South32 Increases
Project Controls Efficiency
and Improves Data Quality

South32 is a globally diversified mining and metals company producing bauxite, alumina, aluminum, metallurgical coal, manganese, nickel, silver, lead and zinc in Australia, Southern Africa and South America. Its purpose is to make a difference in the world by developing natural resources, improving people’s lives now and in the future.




Perth, Western Australia


  • Consistency and transparency
  • Increased efficiency and improved data quality
  • Time savings for teams
  • Data analysis and advisory mindset
  • Increased project management maturity level
  • Data integrity and trustworthy calculations


The Challenge

As a large-scale owner, South32 manages a portfolio of major projects with a high level of project management complexity. They currently have about 30 major projects in various stages including pre-feasibility, feasibility and execution. Collectively, these projects exceed $2 billion AUD.

Formerly, their portfolio of projects aggregated data from finance systems into Microsoft Excel leading to an inconsistent approach to cost control and data integrity issues. Delivering projects in multiple locations and across continents, South 32 needed consistency across their portfolio.

Additionally, they were looking to minimize the project controls team’s amount of time and effort spent collecting and validating project data so they could spend that time providing value-added analysis activities.

The company knew they needed a better project cost controls solution to assist in standardizing their approach while providing consistency, collaboration and transparency for all of their projects globally.


The Solution

South32 began looking for a cost control system that could provide:

  • Standardization
  • A consistent approach to cost control
  • Improved data integrity
  • Enhanced project reporting
  • Better collaboration and communication

The team needed to tighten up its projects’ cost, progress, time-phasing and planning, which were key problems. It was also important to find a solution that had been in the market for some time and one that industry professionals had experience using.

Brian Handy, Project Services Manager at South32 said, “It’s important when you’re implementing a cost control system, because it reduces the amount of training that needs to be done and the learning curve is a lot easier.”

South32 chose to implement Contruent project controls software and is taking advantage of its cost management, engineering management and contracts management capabilities.

Contruent is helping the company reduce the use of spreadsheets, standardize their coding and imports, as well as performing cost control in a consistent way.

It’s a case of having to embark on a digitalisation process for project controls that will take us out of Excel. We needed to make sure we had a system that was the vehicle for that journey…Our role is not reporting. It’s not number-crunching. Our role is higher level than that in terms of analysis.
Brian Handy

Manager for Project Services, South32

The Results

According to Handy, South32 is seeing a number of significant results from their Contruent implementation including:

Improving consistency and transparency. The entire team is using Contruent for their own individual projects, which has led to information flowing freely and without manual intervention in a consistent manner.

Increasing efficiencies and improved data quality. Contruent has minimized spreadsheet usage and manual data validation that just is not feasible for enterprise projects. The quality and integrity of the company’s data is much better now.

Time savings for teams. Because the company’s data is now stored in a centralized location vs. offline spreadsheets, South32 managers and teams are seeing a significant time savings.

Moving to an advisory role and providing data analysis. The South32 team is shifting the perception within the company that project controls simply provides reports. With Contruent, South32 is now moving into an advisory role rather than a reporting one. And with the time savings, there is now bandwidth to provide additional analysis and insights.

Increasing their project management maturity level. Implementing Contruent has allowed the project contol’s
team to level up processes and best practices, which has led to increased project management maturity.