Global mining consultant GMC has gone live with a cloud-based business software deployment from NetSuite to serve its roaming employees.

GMC wanted a single standardised system to reduce its significant back office overheads, improve the accuracy of collecting time and expense data from consultants in the field, streamline its invoicing process and get a better overall view of how its consultants and projects are managed.

GMC is using NetSuite financial and ERP apps from the cloud to serve five offices worldwide and their 180 full-time employees and contractors. Over 80 percent of the workforce are consultants who spend 90 percent of their time on assignment in remote mining locations.

NetSuite has replaced a number of different systems, including Sage ACCPAC for inventory, invoicing and financial management; Quicktime's timesheet system for time and expenses, and a spreadsheet-based system. None of these systems were integrated, leading to inconsistent global processes, data inaccuracy, as well as regular delays in the availability of information.

"Our business depends on effective resource management and accurate tracking of time, so having access to timely data that we can easily convert into an invoice is critical for us," said Thomas Hynes, executive general manager of global operations at GMC Global.

He said: "NetSuite enables us to have up-to-date information and visibility globally, which is making a very big difference to our business. We can now report with a level of accuracy and confidence that we didn't have before."

In other recent mining news Rio Tinto has brought in outsourcing firm iGATE Patni to open an innovation centre in Pune, India to support its Mine of the Future programme. Rio Tinto has also just signed a five-year network and security contract with Orange, for WAN services including satellite access and network management.