Over the last many years, Glamstone quarry has been generating aggregates of numerous sizes with an objective of meeting the demand of the engineering as well as construction tasks within a radius of thirty kilometers of Pendle (Ghose and Dhar 394).
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This quarry is until now utilizing old machinery and technologies and, as a result, it only generates 500, 000 tones of aggregates of distinct sizes per year which are supplied in the local market within a radius of thirty kilometers from the quarry.
Because the United Kingdom wide group of quarries has taken over the operations of the Glamstone quarry, the new owners are looking forward to increase the profitability of the quarry in addition to ensuring that the quarry maintains its long-term viability and competitiveness in the volatile global market.
Besides, it aims at modernizing the existing technologies by replacing the outdated technologies with new ones as well as maintaining a good relationship between the local community and the quarry. This paper will attempt to lay down a strategic action plan for the quarry that will provide new directions to the current owners of the quarry.
The core objective of this research proposal is to provide a comprehensive action plan of how to increase the supply of the company’s product to meet the demand in order to increase the profitability of the quarry as well as how to retain its long term viability on the basis of the projected market.
Aggregates are crucial products which are utilized for all civil engineering as well as construction tasks. They are made in array of sizes and they are main materials in construction works.
While taking into consideration the projected market, the action plan proposed in this paper will place more focus on the following underlying elements: technology, machinery, transportation, expansion, environment and local community.
Over the last many years, the technological advancement has played a critical role in bringing critical transformations in consumption and production sectors in the global world. The use of advanced technology has enabled quarries to increase their general output while at the same time minimizing the production costs.
The findings from various studies have indicated that advanced technologies are increasingly being utilized to generate products both in the developed world as well as in developing countries such as Africa and Asia (Swamidass 84). These aggregates are produced in different sizes and are of critical importance in civil engineering as well as construction works.
Due to the ever-rising demand for bridges, roads, business and new residential complexes, modern technologies are required in order to effectively deal with these issues. Glamstone quarry, in particular, has not been able to meet these ever-growing demands because of their continuous reliance on old technologies in the generation of aggregates.
Despite the fact that the introduction of modern technology requires huge capital and high maintenance costs, it is viable in the long run and it can possess the potential to increase profit as well as enhancing the competitiveness of the quarry in the global market. Besides, the production costs are greatly minimized when new technologies are adopted.
The Glamstone quarry requires new machines if desired results are to be expected. The findings of various studies have indicated that new machines have the capacity to increase the general output of the firm in addition to boosting its competitiveness and viability in the volatile global market (Swain 249).
To this effect, modern/new technology will not be of any critical importance if there is absence of new machinery. Presently, Glamstone quarry are employing machinery that are outdated and as such, new machinery needs to be introduced instead of hauling the existing old machinery.
Numerous modern machineries are available in the market that can play an integral role in increasing the profitability of the quarry in addition to maintaining its viability in the global market (Redmond and Romero 56). To this effect, new technology must go hand in hand with new machinery.
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Currently, only a half a million tons are generated by the Glamstone quarry with the strength of 30 employees instead of 0.75 million tones using 30 employees. In essence, the quarry should be generating 2.25 million tones of aggregates annually with the current strength of workers. However, this does not seem realistic as long as the Glamstone quarry continues to rely on the old technology and machinery.
Assuming that this production level is attained, it will not be viable in the long run due to the fact that the current market consumes approximately a half a million tones of aggregates annually and currently, there is a need to expand this market in order to reach the target of one million tons of aggregates per year.
This signifies that the current workforce should be cut down to about 12 or 15 workers and the remaining employees to be given some form of compensation or given new responsibilities. For instance, the remaining employees should undergo training on how to drive new trucks that this study is proposing or given extensive training on marketing related issues such as exploring new markets and attracting new potential customers to the company.
There are various new machines which have been introduced in the market and which can play an integral role in increasing the production and supply of aggregates from the Glamstone quarry (Ghose and Dhar 410). Owing to the fact that this study is proposing for the operations in South quarry, it will be crucial to categorically mention the new machinery plus its utility.
This machine is perceived by many to possess the potential of revitalizing the operations of the quarry. To this effect, this study is proposing a new machine referred to as conveyor. Soon after the South quarry is launched, the biggest problem will be how to transport the generated aggregates into the local market.
The process of modernization entails constructing convey lines from the quarry to the loading line so as to minimize road congestion and undesirable traffic on the single road which is the main medium of transportation. Instead of using traditional belt conveyors, this paper proposes that new pipe conveyors which are currently available in the market and which possess more potential when compared with the traditional belt conveyors.
Besides, conveyor pipe will greatly minimize environmental pollution brought about by dust and noise when transporting aggregates from the quarry to the loading line. Once the aggregates are loaded to conveyor pipe, its belts result into a tubular shape after being folded.
This shape plays a critical role in minimizing any form of contamination or leakage. Moreover, this resultant shape allows the conveyor pipe to run along winding ways and to travel horizontally or vertically and as such it can escape any barrier that may try to deter its movement.
As noted by Scott and Malcolm, conveyor pipes promises transportation in both direction in addition to guaranteeing cleanliness along the path. They will as well minimize the dust emission in the nearby area and reduce the traffic load on the community road (256).
Currently, trucks that possess the loading capacity of 30 tonnes are being used by Glamstone quarry and are not effective in transporting aggregates to the loading point. This has made the quarry operate only within a radius of 30 kilometers. This paper proposes that if advanced Lorries with loading capacity of 50 tones and above are used in carrying the aggregates, the profitability of the quarry will be increased and its viability maintained.
Besides, these new Lorries will have the potential to extend the local market beyond 50 kilometers. The expanded market will bring more customers and business to the quarry and as such, the quarry will increase its production of aggregates to one million tonnes or more per year.
For instance, the nearby redevelopment action plan by the waterside of the adjacent city can have the potential to consume 0.25 million tonnes of aggregates annually. These goals will only be attained efficient services are provided by the quarry as well as meeting the projected market demands.
The operations that are being carried in the South will increase the production of aggregates. However, these operations are faced with various problems such as lack of availability of efficient and reliable transportation. Presently, there is only a single road which criss-crosses the South and North quarries and it is being shared with the local community.
If the quarry decides to rely on this road for its operations the objectives of increasing its profitability as well as maintain its viability in the volatile global market will remain a dream. However, the quarry can decide to use the road by initiating one of the following options: To use conveyor pipes to transport aggregates from the quarry to the loading point.
This project will cost approximately 0.67 million dollars to construct a tunnel that will pass under the road which is estimated to cost 0.54 million dollars. The final option is construct a bridge for the local people and close the road. This project is projected to cost approximately 0.22 million dollars.
By using SWOT analysis in analyzing the above available options, this paper recommends that although the second option is cost effective and most favorable, it is likely to face more opposition from the local community. The first option will be the best due to the fact that the cost incurred by initiating the project will be recovered in future through reducing the cost of protecting the environment as well as minimizing transportation expenses.
Figure 1. Materials transport to a nearby quarry through covered conveyor belts. Source: Roach (27).
It is apparent in the report a comprehensive action plan for Glamstone quarry is needed in order to increase the profitability of the quarry in addition to maintaining its viability in the volatile global market.
Some of the recommended action to be taken by the quarry includes purchasing conveyor pipes that will play a critical in transporting aggregates from the quarry to the loading point. This machine has the potential to reduce environmental pollution as well as minimizing traffic congestion. Other options explored in this report should also be taken into considerations.
Ghose, Ajoy and B. Dhar. Mining: Challenges of the 21st Century. New Delhi: APH Publishing. 2000. Print.
Redmond, Steve and V. Romero. Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference Proceedings. London: SME. 2011. Print.
Roach, Michael. North American Tunnelling 2008 Proceedings. London: SME. 2008. Print.
Scott, Wright and C. Malcolm. Industrial Minerals and Extractive Industry Geology. London: Geological Society. 2002. Print.
Swain, Anup. Mechanical Operations. Noida: Tata McGraw-hill Education. 2011. Print.
Swamidass, Paul. Encyclopedia of Production and Manufacturing Management. New York: Springer. 2000. Print.