Bri-Stor Systems

Creating an improvement culture by tapping into the power of data

20,000 inspections completed

£12,000 saved in paper costs

50 photos and rich images captured in every inspection

Bri-Stor Systems: Creating an improvement culture by tapping into the power of data

Fitting out the vehicles needed for some of the UK’s biggest commercial fleets is no easy task. Thousands of customers rely upon Bri-Stor Systems for their ability to design, manufacture, install, and deliver custom fleets of the highest quality. This includes installing racking systems, shelving units, drawer units, and other storage solutions into commercial vans and utes. 

Part of The HEX Group, the Bri-Stor division has become renowned for its world-class approach to innovation and engineering, and the team constantly seeks out opportunities to refine, enhance, and improve its processes. In 2021, Bri-Stor began working with SafetyCulture. 

A digitization project with ambitious goals

Working toward a 2037 carbon-neutrality target, The HEX Group is always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and sustainably. One of their priorities is to eliminate paper waste, a project which became the focus of Bri-Stor Systems Senior Quality Engineer, Adrian Wood, in 2021.

Charged with the on-site management of production quality within Bri-Stor, Adrian immediately saw a need for greater consistency, efficiency, and visibility.

Bri-Stor converts between 7,000 and 8,000 vehicles every year. Each vehicle has defined customer specifications, snag sheets, and quality inspections – all historically logged on paper. Factoring in printing costs at around £1 for every vehicle, those processes created over £7,000 in printing costs and associated paper waste annually. 

“Every time we undertook a new inbound vehicle inspection, a team member was manually walking that report back to the office to report any damages or issues that needed communicating with the dealer. We also have three warranty engineers operating out in the field who had no way of getting their reports in front of the right people when we needed them. There had to be a better way.”

Adrian Wood
Senior Quality Engineer, Bri-Stor Systems

After trialing an alternative system, Adrian was determined to find a cloud-based solution. This included using images, integrated with Smartsheet, automatically sending detailed reports, and enabling multiple users to contribute to an inspection from different devices. He landed on SafetyCulture. 

An improvement movement 

During an initial trial, Bri-Stor rolled out SafetyCulture for 14 staff members to perform highly technical end-of-line final audits on vehicles. Investing heavily in on-site training and enablement, Adrian worked hard to drive cultural change among the team and shift the mindsets of those who were used to working with paper. 

Listening to the team’s feedback, Adrian constantly tinkered with the templates until he created a customized user-friendly version. As a result, his team was able to cut down the time for completion. They integrated Smartsheet to enable customers to see the results and used photos in their audit process to add another layer of visibility for both Bri-Stor and its customers. 

“Our teams take anywhere up to 50 photos per inspection, really getting into the detail of the vehicle. Being able to capture all that data and then manipulate it in a way that means we can see exactly what’s working, and what’s not, means we’re able to continuously learn and improve how we operate.” 

Using analytics and the Smartsheet integration, Adrian began identifying and sharing trends – including using screens on the production walls in the facility. As staff started seeing and using the data, interest rippled throughout Bri-Stor and beyond across The HEX Group. 

“Many departments now use SafetyCulture across Bri-Stor and the Hex Group – we’re now automatically moving data across the organization, giving us better traceability and visibility.”

Adrian Wood
Senior Quality Engineer, Bri-Stor Systems

Beyond quality: expanding SafetyCulture

Alongside the use of SafetyCulture for ISO9001:2015 for quality management and IATF 16949:2016, the certification for automotive quality management, the team has found new and innovative ways to leverage the platform throughout Bri-Stor. 

The Bri-Stor warranty team uses the start and end times on inspections to record job times, with completed inspections automatically sent to their manager. Integrations allow the automatic update of the internal quality concern database, alongside mileage and timesheet monitoring.

During customer enquiries, when the team prototypes a build for the first time, each step is captured using the SafetyCulture platform before being shared and reviewed with a multidisciplinary team. Customer sign-off is captured and exported via PDF direct to the customer email entered in the document. Comprehensive images as part of the inspection give complete visibility of the final result. 

Since starting with SafetyCulture the team has completed more than 20,000 inspections, deep-diving into the data and addressing improvement opportunities throughout the build process. By eliminating paper-based processes, the team has saved around £12,000 in paper costs

Looking forward, the team plans to use SafetyCulture end-to-end within the business for its order monitoring process, and is also looking at the Assets functionality for its machinery within The HEX Group. The team is also keen to use the platform to roll out training for its health and safety needs, including manual handling, noise management, pollution, and more. 

“For me, the greatest gains are definitely the speed, accuracy, and accessibility of the data,” Adrian says.

“We capture it, we analyze it, we measure our outputs to identify what we’re doing well – or not so well! – and we learn from it. It creates a continuous improvement state where we’re constantly adapting. And there’s still so much opportunity to keep automating how we work to make processes smoother and efficient.”

Adrian Wood
Senior Quality Engineer, Bri-Stor Systems

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