Barrick Gold says its new transactional system, SAP S/4HANA, has gone live at its 61.5%-owned Nevada Gold Mines company and will be rolled out across the entire group during 2021.
The implementation lays one of the key foundations for the group to reap the benefits of becoming truly digital, and will enable a new level of real-time decision making as well as a more agile and business-led approach to systems and data-driven initiatives, Barrick said in its September quarter results.
“The project stayed on track with a very ambitious timeline despite the obvious challenges presented by the pandemic, with the legacy Newmont sites going live on August 1 and the rest of Nevada Gold Mines on October 1,” the company said.
Back in January, SAP confirmed the gold miner had chosen SAP S/4HANA to future-proof its global business and growth ambitions. SAP calls SAP S/4 HANA a “future-ready enterprise resource planning system with built-in intelligent technologies, including AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics”.
Barrick’s Head of Group Systems Integration, Nico Hoffman, says: “By keeping the global design standardised and focused on getting the basics right, we have set up the rest of the implementations for success and paved the way for them to be completed on time.”
Training adopted a new approach, formulated during Barrick’s strategy sessions earlier this year. This involved identifying particularly talented individuals who were added to a pool of ‘super users’ inside the various business functions.
“These users take up ownership of the system by acting as the first line of support for issues as well as by driving continuous incremental improvement of the core application,” Barrick said. “Almost immediately they began delivering refinements and improvements which will be included in future rollouts.”
Hoffman added: “This project demonstrates the value of having both a very clear end goal and the correct level of executive functional sponsorship on board from the very beginning and we look forward to seeing the results of applying this to future developments.”
The SAP rollout coincides with the start of a number of initiatives including a common global data platform, a new financial reporting and planning system, as well as various operational technology enhancements, rationalisations and unifications, Barrick said. “It also signals the end of siloed local customisations which previously stood in the way of one true global solution.”