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    It’s no secret: technology as an industry is predominantly male. As the CEO of a fast-growing technology business with ambitious aims to become the biggest mobile workforce management platform in the world, this is a serious problem.

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    Heavy-lift transport specialist HTF has deployed the latest mobile technology as part of a real-time paperless system that has transformed the business in 6 months.

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    BigChange, the leading mobile workforce management technology company for the service and transport sectors, has appointed Nick Gregory as its new Chief Marketing Officer.

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    25 March 2021 – All across the country, lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease. Families are finally reuniting in parks and gardens. Schools have welcomed back students.

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    Leeds, 01 April 2021 – Skratch AV, one of the UK’s leading innovators in audio video and digital signage, has achieved significant business growth and market prominence since implementing mobile workforce management technology from BigChange.

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    25 March 2021 – Quick question for you. How many flavours of KitKat are there?
    If you think you can count them all on your fingers, starting with the Chunky and adding the odd seasonal “special”, prepare for a shock… It is likely that the number tops 2,000 or more.

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    Leeds, 24 March 2021 – Plant and machinery tracking specialist R&R Direct has seen significant business growth since implementing mobile workforce management technology from BigChange during the pandemic.

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    18 March 2021 – When I was 11 years old, my father would take me to work at his auctions. We travelled all over the UK and the hours were punishing but I never grumbled at the time.

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    Leeds, 18 March 2021 – Heatforce, the Cardiff-based national heating company, has used the latest mobile technology to boost its independent customer service rating by 25 percent in just 6 months.

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    Leeds, 16 March 2021 – When it comes to the digital transformation of public services, Sheffield City Council has taken a pioneering approach to improving how key services are delivered, working in partnership with BigChange.

    BigChange’s cutting-edge mobile workforce system, has already improved the efficiency, compliance and performance of several key services, as well as the day-to-day experience of service users and council employees.

    This report details how Sheffield City Council, working in partnership with BigChange, has transformed how several of its services are delivered:

    • Smart job scheduling and vehicle tracking has improved the efficiency and quality of Sheffield’s Special Educational Needs Transport service, and saved thousands of hours a year.
    • Digitising compliance checks in facilities management has improved coordination of inspection teams and made reporting more manageable in the field. 
    • By employing smarter logistics in social housing maintenance, Sheffield has reduced driving time and CO2 emissions, and achieved a 33% increase in on-time deliveries.
    • By replacing paper-based reporting with a digital solution, Sheffield has made flood-protection inspections faster and more responsive.
    • BigChange helped Sheffield establish an outstanding Covid-19 PPE distribution scheme, enabling a small team to coordinate the delivery of over 20 million PPE items to 500 contacts a month.
    • Sheffield is leading the way in remote workforce management for cleaning services, enabling a team of three people to coordinate and support the activities of 124 cleaners, remotely.

    Click here to read the full report

    Sheffield City Council

    Leeds, 15 March 2021 – You can now assign a priority to your Notes – marking them to show which need to be addressed first – meaning you can focus and get to work on the most pressing tasks first.

    When work piles up, our first instinct can be to get our heads down and crack on, knocking out tasks as they come through. But not all work is equal, and the more effective business has its priorities in order, working to meet the most-pressing needs first.

    BigChange understands this, and wants to make it easier for all businesses to tackle work in the most efficient way. That’s why we’ve added a new function in JobWatch that allows users to prioritise Notes, making it easier and faster to see the most pressing information and to get going.

    This feature lets admins create a set of ‘Note priorities’ for instance, High / Medium / Low or Gold / Silver / Bronze. These priority sets can be customised for the various different departments and note types around your business.

    Administrators can then apply a priority set to a certain type of note in ‘Note types’ and choose which roles can set or change the priority.

    Users can then sort their Notes by priority, to see which need addressing first, or filter so only, say, high-priority notes appear.

    View a step-by-step guide to introducing note prioritisation at your organisation below:

    Prioritisation of Notes is just another way JobWatch can improve productivity and customer service – and give leaders better visibility of business-critical information, fast.

    15 March 2021 – Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockcroft MBE, DL tells BigChange Motivational Monday audience about pushing beyond notions of disability

    Soon after Hannah Cockcroft was born, doctors said her parents shouldn’t expect her to walk, talk, or ever live independently.

    Hannah, 28, is now a five-time Paralympic gold medalist. As a sprint wheelchair racer, she is world record holder in her category for the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1,500m.

    On her journey from her Halifax home to the world stage “Choices over challenge” has been Hannah’s mantra.

    Speaking to BigChange’s Motivational Monday audience, she showed how when faced with a challenge, we always have a choice about our attitude and about how to deal with it.

    That ethos has led to great achievements on and off the track. “I get asked a lot what’s the achievement I’m most proud of,” said Hannah.

    “People presume I’m going to say the MBE or my Paralympic medals. But actually it’s my independence, because it’s a thing my parents never expected.”

    Her worldview switched during a visit to her Secondary School from the GB wheelchair basketball team.

    “I will always remember that day. They were able to do everything in these chairs. These guys really changed my mind about what it meant to be a wheelchair user.

    “It was the day a whole new world was opened up to me.” After years doing homework during PE lessons, or keeping score, Hannah discovered “sport was for me”.

    After trying basketball, wheelchair rugby (“I liked the aggression”) and tennis (“I had no hand-eye coordination at all!”), Hannah found her passion in track sprinting.

    By 17, she was a GB athlete and a world-record holder.

    “That was where I came up against the obstacle of classification. You get a number that means when you line up on the start line you’re racing against people with a similar disability to you.”

    “It started a big challenge, because people started to argue I wasn’t racing a fair race.”

    “That was the first time I’d ever been bullied. When you are surrounded by people like you, disabled people, that’s the last place you expect the word bullying to crop up. But I was told to put my head in a bonfire because it’d make the world a better place.”

    Her first reaction was to ask her coach to send her home. But she chose a different way, and went on to become one of the UK’s greatest athletes.

    Hannah’s inspiring story shows that, although we can’t always choose the challenge that faces us, we can always choose how we meet it.

    Watch the full video here:

    Hannah was joined by Daniel Gray, Chairman of Physcap, a Leeds-based charity, working to improve quality of life for children with physical and mental disabilities across Yorkshire.

    Daniel spoke of the tremendous work the charity does for children, and echoed Hannah’s message of giving every child with a disability hope, will to achieve and determination that nothing will beat them.

    As BigChange’s charity partner of the month, Physcap will receive the £1,250 raised so far to further its incredible cause.

    Next month, we’re excited to welcome Janet Street-Porter, the journalist and broadcaster. Our charity partner is Homeless Street Angels, who provide assistance and resources for the homeless in Leeds. You can donate to Homeless Street Angels here.

    You can join our event here.

    We hope to see you then.

    Leeds, 15 March 2021 – Women make up 16% of the workforce in IT. At BigChange we’re doing better than that, averaging 27%. But we aspire to a 50-50 split. How we can meet this challenge was our focus on International Women’s Day.

    Jo Godsmark – our Chief Operating Officer – was joined by six colleagues from across the business, to share experiences of being a woman in tech – and to reflect on why they are the exception in the industry.

    Self-selection bias was identified as a key issue. Jo called for more and more women to apply. “I genuinely believe all of our recruiting managers want more women and support them in the business,” she said. “But we don’t receive the volume of applications we want.”

    Catriona Faulds, Project Manager in the Customer Success Team, continued: “You feel like you have to meet the whole [job] criteria as a woman, to be a perfectionist, to really outshine yourself to land the role. I feel that you find a different confidence in male candidates, who think they can grow into a role, or step up if selected.”

    “I think you can follow that gendered difference through to discussions about pay rises, promotions and opportunities,” said Jo. “I think sometimes women can be less vocal. We therefore have a great obligation as managers and leaders to design processes that don’t rely on people jostling for position, but instead assess fairly on someone’s worth.”

    Several employees said that the norms of their upbringing were vital to their success.

    “There was a moment where my mum went back into education later in life and it changed the views of me and my sister about what was really achievable,” said Catriona. “She became the breadwinner after university and suddenly the family dynamic changed. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do what I’ve done if I hadn’t seen that.”

    Lubov Krasicova, leader of the Automated Test Team, also saw her childhood as crucial. “In Ukraine we have a communist heritage,” she said. “At that time, a lot of women began to work in technical professions so it was normal. My mother-in-law was a rocket constructor.”

    Solving this problem requires making changes now, to improve things for future generations.

    Erica Donnelly, a Report Developer in Professional Services, said how, “Starting early and having an exposure to the subjects is obviously important. Even though I went to an all-girls school the subjects weren’t gendered, I got to learn about woodwork, soldering, electronics.

    “Later in life, getting women into more powerful roles will provide a role model and an aspiration for younger generations. Knowing you can enter into a role because you have someone who is already there is so powerful.”

    A powerful discussion also identified both being undervalued or joked about, and employers who wouldn’t let them balance work and family, as barriers to women fulfilling their full potential in tech.

    Tansy Sheehy, Customer Service Director, encouraged women to go for it because, “The tech field doesn’t have a criteria you have to fit”.

    You can watch the full discussion here:

    International Women’s Day 2021 comes at a challenging time. While female doctors and heads of state leading the charge against the pandemic have been put in the spotlight, globally, women’s job losses due to Covid-19 were 1.8 times greater than men’s, while mothers were 50% more likely than fathers to have permanently lost or quit their jobs.

    At BigChange we’re proud to promote these conversations, and to set testing goals for ourselves to get more women into tech.

    12th March 2021 – It’s a strange quirk of history that John Doerr isn’t a household name. Technophiles, entrepreneurs and management experts have heard of him, but otherwise he remains relatively obscure. 

    Doerr is a venture capitalist – he backed Google in the early days. But what really makes him interesting is his other contribution to the success of the internet giant – and countless other companies and organisations besides. 

    Doerr introduced Larry Page and Sergey Brin to a system for driving and managing growth that has ultimately led Google to become one of the most valuable companies in the world. 

    He is the promoter of a management methodology called Objectives and Key Results – OKRs for short. Don’t let the bland title fool you: this is the stuff of legend. The full explanation is in Doerr’s book Measure What Matters – which I’ve just finished reading – but here’s the short version. 

    OKRs are a way of focusing the efforts of everyone in your organisation on the same important things that generate growth. The “Objectives” are the goals – achievable yet inspirational. The “Key Results” are how you know you’re making progress towards those goals. These are always number-based, measured regularly, and a combination of short-term and long-term ambitions. 

    Doerr describes OKRs as “a vaccine against fuzzy thinking”. 

    Regular readers of this blog will know that BigChange recently took on a strategic investor, and that we are now on a growth journey that I believe will take us from a valuation of £100m to £1bn. 

    OKRs will be vital in the pursuit of this ambitious goal. 

    • BigChange want to become a global leader in field service management – both in terms of growth and by reputation
    • BigChange want to deliver all our services to customers in a frictionless way
    • Build the BigChange network and empower other businesses to grow

    There are key results associated with each of these goals. Everyone in the management team has their own list of OKRs, and we have processes in place to keep all of us accountable.

    The idea is to distil everything we want to achieve into a structured approach. Don’t make the shopping list too long: the team needs to feel excited and empowered to reach these goals, not overwhelmed.

    Alongside Google, Intel, the Gates Foundation – even U2 – have used OKRs to achieve their goals. It is so humbling to be taking our first steps along this journey. 

    I’ve shared these OKRs with you, so that any other business owners interested in this process can get some insight into our approach. I’d love to hear about your experiences with OKRs too. In a few years, I hope I look back at this post and think, “That was the turning point. The time our growth trajectory reached a new level.”

    Leeds, 11 March 2021 – Facilities management company Nserv has boosted management productivity by 70 per cent after rolling out a new digital system for its direct contract work.

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    4th March 2021 – Diversity in the workplace is a big topic right now and when it comes to gender, racial and cultural diversity, many British companies are committed to making positive change. But there is still one workplace taboo that has yet to be tackled: age bias.

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    Leeds, 04 March 2021 – BigChange’s mobile workforce management technology is helping HRG Tree Surgeons achieve its bold ambition to be one of the UK’s top 100 best business to work for.

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    26 February 2021 – With just a week to go until you announce your Budget, like many business owners, I am worried that a move into austerity might derail the recovery.

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    Leeds, 25 February 2021 – Mobile workforce management technology from BigChange is powering business transformation at one of the UK’s largest generator rental companies.

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    19th February 2021 – They say it’s darkest before the dawn. I think that right now, in the UK, we are at that point, waiting for the sun to rise. Our vaccination programme has surpassed targets.

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    Leeds, 18 February 2021 – Blount Shutters is fixing 9-out-of-10 faults on industrial doors and roller shutters at the first visit following the introduction of the latest mobile workforce technology.

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    Leeds, February 2021 – Kevin Sinfield MBE revealed the caring heart inside a man of iron, as he told February’s Motivational Monday that raising more than £2.5m for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) was a bigger achievement than leading Leeds Rhinos to seven Super League championships.

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    Leeds, February 2021 – BigChange’s new ‘Recurring Job Group Templates’ in JobWatch to simplify workflows and make job creation more efficient than ever.

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    Leeds, 11 February 2021 – If there’s one thing that the last 12 months have taught us, it’s that no company can be successful in isolation. You need your suppliers to be successful, in order to provide the products or services you need, and you need your customers to be successful, in order to keep buying from you.

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    Leeds, 26th January 2021 – Energy metering company Providor has transformed its business with the latest mobile technology to become one of the UK’s primary smart metering companies.

    With the roll-out of a mobile resource management system from Leeds-based BigChange, Providor has replaced a number of systems and eliminated paperwork with the fully digital real-time works and management solution.

    Providor, part of the Sureserve Group, has been working in the field of gas metering since 1998 and has completed well over a million successful installations across the country. With 250 mobile engineers the company installs, maintains and repairs metering systems in domestic and commercial properties for UK energy suppliers including Scottish Power, Octopus, EDF Energy, and E Gas and Electricity.

    In moving into smart metering Providor needed to prepare for increased data capture and digital reporting to meet the stringent performance requirements of the energy majors. Realising that their existing systems were not up to the job to meet their ambitious business expansion plans, the company reviewed the top solutions on offer.

    Luke Harris, Information Systems Manager commented:

    “BigChange stood out from the rest with particularly good job scheduling and an excellent mobile app with digital job cards that would clearly do everything we needed well into the future”.

    The cloud-based solution provides a single platform CRM, Job Scheduling, Mobile App, Vehicle Tracking and Online Portal and this was a key factor in their choice according to Harris.

    “Probably the biggest appeal was that with BigChange we could bring everything together; a single system from order to invoice as a complete end-to-end business system.”

    Smart meters are electronic devices that replace traditional meters recording gas or electricity use, connected wirelessly to utility companies for more accurate monitoring.

    Providor’s engineers complete over 1200 jobs a day using JobWatch, the BigChange mobile app, and there are over 100 other users of the system in customer services and operations, located at the company’s call centre in Elland and head office in Newmarket.

    Running on engineers’ rugged devices, JobWatch eliminates paper reports and provides automated workflows to ensure correct procedures are followed. The electronic job cards ensure the correct data is collected and supported by photographs to provide evidence of work done. A customer portal meanwhile allows customers to access contracts and key information such as meter readings and photographs from each job.

    Luke explained:

    “JobWatch is a ‘compliance dream’ as it gives auditors full visibility of jobs live and it is also fantastic for customer service. Whether a job is successfully completed or not we know exactly what’s going on and can provide instant updates backed by the facts to quickly resolve any issues”.

    He added:

    “Providor is a successful growing business and with BigChange everything is in place to allow us to expand and continually improve our own business performance. It really helps with customer interaction as well and our utility customers are always impressed with the visibility that JobWatch provides – helping them meet their own performance standards”.

    provider dashboard

    Leeds, 08 February 2021 – Northern Catering Equipment, a supplier and installer of commercial catering equipment, is winning seventy per cent more contracts since implementing mobile workforce management technology from BigChange.

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    February 2021 – This week is a big week for me and for the company I founded eight years ago.

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    Leeds, UK, 2 February 2021 – BigChange, the mobile workforce management technology company, today announced that EDF has selected its pioneering JobWatch system to support the delivery of metering and energy services in the UK.

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     28 January 2020 – They say it takes all sorts to make a world. That phrase is often used with negative connotations, to highlight the differences between us. (more…)

    Leeds, 25 January 2021 – BigChange’s bespoke automation for gritting company Saltworks, part of the Works Services group of companies, uses Met Office data to drive efficiency and customer satisfaction. (more…)

    Leeds, 25 January 2021 – It’s almost six months since BigChange University started giving expert advice and guidance, helping users get the most out of JobWatch. Here’s a rundown of the most in-demand courses and how they can help your organisation.

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    25 January 2021 – BigChange has released a new ‘Out of Office’ feature in JobWatch to clear up communication as we work from home.

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    Leeds, 25 January 2021 – In January, BigChange welcomed Benjamin Mee, the conservationist and author of We Bought a Zoo, as its Motivational Monday speaker.

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    Leeds, 25 January 2021 – BigChange University has now been running for half a year, helping customers get to grips with ways JobWatch can benefit their business.

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     21 January 2021 – Like many entrepreneurs, I don’t sleep much. For much of my life, I have lived on about five hours a night. (more…)

    14 January 2021 – Change is coming. As we look forward into 2021, full of hope for the successful deployment of vaccinations and the lifting of local lockdowns, we begin to notice the first signs of recovery. (more…)

    Leeds, 14 January 2021 – Drainage company Rescue Rod has transformed its business after deploying new mobile working technology from BigChange during the first COVID lockdown. (more…)

    08 January 2021 – I don’t know about you, but after I came back from the festive break, things felt a bit same-old, same-old. Nothing about 2021 felt like a new year. (more…)

    Leeds, 07 January 2021 – Facilities maintenance company Kiwi FM has increased productivity by 20 percent since it introduced mobile workforce management technology from BigChange.

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    23 December 2020 – I have a problem with New Year’s Resolutions. They sound great, in theory. Make a list of things in your life you’d like to change? Pledge to make improvements? All very positive, surely? (more…)

    17 December 2020 – When we look at some of the successful entrepreneurs and CEOs of our time, it’s easy to assume that it takes arrogance, stubbornness and a hard-nosed attitude in order to build a booming venture.

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    Leeds, 17 December 2020 – Water conservation specialist Aqualogic has deployed the latest mobile workforce management technology to help locate and manage millions of pounds of water company assets.

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    Leeds, 15 December 2020 – It’s been quite a year. Here are the month-by-month highlights.

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    Leeds, 15 December 2020 – As part of our review of 2020, we cast our minds back to March to see what BigChange did to help workers and customers cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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    Leeds, 15 December 2020 – In December, BigChange welcomed Ben Fogle, broadcaster and adventurer, as its Motivational Monday speaker

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    Leeds, 15 December 2020 – December’s JobWatch update makes job planning, completion and billing even more efficient

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    Leeds,15 December 2020 – To finish our round-up of 2020, we look back at how the BigChange family continued to grow this year.

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    10 December 2020 – For years, I have been an advocate of kaizen or continual improvement. Sometimes, the best way to grow your business, win new customers, and create a product that everyone loves isn’t to make massive sweeping changes or introduce brand new ideas. It is to make small improvements, consistently, over time.

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    Leeds, 08 December 2020 – Cinderella Support Service, the nationwide provider of facilities management and building cleaning services, has boosted its business by £100k a year following the introduction of a new mobile system.

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    Leeds, 03 December 2020 – Balloo Hire, one of Ireland’s leading tool and plant hire companies, has significantly reduced the resource required to manage its mobile operation whilst boosting customer service and minimising its environmental impact thanks to mobile workforce management technology from BigChange.

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    Leeds, 02 December 2020 – The death of the British high street will have severe ramifications, not only for our economy but for life as we know it.

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