Granite Le Pelley managing director Pascal Maurice reflects on how joining the Business Improvement Programme, run by Jersey Business, helped his firm to implement changes which have saved time and money, as well as enhancing the company’s agility and competitiveness
‘BUSINESS needs momentum. We knew that to keep growing, we needed to change but we weren’t sure what should change or where to start,’ said Pascal Maurice, of Granite Le Pelle.
In the 12 years that Pascal Maurice, managing director for Granite Le Pelley, has been with the company, it has gone from strength to strength.
As the largest stone company in the Channel Islands, the business is in continual demand. Innovation has been at the heart of this. But Pascal acknowledges that the idea of innovating can be overwhelming, so knowing where to turn for support is crucial to kickstart plans.
In the case of Granite Le Pelley, this starting point came from taking part in Jersey Business’s Business Improvement Programme, which enabled the company to focus on and improve a key process within the business, something which he said was hugely valuable.
Granite Le Pelley had recently taken on a new project, larger and more complex than much of its more typical work. The sudden change in volume of work, in particular the need to produce substantially more paperwork, presented some challenges.
‘For a typical project, we will produce around 50 drawings but, in this case, we created more than 1,000,’ said Pascal. ‘We would normally print the drawings, laminate them and deliver them to the stone mason. If they get lost or need updating, we deliver the new drawing. That worked well up until now but it wasn’t a scalable solution.’
It is fair to say that the construction industry has been slower than many other sectors to adopt digital solutions. According to research from McKinsey in 2016, the industry was among the lowest digitised, contending only with agriculture for the bottom spot.
However, in the seven years since, opportunities have been realised and many construction businesses are questioning how they can use technology to improve their organisations.
When first considering the Business Improvement Programme, Pascal was curious. He certainly was not expecting it to kickstart a chain reaction of innovation which would ultimately set the business on a path to digital transformation.
For Granite Le Pelley, the Business Improvement Programme gave the team time and space to focus on the issues they were encountering, while opening their eyes to the potential solutions.
Rather than manually printing, laminating and delivering drawings for their new project, the business invested in tablets which could receive the drawings and any subsequent changes.
‘The programme really helped us to zero in, giving us a starting point. Suddenly we could see that by making a few changes at the design stage and investing in technology and training, we could become much more efficient,’ Pascal said. ‘We estimate that this has already saved in excess of 500 man hours, and we have been able to apply this thinking to other areas of the business.’
Granite Le Pelley began working with an external developer to help the firm to digitise more processes. The business was also able to set up processes that led to improved data collection, sharing and analysing. This saves the business around four hours a week and has led to a deeper understanding of projects.
‘We have invested significantly in digitisation so far and are already seeing a return in terms of improved efficiency,’ Pascal explained. ‘As well as saving time and money in the long run, we are also able to better adapt to external factors by, for example, working from home. The transformation has made us more agile, competitive and innovative, and we are still very much at the beginning of our journey.
‘I’m extremely proud of the work we have achieved since beginning our digital transformation process and am grateful to Jersey Business for giving us the jump start, and the skills we needed to navigate this successfully.’