Exxaro won the top prize at the 19th annual SA National Business Awards in the Innovation category for its digitalisation and innovation journey which an integral part of the company’s organisational strategy.
The National Business Awards – which was introduced in 2002 - recognises the success, innovation and ethics of South African companies and organisations across all industry sectors by acknowledging the innovative business processes, product development, enterprise, sustainability and overall business successes.
The Digital@Exxaro programme was launched to promote the Exxaro digitalisation and innovation journey, and has shown that using digital, the company operates its mining assets on the lowest quartile through improved productivity, reduced costs and improved safety performance.
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo said, “Technology changes are all around us and coming faster than ever. We realised three years ago that we cannot afford to wait and wonder how the latest digital technology innovations will change things within the mining industry, which is why we decided to take advantage of emerging technologies to accelerate our performance.”
Exxaro’s digital transformation has been centred around implementation of the value chain visualisation tools where relevant data points are collected in real-time (visualisation) across the business. “The primary objective to visualise operational constraints in real time as this allows us to manage the coal from exploration to market in real time and allows us to manage ore flow and our equipment effectively,” Mgojo continued.
Some areas where innovation has been used in the business to optimise and provide excellence include:
- Middle Eye: a platform built with the intention of aligning the overall Exxaro value chain to better meet market requirements and improve medium- and short-term planning integration across the value chain.
- Digital employees: to connect with its workforce, Exxaro has 20 digital employees who assist with freeing up time for value-adding activities - while using specialised software – by completing repetitive, routine tasks and processes.
Mgojo continued to explain that Exxaro values its workforce and understands that “these successes depend on a holistic approach considering not only technology but process optimisation and people enablement.”
“We empower our employees by upskilling them and have initiatives like our annual Show and Tell where we showcase the impact and effectiveness of technology and digital used at throughout our business.”