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When you want to buy a new product or service, whom do you trust? The person trying to sell it to you? Or a customer who recommends it highly?

The answer may seem obvious but it’s not always easy to connect prospective customers with your existing happy clients, especially as a B2B business. I have been looking for ways to generate those links, and I think I’ve found a new one.

Each year BigChange attends as many trade exhibitions as we can. It’s a major expense but a worthwhile way to win new business. We recently took a stand at the Facilities Show at Excel London, and were delighted to see many of our existing customers there, either exhibiting or attending.

And then it hit me: why not invite some of our Network Super Users to join the BigChange stand, and demonstrate how we have helped them grow their businesses? What better way to articulate the benefits of our service?

At our next trade show, I hope to have over 50 of our customers joining BigChange at our Network Pavilion. This will be a win/win. They get to talk about their service and show off their brand, and also explain how our technology is helping them to thrive.

A small booth at a commercial trade show can cost up to £10,000. Small companies will enjoy access for a fraction of that amount if they join us.

This is just another way that BigChange is helping its network, and being helped in return. The virtuous circle continues.

We are so committed to our vision of the BigChange Network that we have recruited two amazing new individuals to run the network team. Paul Witter joins us as new Network Managing Director, while Lee Wilkinson joins as our Business Intelligence Director.

The next chapter of our network story is here, and I’m so excited to see what the future brings.

If you would like to join our stand? Get in touch! email

Martin Port
Founder & CEO

Gas Smart Heating has rolled out a high tech mobile workforce system as part of a paperless management system. A specialist in domestic heating and plumbing, Gas Smart Heating Ltd has equipped its field engineers with tablets running jobWatch, a 5 in 1 app supplied by BigChange.

Incorporating vehicle tracking with real time job reporting via the tablets, the system provides Gas Smart Heating with a complete end to end business solution.

With a team of highly trained engineers and headquarters based in Brighton, Gas Smart Heating provides reactive gas and plumbing maintenance including boiler and appliance installation. Formed just 5 years ago the company wanted to introduce the latest technology to underpin further expansion. The BigChange gas engineer job scheduling software has replaced existing software and paper-based systems, eliminating paperwork throughout the business.

Steven Cahalane, Director, Gas Smart Heating says:

“At the start we were only partly automated and crucial details on customers and appointments were simply scribbled on pieces of paper and calendars. As we began to grow and recruit more engineers, we realised we needed a much more professional system. We wanted to be able to match larger service providers such as British Gas and that’s when we started looking for a new system,”

Previously Gas Smart Heating had a system that provided digital job sheets but according to Cahalane it was very much a packaged solution with fixed job worksheets designed for a sole trader.

“Our old system was fine at the start but as we began to recruit more engineers it was clearly not up to the job. What we really wanted was a single system that would do everything. It was clear from the outset that BigChange offered something that fitted the bill exactly.”

In the office, Gas Smart Heating use JobWatch to log incoming calls, schedule work with jobs sent electronically to the assigned engineers’ tablet. With real-time data from the job, the office is always kept in the picture and can quickly resolve any issues – with invoices generally raised on the day of job completion

Cahalane says:

“The thing about BigChange is that it can match the functionality of systems costing hundreds of thousands of pounds used by national utility firms. This allows new independent players like Gas Smart Heating to enter the market and match the levels of service provided by the traditional suppliers,”

Gas Smart Heating Ltd realised that in order to compete effectively with the large national suppliers and to set them apart from their local competitors, customer service was going to be key. JobWatch is being used to provide the best customer interaction possible including immediate email booking confirmations including name and photograph of the assigned engineer.

Operationally, JobWatch has been implemented to provide information on appliances and job history information so engineers have visibility of previous faults and work done. The system also manages stocks and parts purchasing so engineers no longer face delays on jobs waiting on parts. With real time communication with the office, any additional work needed on site can also be quoted and agreed for completion while still onsite.

Cahalane explains:

“The job history and stock management applications with JobWatch have made a big difference. It means first time job completion rates are much better. In turn our engineers are happier as there are fewer frustrating delays waiting for parts and customers are happier as the work gets done first time without the need to arrange another visit,”

Health and safety is a big issue in the service industry and Gas Smart Heating are finding that JobWatch is helping with safety and compliance. Engineers can immediately record any safety issues onsite with supporting time and location stamped photographs. The system also provides onsite risk assessment workflows and electronic certificates.

As part of JobWatch vans are fitted with satellite tracking. Previously engineers were being called to check on their whereabouts but the system has eliminated that by providing email or text ETA alerts to keep the customer informed on the day. Customers are also able to track engineers progress via a link they receive by Gas Smart heating, allowing them to get on with their day without fear of missing the engineer.

Cahalane explains:

“With BigChange we are simply a lot more organised.”

“With satellite tracking data we can ensure engineers are paid accurately for their working day and overtime. Customer service has really benefitted as well – proof of service is very important especially when dealing with the high expectations of consumers. The tracking and live reporting also helps eliminate and resolve disputes, with quick and accurate invoicing that ensures we get paid quickly.”

Cahalane adds:

“In implementing the BigChange system we wanted to get in early with the latest technology and as state-of-the-art professional software it gives us a crucial competitive edge in the market. With JobWatch we are probably 25 percent more efficient; without it we need more office staff and I would be overwhelmed with administration tasks and paperwork. In fact, we simply wouldn’t be able to compete,”

“However, we see the biggest benefits being realised in the future. Because of the flexibility of the system we can configure it to take on contract work that we could not really do before such as insurance-related work. In addition we can expand freely and the system is easily expandable, accessible and relatively affordable.”

Gas smart van

A four-day working week. That is my dream for BigChange. I recently posted my commitment to this goal on this blog – I pledged to get there by 2021.

Thank you to all the people who posted comments and offered advice. There has been a fair amount of scepticism too. This is why I have decided to put my plan into action a little earlier than planned.

From July, we are moving to a 4.5-day working week at BigChange for all employees. It’s a small step in the right direction but one that should pave the way for my vision of a 4-day week.

This decision has not been made lightly. I have been working closely with my talented HR Lead to figure out exactly how this will work, and to avoid any potential issues or confusion.

My colleagues at BigChange will now have the option to work for just half the day on Fridays. They can choose when they take the half-day. Some may decide to take the kids to school in the morning and come in a bit later, with some of the weekend chores already complete. Others may want to leave early and have time in the park with their little ones, or just have some more downtime over the weekend. It’s entirely up to them. However, this is not holiday – if you don’t use it, you lose it. We already give our people 33 days off a year, plus another day off on their BigChange anniversary (and bank holidays too).

For the majority of the people here, Friday is the only day on which the half-day is applicable. The only exception is certain customer-facing departments, such as Road Crew. They will have the option to take a half-day at other times of the week. We already operate a rota system for these teams anyway so it won’t be too hard to factor in some extra time off.

I foresee a major uptick in productivity as a result of this move. Studies have shown again and again that Friday is a ‘tail off’ day for most people. The day they are only operating at half capacity. Interestingly, Tuesday has been shown to be our most productive working day.

At BigChange, people will no longer feel tired and worn out by Friday. They will be able to take better care of themselves, spend more time with family and friends, exercise, and plan most adventurous getaways on the weekend. When they are at work, they will be sharp and even more full of enthusiasm.

BigChange is a technology business. This means that we rely on our brains not our brawn. I don’t need presenteeism to invade our culture. I trust our people to put in the work, do what needs doing, and be responsible for themselves.

I can say this with confidence because every single person at BigChange has been hired because they fit our five pillars. These five qualities underpin our entire organisation: Big on determination; Big on innovation; Being dynamic and Big on service, be the Big difference;

Of course, it helps that we are expanding globally too. As soon we will have our own companies in Asia Pacific and the US operation’s up and running, we’ll be able to divert calls and flip business enquiries to both teams, when required.

So thank you to all the people who have got in touch to ask about my 4-day pledge. You have helped to focus my mind and efforts on this move. I’ll let you all know how it goes, come July.

Martin Port
Founder & CEO

Community Clean has transformed its business by equipping field operatives with tablets connected in real-time to the office to replace paperwork.

As a provider of regeneration, protection and maintenance services, Community Clean is using the mobile workforce system from BigChange to manage operations nationwide. The system, called JobWatch, also automates all back-office functions as part of a complete 5 in 1 solution delivered via the cloud.

Established over 20 years ago and still family-run, Community Clean started as a graffiti removal service for local authorities. From headquarters in Dorset, the company has expanded continually and now services a diversity of sectors such as construction, rail, highways, facilities and housing. Clients include Network Rail, Skanska, Balfour Beatty and BAM and working with Costain, Community Clean helped restore over 40,000sqm of Victorian brickwork during the refurbishment of London Bridge station.

Andy Izzard, Director of Community Clean says:

“Our main focus is to do our best to help regenerate and maintain the environment in which we live in. We see evolution and innovation as things that make us stand out and the IT solution provided by BigChange really has put us ahead of the pack,”

Community Clean’s work is very diverse which adds complexity to managing the business. BigChange has allowed the previous workflow and paperwork systems to be incorporated into a single, integrated system. Using their tablets, field operatives can now instantly see all the relevant project paperwork, health and safety documentation, maps and photos. Previously hand-completed worksheets are now on the tablets and with mandatory health and safety reports, management can ensure that all the right paperwork is complete, first time.

Jody Hayter, Operational Administrator at Community Clean says:

“Gone are the days of mountains of paperwork and all project information is now transferred live, direct from HQ straight to our Operation Teams onsite. The tablets allow instant communication not only internally, but directly to our clients too and project progress can be tracked in real time with latest photos and site updates.”

Prior to the introduction of the BigChange system, Community Clean were using a cumbersome system made up of three separate components as well as spreadsheets according to Clare Branch, HSEQ Manager.

Clare Branch, HSEQ Manager explains:

“What we had was all very clunky and it didn’t accommodate mobile workers. Getting paperwork back and forth to operational teams was onerous and very time consuming with inevitable delays to invoicing.”

Clare continued:

“BigChange makes managing our projects far easier and also cuts down the chasing of paperwork. We are now dealing with more projects, with less staff, in a far more efficient manner and with the data being available instantly, invoicing is done on the same day, improving cash flow.”

“Our sales and marketing team also love the fact that photos and project details are instantly available, making social media posts far more dynamic.”

The system has helped improve health and safety compliance and meet required ISO standards and, according to Branch, Community Clean particularly like having the flexibility to create their own templates and worksheets.

Clare concluded:

“With the diversity and ever changing nature of our work the flexibility of the system means we have ownership of our own internal procedures.”

Sam Lester, Business Executive, Community Clean comments:

“The whole business is now sleeker, quicker and more efficient than ever… but this is only the beginning. With still a lot more functionality yet to come, we can safely say this is one IT investment that is already paying off!”

BigChange has improved scheduling and with vehicle tracking allows Community Clean to monitor all aspects of the fleet including driver performance, fuel and CO2. JobWatch is also used for vehicle checks and to record all vehicle compliance related data for managing FORS.

BigChange community clean team

BigChange, the mobile workforce technology company, today announced that it has appointed Paul Witter as the Managing Director of its groundbreaking Collaboration Network venture.

Witter has a wealth of experience in senior commercial and operational roles gained from 30 years in business, almost two decades of which was in the building services industry. He joins BigChange from engineering firm TECS Group, where he was Managing Director. Previously, Witter managed the hard-services engineering division at industrial services giant Bilfinger.

At BigChange, Witter will be responsible for expanding the company’s Collaboration Network globally, which makes it quicker and easier for organisations to find trusted subcontractors and manage work undertaken on their behalf by third-party partners. The Collaboration Network has attracted more than 100 organisations from the construction, facilities management, building maintenance, electrical contracting, transportation and waste sectors since its launch in April.

Paul Witter, Managing Director of the BigChange Collaboration Network, comments:

“We have seen fantastic uptake of the BigChange Collaboration Network already, with more than 100 companies able to allocate jobs to each other at the touch of a button and gain real-time insight into work done on their behalf by partners. The potential for this is huge, and we are working closely with our early adopters to explore what more we can do to help companies work together to save time, money and significantly improve the service they provide to customers.”

Martin Port, Founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“I’ve worked with Paul for many years and I am delighted to welcome him to BigChange. He is a first class operator and a proven business builder with a wealth of experience and contacts in the sectors that stand to gain most from being part of the BigChange Collaboration Network.”

“This venture is a genuine industry first. We’ve built a platform that enables companies to win more business and share work with subcontractors easily, accelerating the growth of the sharing economy in sectors such as engineering, facilities management and building services. With the BigChange Collaboration Network we are eliminating the paperwork, emails and phone calls that frustrate subcontractor collaboration, and improving standards and operational efficiency in the sectors the economy relies on the most.”

Web developers are critical to the success of BigChange. They create the products that our customers rely on to build their businesses. They are solving problems every day, and working on new ideas and innovations that will ensure the long-term survival of this company.

Isn’t it strange, then, that the people who are building our technology have next-to-no interaction with the customers who will use it?

Back in 2016, my chief technology officer and I were flown over to Las Vegas by Google. The search giant must have spent a large sum on business class flights and hotels. They took us over there to meet the developers behind Google Maps. It was an incredible experience. We explained which APIs (application programming interfaces) we found useful, and what improvements we wanted to see. They couldn’t believe the things we were doing with their technology, or the sheer volume of APIs we were using.

They published a blog about us, which was great for the company

Google is investing in closing the gap between customer and developer and I want to do the same. This is why I am introducing a new initiative at BigChange – our very own ‘meet the developer’ event. Every six months, I will create an opportunity for our super users to come and meet the people who are building our platform.

For the developers, it will give invaluable insight into what they should prioritise, and should spark some great ideas on how to improve our product even further.

For the customers, it is an opportunity for them to see, firsthand, the caliber of our development team. It will also help us to drive home the fact the entire company is working for their benefit.

Customers can be demanding, as they should be. It can be frustrating to make a request and receive an IT ticket – you can feel as though your emails are just going into a black hole. Especially if you don’t see results straight away. I’m hoping that these developer days will humanise the process – our clients will see that there are real people at the other end of the ticketing system.

By connecting every person in our business directly to the customer, my people will be able to see the big picture. I don’t want any of the BigChange teams to be so focused on an app or issue that they lose sight of the users who need it – like a mechanic who spends so much time looking under the bonnet that they forget to drive the car. It’s another step in my plan to keep me and my colleagues here at BigChange completely engaged and focused on the customer. Wish us luck.

Martin Port
Founder & CEO

Many factors can impact the success of your staff in the field and how your customers respond to the service visit.

As we addressed in previous blogs; customer satisfaction and technician productivity directly impact the profitability of service providers. To best improve customer satisfaction and technician productivity it is vital to integrate a smart scheduling functionality, such as those available through JobWatch by BigChange, into your mobile service workforce.

Building customer loyalty and a motivated staff dictate the long-term success of a business. When your customers are happy and your team is dedicated and qualified for the job at hand, your bottom line sees the reward. With the implementation of a smart scheduling system, such as JobWatch by BigChange, your back office can better dispatch technicians, organise appointments and keep customers in the loop with ease.

Building an accurate schedule to accomplish this goal can be a huge challenge on operational managers, with an integrated smart scheduling system, this worry can become a thing of the past.

What defines ‘Smart Scheduling’?

Intelligent or so-called ‘smart scheduling systems enable the back office and the mobile workforce a clear channel of communication to deploy the best-qualified technician, tradesman, salesperson or estimator to a specific location or service appointment. Smart scheduling systems, such as the comprehensive mobile workforce management software, JobWatch by BigChange takes into account skills, product-knowledge, territories and proximity and instantly provides a list of qualified personnel able to be dispatched to any location with the click of a button.

Smart scheduling functionality, often through a broader job management or mobile workforce management system helps utilise driver tracking data and staff skills to deploy the best person for any job. By simplifying the dispatching process, customers receive better service personalised to their specific needs and, through the use of an integrated system, can also provide service technicians all the information essential to meeting any service requirement- from inventory and mandatory safety workflows to instant invoicing and customer history reports.

How does this provide added value to your business?

Smart scheduling functionality, such as those included in JobWatch, the comprehensive mobile workforce management platform, guides you to the perfect resource for each job.

Smart scheduling systems rely upon a number of factors in order to accurately dispatch and organise the best technician for any service request. These include:

  • Real-time resource location
  • live-traffic information
  • job constraints (such as skills or qualifications)
  • Type of vehicle
  • Inventory
  • Detailed service information
  • Customer history and requirements

The implementation of a smart scheduling system allows your business to respond faster and optimises travel distance. In practice, Field service companies can improve their productivity by approximately 68% and decrease their scheduling costs by 15% with the integration of a smart scheduling system.

Smart scheduling also gives employees an easy way to organise and view their working schedules by using mobile applications, which provide an interactive and accessible way to view changes to their schedule. Through these apps, employees can set their preferences on working availability, choosing their most optimal times of work, as well as view schedules, receive notifications of changes, send alerts, offer and accept additional shifts, and even request time off.”

The use of comprehensive job management systems with smart scheduling functionality can provide lower costs, faster resource deployment and less speeding (as jobs are spaced out properly) to the benefit of your customers. With the use of a smart scheduling system, you can turn idle time into working time while boosting responsiveness to improve customer satisfaction.

JobWatch by BigChange gives you all the features you need:

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage and monitor many of the most significant factors driving customer satisfaction. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service requests to optimise your team’s strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel. Using advanced smart scheduling technology, JobWatch by BigChange can optimise your business, improving technician response times and productivity by over 10%.

Through the use of an integrated Mobile Workforce Management platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance.

By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve productivity, collaboration and customer retention.

To learn more about how JobWatch by BigChange can help you plan, manage, schedule and organise your business click Here.

From large plumbing businesses with expansive fleets of vehicles and technicians to; smaller, growing ventures with a handful of drivers and just a few customers.

Everyone gains from systems which better organise regular and reactive service visits, simplify driver dispatching & smart scheduling and create accurate and real-time invoices with ease.

Within the Plumbing & HVAC sectors, the ability to remotely view detailed service histories and automatically assign mobile contractors is essential to enhancing customer satisfaction and retention. Through the implementation of a comprehensive Mobile Workforce Management System, like JobWatch by BigChange, your plumbing or HVAC business can facilitate seamless collaboration between mobile engineers, back office staff and customers.

Why do plumbers need a mobile workforce management system?

A Mobile Workforce Management platform, such as JobWatch by BigChange integrates all basic CRM functions with many new and innovative features aimed at saving your back office time and money. With the ability to link field technicians with back office staff and a customer portal seamlessly through the cloud, MWM systems can revolutionise how you do business while providing your customers with a complete picture of their service relationship.

Whereas most off the shelf CRM (customer relationship management) systems typically provide only barebones customer information and basic service details, a fully optimised Mobile Workforce Management system like JobWatch by BigChange can use this service data to instantly produce quotes and invoices, update comprehensive service and customer histories and provide real-time driver updates while demanding mandatory safety and systems protocols are followed 100% of the time.

Additionally, via the improved transparency and collaboration features of an MWM system, many aspects of operations such as; inventory, invoicing, driver tracking and full CRM can be centralised into one, easily accessible location.

What are the most important features of the Mobile Workforce Management system?

Within the Plumbing and HVAC sectors, an MWM system, like JobWatch by BigChange can provide significant ROI by

  • Ensuring mandatory safety workflow are followed 100% of the time
  • Increase first-time fix rate (insert a link to blog) via smart scheduling
  • Sync financial data with ease, creating instant invoices and Sage/ Xero compatible data
  • Improve Smart Scheduling with the use of a comprehensive driver tracking system
  • Organise customer & service history data within the mobile CRM

As we have discussed in previous blogs (insert a link to MWM & CRM blogs) MWM enables an array of mobile service engineers to communicate, collaborate and follow mandatory workflows dictated by the back office. An MWM system, like JobWatch by BigChange, often contains any or all of the below features.

  • Create schedules for mobile employees and back office staff
  • Dispatch mobile employees to new jobs, with access to service histories
  • Two-way communication between mobile employees and back office in real-time
  • Perform capacity planning for high-volume or low-volume periods
  • Track employees en route to different jobs to facilitate smart scheduling
  • Log job start, completion and travel time to track driver behaviour
  • Track average length of service engagements and complications which may arise
  • Track employee performance
  • Include a CRM or other system of record to streamline operations

What do the customers say?

Within the plumbing and HVAC sectors, there are countless which may bring a business to switch to an all-in-one MWM system, like JobWatch from BigChange. Here’s what some of our customers have to say:

“The Biggest benefits have been the automatic email reporting.JourneyWatch has saved us time, money and improved driver behaviour.” – Jane Bexton, Office Manager, Cool Repair

“BigChange is a true end to end solution with everything completely integrated so we can work fast and efficiently; no more paper, no more data entry, fewer customer queries and quicker invoicing.” – Caroline Bigg, Finance Director, CleanSafe

“Going with BigChange has improved our professionalism and efficiency. we always know where our engineers are so we can inform our customers. Eliminating the need for calling to and from the office.” – Danny Bee, Sales Manager, Service Solutions Ltd

Why should your Plumbing or HVAC business use JobWatch by BigChange?

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables Plumbing and HVAC businesses of all sizes to better manage and plan many of the most pressing factors influencing your business’s success. From centralising financial documents and customer histories to providing detailed driver records and proof of safety compliance JobWatch from BigChange brings all the core functionality of CRM, invoicing, dispatching and scheduling software under one roof.

With JobWatch by BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch planned and reactive service request while optimising your staffs strongest skills to prevent unneeded travel.

Through the use of an integrated MWM platform, such as JobWatch by BigChange mobile technicians can be given access (or restrictions based off back office protocols) to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, through the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system service engineers experience a significant increase in first-time fix rate.

By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve customer satisfaction and retention.

To read more about how JobWatch by BigChange can simplify how your Plumbing or HVAC does business click Here. ( update to the link of sector-specific site)

Many bosses pay lip service to the importance of looking after their people – but often that’s as far as it goes.

It’s easy to say, ‘employees are the lifeblood of my business’ but if you really, truly value your team, and want to ensure your employees are happy, healthy and engaged, you need to work at it.

At BigChange, we invest heavily in the wellbeing of our people. This week, I thought I’d share some of the initiatives that have worked really well for us – many of these strategies are cheap or free, yet we see an incredible response from the people. It’s not just about the great feedback we receive – the numbers speak for themselves: employee retention rates stand at 97%.

Have a huddle

We have a “huddle” twice a month. These informal meetings start at 9am and involve every member of the team; even remote workers out on the road dial in to take part. During these huddles, we talk about how the business is doing, and share any milestones or announcements. This is also where we introduce new hires or work experience people. But our huddles aren’t boring and staid. They are noisy, boisterous affairs, with lots of banter, laughter and applause.

BigChange party huddles
Party hard
As well as our annual Christmas party, we also have a summer party in July. BigChange lays on all the food, drink and entertainment, and it’s a great way to bring people together. We have a small office in France, and we fly over those employees so they can spend time with their UK colleagues.

BigChange Motivational monday
Motivational Monday
On the first Monday of every month, we invite amazing, interesting people who have overcome some kind of challenge, or have faced adversity, to share their stories. Tomorrow, Bob Champion is coming to talk to us about beating cancer and going on to win the Grand National. Everyone in the company is invited to attend, and it’s an incredibly motivating way to start the month. We invest significantly in these monthly events.

BigChange birthday

Everyone gets an extra day off on their work anniversary. It’s just a little gesture that shows people we care.

Fit and healthy folk

It’s really important to me that my team feel well at work. That’s why BigChange pays for a gym membership for all our employees, and brings in a massage therapist twice a month to give head, foot, or back and neck massages. We also encourage people to take a walk at lunch time, and stretch their legs – there’s now a regular walking club. But it’s not all about exercise, we try and help people to eat healthily too, providing fresh fruit and healthy snacks each day, and offering subsidised, calorie-controlled meals to anyone who wants them. That said, we don’t force people to eat like gerbils. Each Friday, we order in Italian for the whole team. If they want to have pizza, they can have pizza!

Stars of the week

People thrive on praise and I like to create opportunities to tell people they’re doing a great job. Each week, employees vote for the person they feel has gone above and beyond at BigChange. There’s no financial incentive. It’s simple recognition of a job well done. You’d be surprised by how much joy our ‘star of the week’ initiative brings to winners. I think it helps that the prize doesn’t come from me, but from their peers.

Employee of the year

At our Christmas party, we announce the Employee of the Year – the person who has contributed the most to the success of the company, and is most appreciated by the team. The winner gets £1,000 and the runner up receives £500, so it’s a nice thing to win. We also award prizes for Department Employee of the Year and Team of the Year. Our most recent Employee of the Year is Joe Goiti. Here’s what he had to say about his win: “With the employee of the year being voted for by colleagues, it really is the proudest moment in my professional life to have won it. I am very fortunate to work alongside such fantastic colleagues and friends who continuously support and push me to do my very best and also to maintain the highest standards possible.”

Family days

Every year, we invite our employees to bring their partners and kids for a fun day out. Last year, we went to Flamingo Land and 100 people came along, this year we are going to Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster. I want BigChange to feel like a big family, so I really enjoy meeting people’s loved ones.

Charity days

This year we’ll give £100,000 to charity. I think that my team really value working for a company that wants to give something back. And now we’re moving beyond donations towards a model whereby employees can give up a day to help a charity and receive a day off in lieu. Today, we went to Living Potential Care Farm, an amazing place where people with disabilities can connect with nature. We planted trees and cleared the ground to make way for a new orchard. It was a fun and worthwhile day out for all of us.

All of these initiatives are for nought if you don’t create a positive culture around them. We let people be themselves at BigChange and embrace all kinds of personalities and quirks. I have an open-door policy, which means that anyone can come and chat to me if they have a question or a comment. And we always promote internally when we can, giving people the chance to grow and flourish. Employee incentives never work in isolation. It’s only when you put all these small efforts together that you create a powerful culture.

I hope you’ve found this post inspiring and useful. If you have come up with some great ways to motivate your people, please share them below.

All the best

Martin Port
Founder & CEO

Throughout the service and transport sectors, a number of seemingly similar and non-intuitive terms have begun to form a modern dictionary of confusing scale and scope.

Is it CRM or FSM? Am I looking for an invoicing and scheduling system or a comprehensive, all-inclusive mobile workforce management system to run and organise my business?

With the mix of terms and functions, features and innovative approaches to running your day to day operations, we thought a short explanation to Mobile Workforce Management could help clear the air.

In this blog, we’ll sift through the haze and attempt to explain how a Mobile Workforce Management System, like JobWatch by BigChange can not only add significant value to your bottom line but bring your business to a new level of transparency and productivity.

What is Mobile Workforce Management?

Mobile Workforce Management is the automation of the entire end-to-end workflow and operations in any of the service or transport sectors. Mobile Workforce Management is also known as Field Service Management, Service Management, Job Scheduling Software and Job Management Software.

Mobile Workforce Management replaces manual planning and paper job forms with intelligent and dynamic electronic scheduling, making it easy to schedule for multiple mobile workers or resources at the same time.

In addition, Mobile Workforce Management means that mobile workers receive their jobs instantly out in the field on smartphones using native Android or iOS mobile apps. Lengthy and laborious job forms are no longer required – customised workflows are completed on the mobile device, and the job can be completed instantly in the field, allowing the customer to be invoiced immediately.

Why so many names for the same thing?

There are two prime reasons for the seemingly endless interchange of names ‘defining’ the array of CRM based technologies currently on the market; chiefly functionality & company branding.

Expanded functionality combined with the growing tool-box of mobile, and desktop-based service management platforms have caused a degree of mass confusion, and distinct systems overlap creating a dizzying collection of product and service names.

From Field Service Management, Job Scheduling Software, Service Management platforms and Job Management Software to integrated CRM’s and all in one platforms, the names and subtle nuances can be confusing to even the most refined eye.

What Makes Mobile Workforce Management different?

In practice, all of the above terminologies intends to reflect the expansive nature and potentially vital system functions which can simplify your business. What differentiates these various field service management systems from a comprehensive mobile workforce management platform is the ability to:

  • Create schedules for mobile employees and back office staff
  • Dispatch mobile employees to new jobs, with access to service histories
  • Two-way communication between mobile employees and back office in real-time
  • Perform capacity planning for high-volume or low-volume periods
  • Track employees en route to different jobs to facilitate smart scheduling
  • Log job start, completion and travel time to track driver behaviour
  • Track average length of service engagements and complications which may arise
  • Track employee performance
  • Connect with a CRM or other system of record to streamline operations

Mobile Workforce Management systems often incorporate a number of existing tracking, invoicing, and customer relationship management (CRM) processes with a cloud-based element which previously was not fully integrated within a business’s CRM platform.

Recent research from Forrester suggests “the global mobile workforce management market is expected to grow with approximately 13% CAGR during the forecast period from 2017-2023.”

CRM vs Mobile Workforce Management platform

In simplest terms, a Mobile Workforce Management platform, such as JobWatch by BigChange integrates all basic CRM functions, with the ability to link field technicians with back office staff and a customer portal seamlessly through the cloud.

Whereas most off the shelf CRM typically provides the barebones customer information and basic service details, a fully optimised Mobile Workforce Management system like JobWatch by BigChange can use this service data to instantly form invoices, update comprehensive service and customer histories and provide real-time driver updates while demanding mandatory safety and systems protocols are followed 100% of the time.

Why now? What is driving the rise of Mobile Workforce Management solutions?

“Rising popularity of mobile devices, better network connectivity and expansion of the scale of operations in organisations have increased the demand for mobile workforce management and related technology. Small and medium level enterprises utilise these technologies extensively due to the majority of the personnel being in the field and a need to monitor and aid them in carrying out their activities with minimal resources.”

Recent studies have indicates that by 2020 in the U.S. alone, the number of mobile workers will increase to 105 million. Concurrently, the falling prices of tablets and smartphones, as well as the growth of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend in the workplace have caused a noticeable push to bring these mobile elements into the company purview.

Additionally, the “latest innovations in computing and mobile broadband technology are the key drivers for the growth of the mobile workforce management market. As mobile ownership is increasing, more companies are adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies which have many advantages like employees can use devices they are familiar with and work flexible hours which increases productivity and companies can save the cost on hardware.”

Key Stats

With an effective Mobile Workforce Management platform, like JobWatch by BigChange your company can expect:

  • 10% reduction in fuel costs
  • 8 hours of saved admin time, per mobile worker per month
  • 10 hours of road time saved by each mobile worker per month
  • 4 additional jobs completed per service vehicle per month
  • 0 failed jobs
  • Allows for real-time customer portal and live SMS updates

JobWatch by BigChange brings it all together

BigChange’s 5-in-1 Mobile Workforce Management platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage many of the most significant factors driving business success. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service request to optimise your staffs strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel.

Through the use of an integrated platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile Workforce Management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance. By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve First-Time Fix Rate.

To read more about how mobile workforce management software can save you money click HereHere & Here

My working week is demanding. I wake at 5am to get through all my urgent emails before the office opens, and I now work five and half days a week.

As managing director of BigChange, I also have to attend a lot of meetings, which take up a lot of time. Despite all this, I have decided to throw two new distractions into the mix.

I have become a member of a local charity and was recently voted on to its executive. Two weeks ago, we also got a nine-week-old golden retriever puppy. I can’t tell you how much these two developments have impacted my life. I thought I was pressed for time before….

The puppy

For the past couple of years, we have been looking after guide dogs. We typically have them for up to four weeks, and then they go to a new home. But then we were boarding a golden retriever called Taffy and loved him so much that we decided we wanted one of our own. Three out of four of our kids have moved out the house; Joseph is still at home, and Mandy and I so we decided Brodie would fit in well, and to help me train for the marathon. I’m hoping all those dog walks will improve my fitness.

BigChange distraction Puppy

For the first couple of weeks – before Brodie had all his jabs – he was at home all the time. It’s full on from 7am to 11pm. I can’t check my emails in the room I usually use because I’ll wake the puppy. And if I keep my laptop charging in there, he will chew the cable. It’s a complete change of pace and lifestyle for me.

The charity

A while ago, I blogged about my plans to get more involved with charitable organisations and to help them operate more like businesses It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this, and I’m determined to help the charity to achieve big things. But the first time I got an email about a project, I got quite emotional. This organisation, like many charities, is run so differently from a for-profit.

The puppy and the charity have both forced me to re-evaluate my working week. Both threaten to take up all my time, if I let things get out of control. Luckily, Mandy loves Brodie and takes him when I’m maxed out. But he forces me to make time for walks, which is important for my health, and gives me valuable thinking time.

I’ve decided not to check any emails from the charity until after 6pm each day. It means I can compartmentalise the work I’m doing for them, and prevents me from being distracted when I’m at BigChange.

Some may think I take on too much but I’ve found that bringing distractions into your life can be so rewarding. I make more time for the things that really need my attention, and having all these different facets to my life brings me balance.

Martin Port
Founder & CEO



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