Cost effective contracting; how Astec Projects benefits from Entropy

With a £40m turnover in 2014, Reading-based Astec Projects has grown rapidly to become one of the UK’s leading property industry finishes and fit-out contractors. Management system standards have played a key part in underpinning Astec’s performance and improving its competitive position, including ISO 9001 (Quality), BS OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health & Safety) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management). Alongside certification to the standards, the company set itself the task of creating a fully integrated management system for all three disciplines. To achieve this goal, Astec introduced Entropy.


As Tim Coles, Health & Safety Manager, explains, “Prior to Entropy we used another web-based management system for our BS OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 systems, but as the company grew, and with the introduction of ISO 9001, we felt we could achieve much greater functionality.”



Coles continues, “Entropy was the only system we found that would fully satisfy the requirements of all three standards. The main benefit is that we have a cohesive solution. In particular, we’re now able to customize our document control requirements to our specific needs and cut down on unnecessary paperwork.” He has also found the auditing and reporting systems in Entropy to be very effective: “The system is accessible anywhere with an internet connection, allowing our managers to complete inspections, audits, accident and incident reports, and address quality issues. It ensures that the information goes to the right people and it monitors compliance.”


Coles continues, “Entropy was the only system we found that would fully satisfy the requirements of all three standards. The main benefit is that we have a cohesive solution. In particular, we’re now able to customize our document control requirements to our specific needs and cut down on unnecessary paperwork.” He has also found the auditing and reporting systems in Entropy to be very effective: “The system is accessible anywhere with an internet connection, allowing our managers to complete inspections, audits, accident and incident reports, and address quality issues. It ensures that the information goes to the right people and it monitors compliance.”


Coles is also impressed with how BSI continues to refine the system – for example, by enabling the latest version to be viewed on mobile tablet devices – further boosting the effectiveness of the firm’s management system standards and saving a great deal of time. “You can also factor in the time saved when our external auditors come to verify our systems, and this includes our clients’ auditors and several other bodies that we need to be members of. Previously, we would spend a couple of days collating the information ready for the audit, but now we just have the system on a screen and can show the auditors what they need.”


Astec’s investment in Entropy has been fully justified, concludes Coles. “We compared it with our previous system and found it had a similar annual running cost, but when you take into consideration the flexibility, time-savings, reduced paperwork and the real cost of printing hard copies, we are getting much more for our money. Entropy is a very practical, cost-effective solution to our needs.”