The problems of data and process silos are hitting just about every industry. But for mining and resources companies with a remote workforce, the implications of having a disparate workforce management solution are vast. 

Large-scale mining operations require teams to be across a range of FIFO logistic elements – travel and itinerary bookings, accommodation and room cleaning requirements, and a raft of employee special requests. 

For the big players, who likely have software solutions in place, different business functions will often use different software. For example, a gold miner in Western Australia might use an accommodation management tool to organise room bookings but a separate solution for FIFO travel in and out of their site. 

While in the interim, these platforms should ease the administrative burden, in the long term, confusion and frustration are almost guaranteed to set in. 

Siloed communications and planning stem from using different systems and platforms to manage FIFO logistics. Drawing from disparate data sources, multiple platforms are more time-consuming for planners. 

The lay of the logistics land 

It’s fair to say that enterprise workforce software is a saturated market. Businesses are likely to feel overwhelmed when looking to switch processes or adopt a whole new solution to suit their needs. 

Large global players like Shiftboard or Workaxle tend to dominate the workforce management space, and while these offer comprehensive solutions that are both scalable and customisable, they often lack specific industry knowledge and a detailed understanding of business problems. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than in lucrative mining and resources industries. 

As any HR or logistics professional will tell you, it’s the unique combination of workforce and site specifics that presents the administrative challenge.  

This usually involves organising employee and contractor details, travel itineraries with regional charters, room accommodation capacity and vacancies. Then there’s the necessary management of room cleaning to ensure the space is ready for the next employee’s arrival. 

While a software product like Shiftboard places an emphasis on change management, timesheet organisation and labour planning, what’s missing for mining operators is integrated travel and accommodation management. 

For that, they’ll need to go looking elsewhere. In a worst-case scenario, the resources company keeps several systems on the go to manage disparate but related tasks. 

All these steps in simply getting a FIFO worker to site calls for a system that is both customisable but also designed with the unique challenges of FIFO logistics in mind. 

Solutions that are fit for the industry 

The companies that adopt an integrated solution to remote workforce logistics are the ones that will save time, and money and provide a better experience for their FIFO staff. 

It’s an approach INX Software lives and breathes with our holistic FIFO management software solution, INX SAM Suite. 

Responding to varying needs and functions of managing and transporting a workforce, the product contains four core modules that effectively run together to simplify logistics. 

The foundational module, which functions as the engine room, is SAM – Site Administration Management. Here, travel coordinators can locate their single source of truth, which includes room availability, clean scheduling, efficient room allocation and the ability to run a variety of reports. 

It’s the next module, Workflow, where the integrated benefits are crystal clear. The web-based request system allows employees to submit travel, roster and leave requests which flow through to the central SAM platform.  The inbuilt workflow keeps all information within the system and significantly reduces human error by copying or transcribing request information into a separate database. 

But the reporting capabilities don’t stop there. With Workforce Reporting, administrators have access to 200+ report templates to record information in staple documents such as manifests, room occupancy and transport notices, drug and alcohol testing results and plenty of others. 

The final module, Workforce Kiosk, is a mobile app that keeps employees updated with all necessary details related to their roster and travel plans. This also means FIFO workers can easily share their itinerary with family and friends. 

Having collaborated with FIFO travel and logistics experts, these core modules of INX SAM Suite present a holistic solution for mining and resources companies. 

The software solution is designed to break down information and data silos so large-scale operations run smoothly, to ensure remote workforces feel supported throughout the entire process. 

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