Our client, a large underground mining operation in Queensland, was finding it difficult to test different planning permutations because it took so long to schedule the different options with any degree of accuracy using their existing planning software. After extensive consultation with the mine’s planning engineers, we realised that the level of planning being undertaken was too detailed for the relatively high level "filtering" and decision making required.
The level of detail at which the planning was being done was more appropriate for detailed planning once the general strategy was set and work was to begin. In order to address this situation, Quantalytic designed and built a custom scheduling application that allowed the planners to rapidly generate accurate, plausible scenarios based on the manipulation of the management “levers” that the managers had at their disposal. Rather than the more detailed rules embedded in the standard scheduling software, we used sets of rules that the engineers used in their daily planning, but that weren’t incorporated into any of their existing tools. The tool made it possible for the engineers to ask "what if?" questions and generate scenarios in a matter of minutes that would answer these questions. This had the potential for dramatically speeding up and improving the quality of higher level decision making. It also provided a clear link between higher level decisions and the more detailed plans being worked out by the planning team.