The importance of a well-managed explosives tender cannot be overlooked. The cost of the products and services may be modest compared with other aspects of running a mine, however explosives are a critical element for any mine that blast rock. Accessing the ore or removing overburden are effectively the “lever” that generates revenue for a mine, and the combination of the products, services and technology used in this space can have a huge impact on the viability of the operation.
Spending some time and effort to understand what you are looking to get out of your tender should help deliver a better result. It’s rare to ever hear “we started this tender too early”. The procurement process should almost be cyclic and just about non-stop since when you’ve finished bedding down a new contract you should be in evaluation phase and using every opportunity not only to assess your current supplier, but also what else is available in the market. By constantly evaluating suppliers and the market, you will know what to ask for in future tenders.
Many benefits come from commencing an explosives tender process at the right time, including:
• Allowing for the testing of new products, tools and techniques to increase competition
• Allowing sufficient time for contract negotiations to take place
• Ensuring suppliers have sufficient time to mobilise, lowering the risk of changing supplier if that happens
• Enabling all involved to balance the demands of a tender with continuous operation at the mine
Quite often, tenders are commenced too late which means that the options are limited and can result in one or more of the following:
• The market is not sufficiently evaluated and there is less competition
• Incumbent suppliers often get extensions or a new term, without a full tender process, because this is easy and takes far
• Slow progress in continuous improvement as there is insufficient time to evaluate, implement or negotiate new products and services
• Prices and adjustment formulas may be more advantageous to suppliers
• Contract terms and conditions may be less favourable for the miner
• Daily operations may be affected due to the contract ending and there being no new contract in place
So, with this in mind, why would we ever start a tender process too late? Well, here are a few reasons that might sound familiar:
• No clear strategy or long-term goals in place around procurement of explosives
• Not enough resources to undertake the task
• Being pre-occupied with daily tasks
• Under estimating the time needed to work through all aspects of the process
• Not fully appreciating the impact of doing it sooner
• Unaware of full range of product and service offerings in the market
• Unaware of what the “scope of works” means for suppliers’ lead times, and product availability
– Do they need to build new trucks? How long will that take?
– Do they have the raw materials to supply your current and future volumes?
At Moncourt Group we have a deep knowledge of explosive suppliers and markets, including suppliers’ technology, techniques, products and equipment available today around the world. We provide our clients with a measured, and structured approach to managing explosives tenders. This is done with transparency and total independence from suppliers, ensuring our clients can maximise the value they obtain from their use of explosives.