Hawcroft is a leading, global provider of risk management services to the mining sector. Since 1992, Hawcroft has been delivering visionary services around the world and now operates across all continents and offers their services in every aspect of mining, processing, materials handling, and infrastructure.
The organisation was operating off of emails, spreadsheets and shared file storage mechanisms to schedule, progress and complete the production of risk reports for coal and metalliferous mines around the world.
Despite working at an international scale, Hawcroft’s processes were outdated and inefficient. They came to Ultimedia to change this and needed a solution that would bring the scheduling and collection of risk data from mines and the production of reports together digitally.
Our team performed a full requirements analysis which was agreed by Hawcroft’s key stakeholders and covered all aspects of involvement in the production of their risk reports.
We identified that a generalised system was required which would include:
- The ability to operate on a defined set of templates, which were expandable over time, to allow field engineers to gather risk data on a variety of mine and other asset types
- Cater for the field engineers findings, either Fallback ratings or detailed risk profiles and allow recommendations to be made for each type of risk
- Possess a Workflow Approval and Review process with different participators
- Allow Multilingual operation, performing automatic NLP / AI assisted dynamic translation of all content
- Have Workflow creation, assignment and scheduling facilities
- Enable a personalised Activity Dashboard showing the latest work requiring completion
- Have a permissioned Management Dashboard would be available allowing management by exception on tardiness of completing work
- Cater for Online report production showing the build up of content and final report production
WHAT WE DID
We delivered a series of digital transformation projects using Microsoft .NET Core Azure cloud based technology to enable independent operations at a global scale. This would allow the participants of field engineers, mines site engineers, Hawcroft’s own Peer reviewers and Director reviewers to operate independently and concurrently from a Cloud based system, no matter their geographical location.
- Microsoft .NET Core Azure – The solution needed to run on the latest Microsoft .NET Core Azure cloud based technology. The benefits of this were cost effectiveness, speed of creation and rapid development and deployment. This gave speedy and secure operation of the solution world-wide.
- Responsive Design – To reach and engage modern audiences and for an enhanced end-to-end customer experience.
- Security of Operation in the Azure cloud environment and being a system where roles, permissions and secure user accounts operated.
- A Learning Platform was included, consisting of pre-produced videos showing the operation of the system for the appropriate role logged in.
- Integration with Line of Business Systems – Systems such as CRM, automatic language translation and financial systems were easily integrated having proven APIs.
DESIGN AND BUILD
We worked together with major stakeholders within Hawcroft to ensure that fitness form purpose was achieved. Our team began with a requirements analysis which covered all aspects of involvement in the production of Hawcroft’s risk reports. The next stage was to produce an agreed high level design specification which would be followed by a detailed design specification.
Collaboration between Ultimedia and Hawcroft’s stakeholders allowed the solution to be progressively completed, operating within a series of agile sprints, including stakeholders in the quality control of the delivered product.
TESTING AND DEPLOYMENT
Our dedicated QA team carried out a thorough testing process that includes unit and integration testing, in parallel to robust functionality testing.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) was performed by Hawcroft key stakeholders in conjunction with the Ultimedia development and testing team.
- Improved overall quality of reports
- Revolutionised the operational efficiency of Hawcroft field engineers by over 200% due to:
- Concurrent working of field engineers
- Giving field engineers and others the ability to use activity dashboards to scope the work which they were required to perform
- Reduced translation time for native language input of data
- Significantly increased the quality of report production by allowing:
- Multiple simultaneous operation by field engineers in different sections
- Field engineers focus now on the data entered and not formatting the data
- Enabled the review processes to communicate clearly, promptly and between different locations around the world
- Established a standard format for the risk reports for each mime type and ensured that field engineers did not have to spend their time worrying about formatting in reports, but could concentrate on the data.
- Allowed clear communication of risk ratings and recommendations, taking advantage of automatic generation of certain summary sections from details entered later
- Allowed field engineers in different countries to enter data in their native tongue and get automatic smart translations to the required language
- Allowed management to get a clear exception-based view of the workload for field engineers and hence concentrate on any issues in a speedier manner
- Allowed Hawcroft to offer more personalised facilities when wanting to expand into different countries
Hawcroft has an exciting digital journey ahead to align with their vision for their future. We’ll be working with them on a series of further digital transformation projects, culminating in an increased set of digital services. Hawcroft can take these to their existing clientbase or expand into new client opportunities.