A gold mine in the western United States developed a system to increase their employees’ skill level through training, certifications, and on-the-job experience to continuously improve their workforce. As employees complete certain requirements, they advance from a level one technician through the ranks to a level five technician. Each higher rank means an increase in pay and the ability to do higher-level work in the mine. However, the mine has a large staff, with 116 employees in the truck shop alone. This meant that tracking certifications and progress with skills training was a headache for the administrative team. Employee folders took up an immense amount of space in filing cabinets, and Excel spreadsheets took a lot of time to update and keep current. Additionally, neither the paper files nor the spreadsheets provided visibility for employees on their growth trajectory or what they needed to reach the next level and higher pay. So, what could be a win-win for the mine and employees was proving to be cumbersome and difficult to manage, resulting in slow technician advancement. Knowing the benefit and importance of their advancement program and certification tracking, the gold mine sought out a better solution.
The gold mine chose to implement Redlist’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software. They started with setting up all skills training, onboard processing, and advancement requirements using the Redlist Certifications and Forms tools. The tool allowed them to configure their training and certifications based on department, crew, and responsibility. This allows technicians to move between crews, advance technician level, have their roles automatically updated, and the required certifications and training are automatically created as tasks and assigned to the technician and their supervisor. Additionally, the mine established automated notifications to send to employees and supervisors when a certification or training needed renewal. To help the administrative staff, they configured Redlist’s reporting dashboard with a custom report to show what requirements and trainings an employee had completed and what still needed to be done in order to advance to the next technician level. All of this functionality is made available in a mobile app so that requirements, advancements tasks, and refresher trainings can all be completed out in the shop or anywhere else in the mine.
Prior to Redlist, the onboarding of a single new employee would take half a day to complete all the paperwork and input their information in the training and certifications spreadsheet. Now, the entire onboarding process is completed in 10 to 15 minutes using an iPad, with no paperwork required. This paperwork-free process has also made internal employee transfers much more efficient. The administrative team no longer has to track down paper files or documents to send with employees to be refiled in their new department. Additionally, the easy digital access to employee files and training needs has increased wrench time, as supervisors and employees can check the mobile app and retrain or review a skill and get back to work quickly. Furthermore, in the first five months, the mine had a significant increase in the skillsets of their employees. Technicians are now advancing their technician level more easily and more frequently.
|Technician Level||September 2021||January 2022||Difference|
|Level 1 Technician||20.25%||6.33%||-13.92%|
|Level 2 Technician||13.92%||15.19%||1.27%|
|Level 3 Technician||25.32%||21.52%||-3.80%|
|Level 4 Technician||21.52%||29.11%||7.59%|
|Level 5 Technician||18.99%||22.78%||3.80%|
Before streamlining this process with Redlist, 40.51% of the mine’s technicians were level four or level five. After five months, their workforce advanced to having 51.89% at these two highest levels of technician experience. This resulted in haul trucks spending less time in the shop because more skilled technicians are available to work on equipment and handle more of the maintenance responsibilities.
One of the unforeseen benefits of digitizing the mine’s advancement program is an increase in its employee retention rate. Due to the increase in employee skills, knowledge, and training, employees are happier because they have a clear path for advancement and pay raises. This, among other reasons, has resulted in the company continuing to roll out this program, not just in other areas within this mine, but to two of their other mine sites as well. From the substantial improvement of their employee skills and retention to the administrative time savings, this program is set to be an integral part of the company’s future growth and success.