Brickworks Case Study

SSG Insight

Brickworks, a brand of Persimmon homes, recently moved away from paper-based documents and Excel spreadsheets, and have already noticed the benefits of centralising their data


Brickworks and Tileworks are brands that sit within the Persimmon Homes Group, one of the UK’s leading housebuilders. With an ambition to build right, first time, every time, Persimmon are focused on delivering high quality homes. In 2013 there was an increase in industry volume and sourcing certain key building materials was becoming problematic, it was at this point that Persimmon started to think about producing their own bricks and tiles and in 2017 they started to build a new manufacturing facility which now comprises Brickworks and Tileworks. Both brands are entirely focused on supplying to the Group’s house building operations, and in 2022, Brickworks supplied c.53m bricks and Tileworks supplied c.12m tiles.

The need

As key suppliers to the group’s house building operations, both Brickworks and Tileworks are focused on plant reliability, production efficiency and shift operations and resource management. In addition, both sites have the spare capacity to increase production if required, for example the Brickworks could produce c.80 million bricks per annum. However, managing maintenance was a challenge utilising both paper documents and excel. The team found they were spending lots of time on double-entry, with masses of paper to file and folders to manage and maintain. They wanted to find a digital system to streamline all their maintenance and ensure that they could easily access it for audit purposes. Matthew Wride, Maintenance Engineer explained:

“We had lots of paper and excel sheets, and it was very time consuming, we wanted to find a solution that would enhance and streamline our maintenance operations to ensure we were more effective. Plus, having an audit trail online would make it easy when we are audited.”

The solution

Matthew went on to discuss how they chose Agility: “We compared prices of alternative systems, but a key consideration was that one of our plant managers had used Agility before, knew it really well, and had recommended it. Plus, the SSG Insight office is local to us so we knew the team would be close by to support us. We invited the SSG Insight team in and they showed us Agility CMMS. We were really impressed with the solution and in particular the AgilityMobile app and could instantly see how it could support us to go completely paperless which is one of our main aims, as well as the multiple other benefits it could offer our team.

Agility CMMS is a proven system, we were confident it could do what we needed, and we made our decision from there. I’ve got to say I’ve been very impressed by the way the SSG Insight team have implemented the Agility solution so quickly. They have listened to our requirements and have worked with us to set it up, with plenty of training to help us hit the ground running.

It’s early days as we’ve only had the system in place for about 6 months but have already implemented it in the factory with shift leaders all having an Agility and an AgilityMobile account. Already they are seeing the benefits including how it can support them to get the job done, they can see everything that needs doing, share it with their team, and they can come back when it’s complete. Having deliberately phased our rollout of Agility CMMS, we are now thinking about getting all the team mobile devices and Agility mobile licenses so that everyone has the information at their fingertips – saving us even more time and making us even more efficient.”

Matthew went onto share what a difference Agility CMMS has made for the team at Brickworks and Tileworks:

“To put it simply, Agility CMMS has centralised everything for us, it’s all in one place, and saves us flicking through lots of files and things to get what we need. This will pay dividends moving forward when we are audited as it used to take a while to gather all the information, but now we have reports at a click of a button.

We have storage for jobs sheets and compliance, and PPM sheets moving forward, the guys on the shop floor can see the PPMs and have all the jobs there, when we get audited, they can easily pull a report every time.”

Whilst the team have not had Agility CMMS in place for long Matthew explained that he was: “very impressed with the implementation process and the speed of implementation. We’ve worked closely with the team at SSG Insight, we’ve been able to get our data in shape to add to the system, and the implementation has been a smooth process, as has the training. The implementation consultant and our account manager have been great and really supportive, there has been commitment on both sides, and we have worked together extremely well.”

The future

When asked about what next Matthew was keen to share:

“The next step is to further rollout Agility to the wider team, following this we want to look at stock so that we can utilise the Agility inventory functionality for our spares, returning and issuing parts, ensuring critical stock, and more.

The other thing we are looking at are systems integrations with Agility CMMS. We have already integrated with Fletcher Moorland’s Meerkat system, and it has enabled key equipment in our factories to talk to Agility. For example, high temperatures or vibration alarms are linked to Agility and jobs can be automatically created which means that our team leaders have information extremely quickly, straight to their phones telling them that something needs to be actioned. This has saved us a lot of time already and avoided costly issues. We are looking at other systems we could potentially integrate with which may also help us to save valuable time, money, and effort.

We are looking forward to further working with the SSG Insight team and to building our partnership with them, and to maximising our use of the Agility solution to further benefit our organisation.”

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