Taking the Gold Standard Journey

Pentagon is a leading UK based chemical manufacturer of organic intermediates for use in the life science, petrochemical, and speciality chemicals markets. It is privately owned and employs around 200 people in its two sites in Halebank and Workington, which are ISO 9001 and 14001 accredited.

From new product introductions to commercial manufacture Pentagon operates a multi-disciplinary product team approach to drive its continuous improvement culture. In addition to ensuring full compliance with customer requirements on on-time in-full deliveries and quality the teams focus on key areas to improve such as throughput enhancement via cycle time reduction and increased batch size, waste minimisation and solvent recycle.

Chemical businesses operate in an increasingly competitive and highly regulated environment. For UK chemical businesses such as Pentagon to operate safely, efficiently and compete globally, their workforce needs to be ‘skilled’ – from senior managers and chemical engineers to production managers and technicians, and maintenance staff.  Staff trained and skilled in business improvement techniques, efficient use of energy and resources and health and safety compliance means meeting regulatory requirements but also improving business KPIs, attracting and retaining a skilled labour force and safeguarding jobs and the future of a company.

This has meant:

  • Competence Improvement Plan in place including in-house developed competence database with clear records.
  • Business Improvement Techniques and teams in place.
  • NVQ level 3 completed by all shift managers and team leaders.
  • All teams undertaking training, with a minimum of 10 days of training per person per year.
  • Having a full-time training assessor on site.

As a result of this systematic approach to skills’ improvement, a number of benefits have materialised as depicted in the Figure below. These include a change in culture and improved morale, more efficient use of energy and other resources, savings in labour costs and outsourcing and significant quality production efficiency.

According to an independent assessment of the costs and benefits arising to date from this commitment, the Cost Benefit Ratio (CBR) for Pentagon is estimated to be 1:9.53 That means:

For every £1 spent on training by Pentagon, there is a return of £9.53 for the business.

The potential return may be higher than these figures suggest, as these estimates do not take into account sales that may have been/will potentially be generated as a result of these improvements nor the impact of the safeguarded jobs on the whole sector and the economy.

Visit http://www.pentagonchemicals.co.uk/

The Gold Standard has been developed for Industry by Industry as a national framework for continuing professional development (CPD) in the process industries. For more information on the Gold Standard please contact one of our team on 0845 607 0140 or email industry@process.nsacademy.co.uk

Allan Laing - CEO - Pentagon Chemicals

Pentagon Chemicals is one of many companies which is going through the Gold Standard journey, as we see training and competence is a key element of a sustainable business. We have been working with the National Skills Academy to review all aspects of operation to identify areas where our Business Improvement Teams could make the business even more effective and also increase competence to achieve the Gold Standard.