SPCC has been processing copper and other metals in Peru since 1960.
It is part of the US-based mining and metallurgical group SCC, which generates annual revenues in excess of $6billion around the world.
The Peru arm of the business is the country’s largest producer of copper, amongst other outputs which include molybdenum, zinc, silver, lead and gold.
The company’s operations are distributed across the country, with two open pits in full production. It operates in three regions of southern Peru in Cuajone, Ilo and Toquepala, meaning that projects can be located as much as 100 kilometres apart.
With up to 300 projects to manage per year, including mining infrastructure, maintenance, engineering development and local community initiatives, it was a constant challenge for the Plant Engineering team to manage and coordinate its range of activities.
Each individual co-ordinator works on between three and five projects; they need to communicate well between each other, as well with sub-contractors.
Carlos Noriega, Plant Engineering manager, decided to investigate a new direction.
He recognised the need for a more consistent approach to project and progress management and coordination, and to reduce the stress of reporting such a large number of projects.
One of the main challenges was the number of different software solutions that were currently in use.
The company previously used MS Project for project management and monitored the progress of its projects using complex Excel spreadsheets.
These were hard to integrate, making it difficult for the management team to maintain a clear view of the overall progress and status of projects.
A second issue was that the company’s various sub-contractors used different project management tools, which made it hard to communicate and share information.
Carlos explained: “We considered several alternatives before choosing Powerproject, including Primavera and MS Project. The cost of Primavera is very high and MS Project was not right for us, because it uses a hosted platform for its database. With Powerproject, the database stays within our own IT system. Plus, the flexible license options allow us to share Powerproject among our workstations and teams without purchasing lots more licences.”