Whether you are a multi-national conglomerate or a small operation with a bold idea, GMC Global (GMC) can assist with establishing and executing effective management solutions. From supply chain optimisation and inventory management, through to reliability and strategy development, GMC – alongside its parent company SMEC – can assist with the operational side of almost any company within the mining, oil and gas, utilities and engineering sectors.
GMC provides turnkey solutions for its clients. In fact the company takes great pride in being able to offer ‘design through to decommissioning services’. “If you have an idea for an operation we can design it, we can manage the construction phase, we can assist in the operational side of the project, we can then assist with the management, the training, re-design, optimisation and ultimately the decommissioning of that operation,” says William Fry, Reliability Manager.
Managing Risk & Measuring Reliability
Formed in 2001, GMC quickly became a world leader in maintenance and asset management for the mining industry both in Australia and on an international level. The company has an operations network spanning the globe with offices in Australia, Chile, Houston, Toronto, Singapore and more recently South Africa. Fry has been with GMC for 12 months and speaks highly about the development of the company during that time, specifically in the fields of risk management and reliability consulting.
“A lot of my role is focused on developing reliability strategies. There is a lot of disconnect between different asset management solutions, which are often developed by third party suppliers. My initial focus was on extracting data from these systems and pulling them together to create information for a client that makes sense on an operational level,” say Fry.
GMC works with ERP tools such as SAP, Maximo and Oracle to streamline and simplify data for its customers so it can be used to optimise the day-to-day operations of their business.
According to Fry, the reliability function of GMC is focused on providing total cost viability and optimum availability and utilisation for a client’s assets. Taking a truck as an example, Fry explains how this works: “We know that the truck needs to be down for a certain number of hours per week for maintenance, we know that there are shift changes, we know all the times and costs of stopping the truck from doing its job – there are certainly some unknowns that creep in, but through the reliability function we attempt to identify and manage those unknowns, those unplanned outages.
“If we can do that effectively, we can achieve greater availability of the truck. There are failures built into every asset but if you manage them effectively through your reliability function you can factor that cost across its lifetime and understand the right time to replace X, Y and Z or indeed the entire machine,” he says.
GMC doesn’t just manage assets either – the company is able to assist clients with people management and training, which can considerably boost productivity and reliability. Spending a lot of time with clients identifying and understanding their processes and business model is a perfect foundation for helping to improve functionality.
“We do a lot of process mapping exercises. We discuss with our clients the way they run their business and ask if their current strategies are effective - where does the company fall down; where does information get lost; where do people not understand their roles within the business? We typically take an overarching view of the entire business function and its workforce – pull it apart, re-assemble and map it out completely to identify any concerns,” says Fry.
Once GMC has a full understanding of the business, it identifies the skill set required and begins training. “We establish what people need to do in order for the business to function and then provide appropriate training across the company,” says Fry. GMC has a robust training and development team that help outline asset management best practice and maintenance management strategies as well as supply chain and inventory management solutions.”
Working with Clients Big and Small
With any new client, GMC takes the time to get familiar with its business. As Fry highlights, many of its clients have similar business models, however each one has its own quirks and differences. The first thing GMC works with is data – how it's managed, used and stored.
“A lot of what we are doing is identifying their current position - understanding where they are in their life cycle, where they are in terms of their ability to manage their assets - do they have the supporting data to manage their assets; do they use that data; is the data the correct data; are they being efficient with the storage of data? We begin with data, because every business needs something behind it, driving its assets and functions,” says Fry.
“I want to go and maintain a chair in the office. I need to know that the chair exists, and that information needs to be present in electronic format in my maintenance system. I need to know who is qualified to maintain and fix the chair; I need to know what needs to be done and at what interval; I need to know how much I am going to pay this person to do to this, and which cost center it is going to flow through; I need to know who is going to approve that function, what parts I need and where the parts are coming from; I need to know what the parts cost and how many parts I am meant to be holding. Without all this information, none of the functions even happen. Perhaps they have decided we don’t fix chairs, we just buy new ones - still there needs to be data supporting that function and someone needs to know about it,” explains Fry.
When it comes to working with clients, data is vital, and the larger the operation, the more necessary effective data management becomes. A lot of the work GMC does with clients revolves around teaching people how to connect all of their systems, because each process, each step effects another down the line.
The next phase of GMC’s development is diversification. “More recently we have moved towards diversifying the business – we are still strong in mining, but we are looking to expand within industries such as oil & gas, water, power and infrastructure development,” says Fry.
SMEC, the parent company for GMC is helping to push this diversification forward. “In terms of what the business offers, SMEC is large engineering firm with broad expertise in mining, oil and gas, water, infrastructure, roads, civil engineering and geotechnical engineering - there is really nothing that we can’t cover as a business within those sectors.”
With a broad range of expertise and ambitious plans for expansion, GMC is set to build on its already international status in years to come.
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