Building operational efficiency; how British Gypsum benefits from Entropy

British Gypsum, part of multinational building materials group Saint-Gobain, is the UK’s leading manufacturer of interior lining products, including plaster and plasterboard. Management system standards are central to the business, supporting its strong focus on quality and customer service. It has certifications to ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and, at two plants, BS OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health & Safety).

Driven mainly by a desire to improve operational efficiency, several years ago the company purchased Entropy. As Amanda Nurcombe, Company Quality Systems Manager, explains, “We recognized the need for a system to hold all our knowledge in one place. Prior to using Entropy, information was spread across shared drives.”

Entropy is used by around 100 staff, from senior management to the quality, safety and environment teams and local shift managers. It has a dual purpose, day-to-day on the procedure side, to ensure things are being done correctly, and for audits. “All our internal and external audits are managed in Entropy,” says Amanda. “The audit side more or less runs itself, automatically sending reminder emails, and tracking progress. Before we had Entropy we’d be chasing people constantly. The system saves us three or four working days a month just on the audits.”

The company has seen the biggest benefits since it integrated the modules it was using within Entropy for Environment, Quality and Health & Safety. “We decided to adopt a universal approach and have seen a massive difference in operational efficiency,” says Amanda. “Knowledge sharing and locating data quickly are the chief benefits. Everything is in one place, and everyone can access it.”

Allen Gorringe, Head of Environment, adds that one of the best reasons to have a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution is “you only have to get people trained and competent in one system”. He continues, “You can see at a glance where you’ve got ‘red’ issues, helping you identify where and why things have gone wrong so you can really narrow in on those areas. I don’t think we could live without Entropy now – it’s so integrated into the way we do things and it’s used to generate reports that the business relies on, both internally and externally.”

Working electronically makes documentation quickly and easily accessible, drastically reducing and controlling paperwork. It also ensures that everyone has current versions of documents, rather than out-of-date hard copies. Amanda Nurcombe sums up, “All of these incremental improvements to operational efficiency are vital to our business. For British Gypsum, Entropy has been worth every penny of our investment.”