it easier for us to help customers be successful, as we can easily build our industry expertise on top of the data platform, with tremendous capabilities from an integration perspective, we can deliver projects in a reasonable timeframe to address pressing business needs without requiring lengthy custom development

With Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI, Improving very quickly and easily designed apps and automations to collect data that could be shared in a single, trusted data source. In addition, Improving developed solutions to make data more actionable, using Power Apps to embed business logic and flows into Power BI dashboards, allowing users to interact with forecasts and budgets to improve decision-making. Power Platform not only helped solve industry data challenges, but it also helped rapidly evolve the partner’s practice into building applications for specific business processes.

“Today, Power Platform is at the forefront of our business,” said Matrick. “We lead every customer engagement with a Power App, which focuses our conversations with customers more on business process transformation than just data analytics strategy.”

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The Business Benefits

Improving (Toronto) stepped in to help New Gold architect a data and artificial intelligence (AI) strategy using its mine analytics playbook, creating a foundation for collecting, storing, and making data available to business users at each mine site. From there, Improving began fielding requests to enable specific scenarios, such as tracking safety indicators or providing analytics for maintenance tasks, in some cases automating processes that would otherwise require the company to license additional software.

For example, when New Gold wanted to streamline its paper-based shift-change process at mine sites, Improving developed a series of three apps in just seven weeks. The apps provided a dashboard of data collected underground across production, development, and rehabilitation. Now, even without a Wi-Fi connection, staff working underground can use tablets to input data on gas readings, equipment locations, and blast times. When they surface, the devices sync with supervisor systems for approvals and handoffs. This not only reduces time and manual effort but also helps improve overall safety.

Likewise, when New Gold needed help reducing the workload required for annual Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, Improving recommended building a Power App to replace manual processes for reconciling data across multiple Excel spreadsheets. The new app creates one central location to collect, edit, and store data on thousands of metrics collected at each mining site to indicate sustainability, interactions with indigenous people, and other key regulatory information. Now in production, the solution has helped accelerate and simplify reporting, saving dozens of hours of manual effort and giving executives and auditors quick visibility to metrics throughout the year.

The success of these new apps has provided a fast return on investment and business impact has spread to multiple departments within New Gold. Improving has since seen a steady stream of requests for new apps to address additional use cases, currently developing and deploying a new app once every three or four months for the mining company. Because the apps are built on a common framework, even apps built for siloed scenarios are tied together on the backend.

Why Improving?

The solutions provided by Improving lead to a quick return on investment and tangible business impact, leading to the adoption of additional apps across multiple departments within New Gold. With Power Platform as a catalyst for growth, Improving (Toronto) plans to further leverage its industry expertise and development capabilities to expand into other asset-intensive industries, offering process automation and tailored solutions.

“When beginning our reporting journey with Improving, we started talking about what our needs were and where we wanted to go with reporting and how we didn't want our reporting to just be a once-a-year thing,” said Bethany Borody, Director of Sustainability at New Gold Inc. “We wanted to build a dashboard and a platform where our sites could input data that it was tracked, it was validated, and that we could pull that data at any time, or we could pull cross sections of data so that we could look at different things from different perspectives.”

Microsoft
Business Transformation
Natural Resources & Mining

Get Started

Learn more about how Improving can help you get started by contacting us today at sales@improving.com or filling out a contact form through the link below.

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