Technology Innovation

Project Sauron, BHP

Mining company BHP was fraught with challenges when it came to managing the supply of millions of parts to support production for its global operations. Teams relied on a spreadsheet-based system and manual status updates, which were open to errors and inconsistencies. With erosion of trust across functions and unproductive use of resources, and multiple people chasing parts or second-guessing status reports, a solution was desperately needed.

An initiative was launched with the aim to establish one source of truth, connected to vendors, that would make the entire supply chain visible. A solution was developed in the form of Project Sauron, which brought together a group of users and customers to develop Parts Availability Tracker (PAT) software: a live, standardised, and highly intuitive tool to track the status of every material from a coal mine in Moranbah, through a copper mine in Chile, to platforms in Trinidad.

The PAT tool has resulted in $12.7m of savings due to reduced work, and 40% departmental costs savings through centralisation and enabled 24/7 support. The PAT’s implementation on the SAP Fiori platform even enabled site staff to use the tool via mobile devices, enabling maintenance staff to check the availability of parts required without having to leave their job sites.