Managing Mining Intelligence – the SAMSSA Solution – by Dick DeStefano (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal -September 2014)

Dick DeStefano is the Executive Director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association  (SAMSSA).  This column was originally published in the September 2014 issue of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal.

When the Sudbury Area Mining Supply & Service Association (SAMSSA) was created in 2003 the founding fathers were looking for something of added value to assist member companies in improving their markets and business opportunities.

The idea of just having an association focused on a social environment offering coffee club meetings and the odd golf tournament and even a hard cover catalogue with direct mailing didn’t meet their needs in a rapidly growing digital age.

One of the most common comments was that the proliferation of industry news and global markets analyses was becoming overwhelming, contradictory and almost impossible to manage. In the process of developing this new service SAMSSA outlined its mandate which stated:

Mission – “Provide the most innovative and highest quality mining supply/products/services for domestic and worldwide markets.”


• Maximize sales opportunities domestically and globally
• Utilize on-site visits and virtual channels to actively promote SAMSSA members in active mining centers.
• Encourage members to develop product and service enhancements through continual research and development.
• Provide a “one-stop-shop” for mining and related clients.
• Develop a comprehensive digital catalogue of member suppliers/products and services for worldwide distribution.
• Encourage members to attend at least two trade shows per year.
• Provide relevant educational opportunities to all members which will improve their understanding of exporting their product/services globally.
• Provide a multilingual and interactive web site for members and global and domestic customers
• Utilize partnerships and other agencies to assist and encourage awareness of SAMSSA

One of the most strategic priorities of SAMSSA has been providing relevant educational/business opportunities within the most powerful digital environment ever available and the development of appropriate mechanisms and formats to keep our members informed on a daily basis.

One can’t ignore the power of print and the in-depth journalistic reporting that impact the digital age.
Currently, SAMSSA has access to multiple northern newspapers. Northern Ontario Business News (N.O.B), Northern Life and the Sun Media chain in Northern Ontario do an excellent job not only writing about mining issues but adding video clips that provide full interviews.

The Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal is a quarterly magazine that captures stories and profiles of companies and events especially focused on the supply and service industry in Northern Ontario for global markets. It recruits member companies to submit their own story ideas for review by Editor Norm Tollinsky.

Added to these news sources is the coverage from 14 mining magazines that are delivered to our office monthly containing a wide range of global insights into the industry.

Every morning five days a week the SAMSSA office also reviews 23 news feed sources to review stories and trends selecting at least two releases a day for exclusive emails to its members. The SAMSSA News Updates have become our own blog. The stories in this past month covered new mine openings in Ontario, a new Sudbury business startup CoverGalls Workware (women’s mining clothing), an endorsement of two Trade Shows (one in Sudbury in September and the other in Toronto in October) and daily tracking of stories on commodities to mention only a very few.

One of our best sources on the Ring of Fire and Native rights must go to the award winning blogger Stan Sudol of www.republicofmining. His blog has been a major source of in-depth stories on all mining issues and has been very supportive of SAMSSA members.

SAMSSA “tweets” under the tag Dick DeStefano and uses other digital avenues such as LINKEDIN with over 500+ contacts on a daily basis.

The availability of timely and current market intelligence by SAMSSA members has become critical for success through a combination of print and digital information. It must be current, useful, constant and available 24/7 in a digitized global economy.

“ If the first phase of the internet was getting people online and the second phase of the internet was helping people navigate… the third phase of the internet is about producing great information where people can actually spend more time engaged with information, engaged with brands, engaged with writers and things they care about. That’s where we believe the next wave of the internet is going” – Jeff Levick former, president, global advertising and strategy, AOL