SA Mines and Energy Journal : February-March 2010
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL 34 MEMBER NEWS Survey trail-blazers OAMPS has it covered Innovation and cutting-edge technology have helped Lester Franks expand its business. "You don't grow from a small city in northern Tasmania to become a national and international player without having a few tricks up your sleeve, " says Managing Director Malcolm Lester. As an example, he explains how in 2001 a colleague sent him a copy of a US magazine article which described how a laser scanning device had been used in the making of the film Starship Troopers. His curiousity piqued, Mr Lester sent an email to the company mentioned in the article. Despite being shocked when told the cost of the device, he convinced Lester Franks to sponsor an honours student to research the technology. As a result, the company was one of the first in Australia to buy into 3D laser scanning for mining and stockpile applications. Adelaide-based Director Trevor Grant (pictured) is now also enthusiastic about this technology. "We can survey 6000 points per second -- it's incredible how much detail we can pick up in a very short time, "he says. "Clients love it because it reduces downtime, improves accuracy and enhances safety. " Lester Franks also has an impressive line-up of robotic survey and GPS gear, a fleet of late-model 4WDs, and special laser equipment that can align and level base plates and rollers to a hundredth of a millimetre. It takes on a range of tasks in industrial and mining settings, from routine stockpile and engineering surveys, to 3D modelling of complex plant and title boundary identifications. The company has ISO 9001 quality accreditation and AS4801 safety accreditation. "These systems are in the DNA of our business; they prove that we are best practice, " Mr Lester says. In 2004, Lester Franks saw an opportunity to expand into the South Australian market through the acquisition of Todd Alexander Surveyors. "Todds had a great reputation in Adelaide and Port Augusta, and just the right mix of youth and experience in its people, " says Mr Lester. "It was a perfect fit that worked very well. "WeseeSAasoneofthe nation's most prospective growth areas. We are very happy with our position here. " The company has since also expanded into Victoria and Queensland. Oamps Insurance Brokers understands the specific circumstances surrounding the mining industry, especially the need to ensure adequate cover is in place for mining, develop- ment, production, and plant and equipment. Liability insurance and business interruption cover is paramount, as is the need to consider the need for sustainable development, environmental protection and the issues that arise with power, transport and water. Glenn Skelly, a Senior Insurance Broker and Team Leader of the Corporate Broking Team within OAMPS Adelaide, is the appointed relationship manager for SACOME. He says the business can guide mining companies through the insurance clauses that appear in contracts to ensure they do not inadvertently sign documents which may have a detrimental effect on the insurance cover in place. OAMPS started life in 1976 when, as Oil Agents Mutual Provident Society, it was asked to provide an insurance solution for the fuel industry. Today, OAMPS Insurance Brokers is the largest Australian-owned insurance brokerage and, as part of the Wesfarmers Group, its network spans Australia, the UK and New Zealand. It has 30 offices across Australia and houses 60 staff at its Adelaide premises at 168 Greenhill Road, Parkside. "The OAMPS business is built around partnerships, " Mr Skelly says. "Our ability to recognise the exacting and often unique requirements of certain industries sets us apart in today's insurance market. At the same time our commitment to personalised service and continuity of staff ensures we stay ahead of the needs of our clients and continue to improve the service and products we offer. " OAMPS is the only Australian- owned insurance broker accredited to buy direct through Lloyds of London and the only broker to be selected for the Assurex Global broking network. This enables it to secure even hard to-place insurance covers and to negotiate the most competitive premiums. Brokers are equipped to deal with the many questions raised by clients, such as: What are my risks? Which ones can be managed by insurance and which can be controlled by other strategies? What insurance do I need to comply with government and industry regulation? What policies in the global market are the most suitable and best value for money? Am I paying for cover I don't need but lacking the cover I do? Are there insurance products that are better suited to my business? OAMPS offers a wide-ranging service to SACOME members in all areas of insurance and risk management. Members are free to contact Mr Skelly (details in the Service Provider Directory) to discuss any insurance matters.