RPM's financial modelling product, XERAS, is widely used across the mining industry as the de facto standard for site-specific mine costing, budgeting and financial forecasting. Launched with the support of global ERP powerhouse SAP AG (SAP), the X4E product takes this capability further by seamlessly integrating SAP's Financial and Maintenance Management modules with the financial modelling capabilities of XERAS. This integration allows for unprecedented levels of financial visibility and cost control, from individual mine sites through to corporate management reporting systems.
These key benefits were behind the decision of Sasol Mining (the coal mining division of one of the world's largest producers of synthetic fuels, Sasol Limited) to purchase X4E.
Sasol Mining operate one of the world's largest underground coal mining complexes and have been a user of RPM's software solutions for 15 years, with the XPAC and XERAS products forming an integral part of the business management solutions of their mining operations. It is critical to Sasol Mining that the information produced and used by their operational systems become more tightly integrated with their corporate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, SAP, so as to allow for better understanding and analysis of planned versus actual financial results. The release of X4E satisfies this requirement and Sasol Mining are in the process of implementing X4E across their coal operations.
The X4E implementation at Sasol Mining will automatically consolidate XERAS models from multiple mine sites into an enterprise wide view of the business. Sasol expect the budgeting process to be more accurate and streamlined, given that the information flow between these key systems can now be monitored and controlled. Data integrity will be controlled by functionality within X4E, providing confidence to all users that they are always using "one version of the truth".
The seamless integration with SAP allows for visibility of actual monthly results in XERAS and provides Sasol management with the ability to easily and consistently re-forecast as well as compare results by site. The consolidation capabilities of X4E were also attractive to Sasol with corporate visibility and control of key budget assumptions ensuring governance over data integrity can be achieved.
When implemented, Sasol Mining intends using the full X4E suite to manage the integration between SAP and XERAS for all financial aspects of modelling, budgeting and forecasting. Sasol is an early adopter of this technology and as such is working with RPM to influence the product direction as additional functionality opportunities are identified during the implementation. Yancoal Australia Ltd, one of Australia's largest export coal miners, is also in the process of implementing X4E.
Reece Margetts (Head of Commercial Operations at Yancoal's Moolarben mine in the Hunter Valley) said "Yancoal prides itself on being one of the world's most innovative coal companies. We see enormous business benefits in using technology such as XERAS for Enterprise to enable us to setup a best of breed integrated forecasting system that ensures complete financial visibility from our boardroom right across all of our operations. The solution provides us with a level of control and trust in the planning process that we have never had before, giving us the confidence to make the right operational decisions."
In Indonesia RPM has commenced working with the BUMA group, one of Indonesia's largest mining service contractors, to implement X4E. BUMA was looking for the visibility, control and predictability of capital and operating expenditures that only a product like X4E can provide. BUMA is a new client to RPM and is using X4E to consolidate multiple financial models, to immediately explain the difference between actual and planned financial results and to flow through the financial implications of changes in the mining environment to their forecasts.
Richard Mathews RPM's CEO and Managing Director said "Having spoken with many of our customers particularly those with SAP systems already installed, I am convinced that being able to move data seamlessly between corporate systems and operational systems will become a "must have" going forward. Miners with the ability to do this will have a competitive advantage over those that cannot. It's very exciting to see the take up of this product in such a short timeframe. It validates the investments we are making in our enterprise products".
"In addition to these customers who are implementing X4E we currently have 7 customers who are either trialling the software, undertaking a proof of concept or who we are in discussions with to acquire the product in this calendar year."
"Our relationship with SAP continues to strengthen as we expand the range of our integration options and features to our joint customers. Since the original launch of X4E we have released two updated versions with support for multiple different integration paths (including MII, PI and directly via ABAP). X4E now also supports and integrates to SAP Business Objects, SAP's Human Resource modules and SAP's Business Planning Consolidation (BPC) application for customers who want to use BPC as their Business Intelligence repository.
"There is no doubt customers can see the value in being able to compare plan results verses actual results at the enterprise level. We were a little worried that we may have been too far ahead of the curve on this one but that has proven not to be the case. Customers can see the productivity improvements they can get by having their operational systems integrated with their ERP systems".
With a centralised platform for conducting analysis and generating different scenarios using auditable and validated information, X4E bridges the gap between the mine and the boardroom.
About RungePincockMinarco Ltd
RungePincockMinarco Limited (ASX:RUL) is the world's largest publicly traded independent group of mining technical experts, with history stretching back to 1968. We have local expertise in all mining regions and are experienced across all commodities and mining methods.
Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange on 27 May 2008, RungePincockMinarco is a global leader in the provision of advisory consulting, technology and professional development solutions to the mining industry. We have global expertise achieved through our work in over 118 countries and our approach to the business of mining is strongly grounded in economic principles.
We operate offices in 18 locations across 12 countries.
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