Leadership Team

Steve Brown

Introduction

In his 11 years with Partners in Performance, Steve has led or participated in nearly 60 improvement engagements and diagnostics in the mining, resources and industrial sectors. Prior to joining, Steve held CEO and GM positions in the chemicals industry. Steve’s expertise lies in engaging Partners in Performance and client resources to conduct fully ‘bought-in’ Diagnostics and then delivering on the opportunities identified in a sustainable way. Benefits delivered by Steve’s engagements exceed US$0.8 billion. Leaving the UK post-MBA in 1994, Steve lived in Australia before moving to South Africa in 2008. His interests include playing the piano, cooking and keeping fit. He is married with two children.

Career snapshot

  • Global gold miner: led diagnostics at four operations (plus regional head office) in four African countries, which identified over $150m of improvement opportunities despite the company’s intensive (and successful) two-year programme to reduce unit production costs. Partners in Performance are currently working with the client to capture this value and drive a programme to move the organisation to operational excellence.
  • Underground hard-rock mine: turned around an out-of-control underground maintenance facility, and increased mine development rate and output. Critical equipment availability was increased by 10%, breakdown rate was halved, labour turnover was dramatically reduced, and a planned maintenance environment was established. Within the mine, a 22% increase in development metres was delivered (with a drill-fleet size reduction of 25%, despite an increased drilling workload per metre advanced).
  • Underground uranium/gold mine: co-led a profit-improvement / cost reduction diagnostic which uncovered and gained management buy-in to a recovery plan to deliver nearly $100m in annual improvement.
  • Global gold miner: led a diagnostic which identified $128m of unit cost reduction opportunities, and $17m regional head office overhead reduction opportunities in two weeks.
  • Coal mining group: oversaw an engagement that delivered a $25m (in the first 12 months) reduction in procured goods and services costs through developing the client’s strategic sourcing skills.
  • Underground coal mine: led improvement teams that delivered an $8m improvement in nine months through increasing wash-plant recovery by 5%, mining output by 19%, and reducing breakdown hours by over 50%. Key tools used were an improvement ideas pipeline, Results Actions Reviews (RARs), daily dashboards, training and coaching.
  • Gold mine 1, West Africa: oversaw a diagnostic that identified and syndicated an over $40m annual cost reduction opportunity. Led the subsequent engagement that delivered cost reduction and efficiency benefits with verified ‘bottom-line’ cash benefit of over $50m in 2011 and a further $40m in 2012.
  • Gold mine 2, West Africa: oversaw a diagnostic that identified and gained management buy-in for an over $15m annual unit cost reduction opportunity. The subsequent engagement delivered on the opportunity and added a 47% increase in tonnes through to an 80% increase in productive truck hours.
  • Gold processing plant, Africa: oversaw engagement that delivered a 15% increase in crushed tonnes, despite a more demanding feedstock, and a 5% increase in milling rate.
  • Gold mine, Africa: supply chain improvements including a 28% increase in staff productivity, reduction in critical stock-outs by 95%, and improved order fulfilment cycle time by 55%.
  • Gold smelter and refinery: oversaw an engagement that delivered a $15m cost reduction and profit improvement pipeline in six months (nine months ahead of schedule), and built a business improvement function that is continuing to deliver further improvement.

Education

Steve holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Cranfield University, a Diploma in Marketing and a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours, Chemical).