As part of its digital shift, a major Canadian mining company incorporated contractor evaluations into its hiring process and noted significant improvements to the quality of service it received.
As with most other heavy-industry companies, production activities in the mining sector rely largely on hiring specialized labour, i.e. contractors.
By using the prequalification system and managing training requirements, the company can proactively identify risks and select contractors who meet its requirements in terms of insurance, training attestations, OHS aspects, etc. This company’s management team stipulates that only compliant contractors may access its sites.
For this type of business, the nature of the work and the geographic location of the facilities limit the choice of contractors, often obliging such companies to engage the same contractors. Mining corporations have a certain responsibility in terms of regional development. And this Canadian mining company is no exception.
While prequalification provides a theoretical picture of a contractor’s practices, management had a hard time consulting their backgrounds to see which ones had met expectations during a prior project. They also wanted to make sure that a contractor who had been eliminated due to poor performance would not be rehired by another department.
Management therefore wanted an automated process for quickly comparing theory to practice and efficiently consolidating information to make sure they always did business with the top contractors.
Defining and implementing a clear procedure was critical in order to properly support the evaluation process. As such, an evaluation is completed for each task as well as on an annual basis to assess the contractor’s overall performance.
Contractor evaluations are now conducted electronically.
Using a single form, the manager answers pre-defined questions based on their company’s criteria. Comments can be added to clarify certain points.
A score, calculated based on the average of all periodic and annual evaluations, is generated automatically to determine the contractor’s overall performance.
Already a Cognibox user for its contractor qualification process, this mining company added a new functionality—the Performance Evaluation (PE) module. Using this module, the company can systematically evaluate its contractors after each task, thereby closing the loop on its contractor management process. This information is available in real time both to the contractor and to the company’s other stakeholders.
Evaluate different aspects of contractor performance, including service quality, OHS adherence and submission of required documents
Track a contractor’s progress (or the opposite) from one project to another
Access a contractor’s performance history
Consolidate contractor evaluations in the same location and make them accessible to all company stakeholders
Enhance annual or semi-annual contractor meetings by having facts on hand to objectively address performance shortfalls
Obtain a clear overview of aspects requiring improvement by a contractor
Provide transparent feedback to a contractor
Recommendation of best practices
In addition to evaluating contractor performance based on the mining company’s HSE guidelines and policies, management decided—in response to recommendations from the Cognibox team—to push the evaluation further and include assessment of other factors such as costs and contractual timelines, recordable vs. worked hours and respect for work environment (cleanliness of premises, etc.).
Performance and Results
These evaluations, linked to a contractor’s profile, give the company a snapshot of the contractor’s quality before, during and after the work, so that it is easier to select the appropriate contractor for a given task:
Objectively evaluate a contractor’s performance using a single electronic questionnaire
Rank contractors to determine which one to hire
Document facts about a contractor’s work performance as a basis for future qualifications and new project assignments
Streamline the number of contractors by prioritizing those with the best performance rating
Save time and money on assigning work
Optimize operations related to contractor management
Provide contractors with constructive and objective feedback
Build a trusting and sustainable business relationship
Beneficial collateral effects
Contractor performance evaluation on the Cognibox platform allowed this company to fully automate its contractor management: qualification, training, task assignment, access control and evaluation.
While the contractors continue to work for other mines, adding the evaluation component has allowed this mining company to address one of the biggest challenges of hiring this type of labour: fostering better adherence and commitment to its culture.
The evaluation process is also a positive exercise for contractors. They are made aware of what areas need improvement and are able to hone their work accordingly and offer better service, thereby increasing their chances of moving to the top of the list and boosting their business volume.