How Saint Gobain Ecophon streamlines its operations with digital processes
It began in 2007 with a need to digitalize the management of incident reports. Since then, Saint Gobain Ecophon has created at least one new digital process every year using flexite.
Saint-Gobain Ecophon manufactures and sells acoustic ceilings, wall absorbers and screens that contribute to a good indoor environment.
At the end of 2007, the head of the environmental and health department turned to Thobias Gullerstedt's department that´s responsible for applications and digital systems and expressed a need to digitalize the management of incident reports. Thobias and his colleagues began to search for a digital system for deviation management, primarily for the factory workers, but also for officials.
From paper forms o digital processes
- Following an evaluation of three systems, our choice became the software flexite which had the digital process support we wanted. With flexite we are able to create digital and executable processes, report and handle deviations, save registrations, assign managers and communicate internally via the system, says Thobias Gullerstedt.
Many of Saint Gobain Ecophon's digital processes replace a manual work that was previously handled through paper forms.
- Manual handling not only means an inefficient way of working, it also makes reconciliation and follow-up difficult. With flexite it is easy to quickly find out the status of a case. Has last week’s report been taken care of or what is the current status and who´s responsible, says Thobias Gullerstedt.
How Ecophon works with digital processes in flexite
What began with two processes has now been expanded to include a process library of just over 10 processes.
Some processes, such as the incident reporting process, are completely open to the organization's all sales companies and offices globally. Thobias appreciates the benefits of being able to use open e-services where anyone can report in a web form without having to log into any system. At least half of the Ecophon Group's 800 employees have at least at one occasion reported something via open an e-services or logged in to the system.
- On average, we have built at least one new process every year. The larger and more complicated routines and manual workflows of course take longer to digitalize, for example when we built our incident reporting process. How we work with risk assessment is also quite advanced. This process is used annually in different areas in both the factory and in the office and also contains two flexite processes that are integrated with each other, and an integration with a completely different system, says Thobias.
Another major business process is the advanced Access Management process, which is used to manage the staff's user rights in various systems. What previously required a lot of manual work, headache and extra controls is now handled very smoothly, thanks to a set of rules in flexite. The rules in the process control everything from how permissions should be managed for resources belonging to two different departments, updating of risk matrices, etc.
- The processes do not necessarily have to be large and complex in order to fulfil a large function and benefit in the business, says Thobias and mentions Ecophon's simple but appreciated process for reporting problems in public conference rooms, everything from when a ceiling light has broken down to missing a network cable, etc.
The use of flexite is constantly being expanded
Since the implementation of flexite, more and more departments at Ecophon have digitalized their routines.
The sales department now has several different processes, for example the production of new products. The sales companies can, via flexite, add in requests for new products that they would like to introduce, or suggestions for improvements and changes to existing products. Through flexite you can then evaluate all requests and make cost estimates.
Next up is the HR department who wants to know how they can benefit from flexite and digital processes. - There is a whole group of routines that are about to be digitalized, says Thobias.
The HR department's first process is developed to simplify the handling of requests from managers who need to recruit. In order for a manager to start a recruitment a specification of needs, an evaluation and an approval from senior managers and management group are required. Something that can be unnecessarily slow and prolonged when handled manually via paper and internal mail.
Other examples of workflows that would benefit from being digitalized within the HR department are rehabilitation after sick leave, routines for new employees including access and set-up of accounts, etc.
Easy to compile comparative statistics for reports
Ecophon operates in 14 countries, are represented in another 30 countries and is part of the Saint-Gobain Group. The French owners request statistics both monthly and annually. The statistics relate to everything from risks, incidents, injuries, etc.
- With flexite, it has become much easier to send statistical reports to Group Management. We have access to the information we need, can easily pick out what we want and above all it is comparable figures with the same criteria. We get an overview and a common picture, which we lacked before, says Thobias.
Flexite - a professional supplier with good support
As a sole flexite administrator at the company, Thobias is grateful and satisfied with how reliable flexite is and that he always has received quick response and good help from Flexite over the years. Periodically, he has been in contact with Flexite's support team every week for various errands.
- I am the only one in the company who has attended a flexite training and can create processes. Therefore, I have sometimes ordered finished processes and let Flexite build them for us. It has worked well, says Thobias and continues:
- I am still impressed with how quickly Flexite's business consultant understood our needs when we were to set up our very first process. But despite the fact that Flexite is both quick and helpful, I like that it is so easy to make changes in existing processes and flows yourself.
For anyone looking for a system to digitalize their processes, Thobias recommends finding a supplier that feels right.
- Of course, some functions are important and crucial for the choice of system, but I would like to emphasize the importance of a professional supplier, says Thobias.
The journey of digitalization continues
The company's more than 10 processes will certainly be extended shortly. The implementation of digital processes is not a separate digitalization project, but a part of Ecophon's constant improvement and efficiency improvement work.
The more processes, the greater the need for more integrations also becomes. A natural step in the work of creating more digital and executable processes in flexite will thus be to review the possibilities of creating more integrations to other systems.
- I don´t need to lobby for the need of flexite and digital processes in the business anymore. Nowadays, people from different parts of the business come to me to discuss what opportunities there are to digitalize, says Thobias gratifying.
About Saint-Gobain Ecophon
Saint-Gobain Ecophon develops, manufactures and markets acoustic systems that contribute to a good working environment and to the well-being and performance of people. The promise "A sound effect on people" permeates everything Ecophon does.
Ecophon has about 750 employees, operations in 14 countries and representatives in another 30 countries worldwide. The head office is located in Hyllinge outside Helsingborg. Ecophon is part of the Saint-Gobain Group, one of the world's 100 leading industrial companies.