New Supplier Innovation Challenges launched for Australia's METS sector

New opportunities to apply out-of-the-box thinking to improvements at BHP’s operations, launched this month with the latest Challenges from BHP’s Supplier Innovation Program released to Australia’s Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector.

To help solve the latest Challenges, METS businesses are being asked how visibility can be improved on tyre handling machines, and how the jacks used with dozers in maintenance workshops can be modernised to make the process of raising the 100+ tonne machines safer and more efficient. 

The new Challenges are the latest to be released from the Supplier Innovation Program, which the Procurement Partnerships, Innovation & Communities team launched with industry partner Austmine in May 2020. The Program closely follows the model first established by the Procurement team supporting our Minerals America operations a decade ago.

James Agar, Group Procurement Officer shared, “The Supplier Innovation Program encourages entrepreneurial thinking, fosters originality and builds capability in the local community. We are reimagining the traditional METS business models and relationships, which enables innovative solutions to be designed, tested and implemented, fast-tracking the adoption of new technology.” 

“The different approach taken from traditional tender methods allows BHP to crowd-source a broader range of unique and innovative solutions to business challenges. It also make it easier for the METS sector to access opportunities for ongoing work with BHP, while retaining their intellectual property,” he said.  
To date 10 Supplier Innovation Program Challenges have been launched from Minerals Australia Assets, with pilot solutions running at operations at BMA, WAIO and Olympic Dam. These Challenges are running in parallel with broader global innovation initiatives including the Charge On Innovation Challenge to identify haul truck charging infrastructure alternative to diesel engines and the Fatality Elimination Program and Tailings waste re-use program. 

Robyn Dittrich, Vice President Technology, Communities & Innovation said  “The way the program has been structured provides a platform for greater dialogue and communication between BHP and the METS sector, breaking down previous barriers to engagement.”

“As a part of our social value commitment, the program supports growth and employment, especially for regional communities. Engaging with local suppliers to help solve our business challenges not only stimulates innovation but grows businesses to create shared value for the local economy. I‘m thrilled about the upcoming business challenges and look forward to when we start awarding the pilots over the next few months.”

Click here to view the current Supplier Innovation Program challenges.

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