April 27, 2012 // By: Tim Clark // The Rise of an Underground CIO
Joy Global’s products and services are used extensively for the mining of coal, copper, iron ore, oil sands, hard rock, gold and other embedded mineral resources. And as its name implies, Joy Global is truly global. More than 50% of its sales revenues reside outside North America – and so do more than half of its employees. This highly de-centralized, global business brings a unique set of challenges for a CIO like Shaver who is driving company-wide standardization. Enter the Joy Business System, designed as the company’s premier vehicle to deliver excellent customer service.
Like many other businesses, making the optimal amount of inventory at the right time is a key enabler to Joy Global’s profitability. One of the most important metrics for excellence in service is on-time delivery of equipment and repair parts. Forecasting, capacity planning, supply-chain collaboration, or precise production control by themselves can enable excellence in service. However, Joy Global management was eager to gain real-time visibility of current production needs rather than just reports on the outcome. SAP BusinessObjects now enables the company to show graphical compliance, trends and progress on various metrics. Queries provide the capability to create fast running reports and drill down capabilities. Broadcasting provides the ability to schedule and automatically run and send reports and graphs via e-mail to internal and external recipients.
With over 14,500 employees, change doesn’t come easy at Joy Global especially when aiming to improve safety, increase production and reduce costs across 126 locations in 20 countries. But Shaver’s lack of an IT background continues to make all the difference. Another case in point: instead of treating IT as a siloed cost or service center, his approach is to “embed” IT into manufacturing – and to some extent, the cultural fabric across Joy Global.
“We’re not waiting for the business to contact us,” said Shaver. “We’re being proactive and running IT as an internal business enterprise that delivers solutions. This model requires an accountability structure with managers leading from the front. They take full accountability for a full process even if not all the IT resources are direct reports.”
Under this model, a leader from IT is “invited” to participate in the holistic business opportunity not just the technical, an attribute also evident in Joy Global’s Smart Services. The IT department works hand in hand with the service team to enable monitoring of mining equipment in the field by one of Joy’s many Smart Services centers. Some systems monitor real time data of how equipment is performing that is fed to one of Smart Services Centers, for instance. “We can act immediately on any opportunities that will make our equipment even more productive with our on-site service team,” said Shaver.