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If you’re a field service business owner or manager, you know firsthand how challenging it can be to manage multiple jobs, tasks, and projects — on top scheduling and dispatching field workers. 

Luckily, there are ways this can be managed so much more easily. The solution? Job sheet software 👇

Specifically designed to streamline and optimise field management processes, job sheet software can help increase efficiency, productivity, and the bottom line

Given its power, we’re dedicating this blog to looking at the different types of job sheet software, key features to look for, and the many benefits of using this software in your business… All to help you find the right job sheet software for your needs.

Now, let’s get started!

What actually is job sheet software?

Job sheet software is a type of digital tool that’s specifically designed to help field service businesses manage and streamline their work processes.

How?

Essentially, it replaces traditional paper job sheets with a digital version. But going beyond this, it is also often used to create, assign, and track jobs, tasks, and projects — as well as to schedule and dispatch technicians and other field workers. 

What’s more, job sheet software can also include features such as:

  • Collaboration and communication tools
  • Data tracking and analysis
  • Customisation and integration options

… All of which can help field service businesses increase efficiency, productivity, and organisation.

To sum up: Job sheet software has become an essential tool for managing and optimising operations to boost profits.

📕Keen to learn more? Check out this blog: Benefits of digital job cards (+ free field service job card template)

Types of job sheet software

There are several types of job sheet software that businesses can choose from. These are the top three:

  1. Standalone job sheet software
  2. Cloud-based all-in-one job sheet software
  3. Mobile app-based job sheet software

#1: Standalone job sheet software

Standalone software offers a basic digital job sheet solution. This type of job sheet software is often aimed at small field service businesses that might be happy with less functionality.  

While it might be an improvement on a basic Excel spreadsheet, it is unlikely to give you the additional features you really need.

Sounds good for you? Here’s a little advice 👇

💡Top tip: Before choosing a standalone job sheet software, check whether it will integrate successfully with other software packages you are running in different parts of your business. Otherwise, it just becomes another silo tool to manage. And you miss out on better insight and automation.

#2: Cloud-based all-in-one job sheet software

As the name suggests, all-in-one software is designed to win more work, control every job, manage your remote workforce and get paid sooner – as well as digitising your job sheets.

Also, with an all-in-one solution you don’t need to worry about whether different software across your business will cooperate, as this type of job sheet software replaces it all.

Sounds like one for you? Not surprisingly, this is the most popular type for field service businesses. Here’s a quick tip 👇

💡Top tip: Look out for software that includes financial packages such as Sage and Xero. This gets rid of the need for double-keying. Speeds up invoicing by allowing automation and makes forecasting much easier too! And of course, this is better for cash flow.

#3: Mobile app-based job sheet software

This type of job sheet software is accessed and used through a mobile app that can be downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet. It is often used by field technicians and other workers who need to access job information and updates while on the go.

Actually, some all-in-one solutions really are all-in-one and include a mobile app as part of their offering (so if this option appeals, it might still be worth weighing up #2). This means that you can be sure that your office-based staff and your field workers can seamlessly communicate and access the same information and they can get quicker updates which is ideal for many reasons!

Quick heads up 👇

💡Top tip: Look for tools with push notifications to alert employees of new job assignments, updates and important messages.

As you can see, not all job sheet software is built the same. We might be biassed, but we really do believe an all-in-one solution is the best way forward. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the key features.

Key features of all-in-one job sheet software

An all-in-one job sheet or job management software tool has many must-have features:

Digital job sheets – to create templates to suit your branding and specific job or business requirements

Job management and scheduling – to allow both back-office teams and field workers to see when jobs are booked in.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – so all customer information is updated in one place, whilst allowing for self-serve on bookings.

Real-time tracking – to instantly see where field workers are, as well as tracking stock and parts.

Business intelligence – to track sales pipelines, profit margins, control cash flow, and produce financial reports.

Finance management – easy integrations with systems like Sage and Xero make for quick and accurate invoicing, quotes and billing.

Customisation and integration options – customers can be sent digital job sheets including certificates and pictures, as soon as the job is completed.

And why are all these features important? Let’s now look at the benefits.

Benefits of job sheet software 

Here’s just a short list of reasons why these features are must-haves when looking for a job sheet software provider:

  • Ensures all information is captured the first time
  • Reduces admin time and cost 
  • Rapidly access client information, on-site information and in real-time 
  • Increases efficiency and productivity
  • Improves organisation and time management 
  • Reduces paper usage and increases environmental sustainability
  • Improves health and safety compliance 

The last benefit is a BIG one for field service businesses as many work in highly regulated industries like gas safety and national security. For example, customisable forms enable you to make sure key compliance criteria are added to job sheets and PDF reports that are shared with clients.

Choosing the right job sheet software

Starting to feel like you need job sheet software? Excellent! Now, whilst we’ve listed the key features to look for, you’re going to want to iron a few things out internally to choose the right solution.

Step 1: Identify your business needs – What exactly do you need the solution for? This will help narrow down your options in step 2.

Step 2: Evaluate different software options – Weigh up the pros and cons of the standalone, all-in-one, and mobile options to see which suits your needs now, and for when you grow, as you don’t want your job sheet software to hold you back at a later date.

Step 3: Testing and demos – Most tools will offer this to let you try it out and get a feel for whether you like it. Always do this as it can be hard to tell from a website alone if a product is actually easy to use.

Step 4: Implementation and training – Having an easy-to-use tool makes training and adoption so much easier. Some tools even provide online training and help hubs.

📕Want to learn more? Quick checklist: Top 5 must-haves when choosing job management software.

Streamline your operations and boost productivity with job sheet software

To sum up, job sheet software is a powerful tool that can help businesses streamline and optimise their work processes. 

Why?

Because it:

  • Allows for speedy growth, without additional administrators
  • Enables businesses to share information with customers immediately – especially important in pass/fail scenarios
  • Creates a professional look – as you can brand customer communications with templated documentation, emails and notifications

All of which can help businesses increase brand image, efficiency, productivity, and the bottom line 🚀

Whether you’re a standalone business or a larger field service business, there is a job sheet software option that can meet your needs. 

So if you’re looking to improve the way you manage your work and your team, consider giving job sheet software a try. It just might be the solution you’ve been looking for!

Better still, try our leading job sheet software. Trusted by hundreds, BigChange is built specifically for field service businesses to improve job scheduling, task management and resource allocation.

But don’t take our word for it, check out these case studies.

Or, dive straight in and book a demo right here today.

In this blog we’ll talk through how exactly software can help gas engineer businesses deliver efficiencies and measurable ROI.

From scheduling to invoicing, gas engineers face challenges – such as managing jobs, coordinating with clients, and keeping track of paperwork. Not to mention trying to balance all these tasks while also providing high-quality service to your clients. 

👉That’s why gas engineers often turn to job management software.

In this blog, you can explore how software can help save time and money by streamlining operations. We’ll also provide real-world examples of gas engineers who have successfully implemented software in their business and seen significant time and cost savings as a result. 

If you’re looking to improve your efficiency and effectiveness as a gas engineer, keep reading to learn more about how gas engineer software can help.

Introduction to gas engineer software

Gas engineer software is designed to assist gas engineers in managing and streamlining their business operations. It typically includes features such as job scheduling, invoicing, stock management, documentation management, and customer relationship management (CRM).

In short, the goal of this software is to help gas engineers save time and money by automating or simplifying various tasks and processes. 

It also helps improve customer service and communication with clients. 

Gas engineer software can be used by both individual gas engineers or by gas engineering companies to manage their operations more efficiently and effectively.

Pssst. BigChange is an example of a leading gas engineer software solution. You can read more about how we help plumbing and heating firms here.

The top 4 benefits of using gas engineer software

#1: Time savings

If there’s one thing gas engineers need more than anything else, it’s more time. ⌚

There are a number of ways the right software can save you time:

  • Scheduling and dispatch: The right software can help you schedule and dispatch field engineers more efficiently by allowing you to view and manage jobs in one place. This reduces the time spent on manual scheduling and coordination tasks.
  • Invoicing and billing: Gas engineer software automates invoicing and billing processes, making it easier for you to process payments and reduce the time spent on manual billing tasks.
  • Document management: Easily manage important documents, such as service reports and invoices, in one central location. This can save time by eliminating the need to search through paper files or multiple different software systems. For example, the right software eliminates repetitive forms and instead allows engineers to verify and tick off all answers in one go.
  • Customer comms: Communicate with customers more efficiently by sending updates and alerts via email or text message. This can help to reduce the time spent on phone calls and other manual communication methods.
  • Inventory management: Gas engineer software even helps track and manage inventory more efficiently, by providing real-time visibility into stock levels and where stock is  and allowing you to place orders as needed. This can save time and reduce the risk of running out of critical parts or supplies.

#2: Cost savings

And one thing we all need more of this year is cost savings. 💰

Here are some of the ways gas engineer software can provide significant savings:

  • Improved efficiency: By streamlining and automating various tasks and processes, the right software reduces the time and resources spent on admin tasks. This can lead to cost savings in terms of labour costs and other operational expenses.
  • Reduced errors: Job management software reduces errors and improves accuracy in tasks such as billing and documentation management. This can help to reduce costs associated with correcting errors and improving efficiency.
  • Stock control: With real-time visibility into stock levels you can place orders as needed. This can help to reduce costs associated with overstocking or running out of critical parts or supplies.
  • Asset tracking: Gas engineer businesses can track and manage their field assets better thanks to real-time visibility into the location and status of these assets. Plus, they can even photograph assets as proof for customers or insurance purposes. This can help to reduce costs associated with loss or damage.

#3: Improved customer service

Keeping up with customer expectations is essential in this day and age. 🤝

The right software can improve customer service in a number of ways:

  • Improved communication: Digital tools boost communication with customers by sending updates and alerts via email or text message. This reduces response times and improves the overall customer experience.
  • Real-time updates: Similarly, you can provide real-time updates on the status of service requests, allowing customers to see when their request has been assigned to an engineer and when it is expected to be completed. This improves transparency and customer satisfaction.
  • Self-service portals: Some solutions include self-service portals that allow clients to submit service requests and track progress online… As well as access their full job histories, job cards and certificates. This hugely improves convenience and speeds up the request process.
  • Feedback and reviews: You can even use it to gather and manage customer feedback and reviews, giving you key insight to identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes. This can help to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

#4: Improved bottom line

Last but not least, is the impact on the bottom line. 📈

Here are some of the ways gas engineer software improves the bottom line:

  • Increased revenue: The right software will help you increase revenue by improving efficiency and productivity. For example, by reducing response times and improving the speed and accuracy of service delivery, you can take on more work and serve more customers.
  • Improved business intelligence: Intelligent reporting provides financial information, such as work-in-progress (WIP) reports and profitability forecasts, whilst at-a-glance dashboards provide snapshot information of progress and availability.
  • Improve cash flow: Get paid faster by updating jobs and issuing invoices on-the-go (or by automating them).

If you’re convinced of the benefit, you can find out more about the BigChange platform here. Trusted by 50,000 field service workers and back office personnel, BigChange is the leader in job management software.

Alternatively, let’s look at some real-world examples. 👇

Real-world examples of gas engineers using software to save time and money

Here are a few examples of real life results:

Gas Smart Heating boosts efficiency by 25%

Before moving to BigChange, Gas Smart had a tool in place, but it quickly proved to be insufficient: 

“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.”

“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,”

📕Read more about how Gas Smart significantly improved efficiencies here.

Heatforce boosts customer service and business performance 

Before using BigChange, Heatforce relied on several separate systems, spreadsheets and paper records that led to an enormous burden as the company expanded. 

“We were inundated with paper and with separate systems it was proving increasingly difficult to manage operations so we knew we needed to completely overhaul everything.”

“BigChange has completely transformed the way we work; having everything in one place with live information at our fingertips gives us a level of control way beyond our original expectations.”

📕You can read more about how BigChange transformed operations here

MHL heating engineers improve admin efficiency by 90%

In expanding nationally, MHL set out to outsource as many workflows as possible. Through BigChange, the company has transformed efficiency by as much as up to 90%. 

“Our engineers are connected in real time to receive and complete jobs, including digital certifications. For our clients, everything is completely seamless and with instant, fully digital reporting including photographs from site, we can meet even the most stringent reporting requirements, including those of facilities management who in turn have to report to their own clients.”

📕You can read more about MHL’s success here

Choosing the best gas engineer software

While there are a few gas engineer software solutions out there, not every solution is built the same. Here are the best features to look out for:

  • Is it an all in one solution? For example, does it include job tracking, invoicing, GPS tracking, and CRM?
  • Can engineers update jobs in real-time via a mobile app? Check to make sure there is a mobile app and at the same time, make sure the tool is easy to use.
  • Can it store gas safety documents (safely and securely)? Does it provide an easy to access digital library of COSHH certificates, safety documents, and more? 
  • Does it automate essential workflows? For example, can it trigger alerts to notify engineers when new jobs arrive on their mobile device? And can it send customers notifications? 
  • Can it streamline invoicing? And does it enable you to issue an invoice and job sheet as soon as the job is complete? Also check if it easily integrates with other systems, such as Xero. 
  • Does it capture customer CRM data? Can you view customer quotes and invoices? And provide real-time engineer and job status updates? 

📕Related: How to choose the best gas engineer software

Ready to add gas engineer software to your toolkit?

The right solution eliminates as many manual processes as possible from your day-to-day work, saving you precious time and effort. 

In short, the right software will pay for itself very quickly. 

To get started researching and comparing different options, seek recommendations from colleagues, and take advantage of demos offered by software vendors.

You can even book your first demo right now. 

Job cards play an essential role in day-to-day field service management, covering all the essential job information. 

Why?

Because without a job sheet to hand, work orders might be delayed, essential information is missed, and miscommunication between engineers and back office staff is rife. 

This is where digitising your job sheets comes in. 

By using digital solutions like job management software, you can create digital job cards at the click of a button, and ultimately improve the productivity of the whole team. 

But what is a digital job card? What are the benefits? We’ll cover this below. Plus, you’ll get a free copy of a best practice field service job card template.

Let’s get into it. 👇

What is a digital job card? (For field services)

Traditionally, job cards are paper-based. But like with any paper-based process, it’s prone to issues and human-error. On the other hand, a digital job card can be viewed, edited, and updated in real-time by any team member – including engineers and back-office staff. And you can even send a copy, instantly, to the customer too. 

What’s more, you can access them on a mobile device. Mobile job sheets are game changers for your field based team. Engineers can quickly take photos, take signatures, provide documents to customers and more. 

How do digital job sheets work?

Essentially, digital job sheets replace your paper-based job cards with a digital version – usually stored in the cloud via a job management software platform. 

It ensures all work is completed without any missing sheets or unreadable handwriting. It also means that any errors or problems in work can be acted on straight away. 

A system (like BigChange) would take your existing job sheet/cards and turn them into documents that are created and accessed online. And as the job is being completed, back office workers and customers are able to see real-time updates.

❌You might think sticking to paper-based job sheets is fine for now, but be wary of these key challenges. 

Challenges of using paper-based job cards

To put it bluntly, paper-based job cards are an accident waiting to happen. Notorious for sporting scribbled-out writing, oil marks, and spelling mistakes, they can be widely inconsistent and miss vital information. 

Key job details might be misread due to poor handwriting. Not to mention presenting an unprofessional look and feel for customers 

All of this adds up to a lot of headaches for back office workers. 

🔖Related: Going paperless: What does it really mean for field service management?

With this in mind, what does a good job card look like? 

What does a good digital job card template look like?

A good job sheet process gathers all the information (in one place) accurately, consistently, and in real-time. 

A typical digital or mobile job sheet includes: 

  • Name of the job
  • Company logo
  • Date 
  • Customer details
  • Location of the job 
  • Details of the job (images, description, notes, serial numbers)
  • Quote/estimate for the job
  • Paid/unpaid job 
  • Cost of materials used
  • Attachments such as images and documents 
  • Engineer and client sign-off

In fact, it might look a little something like this job sheet template:

🔽 You can download a job card PDF version of our job sheet template here

Now that you know what one looks like, let’s get into the key benefits of digital job cards. 

Benefits of digitising job cards

Digital job cards have plenty of benefits. Here are a few of the most important:

  • Real-time information: Job information is sent to the back-office in real-time, so they have true visibility of progress against the plan.
  • Cloud-based: Create new jobs in the field, enabling you to respond quickly to customer requirements as they arise. You can even see on-site information in real-time. 
  • Photo and signature capture: Easily capture proof of work, and capture signatures before, during, and after work.
  • Documents on demand: Mobile workers can access documents, images, and diagrams in the field. 
  • Win back more time: Save a huge chunk of admin time by entering information digitally rather than writing it all up.
  • Reduce risk: Having a digital job card system limits risks, such as losing handwritten notes, and ensures all information is captured first time. 
  • Mobile app: App users can view the history of jobs against any customer, with valuable insight at the tap of a screen. You can also take photos, scan barcodes, and more.
  • Reduce waste: Automating manual processes like job cards has a positive impact on reducing waste and saving on paper.
  • Maintain high standards: Ensure consistent service standards and protect your brand image with branded job cards. Plus, you can bill customers within minutes. 

In short, digital job cards are immediately available to the customer and act as a single source of truth if there are any queries regarding the job. And because they are permanently held on your CRM, they are always available as a key source of information you can search through any time. You can even attach an invoice to it before issuing it to the customer. 

In fact, one thing our clients love about digital job cards is that they help ensure engineers have all the information they need for each and every job:

“The engineers know in advance what their day looks like and they know they have the information they need to deal with each and every job. With BigChange, even the back-office staff know they have the tools they need to get the job done from scheduling to keeping the customers informed and managing cash flow.”

Adam Redgwick, Sales Director, Warmaway

Digitise job cards with BigChange

We hope this blog has convinced you of all the ways digital job cards will benefit your business. 

You can do all this and more with BigChange. The BigChange system automatically generates standard job cards, featuring data captured in the field. 

You can choose the information that will be displayed on the job cards and even personalise with your company logo, custom fields and branding. 

And even if you have an existing job card template, you can simply import it directly into BigChange’s job sheet software. Alternatively, BigChange offers a custom design service. 

Replace your traditional paper job sheets with digital versions to collect data, remove errors, and view information in real-time. See for yourself with a quick demo here. 

In the fast-paced field service industry, everything revolves around how quickly engineers, back-office staff, and other team members can get the job done, and get it done right. 

That’s why we expect 2023 to place even more emphasis on speed, accuracy, automation, and quality. 

To help you achieve just this, this blog looks at six ideas for your job management approach in 2023. 

But first, let’s look at what’s driving change. 👇

Why job management is set to change in 2023

There are two drivers prompting a need for immediate change in field service management:

  • Changing customer expectations
  • Economic challenges

Changing customer expectations

Across all industries, customer expectations are high. Field service businesses are no different:

  • Customers now expect better communications. In fact, 75% of customers think that fast response times are the most important part of the customer experience.  
  • They want jobs completed first time. When first-time fix rates drop below 70%, businesses notice a 10% deterioration in customer retention rates.

But those that do prioritise customer service actually enjoy 5.7 X more revenue than those that don’t.  

Economic challenges

The aftermath of the pandemic, heightened fuel costs, supply chain issues and sky-rocketing utility bills are just a few of the challenges facing businesses in 2023.

The bottom line? These challenges slow down operations, reduce cash flow, and severely impact profit margins.

While this may paint a doom and gloom picture, it can be an opportunity for growth too. 

In fact, the past 12 months have seen more field service management businesses innovating and accelerating the use of new ways of working than ever before.

Let’s dive into some examples of how.

6 ideas for your 2023 job management approach

Here are just a handful of ways that field service businesses are maximising operations and boosting customer experiences, that we expect to continue throughout 2023:

Job management idea #1: Improve time management

When managing a field service business, managing time properly is everything. After all, poor job scheduling can lead to poor customer experiences, damaged reputations, and lost clients.

What’s more, it impacts your profits. Low engineer productivity and available engineers not being assigned to jobs = missed income opportunities.

On the flip side, it’s not great for your engineers’ morale or job satisfaction if they become overloaded due to poor job management either.

Actionable tips: 

💡 Plan ahead. Think about jobs as a whole, not just the resourcing of them. For example: What parts or equipment will be needed? What are their lead times?

💡 And avoid using too many manual and paper-based processes in your day-to-day workflows.

Job management idea #2: Schedule routes more efficiently

With pump costs set to continue to be high in 2023, finding ways to reduce fuel costs will be key to cost savings. But also, it prepares field service businesses for meeting government requirements on reducing carbon footprint. 

Actionable tips:

💡 Go digital. A digital scheduling assistant can help get the right engineer, with the right skills, to the right place, by the right route, and streamline job management.

💡Monitor your team’s driving behaviour. With tools like BigChange, managers can set driving behaviour alerts and view driver data, in order to curb idling, speeding, and harsh acceleration.

Not only does this keep your people safe on the road, it also cuts fuel costs and emissions. For instance, driving at 55mph uses 25% less fuel than driving at 70mph.

Job management idea #3: Improve engineer and back-office communication 

With the majority of field service workers being out in the field, creating a collaborative work environment with healthy communication can be difficult. Yet immensely important. Your workers can only be as successful as the information they have access to. 

Actionable tips:

💡 Provide your team with field service management software that has real-time data to resolve any communication challenge in one fell swoop.

💡 Use a tool that plugs into accounting software so you can quickly invoice once a job is complete.

💡 Leverage a strong CRM system that’s mobile so that all customer interactions are stored in one place and everyone can quickly access them when speaking to a customer. 

Job management idea #4: Make use of the right software and tools

If you are in the field service management industry, one of the main causes of reduced performance could solely be the tools you are working with.

Actionable tips:

💡 Consider whether the software tools you use have the capacity and features you need to achieve your goals in 2023. You may need a more comprehensive platform as your business grows and changes. 

💡 If you’re using several tools, spreadsheets, and manual methods, consider switching to an all-in-one solution to manage every area of your field service business. If you’ve a range of tech-abilities within your business, it’s easier for people to learn and manage a single platform. 

Job management idea #5: Empower mobile engineers

Field service engineers are the face of your company. Their capabilities on the job are critical to make or break the customer experience. 

That’s why they need the right information, the right tools, and the right parts to do the job to a high standard, and the first time they attend the site. This is where digital solutions come in. 

Actionable tips: 

💡Job management software, mobile apps, and the right tablet are just some of the tools that simplify and speed engineers in the field – ensuring responsiveness, continuity of service, resolving issues sooner, and making them more productive and cost-effective.

💡 Be prepared to react on the go. These tools also allow you to make the most of opportunities when in the area, or to add additional jobs for the customer whilst on site, to maximise efficiency and ensure correct billing.

Job management idea #6: Consider planned preventative maintenance

Unplanned downtime can cost companies hundreds of thousands of pounds. That’s why it’s critical to ensure equipment functions at optimal performance levels, at all times. 

Here are ways field service businesses tackle vehicle maintenance but you could apply this approach to machinery and client systems — client maintenance may be essential for compliance and legal requirements so this is one you can’t ignore!

Actionable tips: 

💡 Engineers could complete daily vehicle checks and record results on their mobile or device. These reports help fleet managers spot problems before they become a major, costly problem or stop the vehicle being on the road, potentially putting engineers out of action.This prevents the need to hire vehicles or jobs need rescheduling.

💡 With some tools, you can also set alerts against any defects so that the fleet manager can immediately action them and keep the driver informed at the same time.

What’s more, it also reduces safety risk to your engineers. And can save on fuel costs. Did you know, tyres are responsible for around 20% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption?

Key takeaways

With these job management ideas, hopefully you can see exactly how you can improve operations, boost efficiency, and ultimately book in more customers. Of course, this all supports better cash flow and increased revenue.

💡Final tips

  • Set time aside in the day to check job progress and team updates.
  • Use a job management tool to track jobs, vehicles, and more.
  • Update your website with any new testimonials and case studies. 
  • Work with the most accurate and up-to-date information to make real-time decisions
  • Listen to what workers are saying – get feedback from them on how processes can be improved.

Your next steps

Ready to take job management digital? If you’re in the market looking for a job management software solution to do all the heavy lifting, check out this blog first: Top 5 must-haves when choosing job management software.

Add BigChange to your shortlist. And see why hundreds of field service businesses choose us by booking a personalised demo right here.

If you’re looking at job management software, you’re likely spurred by one or more of these business needs:

  • Better CRM
  • Improved business intelligence and reporting
  • Quicker quotation and invoicing
  • Optimised job scheduling and planning
  • Reduced admin / errors

And most commonly: reduced costs and improved efficiencies.

So how exactly does job management software create cost-savings for field service businesses?

Let’s dive in.

Quick definition: Job management software

First, let’s quickly recap what job management software actually is.

In a nutshell: Job management software is a tool that replaces manual job management processes with streamlined and automated workflows.

It lets you track engineers, assign & update jobs instantly, access key documents and so much more. Plus, this is all available to access via a mobile or tablet, so easy to amend  on-the-go, meaning updates are easily made in real-time.

Ultimate benefits of job management software

Cost savings can be boiled down to five overarching benefits:

1) Time savings ⏰

✅ Time is money. By moving to automated systems, laborious data entry becomes a thing of the past.

✅ Schedules are quicker and easier to put together and update (like cover for staff absence).

✅ It’s much quicker and easier to communicate.

✅ Engineers have easy access to all the documents they need quickly.

✅ Service reports are completed in real-time, with no need for back-office replication of work.

Did you know?: According to our research, businesses that use what3words for locations save up to 30 minutes per day.

2) Reduced overheads 💰

✅ Say goodbye to paper based systems and all they entail (paper, printing, filing, postage, document storage).

✅ Optimise engineers’ schedules to reduce travel time, overtime, mileage and fuel costs.

✅ Minimise surplus stock and only order what’s needed for each specific job.

✅ Better forecast future budgets with more accurate tracking of spending, labour costs, inventory and more.

Did you know?: Businesses that use job management software see a 5% reduction in employee costs alone.1

3) Minimal errors ❌

✅ Reduce common mistakes with paper-based systems such as mistakes caused by human error in data entry, bad handwriting or missing details.

Did you know?: Those that leverage job management software see a 6% reduction in payroll errors.2

4) Improved customer experience 👏

✅ For example, speed in attending appointments and quick and correctly completed documents (such as invoicing).

✅ More first time fixes, meaning more satisfied customers!

Did you know?: Businesses that use job management software see a 20% increase in customer facing time.2

5) Speedy invoicing 🚀

✅ Jobs can be invoiced immediately and correctly, as soon as they are finished and if they integrate with financial packages, such as Sage 50 & Xero, there’s no need for double keying.

✅Payments can also be taken online, via integrations like Bluesnap, making life easier and more efficient. No stationery or postage costs.

✅Minimises the risk of missing payments or delays to jobs because of stock outages.

Did you know? It takes the average small-medium-sized business 25 days to process a single invoice manually. This all changes with automation.

Job management software in action: Real-life examples of cost savings

Now, we know the benefits so let’s look at how this works practically in real-life field service businesses…

Example 1: MEDLEC boosted operational productivity by 40%

Using job management software, electrical contractor MEDLEC has completely eliminated paper by equipping field engineers with mobile devices linked to vehicle trackers. This provides the company with real-time, 24/7 visibility of the status of all jobs.

“The system has put an end to laborious paperwork and data entry, and as jobs come in they are instantly available to our engineers. It means we can be more reactive and efficient with our time, therefore around 40% more productive, allowing us to take on more work with the same resources.”

Plus, it helps them:

  • Speed up accounting and quicker financial reporting – as it’s fully integrated with their Xero accounting software
  • Achieve first-time fix rates (now at 92%)
  • Instantly inform clients of ETA updates and completed job sheets

📕Read more here.

Example 2: Access Innovations achieved 70% reduction in paper

Thanks to job management software, commercial and industrial door specialist Access Innovations has substantially reduced the need for paperwork and the admin it entails.

“The back-office resource required to record, schedule and report on jobs has been reduced, which in turn results in better service for our customers. I even had one client email me saying ‘give us a chance’ having received completion reports, including photos, and the invoice, all within 5 minutes of the engineer finishing on-site!”

The end result? They can now more efficiently manage job scheduling, live tracking, financial management and business intelligence and customer relationship management (CRM) all in one simple to use platform.

Plus, it’s helped them to improve workforce health and safety with daily vehicle and driver checks, live vehicle tracking and online access to risk assessments.

helping to meet your customer KPIs (key performance indicators) and SLAs (service level agreements)

📕Read more here.

Example 3: MHL Heating sees 90% improvement in admin time

Gas, heating and boiler engineering company MHL introduced job management software two years ago and has since doubled its turnover and tripled its field service engineering team, without needing additional staff in the office. All thanks to automation and real-time updates.

“Everything is completely seamless and with instant, fully digital reporting including photographs from site, we can meet even the most stringent reporting requirements including those of facilities management who in turn have to report to their own clients.”

📕Read more here.

So, whilst time saving may have been a primary goal, there are so many additional benefits of job management software like being able to better protect staff and improve cash flow (with first-time fixes and speedy invoicing) and helping to meet your customer KPIs (key performance indicators) and SLAs (service level agreements).

Wrap up

It’s easy to see how significant cost savings can be made with the right job management software.

Plus, you might also start to see how it can improve customer experiences to boost retention and referrals which will obviously boost cash flow.

One thing to also mention is compliance. Most field service businesses have regulatory requirements and failure to adhere can — amongst other things like reputational damage —  mean costly lawsuits and major fines. Businesses that use job management software find it much easier to track and report compliance. For example, data management and auditing processes.

Final takeaway: If you’re in the market looking for a job management software solution, take a look at this checklist first: Top 5 must-haves when choosing job management software.

Or, dive straight in and book a personalised demo of BigChange today.

Field service businesses spend a lot of effort moving job sheets and paperwork around, but it doesn’t have to be this way. 

In almost all areas, it’s now possible to get rid of paper entirely.

How? With digital field service management.

Moving to a field service management platform makes it far easier to store, send, share, and search than manual paper-based processes. 

In fact, we believe contactless, cashless, and self-service mark the new standards for field service management. 

If you want to learn about how to go paperless and what it really means, read on 👇 

The new way of managing field service businesses

Just quickly before we get started, we wanted to cover something off. If you’re on the fence about digital field service management, we understand why. For many field service businesses, paper versions are comforting and it can feel daunting letting go of what is considered a safety net.

But, in reality, it’s holding your business back because it drains resources and leaves businesses time-starved. As well as these other issues…

The Old Way

The New Way

Reams of paperwork in different places

Everything and everyone organised in one place and all up-to-date.

Spreadsheet monotony

Slow invoicing (or not invoicing at all!)

Late payments

Inefficient routing and scheduling

There’s also a risk to competitive advantage. With almost half (48%1) of field service businesses having moved away from manual processes, they’ve got the ability to meet today’s customer demands.

Did you know? 89%2 of customers now expect to see modern, on demand technology applied to their engineer  scheduling.

But what does ‘going paperless’ really mean?

What going paperless means for field service businesses

In short, going paperless is storing and organising all important documents, files, and job sheets, digitally, rather than using physical paper. This not only eliminates a ton of manual work, but also allows engineers and back office staff to access information all in one place — even from their smartphone or tablet. 

While the thought of going paperless can seem overwhelming, when you break it down step by step, it really is straightforward.

Want to see how easy it is to go paperless? Let’s find out. 👇

How field service businesses can go paperless with BigChange

Technology is a crucial enabler and can make it much simpler to start going paperless straight away. 

In fact, by using a digital field service management platform you can:

  • Embrace the cloud – store documents in the cloud and ensure support is on-hand with office and field-based teams connected in real-time.
  • Use automated invoices – using automated digital invoicing eliminates the need to print, write-out, and post invoices and other documents. 
  • Create digital maps and routes – increase the number of jobs your team completes each day with intelligent route scheduling. 
  • Make all your contract workflows digital – alerts can be created to remind you when key dates – such as contract renewals – are near and automatic emails can be sent to customers to remind them (like when a service is due).

With this in mind, here are the *exact* five steps you can use to go paperless…

5 steps to take your field service business paperless

1. Capture: Bring all paper-based processes into BigChange 

Your paperless journey starts by capturing all paper-based processes in one place. And that’s where the tech comes in. With the right system for capturing everything in one central cloud location, your entire team can quickly and easily access the information they need.

There’s quite a lot you can do here with BigChange. Here are just a handful of ideas:

✅CRM: This can help you quickly automate a number of processes; quotes, contracts, purchase orders, credit notes, invoices, job notes, required attachments such as images, contracts, site maps, and so much more.

✅Job scheduling: Easily see unscheduled jobs, job scheduling, regular route-creation, job information (current and historical), resource availability and have this all mapped on one searchable team calendar.

✅Stock & equipment: You can even visually see stock and equipment levels and location plotted on a map and review what stock is held in which vehicle at any time.

✅Fleet & resources: Get full details on fleet and resource information — including skills certification, service dates, and more. Plus, set email alerts for easy maintenance. And manage driver and vehicle safety with daily timesheets and regular vehicle checks. Also, defects reported on vehicles can have alerts against them so that you can take immediate remedial action. 

2. Integrate: Connect all your systems together 

In addition to capturing all your paper-based workflows in one place, it’s important to have a system that connects other digital processes and software. 

For example: Integration with tools like Google Maps and what3words help engineers to quickly find the precise location of a site. And it helps the back-office teams track where engineers are for quicker rerouting to local emergencies or additional jobs.

Another example is financial software. Tools like Xero and Sage 50 can integrate with your BigChange job management software to automatically sync invoicing to customer records. 👋Say hello to speedy, accurate invoicing, prompt payments and better cash flow.

3. Process: Improve your workflows 

🔍 Let’s dive straight into an example: Worksheets are a great place to start. Replacing traditional paperwork, online worksheets allows field workers to complete paperwork on their devices — and even get customer signatures.

This replaces the need for systems like whiteboards or cards and lots of paper. And since many field workers don’t go into the office daily, they might post completed paperwork to the office. This can get lost, they can forget to do it, it causes delays, and there are stationery/postage costs.  

In BigChange, once it’s on the system, it’s there for everyone with adequate permissions, all the time. So it simply can’t get lost. There’s no double-keying. And a full audit trail is available in a searchable form.

4. Access: Retrieve documents anytime, anywhere 

This is where having a cloud-based system really pays off. Our clients find it so helpful to always have every important document at their fingertips, whether it’s on a computer or mobile device. 

There are so many times when field service engineers are out and away from the office and they need to pull up important documents in just a few seconds.

Plus, as we’ve briefly touched on earlier, it also allows engineers to be dispatched to an emergency job without having to return to the office first — and yet still have full job details and historical customer information available.

🔍For example: Maybe you’re at a client’s premises and need a copy of a site plan, or a specific risk assessment. Maybe you’re servicing a machine and need a copy of the certification to provide to the customer. Or, you might even need to provide professional certifications for site administrators.

The convenience is incredible.

5. Collaborate: Get your entire team on the same page 

Another huge benefit of going paperless is the collaboration options. BigChange has powerful features that make it easy to share job sheets and documents with both engineers and back office workers.

🔍For example: If the back office needs approval from a customer before ordering a new part, the field engineer can capture the customer’s scanned signature on site within seconds. 

Also, it can help with collaborating with other field service businesses. Contractors can access it to see job scheduling, to complete minor reports and to get customer sign-off.

How paperless field service businesses boost sustainability

Going paperless provides businesses with the benefit of streamlined processes, cost savings, and efficiency. It can also play a role in addressing broader sustainability responsibilities. 

For instance, with more efficient job scheduling, you can optimise engineers’ routes, so that they attend multiple local sites in one day.

This helps to:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel
  • Reduce wasted fuel
  • Reduce the environmental impact of the business
  • Reduce wear and tear on vehicles, saving company costs.

With BigChange, you can even monitor driver behaviour with alerts and reports that highlight idling, speeding, and harsh acceleration – all of which harm the environment.

📕Want to learn more? Read more on reducing your carbon footprint here

Ready to go paperless?

While it can feel like a challenge at first, going paperless should surely be a consideration for any forward-looking field service business in the digital age. 

BigChange is the ideal combination of an all-in-one job management platform with an easy-to-use visual layout. It also has additional CRM functions like a customer portal, pipeline data, and live opportunities, as well as advanced search filters. There really is nothing else that compares.

Plus, we continue to add new features to help your field service business grow. You can see example use cases and results right here

It truly is the optimal tool to eliminate manual work and go paperless 📰 

So, what are you waiting for? Go paperless today. Book a quick demo with BigChange.

For many field service businesses, the act of capturing, tracking, and managing jobs is tricky. To make matters worse, 52%1 are still using pen-and-paper manual processes at some point in their operation, leading to inaccuracies and confusion.

From enquiry to first-time fix stands an ocean of challenges:

  • Tracking engineers, parts, and vehicles 
  • Scheduling the right engineer to the right job
  • Reporting, analytics, and invoicing

One solution to solve all these problems? A job management solution which tracks jobs, combines systems all in one place and coordinates people and parts – to get every job done, first time.

So which tasks should job management software handle? What are the benefits of moving from manual to automated job management? And how can you improve job management in 2023? This guide covers exactly that.

In this guide, you’ll learn: (shortcuts) ✂️

What is job management? (A recap)

Job management is a combination of job tracking and planning techniques used by field service management businesses. Functions may include job tracking, vehicle tracking, and resource planning. People also refer to job management as field service management. 

image of example of job management

The top 5 job management challenges 

Now that we know what job management is, let’s look at the most pressing challenges field service businesses face today.

Actually, the same issues are plaguing most businesses:

  1. Staffing issues – 46%2 of businesses are struggling with a shortage of talent
  2. Supply chain blockers – One in three3 expect supply chain issues to remain until the end of summer 2023
  3. Rising costs
  4. Unnecessary admin and paperwork – 52%1 are behind and using manual processes like spreadsheets and physical job sheets 
  5. Meeting customer demands – 89%4 of customers expect to see modern, on demand technology applied to their technician scheduling

The good news is that it’s possible to overcome these challenges and successfully plan, track and manage your field service business with one simple solution: technology. For example, real-time tracking of technicians helps you:

  • Optimise the field workforce – Booking more jobs in by location, sending the closest technician to emergencies, reducing fuel cost and travel time.
  • Update customers – Keep the customer updated on arrival times.
  • Track costs – Tools like BigChange make it easy to track costs in real-time. The platform can automatically feed costs and time into reports and invoices to make reporting and invoicing seamless. 

📕 Ready to learn more? Read: 5 job management challenges and how to overcome them

Moving from manual to automated job management 

Accurate job management and scheduling is a must-have for field service businesses. Or else, you experience operational inefficiencies that just make things unprofitable, and most likely bad customer experiences.

Here’s why:

  • Paperwork challenges – Very labour intensive, it can also get lost, there’s a delay between a job being completed and the back-office processing it (which has a knock-on impact on invoicing/scheduling etc).
  • Invoicing delays – Manual invoicing can be slow, disorganised and negatively impact cash flow.
  • Creates a competitive disadvantage – Those with quicker scheduling and smoother customer experiences are much more attractive options for customers.

If you’re not automating job management, you’re missing a trick. Because businesses that make the move can actually measure substantial growth. Like in this case study where JWH Tanks saw 35% growth after moving to digital and automated processes.

📕 Take a look at this blog to see how automated field service businesses boost growth.

7 ways to improve job management in 2023

Soon, businesses that are continuing to use traditional job management techniques like T-cards, spreadsheets and whiteboards just won’t be able to compete.

Putting it bluntly, customers just don’t want long wait times, poor communications and a lack of information on when field service engineers will attend.

As technology evolves, so does the competitive edge of other businesses in your industry.

So how exactly are businesses using new solutions to improve job management?

Here are just a handful of ways:

  • Routing engineers more efficiently – For example: ensuring engineers take the fastest and shortest route and sending the nearest resource to a specific location.
  • Keeping on schedule – Customers expect you to value their time and like to be kept fully informed, and of course, for the right engineers and parts to be sent to their job.
  • Leveraging real-time information – This breaks down the barrier between field service engineers and the back office. Images and documents can be sent through instantly.
  • Optimising resource management – For example: fleet tracking. 96%1 of companies that use it report a positive return on investment six months after implementation.
  • Improving time management – Scheduling tools can actually cut admin by 60-70%, allowing teams to focus on booking more jobs.
  • Reducing manual work – Say goodbye to human-error and hello to automated job management, reports, certificates and more.
  • Improving cash flow – Whether that’s through tighter control of stock, no more forgotten invoices, or preventative maintenance.

To sum up, digital job management solutions can have an immediate effect on your profitability, efficiency and customer service.

📕Want to learn more? Read the full blog here: 7 ways to improve job management in 2023

Unstoppable field service businesses (case examples)

Reading all about job management is all well and good, but who is really bossing it when it comes to job management?

Here are a handful of unstoppable field service businesses to look at – starting with a new one.

📈Forecourt construction firm DBS boosts productivity 20%

BigChange’s job management system has not only boosted DBS’ productivity by 20%, but the system has also improved customer service and cut admin time by half:

  • Prior to BigChange, they relied on spreadsheets, paper files, and a large wall-mounted map. It was extremely time-consuming and left too much room for human error. 
  • They considered other systems before BigChange, but they were either too complicated or not fit for purpose. 
  • Since implementing BigChange, DBS engineers can respond to emergency call-outs while minimising disruption to planned works, and easily manage all back-office functions all in one place. 

BigChange has saved DBS time and money on every aspect of the business, and the support is outstanding.” Operations Director, DBS

📈 JWH Tanks boost growth by 35%

JWH Tanks chose BigChange to help gain and maintain quality standards and to improve the management of their nationwide operations:

  • JWH Tanks needed to reduce data duplication, minimise paperwork, and eliminate inefficient workflows. 
  • Using BigChange, they have slashed the time taken to produce vital documents for each job, using the benefit of real-time information sharing.
  • Since implementing BigChange, the admin burden has also dramatically reduced, and management has better control over costs, all contributing to increased turnover. 

Since we went live with BigChange, around two years ago, we have increased our turnover by around 35%.” Operations Manager at JWH Tanks

📈 Sapphire Utility Solutions boost productivity by 100%

Through using BigChange, Sapphire’s field engineers are now equipped with mobile devices for real-time reporting. It’s also helping deliver client critical milestones, manage risk on street works liabilities and assure a right-first-time approach.

Here’s why they are rolling it out to other areas of the business:

  • Significant reduction in administration, with efficiency gains in the back office and field, and they achieved a 100% rise in productivity.
  • Real-time monitoring enables Sapphire to get ahead of potential roadblocks through constraints and alerts, to hit client critical milestones.
  • As it’s easy to use, highly configurable and intuitive, it was quickly embraced by both field and back-office staff.

By making sure teams are where they are needed, at the right time with all the information they need, BigChange has boosted morale and aided staff retention.”  Director of IT at Sapphire Utility Solutions

How to use BigChange to make job management a breeze

At BigChange, it’s our mission to make our customers successful by accelerating growth and sustainability in our community. We’ve even won awards for it. To put this into perspective, here are five examples of how BigChange makes a big impact on field service businesses. 

Example #1: Effortless scheduling: Intelligent scheduling allows customers and engineers to schedule jobs, send and receive automated messages, and see if resources are on schedule. 

Take MEDLEC, for example: The electrical contractor boosted productivity by 40% thanks to engineers being able to self-allocate jobs. 

Example #2: Paperless operations: With all your key information stored digitally, your team can access it from anywhere in an instant. The increased efficiency will mean you get more work done – with the same amount of people. It’s good for the planet too. 🌍

Because BigChange is an all-in-one cloud-based solution, you can link up with Sage 50, Xero and more. This was a game changer for heating firm, Celsius. The link between BigChange and Xero is seamless with no delays. They only have to enter data once – cutting admin time in half. 

Example #3: Easy to use mobile app: BigChange’s mobile app reduces job time, improves first-time fix rates, and you can send jobs to field workers in real-time, allowing for urgent changes to happen instantly. Actually, everything you want your field workers to have can be made available on a customer-by-customer basis, from site maps to manuals, forms and worksheets.

In fact, BigChange is saving LDF customers time and money, evidenced by 86% of its business coming from repeat customers.  

Example #4: Accurate job tracking: Accurate tracking means complete visibility of your field based teams, vehicles, and assets with real-time updates.

Knowing exactly where your field workers are at all times, means you can reroute them if necessary or divert them to pick-up van stock from the nearest supplier or colleague. You can also plan and reduce fuel costs with smart routing between jobs. 

These efficiencies can translate into big profits.

Example #5: Robust CRM: With a CRM system built for field service businesses, you can improve customer satisfaction through instant communication. Customers can log into a customer portal, track job progress, leave feedback, and directly communicate with your business. 

The real value of a CRM comes when it is integrated with your job management software. Before BigChange, Omnia Plumbing used a standalone diary system, separate accounting software, and no CRM – which meant countless phone calls and lots of wasted time. Since implementing BigChange, their customer interaction has vastly improved with automated ETAs and updates. And vehicle tracking means they never miss a job – literally saving tens of thousands every year. 

Example #6: Strong network and partnership: At BigChange, we are huge advocates of a partnership approach. We even have an entire team dedicated to it. 

The BigChange “Network” provides the ideal platform for collaboration between customers. 

Example #7: Business intelligence: With ‘at-a-glance’ dashboards, you gain improved insight into your business. You can set-up KPIs and track job completion stages, financial reports with details on work in progress, and much more. 

It’s so important that everybody, from engineers to back-office staff have access to the right information. Warmaway, use BigChange to make sure engineers know in advance what their day looks like and know they have the information they need to deal with each and every job. 

Example #8 Vehicle tracking: Finally, What makes BigChange the best job management software for many clients is its integration with vehicle and job tracking. This allows vehicle locations to be displayed on a secure, web-based mapping system. This real-time tracking provides instant visibility of technicians, as well as traffic conditions – reducing customer wait times and travel costs and emissions.

📕You can read more about how BigChange provides competitive advantage here

👉Or if we have convinced you that job management software is the way forward, start here with a demo to see if BigChange could work for you.

Choosing the right job management system

The right solution will do more than manage and schedule jobs. It will streamline back-office processes to save you time, money, and headaches.

Choosing the right job management software can mean the difference between fitting in more jobs and happier customers… or the source of almost every problem. 

To save yourself from that fate, be sure your chosen solution provides you with:

  • Job scheduling: to get the right people to the right job every time
  • Mobile app: for efficient, paperless job management
  • Live tracking: of fleet and resources in real-time
  • CRM: to win more work and get closer to customers
  • Integrations: such as Xero and Sage 50 invoicing to get paid faster and boost profits
  • Business intelligence: to learn more about your business, beat KPIs, and help your business grow.

Lastly, nothing can replace a business that values a partnership approach. 

Ready to take your business to the next level? Put us to the test with a quick demo.

Or, if you still have burning questions, take a look at the top three frequently asked questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a job management operating system?

A job management operating system is a software programme that manages a field service business’s resources, such as job scheduling, job tracking, and customer relationship management. 

2. What is job management in cloud computing?

A cloud-based job management solution connects your back office, mobile workforce, and customers in one centralised place. You can login to cloud job management software from anywhere and manage everything from quotes to jobs and invoicing. 

3. What is the difference between job management and field service management?

In short, job management and field service management are basically the same thing. Field service management refers to jobs performed out in the field, as opposed to on company property. Field service businesses usually dispatch engineers to specific locations (typically a customer’s location) to lease, install, repair, or maintain equipment.

Sources:

1FinanceOnline, 2022

2Statista, 2022

Between ourselves, job management can be a challenge, can’t it?  

Whether your business is large or small, there are a few key areas that can trip up even the most talented teams.

Even in the best circumstances, balancing increasing costs, operational challenges and scheduling inefficiencies is a tall order. They are even harder to achieve when battling economic uncertainty.

Ready for the good news? It is possible to overcome these challenges and successfully plan, track, and manage your field service business with one simple solution: technology.  

Let’s jump straight into how. 

Job management challenge #1: Deal with staffing issues 

Be it recruiting staff or retaining the ones you already have, everyone is struggling with capacity issues in the day-to-day execution of business.

Actually, it’s a global issue with 46%1 of businesses struggling with a shortage of talent.

And many businesses have discovered that replacing workers is an uphill battle. There’s either not enough applicants or those that apply just simply don’t have the relevant skills. 

The solution? Optimise the team you do have. With the help of smart scheduling, your engineers’ routes can be optimised, allowing them to carry out more jobs per day.

The right tools will even help you evaluate which jobs and customers are more profitable, allowing you to make informed business decisions.

Job management challenge #2: Tackle supply chain issues

Field service firms used to have easy access to the parts they needed, but now face long delays combined with huge price hikes — thanks to a combination of political unrest, lack of raw materials, and rising fuel costs.

Despite the pandemic ending, 49%2 of businesses are still experiencing supply chain issues. And one in three2 expect the issue to remain until the end of summer 2023.

Here’s the thing: while job management tools can’t solve all your supply chain issues, it can help you keep better track of the inventory you have.  

Tech in action: For instance, using business intelligence from the system, you can adjust your reorder date to the extended lead time. Or, even explore if parts shortages will make certain services impossible and take them off the menu before incomplete jobs damage customer satisfaction. 

Job management challenge #3: Hit rising costs head-on

This is another challenge that prevents field service firms from growing profitably.

To keep costs low, businesses are keeping close tabs on their energy costs (33%3), sourcing more affordable suppliers (33%3), and halting hiring new employees (28%3).

But for many, there’s only so much cost saving you can do without impacting business operations.

Rather than passing on costs to the end-customer with price rises, the general consensus with field service businesses is to focus on keeping it lean across operations.

This means literally monitoring costs against each individual job — materials/parts, fuel, booking multiple regional jobs together, using the closest engineer, achieving first-fixes by being prepared… The list goes on.

How can businesses achieve this? With manual processes in place, this type of monitoring would be incredibly time-consuming. But with a solution like BigChange, it’s easy to track costs against even the smallest of jobs in real-time. The platform can automatically feed costs and time into reports and invoices to make reporting and invoicing seamless. 

Job management challenge #4: Ditch unnecessary paper

The pressure to improve efficiency and cut costs while maintaining high levels of customer service is a real challenge. One great way to accomplish this is by going paperless. 

So why are 52%4 of the field service management businesses lagging behind and yet to adapt to tech? 

Here’s what it boils down to: Many teams fear going digital because they feel some workers won’t get on board with the tech. But they forget one thing — the workforce is ageing and digital natives are filling their shoes. 

The bottom line: Going digital makes things quicker, more reliable, and more accurate. Put it this way. Would you rather type a name in a search box to find out who did job #1234 last year in Sheffield, or sort through 12 months of job reports to track down the technician? 

Job management challenge #5: Meet customer demands

Many field service businesses fall into the trap of doing things the same way they’ve always been done. 

The problem is, customer demands change. 

In fact, 89%5 of customers want to see modern, on demand technology applied to their technician scheduling, and nearly as many customers would pay a premium for it.

That’s why tech is so important. Instead of being left behind, you can introduce processes that delight customers. Just to name a few field service examples, you could:

✅ Provide real-time tracking of technicians so customers know exactly when they will arrive

✅ Fix issues first-time thanks to on-the-go customer data (model numbers, issues etc)

✅ Get to customers faster by routing the nearest engineer

✅ Provide quick and easy digital invoicing and payment methods

✅ Provide a self-serve portal for easy access to appointment booking, queries, and documents

Also, with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) features, you can gain a 360˚ view of your customer details. This means that all team members have full knowledge of what’s happening with an account when a customer gets in touch. Customers expect you to know what’s happening with their account and they don’t like having to repeat themselves if they need to get back in touch.

Not only do all these options improve their experience, it’s much more efficient and cost-reducing for your business too. Win-win!

Ready to get started with job management software?

No software solution can suddenly bring a workforce to full strength or stock essential inventory. 

But, the right job management software can help businesses fully optimise what they do have and take steps to minimise the impact on revenue and the bottom line. 

You too can unlock the full potential of your field service business by embracing job management software. And you can do it today 👇

Set up a demo of BigChange right here.

Need a little more convincing? Check out this blog on how BigChange provides competitive advantage (with examples)

Sources:

1Statista, 2022

2Supply Chain Management Review, 2022

3The Business Magazine, 2022

4FinanceOnline, 2022

5CSG, 2022

In this day and age, your customer experience can make or break your field service business.

In fact, companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%. Not to mention 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.

One key tool that helps field service businesses improve customer experience is job tracking software.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the different ways job tracking software can take your customer experience to the next level – starting with a quick definition. 

What is job tracking software?

Job tracking software is a versatile business tool. From time tracking to job tracking and vehicle tracking – it can be used to improve many things for field service management businesses.

For instance, you can see the status of each job from creation to completion. This makes it easy to keep both customers and managers informed of job progress. 

Here are just a handful of the benefits real businesses are seeing:

  • 90% improvement in admin efficiency
  • 70% boost in productivity
  • 5 X more services carried out per month
  • 15% reduction in transport costs

But one of the biggest benefits is the fact it can play a significant role in improving the overall customer experience. In fact, in just one example, a B2B business recorded a 25% boost in customer service rating due to quicker scheduling and faster call-out responses.

And for field service businesses like this one, live job tracking provides customers with alerts saying an engineer is on the way so that they don’t have to stay in and wait.

How Job Tracking Delights Customers

We’ve touched on this briefly, but let’s delve into this more…

Job tracking benefit #1: Empowers your team

This may seem backward, but businesses that win with their customer experience start with their employees. 

Job tracking software is designed to be easy to use. It allows multiple employees to log in and track job progress in real-time. In fact, jobs can be opened and edited at the click of a button.

Why’s this important? Ultimately, it means job status reports are up-to-date, allowing you to inform customers instantly so they don’t have to wait to receive documentation. And if there’s an issue, the nearest engineer can be redirected to a job (more on this later).

This is all made possible by using the right solution and mobile app. This is key to real-time updates, as it allows engineers to communicate on the move. BigChange’s mobile app, for example, maximises efficiency by connecting your back office and field engineers in one system.

Job tracking benefit #2: Boosts customer communication

Today’s customers want transparency, timeliness, and constant communication. 

Job tracking software allows you to do just that. It keeps customers in the loop with automatic updates on job progress and arrival times. And the ease of automated communication boosts customer experiences and frees up your time to focus on service delivery.

Plus, with the back office having full visibility of a job’s status, it helps to eliminate errors. For example, an invoice won’t be sent to a customer in error when the job isn’t yet signed off (‘completed with issues’), or if your engineer was unable to gain access.  

Job tracking benefit #3: Improves first-time fix rates

The number one reason clients complain about services is that the engineer wasn’t able to resolve the issue on the first visit. 

It’s an all too common issue in field service businesses. 

Yet, with job management software, customers can add notes and attachments when requesting a job. If a fix is flagged at a later point, first-time fixes are even more likely because the engineer knows the make, model number, and issue, so they are likely to have the right parts.  

What’s more, using real-time data on parts in vans, engineer skills, and location, job tracking software can help you to assign the right team and equipment to the right site when issues do inevitably occur. 

While this is great for improving customer satisfaction, when a job gets completed on the first visit, you can reduce costs and do more jobs in a day. You can boost efficiencies for your business too.

Job tracking benefit #4: Provides customers with instant documents 

Once a field technician has completed a job, they can fill out all relevant information on their device, providing real-time updates on job cards (including warranties, images and test results).

Then when it comes to invoicing (if the job is complete), the accounts team can send the customer a digital invoice in seconds. Once invoiced, customers can then pay their invoice immediately using a range of convenient online options. 

Not only do online payment methods ensure that your business bills are settled quickly and on time, but customers will have a smoother experience in dealing with the company and be more inclined to use your services again.

Job tracking benefit #5: Allows for rapid responses

Essentially, job tracking allows businesses to respond rapidly. There are a number of reasons why job tracking can help with this:

  • Availability of full customer history – This means you can send through site details and customer-specific information, such as health and safety regs, prior to arrival.
  • Finding the nearest resource to go to a specific location – Integration with other platforms, such as What3words, allows engineers to even find unmapped sites – invaluable for new builds or companies delivering, say, port-a-loos to festivals. This also helps meet KPIs and SLAs.
  • Preempting needs – To stay proactive, you can even use customer service history to detect when client equipment is due – for preventative maintenance, servicing, or upgrades. 

As a side note, a field service technician who is prepared instils more confidence in customers.

Job tracking benefit #6: Get instant feedback

Even when customers are happy, there is always room for improvement. Fundamentally, this is what sets you apart from competitors and prompts growth.

This is where automation can help. For example, using automated survey requests allows you to ask customers to rate their experience immediately following a job. This is a much more efficient way to capture feedback than manual processes like emailing or calling. 

Once you have the feedback, you can digest it and make plans to improve service and customer experience. 

And if you don’t get many replies to requests for customer feedback, you can also use job tracking software to review business intelligence data and KPIs to gain valuable insights to improve service levels. 

Now that you know how job tracking delights customers, here is a case study of it in action.

Job tracking in action: Heatforce

Heating company, Heatforce, has used the latest job tracking software to boost its customer service rating by 25% in just six months.

Before implementing job tracking software, Heatforce was inundated with paper and with separate systems, it was proving increasingly difficult to manage operations, so they knew they needed to completely overhaul everything.

“With BigChange, office efficiency has already increased by 25%. In addition, improved job scheduling means fewer miles are being travelled, and productivity is up, especially as engineers don’t need to come to the office as often. We’ve also increased contract win rates thanks to the added capability BigChange gives us, and, despite the lockdown challenges of recent months, the system has actually enabled us to increase our profitability.”

For more on this, you can read more about how Heatforce boosted customer service here.

Invest in the right job tracking technology

By investing in the right all-in-one solution, your entire team can improve response time, reduce costs, and better satisfy customers. 

And to top it off – First-time fix rates will soar! 🚀

Ready to accelerate growth for your business? Book a free one-to-one demo here today to see how BigChange can help you improve efficiencies and customer experience.

Gas engineer software makes planning, tracking, and monitoring jobs a total breeze. 

With a range of features like job scheduling, real-time job tracking, and automated invoicing, job management software is a no-brainer for gas engineer businesses.

But because all tools aren’t built the same, it’s critical you choose the best software for your business.

In case you need convincing, an estimated 48% of field service businesses use job management software. Many of these are boosting growth by 35%. Additionally, businesses that invest in job management software boost productivity by 40% – and waste less money than businesses that don’t.

These stats are hard to ignore. 

With that in mind, let’s dive into how you can choose the best software for your business.

Why gas engineer software is a growth must-have

In short, gas engineer software gets rid of the headache caused by scattered and chaotic paper-based operations and replaces it with an all-in-one solution that has everything you need and is easy-to-use.

The end result? Unshackled from the burden of admin, you can free up your team to take on more jobs. You get paid faster and boost your cash flow by invoicing in seconds — not days or even weeks. And you can reduce operational spend by optimising travel routes, reducing fuel, and resource costs.

But don’t take our word for it. Take a look at this handful of real results:

  • 90% improvement in admin time 
  • 25% efficiency improvement
  • 30% increase in productivity
  • 25% boost in customer service ratings

So, how can you get results like this?

Ultimately, with the right job management software, you can:

Quickly find what you need, on-the-go:

Access digital risk assessments, gas safety certificates, and COSHH sheets.

Keep all contracts safe and in one place.

Search and filter documents to instantly find what you need.

Update jobs in real-time:

Storing everything on a secure cloud means your teams have full visibility of jobs.

Optimise engineers’ time and instantly capture signatures, upload photos, and find full job details.

Keep customers satisfied:

Send key date reminders to customers.

Alerts ensure your teams never miss a deadline.

Grow relationships by giving your teams a 360˚ view of every account.

Boost cash flow:

Get paid faster by updating jobs and issuing invoices on-the-go (or by automating them).

Only order the parts you need.

Track engineers in real-time and divert them if there’s an issue.

Intelligent reporting provides financial information, such as work-in-progress (WIP) reports and profitability forecasts.

Now we know why gas engineer software is a no-brainer, let’s take a look at the features to look out for when choosing gas engineer software. 

Checklist: 6 best features for gas engineer software

You might have seen there are quite a few gas engineer software solutions out there. But not every solution is built the same. So let’s look at exactly what you need to gain streamlined operations and deliver superior customer experiences:

#1: Is it an all-in-one job management solution?

  • Does it allow for easy job tracking, managing invoicing securely, and easily hold documents?
  • Does it allow for live GPS tracking so that both you and your customers can see where engineers and parts are?
  • Can all your team members access the solution for easy collaboration (with the option to prevent access to sensitive information)?

#2: Does it allow engineers to make real-time job updates via a mobile app?

  • Is there a mobile app for engineers to update jobs in real-time?
  • Is the system user-friendly and visual?
  • Can engineers access the safety documents they need and input new customer information, like the location of the gas meter and stopcock, while on-site? Or schedule themselves additional jobs when required?

#3: Can it easily and securely store gas safety documents?

  • Does it provide an easily accessible digital library of COSHH certificates, essential health and safety documents, and more?
  • Does it allow for easy completion of digital risk assessments and other compliance forms?
  • Is the solution industry compliant?

#4: Does it provide automation?

  • Can it trigger alerts to notify engineers when new jobs arrive on their mobile device?
  • Can it send customer reminders? 
  • Can it send automated Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) reminders for jobs such as machine or boiler servicing and allow customers to book in their renewal?

#5: Can it streamline invoicing?

  • Does it enable you to issue an invoice and job sheet as soon as the job is complete?
  • Can you send automated or batch invoicing directly through the software?
  • Does it easily integrate with other systems like your accounting software to avoid double data entry?

#6: Does it give you a 360-degree view of your customer?

  • Does it provide real-time engineer and job status updates?
  • Can you view customer quotes and invoices?
  • Can you view customer documents like signatures, gas safety certificates and photos?

👉In summary, the right solution for you is one that eliminates as many manual processes as possible from your day-to-day work, saving you precious time and effort. Determine which tasks you need automated and invest in a solution that can efficiently automate these features and much more. 

Psst. BigChange has all these features and more. Take a look here.

If you still need a little more convincing, here’s a real-life case study in action.

Case study: Gas engineer software in action

Celsius plumbing and heating identified an opportunity to provide homeowners with the type of professional plumbing and heating service normally reserved for demanding ‘big contract’ commercial clients. 

The challenge was working out how to achieve the desired levels of service as a relatively small and new player in the market.

The solution

Moving away from the cumbersome paperwork that burdened businesses like Celsius, the company made the switch to digital working, leveraging cloud and mobile technology. This covered every step from engineer scheduling to completion — eliminating paperwork at all stages.  

The result?

Here’s what Celsius said:

  • We used to average 6 jobs a day, but now we are doing 7 or 8, meaning that our engineers are often 30% more productive.
  • Our service booking success rate increased from 20% to 90%.
  • Customers love the system. It’s really easy to book a date and time online and with ETA notifications on the day they know when an engineer will arrive.

“In the office, the productivity gains are even greater. With a single, paperless system, BigChange has not just cut administrative work but, through automation, we have significantly reduced the customer calls we make. Saving all that wasted time – we are certainly 40% more efficient – it has in effect freed up two members of staff to focus on important things like customer service.”

Celsius Plumbing and Heating using our gas engineer software

Final takeaways

As with any software solution, gas engineer software needs to be easy to use, accessible by all (and on-the-go) and with built-in features that take away the administrative burden of physical paperwork.

Otherwise, it defeats the object of having it: to drive efficiencies.

But to really drive growth, you need a solution that goes beyond that. With features like job tracking, real-time GPS tracking for engineers, automation and more — you can really start to drive cost reductions. This is everything from customer booking reminders, fuel cost reduction, and booking in more jobs, through to redirecting nearby engineers in a crisis.

The bottom line is the right software for gas engineers will pay for itself very quickly. Plus, it will improve customer experiences like never before.

Why Shacklocks, Celsius and Heatforce choose BigChange

Trusted by 130+ UK plumbing and heating businesses, BigChange’s paperless gas engineer software is specifically designed to enable business growth.

Say goodbye to chaos and hello to a boost in productivity 🚀

Our software for gas engineers gives plumbing and heating companies the power to do more, guarantees operational compliance and delivers winning customer experiences. (More on this in our brochure).

Ready to put BigChange to the test? Book a free demo here today to see how BigChange can help you grow stronger.

Traditionally, job management was symbolised by three things: a pencil, a sheet of paper, and T-cards. 

However, as technology and customer expectations evolve, field service businesses are making the move to job management software

In this blog, we’ll walk you through seven ways to improve job management in 2023. 

But first, let’s get into why improving job management is so important for field service businesses. 

Challenges of field service management

Efficient, seamless, and quality field service management isn’t always easy. Aspects that negatively affect the customer experience include:

  • Long waiting times
  • Poor customer communication
  • Lack of information for field service engineers

As well as leading to unhappy customers, these challenges can also increase the need for costly return visits and leave your team feeling stressed. 

The global pandemic has changed field service management for many organisations. We’re seeing a spike in businesses adopting new solutions to improve job management and future-proof their businesses. 

So, how do you keep customers happy and help field engineers perform at their best? Below, we outline our top seven tips.

7 ways field service teams can improve job management in 2023

The first step to updating your approach to job management is to go digital with the right job management software

In short, the primary purpose of job management software is to assist field service businesses to run a more efficient and profitable business. 

In this respect, job management platforms have numerous advantages. 

Uniting job scheduling, resource management, team collaboration, finance and billing, job tracking and reporting, you can quickly and easily manage projects from quote to invoice. 

Here are the top seven ways to improve job management in 2023 and a walkthrough of each benefit individually:

Route engineers more efficiently 

With pump prices at an 18-year high and not set to significantly fall anytime soon, fuel costs can quickly run up the bill. 

That’s why it’s in your best interest to ensure engineers take the fastest and shortest routes to site. The right job management platform can map the most efficient route to reduce travel time.

Job management software solutions can also help you to react faster to urgent jobs by finding the nearest resource to a specific location. Real-time updates also let you know when a worker finishes a job and can take on a new job. 

Keep on schedule

In the past, customers were happy enough to wait hours or days for an engineer or piece of equipment to arrive. Today’s customers expect you to value their time – which means you can’t leave work scheduling to chance. 

Modern job management tools ensure you assign the right engineer, resources, and parts to the right job – all while keeping your customers fully informed. Likewise, keeping track of vehicles can help with maintaining your fleet. 

Gain real-time information 

Real-time information is helpful for all involved in a field service job, from engineers to finance and, of course, the end customer. 

For example, an increasing number of consumers want to see modern technology with ‘Amazon-type’ features like real-time updates, the engineer’s location, and two-way communication. 

It also acts as a real-time link between the office and the fieldworker, meaning that you can send images and documents with a customer on-site. Plus, it allows job sheets to be sent immediately after the job is completed.

Optimise resource management 

Good resource management can help make significant savings with the costs of machinery and vehicles. 

In contrast, increased downtime and inefficient use of assets eats into profit margins. 

But by tracking assets, you can fully optimise their use, whether it’s ensuring that vehicles are regularly serviced or that certification and industry credentials are kept up to date. In fact, 96% of companies that use fleet tracking find it beneficial, and users reported a positive return on investment six months after implementation. 

Job management apps also reduce the need to have more than one engineer on-site to solve an issue. Through cloud storage, engineers can access previous service history and vital documents to perform tasks better.

Improve time management

Historically, managers have had a hard time managing field service teams and monitoring the quality and punctuality of their work.

With the right job scheduling software and improved scheduling tools, you can cut admin time by 60-70% – and view precise locations and whether the job started on time via job tracking.

You can make job and resource allocations faster and make it easy for all employees to know what to do, when, and where. 

Reduce manual work

Manually keying in work orders, customer information and tasks to separate systems takes time and is prone to human-error. 

Instead, your workflows could be automated and integrated. 

Plus, not only can job management be automated, but also reports, certificates, and customer documents can be created automatically. 

Improve cash flow

In today’s day and age, it’s more important than ever to keep tight control of the financial reins, whether via excellent reporting or tighter control of stock and preventative maintenance scheduling.

The good news is financial documents can be created straight from a job’s information, resulting in improved cash flow – and no un-invoiced jobs.  

The future is digital

Businesses across all industries are undergoing digital transformation, and a similar process is underway for field service management businesses. 

Every day, we’re seeing more and more field service businesses make the switch from traditional manual methods and legacy systems to more modern integrated job management platforms. 

Whether you’re in the market for job management software or are looking to make the switch to a complete end-to-end solution, the team at BigChange is here to help

In short, digital job management solutions can have an immediate effect on your profitability, efficiency, and customer experience. 

Field service businesses, large and small, juggle many jobs, tasks, and people. Having the right solution keeps everything and everyone organised and able to run jobs in a way that is accurate, efficient, and profitable. 

The benefits that the right job management software brings are boundless.

In fact, field service management software is probably the single most useful tool in making you more competitive and setting you apart from the rest of your industry.

How BigChange provides a strong competitive advantage 

At BigChange, it’s our mission to make our customers successful by accelerating growth and sustainability in our community. 

In fact, our approach is revolutionising an under-resourced but critical part of the UK economy. For the first time, these businesses can be truly scalable. 

We’ve even won awards for it. 

We are extremely proud to celebrate winning The Business Enabler of the Year at the Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards, the UK’s most prestigious national awards honouring the innovation, success, and resilience of British business. (And we are proud to be the first job management software company to do so.)

Why did we win this award? The win recognises our contribution to helping SME field service businesses transform operational efficiency, productivity, and customer service – and for using our position to promote best practice, safer driving, and compliance with field teams.

Speaking of best practice, in this blog, we’ll walk you through seven examples of how we’re helping BigChange customers to gain a competitive advantage, starting with one of the key benefits of job management software – effortless scheduling. 

Example #1: Effortless Scheduling

Intelligent scheduling allows customers to schedule jobs, see if resources are on schedule, and send and receive automated messaging.

By the same token, not only can customers schedule and reschedule jobs quickly and easily, but so too can field service engineers. 

Take MEDLEC, for example. The electrical contractor boosted worker productivity by 40% thanks to engineers being able to self-allocate jobs.  

“As jobs come in, they are instantly available to our engineers. It means we can be more reactive and efficient with our time, therefore we’re around 40% more productive, allowing us to take on more work with the same resources.”

If you haven’t considered job management software before, you can see how easy it is to schedule a job below.

You can simply drag and drop a job onto the schedule – and send it straight to your mobile workforce.

Example #2: Paperless Operations

It goes without saying, going paperless is one of the hallmarks of a good job management process. 

You can’t gain efficiencies when you spend so much time double-keying the same information into several systems, writing up job sheets, and using T-cards.

Going digital reduces admin time, plus overall job time – and human error. 

With all your key information stored digitally, your team can access it from anywhere in an instant. The increased efficiency will mean you get more work done – with the same amount of people. 

It’s good for the planet too. 🌍

Look for an all-in-one cloud-based solution that can link up with Sage 50, Xero and more. 

But don’t just take it from us, see what plumbing and heating firm, Celsius, said: 

“The new link between BigChange & Xero is now seamless and instant no delays. We only have to enter data once and that cuts hours off our admin time. Now anyone can raise an invoice we don’t have to rely solely on the accounts team. This system automation will allow us to grow without increasing our back office headcount.”

Example #3: Easy To Use Mobile App

Even those with job management software in place can fall short without a mobile app. 

Your workforce is mainly on the road, so it’s critical they have everything they need on the go.

 A mobile app reduces job time, improves first-time fix rates, and more. Specifically, jobs can be sent to field workers in real-time allowing for urgent changes to happen instantly. 

In fact, everything you want your field workers to have can be made available on a customer-by-customer basis, from site maps to manuals, forms and worksheets.

What makes BigChange the best job management software for many clients is its integration with vehicle and job tracking. This allows vehicle locations to be displayed on a secure, web-based mapping system. This real-time tracking provides instant visibility of technicians, as well as traffic conditions – reducing customer wait times and travel costs and emissions.

Talking about the solution, Danny Fuller, Operations Director, at LDF said:

BigChange handles our job management brilliantly, linking site history, alerts and client access rules seamlessly,” he continued. “The function for multiday work, grouped jobs and the allocation of purchase orders is also fantastic and being able to link multiple teams, and multiple jobs to the same address has been a godsend.”

BigChange is also saving LDF customers time and money, evidenced by 86% of its business coming from repeat customers.  

Example #4: Accurate Job Tracking

Accurate tracking means complete visibility of your field based teams, vehicles, and assets with real-time updates.

Knowing exactly where your field workers are at all times, means you can reroute them if necessary or divert them to pick-up van stock from the nearest supplier or colleague.

You can also plan and reduce fuel costs with smart routing between jobs. 

These efficiencies can translate into big profits, as illustrated by J W Hinchcliffe (Tanks):

“Since we went live with BigChange around 2 years ago, we have increased our turnover by around 35 per cent. “BigChange has freed up my time to run the business rather than it running me. This has allowed me to invest time in other areas of the business, such as the website, advertising and customer care, which has undoubtedly contributed to our growth.”

Example #5: Robust CRM Database

In today’s world, how you manage customers matters. 

With a CRM system built for field service businesses, you can improve customer satisfaction through instant communication. Customers can log into a customer portal, track job progress, leave feedback, and directly communicate with your business. 

Plus, field service operations become easier to manage. With full customer history, you can send reminders for recurring jobs, such as servicing of machinery and scheduled PPM (planned preventative maintenance). And you can also see full financial history with a customer as well as associated images, attachments, and contracts. 

Of course, the real value of a CRM comes when it is integrated with your job management software. 

As an example, before BigChange, Omnia Plumbing used a standalone diary system, separate accounting software, and no CRM – which meant countless phone calls and lots of wasted time. Talking about the switch to BigChange, Omnia’s owner, Alastair Barton said:

“Since implementing BigChange, our customer interaction has vastly improved with automated ETAs and updates, and project-specific information available wherever and whenever it’s needed. The vehicle tracking also means we never miss billing a job which saves us literally tens of thousands of pounds every year!”

Example #6: Strong Network and Partnership

Another way to gain competitive advantage is through a strong network and partnerships. 

In a nutshell, a strong network allows you to offer yourself as a contractor/subcontractor or look for contractors/subcontractors safe in the knowledge they are trustworthy partners. 

At BigChange, we are huge advocates of a partnership approach. We even have an entire team dedicated to it. 

The BigChange “Network” provides the ideal platform for collaboration between customers. 

To see how it works in practice, watch our overview video, below.

Example #7: Critical Business Intelligence

When evaluating job management software, it’s easy to focus on ease of job scheduling, and all those other important elements to improve efficiencies. While all of this is important, we sometimes forget to consider business information. 

Access to business intelligence insights can highlight opportunities to not only improve efficiency but also forecast cash flow management. 

With ‘at-a-glance’ dashboards, you gain improved insight into your business. You can set-up KPIs and track job completion stages, financial reports with details on work in progress, and much more. 

It’s so important that everybody, from engineers to back-office staff have access to the right information, as Adam Redgwick, from Warmaway, points out:

“The engineers know in advance what their day looks like and they know they have the information they need to deal with each and every job. With BigChange, even the back-office staff know they have the tools they need to get the job done from scheduling to keeping the customers informed and managing cash flow.”

Award-winning field service business: NWCE 

What’s even better than winning awards ourselves is seeing our clients win them.

NWCE Foodservice Equipment has recently won a Catering Insight award in the category Distributor of the Year Digital Initiative.

Powered by BigChange, the food service equipment company is now able to save 31.4 miles in a day, saving roughly 31 minutes of driving time with live traffic forecasting.

This converts to a massive reduction of 1.5 tons of CO₂ per van, per year!

See for yourself👇

Gain competitive advantage with BigChange

As you plan for next year, take the time to consider what’s best for your field service business and how you can maximise efficiencies and improve cash flow to scale and grow. 

If we have you convinced that job management software is the way to do it, start here with a demo to find out if BigChange could work for you. 

Want to grow your field service business? Here, we’ll compare manual versus automated job scheduling to help you win more work and reduce operations costs.

Field service businesses rely on accurate job management and scheduling. Yet many still struggle with a mix of tools and methods that don’t work well together – or use spreadsheets they have outgrown as the company scales. 

Whether you’re just starting to think about automating job management or have a solution already underway, there are significant opportunities for improving job management through automation. 

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the benefits of moving from manual to automated job management and the risks of sticking with a paper-based approach.

Let’s dive in. 

Why move to automated job management?

Automated job management provides the ability to move away from the costly, error-prone ways of manual scheduling towards improving the overall management of your entire business.

It reduces admin, increases efficiency, and provides excellent cost savings. 

In fact, after moving to digital and automated processes, JWH Tanks saw 35% growth:

We have slashed the time taken to produce vital documentation for each job. Customised worksheets such as tank cleaning reports and consignment notes can be completed simply by our engineers, which is complemented by easy access to important safety information such as method statements and risk assessments.” 

The end result? JWH Tanks has raised customer service levels with real-time updates and ETAs. They’ve minimised administrative costs to increase turnover. And they’ve reduced errors such as data duplication.

JWH Tanks using BigChange in the office to schedule, track and manage their work.

The risks of a manual approach

If you haven’t moved to automated job management, you’re not alone. In 2018, over half (52%) of businesses were still using manual methods for the bulk of their field service processes. 

Yet manual methods pose huge risks. 

A manual or paper-based approach means information stored in multiple places – including lots of spreadsheets, office whiteboards, T-cards, and printed job sheets. 

Updates are often made by engineers via calls and text messages or even by post. And you’d have to wait to receive the printed job sheets before updating a job and then manually raise an invoice.

While spreadsheets are easy to use – they aren’t made for job scheduling. They also rely on everyone having access to a live version and being able to track changes.

Ultimately, this all makes job management a lengthy and admin-heavy process. 

Plus, it’s prone to bottlenecks and involves a lot of coordination, deadlines, and data entry – the risk of human error is huge. 

Not to mention these additional challenges that manual processes present:

  • Paperwork – As well as the need for manual data input to systems, paperwork can also get lost, it can be difficult to interpret different hand-writing, and keep up with job progress. Plus, updates aren’t in real-time.
  • Invoicing – Manual invoicing can be slow, disorganised and negatively impact cash flow.
  • Competitive disadvantage – Competitors can leap ahead with quicker scheduling and smoother customer experiences (with automation, they can provide live updates on a job).

The bottom line? This approach can’t be easily scaled to support a growing business. This is why we’ve seen a real shift in the market with more and more field service businesses making the leap to automation.

For smaller businesses, the need or urgency for a move away from manual job management is less pressing. However, if you hope to grow your business, it might make sense to look for an alternative sooner rather than later.

As an interesting side note, during the pandemic, businesses that quickly moved to automated job management software could continue to operate seamlessly. Whilst we never want to experience something like this again, it’s good to future-proof your business for the unknowns.

Benefits of automated job management

Moving away from manual processes, automated job management uses specialist job management software to allow for accelerated growth in a way that paper systems just can’t handle.

How? Going paperless means all information is available at all times, regardless of your location. This means you can check a job’s progress or send an invoice from anywhere and from your mobile!

Likewise, because this type of platform can automate all the steps in the job management process – and requires only minimal admin input – it ensures efficiency and eliminates effort. 

As a result, you can adapt and scale to changing needs, provide 24-hour service availability, comply with legal requirements, and free up valuable time. 

For savvy field service businesses, it’s a no-brainer. 

No bottlenecks, no data issues, and no more struggling to get a mish-mash of tools and spreadsheets working. Just job management and scheduling that works. 

Here are some additional benefits:

  • Increase the number of bookings – Reduce administration so you can focus resources on booking and attending more jobs. 
  • Speed and accuracy of job scheduling – Arrange job scheduling in the most time and fuel-efficient way, allowing you to do more jobs with the same number of engineers.
  • Respond quickly to new opportunities – Everything from quicker generation of quotes and proposals, through to automating timely follow-up emails and reminders.
  • Quickly adjust job schedules on the go – With a real-time view of every job, engineer and vehicle, you can respond to unforeseen circumstances such as emergency call-outs, driver illness or a vehicle breakdown.
  • Route your team to the nearest jobs – With live tracking and a precise location of a site, you can send drivers exactly where they need to be whilst keeping fuel costs down.
  • Increase profits – Automate everything from timesheets to customer service due reminders to reduce administrative costs, freeing up your team’s time for more bookings.
  • Run a more cost-efficient business – Say goodbye to admin errors and lost paperwork. Automated workflows ensure every job is done right every time, using the closest resource.
  • Improve the customer experience and response times – Say hello to automated, real-time customer updates and ETAs. Plus, have access to all customer details (full job history for each customer, including financial history, model numbers, contact details and more).

In a nutshell, you can run a healthier business: An automated job management system can have a ripple effect through a business positively impacting all processes and teams involved. 

With the ability to link data with the click of a button, so many areas of mobile operations can be streamlined. 

This is why businesses like A&S Newbuild Aftercare have seen a boost to turnover of £5m in just two years. Here’s how:

“We have complete visibility of everything going on in real-time… It has allowed us to really streamline our mobile operations. Tradesmen are now much more self-sufficient; journeys to the depot are rare, first fix rates are improved, and there are fewer wasted hours.”

The end result? Automation allows A&S to meet any contract specification, opening up new business opportunities and much bigger contracts – with the assurance that they can deliver exceptional service.

A&S using BigChange job management software.

Make the move to automated job management 

Automated job management can help you save two of your business’s most critical resources – time and money. 

Even when you have a small number of employees, manual job management can create a mass of work and lead to errors. Of course, the problem only increases as your business grows. 

The good news is that automated job management software can take the burden off your shoulders – replacing 70-80% of repetitive work, such as keying in paper-based job sheets – so you can focus on more value-added work. 

In conclusion, moving from manual to automated job management ensures your business stays on the path to continued growth. Ultimately, you can differentiate yourself as a market leader with a strong competitive advantage.

If you’re ready to grow your business and profit margins, you’re probably ready for automated job scheduling. Take a look at this latest blog for a checklist of must-haves to look for in a job management software provider. 

Or, jump straight and book a one-on-one demo with our field service business specialists to see how our software can win you more work, reduce operations costs and more.

Decided to move to job management software, but need to ensure you’re choosing the best option for your needs? Here’s the key criteria to consider.

If you’re running a field service business in this day and age, it helps to use job management software. Delivering improved cost savings, efficiency, and profits — it’s not surprising it’s so popular among time-pressed businesses. 

You’ll never go back to messy spreadsheets or paper job sheets again. 

But once you’ve made the decision to invest, what do you need to consider? And what key factors should you think about when choosing job management software

Let’s get into it.

How to choose the best job management software

If you’ve decided to move to job management software (also known as field service management software), how do you ensure you’re choosing the best option for your needs? 

📝Here are some of the key criteria that should make their way onto your list.

Criteria for choosing job management software

  • All-in-one solution with the right integrations
  • Easy-to-use (even for those less tech-savvy)
  • Advantages beyond job management
  • Strong supplier and partnership relationship
  • Ability to scale with your business

To help you assess each one, we’ve pulled together some key questions to consider when weighing up solutions and suppliers. 

#1. What do you need your job management software to do? 

Some job manager software providers offer job scheduling. Others are designed to support customer quoting and invoicing. Others major in job progress tracking.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find one that can do all three with ease.

Having a clear idea of your priorities can make the selection process far easier. 

The key here is to think about your objectives – what are you looking for in your job management software? Is one area more important to you than another? 

Or maybe, the ideal software is an all-in-one solution that fully integrates with other useful systems. For example, syncing up your finance software such as Sage or Xero, plus GPS and What3Words for location finding. 

Similarly, one thing that businesses find particularly handy is software with the ability to automatically create job cards and industry-specific certificates that can be quickly shared with customers.  

#2. Who will be using it? 

Often, one of the reasons businesses want to introduce job management software is to make everyone’s life easier. If this is one of your reasons for investing in mobile workforce management, it needs to be part of your decision process. 

Given that, think about the skill set of those you want to make use of the solution. Are they all good with software? Not everyone is ‘app savvy’. 

You want to avoid a complex or unintuitive solution – what you invest in needs to be user-friendly with support on hand. 

Likewise, to ensure adoption with your users, your solution needs to allow anyone – not just management – to access and update jobs if it’s to deliver real benefits to your business.

Aside from your field teams, think about who else might need access to the software, such as stock control, reporting, finance and other teams. Consider if everyone will get what they need from your chosen solution.

#3. Does it have advantages beyond job management

Chances are, you’ll need to ‘sell in’ the idea of investing in field service management software to your director. If you can identify and shortlist a solution whose benefit goes beyond improving job management scheduling, you’ll be far more likely to secure the budget you need. 

The best solutions will enable you to not only schedule jobs but offer an all-in-one solution. 

Look for solutions that offer:

  • Mobile job management app for efficient paperless job management
  • Client job portal (or booking site)
  • Automated job scheduling
  • Live tracking of fleet and resources with real-time updates
  • Better customer CRM and project management
  • Financial management, including quotes and invoicing
  • Integration with your accounting software (or with an ERP system for larger businesses) 
  • Business insights and reporting
  • Audit trail with time stamping
  • Customer messaging, such as text messages to confirm when engineers will arrive 
  • Ability to control the workflow step-by-step, so nothing is missed

Are you short-listing suppliers that can deliver on all this?

#4. Does the supplier match up to the solution? 

When you choose a job management solution, remember you’re not buying just a solution but a supplier as well. The right supplier can turn into a fruitful business partnership. 

Ask these key questions:

Ensuring your chosen supplier can support you on your job management automation journey is vitally important. Make sure the service levels match up to the technical elements of the solution. 

#5. Does the solution have the capacity to scale with you?

Finally, as your business scales, you need job management software that has the capacity to scale with you. 

Can it handle increased workloads while adding users with minimal cost impact? Can you add integrations, such as Xero, as you grow? And is the supplier constantly updating the software with new features?

Equally important, is the solution fast and flexible to launch? Some software requires complex IT involvement, while others can be up and running straight away. 

In short, make sure the solution suits your needs today and has what you need in five years’ time. 

If the answer is yes, put that vendor on your shortlist.

Getting it right when making decisions on job management software

The benefits of job management software are well-recognised. You can save significant time, improve productivity, reduce your admin, and increase efficiency. 

We can’t say it enough. Making sure you select the best solution for your business is the crucial step in achieving the benefits field service management software can deliver.

When narrowing down your options, be sure to read customer reviews and compare features and benefits

Hopefully, this blog has given you some ideas of how to get it right when you’re choosing job management software. 

When in doubt, schedule a demo

Scheduling software demos are an excellent way to understand each software better and get a better feeling for their customer support. If you’re ready to put BigChange on your shortlist, why not book a one-on-one demo today? Our team will show you how to win more work, take control of your operations, and deliver the best customer experiences.

Intelligent scheduling

July 2022 was England’s driest month since 1935, and August hasn’t been much wetter. But this lack of water is actually leading to more work for drainage and sewage companies.

Firms are called on to make urgent fixes to drought-damaged pipes. And they are inspecting and clearing drains ready for the downpours that often follow long dry periods.

To address this demand, drainage companies are looking for ways they can do more with the same resources. This is exactly what a complete job management system – like BigChange’s drainage job management software – is there to help with.

Get to urgent work fast with a drainage scheduling app

With dry weather affecting so much of the UK, drainage companies must be able to act fast to fix problems across their customer network. A smart drainage scheduling app can:

  • Give easy oversight of all field-based teams so you can get a nearby engineer out fast
  • Guarantee that the engineer allocated has the skills/tools needed for a first-time fix
  • Schedule fast, efficient routes so workers arrive at jobs in good time

Keep engineers safe and work on track

With engineers working harder in hotter, drier conditions, firms should take every precaution to keep them safe. But as work stacks up, it’s vital to carry out compliance in the most efficient way. By switching from paper to digital job sheets, you can:

  • Set up workflows that make sure engineers haven’t forgotten vital checks
  • Save time in the field and at back-office by capturing records once and saving them automatically in the cloud
  • Require photos of completed jobs to make sure work is done right-first-time.

With improved compliance, you can keep your people safe while helping them get started on their urgent jobs faster.

Use powerful automation to keep customers cool

Temperatures and tempers flare up in the heat. Communicate clearly with customers to avoid stress and give outstanding service. Job management software, like BigChange’s, makes this easy by:

  • Putting customers in control of when and how they book with a bespoke online booking portal
  • Automating alerts, ETAs and job updates so your customers feel in control and in the loop.
  • Automatically sharing invoices on sign-off, cutting invoice queries and service disputes.

Automate key steps in the customer journey to turn quality service into your competitive advantage while saving time for frontline and back-office staff.

BigChange keeps the work flowing with drainage engineer software

Drainage companies will be called on urgently during this long, hot summer. BigChange is here to help.

  • Using BigChange’s job management platform, Sapphire Utility Solutions reported a 100 per cent rise in productivity across its Severn Trent Water Network Operations
  • BigChange also helped sewerage solution specialist Jet Aire Services eliminate virtually all paper from the management and scheduling of its work

Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today. You can also get helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below.

Keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

As schools close and students are let loose for summer and families prepare for some much needed time away, firms already struggling with capacity issues will need to work smarter to manage the extra challenges the summer holiday period brings

Here are some ways the BigChange Job Management platform can keep your business running smoothly – and give you peace of mind over the summer holidays:

  1. Mobile workforce scheduling makes it easy to meet urgent work with the right employees

    A capacity crunch forces businesses to deploy their workforces as effectively as possible to meet their customers’ demands. BigChange’s intelligent scheduling and vehicle tracking tools give leaders total visibility over their field-based teams and instantly ensure you find the best option when urgent jobs pop up. 

  2. Personalised customer comms, even with a reduced back-office

    A reduced admin team is no excuse to let customer service standards slip. The BigChange platform automates key customer touch-points – from an online booking portal to personalised updates across quoting, ETAs, job progress or invoicing – keeping customers in the loop without squeezing your remaining back-office staff. 

  3. Engage a network of subcontractors that stick to your high standards

    The BigChange Collaboration Network gives access to a wealth of contractors who can meet your high standards if you need to add capacity quickly during a pinch.

    Using the platform, you can assign work, agree on rates, and operate on shared systems. Complete job visibility between businesses shows that standards are met and keeps service consistent.

  4. Automated timesheets make shifting staff easy to track

    During the holidays, it’s likely that some team members will be working overtime, while others take half-days. BigChange takes the headache out of tracking the schedules of a shifting workforce. The system automatically logs start and finish times, breaks, and travel.

  5. Job management software that helps you deliver more with less

    When workloads threaten to outgrow capacity, workers want to do the job at hand as effectively and efficiently as possible. With digital workflows, all the information needed to get the job done is stored on an easy-to-use mobile device. Proof of service is quickly captured in-app and records are saved automatically in the cloud. It’s why each field-based worker does four extra jobs a month on average using BigChange.

There’s no need to spend your break worrying about whether your business is running smoothly and your workers are delivering on customer commitments.

While you’re holidaying on the golf course, a beach or in your back garden, the BigChange Job Management Platform ensures you can relax, knowing that jobs are done timely, effectively, and to the highest of standards.

While there are many challenges associated with the aging workforce and the rise of younger workers – there are field service management solutions available to help.

One of the biggest threats to field service businesses is an aging workforce. The industry has a shortage of workers and the rate of new applicants is not enough.

Essentially, it’s clear that something needs to be done to combat the skills gap caused by an aging workforce. 

In this blog, we look at the changing demographics of the field service management workforce and key strategies to put in place to attract and retain workers. 

Let’s jump in.

The changing workforce

The tides are turning in workplaces worldwide. While workers younger than 25 make up only 9% of the construction industry today, by 2030, millennials will make up about 40% of the workforce and Gen Z about 32%. 

In view of that, recently it was ‘World Youth Skills Day’, an initiative focusing on engaging young people in the workforce.

To help attract younger workers, leaders should look for ways to make their businesses attractive to the next generation of talent:

  • Research from Digital Futures reports that “Gen Z feels technology helps them in all areas of their lives (81%) and that they expect it to create job opportunities for them (69%).”
  • And Deloitte found that “the most digitally advanced small businesses earned two times as much revenue per employee and were almost three times as likely to have created jobs compared with the previous year.”

But how can field service management businesses put this into practice? 

The rise of the tech-enabled trades – from job management systems to SaaS solutions

With the growing popularity of automated field service management software and the need to streamline operations, many field service businesses are evolving into the digital era.

In fact, BigChange research found that the UK’s trades industries have shown they’re ready and willing to take advantage of the opportunities technology offers – on average, leaders expected to spend 52% more on technology in 2022, than in 2021.

The changing workforce is looking for more digital experiences. If you don’t provide those experiences, you’re going to have a hard time recruiting. 

The good news is field service management software can meet the needs of this emerging generation in several ways:

App-enabled workflows

The businesses best placed to attract new talent have moved on from paper-based working, to embrace the benefits of digital workflows. 

Real-time and accurate data, which is automatically synced to the cloud, will provide the vital information needed to improve the customer’s experience.

With a solution like BigChange, all the documents a worker needs to get the job done are easily accessible on one mobile app.

Powerful automation dispels back-office drudgery

Monster.com found that over a third of Gen Z (39%) are motivated to choose a job by the challenges it offers. Repetitive tasks do not inspire them, such as double-keying data collated on paper reports from the field. They prefer convenience and self-service. 

A solution like BigChange automates data entry across scheduling, reporting and invoicing. This frees up your staff for more high-value work. Not only can it automate elements of job management, can also automatically create reports, certificates, and customer documents. All adding to admin and error reduction.

Approached correctly, automation won’t overwhelm you. It’s simply a series of smaller projects that, when strung together, are going to make your technicians happier and your customers more satisfied. 

Guide your team with the right tech

Today’s younger workforce value convenience over just about anything. 

The right technology makes every day run smoothly. With a real-time view of every job, engineer, and vehicle – you can help team members respond quickly and efficiently to unforeseen changes. 

Likewise, with smart routing, you can provide your team with the best routes to site for efficiencies.

Your customers expect it now too. For example, an increasing number of consumers want to see modern technology with ‘Amazon-type’ features like real-time updates, the engineer’s location, and two-way communication. 

In other words, businesses are looking to the right technology to improve operations and customer experience.

Digital training helps Gen Z reach new heights

GWI, the polling agency, reported that 63% of Gen Z say learning new skills is important to them. 

BigChange is a plug-and-play platform – meaning new starters can learn what they need to get going in minutes, not days. 

Further training available through the BigChange University and expert support can help you discover how BigChange can help your business grow stronger – and meet the needs of a generation hungry to learn more.

Is it time to digitally evolve?

If you’re considering digital solutions, a good place to start is to look at your own business: Do you have siloed systems that don’t talk to each other? Is your field service business managed with whiteboard calendars and paper-based work orders? Are you using a mobile app to manage your field teams?

While there are many challenges associated with the aging workforce and the rise of younger workers – at the same time, there are solutions available to help you operate more efficiently.

These solutions provide the ability to future proof your business well into the future. 

Final tips to attract the next generation workforce:

  • Offer training: Have procedures in place to train new field service technicians quickly. 
  • Flexibility and support: People like companies who are easy to work with. Respect your employees’ time by giving them the tools that help make them more efficient and better at their jobs. 
  • Offer real customer relationships: Give your technicians the opportunity to have real relationships with customers. 
  • Automate processes: Automation helps workers spend less time on actions that don’t make money – like checking in with the back office – and more on those that do.

By automating your processes, you’ll shorten service times and speed up your billing. You’ll also grow profit margins, enhance employee productivity, and improve customer satisfaction. If you are ready to learn more, you can find out about making the move from manual to automated job management right here.

Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and account for three-fifths of total employment.

On June 27 we’re celebrating the UN’s Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, and showcasing how our SME customers have grown stronger running on BigChange. 

For more than 1,700 customers – in trades from Plumbing and Heating to Buildings Maintenance and Fire and Security – our complete job management platform has been a ‘game-changer’.

In many cases, businesses have grown spectacularly running on BigChange. Gartec, a lift supply company, grew its turnover by £1 million without needing to add new office support staff. Facilities management firm Nserv grew revenues from £1.2 million to £5 million in 2 years and boosted productivity by 70%.  Sapphire Utility Solutions increased its productivity by 100%.

Here are three key features of Big Change that help SMEs achieve those kinds of results:  

1. Manage your business digitally, simply, and in one place

BigChange gives managers a clear, real-time, 24/7overview of how work is going and the business is performing. For SMEs in trades from Hire to Waste and Recycling, the complete job management platform:

  • gives instant insight into KPIs
  • takes the hassle out of operations by getting the right teams, assets and vehicles to the job – automatically
  • cuts travel time, fuel costs and field admin

Michael Yeadon, Operations Manager at Generator Power, says this oversight is a “game-changer”. 

2. Give world-class customer service, and win glowing reviews
One in four customers is willing to pay up to 10% more in almost every industry if they know they’ll get excellent customer service. 

For SMEs with customer-facing field-service teams, consistent excellence in customer service can be hard. Those using BigChange can offer customers:

  • a self-service booking portal that works on all digital devices
  • automated, personalised job confirmations and ETA messages
  • instant invoices and access to key documents

Paul Quealey, Managing Director at Complete Shutter Services, says, “Our customers now expect accurate and real-time reports.  BigChange allows us to do just that.”

3. Take the pain out of growth by subcontracting simply

Rapid growth can be difficult to manage and sustain for SMEs with field-service teams. But by working with other businesses running on BigChange, field-service companies can deliver bigger contracts and enter new markets easily.

The BigChange Network makes it quick and easy to find subcontractors and manage work done in your name. It lets SMEs: 

  • allocate jobs to partners at the click of a button
  • provide automated job sheets, customer feedback surveys, health-and-safety documents and billing
  • monitor job progress of jobs in real-time.

Find out how BigChange can help your business enjoy these benefits, by booking a free consultation today. You can also get helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below.


Keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Sustainability in field service management protects the environment, boosts return-on-investment, and generates revenue. But how do you get started?

Field service management is a sector traditionally plagued by efficiency challenges. From paper based planning to high carbon emissions, and inefficient operations. 

As the effects become more visible, the days of deciding whether or not to ‘go green’ are long gone – it’s now accepted that we all have a part to play in reducing emissions to save the planet from irreparable damage. 

For example, on World Environment Day, there was a call to arms to restore our planet. This theme is becoming more urgent, and BigChange echoes the need to take action. 

The time to act is now, and business leaders can be a powerful force for change. 

The good news is, evidence suggests the tide is turning towards a more sustainable approach, with 40% of field service organisations saying sustainability is a top priority1

For some top level ideas, in its practical guide to living sustainably, the World Environment Day organisers lay out some achievable steps for all businesses:

  • Set emission-reduction targets, and work to continuously improve energy efficiency.
  • Offer employees the opportunity to pay into a Green pension fund, which supports sustainable investments.

Taking this a step further, here are some of the key ways field service businesses, specifically, can operate more sustainably – that are also sure to have an impact on your bottom line.

Did you know? The right field service management solution helps reduce carbon emissions, enables paperless operations, and saves time and money. BigChange is already helping over 2,000 field service businesses work more sustainably. 

Here are just some of the ways we help our customers make an impact:

Cut van miles that hit the environment (and your bottom line)

Fuel consumption is one of the biggest sustainability issues for field service management. Therefore, the fastest way to reduce your carbon footprint is by driving fewer miles. 

One way to drive fewer miles is by using intelligent scheduling. It routes the right teams, assets and vehicles to your job’s location in the most efficient and sustainable way.

“Route optimisation makes sure the right person, with the right skills and parts always wakes the most efficient route.”

Live traffic updates help find the best route between jobs, saving time and fuel.

Improve driving practices to use less fuel

As well as driving fewer miles, you can also encourage better driver behaviour. 

For example, with BigChange, managers can set driving behaviour alerts and view driver data, in order to curb idling, speeding, and harsh acceleration.

Not only does this keep your people safe on the road, it also cuts fuel costs and emissions. For instance, driving at 55mph uses 25% less fuel than driving at 70mph.

Cut paper out of the picture

If you’re a field service business, you will likely use a fair bit of paper. You can start by recycling everything you don’t need.  

But to make the biggest change, consider going paperless with your entire field service operations. BigChange is a paperless system. It brings together CRM, job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform.

This way, we helped customers save 60 million sheets of A4 in 2021 alone. That’s roughly equivalent to 7,200 trees.

Now that you know some of the key ways field service management can become more sustainable, let’s go through three simple steps to start your journey today.

3 simple steps to kick-start sustainability

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to becoming a sustainable business, there are a three simple steps you can take today:

  1. Establish where you are today: Understanding your business’s carbon footprint is key when you’re trying to become more sustainable. The Carbon Trust’s SME carbon footprint calculator is a good place to start. You’ll soon see your organisation and all its vehicles fuel consumption, energy consumption and more. 
  2. Put a plan in place: After using the carbon footprint calculator, you will have a clearer understanding of your current situation and identify areas to introduce changes. For instance, if your fuel consumption is high – consider solutions that allow you to optimise routes and drive fewer miles. 
  3. Make changes: The initiatives you introduce will be unique to your business. While there are no hard and fast rules, consider which initiatives will have the biggest impact to the planet and your bottom line. 

Once you start on your sustainability route, don’t keep your progress a secret – shout about it! Sustainability achievements are great to share with your customers. 

It shows that you don’t just value the bottom line, helping to win over an audience that is increasingly drawn to responsible brands. 

Just look at what VM Elevators managed to achieve. 👇

Example of a sustainable field service business

VM Elevators (VME), is boosting its green credentials using BigChange job management software. Using our cloud-based system, VME delivers 100% of its client reports digitally and has moved its business to an entirely paperless system. 

Intelligent scheduling and routing, and collaboration with other BigChange users through the BigChange Network, is also improving efficiency and reducing mileage whilst live vehicle tracking, complete with driver behaviour alerts, promotes greener driving across the fleet of mobile service engineers. 

These benefits have combined to save VME more than £120k per annum and reduced its administrative resource by 80%.

“Here at VM Elevators we care!” commented Simon Whitbread, CEO of VM Elevators. “We care about the people who work for us, the people we work for and the world in which we inhabit. BigChange helps us turn this attitude into action; with workable solutions that deliver tangible benefits for our employees, our clients and the environment.

“Using BigChange we have eliminated paper from our business model. This not only saves trees, it saves printing costs, it saves on the amount of office space we have to heat and light and it reduces journeys backwards and forwards to pick-up or drop-off reports. We are also reducing harmful emissions with home working, advanced scheduling and sharing of resources with other BigChange users. These are real savings for both the planet and the business.”

Simon Whitebread, CEO of VM Elevators

Become a more sustainable field service business

World Environment Day’s message is clear. There are billions of planets, but there is only one Earth.

What’s more, customers want to team with companies who are working towards sustainability, and this will only continue to rise. 

The best bit? Sustainability in field service management protects the environment, boosts return-on-investment, and generates revenue.

We’re committed to leading the field service sector to greener, more sustainable ways of working. We hope you’ll join us.

Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today. You can also get helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below.

Keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
1 Source: Future Enterprise Resiliency & Spending Survey – Wave 1, IDC, February, 2022

In January, I joined BigChange as Head of Product Design and was immediately tasked with supporting the ongoing work within Job Finance, a crucial product feature for our customers. With a firm grasp on operational finances, businesses can make better decisions, save on costs, and increase profit margins.

As a tool to manage operations, some extremely powerful data passes through BigChange. Handled in the right way, this data can provide truly valuable insight – insight that will allow customers to spend less time number crunching and more time doing what they do best.

Since January we have been doing some substantial work ‘under the hood’ to rejuvenate Job Finance. BigChange has been around for 10 years so it’s probably no surprise that there are parts of the system that need modernisation. We were finding that the way we store financial data was not giving us the flexibility we need for reporting and importantly, it wasn’t going to support our future plans for Job Finance. This meant some challenging but necessary work was required to put it right. In the short term, this work will unlock better financial reporting (which you will see in the upcoming release), but in the longer term will set us up to provide insight within the BigChange interface itself.

As our Head of Product, Jason Nash mentions in his recent article, collaboration with our customers is vital to our success as we continue to develop and improve BigChange, Hence our work on Job Finance has involved frequent customer engagement. To make sure we are delivering real value to our customers it is crucial that we understand the problems they are trying to solve and the jobs they need to get done day-to-day. This is an ongoing process that doesn’t stop at the discovery phase. A tight feedback loop is what will ensure that we develop a useful and usable product as well as something that provides genuine value.

You will soon notice some new parts to the product tagged as ‘Beta’ within BigChange. During the Beta phase, features are continually tested and improved. Whilst features are in Beta, they may not work for everyone, but through data and feedback, they will be improved upon until we’re confident that we have something that delivers on Expectations.

This “build, measure, learn” approach is something we are extremely passionate about and hopefully, you’ll take the opportunity to have an input. Ultimately, we are creating a product for you, our customers, so it makes complete sense that you are involved in that process.

As well as Job Finance, the team have been contributing to several other pieces of work across the product. As part of a focus on reducing customer onboarding time, we are improving the way customers import their data into BigChange. This will also be taking an iterative development approach and you will see the first stages released into a Beta phase soon. Our vision is that this will become a comprehensive Import/Export hub that aids existing customers with their day-to-day import and export tasks, but will also play a key role in the onboarding experience for new customers and ultimately make their life a lot easier.

We have also been spending some time looking at the BigChange job lifecycle – the journey that a job makes from quote all the way through to the invoice. This lifecycle forms the backbone of a Field Service Management solution and is something that we are starting to align our processes and user interface more closely with. The full realisation of this is certainly a long-term project, but we have already started putting some of the building blocks in place with the recent work in Job Finance.

Hopefully, this gives you a flavour of some of the things we’ve been up to, and what you can expect to see in the near future. We are very keen to have you involved – please take the opportunity to feedback on any Beta features or use the Ideas portal for any other feedback/suggestions you may have.

Oli Clark
oli.clark@bigchange.com

As a Product Manager within BigChange, it is my job to liaise with customers and really understand their problems and how we can solve them. I then create requirement/work items for our cross-functional teams (we call them PODs) to work on.

We often do this via online meetings, but we find a true understanding of how customers work on BigChange, and any difficulties they face, actually comes from me paying a visit to the customer’s site. To gain a stronger understanding of customers’ needs and obtain a true appreciation for the way they use our system, it is much more beneficial to visit our customers on-site in a face-to-face environment. A good alternative is watching users work in BigChange over a video conference.

It’s the tacit knowledge that people don’t even realise they hold. When your job becomes second nature, you start to perform it without consciously thinking about what you are doing. For us, being there and watching an expert perform those tasks can often lead us to have a much deeper understanding and prompt us to ask questions that we may not have thought about if we were just having a conversation.

A prime example of this was a few weeks ago when I paid a visit to R&S Services. I had the pleasure of meeting Gwen who looks after the warehouse and inventory there.

Gwen was able to walk us through the long-winded and manual processes she has to go through every day to enable her and the team to keep stock levels correct for engineers’ vans, order stock for delivery to the warehouse and the selection of stock for specific jobs.

In turn, I was able to share with Gwen my vision for how the stock module will develop in the very near future and offer some reassurance that her concerns are being listened to and acted upon.

With the forthcoming redesign of the stock area, we intend to introduce many features designed to make the stock module reliable and one that our customers can trust.

These features include:

  • Bringing in the use of warehouses
  • Better auditing of stock movement
  • Adding to the status of stock items
  • A more user-friendly experience
  • Kits and bundles
  • Better reporting tools

If you’d like to get in touch about the further development of our stock module, please email me directly.

Stacey Croot
stacey.croot@bigchange.com

After three years, fire and security expos are back. We can’t wait to get out and meet the firms at IFSEC and FIREX International at ExCeL London from 17th – 19th May. Come and visit BigChange at Stand F1845 on the FIREX exhibition floor.

We’ll be offering live demos and showcasing our award-winning job management platform, which is helping security and fire firms to grow stronger across the UK.

In this article, we’re picking out the hottest topics we expect to dominate discussions at IFSEC and FIREX International 2022.

Managing spaces smarter in the age of hybrid working

The verdict is still out on the future of the office, as many businesses continue to explore the role of homeworking. Empty properties have driven a rise in the need for reactive monitoring services and emergency callouts at fire and security firms.

To meet the demand in unplanned property checks, smart routing from BigChange works out the best possible scheduling for service engineers. The system assigns the most appropriate responder automatically, based on a real-time understanding of their location and expertise.

This approach helps fire and security firms improve response times, overall business efficiency, and profit. For Dundee-based Securitay, it helped them meet a 30% increase in demand without taking on more staff.

Balancing speed and compliance

Compliance is sure to remain central in discussions at FIREX 2022. Businesses will be looking for software that helps them stay safe and within the rules while streamlining their operation.

With BigChange, inspections, risk assessments and other regulatory documents are all stored on the same platform. Engineers can be required to fill out ‘no-checks, no-start’ forms digitally using the mobile app.

It means engineers can spend more time doing what they do best without cutting corners or managing lengthy, complex worksheets.

Trustee Fire and Security saw productivity gains of around 25% across its office and field-service operations after cutting out paper-based processes.

Attracting the next generation of fire and security specialists

Training up the next generation of specialists is a challenge that firms need to address in the face of a capacity crunch. Some of the best will be among the 36 apprentices representing IFSEC and FIREX’s Engineers of Tomorrow, who will compete in a live installation challenge at this year’s expo. These engineers of tomorrow are used to digital tools; the businesses best placed to attract them have moved on from paper-based working.

We’re looking forward to discussing how BigChange can help with these challenges and many more when we exhibit. Visit BigChange at Stand F1845 on the FIREX floor.

The event is free; you just need to register for a ticket ahead of time. We hope to see you there.

Read our blog for our top tips reducing your carbon footprint and ensuring that your field service business is sustainable.

Sustainability has become an increasingly important global initiative, with the US and European Union announcing plans to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2023

As a result, many businesses are actively seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprints to keep up with government regulations and net-zero targets, in addition to keeping up with consumer expectations of sustainability. 

And the field services industry is no different. Let’s show you the Statistics:

✅ In Europe, less than 5% of vehicles are commercial vehicles or heavy duty trucks, but they contribute to almost 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.

✅ The field services industry makes an active contribution to harmful carbon pollution with a mobile workforce spending significant parts of the day travelling in fleet vehicles, making repeat visits and mapping out field service routes manually.

Therefore, increasing pressure from customers, regulators and competitors means that sustainability must be a top priority for many field service companies. 

Let’s take a closer look at the importance of sustainability and the actions you can take to reduce your business’ carbon footprint.

Why is sustainability important? 

Protecting the planet is vital for every business, and field service businesses have a big part to play. Field service businesses are facing pressure to change from a number of angles. This can have a huge impact on the industry if companies do not change ways of working or embrace digital technologies to transform ways of working, cut CO2 emissions, and remain profitable. 

  • Customer expectations – more and more customers want to see sustainability credentials before they choose a business. 52% of consumers factor a brand’s eco-credentials into their buying decisions, so not working greener can be a reputational and business risk. 

Research from Gartner shows 63% of executives at organisations with sustainability programmes state that the customer is their most important catalyst for action.

  • Fuel costs – fuel costs are now at record highs. Not only is every extra mile driven pumping out more carbon, but it can be impacting the business’ bottom line too.
  • Government policies – in the coming years, national and regional governments are likely to bring in more and more schemes to wean us off fossil fuels – especially diesel. The cost of not acting is very likely to rise. 

Top 4 tips for sustainability in field service businesses 

Let’s take a look at how you can actively make changes to your business to become more sustainable and reduce CO2 emissions across the company. 

  1. Route optimisation 

Fuel consumption is a huge challenge in the field service industry when it comes to both sustainability and cost-efficiency. 

With technicians servicing multiple customers per day, last minute schedule changes, lack of equipment or parts, and heavy traffic, driver’s time on the road can be significantly increased, leading to higher CO2 emissions and higher fuel costs. 

However, route optimisation ensures that technicians with the correct parts and skills are available in the correct location, and always take the most efficient route to every job. Ensuring technicians get to jobs as effectively as possible help to:

🚚 Lower the number of miles they travel
🚚 Lower the emissions produced
🚚 Limit the impact on the roads

All of these contribute to the overall sustainability of the company which can also help to improve customer experience, improving the bottom line of the business too.

Smart routing helps companies to work out the best possible journey between jobs, saving time and fuel. Big Change users cut their fuel bills by an average of 10%. 

Using cloud based job management software can provide:

  • live tracking and automated job scheduling to keep technicians up to date on their schedules through their mobile devices
  • Help to avoid unnecessary travel
  • Help to reduce wasted fuel
  • Help to reduce the environmental impact of the business.
  • Help to reduce wear and tear on vehicles, saving company costs. 
  1. Switch to electric vehicles 

As fleets are refreshed in the future, it will be time to consider making the switch from petrol or diesel powered vehicles to electric vehicles. Electric vehicles offer zero emissions, drastically reducing a company’s carbon footprint.

The European Union is working towards a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050. Research shows fleet vehicles travel more than 40% of vehicle kilometres in Europe and are responsible for half of the total emissions from road transport. 

These statistics mean that field service businesses will find they are increasingly pressured to switch to zero-emission vehicles sooner rather than later. 

Job scheduling software can help companies to switch to electric fleets which have more limited ranges by optimising job planning and routing to ensure that productivity of technicians is not impacted and to ensure that they get the most from their working day. 

  1. Go digital to save on paper 

Going digital can not only save the time it takes to manually track jobs, fill out forms and produce invoices, it can also reduce paper usage and make a business more sustainable. 

The following paper documents can be digitised:

  • Invoices
  • Work orders
  • Time schedules 

All of the above can be optimised online and completely eliminate the use of paper within the company. 

In addition, digitising all of these elements can allow technicians to access the information they need online, on-site too through a mobile app

BigChange is a paperless system. In 2021 we helped customers save 60 million sheets of A4. That’s roughly equivalent to 7,200 trees.

  1. Lower-emission driving

Before implementing electric vehicles, optimising the way technician’s drive their fleet vehicles can help to significantly reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, a key driver of climate change. 

In fact, fuel efficient driving including driving at a consistent speed and limiting acceleration and braking can save an average of 15% in fuel consumption

Job scheduling and live tracking software can provide driver alerts to technicians and reports to help drivers improve their driving habits which can increase fuel consumption and harm the environment, resulting in extra costs and a greater impact on the environment for the business. 

Teaching drivers to alter their driving habits offers a number of other benefits including: 

  • Improved technician safety – smoother and safer driving practices can help to reduce road traffic accidents and reduce the number of claims made against company vehicles. 
  • Extended life of company vehicles – changing driving habits can help to keep company cars performing well for longer and keep them in good condition. Well-maintained vehicles consume less and are less likely to break down, helping to save on costs. 

Key takeaways

Climate change is top of the agenda around the world and has become a key initiative for businesses across many industries. 

With so many vehicles on the road on a daily basis, the field service industry must play an important role in reducing emissions and making an impact on the road. Incorporating environmentally friendly processes and practices in daily tasks can help to achieve this goal. 

Field service management software can not only save time, costs, and increase productivity across the business, it can also contribute to reduced fuel consumption and contribution to CO2 emissions across the entire business. 

Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today. You can also get helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below.

Keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

On World Creativity and Innovation Day, we want to recap some of the latest features we’ve launched and share a few ideas on how we’re making the BigChange platform even better.

We haven’t slowed down since achieving a Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2020. In the last year, BigChange has continued to release new tools and functions that free our customers from endless paperwork and administration, and make their businesses even stronger:

  • Working with What3Words, we added a powerful new location tool that helps achieve more precise planning and arrival times – saving valuable hours every week.
  • We created more options and customisations for document templates, helping you to showcase your business and brand the way you want.
  • We’ve added alert options for expenses requests, flagged items and stock levels, giving new visibility over key business tasks.

Jason Nash, our Head of Product, has picked out three areas we’re looking to improve even further.

World Creativity and Innovation Day

1. Switch more easily between functions

We know that one chat with a customer might mean using lots of different parts of the BigChange platform. You might need to record a new contact, estimate job costs, quote, and log sales opportunities.

We’re making it easier and faster to flick between functions and make sure the ones you need most often will be available front and centre.

2. Making BigChange even better on mobiles

Starting with the new look Customer Portal, we’re improving layouts to fit smaller screens better. We’ll be focussing on reducing the number of key clicks do get things done, and also hiding valuable but less frequently used functionality in advanced settings menus. And we’ll be making it easy for you to create processes, record vital information and make adjustments quickly.

3. Making business improvement easy with data

Organisations using BigChange automatically generate considerable data that can inform ways of doing things better. We want to make it easier for you to see and use that data to drive continuous improvement in areas such as workforce deployment, customer experience and sustainability.

Let us know how we can help

We’re always looking for customer feedback to make BigChange work even better for you.

Get in touch with Jason Nash, our Head of Product, at jason.nash@bigchange.com or through the Ideas Portal, where you can share product suggestions and vote for those you’d like most.

World Creativity and Innovation Day was founded to show that powerful, new ideas can come from anywhere. At BigChange, we’re all ears.

Learn more about how to reduce outgoings and increase profitability in your field service management business by reading our 5 top tips blog.

Over the last few years, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising fuel costs, rocketing energy prices, and the possibility of an extended economic recession have left field service businesses looking at new ways to reduce costs and remain profitable. 

But, how can you achieve this without compromising on quality of service? 

The first step is to look at how you can drive productivity and customer satisfaction in order to boost profits. Here are our five top tips to cut outgoings and boost income as costs rise. 

  1. Make every hour count

Making sure a mobile workforce gets the most from every day is essential to productivity and cost efficiency in field service management. 

Poor scheduling can lead to: 

  • Low technician productivity 
  • Overloaded technicians
  • Technicians who are available not being assigned jobs
  • Poor customer satisfaction too
  • A damaged reputation and loss of clients and income. 

On the other hand, a well-managed schedule can:

✅Increase efficiency

✅Improve accuracy 

✅Boost productivity

Scheduling software helps to create the best schedule based on factors such as location, skills, available parts, customer history, traffic conditions, and technician and customer availability. 

In addition, a digital scheduling assistant can help get the right engineer, with the right skills, to the right place, by the right route, and streamline job management. 

And, the potential savings are huge. Saving just one hour more than covers the costs of the technology that delivers it. 

Better, automated scheduling means less time spent on admin for back office staff, an ability to track jobs in progress, and a reduction in wasted journeys and travel time for field technicians. 

This allows technicians to increase the number of customers they visit in a day and allows back office staff to focus on tasks that can drive additional revenue for the business. In addition, you will improve customer service, which leads to increased satisfaction and repeat business.

  1. Compete on customer service, not just cost

According to a recent survey, 70% of customers would pay more for better service and more convenience. 

Modern technology is allowing businesses to drive efficiency in new ways, but 52% still use manual methods for field service delivery. These manual methods can result in problems such as: 

  • Technicians arriving at jobs without the proper equipment or tools
  • Wasted journeys to cancelled appointments
  • Wasted time
  • Lack of productivity and unnecessary fuel costs 
  • Frustrated customers who do not receive the service they require 

With the rise of new technologies across the entire consumer journey, modern customer expectations have changed significantly with on-demand services such as Uber, Deliveroo, and Amazon Prime available. 

Field service management software can help companies to keep up with the changing expectations of customers. 

When customers request a booking, a team member with the right skills and tools, and in the right location, can be instantly assigned to the job and the booking is confirmed with automated communications. The customer can then be kept up-to-date on who is coming to complete the job and when they will be arriving. 

Field management software with CRM capabilities can help companies provide better customer service with a secure online booking portal and the ability for back office staff to gain a 360 view of customer’s accounts at the touch of a button. 

  1. Make sure your work is profitable

Too many jobs at field service businesses can cost the company money. 

Companies need to be sure that costs are covered and a fair margin is made on every job. 

It’s important to understand how much profit a job is likely to drive based on the following:

  • Resources needed
  • Travel time for the whole job
  • Vehicle running and upkeep costs 
  • Accurate quotes given to customers 

Job management systems allow companies to store information about jobs completed, routes taken and the number of jobs completed per technician to provide an overview of the profitability of each job. 

As a result of this data, you can continually improve profitability and customer service.

In short, a job management platform provides a clear view of the profit margin for each job and takes the guesswork out of quoting. Plus no more jobs that leave you out of pocket.

  1. Cut mileage

Fuel prices for fleets are staggering and, in the current climate, this is unlikely to change. 

Unnecessary journeys made by field technicians can cost thousands in petrol and labour time so, when driving cost efficiency, reducing these unnecessary costs can be a critical factor to success. 

Live tracking allows for route optimisation which helps to:

  • Reduce fuel consumption
  • Keep technicians productive
  • Reduce wear and tear on vehicles (which results in decreased maintenance costs)

Live tracking will also allow back office staff to track the whereabouts of technicians in real-time whilst assigning jobs based on location. This will ensure the technician doesn’t travel further than required for their next job. 

As a result, smart job scheduling and route planning can cut mileage by 10%, helping to make journeys more cost efficient and allowing technicians to complete more jobs per day. 

  1. Do it once, do it right

First-time fixes can provide huge cost savings and play a critical role in customer experience too.

A high first-time fix rate can improve productivity and efficiency for the business, with technicians spending less time travelling and equipped to fix customer’s problems without having to turn back for parts or tools. 

Having to return to jobs wastes fuel and staff time, whether that’s back office staff dealing with queries or frontline teams doing the work. 

Ensuring a full understanding of the customer’s problem and ensuring that the technician assigned to the job has the tools, materials and information required to take care of it is essential for achieving a high first-time fix rate and providing cost efficiency.

A mobile app can allow technicians to improve their first-time fix rates by viewing the stock, equipment and parts available to them while they’re out on-site. This reduces unnecessary journeys. 

Job history can also be viewed at a glance, which allows technicians to see what the problem is and fix it quickly.  

Key takeaways

Cost efficiency in the field service industry is driven by ensuring that field technicians are provided with the correct tools and knowledge to complete customer jobs, alongside route optimisation to reduce travel time and fuel costs. 

All of these factors can contribute to higher customer satisfaction which drives repeat business and helps companies to remain profitable. 

Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today.

Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Our BigChange team is made up of amazing people and they want to share a snapshot of what it’s like to work in one of the varied roles around BigChange. Our next colleague is Freddie from the Product team.

Hello, I’m Freddie Carr, and I am a Junior Product Manager focusing on Templated Sites here at BigChange.

My responsibilities

The team I’m working as part of set out to help deliver a company-wide objective to provide an enhanced frictionless onboarding process for all new customers. The aim was to help make the customer experience of learning the system and developing your bespoke site as efficient and seamless as possible. Our project has since grown to be key in identifying how the BigChange system can be used to support customers’ best practices.

We create Templated Sites, which provide pre-built content for new customers based on industry-specific processes and requirements. We are developing sites with pre-populated configuration items such as job types, worksheets and automations. These are then used to show new customers how the BigChange system can be used to support best practices according to their industry. These items can be anything from favourite views to timesheet activities, and where we hope to add the most value is through further development of the scheduling, automation and reporting aspects of the BigChange system.

By providing a range of example guidance configuration items, we aim to help customers in two ways. First, to understand how they can create their bespoke BigChange system to best support the work they do. Our customers come to us as experts in their field, and we want to make the onboarding process and shift into paperless, mobile, and efficient ways of working as seamless as possible. The comprehensive nature of our system means there is so much to discover that could help your customers, and we want to show you those as quickly and effectively as possible.

In order to get the best out of the system and identify which features could make a lasting impact on their customers, we want to help point them in the right direction. By providing instructional support through pre-populated items, we achieve the second delivery aim of our project, which is to provide these items so our customers can quickly understand the system and realise value from their investment in a BigChange system as soon as possible. Ultimately we are trying to build the best way for customers to use BigChange.

What’s next?

We are now able to see how newly onboarded customers have taken their prebuilt content and run with it; making them their own, changing and deleting provided items as necessary and using our sample guidance as examples to drive their BigChange hygiene and management. In the coming months I am looking forward to collecting customer feedback from our newer customers who were onboarded with the first iterations of our Templated Sites, and to see how customers have further developed their sites using our exemplar guidance content. This will help us learn from our first versions to further develop our pre-built content. I am also looking forward to building industry-standard reports for future, improved iterations of the sites.

Our long-term aim is to create a comprehensive content library where customers have full access to browse and download a range of features and reports to meet their business needs. Our research and the content that is currently being built will be the basis for this system change.

I am also excited to be a part of developing BigChange systems to ensure we are empowering our customers in their transition to electric and sustainable fleets. Exciting breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and machine learning will have a significant impact not only on how we develop the product but also will become more of a part of the product itself.

Customer input

I would love to speak with any individuals who were involved in their onboarding process with BigChange to get their feedback on the setup of their system.”

Freddie Carr, Junior Product Manager

In addition, any feedback from newly onboarded customers who were provided with our pre-built content would really be appreciated. Customer interviews and first-hand accounts of system use are integral to our team’s understanding of how we can best help new customers and we are very grateful for those we have spoken to thus far.

The features within the BigChange system are extremely varied and comprehensive. Because of this, there is sometimes a gap between what the system is capable of and what customers are aware of. I would love to help customers better understand their system so they can get value from the full extent of its features. I hope that as part of the Templated Sites project, I can help achieve this!

Jason Nash, Head of Product, wants to speak directly to our customers about the development of BigChange, the complete Job Management System.

As the new Head of Product for BigChange, I want to let you know what we’re working on and give you the chance to shape what the platform will look like as we try to make it even more user-friendly.

We speak all the time with BigChange customers who are passionate about getting even more value from our job management software. In the product team, direct contact with customers is vital, and we’d love to hear from users about how we can make BigChange work even better for you. My email address is at the bottom of the article; please do contact me directly.

BigChange has a big product vision: we want to be the best job management platform for field service workers and their back-office teams, with a mobile-first experience that delights and drives sustainable growth for our customers. I get particularly excited about the last part, as we have a lot of opportunities to help customers grow and optimise the way they work.

In particular, we want to make the user experience easy and make BigChange work even better on a mobile device.

We’re working hard to make the vision a reality. Field service jobs have a lifecycle, and each part of the lifecycle has a set of tasks that go with it. We aim to make it even easier for customers to get all of those tasks done from the same page.

For instance, the lifecycle stage for winning new business involves adding new organisations and contacts, sales opportunities and quotes. We want to make it simpler for users to run through these jobs in their average day.

We’ll be doing this at every stage of the lifecycle, which you can see in the following image – as well as for the Collaboration Network.

Collaboration Network

We’ve hired a Head of User Experience and a UX designer to make the platform work as easily and intuitively as possible. There will also be product managers for each stage of the lifecycle. Their role will be to fix any bugs, enhance existing features, and develop new functionality to help our customers grow stronger.

We’re doing customer research interviews to support this work, looking even closer at how customers use the platform and how we can improve it.

I’ve never worked with a more passionate set of customers who want to see BigChange improve and develop further. I hope to speak to many more of you in the coming weeks; please email me directly if you’d like to be part of the customer research interviews.

Jason Nash, Head of Product
jason.nash@bigchange.com

Our BigChange team is made up of amazing people and they want to share a snapshot of what it’s like to work in one of the varied roles around BigChange. First up is Georgia from the Marketing team…

Hello, I’m Georgia Murphy and I’m the Customer Marketing & Events Manager at BigChange. This is the first blog I’ve ever written, and what better topic to write about? An event!

Overview and location 

We attended our first show of 2022 last month, the Executive Hire Show, located at the Coventry Building Society Arena. I must say what a lovely venue! The venue was big, without being too large, and was well-lit with plenty of space for visitors to walk from stand to stand comfortably. Our stand was A10, located in the atrium, a stone’s throw away from the main hall. I believe we were situated in a great place, close to the hustle and bustle of the Hire equipment being showcased in the main hall, but still far enough away to ensure we could have meaningful conversations with the guests. This enabled us to showcase what BigChange has to offer through many tailored demonstrations of our Job Management Platform.

Set-up

We arrived on Tuesday to set up our stand for the show to begin the following day. The set-up was easy, knowing we had our trusted and very valued handyman Ian to help us take care of it. The stand was built for us on arrival; so all that was left to do by our team was to set up the equipment, brochures, and merchandise ready to greet the visitors. We made sure not to forget the apples and Haribo we had brought to entice people to our stand, too!

Attendees 

We were pleasantly surprised with the number of people who turned up to the show across both days, the first day being the busiest. I would say this is usually normal for a show, although some people may have decided to have a lie-in after the previous night’s Executive Hire Show party & award ceremony. While the second day, therefore, didn’t initially appear as busy as the first, it did pick up towards lunchtime, and our sales team was kept exceptionally busy with plenty of demos and product talk – which is our main aim from attending trade shows such as these.

Catering 

An essential part of any show is the catering, early starts and long days mean lots of coffee is in order. I was disappointed to discover that tea and coffee were not available for exhibitors. However, all visitors were handed a voucher on entry for a coffee and pastry– what a nice touch! I do think that offering exhibitors free tea, coffee, and even water should be part of the package when you sign up for any event. Exhibitors must stay hydrated and well-fed to present the best of themselves on the stand. 

Lunch, on the other hand, was excellent. The show had many different food stalls, offering a wide range of different cuisines. I opted for a homemade sausage roll, and it went down a treat. Some of the team even opted for the pizza on offer, fresh from the oven! – it smelt great and, from what I hear, tasted even better. 

Overall, from my perspective and fellow BigChange team members, the show was a success. We met lots of existing customers as well as new potential users of BigChange. We can’t wait to sign up for next year… as long as beverages are included.

As part of International Women’s Day 2022, we wanted to give you some personal insight from colleagues at BigChange into what it’s like being a woman working in technology. These experiences are about their overall careers, having only recently joined our business, but they give a useful and powerful example of the issues faced by women in this sector.

Hi, we’re Angella & Sarah, two web developers that work for BigChange in the CRMasters POD (Cross-functional team) and as the name suggests we are focused on winning new jobs and CRM. We’ve both recently joined BigChange and for International Women’s Day, we’d like to give you an insight into what it’s like being a woman in tech and how we’ve made it to this point in life. We’ve both written a small piece about our personal experience.

Angella’s experience

As a woman, choosing IT is not only a career path but also a lifestyle that I had to embrace. It requires a lot of strength to go against all the adversities and frequently handle discouragement, especially during the first few years. Although there are brilliant parts to programming, I used to wake up every day having to decide if my dream was actually worth it. Even after a decade of working in this area, there are still some almost unbearable situations to accept.

When I was 12, I wanted to help my family with their small business by creating a website, as they could not afford it. However, I didn’t have any knowledge back then, so I read a book about Pascal. Later on, I realised other technologies and programming languages that would be more beneficial for creating a simple website. Still, it was so fascinating to discover this new world of programming. I found out we can genuinely fall in love with a subject, and from this day onwards, I could not stop coding.

Unfortunately, this positivity was short-lived when I joined a Computer Science course a few years later, I was shocked to see that there were only 3 women in a class of 48 people. As the days passed, I was able to see that we were treated in a totally different way to men. We had to endure so many rude comments, and they were constantly telling us that we were not good enough. If someone tells you every day that you cannot do something, you must have a really strong and healthy mind not to believe in it. All my future IT education was the same, a class in Computer Networks, where the number of women was unsurprisingly low: 5 in a class of 40. Another course, System Information, had only 6 women out of 50 people. The scenario was exactly the same, being frequently discouraged in something you love can be heartbreaking.

During all the time that I was studying, I was also working. There was still a massive difference between the number of men and women, but working was even more challenging and demotivating. In classes, people are not afraid of diminishing you but is far more subtle in a work environment. We had to handle condescending behaviour during meetings, microaggressions, having our knowledge questioned even in our area of expertise, and realising that the gender pay gap is a reality. Those issues make you feel uncertain about yourself, even after years of dedication and putting all your efforts into the career that you love.

Despite the struggle, I am glad I decided to continue programming. It brings me a lot of joy. I also became a better person because of it. I am more confident because I learned to stand up for myself, be brave enough to face all the discouragement, and improve my resilience for coming back every time I was down. There are still problems women still have to deal with, but there have been many improvements in gender equality. It is encouraging to see companies implementing policies to prevent discrimination against women and helping them feel not only safe in the workplace but also comfortable exercising their profession. It is also great to see men in our teams treating us like equals, which helps to reduce the feeling that we do not belong. I hope we can get to a point where all the gender obstacles are extinguished, which would make all the progress a lot more fun!

Sarah’s experience

Wanting to blend in with your environment is human nature. As a woman in tech, you can sometimes feel like a zebra in a zoo. People throw insensitive remarks and questions in your face. Often they ask why you decided to study something technical as if it was the most bizarre thing in the world. As a result, you’re made to feel different, even though initially you might not. These kinds of remarks don’t just come from men but also other women.

I was brought up in a primarily conservative household where women have to play a particular role. Even as a child, I knew what my parents were doing was wrong, so I would rebel against it. I was expected to do more household chores than my brothers and be more obedient. Being confident and loud was punished. As a result, I struggle to be assertive now.

Because I was unhappy with family life, I’d spend a lot of time in front of a computer playing video games online. I stumbled upon programming by setting up my own gaming server with custom quests that I had to code. I also started learning about web design as I wanted a fancy website for my server. Needless to say, the website looked terrible, but I had a lot of fun with this little project.

While my interests certainly helped me choose a technical subject to study, I don’t believe anyone should be made to feel like they don’t belong in the field just because they preferred doing something else in their youth. If you were born in the 90s, you were still pushed into gender stereotypes as a child. For example, I was regularly told off for playing video games just because I was a girl. I felt like a failure of a woman. I even hated being one for a time as I started to see women as inferior. We need to break this harmful cycle and stop pushing gender stereotypes on our children. A woman can be a brilliant engineer like a man can be a brilliant carer.

Later on, I decided to study mechanical engineering as I liked the idea of designing and optimising mechanical parts. There were maybe 10 women in total in the first term, and by the last term, there were even fewer. It was also rare to see a woman professor. This, of course, was discouraging as you started to question if you belonged there in the first place, but it wasn’t enough of a reason for me to change my subject. I enjoyed my time at university.

Every engineer nowadays also has to have basic knowledge of computer science. After finishing university, this helped me get a temporary job in software development. After a few months, the company offered me a permanent position as a software engineer. I enjoyed coding so much that I decided to stay in IT. The idea of creating something useful with mere lines of code was fascinating to me.

Writing your first lines of code can be challenging, but it’s like that with anything else that’s new. It’s nothing to be scared of, and there’s absolutely nothing manly about sitting in front of a computer and typing code with your fingertips. I hope more women will explore technology as it’s a fascinating and rewarding career path. People need to get used to us!

At BigChange

It was wonderful to share experiences and realise that we have been through very similar situations in our education and work environments. It brought us closer and made us feel like we were not alone in this journey.

We want to thank BigChange for allowing us to speak out on International Women’s Day. It is very gratifying to be part of an incredible team that respects and values us, which helps us feel that we belong. A special thank you to Jonathan, our product owner, for bringing up the initiative and supporting us. He goes above and beyond to create a healthy environment for our POD.

BigChange has spoken to colleagues across the business to look further into into what it’s like being a woman working in technology:

This International Women’s Day, Jo Godsmark, Chief Operating Officer at BigChange, shares her experience on the theme of Breaking the Bias and reflects on BigChange’s own progress in this area

Being ‘Big on Inclusion’ is a core value for BigChange, and it has been since day one. As a community, we’ve always aimed to operate with respect and treat all groups with kindness and understanding. This was important to me when I decided to join BigChange, and I am now privileged to be working on embedding this value in all that we do.

When I started my career as a trainee engineer at Ford Motor Company in the 1980’s, I met bias in my first month, with an engineer telling me that I was ‘stealing a man’s job’ and ‘would only go and have babies’. However elsewhere at Ford, and throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to work with many inspiring, intelligent, and patient managers and colleagues who have never suggested that my gender was a reason not to succeed.

Eighteen months ago, I hosted a webinar with some inspiring women leading businesses using BigChange. Our discussion showed the power technology has to provide more flexible and attractive working conditions for many women, but also the struggle that many of our customers are facing with attracting women into field service roles.

The benefits of diversity and inclusion are becoming more widely known. Numerous studies associate diversity with improved business outcomes, and there is also the big advantage in that simply being a more open and inclusive workplace means we can access a much broader talent pool – something that is vital in today’s competitive marketplace. We are taking steps to understand how we perform on a wide range of diversity measures.

Women make up around 30% of BigChange’s workforce, which is better than the 19% reported by TechNation across the UK tech sector; however we recognise that relatively few of these are in our Technology team or in our Sales team.  There are two women out of eight in our senior leadership team, and we have some fantastic female directors across the business, but we need to go further.

BigChange is formalising its inclusivity policies across all areas of the business to ensure that diverse groups are not inadvertently excluded, whether in hiring, advancement opportunities, or in the day-to-day workplace.

Hiring and pre-hire

Change must start as early as possible to improve female representation in the tech sector, and that means engaging with schools. I have previously spoken at schools on engineering as a career, and we want to use this approach to show young women that tech is for them and offers abundant opportunities by giving them a chance to interact with our female tech professionals and leaders. 

We are starting to offer early-career apprenticeships and intern roles to get a diverse range of young people on the ladder. We are working hard to ensure these opportunities are seen by the most varied group of people possible.

When it comes to the application process, BigChange has put in measures to help level the playing field: 

  • We anonymise all incoming applications and have enrolled all hiring managers in training, covering areas like unconscious bias. Understanding and mitigating humans’ mental shortcuts are vital for driving greater inclusivity
  • We only include the essential requirements on job adverts to encourage as many applications as possible
  • We ensure representation on interview panels, where interviewers grade independently then discuss and interrogate each other’s perspectives to arrive at the most equitable decisions

The wider workplace

Our commitment to inclusion doesn’t stop once you’re in the door. BigChange recently rolled out an enhanced maternity and paternity benefits package that applies to all employees from day one.

Furthermore, we’ve sought to reduce working hours to 37 ½ per week so that our people get more flexibility in their work-life balance and introduced BigFlexi whereby teams can support each other to achieve their flexible working goals. We take care not to focus BigFlexi on either women or parents, as we believe that only when this type of benefit is used universally, will we truly drive inclusivity.

We use our BigVoice employee group as a sounding board, and this month we are kicking off discussion groups on inclusion across the business. We know this is a long journey but, hey, BigChange is what we do!

Learn more about the key trends due to hit the facilities management sector in 2023 and how you can adjust your business by reading our blog.

As we reach the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking about the trends that will shape facilities management (FM) in 2023 and what they mean for your business.

As we’re all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused nearly three years of disruption in FM. However, the market was valued at $63.97 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach $71.43 billion by 2026. 

FM has had to rapidly adapt over the last few years, but it’s no stranger to change and these changes are set to continue into 2023. 

Being aware of current changes and requirements in the industry can help to ensure facilities management companies stay competitive and up to date with the latest changes. From sustainability to technology,  i-FM’s Trends & Opportunities Report 2023, outlines the key trends to be aware of and we’ve summarised these to help you get a better understanding. 

Let’s dive into these trends and how they’re being driven. 

Key trend 1: Sustainability and efficiency 

Sustainability is high on the agenda for many businesses, but it’s becoming increasingly important for field service businesses. 

In fact, the US and European Union have announced plans to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2023 which has left more and more businesses looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. 

There are a number of key factors driving sustainability in facilities management, including: 

  • Growing consumer demand – the demand from consumers to buy from more environmentally friendly businesses is growing with 62% of consumers saying that it’s more important for companies to behave in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way than before the pandemic. 

Customers are becoming more and more informed about the brands they spend with and want to opt for more sustainable brands. 

  • Legislation – changes to legislation surrounding energy consumption in buildings has led to more facilities management organisations looking to align their businesses to emerging and changing government regulations. 
  • Energy costs – record-high energy costs mean facilities management companies need to look for more efficient ways to light, heat or cool buildings to save on energy costs and maintain profitability. 

You can find our top tips for sustainability in your business: Sustainability in field service management: Top tips for reducing your carbon footprint.  

Key trend 2: Remote and hybrid working

While this was a prominent trend in 2022 as a result of continuing lockdowns, it’s set to continue into 2023. Remote and hybrid working is here to stay and this new way of working provides challenges for FM teams. 

So, what are these key challenges? 

  1. Downsizing – fundamental shifts in working locations has led to many businesses looking to downsize on space, which has required facilities managers to think more strategically about space management. 
  1. Resource management – facilities management teams need to provide the right resources and services for unpredictable peaks and troughs in office attendance. When employees are unable to find desks or meeting rooms, it results in wasted time and productivity across the business. 
  1. Additional considerations – when spaces are not occupied fully throughout the working day, facilities managers need to consider the cost of the space, equipment equipment maintenance, and energy usage to ensure that employees can use the space effectively when required.  

So, how can these challenges be overcome? 

Facilities managers will need to look at how building assets can be managed more accurately and efficiently through the use of data and automation which allows FM to make more informed decisions. 

We’ll take a closer look at the use of data in the next section. 

Key trend 3: Data and IoT

Leading FM companies are now using the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analysis to implement data-driven strategies to provide better solutions, improve efficiency, improve customer service, and increase ROI. 

In an increasingly competitive industry, it’s essential for FM organisations to utilise data and automation to achieve the following goals: 

✅ Remaining competitive 

✅ Reducing business risk 

✅ Monitoring, analysing and maximising asset and equipment performance 

✅ Enhancing customer services 

Solutions provided by IoT allow FM organisations to collect, store and analyse the data that is essential for replacing estimates and guesswork with accurate numbers that provide a more accurate picture of how a space is used and where improvements can be made. 

As a result, FM businesses can look to improve maintenance schedules and energy usage, such as heating, cooling and lighting processes to limit use where possible, allowing businesses to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Consequently, businesses can improve efficiency and effectiveness to save costs and improve customer service. 

Key trend 4: Predictive maintenance 

Downtime that occurs as a result of building or equipment maintenance can cost businesses hundreds of thousands and even millions of pounds. 

Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that equipment is functioning at optimal levels at all times. 

Predictive maintenance allows technicians to know before a piece of equipment fails, which allows them to respond quickly, sometimes even before a customer knows there is a problem. The data collected can provide insights into how the equipment works and how likely it is to fail. 

This provides a number of benefits, including:

  • Reduced downtime 
  • Extended machinery life 
  • Saved time 
  • Saved resources 
  • Faster problem diagnosis and fixes  

Key trend 5: M&A deals remain a consistent characteristic 

Mergers and acquisitions reached peak numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic and this doesn’t look set to change anytime soon. 

The uncertainty surrounding the market and the economy may prompt some sellers to look for opportunities more quickly and that can attract buyers too. As a result of the FM market experiencing huge growth over the next few years, many buyers see FM as an opportunity to expand or develop a stable business with a secure future. 

In addition, the sustainability agenda being undertaken by a range of FM companies has led many to utilise M&A to remove old technology or acquire new net zero technology. 

In summary…

Digital technology and data will be key to transforming facilities management for the future, driving efficiency and minimising the environmental impact of the industry as a whole. 

Organisations that are looking to remain competitive and survive in a tough economic climate will look to utilise the right technology to provide them with data to drive business growth and improve customer service. 

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today. 

Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

We have listened to your feedback and suggestions and delivered the latest developments to your BigChange experience.

Listed below are the key features which we believe will positively impact the daily use of the product.

Alert screen example

Alerts

Ever wished that you could set up Alerts around Expenses requests, flagged items and stock levels? Well, we have good news; these can now be set up in the Alerts tab.

Find out more


Job Finance Screen example

Job Finance

We know that having a tight hold on your processes is essential to controlling your finances, so we’ve introduced several new simplified features to help with that.

Find out more


Template Screen example

Templates

We want your documents to look perfect, so we’ve improved the template and expanded the options available to reflect this – including Page breaks and watermarks

Find out more

You can read the full release notes or for further advice on BigChange terminology check out the glossary.

An estimated 1.6 million people in the UK are currently suffering from work-related injuries or illnesses. Unlike office workers, a field-based workforce is susceptible to more risks because their location typically changes with every job. Such diverse risk factors at each site mean that filling out risk assessments is crucial so that your workers, assets, and reputation all remain intact and protected.

Many field service companies regularly deal with chemicals or hazardous substances, which comes with its own regulations. and COSHH regulations were introduced to protect employees from ill health when dealing with dangerous materials or chemicals as part of their work activities. 

In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the COSHH regulations. We’ll also explore how you can use technology to help keep your field service business compliant.

What are the COSHH Regulations?

Using chemicals or other hazardous substances at work can put people’s health at risk, so the law requires employers to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health. 

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) law was introduced to protect employees exposed to chemicals or hazardous materials at work. Uncontrolled exposure can be a significant risk to employee wellbeing, so the law requires employers to take eight steps to prevent ill health if their workers have been exposed to dangerous substances during business activities.

The eight steps outlined in the COSHH regulations are:

  1. Assess the risks
  2. Decide what precautions are needed
  3. Prevent or adequately control exposure
  4. Ensure that control measures are used and maintained
  5. Monitor the exposure
  6. Carry out appropriate health surveillance
  7. Prepare plans and procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies
  8. Ensure employees are properly informed, trained and supervised

In 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties for companies that fail to manage health and safety matters competently. Now, the average fine sits at an eye-watering £150,000. So if one of your employees is injured or becomes ill because of dangerous working conditions, you could find yourself involved in a legal battle that ends with a hefty fine.

Aside from fines, not following the guidelines could result in the following: 

  • Lost productivity to your business if engineers take sick leave 
  • Vulnerability to prosecution under the COSHH Regulations 
  • Civil claims from your employees

The COSHH guidelines cover a range of hazardous materials, including: 

  • Substances used directly in work activities (adhesives, paints, cleaning agents)
  • Substances generated during work activities (fumes from soldering or welding)
  • Naturally occurring substances (such as grain dust)
  • Biological agents such as bacteria and other microorganisms (for example, COVID-19)

How Health and Safety Software Can Support Your COSHH Compliance

Adopting technology can help you be compliant with the eight COSHH steps. Here are just some of the ways you can use field service software to keep your workers safe on the job:

1. Assess the Risks and Prevent or Control Exposure

You’ll likely already be aware of the importance of risk assessments in field services. COSHH requires you to carry out a risk assessment on any job where an individual could be exposed to any of the substances mentioned earlier. 

When using a field service management platform with integrated health and safety software, your workers can fill out a checklist or risk assessment form on their mobile devices. They can then highlight potential hazards, which will immediately alert your back office team. 

If the worker identifies a risk, they can work with your back-office team to eliminate the danger and safely get the job back on track. As such, your employees can rest assured that they won’t sustain any health issues in carrying out the job and will also be able to complete the task at hand without significant delays.

Want to learn more about carrying out a risk assessment? Click here.

2. Ensure Control Measures are Maintained

The best field service technology providers have an asset management feature as part of their platform. All equipment, machinery, parts and safety gear are recorded on the register, so you’ll always have an up-to-date log of your stock. 

When an employee is working on a potentially hazardous job, your team can assign safety gear, protective clothing, or preventative equipment directly to the job case so that the engineer can turn up with the necessary equipment to get the job done safely.

3. Prepare Plans and Procedures

A mobile field service software can help your employees carry out work safely by ensuring they don’t miss any crucial steps. 

For example, you can create workflows, COSHH sheets and risk assessment forms that engineers must fill out before carrying out the work and filling in their timesheet. Mandatory safety documents ensure that all technicians stick to required plans and procedures that will ensure their safety.

4. Ensure Employees Are Properly Informed, Trained and Supervised

All your employees can stay informed when using field service technology. BigChange’s cloud-based health and safety compliance management software allows all essential documents to be readily available on the app, such as COSHH sheets, guidelines, risk assessments or job details. In addition, workers can access any training or procedures from the palm of their hand to ensure that they stay informed of all health and safety precautions wherever they are for a job. 

You’ll also be able to store all your risk assessments on the cloud-based platform so that records are never lost and all employees have visibility of the documents. Whether they work out in the field or the office, your staff can find documentation regarding COSHH regulations and see how the business handled any hazards in the past to ensure compliance in the future.

Cleaning Chemicals Safety is Made Simple on BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our digital risk assessments, COSHH guidelines and PPE and equipment log, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Sustainability in field service management protects the environment, boosts return-on-investment, and generates revenue. But how do you get started?

The field services industry is experiencing rapid growth. In fact, statistics show that one in five UK businesses rely on field service teams to deliver their services. AND, there are more than 1.2 million field services businesses in the UK. 

Plus, a shocking 44% of UK workers say their company’s office technology is ‘woefully outdated’ and causes them to waste just over a quarter of each day on pointless administrative tasks. 

This has left many field service management companies looking for ways to innovate both to stay competitive in the market, as well as maintain staff productivity throughout the business. 

Field service management platforms (FSM) can provide the perfect solution for meeting changing customer expectations and for increasing profitability across the business. However, selecting the right one for your business and its unique requirements can feel like a daunting task. 

But it doesn’t have to be. 

Although there are plenty on the market to choose from, they’re not all created equally, and there are particular features you should be on the lookout for when making a decision. 

Things such as:

  • Integrated mobile apps. According to 54% of field technicians, the industry’s biggest bottleneck is not having access to pre-work site data.
  • Intelligent scheduling assistant. Scheduling and dispatching difficulties are the main challenges for field service organisations.
  • An asset manager. Around 43% of small businesses don’t track their assets and inventory effectively, opting instead to rely on paper-based documents, spreadsheets and legacy systems — all of which are prone to errors. 
  • Online invoicing and payment features. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, late invoice payments have skyrocketed in the UK by 23%.

In this article, we’ll explore these top four platform features you should expect to find when looking for field service management software. Read on to learn more.

Top 4 field service management software features to look out for

Let’s take a closer look at the key features you should be looking out for when choosing the right FSM platform for your business. 

  1. Mobile functionality 

Having a mobile app or cloud based technology isn’t a luxury for today’s FSM technicians. It’s a necessity. To ensure that your business is running as efficiently as possible, you must give your team everything they need to do their jobs.

With a mobile app, not only will your engineers have access to pre-work site details that removes any obstacles that could stand in their way, but they can also do the following:

  • Communicate with your back-office and share their location
  • Access the CRM (customer relationship manager)
  • Log expenses
  • Capture photos and signatures
  • Complete DVSA-compliant vehicle walk-around checks
  • Carry out risk assessments and follow workflows
  • View stock and equipment availability
  • Issue digital invoices and accept online payments
  • Fill out timesheets
  • Log and track jobs, job progress, and job completion

…All from the palm of their hands (well, mobile device).

By eliminating unnecessary paperwork, unnecessary travel to jobs, and additional journeys to the office, technician’s productivity will be improved, providing them with time to attend additional appointments in the day. You’ll also enjoy greater customer satisfaction and an improved bottom line for the business. 

A mobile app provides technicians with access to real-time communications so they can stay updated with current, previous, and future jobs that can save them time and create a better customer service and experience.

  1. Intelligent scheduling 

Job management is such a vital component of running a successful field service business that you can’t just hope for the best. After all, your schedule is responsible for ensuring the right people are in the right place at the right time.

Therefore, you should look for a field service management platform that includes an intelligent scheduling assistant. By using this assistant, your back-office team will be able to do the following:

  • Assign and dispatch workers to jobs based on their locations
  • Traffic information, skill sets, vehicle types, qualifications and job constraints at the click of a button
  • Schedule the right people to the right jobs with ease
  • Set and track deadlines

With better job scheduling and ensuring that the correct person has been allocated for each job, you’ll be able to improve your first-time fix rates, impress your customers and increase your profits simultaneously. Better still, your back-office team won’t be burdened with any additional work as they can do it all with a click of a button!

  1. Asset Management 

Human error, whilst unintentional, can eat into your profits and prevent you from taking on more ambitious projects that would directly contribute to company growth. As such, having a reliable asset management system in place is essential.

Being able to effectively manage your inventory can help your business in the long run. 

Finding the right field service management platform means you’ll be able to:

  • Scan and sign inventory in and out of storage 
  • Check real-time inventory levels
  • Receive recommendations on when to restock 
  • Have access to accurate, real-time data

A good field service management platform will allow you to keep track of stock and allow engineers to use their mobile devices to scan items in and out of storage. By digitising your inventory and linking it to your central system, you’ll have access to accurate, real-time data that gives you the power to make better long-term business decisions instead of reactively ordering stock. 

Learn more about the importance of managing your inventory effectively here.

  1. Digitise invoicing and payments 

Unpaid invoices can stunt your cash flow, leaving you unable to meet vital operational expenses. For businesses to thrive post-pandemic, you must consider ways to streamline your invoicing and payment methods for a more rapid process.

Arming your engineers with a mobile app that’s linked to your central field service management platform doesn’t just help them get the job done, it also gets you paid on time. Once they’ve completed the work, each engineer can generate an electronic invoice and send it to your customer in minutes. 

Then, the customer can pay for the service using a range of convenient online methods on the same day. Aside from involving less paperwork, online invoicing and payments significantly reduce the chance of late payments, meaning you’ll always have a healthy cash flow.

The benefits of having an online invoicing and payments features, include: 

✅ Tracked payments

✅ Same day payments

✅ Electronic invoices 

✅ Customers have quick access to invoices

✅ Easy methods of online payments for your customers

✅ Reduced number of late payments

✅ Better customer experience

Key takeaways 

For your organisation to stay ahead of the curve and bounce back stronger post-COVID, you must look for ways to modernise your technology and streamline workflows.

The right field service management platform eradicates time-consuming activities and paperwork from your team’s day. As a result, everyone will have more hours each week to do what they do best, and your bottom line will enjoy a boost.

At BigChange, our secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. Everything you need to know will be at your fingertips, making it super easy to:

✅ Plan 
✅ Manage
✅ Schedule 
✅ Track 

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support. It’s a definitely a worthwhile investment!

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today. 

Read our blog to see why savvy field service businesses are leveraging automation for profit boosting job management and job tracking.

For many field service businesses, job tracking and job management is a big challenge.

Here’s why:

  • Over 50% of business owners say they spend at least two hours a week building team’s schedules
  • 52% of field service businesses still use manual methods for job tracking
  • Over 50% of technicians waste time on a job due to lack of survey history and manuals

Essentially, heavy reliance on manual methods like spreadsheets, whiteboards, legacy systems and paper-based documents = delays, errors and confusion.

If this is you and you’re seeing appointments fall through the cracks and not delivering speedy or reliable services to your customers, you’ll soon suffer from severe reputational and financial damage.

But enough of the doom and gloom.

The good news is that the world of job management and job tracking has finally caught up with the digital evolution. Moving towards automated job management, you can actually guarantee that the right technician is in the right place — every time.

Say hello to strategic planning and flexibility to keep your entire team and business running smoothly.

Let’s see how.

WHY LEADING BUSINESSES LEAN ON JOB TRACKING TECH

Less than half (just 48%) of field service management businesses are using project tracking tools.

But those that are have reported substantially growth benefits that far outweigh any minor costs toward implementing the new tech:

  • 40% experience growth
  • 44% see an improvement in SLA performance
  • 42% better customer retention
  • 18% better service profits

For businesses looking to differentiate and personalise their services, reduce workforce costs, improve employee productivity and overall operational efficiency, it’s a no brainer. 

Keen to learn more about customer satisfaction? Find out why effective job tracking is key to delighting customers, right here.

HOW EXACTLY DOES JOB TRACKING SOFTWARE SUPPORT GROWTH?

Let’s delve into the top three ways savvy businesses leverage job tracking software to boost growth.

  1. DECREASE JOURNEY TIMES AND FUEL COSTS

With the price of petrol spiking to an eight-year high in the UK, reducing travel times doesn’t just increase the number of jobs you can attend each day, but it also slashes your cost to serve. That said, if you don’t have complete visibility over your workforce, it will be challenging to plan routes without first spending hours figuring it out. 

Cue: job management software.

Good platforms will have a built-in intelligent scheduling assistant, which is a tool that matches technicians with jobs based on location, skill set, vehicle type and traffic information. What this means for you is you can optimise hundreds of jobs at the click of a button, making it simpler than ever to plan efficient routes. 

The end result? Your back-office team can spend less time on creating error-prone manual schedules and, instead, focus on delivering a better service to your customers and helping your business to grow.

  1. AUTOMATICALLY MATCH WORKERS TO JOBS

For your schedule to be as effective as possible, you know you’ve got to keep your first-time fix rate high. But, approximately 15% of issues aren’t resolved during the first appointment because the assigned technicians don’t have the required skills.

Unfortunately, when you have to keep making additional appointments, you cause delays in your schedule and reduce the number of jobs you can attend each month.

But, as we’ve just touched on, job tracking software can match workers to jobs based on several key factors, including qualifications and skill set. By matching the right person to the right project, you can enhance your first-time fix rate.

Better still, the best field technician scheduling software will come with an integrated app that allows your technicians to view everything your back-office team can see via their mobile devices. This means they’ll be alerted to any changes in their schedule in an instant.

The end result? Your team can respond rapidly to urgent requests and re-route the most appropriately skilled workers as and when needed.

  1. ALLOCATE ASSETS DIRECTLY TO EACH INDIVIDUAL JOB

Although it’s paramount to send the right worker to each job, it’s equally as essential to ensure they’re equipped with the right gear. Shockingly, on average, 29% of issues aren’t fixed during the first appointment because the technician has the wrong parts or the correct ones aren’t available. 

Luckily, you can avoid problems with stock, tools and equipment altogether when you upgrade to automated job management software.

💡 Top tip: Look out for platforms that include an asset management feature that creates accurate records of inventory levels in real-time, so you can see how much stock you have whenever, wherever. And your back-office staff can then assign vehicles, tools and parts directly to each job, ahead of time.

The end result? Not only does this ensure that every technician has the items they need to complete the work on the first appointment, you’ll also appear more professional, your customers will be more satisfied, and you’ll be able to take on additional appointments each month. Win, win.

IMPROVE EFFICIENCY IN JUST A FEW CLICKS

Recent research found that nearly half (44%) of UK workers believe their company’s office technology is ‘woefully outdated’, causing them to waste an astonishing 26% of each day on pointless administrative tasks.

Inefficient ways of working not only slow down your back-office staff, but they also don’t make the most of your technicians’ time, which will cause you to lose a significant amount of revenue each year. 

It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a devastating effect on many organisations over the last two years, so companies can’t afford to be complacent and rely on ‘traditional’ scheduling methods.

The key takeaway: To bounce back stronger financially and stay ahead of the competition, business leaders must harness the power of job management and job tracking software to maximise their earning potential. 

📕 Ready to find job tracking software? Check out these 5 must-haves in this handy checklist

PUT BIGCHANGE TO THE TEST

Easily manage job scheduling and job tracking in one easy-to-use platform with BigChange:

✅ Match workers to jobs based on traffic information, location, vehicle type, skill set and job constraints

✅ Assign tools, stock and other equipment directly to jobs

✅ Communicate with technicians in real-time via the mobile application

✅ Use time tracking to manage your entire team in real-time

✅ Optimise hundreds of routes at once

✅ Prioritise jobs with certain service level agreements

With BigChange’s job management software, you can work around constraints such as time, tools required, and vehicle attributes to complete every promptly and to a high standard.

But don’t take our word for it, take a look at our case studies here.

Or, see for yourself. Book a free demo today. Our team will show you how to win more work, take control of your operations, and deliver the best customer experiences. 

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Read our ultimate guide for field service businesses to see how you can streamline inventory management and improve customer satisfaction

When it comes to running a successful field service company, managing streamlined inventory is just as important for your cash flow as it is for delighting customers.

You might think this is wildly unsustainable, but there is one simple trick: inventory management technology. 

In fact, as more businesses realise the importance of keeping on top of their stock, equipment, and assets, it’s caused demand for inventory management software to double over the last five years. More on this later.

But aside from tech, what else can you do? In this ultimate guide to inventory management, we’ll talk you through everything you need to know.

Shortcuts ✂

  • What is inventory management?
  • Why is streamlined inventory management a must-have?
  • 3 ways poor inventory management reduces profits
  • The best ways to streamline inventory management today
  • 3 top benefits of managing your inventory with technology
  • Gain a competitive advantage today with field service management software

Let’s start with a quick definition…

WHAT IS INVENTORY MANAGEMENT FOR FIELD SERVICE BUSINESSES?

Inventory management for field service businesses involves keeping track of products, inventory, orders, and fulfilment. Since field service companies have so many items to manage across a range of locations, it’s essential to know who has them, where they are, and when to order more.

WHY IS STREAMLINED INVENTORY MANAGEMENT A MUST-HAVE?

Unfortunately, an astonishing 43% of small businesses fail to track their inventory effectively, which loses them a significant amount of money each year.

Picture a company that’s using paper-based sign in and sign-out sheets to manage stock levels. There’s a very good chance their engineers will forget to fill them out every time. 

Worse still, the engineers’ handwriting may be completely illegible, leaving their back-office team unable to decipher what they’ve written.

Or, maybe, their engineers simply take too many items and store them in their van for a different project instead of putting them back.

The numbers would quickly stop adding up. Although slight inconsistencies in stock levels may not seem that damaging, they can harm your organisation in the long run.

Let’s look at exactly how this has a knock-on effect.

3 WAYS POOR INVENTORY MANAGEMENT REDUCES PROFITS

  1. PROFIT LOSSES

When engineers inadvertently take more items than they need, it will cause your stock levels to appear lower than they really are. Inconsistent inventory quantities and an inability to track what happened to each item will lead you to order more stock or replacement tools than you need, which eats into your profits.

  1. PROJECT DELAYS

On the opposite end of the spectrum, human error may lead you to believe that you have plenty of tools and equipment for your customers’ appointments when you don’t. As a result, you’ll have to put work on hold, which is inconvenient for your customers, and causes scheduling and financial issues on your end. In a worst-case scenario, dissatisfied customers could take their business elsewhere.

  1. LOWER FIRST-TIME FIX RATES

For field service businesses, having a high first-time fix rate is essential. Companies that achieve a first-time fix rate of over 70% enjoy an 86% customer retention rate, so you must ensure that your engineers always have the right tools and equipment to complete the job during the first appointment. However, as we covered in the previous point, inconsistent inventory levels could cause you to be unprepared for scheduled work.

THE BEST WAYS TO STREAMLINE INVENTORY MANAGEMENT TODAY

In a nutshell, harnessing the power of modern technology is one of the best ways to manage your inventory effectively.

Long gone are the days when you would need to rely on error-prone sign in and sign out sheets or slow legacy systems to get the job done.

Not only can you eliminate the inefficiencies caused by outdated inventory management methods, but you can also enhance the services you’re able to provide and boost your bottom line simultaneously.

The even better news? Field service management platforms are specifically designed to help you run every aspect of your business — from accepting appointments to inventory management and invoicing. So, using modern technology to handle your stock, equipment, and assets can improve your efficiency and profits.

Let’s dive straight in to some of the ways you can benefit from digitising your inventory management 👇

  1. ASSIGN TOOLS, EQUIPMENT AND STOCK DIRECTLY TO JOBS

According to data from Aberdeen Strategy & Research, 29% of failed first-time fixes are caused by parts being unavailable, making it the most common obstacle. Fortunately, when you use a job management platform to handle your inventory, you’ll have complete visibility over what stock you have, wherever it is.

Using the accurate data — which with some systems updates in real-time — you can allocate tools, equipment, parts and vehicles directly to customers’ appointments based on their unique requirements. And so your engineers won’t have to worry about whether they have the right gear and, instead, they can focus on doing what they do best.

Ultimately, not only will your engineers be able to visit more customers per day, but you’ll find that your customer satisfaction and retention levels will rise, leading to repeat custom. Win-win!

  1. ADD BARCODES, SERIAL NUMBERS OR QR CODES TO EACH ITEM

As you know, barcodes, serial numbers and QR codes aren’t just useful for retail businesses. By adding a code or number to each item in your inventory, you’ll be able to keep track of everything at the click of a button.

So even if someone does take too much equipment in error, you can find out what happened to it and who has it in their possession.

Did you know? With a field service management platform like BigChange, your engineers can use the mobile app to scan items in and out of storage with ease. While digital processes lower the risk of engineers forgetting to sign gear in and out, they also enable your back-office team to live track individual items without needing to scan through pages of handwritten notes.

  1. CREATE LOW STOCK ALERTS

Imagine never having to worry about having enough stock. Well, with field service management software, you can.

All you need to do is add in your minimum stock levels, and you’ll receive an alert whenever it’s time to replenish your warehouse.

Plus, as well as saving time and reducing the amount of paperwork, a digitised inventory will save you money since it takes every item — including those in your engineers’ vans — into consideration. So there’s no risk of a false alert, which means you won’t be spending money on replacements when you don’t need to.

  1. CREATE A COMPREHENSIVE WORK RECORD

If you’re trying to easily see where parts have been used, you just can’t rely on paperwork, error-prone spreadsheets, and legacy systems as a record of your work history.

It’s likely to create confusion, and your engineers may needlessly end up replacing parts they replaced during the previous appointment.

Instead, switch to field service management software. You’ll get a comprehensive, accurate, and detailed record of everything your engineers did during every appointment. Using their mobile devices, engineers can simply add the information to the platform and capture photographs of the work they carried out.

Should you need to revisit a problem, you won’t end up using parts that you don’t need to. And aside from saving you money, a well-kept record will also enable your engineers to work more rapidly, impressing your customers and boosting your bottom line. 

3 TOP BENEFITS OF MANAGING YOUR INVENTORY EFFICIENTLY WITH TECHNOLOGY

As well as making everyday life easier, the right technology has a huge benefit to your business over the long-term:

  1. REDUCE THE CHANCE OF HUMAN ERROR

📣 Did you know that human error is the leading issue for just under half (46%) of warehouses?

In fact, many businesses struggle with large losses in inventory, as poor reporting leads to inaccurate stock levels.

But, with job management technology, managing your stock needn’t be a logistical nightmare. As we mentioned earlier, your engineers can simply sign tools and parts in and out of storage from their mobile devices, which enables your back-office team to track each item. 

Having full, real-time visibility over your valuable assets means that there will never be inconsistencies in stock levels and, therefore, you’ll always have the items you need to get the job done perfectly the first time.

  1. BE FINANCIALLY STRONGER

📣Worldwide, inventory distortion results in an astronomical $1.1 trillion loss.

In a post-COVID world, businesses simply can’t afford to lose money if they are to survive, so you must consider ways to improve your processes and eliminate any problems. 

That’s where digital inventory management systems come in.

Put simply, they give you the data you need to make better-informed decisions. Plus, with additional features that enable you to allocate stock directly to jobs and alert you when you need to reorder items, you can guarantee that you won’t be spending any money that you don’t need to.

  1. IMPROVE EFFICIENCY

📣 On average, companies spend approximately 16 days per year looking for misplaced paper documents.

In addition to losing paperwork, traditional administration methods are also time-consuming and usually riddled with mistakes. 

In contrast, you can improve the efficiency of your staff — and your business — by removing the need for pointless admin tasks.

Did you know? Using BigChange’s field service management system, engineers can log all vital information (such as which parts they used during an appointment) from their mobile devices. The system stores all details so your back-office team can easily keep track of your inventory and work history.

With your engineers spending less time manually filling in forms each day, they will have more time to complete additional appointments and provides a superior service to your customers.

GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE TODAY WITH FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Currently, only 18% of small businesses use inventory management systems.

The remaining 82% either don’t track their equipment, stock and assets, or they use manual methods that create issues further down the line. 

Enter: the opportunity for competitive advantage 🚀

With the majority of SMEs (small to medium-sized businesses) missing out, your field service business has an excellent opportunity to improve operations, improve customer experiences, increase profits, and take on more projects that will help contribute to company growth.

With such a powerful tool at your fingertips, your inventory will run like clockwork, freeing up more time for you and your team to focus on more business-critical tasks.

HANDLE YOUR STOCK, EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS WITH EASE ON BIGCHANGE’S INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

With BigChange, you can create a detailed register of assets and equipment — both for you and your clients — on one easy-to-use system.

Taking care of the heavy admin, our job management system allows you to:

✅ Manage items across a range of locations in real-time

✅ View a complete record of your engineers’ work history

✅ Receive alerts any time your stock is running low

✅ Assign vehicles, tools and equipment directly to customers’ appointments

✅ Keep track of all assets using serial numbers, barcodes and QR codes. 

✅ Add serial numbers, barcodes and QR codes to each item so you can track their whereabouts

Inventory management has never been simpler.

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Learn more about how implementing field service management technology can help you transform customer service & profitability in your business.

With on-demand services such as Amazon Prime, Deliveroo and Uber, customer expectations across every industry are higher than ever. 

For field service companies to remain competitive, it’s important to meet these new expectations by innovating and modernising the methods they use to interact with clients. 

In contrast, companies that ignore the evolving needs of their clients will lose out to their competitors or, at worst, become obsolete. The shocking reality is that 86% of customers will leave a brand they trusted after just two poor customer experiences. 

Did you know, businesses that prioritise customer experience enjoy 5.7 times more revenue than those that don’t? 

In this article, we’ll share our top tips for improving your customer service with field service management technology. 

Challenges of customer service in field service management 

Creating a seamless customer experience in field service management can be highly challenging. 

Key challenges include: 

⏱️ Long waiting times 

⚒️ Low first-time fix rates 

🤳 Poor communication 

🧰 Technicians with inadequate tools or skills 

All of these challenges can cause friction, leaving customers feeling disappointed or frustrated. 

In addition, they result in costly and inefficient return visits for technicians, causing an impact on the company’s bottom line.

So, let’s have a look at how implementing field service management technology can help to overcome these challenges. 

Top 3 tips for using field service management technology to improve the customer experience 

Technology is transforming customer service across a number of industries and the field service industry is no different. Let’s have a look at the key ways field service management technology is helping organisations to improve their customer service. 

  1. Streamline communications 📱
  • Only 14% of customers say they are happy with current business communications
  • 66% of customers use at least three different communication channels
  • 75% of customers think that fast response times are the most important attribute of the customer experience

Research shows that modern customers often expect to be able to manage the whole process from their mobile devices. This means it’s more important than ever for your business to ensure that customers are able to get in touch with them. 

For example, customers do not want to sit on the phone for hours to book appointments or wait around all day for a technician to arrive because they have only been provided with a vague time slot. 

An effective field service management platform allows you to provide an automated, quick response system to service customers. 

Appointments can be confirmed by the customer service team in just a few clicks and personalised emails can be automated at the most crucial points of the buyer journey using a CRM (customer relationship manager) system to fill in the correct details. 

Additionally, customers can be provided with a real time live tracking link to see where their technician is and their estimated time of arrival. This functionality provides a range of benefits including: 

✅ Enhanced customer experience – customers know when technicians are likely to arrive 

✅ Frees up time for back office staff to focus on business growth 

✅ Increased employee productivity across the business.

  1. Increase first-time fix rates 🔨

Modern customers lead busy lives. Therefore, they expect field service organisations to respond to their issues quickly and to fix them during the first appointment.

Unfortunately, when first-time fix rates drop below 70%, they notice a 10% deterioration in customer retention rates.

So, why are first-time fix rates so important?

  • A huge impact on customer satisfaction 
  • Reduced downtime for customers 
  • Crucial for current customer relationships 
  • An impact on future sales and referrals 

Additionally, low first-time fix rates are costly for the overall business, reducing technician productivity and increasing fuel costs through repeat visits. 

The good news is, field service management software can help to increase first-time fix rates. 

Job scheduling software automatically sorts scheduling and dispatching of technicians based on a number of factors, including:

🚚 Skill set 

🚚 Location 

🚚 Vehicle type 

The CRM system assigns all details of the booking to the job, which also allows back-office teams to allocate equipment, stock and other assets to jobs. This allows technicians to arrive at every appointment with everything they need to carry out the work effectively on their first visit.

Ensuring that technicians are adequately equipped will set them up to complete the job first time. As such, customers will be impressed at the speed of service. 

In addition, technicians will be able to attend more appointments in a day, boosting your bottom line and reputation. 

  1. Ensure data security 🔐

While technology allows you to enhance customer service, it also means that data security is of utmost importance in today’s digital age. 

Failure to take necessary precautions can have a detrimental effect on your company. In fact, 71% of people say they would take their business elsewhere following a data breach. 

Many companies still use outdated methods for storing customer information, putting them at greater risk of a security crisis. Currently, the maximum fine for GDPR infringements is £17.5 million or 4% of your annual turnover – whichever is greater. Lax security can have a huge impact on your business. 

In contrast, modern field service management technology significantly reduces the chance of a data breach. 

The right system will provide you with a secure CRM system to ensure that all data is protected against cybersecurity threats. 

By using superior technology to manage your customers’ data, you’ll have peace of mind that their information is in good hands. In addition, the reduced risk of a data breach means customers are more likely to remain satisfied over the long-term. 

Key takeaways 

Improving customer experience is a key priority across a number of industries. Improving customer service can be achieved through:

  • Streamlining processes to provide better communications
  • Ensuring technicians arrive with the right information, skills and equipment 
  • Providing the right technology to provide a faster, on-demand service 

In addition, each of these elements is essential for improving productivity and profitability across the entire business. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Find out more about how to improve customer convenience and meet changing expectations in the digital world within your field service management business.

Positive customer experiences can have a huge impact on a business’ bottom line.

According to research by Deloitte, delivering a positive customer experience can reduce the cost of serving clients by up to 33%. In addition, customers who enjoy positive experiences are likely to spend 140% more than customers who report negative experiences. 

A large part of a field service business’ day is scheduling and managing appointments. Yet, shockingly, 25% of companies currently use inefficient spreadsheets and manual data entry to create their schedules. The remaining organisations may rely on whiteboards, old technology, or other error-prone processes. 

If you haven’t yet adopted job management technology, you’ll likely find that manual methods cause slow business operations for you and create inconvenient situations for your customers.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of scheduling jobs aren’t going to cut it in the modern world. Customers are used to seamless, convenient experiences that spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems cannot provide.

This article will guide you on how to improve customer convenience in the field service management (FSM) industry using software to deliver superior, speedy services.

  1. Provide a self-service portal  

Platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber offer customers quick and convenient ways to get the services they want. 

According to statistics, 89% of customers say they expect access to a self-service portal when dealing with everyday problems. Modern consumers prefer to access a self-service portal rather than speak to a customer service agent.

These are facts that cannot be ignored. 

A self-service portal could provide access to anything from customer service queries to appointment booking.

In addition, combining services into one portal provides a seamless, more positive customer experience, which will help you to continue growing your business. Offering an easy to use platform demonstrates to your customers that you understand their need to have more control over their experience and that you respect their time. 

It also provides your back-office team and technicians with the ability to automate aspects such as further customer communications and job scheduling, which improves employee productivity across the business too. 

🧰 Top tools

Implementing job management software is a great way to provide customers with the experience they want. It provides customers with the ability to book appointments at a time that suits them, without having to wait for office hours to speak to a customer service agent.

Job management software provides the following benefits: 

  • Manage appointments by automatically sending details to back-office staff 
  • Optimise job scheduling and dispatching to streamline calendar 
  • Respond to emergency call outs 
  • Free up more appointments so customers can find something that suits them 
  1. Provide real-time tracking 

As we have already mentioned, modern technology allows customers to track deliveries or services, adding convenience to the services they use. 

Organisations that fail to modernise and adopt technology to maximise their communications with customers now risk becoming obsolete. With so many customers expecting more from their experiences, traditional methods of managing job schedules will not be convenient to customers and will not keep them coming back in the future. 

🧰 Top tools 

Live tracking is a great way to improve customer convenience. Keep customers updated in real-time with GPS tracking to keep them in the loop with exactly where their technicians are. They can go about their day safe in the knowledge they won’t miss their engineer’s visit. 

So, customers won’t have to wait at home all day with an inconvenient, vague time frame for arrival. 

Not only does this provide added convenience, it also improves customer satisfaction. In addition, you can reduce customer service enquiries because customers no longer have to call head office to find out where their service technician is.

  1. Implement digital payment methods 

In the UK, 54% of businesses are waiting on late invoices, potentially due to manual or laborious payment processes.

Manual invoicing and payment methods can lead to a number of problems, including: 

💰 Payments taking too long 

💰 An increase in outstanding invoices 

💰 Billing errors 

All of these factors can impact the profitability of your business. 

🧰 Top tools 

On the other hand, digital invoicing systems can make payment much more convenient for customers and ensure that you get paid faster. It also makes it much faster and easier for your accounts team to send the invoice out. It can even be automated. 

Digital payment methods offer a range of benefits including: 

✅ Technicians can collect payment on-site 

✅ Invoices can be automated and created in real-time 

✅ Invoice is linked to the central CRM system 

✅ Fewer human errors 

✅ Automated payment methods 

✅ Reduced paperwork 

As you can see, going digital when it comes to invoicing and payments offers a huge number of benefits. Not only do online payment methods ensure that your business bills are settled quickly and on time, but customers will have a smoother experience in dealing with the company and be more inclined to use your services again. 

  1. Look after repeat customers 

Did you know that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer? 

On the other hand, your existing customers are your best asset because:

✅ They’re easy to sell to again 

✅ They’re likely to spend more 

✅ They’re your biggest advocates 

So, why wouldn’t you make it easier for them to come back to you time and time again? 

👉 You can find out more about this in our blog: How to attract new clients to your field service business and retain them. 

🧰 Top tools 

If you’re dealing with regular customers, making repeat bookings even more convenient for customers and saving their time on admin tasks is a huge part of improving customer convenience.

Using technology to make repeat bookings if you already have customer details stored in your CRM is a cost-effective way to improve customer convenience and boost your company’s bottom line. 

You can: 

📲 Send automated texts or emails to remind customers when it’s time to book 

💻 Automatically catalogue routine maintenance and repair 

🙋 Provide a smoother, more frictionless experience where customers have to do as little as possible to achieve the result they need. 

  1. Implement a job management platform 

Job management platforms are a key tool for providing greater convenience to your customers.

It’s no secret that the emergence of COVID-19 has changed customer needs for good. Businesses could no longer rely on “business as usual” due to the essential need to protect workers and customers from illness, meaning a move online. 

However, even after COVID-19, customers still expect the same level of convenience. 

🧰 Top tools 

Job management platforms allow field service management businesses to move operations online in order to provide customers with a more convenient and efficient service. 

Technology allows you to offer customers the following benefits: 

  • Self-service portal for online bookings 
  • GPS tracking for technician’s vehicles 
  • Automated text updates 
  • Automatic repeat booking 
  • Fast and simple invoicing and payment methods 
  • ‘No touch’ signatures to prioritise health and safety 

Key takeaways 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic when many businesses were forced to digitise services to not only protect staff but to protect employees too, digital tools have become an expectation and provide convenience and efficiency for customers and the businesses who serve them. 

And field service management is no different.

There’s a range of field service management software available to help you provide convenience, meet changing customer needs and increase customer satisfaction, all whilst improving your business’ bottom line.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Read this article to learn how to identify your ideal field service management customers and get more of them.

When it comes to attracting customers to your field service business, it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. 

Different customers have different requirements, which is important to consider when considering the type of customers who are most likely to use your services and why. 

86% of customers say they would pay more for superior customer service. So, determining exactly who your perfect customers are will allow you to grow your business. 

But, with so much to consider, where do you start? 

This blog will provide our top tips for identifying your ideal customers in just a few simple steps. 

Why is it so important to know who your ideal customers are? 

Unsurprisingly, companies that focus on delivering a superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than those that don’t focus on their clients’ needs.

Therefore, it pays to hone in on your ideal customer and learn who they are so you can deliver outstanding services that alleviate their unique challenges.

Understanding who your ideal customers are and their challenges will allow you to meet their needs through your customer service. 

Why is it so important to know who your ideal customers are? 

Unsurprisingly, companies that focus on delivering a superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than those that don’t focus on their clients’ needs.

Therefore, it pays to hone in on your ideal customer and learn who they are so you can deliver outstanding services that alleviate their unique challenges.

Understanding who your ideal customers are and their challenges will allow you to meet their needs through your customer service. 

5 simple steps for identifying your ideal customers 

Here are four simple steps you can take to identify your ideal customers:

💡 Know your products and services 

46% of customers say they will abandon a brand if they’re not knowledgeable about what they do. 

So, one of the best things you can do to attract the right customers is to know your products and services inside out. 

However, when it comes to a solid understanding of your business, you need to consider what your customers want to know. 

Consider the following:

✅What can you offer your customers?

✅What are your customer’s pain points?

✅How can your business solve customers’ pain points? 

✅Why should customers choose you over your competitors?

✅What are your unique selling points? 

✅Who benefits the most from your product or services?

Remember, your first point of call should be your current customer base to find out who is currently providing the most value. This will give you the answers you need to understand your company. 

🎯Determine your business goals 

Once you know who your ideal customers are, the next step is to decide on what you want to achieve. 

Are you satisfied with the customers you’re currently attracting? If not, why? 

What do you need to do to attract a different customer base? 

You may have been attracting one-off jobs for smaller customers but would rather focus on large, longer-term commercial contracts. As a result, you’ll need to create a plan to work towards these goals. 

Think about the following activities to reach your target: 

  • Re-branding 
  • Offering different services 
  • Changing the way you talk about your business 
  • Networking 

🔢Collect and analyse data 

Another vital piece of the puzzle when identifying your ideal customers is analysing existing customer data. 

Analyse the following elements:

✅Customer feedback 

✅Sales statistics 

✅Customer churn rate 

✅Past interactions 

✅Successes 

✅Mistakes 

All of these elements provide insights into what you’re doing well and areas that need improvements. 

However, if you’re not collecting data or rely on error-prone spreadsheets, paper documents, and legacy systems to store information, you won’t be able to identify any patterns or trends in your data. 

Having a relying CRM system in place allows you to look at all past customer interactions to gather a complete picture of your customers in one place. It’s also a great way to gather customer feedback. 

As a result, you’ll have all the details you need to continue making improvements to your business, and customers will feel more valued. 

🙋Build customer profiles 

Once your research has been completed and your business goals in place, you need to build customer profiles or personas. This should include everything you know about the people you’re trying to target. 

This list isn’t exhaustive, but you should think about the following: 

  • Their age range
  • Their gender
  • Their location
  • Their relationship status (e.g., are they single? Do they have any children?)
  • What influences their buying decisions?
  • What problem(s) do they need to solve?
  • What concerns might they have about purchasing your goods and/or services?
  • How much are they willing to spend?
  • What are the best ways to reach this customer? (e.g., do they use Facebook frequently? Or perhaps they’re an avid email user)

All of these questions help to build a clear picture of the people most likely to buy from your business. 

Remember, the more in-depth you go when creating a customer avatar, the more knowledge you’ll have to attract the right customers to your business and build customer relationships effectively. 

💻Implement a CRM system 

A field service CRM system allows you to collect customer data and provides full visibility over every single customer interaction, from phone calls to emails and satisfaction surveys. 

As a result, you have an excellent understanding of what’s working and what isn’t. Then, you can keep improving your offerings and reach your business goals more rapidly. 

An effective CRM system will also help you increase efficiency across your business by providing your customer service team and mobile workers with a full view of each customer’s profile and service history. 

🔍How do you find more of your ideal customers? 

Once you know your perfect customers, you can use this information to guide your sales and marketing strategies to attract more of them. 

But how do you do this? 

✅Advertise in the places they spend the most time 

✅Address their pain points in your sales and marketing messages 

✅Communicate with them in the way they prefer to be communicated with 

✅Encourage referrals from your existing ideal customers

Targeting your ideal customers is the best way to drive growth and profitability for your business. 

Key takeaways 

Identifying your ideal customers is key to business growth. It will help you know who your most valuable customers are, their pain points, and how you can improve your customer service and processes to meet their needs and attract more similar customers. 

Knowing who these customers are will help you to avoid providing services for customers who are harder to sell to, don’t spend as much money, or do not drive as much profit for your business. 

Therefore, focusing on your best customers will help you grow your business faster without spending as much time or money on driving new business and making a profit. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange’s field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Learn more about why customer retention is so important for field services businesses and the retention strategies you can implement today.

Did you know that it costs five times more to attract customers than it does to retain existing ones? 

Additionally, Customer service complaints have reached their highest level on record and cost businesses over £9 billion per month in lost staff time. 

Therefore, for your business to thrive in a world where customer expectations are constantly changing, you will need to focus on impressing your current customer base and keep them coming back for more. 

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the importance of customer retention and how it can benefit your business. Then, we’ll share the top four ways you can retain customers, boost your reputation reputation and your bottom line simultaneously. 

Why is customer retention so important? 

We already know that customer retention is cheaper than acquisition. We also know that poor customer service can cost your business dearly. But, that’s not the only reason you should be trying to impress your existing customer base. 

Existing customers offer the following benefits:

👍 Existing customers are likely to stay: The likelihood of an existing customer using your company again is an impressive 60-70%. Today’s customers don’t want to spend hours researching and comparing different businesses when they require field services so, if you impress them on your first visit, they’ll keep you in mind for the future. 

👍 Repeat customers spend more: Repeat customers typically spend around 67% more than new ones. When you do an outstanding job, your customers will be more inclined to try out your other goods and services, creating the perfect opportunity to upsell and increase your profits. 

👍 The best type of marketing: Your existing customer base is one of the best, and cheapest, forms of marketing. On average, repeat customers refer 50% more people to your company than new ones. So, if you have a large pool of loyal customers, you’ll find it much easier to generate more business. 

Now you know some of the main reasons why customer retention is so necessary, let’s look at the top four strategies that actually work.

4 customer retention strategies for successful field service businesses 

  1. Review and analyse churn metrics 

You can’t create a strong retention strategy if you don’t analyse your churn metrics and figure out what might be driving people away. 

For example, 32% of customers would cut ties with a company after just one negative experience. 

To run a successful business with a loyal customer base, it’s your job to ensure that you’re delivering exceptional services and a low churn rate. The higher your churn rate, the more customers you’ve lost. 

💲What does this mean for your business? 

In an ideal world, your perfect churn rate is 0% but customer losses are inevitable. 

Start by calculating your current rate and set a realistic target for improvement. Is your churn rate high? 

👉 Check out our article here, which explains what might be driving your customers away. 

👉 The best way to do it? 

A field service management platform provides access to in-depth customer data that is updated in real-time, giving you the most accurate picture of your business all in one place. No more searching across multiple platforms for the answer and no more human errors that skew your analysis. 

  1. Collect and implement customer feedback 

89% of customers want to provide feedback to the companies they spend their money with. This gives you a great chance to gather constructive feedback and opportunities to improve your customer experience. 

Those businesses that don’t consider their customers’ needs are missing out on a valuable opportunity to enhance retention rates because there’s a good chance they haven’t thought about their services from a different perspective. 

👉 The best way to do it? 

When you implement field service management software, collecting customer feedback is easy.

Use the system to design a personalised and branded survey template and customer information from your field service CRM

Once technicians have completed a job, your back-office team can send a customer service satisfaction survey at the click of a button, meaning it won’t steal your staff’s attention away from other business-critical tasks.  

Customers can fill out their survey on their mobile devices, and the platform stores each response so you can see what you’re doing well and the areas for improvement. 

With so many vital insights at your disposal, you’ll be able to enhance your services and make your customers feel valued, which will keep them coming back time and time again. 

  1. Regularly communicate with your customers 

 Just 14% of customers say they’re happy with current business communications. Therefore, you have the perfect opportunity to stand out from competitors who are not making an effort to stay in touch with their customer base. 

Modern customers lead busy lives and therefore won’t want to wait around all day for a technician because they received a vague timeslot and poor communication. 

With so many companies offering live updates on purchases, 89% of people now expect an ‘Uber-like’ technician tracking service with estimated travel time and arrival times. 

👉 The best way to do it? 

Live tracking technology allows customers to see the exact location of their engineer on the day of their appointment. Back office staff can automate text messages that include links and estimated times of arrival. 

Not only will real-time tracking impress your customers, it also means your customer service team won’t have to spend time on the phones, providing manual updates. Staff are then more productive and able to focus on providing more value to your customers. 

  1. Build trust with your customers

Impressing your customers is a good first step to winning repeat business, but it doesn’t guarantee that they will immediately trust your company. To build trust, you have to follow through on your promises and deliver great customer service consistently. 

But how can you get your customers to trust you?

⚒️A good first-time fix rate

Field service companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% boast an 86% customer retention rate. 

As we mentioned earlier, customers don’t want to take significant chunks of time out of their days to wait for an engineer to resolve their issue, so needing to make multiple appointments is a sure-fire way to disappoint. 

Job scheduling technology allows back-office teams to: 

✅Understand customer’s requirements

✅Match work orders to a technician based on information such as qualifications, location, vehicle type and job constraints

✅Effective asset management 

✅Assign the right equipment to the right job 

As a result, mobile workers will turn up to every appointment fully prepared.

⏳Get paid quickly 

According to PwC, speed of service matters most to 70% of customers. So, it’s paramount to eliminate any silos and inefficient processes that could slow services down. 

In a digital world, paper-based documents, legacy systems and spreadsheets are no longer enough to meet customer expectations. Digital tools can increase efficiency for both your staff and customers. 

Financial management software can help you to streamline the full customer experience, from bookings to invoicing and payments. For example, once technicians have completed a job, they can create digital invoices on their mobile devices and send them to your customers in just seconds. 

Technicians are able to track completed work within a mobile app and allow customers to pay immediately through their chosen method. 

Not only will your customers appreciate the convenience, but it also means that you’ll always be paid on time, making for a healthy cash flow.

🔐Keep customer’s data safe

71% of customers say they would take their business elsewhere following a data breach. So, to ensure your customers are loyal to your company, security must be taken seriously. 

In addition to presenting a threat to customers’ sensitive details, if your business is found to be GDPR non-compliant, you could suffer from debilitating financial, operational and reputational damage. 

Implementing a secure CRM system significantly lowers the possibility of a data breach. This shows your customers that you take data privacy seriously, and they can rest assured that their information is in good hands. 

Key takeaways 

Customer retention is key to the future success of field service organisations. Not only are existing customers more likely to return, spend more and recommend your business to others. This impacts the bottom line of your business so it’s essential to look at your customer retention rates and how you can keep your customers satisfied. 

In addition, the processes and strategies you put in place to improve customer retention can improve the overall efficiency of your business, the productivity of your employees and your profits. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Learn more about the tools you can use to empower your field service teams to boost customer service and profitability by reading our blog.

Since the pandemic, over 55% of consumers say that their expected standards for customer service have risen. In addition 82% of consumers expect to continue contacting customer service at pandemic-level rates. Plus, 86% of customers will leave a brand they trusted after just two bad experiences. 

No matter how good your processes are, how skilled your technicians are or how much technology you have implemented, the only thing your customers are likely to remember is your customer service. 

Customer service has become a key driver of business growth and, in a competitive market, it’s now essential to get it right. 

Subsequently, field service companies must look at their current operations and consider making them more customer-centric. The first step to streamlining your processes and boosting customer satisfaction is by ensuring that employees have the right tools to do their jobs effectively. 

In this article, we’ll look at the tools you can provide to two different sides of your workforce (your back-office team and your field-based engineers) to ensure you offer the best customer service. 

🧑‍🏭 Field technicians 

Your field technicians are the face of your organisation. They’re the team members your customers will interact with most frequently. While their technical skills are essential, their customer service skills are also important for your business. 

After all, happy customers are more likely to return and offer referrals to friends and family and leave positive reviews. Your existing customers are your biggest asset so it’s essential to keep them happy. 

According to research, 50% of customers will question the quality of the business if they see several negative reviews. So, it’s important to ensure you have plenty of satisfied customers who are telling others how satisfied they are!  

Therefore, you must ensure you include more than just hammers and spanners in their toolkits. Providing training for technicians to improve their customer service skills can significantly impact the bottom line for your business. 

Here’s how they should be performing…

⏳On time and prepared for the job 

Customers who have broken down equipment or need a new installation are already being impacted by downtime in their business. 

Therefore, a technician who arrives late, a customer who doesn’t know what time their technician is likely to be with them, or a technician who arrives without the correct equipment or knowledge for the job can cause some serious dissatisfaction. 

In fact, if you don’t provide technicians with the knowledge to do a good job, 46% of customers say they’ll abandon your business. 

Technicians who are under prepared or do not have the right tools for the job will have to travel to the job more than once. Not only does this impact customer satisfaction, it also costs your business in fuel costs and lost productivity. 

🧰 Top tools 

Job scheduling allows back office staff to properly schedule jobs with the right technicians and ensure that they’re always prepared with the right tools. It also allows customers to be informed of when their technician is likely to arrive, preventing them from waiting around all day. 

Additionally, using a mobile app, technicians are able to view their customers’ work history and booking details before arriving at each appointment, meaning they’ll never be unprepare.

Instead, each field technician can focus on delivering excellent services and getting the job done rapidly. 

💰Make payment easy 

Did you know, the number of customers using mobile wallets to make payments increased from around 900 million to 1.48 billion worldwide during the pandemic? 

More people than ever have realised the value and convenience that technology can provide, so businesses will need to keep up to survive in ‘the new normal’. 

Making it as easy as possible for customers to pay your business significantly increases customer satisfaction. Changes to the way customers want to pay occurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but it looks like they’re here to stay. 

Recent research revealed that 97% of shoppers have abandoned a purchase over lack of convenience and 83% say that convenience is more important to them than five years ago.

As you can see, it’s more important than ever to provide a convenient customer experience. Aside from creating a better customer experience, same-day payments also guarantee that you’ll always have a healthy cash flow, which will enable you to continue growing your business.  

🧰 Top tools 

Providing technicians with the technology they need to issue invoices and accept payments immediately after a job while they’re still on site is one of the best ways to improve customer service. 

A mobile app can allow technicians to log when the job is finished and automatically create an invoice, allowing the customer to choose from a range of convenient payment methods and send the money on the same day. 

🧑‍💼Back office staff 

Your back office staff might not be the ones visiting customers on a daily basis but, when it comes to delivering outstanding customer service, they’re just as important. 

After all, they manage everything behind the scenes and ensure that technicians are fully equipped to provide the best service and complete jobs to a high standard. 

Here are just some of the things you should be providing back office staff with to enhance the service they provide to customers…

⌚Accurate job scheduling 

Businesses that achieve a first-time fix rate of over 70% also maintain an extremely high customer retention rate of 86%. 

Consequently, it pays to ensure that your field technicians have everything they need to complete the job correctly the first time. 

🧰 Top tools 

You will need to provide back office staff with the ability to oversee all appointment and job details on a CRM system

Having access to all customer and job information allows back office staff to: 

✅ Provide accurate job scheduling 

✅ Allocate stock, equipment and other assets (such as vehicles) directly to jobs

✅ Provide technicians with job updates 

✅ Ensure that technicians are prepared for every job 

By ensuring your engineers have the right gear every time, you significantly increase the chances of a first-time fix, which impresses your customers and frees up more time for your team to complete more appointments per day. 

📱Communication channels 

Only 14% of customers are happy with current business communications, so companies that make an effort to stay in touch are likely to stand out from the crowd.  

Additionally, customers now expect to be able to communicate with brands across at least 10 different channels – depending on their query. Plus, 42% of customers said that reaching customer service agents on their preferred channel was the most important attribute of customer experience. 

So, you need to make sure you provide a number of channels for customers to get in touch with your team. Plus, they need to have information about the case and previous communications with customers so that they don’t have to repeat themselves every time they contact customer services. 

🧰 Top tools 

Field service management software can provide your back office staff with a number of tools to improve customer communications and improve the overall customer experience. 

To improve customer service, back office staff can: 

✅ Send emails to customers with a personalised template 

✅ Pull details from a CRM in a few clicks so that all emails are personalised and accurate 

✅ Send automated text messages to customers with GPS real time live tracking on the day of the appointment 

Offering these steps within the customer experience will help to keep customers updated on the progress of their job and see where technicians are so they don’t have to keep calling the office for updates. 

As such, you’ll have happier customers and more efficient office staff who have more time to focus on other essential tasks.

Key takeaways 

With customer expectations now more challenging to satisfy than ever before, and with so much competition in the field services industry, now is the ideal time to undergo a digital transformation and find ways to stand out from the crowd. 

Not only does equipping technicians and back office staff with the right training, knowledge and tools to provide the best customer service significantly improve customer satisfaction, they also ensure that staff are as productive and efficient as possible, benefitting your business’ bottom line. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Find out more about how preventative and predictive maintenance of vehicles in field service is essential for cost efficiency across the business.

When it comes to fleet management, it may seem sensible to repair your vehicles as and when they become damaged. However, in reality, reactive fixes cost an eye-watering three to nine times more than pre-planned maintenance, ultimately creating a large dent in your profits. 

In addition to being costly, unplanned maintenance can severely hinder or bring your projects to a halt, setting you back days, weeks, or even months. Therefore, to lower expenses and keep all your appointments on track, you must conduct routine maintenance on your vehicles before it becomes too late.

This article will explore the key benefits of proper vehicle maintenance, how it can save you money, and the solutions you can implement to ensure effective preventative maintenance. 

How does preventative and predictive maintenance work? 

Predictive maintenance helps your organisation to prevent equipment failure which can cause unnecessary downtime and loss of profits. 

Effective asset management helps you to prevent costly repairs and equipment downtime before they become a problem for your business. 

To get the most from preventative maintenance you should: 

Collect data – ask your technicians to complete daily vehicle checks and record the results.

Share data – the data you collect from your technicians should be shared and stored with back office staff.

Analyse data – once you have collected and shared the data, you should be analysing it to ensure that vehicles are in good working condition and to spot problems before they become a major and costly problem. 

Now that you know how it works, let’s have a look at the top benefits of preventative and predictive maintenance…

Top 5 benefits of preventative and predictive maintenance

  1. Only replace the parts that need replacing

It can be tempting to ignore any major issues that arise with vehicles in your fleet, especially if they present a risk to your technicians, in order to reduce costs. 

However, issues that start as minor problems can quickly become more severe and financially damaging than you anticipated. 

In the long run, it makes sense to replace single parts as and when they wear out instead of waiting for a complete breakdown. 

Plus, there are hidden bonuses to keeping your vehicles in extra condition. For example, tyres are responsible for around 20% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption. 

⚒️How can you do this? 

Providing your technicians with a mobile app that allows them to complete a daily walkaround check of their vehicles and raise any issues with back office staff. 

In addition, your organisation will have a full record of each vehicle, allowing you to perform maintenance and repairs before they become major and start eating into your profits. Replacing a tyre on a vehicle will cost you much less than a vehicle that is in a collision as a result of poor maintenance or is taken off the road due to needing repairs.

  1. Extend the lifespan of your vehicles 

When you invest in predictive and preventative maintenance for your fleet of vehicles, you also ensure that the lifespan of your vehicles is extended. 

With the knowledge of vehicles and their status, you can analyse data and fix problems before they cause major damage and vehicles require replacing. 

This provides a number of benefits: 

✅You keep your vehicles on the road for longer 

✅You prevent technicians from breaking down and losing a day of work 

✅You prevent technicians from breaking down on the way to a job and affecting customer experience   

✅You keep your technicians safe on the roads

  1. Increase efficiency and reduce emissions 

According to research, poor maintenance strategies can reduce productivity by 5-20%. 

Having the knowledge of when maintenance to a vehicle is likely to be required, you can schedule repairs or servicing when the vehicle is off the road. 

This means that your mobile workforce is less likely to break down on the road and they don’t have to stop work for the day while their vehicle is repaired or towed back to your premises. 

As a result, regular servicing can increase your business’s efficiency and reduce downtime across your business. 

In addition, keeping your vehicles in good repair helps to maintain fuel efficiency, releasing fewer emissions and remaining more environmentally friendly.  

  1. Lower risk of expensive legal issues 

Unfortunately, there were over 100,000 road accidents last year in the UK. With technicians spending a large proportion of the day travelling between jobs, it’s paramount that you do everything possible to prevent them from becoming part of this statistic. 

By not regularly taking the time to maintain your fleet, you put your technicians at risk. 

For example, one of your vans could suddenly break down on the motorway, causing a collision that injures your technician or others. 

In addition to being a terrible experience for your employee, you may have to face lengthy legal battles and hefty fines if you’re found guilty of health and safety negligence. 

In fact, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties in 2016 for companies that fail to manage health and safety matters competently. Now, the average fine sits at £150,000.

⚒️How can you do this? 

Encouraging every technician to complete a daily check of their vehicle and record their findings allows you to guarantee you’re following health and safety best practices. 

As a result, you and your employees can rest assured that the likelihood of a serious accident is significantly lowered. 

  1. Prevent delays to profitable projects 

Around 20% of a fleet’s vehicles annually incur downtime due to accidents.

Although some breakdowns are inevitable, regardless of how well you care for your vehicles, there are ways to substantially reduce the frequency and length of downtime. 

⚒️How can you do this? 

🗒️Daily vehicle walkaround checks are a must-have to ensure that your fleet is DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) compliant. Not only will this improve health and safety records, you’ll also have a comprehensive record of every vehicle’s history, providing proof of compliance and work carried out. 

🚛Monitor drivers’ behaviour on the roads – you can use live tracking software to check driver’s behaviour when driving. Analyse behaviour such as speeding, harsh acceleration, breaking, cornering, and idling and provide technicians with a score that accurately reflects their driving style over time. Then, you can offer additional training to those who are taking greater risks on the road. 

As a result, you can eliminate risky behaviour and driving styles that cause additional wear and tear on your vehicles. You’ll be able to reduce downtime and maintenance costs annually, allowing your company to take on projects that boost your bottom line. 

Key takeaways 

Your vehicles are a crucial component of your business, so maintaining your fleet is crucial to maintaining your bottom line. 

By allowing technicians to easily identify and report vehicle checks while they’re on the road, you can fix minor issues before they become major, costly problems. 

In addition, field service management software allows you to have an overview of each technician’s driving style, so you can offer additional training to those who are taking more risks on the road and causing additional wear and tear to vehicles. 

You can also ensure that customer experience remains unaffected as technicians are not likely to be taken off the road on the way to a job due to a broken-down vehicle or a crash as a result of a breakdown. 

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Did you know, up to 76% of customers decide to purchase from a brand based on customer experience (CX) alone? Therefore, to continue growing your customer base, you must consider how your clients will perceive your business at each stage of the buying process.

To create a superior customer experience, you should think about every touchpoint before, during, and after a sale. Being efficient at booking, job execution, and aftercare will help set you apart from your competition. 

In this article, we will explain how to build strong customer relationships by optimising your schedule, driving growth and improvement, and strengthening your CX using job management technology such as BigChange.

What are the Benefits of a Customer Experience Strategy?

1. Increased Profits

Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that don’t focus on their clients’ needs. Therefore, focusing some time and energy on improving the service you provide could significantly impact your bottom line.

2. More Loyal Customers

Research has shown that customers that give companies a high CX score spend 140% more and remain loyal for up to six years. Not only will improving your customer experience reap more profit in the short term, but these loyal customers who trust your business will spend more over the course of their relationship with you.

Plus, people who have a favourable view of your business are more likely to spread the word to their social and professional circles — and Nielson research showed that 92% of customers will trust recommendations over any form of marketing. So, providing excellent customer experiences could lead to word of mouth marketing, exposing your company to a new audience that could potentially turn into sales.

3. More Streamlined Operation

77% of customers say they view companies more positively if they seek out and apply customer feedback to improve their products and services.

By improving your after-appointment customer experience you could not only gain valuable insights that can improve your entire operation but you’ll build loyalty and trust with your existing audience as they will see you value their feedback.

What are the Buyer Journey Stages in Field Services?

1. The Booking Process

Traditionally, customers would have had to pick up the phone, use a contact form or send an email to scope out booking a job with a field service provider. 

However, 42% of people today vastly prefer online scheduling over picking up the phone. The first contact is crucial to get right, or you could miss out on business — solely because customers want to finalise their booking at their leisure without talking to a representative.

Customers will then speak directly to one of your back-office staff to make an appointment. However, when you require people to book appointments over the phone, they will either have to wait until business hours, or they could find themselves helpless in an emergency. 

In this day and age of immediate gratification, it’s not surprising that 70% of customers have said that speed of service matters the most when dealing with a business. But, unfortunately, if you are still using out-of-date legacy systems and slow manual administration processes for bookings, that isn’t enough to provide the best customer experience.

2. On the Day of Appointment

Customers don’t appreciate having to wait around all day for their appointment because they’ve been given a vague time slot for their technician to arrive, and communication has been poor.
In contrast, when a business sends automatic updates, 68% of customers have a better opinion of the company. Therefore, providing your customers with updates about the job status and their technicians’ locations is essential to creating a superior customer experience.

3. Post-Appointment Customer Care

To provide an excellent customer experience, you have to consider how you interact with people even after completing the job. 

Using traditional accounting methods might have taken a couple of weeks for a customer to receive an invoice. Drawn out payment processes could be inconvenient for your customers and detract from their overall experience, or make them consider a competitor in future who offers a more seamless payment experience. 

Therefore, in order to thrive in this stage, your business needs to modernise its invoicing methods. Let’s look at how technology can transform the experience you offer your customers before, during, and after an appointment.

How to Use Technology to Enhance Customer Experience

Using a job management platform improves the customer experience at all stages of the buyer journey. Here are the top three ways you can use technology to enhance your service:

1. Creating Excellent Customer Experiences in the Booking Stage

Using a Self-Service Platform

88% of consumers expect an organisation to have some form of self-service portal available. Suppose your business only enables customers to book appointments over the phone — the customer has to wait for business hours, which could clash with their own work schedule, or they might not be able to get the help they need quickly enough, leading to them using a competitor. In that case, you should consider adopting software that allows clients to manage their bookings online at their convenience.

An added advantage of using an online self-service portal is that it will send an immediate alert to your back-office staff. Your team can then use the information the customer provided to schedule and dispatch the most appropriate technician, based on factors like:

  • Customer location
  • Traffic information
  • Vehicle type
  • Job constraints
  • Necessary qualifications
  • Equipment needed

As such, your workers will be able to get the job done right the first time and take less time out of your customers’ busy days.

Gathering all the Information

In the field service world, high first-time fix rates are essential to a good customer experience. Companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% retain 86% of their customer base. If they achieve less than 70%, their retention rate drops by 10%. 

Therefore, at the booking stage, it’s essential to gather as much information as possible about the job and the constraints that might be relevant so that your engineer can fix the customer’s issue the first time.
Using a job management platform to gather information and allocate the right assets to a job means your technicians can confidently arrive for appointments with the tools they need to complete the job the first time. Not only does this provide a smoother experience for your customer, but your retention will benefit from your improved first-time fix rate.

Optimised Schedule

56% of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. Therefore, businesses will need to modernise their schedules to meet the growing demand for quick services. By using job management software that optimises your schedule, you’ll have the resource to attend more emergency appointments and act quickly on emergent customer requests.
The best field service management platforms on the market include intelligent scheduling assistants that enable you to optimise your schedule, taking into account all appointments, their purpose, and the time they will take. The system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to manual scheduling or human error. As a result, you’ll free up more time for both back-office staff and make more profit from extra appointments.

2. Providing Stronger Experiences on the Day of Appointment

Let’s look at how you can streamline the experience on the day of the appointment:

Ensuring Parts and Equipment are Available

According to a report, a staggering 43% of small businesses fail to track their assets and inventory effectively. Using manual or paper methods for asset tracking opens your company to many risks caused by human error. 

Engineers could inadvertently take spare items, or writing on forms may be illegible. Such mistakes mean items go missing easily, and replacements can be costly. A disorganised inventory could lead to a lack of necessary items and slow response times for a customer while you get parts or tools back in stock.

Instead, you can digitise your asset management, which removes the logistical headaches of managing an inventory. For example, field service management platforms like BigChange allow you to create a detailed register of equipment and parts. Then, you can track the movements of items using serial numbers, barcodes, or QR codes. 

Your technicians can check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, giving you better visibility over your valuable equipment. Consequently, your customer will never suffer a wait for parts or tools that were an oversight in the planning process.

Identifying the Quickest Routes

Using software to manage your operations allows you to match the right person to the right job quicker than ever. For example, you might have a technician in a nearby location to a customer, but traffic could cause them to take longer to arrive than another available person. In such a case, the system will suggest the best worker to allocate, saving your team from having to work it out manually.

Notification Features with GPS

BigChange’s field service management software allows your customers to get notifications about their appointment status and see the live location of their technician via the GPS vehicle tracking feature. So, never again will your customers feel like they’re left in the dark about the status of a job or have to wait at home all day.

3. Implementing Excellent After-Appointment Care

Follow-up Appointments

We’ve seen how using online scheduling software that allows your clients to manage bookings on their own is one step towards creating an excellent customer experience. However, you can go another step further by making it simple to book repeat appointments.

BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for clients who know they have many jobs. The recurring job feature enables you to group jobs so you can schedule them in bulk, saving both you and your customers a significant amount of time and stress.
In addition to scheduled work, the software includes a feature that allows you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job should any unexpected work arise in the future. All new appointments will link to any previous jobs, meaning any relevant history is readily available for the engineer working on it.

Easy Payments

For the average small-to-mid-sized company, it takes approximately 25 days to process an invoice manually from receipt to payment. As a result, businesses have to deal with overdue payments, processing costs, and employees wasting time on drawn-out manual methods. However, field service software with integrated payment gateways can speed up the payment process. 
Integrated payment solutions allow you to send your customer an invoice online automatically. Your technicians can fill out all the necessary paperwork directly on their mobile devices and send the invoice across immediately. Customers can then view the invoice and pay online the same day using a variety of payment options, making it more convenient for the client and better for your cash flow.

Asking for Customer Feedback

As soon as your technicians have completed their jobs and marked them as complete from their mobile devices, you can automatically send digital satisfaction surveys to your customers to ensure that they’re happy.
Once you’ve gathered your satisfaction surveys, the BigChange CRM automatically stores all interactions. You can then easily access survey results in the future and use them to adjust your services based on customer feedback. This will show your audience that you value their feedback, and can adjust your service accordingly. This kind of development is great for customer retention as your loyal customers will feel valued and build more trust with the organisation.

Using Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience is Key

Using software like BigChange’s field service management system eliminates many burdensome and time-consuming processes throughout the customer journey. Subsequently, you’ll liberate more time for your staff to focus on making the customer experience the best it can be. Aside from being able to deliver superior experiences, you’ll also find that your optimised schedule enables your engineers to take on more appointments each day and boost your bottom line in the process.

Deliver a Superior Field Service Customer Experience, on BigChange

Make the change and manage your entire operation on a single platform. 

BigChange gives you complete control of your admin, from quotes to invoicing and beyond. Also, with our mobile app (available on iOS and Android), you can seamlessly connect your office, field technicians and customers and provide an excellent customer experience as well as increased profitability as a result. 

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

It’s no secret that legislations form a large part of facilities management, and — to make matters more complicated — they’re constantly evolving. In recent years, as serious issues such as climate change and COVID-19 have impacted the way businesses operate, facilities managers have had to stay ahead of the curve.

Unfortunately, with so many regulations to remember and implement, the risk of non-compliance is high. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide, which will explain the top six facilities management legislations you need to know. We’ll also share how facility management software ensures that your organisation is running compliantly. Read on to learn more.

Why Legal Compliance in Facilities Management is Important

When managing facilities, it’s crucial to ensure that your operations are running compliantly. Failure to do so could mean you damage the following:

Your Reputation

In today’s digital world, news — good or bad — can spread and even go viral online in a matter of minutes. So, if your business is found to be operating non-compliantly, there’s a chance your customers will find out and potentially cut ties with you. In fact, 41% of people in the UK say they would stop using a company following a security breach.

Your Operation

Breaches of specific laws will mean that an organisation must cease operating until it has rectified the errors. Depending on how long it takes to resolve the issues, the downtime could significantly impact your ability to deliver services and make a profit. 

Worse still, your employees may not feel comfortable working for an organisation with a poor compliance record — especially if you’ve breached health and safety laws. As such, you’ll lose out on the best talent and won’t be as competitive in the market.

Your Finances

Did you know that the cost of non-compliance is typically double the amount it costs to follow all rules and regulations? In addition to fines, a damaged reputation and halted operations also prevent you from bringing more money in, making it even more challenging to recover following an incident.

Staying Safe in the Workplace: The Top 6 Facilities Management Legislations

Here are the top six facilities management legislations you must be aware of:

1. Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations

The UK Government introduced the Health and Safety at Work Regulations in 1999 to reinforce the Health and Safety Act of 1974. They clearly explain what employers must do to apply health and safety measures to every work-related activity. There are certain duties that both employers and employees are required to follow, including:

Employer Duties — Risk Assessment

The primary employer duty within the Health and Safety at Work Regulations is to undertake a risk assessment to identify any potential hazards to people on-site. Aside from being good practice, it is also a legal requirement to document your findings if you employ five or more people.

Once you’ve carried out your risk assessment, you must then make arrangements to implement health and safety measures to control or eliminate the hazards you identified. For each potential danger, you will need to assess the severity and apply the hierarchy of risk control to ensure that you’ve adequately handled the situation. 

Want to learn more about how to conduct a risk assessment? Click here to read our in-depth guide.

Employer Duties — General

As an employer, you must appoint at least one competent person — usually from within your organisation — to manage health and safety procedures and ensure that you’re complying with legislation. It is then their responsibility to do the following:

  • Provide everyone on-site (including temp workers and contractors) with necessary health and safety information in an understandable format.
  • Arrange for every employee to receive health and safety training.
  • Prevent workers from being given tasks beyond their competence or physical capabilities.

If you’re sharing your premises with another employer, you will need to coordinate your health and safety activities. For example, you should exchange any information from your risk assessment and include details about the preventative measures you’ve put in place.

Employee Duties

The majority of the responsibility falls with the employer when it comes to staying safe in the workplace; however, the Health and Safety at Work Regulations do include certain employee duties. They must:

  • Report health and safety shortcomings
  • Report dangerous situations
  • Report incidents and accidents
  • Use equipment in accordance with training and instruction
  • Take reasonable care of their own health and safety, and the safety of anyone who will be affected by their work

2. Manual Handling Regulations

Approximately 21% of all non-fatal workplace injuries are caused by incorrect manual handling, resulting in operational, financial and reputational damage. Therefore, it’s crucial to prevent situations where your workers could be harmed when lifting or moving heavy objects. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) legislation was introduced in 1992 and later updated in 2002 to provide employers with rules that will keep their workers safe.

As an employer, you must:

  • Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, as far as reasonably practicable
  • Assess the risk of injury from any manual handling task that cannot be avoided
  • Reduce the risk of injury from manual handling, as far as reasonably practicable

Again, you will need to conduct a sufficient risk assessment and put measures in place to reduce or eliminate manual handling hazards where possible. Failure to implement the requirements could be subject to actions from the regulatory authorities.

3. Display Screen Equipment Regulations

The Display Screen Equipment Regulations outline what employers must do to protect their staff from display screen equipment (DSE) risks, such as computers and laptops. Incorrect usage of DSE or poorly designed workspaces can cause musculoskeletal pains, wrist and hand pain, fatigue and eye strain, so it’s essential to ensure your office staff have the right tools to do their jobs.

Although the DSE regulations won’t apply to your field-based workers, it does cover anyone in your back office who regularly uses screen-based equipment as part of their daily work. As an employer, you must:

  • Do a DSE workstation assessment or train workers to carry out basic assessments
  • Ensure that workers take regular breaks from DSE work or complete other tasks intermittently
  • Provide eye tests
  • Provide adequate training and information for workers

As with the other regulations we’ve covered so far, you will need to conduct a risk assessment and record your findings.

4. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (WHSWR) outline the workplace’s minimum health and safety requirements, though they exclude construction sites. As the name of the legislation suggests, there are three key areas of focus:

Health

The ‘health’ aspect of the WHSWR refers to the following:

  • Ventilation
  • Temperature
  • Work in hot and cold environments
  • Lighting
  • Cleanliness and waste material
  • Room dimensions and space
  • Workstations and seating

Safety

The ‘safety’ aspect of the WHSWR refers to the following:

  • Maintenance
  • Floors and traffic routes
  • Falls into dangerous substances
  • Transparent or translucent doors
  • Gates, walls and windows
  • Escalators and moving walkways

Welfare

The ‘welfare’ aspect of the WHSWR refers to the following:

  • Sanitary conveniences and washing facilities
  • Drinking water
  • Accommodation for clothing 
  • Facilities for changing
  • Facilities for rest and to eat meals 

5. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, otherwise known as PUWER, place duties on anyone who owns, operates or has control over work equipment — including businesses and organisations whose employees use work equipment. 

PUWER requires that any equipment for work purposes is:

  • Suitable for the intended use
  • Safe for use, maintained and inspected to ensure that it’s correctly installed and isn’t deteriorating significantly
  • Used only by individuals who have received adequate information and training
  • Accompanied by suitable health and safety measures, such as protective devices and controls. Such devices typically include guarding, emergency stops, adequate means of isolation from energy sources, clearly visible markings and warning devices
  • Used in accordance with specific requirements

In addition to PUWER, certain types of work equipment may also be subject to other health and safety legislation. For example, lifting equipment will also need to meet the requirements of LOLER. 

Some work equipment is subject to other health and safety legislation in addition to PUWER. For example, lifting equipment must also meet the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and personal protective equipment needs to follow the PPE at work regulations. With COVID having a significant impact on how people use PPE in the workplace, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date with any changes to the legislation.

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations

Following on from the previous point, let’s take a closer look at the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) regulations. Although PPE has gained attention throughout the pandemic, it has always been essential for any facilities manager to know how it should be used in the workplace.

PPE is equipment that protects the user against health and safety risks at work. You can provide such protection with items such as safety helmets, high-visibility clothing, eye protection, gloves, safety footwear or respiratory protective equipment (RPE). 

Whilst you may have taken every other precaution to reduce hazards on-site, you may still need to protect your workers against injuries to:

  • The eyes — e.g. flying particles
  • The skin — e.g. corrosive chemicals
  • The lungs — e.g. breathing in contaminated air
  • The head and feet — e.g. falling materials
  • The body — e.g.extreme temperatures

However, it’s important to remember that PPE should only be used as a last resort (except when facemasks are required due to COVID), and you should always try to put other health and safety measures in place first. If you require your staff to wear PPE on the job, you will need to provide it free of charge.

Facility Management Software Helps You Stay Compliant

Although we’ve covered the top six legislations, there are many more that you must consider depending on your industry. But, with so many other responsibilities on your plate already, how can you guarantee that your organisation is compliant?

The best way to manage your operations is by using facilities management job scheduling software like BigChange, which has many inbuilt health and safety features. Here are just some of the features you can benefit from:

  • Mandatory risk assessment and workflows that workers must fill out on their mobile devices before beginning work
  • Daily vehicle walkaround checks
  • Driver behaviour analysis

By digitising your health and safety procedures, you’ll have a complete record of the measures you’ve taken to keep your employees safe. As such, you and your employees can rest assured that your organisation is following all industry regulations and won’t get caught out for non-compliance.

Ensure Your Employees are Staying Safe in the Workplace with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walkaround checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Read this article to learn more about the best practices you should follow to ensure that your HVAC business is as successful as possible.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having a damaging effect on many field service businesses, the HVAC market growth shows no signs of slowing down. 

In fact, in 2021, the market was valued at $136.3 billion and is projected to expand at an annual growth rate of 6.3% from 2022 to 2030. 

However, while market growth is good news for business owners, it means that competition is fiercer than ever. Standing out and attracting customers takes more than just great technicians and a good business plan. You’ll need to look at how you manage the company and identify areas for improvement. 

In this blog, we’ll share our best practices for running a successful HVAC business and the tools that can help to set you apart from your competitors. 

Running your HVAC business successfully 

There are a number of elements that are important when running a HVAC business. We’ve outlined the top 4 things you need to take into account. 

  1. Plan 

Research shows that companies that plan ahead grow 30% faster than those that don’t. 

Therefore, it’s essential to take the time to put a solid HVAC business plan together. As a starting point, consider the following questions: 

✅ What is your unique selling proposition?

✅ What is your vision for the next five years?

✅ What is your target for sales, gross profit and net profit? If possible, you should break          your profits down per department.

✅ How many service calls should you aim to attend?

✅ How many installations should you aim to complete?

✅ How many technicians, installers, salespeople and back-office staff will you require?

✅ How much business should you aim to get from repeat customers?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to set realistic targets for your business and help you to meet them. 

💵 Project cash requirements 

Once you have answered these questions, you’ll need to project your cash requirements for each month. Calculate how much money will be coming in and compare it to your outgoings – is your remainder positive? 

If not, you’ll need to think about how you will earn the additional revenue required. 

Remember, having a steady cash flow is vital for any business, so you must ensure your customers always pay on time. Otherwise, you will find it challenging to meet operational expenses and take on new projects that contribute to company growth. 

🧰 Top tools 

Having a job management platform in place will allow you to send electronic invoices the moment a field service technician has finished a job. The whole process is automated and makes it easier for your customers to pay. 

Plus, with a range of simple, digital payment options available, customers can pay on the same day, providing you with peace of mind that your finances are in check. 

  1. Collect data 

Research from McKinsey shows that data-driven businesses are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result. So, if you’re not already analysing your company’s stats, you should be. 

The type of data you’ll want to collect will depend on your business goals. For example, ordering parts is crucial for running an HVAC business, but you could be spending far more than you should if you don’t have access to relevant accurate data. 

Perhaps your workers forget to sign parts in and out of storage, or maybe their writing is illegible, and you can’t see what they’ve used. Either way, you’ll soon notice that the numbers aren’t adding up. 

🧰 Top tools 

Job management platforms provide complete visibility over your operations and provide you with access to real-time data so you can make better-informed business decisions. 

So, not only will you be able to see how much stock you have available so you never accidentally over-order, but you can also take a closer look at whether the rest of your company is running as efficiently as possible. 

  1. Implement the right systems and processes 

The more your business grows, the more likely you are to encounter operational problems and flaws. This is a natural part of growing a business. 

However, not correcting these problems will exacerbate the problem which can result in flaws in the business and losses for HVAC businesses. 

Ensuring that you have the right systems and processes in place while your business is small is easier than trying to fix flaws once they have become serious flaws in your business. 

🧰 Top tools 

✅ Create team schedules – online job scheduling allows back office teams to take care of scheduling and dispatching technicians effectively. They can assign technicians with the right tools and skills, and who are in the right location to the right jobs. Your technicians can also remain informed of schedule changes to avoid wasted journeys. 

✅ Dispatch and route teams efficiently – live tracking and planning routes in advance means technicians spend less time on the road, save fuel and fit more into the day, which results in improvements in your business’ bottom line. 

In addition, back office staff can track technicians throughout the day to assign the right team member to the right job. They can also keep them informed of any possible delays and reroute them where necessary. 

Allow technicians to access information anywhere – a mobile app can keep technicians informed about the client jobs they’re going to. This ensures they’re informed of what the problem is, the tools they’ll need and the client history. All of which contributes towards higher first-time fix rates. 

  1. Recruit the best talent 

Although the HVAC market is booming, there is a serious shortage of talent.

As more experienced workers reach retirement age and leave the workforce, they’re leaving behind a gap that 70% of field service organisations believe will severely impact operations within the next five to ten years. 

Consequently, it will be the companies that can hire the best talent that will survive and grow in the years to come. But, to attract Millennial (1981-1996) and Generation Z (1997-2012) workers, businesses will need to modernise their ways of working. 

These tech-savvy generations will expect to work for companies that provide digital tools that enable them to work efficiently and deliver excellent services. 

Therefore, now is the perfect time to digitise your HVAC business and become an early adopter of the latest technology. 

🧰 Top tools  

Field service management software allows you to implement the latest technology which will allow you to meet both the changing expectations for customer service and your mobile workforce. 

You will be able to provide seamless communication between your field-based workforce and your back-office staff by equipping technicians with a mobile app. Better communication leads to a more productive and efficient workforce and helps you to meet customer expectations, improving the bottom line of your business. 

A mobile app allows workers to: 

📱 Complete risk assessments and workflow documents 

📱 Check customers’ files for important notes

📱 View their schedule and work orders in real-time

📱 Send digital invoices and accept payments 

By streamlining your processes and making it simple to complete each job, you’ll find that people will want to work for your company over those that continue to operate ‘the old way’. 

Key takeaways

Job management technology is a must-have for HVAC businesses to thrive in a highly competitive, talent-short market. The software gives you the power to transform your company and manage business-as-usual tasks all in one place, saving you time and money put back into activities that contribute directly to business growth. 

BigChange transforms how your HVAC business operates, giving you the power to manage scheduled maintenance and respond to urgent reactive jobs more effectively. 

Give your team everything they need, from site directions and workflows to digital safety certification, and share live data with your back office as required.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Read this article to find out more about the health & safety best practices your company should be following to protect your employees and you business.

On average, 141 people die each year as a result of work related accidents in the UK. In addition, there are an estimated 1.6 million people in the UK currently suffering from work-related injuries or illnesses.  With many of these accidents and injuries occurring off-site, health and safety is a critical focus for field service organisations. 

Alongside being inconvenient for staff and businesses alike, health problems inflicted by the workplace can cause severe reputational, operational and financial damage. 

Subsequently, companies must take every precaution to protect their employees. This is particularly important in field service organisations where technicians are expected to use dangerous equipment or work in potentially hazardous environments. 

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of following health and safety best practices at work. We will also share the top 4 best practices you should follow to improve health and safety. 

Why is good health and safety practice so important in field service organisations? 

In addition to being morally wrong, failing to prioritise the health and safety of your workers can have severe consequences for your business. 

Let’s take a look at some of the main issues your company could face if you don’t help your staff stay safe at work: 

⏰Loss of productivity and delayed projects: Currently, UK companies lose around 36.8 million working days to work-related illnesses and industries. 

This significant loss of business hours can delay important projects and eat into profits. So, it’s crucial to have robust health and safety measures in place to prevent this from happening. It can also have an impact on customer service as projects are delayed and technicians have to return. 

🤕Reputational damage: did you know that companies risk losing 22% of potential business if prospective customers encounter a negative article in their search results? Customer experience is essential in today’s competitive market so ensuring a good reputation is essential. 

As a result, it’s paramount to have health and safety practices in place to maintain your company’s reputation and avoid bad press. 

💰Legal battles and financial repercussions: in 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties for companies that fail to competently manage health and safety matters. 

Now, the Crown Court can issue an unlimited fine or imprisonment. If one of your employees is injured or becomes ill due to a hazardous workplace, you could find yourself involved in a legal battle that ends with a costly fine.

Staying safe at work: The top 4 health and safety best practices for field service businesses

As an employer, it’s your duty to protect your employees, and anyone else who visits your site, from injuries or illnesses that occur in the workplace. 

Although this can seem like a daunting responsibility, it doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare. 

Here are our top four ways to protect people on-site through health and safety best practices and state-of-the-art field service management software. 

  1. Conduct a risk assessment 

Risk assessments are one of the best ways to keep everyone safe on-site. They enable you to examine potential causes of harm and decide whether you have preventative measures in place that comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

While it’s a legal requirement to document an evaluation if you have five or more employees, always keep a note of your findings so that anyone within the organisation can refer to them when required. 

Risks in the workplace change constantly, so records will need to be updated at frequent intervals. 

For example, you may need to conduct a new assessment when:

  • The workplace has caused a health and safety incident
  • Someone has reported a near-miss
  • There have been significant changes within the workplace (e.g. new equipment)

Conducting and documenting risk assessments doesn’t need to be an admin-heavy task. 

With a field service management platform, you can keep a digital record of each review, saving you the hassle of manually writing out and storing your findings.

  1. Consult workers on policies 

In just one year, 142 people in the UK suffered a fatality at work. To prevent these accidents, share your risk assessment results with your workforce. 

By providing employees with a strong understanding of potential hazards, and the measures in place to mitigate them, you’ll significantly lower the risk of injuries or illnesses. 

Ensuring all employees are aware of procedures and have the right equipment is paramount. However, if you currently rely on manual sign-in and sign-out sheets, there can be inconsistencies and inaccuracies. 

How can this be prevented? 

  • Keep track of assets in real-time 
  • Keep a detailed register of item movements
  • Track items movements 
  • Track fitted parts 
  • Add serial numbers, barcodes and QR codes to pieces of equipment

Plus, since your back-office team will have access to all your customers’ booking details, they can assign stock and equipment directly to each job, meaning your technicians will always have everything they need to stay safe and complete the project the first time.

  1. Ensure technicians assess the safety of every site they visit 

It’s crucial to conduct a workplace risk assessment to keep staff safe on-site. 

But what about the field-based technicians who travel to different customer sites every day?

When technicians arrive on-site, they should be provided with the essential information they need and have an idea of the layout of the site and the work that needs to be carried out.

As a result, they will be able to scope for potential issues and risks to stay safe on the job. 

How can mobile applications help?

📱Allows field-based workers to complete risk assessment on a mobile device

📱Highlighted risks can be sent to back office staff 

📱Back office staff work with technicians to eliminate risks and get jobs back on track

Consequently, employees can rest assured that they won’t sustain an injury on the job and will be able to complete all jobs without any obstacles. 

  1. Ensure technicians are safe on the road 

Data from the Department for Transport shows that there were 137,013 road casualties of varying severity during the year June 2021 to June 2022. For your road technicians, the risk of an accident increases, the longer they have to spend on the road. 

Therefore, you must ensure that you put measures in place to keep your technicians safe when travelling between jobs. There are three key ways you can maintain the safety of your workers who have to get behind the wheel:

🚚Driver behaviour analysis – understanding technicians driving habits can help organisations to build an accurate picture of technicians who may require additional training to ensure they’re driving safely. 

🧰Vehicle maintenance – unplanned maintenance costs three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance. Not only that, defective vehicles can break down on the road, putting your technicians at increased risk. Preventative maintenance can keep technicians safe and reduce the chances of collisions occurring.

🗓️Smart scheduling and optimised routes – decreasing the amount of time technicians spend driving is another significant way to cut down the risk of road accidents. Using job scheduling tools allows organisations to optimise technicians routes to keep them as short as possible and reduce the risk of accidents.

Key takeaways 

People are your most important asset. Accidents and injuries that occur in the workplace can not only impact the business’ bottom line, it can damage employee trust and relationships with the organisation. 

In addition, organisations can face large fines if health and safety procedures are not followed correctly. 

Following health and safety best practice helps to keep your employees safe and productive. Modern technology provides field service organisations with the tools to ensure that technicians are provided with everything they need to complete their jobs safely and efficiently. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Read this article to learn about four ways CRM systems improve customer experiences for field service businesses. Plus, how it boosts efficiency and business growth.

Did you know? According to a recent survey, nearly 86% of people are prepared to pay more for great customer experience. –  that’s almost everyone

Today’s tech-savvy customers expect companies to deliver a convenient, speedy and satisfactory service. Yet, by continuing to rely on outdated ways of working, so many field service businesses are falling behind the curve.

To survive and thrive going forward, field service businesses need to modernise and use technology to enhance their operations in order to deliver these better customer experiences. – And this is where CRM systems come in. It’s literally never been easier to deliver on customer expectations in a cost-effective way.

In this article we’re going to cover:

  • A quick definition: What is a CRM
  • 4 ways CRM can increase customer satisfaction
  • How CRM systems can boost business efficiencies and growth

Let’s dive in.

QUICK DEFINITION: WHAT IS A CRM?

Put simply, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It’s a piece of technology specifically designed to manage a business’ interactions with customers or potential customers.  

CRM systems now make up the most prominent software market globally, and that market isn’t slowing down anytime soon. 🔍In fact, experts are predicting that the CRM market will skyrocket to over $80 billion in revenues by 2025.

{The continued growth of the CRM market can be attributed to the many benefits that CRMs provide to businesses across a range of industries, (which we will look at in-depth later on). 👇

But For now, here’s a quick view of some of the benefits of CRMs. Customer Relationship Management systems:

  • Build stronger relationships with their clients
  • Streamline processes and increase profitability
  • Provide you with access to real-time data… So that you’ve complete visibility of customer interactions at the touch of a button.
  • Use this information to inform future communications… This is something traditional spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems just can’t provide.

Now let’s delve into exactly how CRMs improve the customer experience for field service organisations.

HOW A CRM IMPROVES THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

 

1. CRM SYSTEMS PROMOTE BETTER COMMUNICATION 📩

When it comes to creating an excellent customer experience, communication is everything. 

🔍According to data from Microsoft, 68% of people say they perceive a brand more positively when companies send them proactive customer service notifications.

Get personal. With a state-of-the-art CRM system, you can pull client data into company-branded email templates. The system then sends these personalised emails to your customers regularly to keep them in the loop about their appointment.

Be helpful. Plus, many CRMs also provide access to real-time GPS data so you can see where your workers are when they’re on the road. So, you’ll be able to send your customers automated ETA (estimated time of arrival) text and email alerts to let them know when their technician is nearby.

2. A CRM ENABLES YOU TO CONSIDER CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS ✅

People appreciate it when brands consider their opinions.

🔍In fact, 77% saying they view companies more favourably if they seek out and apply customer feedback.

So, you must consider ways to capture different viewpoints and use them to tailor your services. 

However, when you’re using multiple systems, spreadsheets and physical documents to manage your operations, it can be tricky to collate customers’ opinions, much less do anything with the information.

And that’s where CRM systems come in ✨

Get instant feedback. As soon as your technicians have completed their jobs and marked them as complete from their mobile devices, you can automatically send digital satisfaction surveys to your customers to ensure that they’re happy with the work. 

Implement feedback. The CRM automatically stores all interactions you have with your clients, so you can easily access survey results in the future. And most importantly, use them to adjust your services based on customer needs.

3. CRM SYSTEMS GIVE YOU THE TOOLS TO RESPOND RAPIDLY TO REQUESTS ⏩

Our brains are hardwired to seek instant gratification.

🔍So it’s unsurprising that 70% of customers say that speed of service matters the most when dealing with companies.

Unfortunately, old-school legacy systems and slow manual administration processes aren’t going to cut it anymore.

Move to real-time updates. In contrast, when you use CRM software to manage your workflow the system will update in real-time, giving you the ability to act upon customer requests in an instant.

For example: Your customers can book appointments using an online self-service portal, which sends an alert to your back-office staff. Your team can then use the data the client provided to schedule and dispatch the most appropriate technician based on location, traffic information, vehicle type and job constraints.

Boost cash flow. Plus, once the job is complete, your customers won’t have to wait for several days to receive an invoice as they have in the past. Instead, your technicians can fill out all the necessary paperwork directly on their mobile devices and send the invoice across immediately. Customers can then view the invoice and pay online the same day, rather than filling out and mailing a paper cheque.

4. A CRM GUARANTEES THAT CUSTOMER INFORMATION IS SAFE 🔒

🔍79% of people say they are somewhat or very concerned about how companies use the data they collect about them. 

Suppose your customers don’t believe you’re storing their details safely and protecting their privacy. In that case, they may choose to purchase products or services from your competitors who are more transparent about data protection.

Get compliant. Unlike spreadsheets and legacy systems, which are notoriously challenging to manage compliantly, CRM systems allow you to carry out GDPR-compliant management of individuals’ details. For instance, customers can edit their opt-in preferences, giving them control over what you do with their data.

Improve security. Plus, many advanced CRMs include robust security features. For instance, BigChange’s system secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), the world’s most comprehensive and widely-adopted cloud platform.

As a result, you can provide your customers with peace of mind that their data is safe and that you take privacy seriously.

HOW GOOD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE BENEFITS YOUR FIELD SERVICE BUSINESS

🔍In reality, businesses that prioritise the customer experience outperform those that don’t by an astounding 80%.

But you might have started to notice that CRM software not only improves your customers’ experience, it also improves your field service business operations too. Say hello to better cash flow, loyal customers, word-of-mouth promo, and much more.

Let’s look at some examples more closely…

1. YOU’LL HAVE A MORE LOYAL CUSTOMER BASE

🔍82% of customers who feel valued will always purchase from the same company when they need something and are less inclined to shop around.

Whilst regular, personalised communications keep your customers engaged and make them feel appreciated, by keeping in touch, you’ll remain at the forefront of their minds so that they’ll consider your business next time.

And also, they’re more likely to recommend you to others. 👇

2. YOUR COMPANY’S REPUTATION WILL IMPROVE

When we experience outstanding customer service, we’re more inclined to tell our family, friends, and professional network about it.

🔍Actually, customer endorsement is one of your most effective marketing tools, with 60% of people saying they trust it above other forms of advertising. 

A CRM system enables you to provide your customers with a better, more effective service.

For example: Your team can use real-time data to ensure that they dispatch technicians with the right skill sets for each job, along with all the necessary equipment and tools. As such, your technicians will be able to complete work to a high standard on their first visit.

3. CASE MANAGEMENT BECOMES MORE STRAIGHTFORWARD

🔍Currently, employees believe they spend around two hours each day on pointless administration tasks, which significantly slows the entire workflow down.

Not to mention that manual processes make it much more difficult to keep track of each customers’ case, leading to more problems down the line.

But, with CRM software in place, wasted time and lost information can become a thing of the past…

  • Quickly and painlessly access essential details – By accessing a log of every call, email and customer interaction directly in the system.
  • Keep everyone posted – Your team can share and allocate cases through custom tickets, notes and @ tags to keep everyone updated on the status of each job.

4. YOU’LL BE ABLE TO CHARGE MORE FOR YOUR SERVICES

🔍Field service businesses that improve their customer satisfaction rates could double their current revenue within just 36 months.

The only problem is, it’s near-on impossible to meet high client expectations if you’re still relying on inefficient, outmoded processes. In comparison, CRM systems give you the tools you need to delight your customer base by anticipating their needs.

For example: Using the information that the system has collected about your clients, you’ll be able to book recurring jobs if required and send automated reminders, so your customers don’t have to remember to make another appointment in the future.

The bottom line? When clients feel like you value them and care about their requirements, they are more willing to pay a premium for your services —rather than going to a cheaper competitor who doesn’t prioritise the customer experience.

5. EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY AND PROFITS WILL SKYROCKET

🔍Teams with higher employee engagement are, on average, 22% more profitable.

However, when your staff has to spend hours each day on arduous, repetitive administration tasks, their morale takes a nosedive, and productivity decreases exponentially.

But, with technology, you could revolutionise the way your team works.

Did you know? BigChange’s job management software, which includes a built-in CRM system, eliminates burdensome processes that weigh down your staff’s to-do lists, freeing up their time to focus on more business-critical tasks. 

For example: Teams don’t have to spend hours planning a complex job schedule each time a customer books an appointment. The system will handle it for them based on the information your clients provide. Your back-office staff can then simply select the most suitable worker and equipment and assign them directly to the job.

The end result? Your employees will feel more motivated by the work they’re doing, and your customers will enjoy the seamless interactions with your business, leading to higher profits in the long run.

BOOST YOUR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION RATE WITH BIGCHANGE

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

How?

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

See exactly how BigChange can help your business: Book a free consultation today.

Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Field service businesses flourish when they take care of customers after the job is done. But how can you make after-sales service easy?

Field service businesses naturally focus on completing jobs on time – that’s kind of the point. Yet it’s easy to lose track of what happens to customers after the work is done. While getting new contracts is important, it’s also crucial to continue to nurture existing customers. 

You have to put in the work, and follow-up with stellar post-job service that delights customers and keeps them coming back. 

But, how do you maintain a high customer engagement rate in the later stages of the buyer journey, once the job is done?

In this article, we’ll explore the key ways you can leave a positive impression on your clients and keep them coming back for more. 

🏆Bonus: Plus, we’ll share how job management software can simplify the entire process.

KEEP FIELD SERVICE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT HIGH ONCE THE WORK IS DONE

But first, let’s put things into perspective. The truth is, 89% of companies see customer experience as a critical factor in driving customer loyalty and retention. 

Therefore, learning how to delight your clients — even once the work is complete — is essential. 

Here are our top three tips on keeping engagement high in the latest stages of the buyer journey:

1. SEND A CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY

Did you know, companies that measure customer satisfaction are 33% more likely to describe themselves as successful than those that don’t? 

By collecting customer satisfaction data, not only allows you to check whether people are happy with the work your technicians carried out, but it also enables you to address problem areas and improve your CX. 

💡Pro tip: With modern field service management technology, it’s easier than ever to collect customer feedback. Once your technicians have completed their jobs, the system will automatically send a company-branded satisfaction survey to your clients.

Our platform has the ability to collects all the data and allows you to see your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which indicates how willing your customers would be to recommend your services to others. 

You can then break your customer base down into three categories:

  • DETRACTORS: Detractors will usually provide an overall satisfaction score of six or lower. The chances of these customers using your business again are incredibly slim, and they may even dissuade others from purchasing your services.
  • PASSIVES: Passive customer scores of around seven or eight indicate that they were happy with the service but aren’t necessarily loyal to your company. They wouldn’t think twice about switching to a competitor if they had a better offering.
  • PROMOTERS: A score of 9 or 10 typically means that these customers are promoters of your organisation. They were delighted with the outcome of the work and would actively recommend your services to others.

Collecting key metrics, such as customer satisfaction, enables you to see what you’re doing well and where there is room for improvement. Over time, you’ll be able to enhance your services and, in turn, your NPS.

2. MAINTAIN REGULAR COMMUNICATION

Once you have a pulse on how your customers feel about you, it’s important to stay top of mind. 

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to do this. In fact, 80% of small-to-medium-sized businesses rely on email as their primary customer retention channel. 

Luckily, setting up regular email communications with your customers needn’t be a headache with the right job management software in place. With BigChange for example, you can use custom-branded templates to send automated emails to your client base. Plus, by using the built-in, dynamic data fields, you can pull the customers’ names directly from the CRM (customer relationship manager) for a personal touch that will make them feel valued.

Maintaining communication with your clients, even after their projects are complete, is a great way to remind them of your existence and increases the likelihood that they’ll think of your business next time they require field services.

3. LEAVE A LASTING IMPRESSION

Finally, it’s essential to leave a good and long-lasting impression. 

According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of companies now compete primarily based on customer experience. Consequently, you will need to make CX a priority to stay competitive and retain customers.

With job management software, you can deliver seamless, convenient services to your customers that will leave a lasting impression and encourage brand loyalty. 

For example, a platform like BigChange provides:

  • Easy, online bookings: no more waiting on the phone to speak to a representative
  • Allocation of stock and equipment to jobs: ensure your technicians arrive at the job with the gear they need to complete the work the first time
  • Real-time status updates: allow your customers to track the location of their technician
  • Instant, digital documents: your technicians can send invoices and essential documents to your clients in seconds for same-day payment
  • Modern payment methods: enable your customers to pay using the methods they’re accustomed to — gone are the days of paper cheques

All this provides a smooth end-to-end process and excellent customer service, making you stand out from competitors that rely on outdated, manual processes. As such, you’ll increase the likelihood that clients will remain engaged with your business long after the work is complete.

IMPROVE YOUR FIELD SERVICE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT RATES BY USING TECHNOLOGY

According to our latest data, 40% of field service organisations have enjoyed business growth due to adopting state-of-the-art technologies to manage their operations. 

Subsequently, companies will need to modernise their processes and undergo a digital transformation to maintain a high customer engagement rate and thrive in a competitive, post-pandemic landscape.

With job management software, you can digitise a large portion of the customer experience, making for a convenient, straightforward and excellent buyer journey that won’t add extra administration tasks to your team’s workload. It’s a win-win scenario.

ELEVATE YOUR CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT RATE

A dependable field service process is cyclical. You’re not done with a client once the work is done: the cycle simply starts over again. 

Set your team up for success by ensuring they have the right support and the best tools to engage customers before, during, and after the job is done.

Keep customers happy for many years to come: BigChange’s field service management system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Let’s imagine for a moment that a customer is looking for a service and has searched for relevant companies online. Your business appears in the search results, but you’ve only provided a telephone number. Your customer doesn’t have time to sit on the phone so they move on and go with a company that allows them to book online instead.

These days many people prefer to finalise a booking with a single click. In fact, 42% of people vastly prefer online scheduling over picking up the phone. Having technology in place that makes it easy for customers to see your availability and book jobs with you is one of the most effective strategies for keeping your customers happy. 

In this article, we’ll discuss online scheduling software and share several specific features BigChange offers that can help you vastly improve customer satisfaction.

Improve Customer Satisfaction with Online Scheduling Software: Top Four Tips

1. Use Online Scheduling to Show Your Availability

The most important step in improving customer satisfaction with online scheduling software is making sure your availability is clearly presented on your website or application. If customers can’t easily book you for the times and dates they need your services, you may have already lost them. 

Fortunately, online scheduling software has made appointment booking and rescheduling easier than ever. Online scheduling software enables your customers to log onto your website or application to schedule or reschedule appointments or jobs. The ability to conveniently manage bookings will increase your customer satisfaction rate as well as reduce administrative work for your back-office team.

BigChange’s smart scheduling assistant goes even further by allowing your team to allocate and reallocate resources based on location, traffic information, job constraints, and vehicle type. Consequently,  your customers will quickly and easily get the best and nearest resource for the job.

2. Keep Customers Informed with Automated Notifications

If there’s one thing no one wants when they purchase a product or service, it’s having to call and follow up on the status of work, or the whereabouts of a worker. Providing your clients with transparency about the job status and their technicians’ locations is essential. In fact, 68% of people have a better opinion of a business when they send automatic customer service notifications. 

With BigChange’s field service management software, you can see exactly where your resources are using our GPS vehicle tracking feature. Your customers will also be provided with a link showing the technicians’ live locations for every job they order. 

Your clients won’t even have to check the platform to see where the resource is; they will receive automatic updates on the resource’s estimated time of arrival and job completion status via email and text messages.

3. Provide Customers with Automated Scheduling Options

Using online scheduling software that allows your clients to schedule jobs on their own is one step in the right direction to building a great customer experience. However, did you know that you can go beyond offering simple online scheduling and easily set up recurring jobs? 

As such, you can remove the burden from both your customers and your back-office staff to remember to book repeat appointments.

BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for clients who know they have a lot of jobs for you. This feature enables you to create groups of jobs to complete so you and your customers can schedule all the required work for the group straightforwardly in one go. 

When you or your customers don’t know if they’ll require further work in advance, rest assured there is still a way they can automate future jobs. If your customer realises that a job needs additional work, you can choose an automated option that captures information from the former job and automatically creates a new one instantly. 

The new job will include the job contract, original job details, skills, constraints, financial line items, as well as the original resource’s comments about the job, saving you time and reducing the amount of administration required. 

Automating and making scheduling easier for your customers makes the experience of doing business with you faster and easier, a sure way to improve customer satisfaction.

4. Quickly Book Unscheduled Jobs

No matter how busy it is, there are times when your field service technicians may have gaps in their schedules. Add to that the possibility that a technician’s next job might require significant travel time from their present location, and your resource may end up spending hours of their day not working. Not only is this bad for your company’s productivity, but it could also have a negative effect on your field service technicians’ morale.

BigChange’s online scheduling software doesn’t just offer easy scheduling for allocated jobs, it also lets field service professionals self-allocate jobs. You can enter custom pricing models for each job type as well as customer-specific prices and rating tables. Field service professionals can then filter jobs to suit their location or skills. Not only will this feature improve customer satisfaction by assigning the job to the right technician in record time, it means you can fill more jobs effortlessly. Past clients have seen a 40% increase in productivity just by using this self-allocation of jobs feature. 

Improve Customer Satisfaction with BigChange’s Online Scheduling Software

The days of always having to call to schedule a service are over. 

Customers expect businesses to use online scheduling software to meet their needs, and the faster you provide this service the better. Improving customer satisfaction with online scheduling will always start with how you list your availability to customers. 

BigChange’s intelligent scheduling will enable your clients to schedule and reschedule jobs with ease. Automated messages that show your clients if your resource is on schedule and when they finished the job will also improve your customer satisfaction rate by reducing their need to check up on the job status. 

Plus, you can free up time for your back-office staff by eliminating repetitive administration tasks, leaving them to focus on improving the customer experience. Lastly, you can take scheduling jobs completely out of your hands by allowing resources to self-allocate jobs themselves, fulfilling more client orders and resulting in faster service. 

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

Customer experience (CX) has quickly become a top priority for businesses, with more than two-thirds of them competing primarily on the service they offer their clients. Customers are no longer loyal to companies based on prices, products or services alone. Instead, they now also expect seamless experiences that anticipate their needs.

Therefore, organisations that don’t stay ahead of the curve and deliver outstanding services risk being superseded by their competitors. However, the good news is that implementing a great customer experience doesn’t have to be costly or challenging.

In fact, by using state-of-the-art workforce management software, you can revolutionise the way your customers interact with your business at various stages of the sales cycle. Read on to find out more about the benefits of using technology as a means of keeping your customers happy. 

The Top 4 Benefits of Improving Customer Experience

In addition to keeping customers happy, your business could greatly benefit from improving the customer experience. Here are just four of the top advantages your company could enjoy:

1. Your Revenue Will Increase

According to research, a completely satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat satisfied customer and 14 times as much as a somewhat dissatisfied customer. Subsequently, businesses that make CX a priority can expect to profit more than those that don’t.

With a modern CRM (customer relationship management) system designed specifically for field service businesses, you can anticipate your clients’ needs and exceed their expectations. Back office workflows ensure that procedures are followed to a tee every time; for example, you can send your customers a survey post-job to check that the work is to their satisfaction.

Plus, personalised communications with your customers have never been more straightforward. You can use digital, custom-branded templates to provide clients with regular updates on their job status, keeping them in the loop without adding taxing administration tasks to your team’s to-do list.

By impressing your customers at each stage of the buyer journey, you can guarantee that they’ll have a positive impression of your company. As such, you’ll find that they’re willing to pay a premium for your excellent services instead of using another cheaper company that continues to use outdated, inconvenient processes.

2. You Will Have More Loyal Customers

Did you know, 82% of emotionally engaged customers always use the same company when they need something and are less likely to shop around? But, for businesses to keep their customers emotionally engaged, they must figure out how to make people feel valued at each buyer journey stage. 

Luckily, anticipating your customers’ needs and making them feel appreciated isn’t challenging with the right technology in place. Firstly, you can provide your customers with an easy-to-use portal where they can book and manage their appointment without needing to waste time on the phone. 

Then, you can send them personalised, real-time notifications on the status of their job. Finally, your technician can complete all paperwork from their mobile device and issue it directly to the customer for instant invoicing and payment.  

Your customers will appreciate the rapid, convenient service and are more likely to use your company again in the future as a result.

3. Your Customers Will Turn into Advocates for your Business

93% of today’s customers say they use online reviews to influence their purchasing decisions when researching products and services. Therefore, you must ensure your CX is worth shouting about by keeping customers happy.

Using a CRM that gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract, you’ll have all the information you need to delight your customers at the touch of a button. The software will log every call, email and customer interaction, so you never lose critical information about a client’s job. Also, you can share and allocate cases through custom tickets and notes to ensure that the team deals with and resolves customer queries as soon as possible for a seamless workflow.

Customers who feel like your company truly cares about their needs, even after their job is complete, will be more satisfied and willing to recommend your product or services to their friends, family, and professional network.

4. You Will Stand Out Amongst the Competition

Unsurprisingly, companies that prioritise CX outperform those that don’t by nearly 80%. Today’s customers are used to speedy, digital buying experiences, so manual processes and antiquated legacy systems aren’t going to cut it anymore. 

Instead, the businesses that stand out from their competitors are the early adopters of modern workforce management platforms. BigChange’s 5-in-1 system allows you to manage the entire end-to-end process in one place, delighting your customers and making your back office team’s lives simpler simultaneously. 

By eliminating burdensome, long-winded administration tasks, your team will have more time to focus on delivering exceptional service to your customers. Using the cloud-based management system, your staff can easily schedule jobs, dispatch workers and provide customers with real-time status updates. Your technicians can then carry out each job to a high standard and instantly send your customer the necessary paperwork directly from their mobile device.

Providing such a smooth service will set you apart from the companies that continue to rely on paper-based documents and spreadsheets to manage their operations. Consequently, your business will thrive.

For more tips on how to deliver a seamless customer experience, click here.

Enjoy the Benefits of Improving the Customer Experience with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

The UK is currently experiencing a skills shortage, with the demand for electricians exceeding the supply. In fact, an additional 15,000 fully qualified electricians will need to join the industry over the next five years to close the gap. However, the good news for existing electricians is that it’s the perfect time to win new, high-value contracts. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of tendering for electrical work. We’ll also share how field service management software for electricians can help you easily manage your growing business.

How to Win Electrical Contracts in 4 Simple Steps

1. Find a Suitable Opportunity

The first step to winning more electrical work is to find a tender that is relevant to the services you offer. A good place to start is by checking Contracts Finder or Find a Tender, where you will find all public tender opportunities in the UK. You can search using keywords, so you don’t have to waste time searching through irrelevant tenders.

There are three different contracting procedures that you’ll need to be aware of:

1. Open Procedure
An open procedure means that:
  • Anyone can submit a tender.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders.

There are no restrictions on when clients can use the above method, but they must evaluate all tenders they receive. As a result, clients often use an open procedure for simple procurements.

2. Restricted Procedure
A restricted procedure means that:
  • Any interested parties can express an interest in bidding.
  • The client must invite a minimum of five suppliers to bid — provided enough candidates have applied — so there is genuine competition.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders, but they may clarify details and finalise terms.

Again, there are no restrictions on when clients can use the above process. Usually, restricted procedures are suited to less stable markets where there are many competitors.

3. Competitive Dialogue
A competitive dialogue means that:
  • Companies shortlist candidates who respond to their advertisement, and only those selected are invited to bid.
  • Clients can negotiate with bidders to seek better offers.

Often, clients use competitive dialogue when they require a more tailored approach. For example, if the client’s organisation cannot use a ready-made solution or product due to the complexity of its requirements.

Once you’ve found a tender you want to apply for, you’ll need to register your interest. The client will then likely issue you with a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) in most cases.

2. Complete the Pre-Qualification Process (PQQ)

The PQQ is designed to help the client shortlist applicants for the tender, so you’ll need to provide strong evidence that your company can take on the project. The questionnaire will cover topics such as:

  • Experience level
  • Geographical reach
  • Financial information
  • Past and current clients
  • Insurance details

Remember, the PQQ will serve as the client’s first impression of your company, so it’s worth spending some time on your answers and ensuring that you’ve covered all the vital information you need to share. If you’re successful, the client will invite you to tender for the contract officially.

3. Invitation to Tender (ITT)

At the ITT stage, the client should supply more details on the scope of works, criteria, instructions and an explanation on how they will assess applicants. After you’ve carefully read through their requirements, you’ll need to pull together information about the following:

  • Some details about your company
  • How you’ll approach the project
  • An estimate and breakdown of costs
  • Your project management process

However, the above list isn’t exhaustive. Some clients may want you to include more information or have a preference over the format of your response. For example, you may have to upload your answers via an online portal with a maximum word count.

With a field service management platform in place, gathering crucial data to impress the client needn’t be a headache. You’ll have a comprehensive record of all previous jobs, cost centres, price lists and more at the click of a button. The platform tracks data in real-time, so you can rest assured that everything is accurate and up-to-date.

4. Begin Writing Your Bid

You should open your bid submission with a brief overview of your company’s qualifications and why you should win the contract. Then, you’ll need to outline how you’ll carry out the project, answering each question concisely and backing up statements with facts and figures.

Although the bid is a chance to demonstrate your strengths as an organisation, you must ensure the focus remains on the client. They will want to read about how you can help them with their specific requirements. Therefore, it’s a good idea to search your bid document for the word ‘we’ and change them to ‘you’ where appropriate.

Most importantly, once you’ve proofread your submission, you should submit it before or on the deadline. Late entries are likely to be ignored by the client, costing you time and a potential customer.

Field Service Management Technology Simplifies the Tendering Process

The tendering process can be lengthy and complex at times. As such, it may be tempting to keep attending to one-off, ‘quick win’ jobs. But, electrical companies should take advantage of today’s high demand for electricians and bid for larger, higher-value contracts that will maintain a steady income stream. 

The good news is you can streamline the tendering process by arming yourself with the vital data you need to impress potential clients. With a field service management platform such as BigChange, you can view details such as:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your health and safety procedures 
  • Payments and outstanding invoices

You’ll eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other activities that contribute directly to business growth.

Win More Electrical Work and Grow Your Business with BigChange

All the essential information you need at the click of a button.

BigChange’s job management software for electricians gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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