Building materials distributor Saint-Gobain has signed a deal with Cognizant to help it complete a critical business transformation programme.

The UK and Ireland branch of Saint-Gobain is attempting to revamp its business processes, and improve competitiveness and customer service.

As part of the deal, Cognizant says it will use "best practices across 18 representative Saint-Gobain UK brands, identify areas of improvement,unlock operational synergies, and define a blueprint for the future of critical processes".

Chris Kenward, finance director of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK and Ireland, said the work would cover "900 branches"of its business and "harmonise" business processes.

Cognizant’s existing relationship with Saint-Gobain began in 2006, when Cognizant was selected to run the accounts payable processes for the national payments centre of Jewson, a major subsidiary of the company.

In other recent business transformation news, airports owner BAA said it will invest £121 million overhauling IT at Heathrow Airport over the next three years. Under the IT programme, BAA plans to deliver a number of sub-programmes, which include an implementation of the Oracle E-Business Suite and delivering a real-time airport integrated management system for Heathrow Airport.