Engineering excellence; how WM Donald benefits from Entropy

W M Donald provides civil engineering and utilities construction services to public and private sector clients throughout north-east Scotland. Based near Aberdeen, it employs over 60 people and had a turnover of nearly £30m in 2013. Driven primarily by the desire to enhance brand reputation and win contracts, the company is working towards certification to ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and BS OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health & Safety).

Technical Director Ewan Riddoch saw it as a logical step to invest in a solution to help smooth the certification journey. “We were keen to have the right system in place from the get-go, so we wouldn’t have to backtrack later. We also wanted the consistency across procedures that it would provide,” says Riddoch. W M Donald researched several solutions, and Entropy stood out. The directors were impressed by what the system could offer and were reassured by its BSI ownership. “We could be safe in the knowledge that Entropy had been designed from the ground up, with the standards in mind,” he says.

W M Donald uses all five of Entropy’s modules, covering audit and compliance management, risk management, knowledge management, performance management and incident management. The main benefit is the structured framework it provides for sharing knowledge. “We can readily find similar documents across many jobs that we wouldn’t even have tried to find before, as it would have meant searching through hundreds of files,” says Riddoch.

He continues, “What I really like is the way that it can analyze information and spot trends. Say we want to know how many non-conformities we’ve had in a certain period or at a specific site, it’s easy to search for that by date or site, or both. Previously we would have had to trawl through each job file and update spreadsheets.” Increased accountability is another benefit, says Riddoch. “The system generates an action plan for internal audits, with each task allocated to a role or person, and time-limited. That individual receives reminder emails until they sign the task off as completed. This makes policing the actions that come from an audit far easier.” 

Riddoch adds that learning the new system is “pretty straightforward, you should quickly see results”. Looking ahead, he says W M Donald plans to roll out the system from head office to its sites, with remote working facilitated in Entropy’s latest version. He sums up, “Entropy has totally transformed the way we work – it’s not that we didn’t have all this information before, but now it’s all in one place and at our fingertips.”