Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Skills and People

Maximising your experts’ impact: unleashing business growth in the mining sector

Matt van Pelt
Business Development Manager

This article is one of our favourites from around the web. We've included an excerpt below but do go and read the original!

Original source:
  • June 1, 2023
  • Skills and People

For Mining Equipment, Technology, and Services (METS) businesses, the key to efficient after-sales service, maintenance, and equipment commissioning is your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). But, how can you maximise their impact?

Let's take a closer look at the three critical questions you need to ask to unlock this potential.

The HINDSITE platform enables you to fully leverage your SMEs, fuelling growth even when these valuable resources are scarce.

Work through the contents of this blog post with your team. Download the worksheet now!

1. How to Identify Your Subject Matter Experts

Firstly, let's demystify the concept of a Subject Matter Expert. Essentially, a SME is an individual with comprehensive knowledge and deep understanding of a specific area. This person is the go-to source for queries related to their expertise. They are often seasoned professionals, having accumulated their wealth of knowledge over time through training, hands-on experience, and mentorship. 

In your METS company, the SME might not always carry a title reflecting their expertise, as they might serve multiple areas of the organisation. So how do you identify them? Consider the following inquiries:

  • What sectors of the business necessitate specialist knowledge?
    : Geologists in a mining company have specialist knowledge about where to find mineral resources.
  • Are there specific tasks that few can perform without additional training?
    : In the case of high-tech machinery like autonomous haul trucks, only specially trained technicians can perform diagnostics and maintenance tasks.
  • In a particular domain, who is the first person you approach with questions?
    : The product manager would likely be the first point of contact for questions about product specifications or regulations in an organisation that manufactures mining safety equipment.
  • When onboarding a new team member, to whom are they directed for guidance?
    : In a maintenance team, the senior engineer might be tasked with onboarding and guiding new engineers on protocols, safety procedures, and best practices.

2. Assessing If You Have Enough SMEs

Once you've identified your SMEs, the next question is whether their number is sufficient. The answer depends on your business needs. In a perfect world, you'd have an SME for every critical role. However, most companies are grappling with a skills shortage. To assess adequacy, contemplate the following:

  • Do your SMEs have a backlog of annual leave because they are indispensable to daily operations?
    : If a principal mining engineer can't take vacation time because they're the only person capable of approving excavation plans, this indicates an SME shortage.
  • Are there signs that your SMEs are at risk of burnout, such as tackling mundane tasks, frequent travel, or receiving numerous after-hours inquiries?
    : A field service technician constantly travelling to different sites for equipment repairs might suggest you need more SMEs in this area.
  • Can your SMEs disconnect during their time off, or do you still require their assistance?
    : If your top drilling expert is frequently called for advice during their personal time, it indicates an over-reliance on this SME.
  • Would your customers or end-users experience service disruption if an SME left?
    : If the sudden illness of your only hydraulic systems specialist would cause significant delays in maintenance services, it's clear that more SMEs are needed in this domain.

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, it's time to consider how HINDSITE can help diversify and strengthen your team's skills. What substantial risks would your business face if one or more of your SMEs resigned today?

3. Optimising Your SMEs impact

A single SME can only do so much. The real magic happens when their expertise is made accessible to the entire frontline workforce. HINDSITE helps you streamline processes, ensuring your SMEs' wisdom is maximised across the organisation. By contemplating the following, you can identify areas for improvement:

  • How much time do your SMEs spend travelling to sites, when you could potentially have someone onsite perform the task under their guidance?
    : If your top geologist spends a lot of time travelling to different sites for soil sampling when site operators could do the task under their remote guidance, you're not maximising your SMEs.
  • How often are your SMEs completing low-value tasks due to a lack of upskilled staff?
    : If your senior metallurgist is spending a significant amount of time preparing routine mineral analysis reports, it may be time to train other staff to take on these tasks.
  • Could some basic troubleshooting be automated to free your SMEs for higher-value tasks?
    : If your lead technician is constantly called upon to fix minor mechanical issues that could be handled by an automated diagnostic system, there's room for optimising SME usage.

Reflecting on these questions can lead to increased efficiency, a happier team, and better utilisation of your SMEs.


SMEs are crucial to METS businesses. However, their expertise is often underutilised, they may feel overworked, and replacements are hard to find when these experts leave.

With the HINDSITE platform, you can not only tackle these challenges but also drive growth. The platform's power lies in its ability to maximise the impact of your SMEs, leading to increased revenues, reduced staff turnover, and lower costs.

Ready to unleash your business growth? Request a demo of the HINDSITE platform or get in touch with our team today for more information. Remember, you might not be able to clone your SMEs, but with HINDSITE, you can certainly amplify their impact.

Read the full article by

Ready to scale your know-how?

HINDSITE gives your frontline Guided Work Instructions to standardise a high level of service. This allows OEMs to scale operations and compete based on service delivery without additional resources.

Let us know how we can reach you and we'll give you a ring to explore whether HINDSITE is the right fit for your team.