British Gas gives board portal a warm reception
British Gas is the UK’s leading energy supplier, owned by Centrica plc. It has been a customer of Diligent Boards since January 2013. Centrica has been using Diligent since 2010.
The company has several committees and boards that meet regularly, including the main board of British Gas, and the board of the company’s insurance division. The management committee meets weekly while all other meetings are held monthly. Attendees need to
receive and review board papers ahead of each meeting.
Sam Weller is Personal Assistant to Michael Uzielli, Finance Director for British Gas, and one of the people responsible for putting together board papers for the British Gas board. Before using Diligent, the company used paper and email to distribute board packs: “Using paper and email was clunky, and took up a lot of time,” said Sam. “Nobody liked to carry so much paper around with them. The board packs were hefty, and some of the directors who sit on multiple boards had to attend meetings with armfuls of paper. We wanted to reduce the amount they had to carry, as well as making the process of preparing for board meetings more efficient.”
Centrica plc was already using Diligent Boards for its board reports, so it was a natural next step for British Gas to follow suit. The company implemented the new system quickly. Around 75 board and committee members now use Diligent Boards, as well as 12 administrators. The transition was smooth, said Sam: “We stopped using paper packs one week, and started using Diligent the next. The move from paper to digital was really simple.”
Diligent provided full training for the British Gas team, and a dedicated account management team ensured that they had the support needed through the transition. Sam said: “The training was straightforward. The system was so simple to use that I was able to train a colleague over the phone. The real test of whether you’ve understood something is if you’re able to teach someone else. With Diligent that was really easy to do.”
For the administrators responsible for putting together multiple board packs, Diligent Boards saves hours of preparation for each meeting. Sam said: “It’s much more convenient to manage the production of board papers using Diligent Boards. We use a lot less paper and get through fewer printer cartridges now. It’s important to us to use technology to improve how we do things.”
Sam also points to the quality of customer service received from Diligent: “The service from our account manager is excellent. He’s very patient and always answers any questions I have. The customer service is really outstanding.”
Using Diligent Boards means that board and committee members can review board packs instantly and prepare in advance for meetings, said Sam: “Using Diligent Boards means they can have the materials in advance. Even if there are last-minute changes, they will still have the latest updates in time to review them. We don’t have to re-print lots of paper packs, which makes the process much more efficient.”
She concluded: “Diligent’s customer support is really good, the training is simple and straightforward, and the product makes us much more efficient. Overall, it’s a great service.”