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April 22 is the 53rd Earth Day – an annual reminder that we need to nurture our planet.

This is something that we think about every day at BigChange. It is core to our Purpose of driving growth and sustainability in our community.

Protecting the planet is vital for every business, and field service businesses have a big part to play – which is why we are committed to helping our customers to become more sustainable.

  • More and more customers want to see your sustainability credentials. 52% of us factor a brand’s eco-credentials into our buying decisions. Not working greener is a reputational and business risk.
  • With fuel prices at record highs, every extra mile driven is not just pumping out more carbon. It’s also burning through profits.
  • 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.

We want to make it easy for our customers to work sustainably. That means:

  • Better job planning: Do fewer miles and minimise your carbon footprint. Get the right teams, assets, and vehicles to jobs in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way you can.
  • Better routing: Smart routing to work out the best possible journey between jobs, saving time and fuel. BigChange users cut their fuel bills by an average of 10%.
  • Lower-emission driving: Driver behaviour alerts and reports to help drivers cut out idling, speeding, and harsh acceleration – all of which harm the environment.

We also make it easier for firms to move to electric fleets with more limited ranges by optimising job planning and routing. The impact of vans on total UK emissions is growing: in 1990 they made up 12% of UK transport emissions; by 2021, that was 17%. Helping enable electric vehicles in field service businesses is therefore vital.

Compared to the first Earth Day in 1970 – when 20 million Americans took to the streets and parks to protest – humans worldwide are now releasing more than twice as much carbon into the atmosphere. We all need to act now.

We are committed to helping our customers to work sustainably – not just on Earth Day but every day.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook 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 LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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.

Selecting the right field service management platform 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. 

In this article, we’ll explore the top four platform features you should expect to find when looking for field service management software. Read on to learn more.

The 4 Field Service Management Software Features That’ll Help Your Business Thrive

1. An Integrated Mobile App for Your Engineers

Having a mobile app isn’t a luxury for today’s engineers. It’s a necessity. According to 54% of field technicians, the industry’s biggest bottleneck is not having access to pre-work site data. So, 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 walkaround checks
  • Carry out risk assessments and follow workflows
  • View stock and equipment availability
  • Issue digital invoices and accept online payments
  • Fill out timesheets

…All from the palm of their hands.

By eliminating unnecessary paperwork and additional journeys to the office, you’ll liberate more time for your engineers to attend extra appointments each day.

2. An Intelligent Scheduling Assistant

Currently, scheduling and dispatching difficulties are the main challenges for field service organisations. But, 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. Using the assistant, your back-office team can assign and dispatch workers to jobs based on their locations, traffic information, skillsets, vehicle types, qualifications and job constraints at the click of a button. 

By ensuring that you’ve allocated the perfect person 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.

3. 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. 

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.

With a field service management platform like BigChange, you can apply serial numbers, QR codes and barcodes to each item in your warehouse, which your engineers can scan on their mobile devices to sign them 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.

4. An Online Invoicing and Payments Feature

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, late invoice payments have skyrocketed in the UK by 23%. Unfortunately, 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 method 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.

Find All the Right Field Service Management Tools in One Place

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. So, 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.

BigChange enables you to manage the entire end-to-end process — from bookings to invoicing and payment — on a single easy-to-use platform. A worthwhile investment, 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.

BigChange Has All the Field Service Platform Features You Need and More

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with 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 easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

For many field service organisations, scheduling workers and dispatching them on time presents a significant challenge. Heavy reliance on spreadsheets, whiteboards, legacy systems and paper-based documents means that delays and confusion are common occurrences.

Unfortunately, if you’re letting 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.

Thankfully, by upgrading to a field service management platform, scheduling and dispatching technicians won’t have to be a headache anymore. In this article, we’ll explain how field technician scheduling software enables you to guarantee that the right person is in the right place — every time.

How Field Technician Scheduling Software Enhances Your Schedule

1. Decreases Journey Times

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. But, if you don’t have complete visibility over your workforce, it will be challenging to plan routes without first spending hours figuring it out. 

In contrast, field service management software employs an intelligent scheduling assistant, which is a tool that matches technicians with jobs based on location, skillset, vehicle type and traffic information. As such, you can optimise hundreds of jobs at the click of a button, making it simpler than ever to plan efficient routes. 

With so much spare time available as a 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.

2. Matches Workers to Jobs

For your schedule to be as effective as possible, you must 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.

However, as we mentioned in the previous point, field service scheduling 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 and thus your reputation as a reliable field service organisation.
Better still, the best field technician scheduling software comes with an integrated app that allows your technicians to view everything your back-office team can see via their mobile devices. Consequently, they’ll be alerted to any changes in their schedule in an instant, meaning your team can respond rapidly to urgent requests and re-route the most appropriately skilled workers as and when needed.

3. Assigns Assets Directly to Jobs

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 a field service management system like BigChange. The state-of-the-art platform includes 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. 

Using data from the asset manager, your back-office staff can then assign vehicles, tools and parts directly to each job ahead of time to ensure that every technician has the items they need to complete the work on the first appointment. 

Not only will your technicians appear more professional and act as excellent representatives for your organisation, but your customers will be more satisfied, and you’ll be able to take on additional appointments each month.

Field Service Scheduling Software Improves Efficiency in Just a Few Clicks

A recent OnePoll survey revealed 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. To bounce back stronger financially and stay ahead of the competition, business leaders must harness the power of field service management software to maximise their earning potential. 

With BigChange’s field technician scheduling software, you can do the following:

  • 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
  • Book recurring jobs
  • Optimise hundreds of routes at once
  • Prioritise jobs with certain service level agreements

…all on one easy-to-use platform. Scheduling workers will never have to be a challenge again.

Scheduling Workers is Simple with BigChange

Get the right resource to the right place. Every time. 

With BigChange’s field service management platform, you can work around constraints such as time, tools required, and vehicle attributes to ensure every job is completed promptly and to a high standard.

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.

Managing your inventory is just as vital as impressing your customers when it comes to running a successful field service company. In fact, as more business leaders 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.

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.

We’ve put together this handy guide to inventory management, which will tell you everything you need to know, including how you can improve your current processes by selecting the right platform. Read on to learn more.

What is Inventory Management?

Put simply, inventory management involves keeping track of parts, equipment and any other assets (such as vehicles). Since field service companies have so many items to manage across a range of locations, it’s essential to have complete visibility over your entire inventory so you can make better business decisions. 

Unfortunately, an astonishing 43% of small businesses fail to track their inventory effectively, which loses them a significant amount of money each year. 

To put the issue into perspective, 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.

In situations like the above, 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. For example:

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.

2. 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.

3. 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 Manage Your Inventory Using Technology

The good news is, field service management platforms are 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. Here are just some of the ways you can benefit from digitising your inventory:

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 field service management platform to handle your inventory, you’ll have complete visibility over what stock you have, wherever it is.

Using the accurate data — which updates in real-time — you can allocate tools, equipment, parts and vehicles directly to customers’ appointments based on their unique requirements. As such, 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. Therefore, 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.

2. Add Barcodes, Serial Numbers or QR Codes to Each Item

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. Therefore, 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.

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. Whilst 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.

3. Create Low Stock Alerts

When you use field service management software to handle your inventory, you’ll never have to worry about having enough stock. 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.

In addition to 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. Therefore, there’s no risk of a false alert, which means you won’t be spending money on replacements when you don’t need to.

4. Create a Comprehensive Work Record

When trying to understand where parts have been used, don’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, you should use field service management software that keeps a comprehensive, accurate and detailed record of everything your engineers did during the appointment. Using their mobile devices, engineers can simply add the information to the platform and capture photographs of the work they carried out. 

As a result, should you need to revisit a problem, you won’t end up using parts that you don’t need to. 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. 

What Are the Benefits of Managing Your Inventory Efficiently?

1. Reduces the Chance of Human Error

Did you know that human error is the leading issue for just under half (46%) of warehouses? Many businesses struggle with large losses in inventory as poor reporting leads to inaccurate stock levels.

But, with field service 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.

2. Your Business Will be Financially Stronger

Worldwide, inventory distortion results in an astronomical $1.1 trillion loss. In a post-COVID world, businesses can’t afford to lose money if they are to survive, so you must consider ways to improve your processes and eliminate any problems. 

Digital inventory management systems 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.

3. Improved Efficiency

On average, companies spend approximately 16 days per year looking for paper documents that they’ve misplaced. 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. Using BigChange’s field service management system, engineers can log all vital information (such as what 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 provide a superior service to your customers.

Field Service Management Software Helps Your Business Succeed

Currently, only 18% of small businesses use inventory management systems. The remainder either don’t track their equipment, stock and assets, or they use manual methods that create issues further down the line. 

Consequently, that means that the majority of SMEs (small to medium-sized businesses) are missing out on an excellent opportunity to improve their operation, increase profits and take on more projects that will help contribute to company growth.

With BigChange’s field service management system, you can do the following:

  • Add serial numbers, barcodes and QR codes to each item so you can track their whereabouts
  • Allocate stock, equipment and assets directly to jobs
  • Set up low stock alerts based on your preferences
  • Manage your inventory across multiple locations
  • Keep a comprehensive record of all work your engineers carry out for future reference

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.

Manage items across a range of locations in real-time and 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. 

Inventory management has never been simpler.
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

As it becomes increasingly challenging to meet customer expectations, field service organisations will need to innovate and modernise the methods they use to interact with clients. 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 one in three customers will abandon a business they once loved after a single bad experience. 

In this article, we’ll share some of the main expectations people have when engaging with field service companies, which will help you put together a strategy to impress your clients. Plus, we’ll explain how you can use field service management technology to improve the customer experience, boost your profits and reduce the volume of administration work for your team simultaneously. 

Using Field Service Management Technology to Improve the Customer Experience

1. Regular Communication

A meagre 14% of customers say they’re happy with current business communications. For example, people don’t want to have to sit on the phone for hours to book appointments or wait around all day for a technician to arrive because you provided them with a vague time slot. As such, companies must provide their customers with the convenient, digital experiences that they’ve become accustomed to in recent years if they are to stand out from the competition. 

Fortunately, sending updates to customers doesn’t have to be an admin-heavy task with a field service management platform. Instead, your back-office team can send out communications in just a few clicks. The system takes details from the integrated CRM (customer relationship manager) and adds them to professional, company-branded templates to create personalised emails that you can send at the most crucial points of the buyer journey.

Additionally, on the day of the appointment, you can send an automated text message to customers, including a live tracking link. As a result, your clients can see precisely where their technicians are, meaning they won’t have to keep calling the office for updates. So, not only do regular communications keep your customers happy, but they also free up more time for your back-office staff to focus on activities that contribute directly to business growth.

2. First-Time Fixes

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Modern customers lead busy lives and therefore expect field service organisations to resolve their issues during the first appointment. Unfortunately, when companies’ first-time fix rates drop below 70%, they notice that their customer retention rate deteriorates by 10%

The good news is, field service management platforms make it simpler than ever to enhance your rate of first-time fixes. As soon as your customers make appointments via the online portal, your back-office team can see all the details of the bookings to assign the best technicians for each job based on factors such as skill set, location and vehicle type.

Then, at the click of a button, your team can allocate equipment, stock and other assets to jobs so that your technicians arrive at every appointment with the gear they need to carry out the work effectively. 

Ensuring that your technicians are adequately qualified and have the right tools will set them up properly to complete the job the first time. As such, your customers will be impressed at the speed of service, and your workers will be able to attend more appointments per day, boosting your bottom line and reputation simultaneously.

3. Data Security

Protecting your customers’ sensitive information is paramount in today’s digital age. Failure to take necessary precautions will have a detrimental effect on your company. In fact, a colossal 71% of people say that they would take their business elsewhere following a data breach.

If you currently rely on spreadsheets to manage your customers’ information, you’re putting your organisation at greater risk of a security crisis. Spreadsheets are easy to duplicate, meaning people’s private details could end up in the wrong hands.

Worse still, even if you have taken care to password protect your spreadsheet, there’s no guarantee that someone won’t be able to access it. Therefore, if you do fall victim to a data breach, it’s tricky to prove that you had any security measures in place. Currently, the maximum fine for GDPR infringements is £17.5 million or 4% of your annual turnover — whichever is greater — so you could end up paying dearly.

In contrast, a cloud-based field service management system significantly lowers the chance of a data breach. BigChange’s CRM secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), the world’s most comprehensive and widely-used cloud platform in the world, to ensure that all data is protected against cybersecurity threats. 

By using superior technology to manage your customers’ data, you’ll both have peace of mind that their information is in good hands.

Using Technology to Improve the Customer Experience is a Must for Businesses to Thrive Post-COVID

Did you know, businesses that prioritise their customer experience enjoy 5.7 times more revenue than those that don’t? So in an economically turbulent post-pandemic landscape, now is the perfect time to focus on impressing your clients and boosting your income.
The best way to delight your customers and bounce back financially is by using a state-of-the-art field service management platform like BigChange that keeps your operations running like clockwork. From appointment booking to invoicing and payment, the system handles the entire end-to-end process for a seamless transaction every time.

Surpass Customer Expectations Every Time 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.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

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 industry using software to deliver superior, speedy services.

1. Offering Self-Service to Improve Customer Convenience

In 2019, 88% of consumers expected an organisation to have a form of self-service portal available. This self-service portal could be for anything from customer service queries to appointment booking. And the fact that customers seem to prefer to help themselves first, instead of talking to a business representative, cannot be ignored.

To provide your customers with added convenience, you should use job management software that allows people to book appointments when it suits them. Consequently, they can book when they need to, instead of waiting for business hours to contact your offices and organise a booking.

The added advantage of using job management software to manage appointments is that it immediately sends customers’ booking details to your back-office staff. Your team can then use the in-built intelligent scheduling assistant to optimise your schedule. For example, the software can create a more streamlined calendar based on each appointment and their purpose, freeing up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to errors caused by out-of-date manual scheduling processes. 

Aside from being able to take on more bookings, you can also respond to emergency call outs, as the schedule can be flexible enough to accommodate emergent customer scenarios. Finally, more appointments available means your customers will be more likely to find an appointment that suits them — and it means more cash flowing in for you.

2. Real-time Updates for Improved Communication

Organisations that fail to modernise and adopt technology to maximise their communications with customers now risk becoming obsolete. With a staggering 89% of customers preferring an “Uber-like” service for tracking technician arrivals, traditional methods of managing your schedule aren’t going to be convenient to your clients and keep them coming back in the future.

The latest field management software allows you to update your customers in real-time with GPS tracking. They’ll be able to track where their technicians are at the touch of a button and go about their day safe in the knowledge that they won’t miss their engineers’ visit. So, never again will your customers have to wait at home all day with an inconvenient, vague time frame for arrival.

3. Go Digital with Your Documentation for Better Customer Convenience

In the UK, late invoice payments have risen by 23% since the start of 2020, potentially due to manual or laborious payment processes. Make sure your business isn’t missing out on making payment convenient for your customers, and in turn, being paid faster.

Often, it takes a few weeks for an accounts payable team to create and deliver a paper invoice to a customer with traditional accounting methods. 

But, with digital payment methods making sending money simple, paper invoicing and delays aren’t convenient for your customers. Using a digital field service management platform allows you to digitise all your important documents. For example, BigChange has an integrated invoicing feature to make the payment process far more straightforward. 

Once a field technician has completed a job, they can fill out all relevant information on their mobile and send the customer a digital invoice in seconds. This invoice will also link up to any contact information on the platform’s integrated CRM (customer relationship management) system, meaning there will be fewer human error mistakes than if invoicing was manual or hand-written.

Your customers can then digitally 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.

4. Anticipate Your Repeat Customers’ Needs

Suppose your field services company deals with a lot of regular maintenance. In that case, you could use software to make repeat bookings even more convenient for your customers by saving them wasting time on any administrative tasks.

Software such as BigChange allows your business to send automated texts or emails to remind customers it’s time to book so they don’t have the headache of needing to remember. The scheduling assistant can also automatically catalogue routine maintenance to save customers from contacting your firm at all. 

Not only are you anticipating customers’ needs with these automated features, but you’re simultaneously providing a smoother, more frictionless experience, where customers have to do as little as possible to achieve the result they need.

Job Management Platforms Provide Greater Convenience to Your Customers

Software not only supports convenience when it comes to invoices, though. It’s no secret that the emergence of COVID has changed customer needs for good. Companies could no longer rely on “business as usual” because of the essential need to protect their workers and customers from illness, meaning more services had to move online. However, even as COVID restrictions become increasingly relaxed, customers still expect the same level of convenience that digital processes offered them throughout the crisis. 

With BigChange, you can move your entire operation online. You’ll be able to give your customers a convenient and efficient service with features such as:

  • Self-service portal for online bookings
  • GPS tracking for technicians vehicles
  • Automated text updates
  • Automatic repeat booking 
  • Fast and simple invoicing and payment methods
  • ‘No touch’ signatures to prioritise health and safety
  • Storage for important documentation so that all employees have access to crucial information about the job

Improve Customer Convenience and Provide Speedy Services 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.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

47% of people across the UK say they have higher customer service expectations than they did one year ago. 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 meeting customer expectations is by ensuring that your employees have the right tools to do their jobs effectively. 

In this article, we’ll look at the two different sides of your workforce (your back-office team and your field-based engineers) and explain how field service management technology gives them everything they need to deliver outstanding customer service.

Your Field Technicians

As the faces of your organisation, your field technicians are the team members that your customers will interact with most frequently. Therefore, you must ensure that you include more than just hammers and spanners in their toolkits.

Here are just some of the ways your engineers can use field service management technology to enhance the service they provide to your customers:

View All Work History and Booking Details on their Mobile Devices

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. But, if you don’t provide your engineers with the knowledge to do a good job, 46% of customers say they’ll abandon your business.

However, empowering your field technicians to do what they do best is simple when you use field service management technology. The best platforms on the market come with an integrated mobile app that enables engineers to see everything your back-office team has access to — all in the palm of their hands. 

As a result, your engineers can quickly view their customers’ work history and booking details before arriving at each appointment, meaning they’ll never be unprepared. Instead, each field technician can focus on delivering excellent services and getting the job done rapidly.

Issue Electronic Invoices and Receive Payments the Same Day

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 have realised the value and convenience that technology can provide, so businesses will need to keep up to survive in ‘the new normal’.

Equipping your engineers with a field service mobile app that enables them to issue invoices and accept payments is a sure-fire way to impress customers. For example, with BigChange Pay, customers can choose from a range of convenient payment methods and send the money on the same day.

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 keep taking on more ambitious projects and growing your organisation.

Your Back-Office Team

When it comes to delivering outstanding customer service, your back-office team is just as crucial as your field technicians. After all, they manage everything behind the scenes and ensure that your engineers are fully equipped to do a good job.

Here are just some of the ways your back-office staff can use field service management technology to enhance the service they provide to your customers:

Allocate Stock, Equipment and Assets Directly to Jobs

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.

Field service management platforms allow your back-office team to see every appointment and job details on the system. Using the booking details, your staff can then allocate stock, equipment and other assets (such as vehicles) directly to jobs. 

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.

Communicate Regularly with Your Customers

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.

Fortunately, field service management platforms like BigChange make communication straightforward. Your back-office team can send emails to your customers using a personalisable template. The template can pull details directly from the CRM (customer relationship manager) in just a few clicks, so your emails will always be personalised and accurate.

Plus, your team can send automated text messages to customers with a live GPS tracking link on the day of the appointment. Using the link, your clients can see their engineers’ whereabouts, so they won’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.

Field Service Management Platforms Give Your Employees the Power to Do a Great Job. Every Time.

With customer expectations being more challenging to satisfy than ever before, now is the ideal time to undergo a digital transformation and find ways to stand out from the crowd.

We’ve touched on just a few ways a field service management platform can arm your employees with the tools they need to deliver outstanding customer service. However, there are many more applications, including:

  • Allocating engineers to jobs based on location, skill set, qualifications, vehicle type and job constraints
  • Mandatory risk assessments and workflows that ensure your engineers are completing work compliantly and to industry standards
  • Automated customer satisfaction surveys
  • Daily vehicle walkaround checks that keep your fleet in good working condition

Digitising your processes and moving them onto one easy-to-use platform benefits your customers, who will enjoy a more convenient service, and liberates your teams’ time to work on activities that contribute directly to business growth.

Delivering Outstanding Customer Service has Never Been Simpler on 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.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

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.

In this article, we’ll explore the ways proper vehicle maintenance can save you money. We’ll also explain how field service management software helps you to keep track of your fleet, making it simpler than ever before.

How Proper Vehicle Maintenance Keeps Costs Down

1. You Only Replace Parts that Need Replacing

It can be tempting to ignore minor issues with your vehicles — especially if they present no risks to your drivers — as a way of reducing costs. However, what starts as a small problem can quickly become more serious and financially damaging than you initially suspected. 

In the long run, it makes good business 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 excellent condition. For example, regularly replacing your tyres can increase your fuel efficiency by up to 10%.
With field service management software like BigChange, proper vehicle maintenance is simple. Your engineers can complete daily walkaround checks of their vans and raise any potential problems with your fleet manager using the mobile app. As such, you’ll have a complete record of each vehicle, allowing you to perform maintenance before repairs start eating into your profits.

2. There’s a Lower Risk of Expensive Legal Issues

Unfortunately, there were over 100,000 road accidents last year in the UK. With your engineers spending a large chunk of their days travelling between jobs, it’s paramount that you do everything possible to prevent them from becoming part of the statistic. 

If you don’t regularly take the time to maintain your fleet, you are putting people at risk. For example, one of your vans could suddenly break down on the motorway, causing a collision that injures your employee or others. 

Aside from being a terrible experience for your employee, if you’re found guilty of health and safety negligence, you may have to face lengthy legal battles and hefty fines. 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.

Fortunately, by encouraging every engineer to complete a daily check of their vehicle and record their findings on the app, you can guarantee that 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.

3. Working Vehicles Prevent Delays to Profitable Projects

Each year, around 20% of a fleet’s vehicles 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 the downtime.

Firstly, as we mentioned before, daily vehicle walkaround checks are a must-have to ensure that your fleet is DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) compliant. In addition to improving health and safety measures, when your engineers consistently record their findings, you’ll have a comprehensive record of each vehicle’s history, which provides proof of compliance and any work carried out.

Secondly, you should monitor your drivers’ behaviour on the roads. With BigChange’s field service management platform, you can see reports on speeding, harsh acceleration, braking, cornering and idling. Your engineers then receive a score that builds an accurate picture of their driving style over time, giving you the chance to offer additional training to those who take more risks on the road.

By eliminating risky behaviour and driving styles that create more wear and tear on your vehicles, you’ll be able to reduce each vehicles’ downtime and maintenance costs annually, meaning you can continue taking on more projects that boost your bottom line.

It’s Easy to Lower Expenses with Field Service Management Software

Field service management eradicates the headaches associated with maintaining a fleet by digitising the entire process. Instead of needing to fill out several forms each day that could be lost or forgotten about, engineers can complete vehicle checks from their mobile devices in a matter of seconds.

Then, your fleet manager can see everyone’s reports, making them aware of any frequent issues or potential fixes they need to perform. Performing regular maintenance on your fleet is the best way to ensure that vehicles don’t become too pricey to repair or create long periods of downtime that reduce your profits.

Make Preventative and Predictive Maintenance Simpler on BigChange

Your fleet is a crucial component of your business, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to maintain.

With BigChange, your drivers can easily identify and report vehicle defects, enabling you to fix minor issues before they become major, costly problems.

Plus, our driver behaviour analysis feature provides you with complete visibility over each engineers’ driving style, so you can offer additional training to those who are more inclined to take risks on the road. 
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 facility management 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.

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 2020, the global HVAC market was valued at $127.4 billion and is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 5.9% over the next seven years. 

However, although market growth is good news for business owners, it does mean that competition is fiercer than ever. To stand out and attract customers, you’ll need to look at how you run your company and identify any areas for improvement.

In this article, we’ll explain how to run an HVAC business and share how a job management platform can set you apart from your competitors.

How to Run an HVAC Business Effectively

There are many components to running an HVAC business; however, we’ve outlined the top three things you need to take into account below:

1. Plan

Companies that plan ahead grow 30% faster than those that don’t, so it’s essential that you take some time to put together a solid HVAC business plan. To begin, you might want to 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?

Then, 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 figure out how you will earn the additional revenue required.

Remember, having a steady cash flow is vital for any business, so you must ensure that 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. By investing in a job management platform, you can send electronic invoices the moment your worker has completed the work. Plus, with a range of simple, digital payment options available, your customers can pay on the same day, giving you peace of mind that your finances are in check. 

2. Collect Data

According to research from Aberdeen Group, the best performing field service businesses are driven by data and report a 7% decrease in operating costs. 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.

In comparison, job management platforms give you 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.

3. Recruit the Best Talent

In stark contrast to the booming HVAC market, 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 expect will severely impact operations within the next five to ten years.

Consequently, it’ll 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 undergo a digital transformation and become an early adopter of field service management software. With a platform like BigChange, you’ll be able to provide seamless communication between your field-based workforce and your back-office staff by equipping technicians with a mobile app. 

Using the app, workers can complete risk assessments and workflow documents, check the customers’ files for important notes, view their schedule in real-time, send digital invoices and accept payments — all from their mobile devices. 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’.

Following Best Practices with Fleet Management Software

Job management technology is a must-have for HVAC businesses to thrive in a highly competitive, talent-short market. Platforms like BigChange give you the power to transform your company and manage business-as-usual tasks all in one place, saving you time and money to put back into activities that contribute directly to business growth.

Running an HVAC is simple on BigChange

Manage your entire operation on a single platform. 

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.

There are an estimated 1.6 million people in the UK currently suffering from work-related injuries or illnesses. In addition to 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 — especially field service organisations that often expect their technicians to use dangerous equipment or work in potentially hazardous environments.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of following health and safety best practices at work. We’ll also share how you can stay safe at work, including carrying out a risk assessment and consulting workers on health and safety. Finally, we’ll explore how field service management technology gives you all the tools you need to provide your employees with a safe working environment.

The Importance of Good Health and Safety Practices at Work

In addition to being morally wrong, failing to prioritise the health and safety of your workers may 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:

1. Loss in Productivity and Delayed Projects

Currently, UK companies lose around 38.8 million working days to work-related illnesses and injuries. For field service organisations, such a 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 projects from being put on hold.

Plus, a safe workplace results in happier employees who are more loyal to your business. In fact, companies with highly engaged employees enjoy 21% greater profitability, indicating how vital staff happiness is to the success of your organisation.

2. Reputational Damage

Did you know that companies risk losing 22% of potential business if prospective customers encounter a negative article in their search results? As such, it’s paramount that you maintain your company’s reputation to avoid any bad press. Organisations that care about the health and safety of their staff can build a sense of trust between them, their staff and customers much more effortlessly

3. 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 average fine sits at an eye-watering £150,000. 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.

Stay 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 employers — and anyone else who visits your site — from injuries or illnesses caused by the work environment. As daunting as that responsibility may sound, it doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare consisting of paper-based forms and admin-heavy tasks. 

Here are the top four ways you can protect people on-site using health and safety best practices and state-of-the-art field service management technology:

1. Conducting a Risk Assessment

Carrying out a risk assessment is one of the best ways to ensure that everyone will remain safe on-site. Risk assessments enable you to examine potential causes of harm and decide whether they have preventative measures in place that comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Although it is a legal requirement to document your evaluation if you employ five or more people, it is still a good idea to keep note of your findings so that everyone in the organisation can refer to them at any point. Now more than ever before, risks in the workplace change constantly, so you will need to update your record 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)

Fortunately, conducting and documenting risk assessments needn’t 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.

2. Consulting Workers on Health and Safety Policies

Sadly, in just one year, 142 people in the UK suffered a fatality at work. To prevent such tragic accidents, you should share your risk assessment results with your workforce. Providing employees with a strong understanding of potential hazards, and the measures you’ve put in place to mitigate them, will help to lower the risk of injuries or illnesses.

For example, if your staff frequently work in dangerous situations, you’ll need to share safe working practices and explain what tools and equipment you’ve provided to help them carry out the work safely. 

Ensuring everyone has the right gear is paramount to good health and safety at work but, if you’re currently relying on manual sign-in and sign-out sheets, you may find that there isn’t enough to go around. Human error can cause inconsistencies in your inventory — perhaps your workers accidentally took items without recording them, or maybe their handwriting is illegible.

The good news is, the best field service management platforms help you to keep track of your assets in real-time, regardless of their location. You can create a detailed register of items, track item movements, see a record of fitted parts and add serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes to each item. 

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.

3. Making Sure Your Technicians Assess the Safety of Every Site They Visit

As we mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to conduct a workplace risk assessment to keep your staff safe on-site. But what about your field-based technicians who travel to different customer sites every day? According to the Labour Force Survey, around 693,000 people sustain an injury at work.

Luckily, you can significantly lower the chance of injuries on client sites by providing your field-based workforce with a mobile application that links to your central system. You’ll be able to set up mandatory workflows and risk assessment documents that your technicians must complete via their mobile devices before they can begin the work or fill out their timesheet.

During the risk assessment, your workers can highlight potential hazards, which will immediately alert your back office team. The team can then work with your technician to eliminate the risk and safely get the job back on track. As such, your employees can rest assured that they won’t sustain an injury on the job and will also be able to complete all jobs without any obstacles.

4. Ensuring Your Technicians are Being Safe on the Road

Data from the Department for Transport indicates that there were 131,220 road casualties of varying severity during the year June 2019 to June 2020. Unfortunately, the risk of an accident only increases the longer your technicians 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:

1. Driver Behaviour Analysis

When you use a field service management platform like BigChange, you’ll be able to use GPS vehicle tracking to monitor your drivers’ behaviour on the road in real-time. The system will capture information on idling, speeding, cornering, braking and harsh acceleration to provide drivers with a score that you can track over time. As a result, you can build an accurate picture of technicians who may require additional training to ensure that they’re driving as safely as possible.

2. Proactive Vehicle Maintenance

Not only does unplanned maintenance cost three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance, but it can also put your technicians at risk. Defective vehicles can break down on the road, increasing the chances of collisions.

Field service management platforms enable you to catch potential issues before they become perilous and costly. Technicians can use their mobile devices to complete daily electronic vehicle walkaround checks and report problems to your fleet manager, who can take action to resolve them rapidly.

3. Smart Scheduling and Optimised Routes

Decreasing the amount of time your technicians spend driving each day is another sure-fire way to cut down the risk of road accidents. Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, you can now keep technicians’ driving times to a minimum.

Using an intelligent scheduling assistant, field service management platforms such as BigChange suggest ways to optimise your workers’ routes and keep them as short as possible. 

Your back-office team will be able to assign technicians to jobs based on location, qualifications, skillset and vehicle type, meaning that you can attend to more bookings each day confident in the knowledge that your workers are safe.

Technology is a Key Component to Following Health and Safety Best Practices

There are many harsh consequences for businesses that don’t follow health and safety best practices. From costly legal battles to expensive fines and a destroyed reputation, your company risks being devastated by the fallout of not adhering to the latest guidelines. However, field service management software can transform the way businesses keep their people safe on the job and make it simpler than ever to remain compliant.

With a platform like BigChange, you can take advantage of the following:

  • A mobile application that gives technicians access to all health and safety documents
  • Real-time GPS vehicle tracking and driver behaviour analysis
  • Digital vehicle maintenance records
  • Complete visibility over your inventory
  • An intelligent scheduling assistant that optimises every route
  • Electronic records of every risk assessment

With so many health and safety features available at the click of a button, you and your team can spend less time managing stacks of paperwork and, instead, focus on doing what you do best.

Help Your Employees Stay Safe at Work with BigChange’s Field Service Management Software

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, arrange a free demo today.

For 46% of businesses, customer experience (CX) is expected to be their number one priority in the next five years. With today’s customers wanting organisations to anticipate their needs and deliver outstanding services at every buyer journey stage, a robust CX strategy is key to company survival. Unfortunately, those that fail to consider the needs of their clients risk being left behind.

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 top three ways you can leave a positive impression on your clients and keep them coming back for more. Plus, we’ll share how job management software can simplify the entire process.

Keeping Your Customer Engagement Rate High Once the Work is Done

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 can you check that people are happy with the work your technicians carried out, it also enables you to address problem areas and improve your CX. 

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.

The system 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 will indicate 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

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways of keeping yourself at the forefront of your clients’ minds. 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. For example, with BigChange, you can use custom-branded templates to send automated emails to your client base. Plus, 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

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 the following:

  • 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

Providing a smooth end-to-end process and excellent customer service will make you stand out from your 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 Using Technology

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 BigChange’s 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.

Elevate Your Customer Engagement Rate with BigChange

All the essential information you need at the click of a button.

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 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.

With the field service industry set to grow by 16.9% between 2019 to 2026, competition will become fiercer than ever. Businesses will need to do all they can to stay ahead of the curve. 

However, typical field service management organisations have several moving parts by nature.  From job scheduling and dispatching to invoicing and beyond, managing field service companies can be extremely complex, leaving vital details to fall through the cracks.  

Luckily, thanks to technological advancements in recent years, managing your field service operations can be as simple as clicking a button. In this article, we’ll share some field service management best practices that will help keep your organisation running smoothly. Plus, we’ll share how field service management software enables you to improve your working methods without burdening your back-office team with more admin.

The Top 3 Field Service Management Best Practices

Here are the top three field service management practices that will ensure your business stands out against the competition:

1. Scheduling and Dispatching Technicians Efficiently

Data from Verizon Connect suggests that scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of today’s main challenges for field service organisations. How do you effectively manage the schedule when your workflow depends on several technicians being in various locations at once?

The solution lies with field service management technology.

Instead of relying on error-prone spreadsheets and antiquated legacy systems, you can make the most of a workforce management platform such as BigChange to schedule your field-based workers at the touch of a button. 

The intelligent scheduling assistant highlights workers for a planned job based on location, skillset, vehicle type and job constraints to ensure that you have the right resource in the right place — every time. Since all information updates in real-time, your technicians can instantly see their assignments, meaning they’re able to respond to any job without any issues throughout the ever-changing workday. 

2. Performing Predictive and Preventative Maintenance

Did you know that unplanned maintenance costs an eye-watering three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance? To make matters worse, 81% of businesses experience downtime at least once each year due to defective equipment and assets. 

Consequently, to ensure your organisation can run like clockwork year-round, you should prioritise predictive and preventative maintenance. Fortunately, with a modern field service management (FSM) system in place, scheduling maintenance needn’t be a logistical nightmare. 

In fact, FSM technology streamlines the entire process and improves health and safety measures simultaneously. For example, you can make it mandatory for your technicians to complete a safety walkaround check of their vehicles and submit the results via their mobile devices before they can begin travelling to a job.

Then, using the information your technicians provide, your fleet manager can see all outstanding defects and even reconcile some issues directly from the app. As a result, they’ll be able to see what problems commonly occur and work to mitigate them without needing to spend hours keeping manual records.

3. Arming Your Field-Based Workforce with the Right Tools

According to 80% of technicians, mobile technology is critical to enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers. But, despite technicians being on the road or attending client sites for most of their days, many field service organisations don’t provide mobile technology as a standard.

Businesses that don’t consider their customer experience run the risk of denting their bottom line. At worst, field service businesses could make themselves obsolete as people look to their competitors for a better service. 

When you equip your field-based team with a mobile app that connects directly to your back office’s central platform, you’ll be able to connect your entire workflow seamlessly. As such, your technicians will have all the knowledge they need about each assignment so they can deliver exceptional service each time. 

Plus, once the work is complete, your technicians can fill out all paperwork directly from their mobile devices and instantly share it with your admin team, meaning you can process each job in less time and get paid the same day. 

Technology is the Future of Field Services

Research from Microsoft shows that 44% of businesses can run a more efficient field service operation by using technology to eliminate silos and other common hurdles caused by outdated manual administration methods. 

Additionally, customers expect a straightforward, convenient experience that you will struggle to provide when using traditional field service management methods. Therefore, to survive and thrive in today’s modern world, field service companies must keep up-to-date with the latest technology, so they don’t fall behind. 

With BigChange’s field service management software, you can manage your entire business on one easy-to-use platform, eliminating arduous paperwork and significantly lowering the margin for error. Subsequently, your team will have more time to focus on activities that contribute directly to business growth. 

Run Your Business Efficiently with BigChange’s Field Service Management Technology

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with 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 easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

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.

With no shared office environment, monitoring technicians’ task performance and client interactions can be difficult. How can you be sure that every field technician is performing to your company’s expectations and doing a good job?

Unfortunately, with 52% of field service businesses relying on spreadsheets, legacy systems and other inefficient manual methods, guaranteeing satisfactory services across the board becomes an impossible task. During the pandemic, firms adopted new technologies to facilitate their work more easily, and field service companies will need to do the same to survive in a post-pandemic landscape.

Unfortunately, the field service industry requires more flexible solutions for their dynamic environment — especially as competition increases and roles become more technical.

In this article, we’ll explore some key ways you can track technician job performance using tech-based solutions to deliver consistent service and increased productivity.

What Does ‘Doing a Good Job’ Mean to You?

PwC data from 2018 shows that trust between workforces and senior leadership is vital as businesses progress. Unfortunately, field service firms are at particular risk of trust being challenged as staff performance expectations evolve.

While field technicians have historically enjoyed a certain level of autonomy over their work, outdated in-house systems prevent firms from removing inefficiencies and reducing ‘cost to serve’ overheads.

Without effective communication as to why and how roles are changing, field service firms will likely lose highly trained staff members. That’s why, when seeking to track technician performance, you’ll first need to answer three crucial questions:

  • What does good performance look like?
  • How transparent are existing processes for measuring performance? (In other words, what don’t you know about field tasks as they happen?)
  • How can current processes be improved?

We’ve made a list of the most important areas of field technician performance below to help you get started with defining success and tracking technician job performance effectively.

How to Track Technician Job Performance Effectively

Tech-based field service management solutions are the future. Research from McKinsey has shown firms can reduce overheads by 40%, increase productivity by 30% and scale more flexibly with future demand — offering businesses an essential competitive edge. 

However, such gains can only be made with the right digital tools. Secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. 

With everything you need to know at your fingertips, you can plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce more easily. 

Here are six ways you can use field service management technology to gain better visibility over your workforce and accurately measure technician performance.

1. Meeting Job Requirements

Field technicians need to be prepared for a variety of scenarios at each new job site, which is why communicating task requirements is vital. Platforms like BigChange come with a jobs and workflows feature, ensuring staff have an overview of the key steps of any job and can deliver speedy service.

BigChange also comes with a photo capture feature that allows staff to see previous work associated with a client and access time-saving context. Better still, the photo capture feature provides proof of work after work has finished so you’ll always have a comprehensive record to refer back to in the future.

2. Staying Safe

Between 2019 and 2020, nearly 700,000 people were injured at work — up from around 580,000 the previous year. Safe practices in the workplace are essential but field technicians are at heightened risk of accidents and injury. Without a single workplace to control, staff are exposed to a range of potential risks with each new job site.

Field service management software allows you to track technician safety and job performance. For example, you can add mandatory risk assessments and vehicle walkarounds before job details or timesheets appear so field technicians are always operating safely.

3. Driving Well

Safety doesn’t stop once staff leave the job site. Last year, there were over 100,000 road accidents in the UK. That’s why the best field service management platforms on the market provide insight into technicians’ driving behaviour in real-time. 
You can track technician locations, speed, engine idling and more and receive scores on how safe and how eco-friendly your fleet are driving. Already, the BigChange platform has helped avoid 5 million kilograms of CO2 emissions.

4. Satisfying Customers

Recent research from McKinsey found that low customer satisfaction is a consistent problem for the field services industry. The sector has been slow to adopt technology that can assist with resource management and invoicing, leading to a dated and clunky experience.

That’s why it’s crucial that any field management software needs to work for your customers also. In particular, modern customers expect an easy booking system, ETA updates and seamless invoicing and payment options.

5. Meeting Service Level Agreements

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) offer firms a reliable revenue stream but need careful resource management once the contracts begin. Legacy booking systems can leave blind spots in workloads and can jeopardise SLAs unexpectedly.

Don’t leave your contracts vulnerable to bottlenecks: allocate resources more efficiently and ensure your most critical service agreements are delivered on time and to standard with a resource management platform

Doing so can benefit ongoing client relationships and help your company build a reliable reputation with customers.

6. Taking Breaks

Stress levels within the field services industry are amongst the worst in Britain and are leading to losses in revenue from staff sickness and productivity decreases. Field technicians need to take sufficient breaks during their working day or risk service standards decreasing.

Using a platform like BigChange lets you generate timesheets and staff schedules that automatically factor in breaks, so you can track technician work and rest periods. Not only can this feature help safeguard staff wellbeing, but it also ensures your business delivers a consistent and sustainable job standard for continued growth.

Track Technician Performance as if You’re On-Site

Identify key performance areas and use integrated software solutions to gain an overview of your organisation like never before. Track technician performance to ensure field-based staff go from doing a good job to a great one, operating safely and efficiently.

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.


If your main focus is on acquiring new customers, you should know that you’ll spend five times more than you would by simply retaining your existing clientele. In fact, your current customers are also more likely to be loyal to your brand, try new products and spend more in the long run. 

Therefore, to survive in today’s turbulent, post-pandemic market, you must prioritise customer retention. But, with your technicians — the faces of your organisation — scattered across the country, how can you ensure that they’re representing your company appropriately? 

The answer lies with job management software

Arming your field-based workforce with the latest technology provides them with everything they need to do an outstanding job every time. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of using a job management platform and share how it leaves a lasting impression on your customers. 

How Your Technicians Can Improve Customer Retention

89% of companies see customer experience as a critical factor in driving customer loyalty and retention. Therefore, your technicians must be aware of how to deliver excellent service. Here are our top three tips:

1. Boost First-Time Fix Rates

Field service organisations that achieve a first-time fix rate of over 70% boast an impressive 86% customer retention rate. Customers don’t want to have to wait around all day for a technician to arrive, only to find out that they can’t fix the issue and will have to come back. 

Fortunately, with job management software, enhancing your first-time fix rates has never been simpler. Once a customer makes an appointment via the self-service booking system, your back-office team can assign a technician based on location, skillset, job constraints and vehicle type. By assigning the best person for the job, you can ensure that they’ll complete the project in one appointment.

Plus, many state-of-the-art platforms link with your inventory to give you complete visibility over your stock and assets. As such, your team can simply assign parts and tools directly to a job, meaning that your technicians will never turn up unprepared. 

Upon their arrival at the client’s location, your technicians can use their mobile devices to find out everything they need to know about the job and see what equipment they have available. Instead of having to reschedule another appointment to fix an issue, they can focus on doing what they do best. 

2. Operate Compliantly

Now, more than ever, customers are aware of the importance of proper health and safety measures. For example, according to the BBC, 40% of Britons want to keep wearing masks in shops and on public transport permanently, indicating that many people are still uncomfortable returning to ‘normal’.

Even without COVID in the picture, proper health and safety measures are critical to ensuring your workers carry out their jobs safely and that there will be no severe repercussions further down the line. That’s where job management software comes in.

You can set mandatory workflows in the system that your technicians must follow before they’re permitted to carry out any work or access their timesheets. They can fill out the forms and risk assessments from their mobile devices and send the results to your back office instantly, providing you with a thorough record for future reference.

If there are any hazards that could jeopardise the job, your team can mitigate the issue and enable the work to continue without any delays. Using technology to remove roadblocks and improve health and safety measures will give you and your customers peace of mind that the work will be completed on time and to a high standard. 

3. Invoice Instantly

On average, it takes around 25 days for a small-to-mid-sized company to process a single invoice manually. Unfortunately, not only can slow invoicing methods lead to late payments, but they’re also inconvenient for your customers, who will have to wait weeks to pay for a service. 

In contrast, your technicians can handle the invoicing process from their smart devices when you use job management technology. Once the work is complete, they can pull through pre-existing information about the job for an accurate cost and send it to your customer for approval in seconds.

Customers will also appreciate the convenient payment methods that modern technology provides. For example, with a platform such as BigChange, people can pay using credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, direct debits and eWallets. 

Making the invoicing and payment process straightforward will help you stand out against competitors that rely on outdated manual methods. As a result, customers will want to use your business time and time again. 

Arming Your Field-Based Workers with Technology is the Key to Retaining Customers

According to PWC, 46% of people will abandon a company if they aren’t knowledgeable. Thankfully, technology has the power to ensure that your technicians have all the knowledge they need to hit the ground running every time they head to a new job. 

With the BigChange Mobile Application, your technicians can communicate with your back-office and customers in real-time. They will also have access to a range of valuable features, such as:

  • Expenses log
  • Photo and signature capture
  • Stock and equipment quantities
  • Risk assessments
  • Customer relationship manager
  • Timesheets

With so much information available at the tap of a button, you can guarantee that your technicians will leave a favourable impression on your clientele.

Your Customer Retention Rate will Skyrocket with BigChange

All the essential information your business could need at the click of a button.

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.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.


Around half of all field service organisations use multiple platforms, spreadsheets and paper-based documents to manage their operations. However, with an enormous 76% of customers now expecting companies to anticipate their needs and deliver outstanding customer experiences (CX), traditional ways of working don’t have what it takes to meet their demands.

With manual administration methods being inherently error-prone, it’s easy for minor slip-ups to cause extensive, costly issues. Not only do such problems eat into your profits, but they can also have severe reputational repercussions if your customers are affected in the process. 

The good news is that modern field service management (FSM) technology platforms have been designed specifically to help companies realise their full potential and better customer experiences. The best platforms on the market include an integrated mobile app that equips technicians with the tools they need to impress clients every time.

In this article, we’ll explore how your field-based workforce can make the most of an FSM mobile app and enhance the customer experience.

Using Field Service Mobile Apps to Deliver a Better Customer Experience

When using a field service mobile app, your technicians will be able to do the following:

1. Get the Job Done the First Time

Field service organisations that achieve a high first-time fix rate of 70% or above boast an impressive 86% customer retention rate. With people leading hectic lives, clients appreciate it when technicians can complete the job on the first appointment.

Fortunately, with the right field service mobile app to hand, your technicians will never have to worry about arriving at a job unprepared. Once your customers have made their appointments, the booking details will appear in the system for your back-office staff. Consequently, they can assign the correct stock, equipment and assets to each job so your workers will have all the gear they need to complete the job during the first appointment.

Aside from delighting your clients by providing a rapid and straightforward service, your workers will also have more time each day to attend additional appointments and boost your organisation’s reputation.

2. Send Invoices to Customers Immediately

When using manual methods, it takes the average accounts receivable team around 11 hours to process an invoice. Unfortunately, slow invoicing processes can lead to late payments and dissatisfied customers, who don’t want to wait for days — or sometimes weeks — to pay for a service. 

In contrast, field service mobile apps can produce important documents in a matter of seconds. Once your technicians have completed their jobs, they’ll be able to pull through data from the CRM (customer relationship manager) and create an accurate invoice directly from their mobile devices. 

With the invoice being completely digital, your technicians can then send the invoice straight to the customer, who can approve it there and then. Finally, using a range of convenient, electronic payment methods, clients can pay for the service on the same day. As such, they won’t be burdened with the task of remembering to pay the paper-based invoice when it arrives long after the job is complete.

3. Share Their Location With Customers

From pizza to parcels, customers today are used to being able to live-track the whereabouts of their orders. So, why would they expect anything less from your organisation? In fact, a staggering 89% of customers say they want an ‘Uber-like’ service to track the location of their field service technicians alongside updates on their arrival times.

It’s no secret that the average workday for a field technician is unpredictable. Emergency call-outs and cancellations can mean that their schedule has to shift. But, using a field service app like BigChange’s, your workers can pause, suspend, reject and create new jobs from scratch on the field, meaning they can respond to new bookings as they arise.

However, an erratic schedule doesn’t mean you can’t provide your customers with accurate updates on the location of their technicians. Combining GPS tracking software with a mobile app enables your workers to communicate with your back-office team so they can send out notifications to customers at the right moments.

Once your customers receive their update, they’ll be able to see an estimated time of arrival and click on the live tracking link. Keeping your clients in the loop on the day of their appointment indicates that you value their time, and they should be more inclined to use your company again as a result.

Investing in Technology is Your Best Bet to Standing Out from the Competition

The global field service market is predicted to reach $4.45 billion by 2022 as more companies begin to adopt FSM platforms to meet customer expectations. Therefore, field service organisations will need to stay ahead of their competitors and be early adopters of the latest technology to avoid becoming obsolete.

When you use BigChange’s FSM platform, you’ll also have access to the free field service mobile app that enables your technicians to do the following:

  • Log expenses
  • Capture photos and signatures
  • Check quantities of stock, equipment and assets
  • Carry out risk assessments
  • Complete daily vehicle walkaround checks
  • View all information about each job on the CRM
  • Send invoices to customers
  • Fill out and submit timesheets

Arming your technicians with such a powerful piece of technology gives them the knowledge and tools they need to impress your clients, wherever they are.

Provide a Better Customer Experience with BigChange

Allow your technicians to see all job information in one place.

With the BigChange Mobile Application, your field-based workforce will have everything they need to deliver excellent service. Technicians can share real-time updates on location and job statuses, guarantee on-time customer payments with electronic invoices, and enhance communication between technicians and your back-office.

All from the palm of their hands.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Historically, field service organisations have been slow to adopt the latest technologies to manage and optimise their operations. In fact, a staggering 52% of companies are still relying on outdated manual administration methods. 

But, if the COVID-19 crisis taught us anything, it’s that digital transformation is essential in today’s world for businesses to survive and thrive. 

Luckily, you can digitise your current working practices with the right field service management tool in place. By eliminating time-consuming tasks and reducing the margin for error, you can enjoy boosted productivity levels, more profits and fewer unnecessary delays.

In this article, we’ll explore the top ways you can optimise your field service process by using modern technology.

How to Streamline your Field Service Process: 3 Top Tips

Here are the top three ways you can use a field service management tool to enhance your operations:

1. Perform Preventative and Predictive Maintenance on Your Vehicles

Although the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ might apply to many aspects of running a successful business, it certainly doesn’t work when it comes to taking care of your fleet. Shockingly, unplanned maintenance costs three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance. 

Not to mention that defective equipment or assets can severely hinder or, at worst, halt your projects and set you back several days. Picture this: your technician, Michael, has an important appointment to attend. He loads all his equipment onto the van, gets in, and tries to start the engine.

After several attempts, Michael realises that the van isn’t going anywhere. So, he asks the back-office team if there’s another vehicle available. But, by the time Michael secures a new van, loads it up and gets on the road, he’s running exceptionally late. Your customer is unimpressed, and Michael is now speeding to get to the location quickly, putting himself and others in danger. 

Even if the original van had started, there’s a chance it could’ve broken down on the road and caused an accident since no one had maintained it. 

Fortunately, by performing preventative maintenance and adequate safety checks, you can avoid frustrating situations caused by defective equipment altogether.

With a field service management tool, you can complete daily electronic vehicle walkaround checks. The assessments make it simple to identify and report defects or potential problems to your Fleet Manager, ensuring that you’re able to keep a safe and legal fleet on the road.

By taking steps to maintain your vehicles, you can enable your technicians to attend more appointments per day, save money on emergency fixes and guarantee that your workers are safe on the roads.

2. Digitise Your Equipment and Asset Management Tracker

Did you know that 43% of small businesses aren’t tracking their inventory and assets effectively? With many field service organisations continuing to rely on spreadsheets, legacy systems and other manual administration processes to manage their vehicles, stock and tools, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to a host of issues.

For example, if you’re using a paper-based document for technicians to sign equipment in and out of storage, you will likely find that numbers stop adding up relatively quickly. Maybe the technicians have forgotten to fill out the form, or their writing is illegible. Perhaps they’ve taken too much stock so they can store it in their vans for future jobs.

When you can’t obtain an accurate overview of your inventory, you won’t be able to ensure that all your technicians have what they need for each job. Subsequently, they could be turning up to bookings without the right gear and need to make another appointment to finish the work. 

Fortunately, there is a more efficient way to manage your assets and stock. With a modern field service management tool, you’ll have access to real-time, accurate data on all of your valuable goods, regardless of their location.

Consequently, your team can allocate stock, tools and equipment directly to customer bookings so your technicians can complete the job the first time. In the long run, you’ll save more time, enjoy higher levels of productivity and boost your bottom line.

3. Use Real-Time Data to Schedule and Manage Jobs

According to a survey conducted by Verizon Connect, half of field service businesses struggle with ‘quickly re-routing technicians’. A further 48% claimed their biggest hurdle is ‘keeping everyone updated about the schedule’ and, for 45%, it’s ‘informing customers of technicians’ estimated times of arrival’. 

Unfortunately, job management and scheduling are tricky when you don’t have real-time data or the right technology in place. Without complete visibility over your workers in the field, you have to rely on phone calls, texts and spreadsheets to ensure that your technicians attend all customer bookings on time. 

The good news is, using a field service management tool with an integrated intelligent scheduling feature such as BigChange, you’ll have all the vital information you need whenever you need it. The system uses GPS tracking technology to collect data in real-time, giving you every technician’s exact whereabouts and keeping your customers in the loop with automated texts and emails.

Whenever your customers make or reschedule a booking on the portal, your back-office team can instantly assign a technician to the job, taking into account the following:

  • Traffic information
  • Location
  • Job constraints (for example, specific qualifications the technician must hold)
  • Vehicle type

Not only can you guarantee that you’ll be sending the most appropriate worker to each booking, but you also eliminate the risk of scheduling issues such as clashes or delays. Plus, you’ll be arming your team with the tools they need to be more agile in the case of an emergency booking.

Grow Your Business with BigChange’s Field Service Management Tool

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with 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 easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

With the global field service market predicted to reach $4.45 billion by 2022, the adoption of field service management (FSM) software is increasing dramatically to keep up with growing demand. Field service management apps have the power to revolutionise the industry by enabling data-driven decision making and eliminating historically burdensome manual processes.

Therefore, businesses that continue using outdated legacy systems and manual, paper-based processes must undergo a digital transformation to stay ahead of the curve and avoid becoming obsolete.

That’s why we’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about field service management apps. Read on to learn more about the history of FSM technology and discover how apps for service technicians can benefit your business, your team and your customers simultaneously.

A Brief History of Field Service Management Technology

Historically, most field service organisations have relied on spreadsheets, whiteboards, outdated software and paper-based documentation to manage their operations. But, while these traditional methods may have worked in past decades, they won’t cut it in today’s world where customer expectations are becoming trickier to meet, and there is less tolerance for error.

In the digital era, customers demand transparency across the entire transaction, strong communication, a personalised experience and speedy services. In fact, a staggering 76% of people now expect companies to anticipate their needs and will decide to purchase goods and services based on customer experience (CX) alone. 

Thankfully, technological advancements in recent years have made it possible to meet customers’ high standards. By automating the entire process — from appointment booking to invoicing and payment — your clients receive straightforward, convenient experiences that will make them want to use your organisation time and time again. 

However, technology can do more than simply impress your clientele. With talent shortages expected to disrupt field service companies within the next decade significantly, business leaders will be forced to innovate and think outside the box to ensure that they can still manage a high volume of work. 

For instance, repetitive administration tasks like filling out timesheets slow down technicians and steal time away from them that could be better spent attending to bookings. Field service management software automates such tasks, which frees up their time to complete more jobs without becoming burnt out. 

Read on to learn more about some of the main advantages a field service management app can provide.

How Apps for Service Technicians Can Benefit Your Organisation

There are many positives to adopting field service technology to manage your entire operation. Here are the top five benefits your business could enjoy by providing your technicians with a field service mobile application:

1. Live Tracking and Real-Time Updates

Did you know that 89% of today’s customers prefer to use an ‘Uber-like’ service to track field service technicians and receive updates on arrival times? But, if your team has to rely on phone calls and texts from your technicians, providing such updates is impossible. 

In contrast, when you use modern field service management technology, you can use GPS vehicle tracking to provide your customers with real-time updates on the whereabouts of their technicians. 

The system will automatically send text and email alerts to your clients, including an estimated arrival time and a link that allows them to track the technicians live. So, never again will your customers be left disgruntled from waiting at home all day after being provided with a vague time slot.

Plus, apps for service technicians have the added advantage of enabling rapid communication to the back office via instant messaging, eliminating the need for time-consuming phone calls. As such, your administration team has an accurate picture of what’s happening in the field and can make better-informed decisions when dispatching workers to jobs.

2. Happier Customers

80% of field service technicians believe that access to a mobile application is critical to increasing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers. Suppose you send your technicians into a job without providing them with essential information; it is much more challenging for them to complete the work correctly the first time.

Unfortunately, modern customers lead busy lives and won’t appreciate needing to make multiple appointments for a simple job. At worst, you could end up losing business as clients opt to use your competitors who were early adopters of FSM technology and therefore better equipped to deliver satisfactory service. 

Stay ahead of the curve by seamlessly connecting your technicians and back-office team and enabling them to communicate in real-time. For example, your admin staff can allocate stock, equipment and assets to each job, meaning your technicians will always arrive at an appointment with the correct gear to complete the job the first time.
Then, once the job is complete, your technicians can fill out all the necessary paperwork from their mobile devices and provide your customers with an electronic invoice straight away. Clients will appreciate the rapidity of the service, alongside the straightforward payment methods, and your back-office team will have a complete digital record of all the documents for future reference.

3. More Engaged Team Members

Economists at the University of Warwick have found that being happy at work makes people around 12% more productive. Consequently, to get the most out of your team, you must consider ways to ensure they feel valued and have all the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

If you’re expecting your technicians to turn up at each booking with limited knowledge of the job and then fill out several pages of paperwork each day before manually turning it into the office, you’ll likely find that your team is disengaged. Workers who aren’t engaged may struggle to deliver high-quality work to customers and suffer from more accidents on the job.

However, apps for service technicians are designed with your team’s needs in mind. When you use FSM technology to manage your operations, it records every interaction you have with your customers. Subsequently, your technicians will be able to see a detailed report of the job requirements, so they have all the information they need to carry out the work effectively.

Additionally, technicians can complete all paperwork directly on their mobile devices and immediately send it to your back-office team. They can fill out their timesheets and send customers invoices as they go. FSM technology eliminates the need for technicians to hand paperwork into the office at the end of the day, and in turn you both reduce the margin for error and free up more time for your technicians to attend extra bookings. 

Paperless processes don’t just benefit your field-based team, however. You will also benefit from increased productivity behind the scenes. When you go paperless, you eradicate the time-consuming administrative tasks that have long plagued office staff. Your back-office team will appreciate the simplicity of seeing customers’ files on one easy-to-use platform, leaving them with more hours to focus on tasks that can help grow and develop the business.

4. Rapid Troubleshooting and Improved Health and Safety

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed that UK businesses lose approximately 38.8 million working days each year due to work-related illness and injuries. Aside from potentially damaging your reputation and causing harm to your workers, health and safety blunders can cause severe delays and impact your entire organisation.

The good news is, with the right technology, you can minimise the risk of illness or injury. For example, field service management apps enable you to set up mandatory workflows and risk assessments that technicians must complete before they can begin the work or fill out their timesheets. 

If your technicians come across a hazard that could jeopardise the project, they can immediately alert your back-office team. They’ll then work with the technician to safely mitigate the issue and get the work back on track. 

By making health and safety a priority, you’ll lose fewer days to illness and injury, and your team will be able to carry out their work without worrying about their surroundings.

5. Maximised Schedule and Ability to Respond to Emergency Call-Outs

Half of all fleet managers believe that the ability to quickly reroute field technicians for emergency jobs is the most crucial factor to their success. Keeping everyone updated on schedule changes comes in close behind at 48%.

But, if you don’t have an effective communication channel between your back-office team and field-based workers, it can be tricky to contact the necessary individuals and inform them of changes to the schedule. Not to mention that information can be misinterpreted or cause confusion that leads to missed or delayed appointments.

Let’s imagine a customer has just called with an emergency job, but your office is using a spreadsheet for job scheduling. Your team would need to manually work out who is local to the customer and call each technician to see if they can cover the work. In addition to being a lengthy process, it could have a knock-on effect on your other bookings and cause customers to become frustrated.

Instead, when your technicians have access to a field service management app like BigChange, they can see any schedule changes in an instant. Your back-office staff will be able to locate the most relevant technician local to the emergency job and re-allocate other bookings to those with availability. Everyone can continue with business-as-usual, and no appointments will be impacted due to the schedule change.

Field Service Management Apps are a Worthwhile Investment

According to data from Verizon Connect, meeting customer expectations is the biggest challenge for 56% of field service companies today. For 38%, scheduling and dispatching inefficiencies present the most significant obstacle. Clearly, traditional methods of working aren’t working anymore. 

Reliance on legacy systems, spreadsheets and paper-based processes cannot keep up with the rapid pace of the modern workday. Nor can they provide the level of service required to delight your clients and keep them returning to your business in the future. 

In order to survive and thrive in a competitive post-pandemic landscape, field service organisations will need to ensure their technicians have access to the latest and most accurate information. Fortunately, field service management apps provide workers with everything they need at their fingertips. 

From detailed information on the customer’s booking, to pre-assigned stock and digitised paperwork, your technicians will be able to spend less time on time-consuming tasks and, instead, focus on doing what they do best.

Arm Your Technicians with the Right Tools. Transform Ways of Working with BigChange’s Field Service Management App.

Allow your technicians to see all job information in one place.

With the BigChange Mobile Application, your field-based workforce will have everything they need to deliver excellent service. Technicians can share real-time updates on location and job statuses, guarantee on-time customer payments with electronic invoices, and enhance communication between technicians and your back-office.

All from the palm of their hands.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Field service organisations that use manual processes are likely operating at a disadvantage because they lack visibility over their operation. This lack of visibility, and continued use of legacy systems and paper-based records, has led to a largely reactive approach when it comes to fleet management, health and safety, and business efficiency. 

Fixing damage to vehicles or doing emergency maintenance in a reactive fashion can eat into profits. It can cost up to five times more to fix something reactively than it does to carry out proactive maintenance regularly. Using outdated methods of fleet management also compromises the safety of your field-based workers as their journeys and risk assessments go unmonitored, meaning that issues could arise when they’re on the road. Fortunately, technology can improve vehicle safety and reduce costly downtime for your business.

Some organisations in field management have shifted to using digital tools to manage their fleet, technicians, customers, and employees. In fact, companies that use field service management software enjoy a 90% time saving on average. However, there is still significant room for modernisation in this industry, and many businesses still rely on guesswork or inefficient processes to get the job done.

So how can technology and software help you manage your fleet more effectively? This article will be a guide on what benefits your company could enjoy if you adopt field-service management (FSM) software.

Manage Vehicle Maintenance Effectively

Businesses that take a preventative approach to vehicle maintenance can save between 12-18% on the costs, compared to firms that only fix something when absolutely necessary — a reactive approach.

To help you take preventative measures when examining your fleet, field management software includes features such as DVSA compliant walkaround checks. The feature allows your drivers to do a daily walk around the vehicle and log any defects through a mobile app. The driver or technician can then check the functionality of the vehicle and record any areas of concern, and they can add their notes to the log for that specific vehicle every day. 

Over time, the system builds a detailed report from the daily checks so that there is always something to refer to if you need to identify the root cause of a vehicle issue. In addition, daily monitoring will allow you to note any changes that could become issues later down the line and pay a lower price to have a vehicle repaired beforehand.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to create Event Alerts for each vehicle. Each ‘event’ is stored on each vehicle’s record so that your back-office staff are notified when your Road Tax is expiring or when the vehicle service or MOT is due to be booked, for example. These notifications help your business stay compliant and avoid unintentional breaches of vehicle laws.

Monitor Mileage with GPS Vehicle Tracking System

Many field service management softwares have a GPS tracking system in place for all the vehicles in their fleet. GPS allows your business to track how far vehicles are travelling before they need routine maintenance without having to do guesswork. BigChange’s vehicle tracking is integrated into the software so that your back-office team can monitor any vehicle when necessary. 

The software records the mileage completed by each vehicle for years, so you can always refer back to previous journeys without having to search through mountains of paperwork or receipts. 

You can also link transactions to the actual mileage completed by each vehicle. By lining fuel card transactions to the mileage data, you’ll be able to calculate highly accurate miles to the gallon figures, as well as identify any discrepancies in your costs. The GPS and fuel features will help you save money and deploy more efficient decisions when managing your fleet of vehicles.

Storing Documents Securely

In 2020, around half (48%) of field service businesses were still using manual administration processes, paper-based methods and legacy systems to manage their field service fleet. Therefore, now is an opportune time to upgrade your systems and stand out from the competition.

You can gain an edge over your competitors by adopting FSM technology for managing your fleet because you can keep all important documentation in one place. You will be able to access any document at any time for any vehicle: MOT certificates, insurance details, leases, invoices for maintenance, or even drivers licences for your employees, all at the touch of a button.

The cloud-based software will store the documents safely so that your back-office staff can access them easily. As a result, time-wasting tasks such as looking through digital folders or sifting through paper records are eliminated.  Your customers and staff will also be able to rest assured that their personal information or important documents are safe. Unlike spreadsheets and legacy systems, which are notoriously challenging to manage compliantly, CRM systems such as the one that is integrated into BigChange’s platform, allow you to carry out GDPR-compliant management of individuals’ details. 

Keeping on Top of Vehicle Safety

If you’re the Head of Operations at your company, it’s unlikely you’ll know everything about every vehicle in your fleet. At most organisations, the state of a field service technician’s vehicle is logged in a book or spreadsheet somewhere only accessible to the back-office staff. 

Using BigChange’s mobile workforce software and GPS vehicle tracking system, you’ll have access to your entire fleet’s history and real-time location at the tap of your finger. Not only does the software give you a comprehensive overview of each vehicle, its age, mileage, and condition, everyone who needs to will be able to access every DVSA compliant walkaround to ensure your vehicles are safe for driving. 

So, aside from reducing administrative headaches, you and your technicians can rest assured that every vehicle is roadworthy and safe to drive.

Another essential part of managing fleet safety is keeping an eye out for how field service technicians are driving from job to job. 

BigChange’s commitment to improving safety on UK roads is why we’ve developed an advanced driver behaviour analysis feature for our platform. Using the GPS vehicle tracking system, you can generate an analysis for each technician that includes their idling, speeding, cornering, braking, and harsh accelerations. Then, to give managers an at-a-glance view of each field service technician’s driving behaviour, the platform assigns a driving score for each driver. 

Combine this driver behaviour analysis with our advanced time-stamping records for each driver, and you’ll be able to understand how your field technicians are driving, and more importantly if they’re taking the necessary breaks to ensure they’ll be alert on the road. 

Optimising Routes

Time is money. But, unfortunately, with petrol prices escalating to an eight-year high in the UK, many field service businesses are losing large sums of money by not optimising their technicians’ routes between jobs. 

However, if you’re relying on spreadsheets or outdated in-house systems to manage everyone’s routes, how can you guarantee that you’re optimising them and able to account for the unpredictable nature of traffic on the roads?

That’s where workforce tracking software comes in.

FSM platforms such as BigChange give you complete visibility over your technicians’ whereabouts so you can allocate nearby jobs to them. The intelligent scheduling assistant uses several factors to identify which technicians are the most suitable to travel to a job to allocate jobs efficiently. You’ll be able to look at:

  • Real-time resource location
  • Live-traffic information
  • Job constraints (such as skills or qualifications)
  • Type of vehicle
  • Inventory of parts required
  • Customer history and requirements

Combining the above information means you can make informed decisions about which technician to allocate to a job — even if they are not geographically closest to it.

As a result, your schedule will be optimised, with as little wasted time as possible, which means not only will your technicians be able to attend more appointments per day, but you’ll also save money per journey, which all contributes to boosting your profits. 

Your technicians’ journeys will also be shorter and managed more efficiently, which puts them at less risk of any road accidents. 

Tracking Tools and Equipment

Your fleet doesn’t just include your vehicles. It also includes your equipment, tools, parts, and other assets like trailers or machinery. Did you know, a staggering 43% of small businesses fail to track their assets and inventory effectively? Because so many field service organisations still rely on old-fashioned, manual tracking methods, and some have no official processes in place, they’re vulnerable to a range of potentially costly issues.

With state-of-the-art asset management software in place, unreliable data becomes a problem of the past. Modern systems record data in real-time, allowing you to make more informed business decisions based on fact rather than needing to count on potentially incorrect paper records.

It makes logical sense to use manual check-out and check-in sheets to keep track of your equipment. However, traditional paper asset management methods don’t always work in practice and are inherently error-prone. In fact, human error is the leading problem for 46% of businesses when it comes to accurately reporting on assets.

Whether your technicians forget to sign the sheets, inadvertently take too many items, store spares in their van for another project, or their writing is simply illegible, you’ll come to realise that the numbers aren’t adding up. 

But whilst those errors may have gone unnoticed, they could have been costing the business a fortune. For example, if your equipment was to go missing, then there’s no exact way of tracking what happened to it. Not only will lost equipment likely stall other projects, but replacements can be expensive. 

Instead, you can create a detailed register of equipment and other vital assets when you digitise your asset management methods. On BigChange, you’ll be able to maintain a record of fitted parts, tools or other specialist equipment, and you can track each item’s movements through serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes on the stock. 

Your technicians can then check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, and you will have better visibility over your valuable assets. Digitising your inventory management process will not only save you money replacing expensive equipment but will bring up your first-time fix rates as technicians will have access to the assets they need to complete the job on their first visit.

Improving Your Entire Operation with Fleet Management Technology

However you are currently managing your fleet — whether it be a spreadsheet, paper records, or a system that has been used for a long time — it’s no match to the efficiency of the latest technological advances in the field service industry.

Using a platform like BigChange can revolutionise your operation, and the investment will pay for itself in the savings and added profit you’d make from its use. 

Not only will your bottom-line benefit from adopting a field service management system, but as we’ve seen, your drivers’ safety will always be a priority; your essential documentation will be secure and accessible; your back-office staff will save time on mundane admin and be able to return to tasks that can grow the business, and ultimately your fleet will be in better condition because of the preventive approach you’ll be using to maintain your vehicles.

Managing Your Fleet Effortlessly with BigChange

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 boost productivity as a result. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

With many more experienced field service technicians fast approaching retirement age, they’re leaving behind a significant skills gap that younger generations cannot fill. In fact, 70% of organisations expect the ageing workforce to severely impact their operations within the next five to ten years. 

Therefore, business leaders will need to create innovative ways for their teams to deal with their usual high volume of work without requiring additional hires. 

In reality, the missing piece of the puzzle may lie with field service management (FSM) software. Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, FSM platforms have the power to revolutionise how companies operate and deal with the fallout of the ever-growing skills gap. Read on to learn more. 

How to Close the Skills Gap with Field Service Management Software

Here are the top three ways a field service management platform can help reduce workload for your existing staff and enable you to take on more jobs with fewer resources:

1. Go Paperless and Streamline Administration Processes

Employees believe they waste a staggering two hours per day on admin, paperwork and other pointless tasks instead of focusing on business-critical activities. Worse still, they spend at least 26 minutes of an average seven-and-a-half-hour working day working out how to use outdated or failing technology.

Therefore, if you’re still relying on the same legacy systems and manual processes that you did in the past, it’s time to consider an alternative. When you reduce the workload currently sitting on your team’s ‘to-do’ list by automating time-consuming tasks, you free up their time to take on other activities that would’ve previously required additional hires to cover. 

For example, when you use a field service management platform, customers can make and amend their own bookings via an online portal, meaning your staff won’t have to take phone calls and manually manage the calendar. Instead, they can instantly see the details on the system and use them to assign and dispatch a worker at the click of a button. 

2. Simplify Your Schedule

For many field service businesses, scheduling and dispatching workers presents the most challenges. High levels of reliance on paper-based documents, spreadsheets and multiple inefficient systems cause delays, confusion and even leave some bookings to fall through the cracks entirely.

In contrast, job management platforms take care of the entire process and help your schedule to run like clockwork. The system uses its integrated intelligent scheduling assistant to find technicians for each job based on their location, skillset, qualifications, and vehicle type. 

By significantly shortening your workers’ routes and ensuring that they’re the best person to complete the job the first time, you’ll find that they have time to attend additional bookings each day. So, instead of needing to take on new hires, you can maximise your current workforce’s time to make the most out of their schedules.

3. Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities

41% of people recognise the importance of networking and want to attend more events but don’t believe they have the time. However, networking is one of the best ways to expand your reach and make important professional relationships. 

The good news is that there are now a wide variety of options for time-starved business leaders. When you invest in BigChange’s field service management platform, you’ll instantly gain access to the BigChange Network. As such, you won’t have to leave your office to build partnerships with thousands of other trusted field service organisations worldwide.

You’ll be able to list your company on the site for free and begin receiving connection requests immediately. Additionally, you can post active jobs and hire subcontractors to carry out the work on your behalf. Each listing allows you to include specific requirements, such as qualifications, so you can rest assured that only the most relevant people will represent your organisation. 

As a result, you can offer more services in a broader range of locations, giving you the power to grow your business without needing to embark on a costly recruitment process or struggling to find talent. 

How to Close the Skills Gap with Field Service Management Software

In 2020, 52% of field service businesses were still relying on inefficient, antiquated systems and error-prone manual administration methods to manage their operations. Unfortunately, with the skills gap becoming an ever-increasing issue in the field service industry, businesses will need to modernise their processes in order to manage a higher volume of work with fewer people.

Field service management technology makes it simpler than ever to manage your business. With a platform like BigChange, you can do the following:

  • Accept customer bookings
  • Assign and dispatch workers
  • Track vehicles, assets, stock and equipment
  • Take payments and invoices

…and more, all on a single easy-to-use platform. Simplifying your ways of working and finding ways to reduce the workload for your team will liberate time to attend extra bookings and take on other tasks that contribute directly to business growth. Remember, your existing staff are your most valuable asset, so you must put their time and skills to good use.

Make running your business easier with BigChange

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with 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 easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

2021 was a challenging year for businesses running field-based teams. These firms saw costs and demand for their services rocket, but shortages in supplies, skilled workers and fuel played havoc on operations and made it difficult to maintain excellent customer service.

The State of the Field Service Sector, published by BigChange, asked business leaders how they dealt with these challenges in the 12 months to July 2021. It identified five key areas that businesses are focussing on to grow stronger in 2022. 

#1 Cash

Firms have performed significantly better across the field service sector since the end of the first strict lockdown in July 2020. Turnover was up by 79 per cent on average, compared to the previous 12 months, and a third of businesses saw profits increase by at least 50 per cent. 

However, less that half (48 per cent) of leaders reported their companies were profitable during this period, and 70 per cent said their margins were under continued pressure from the rising cost of materials, fuel and labour.

In addition to increasing the profitability of every job, firms are focusing on freeing-up cash for growth. Practical steps to support this goal include instant invoicing with proof of service or delivery and offering a wider range of convenient payment options.

#2 Capacity

Most firms expect to be busier in 2022, with nearly one-in-five (17 per cent) anticipating workloads to double in the next 12 months. Growth expectations are highest among building maintenance, facilities management, cleaning and waste management firms.

However, businesses are starting to feel the effects of a skills shortage, limiting their ability to complete this work. 56 per cent of field service leaders reported difficulty in retaining frontline operators.

The best companies are taking measures to meet this issue head-on. We see firms using intelligent scheduling to increase the number of jobs teams complete each day and improving first time fix rates by ensuring the right stock, equipment and parts are available when and where field service operatives need them.

#3 Climate

The ban on the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2030 will have a massive impact on field service businesses. It’s a change that leaders need to be ready for. However, the smartest firms are already aware of the impact running large field-based teams has on the planet (as well as their bottom line), and are taking incremental steps to improve their sustainability. 

Using smart scheduling to plan routes and jobs more efficiently can have a dramatic effect on both fuel efficiency and the amount of time spent on the road. Individual field service operatives at organisations adopting our job management platform typically achieve a 10% reduction in fuel usage and spend 10 fewer hours on the road each month than they did before using BigChange.

#4 Compliance

With more significant safety regulations brought about through the pandemic, compliance remains a crucial concern for field service businesses. And it’s one that many are struggling to stay on top of. More than half (53 per cent) reportedly breached industry regulations in the last 12 months.

For ambitious companies, compliance problems can present a real challenge to growth. Of the reported breaches, 19 per cent resulted in a loss of reputation. Nearly one-quarter (24 per cent) of firms said rules and regulations were currently stopping their business from working as efficiently as they would like.

Business leaders we speak to recognise that meeting compliance requirements at scale requires oversight of all parts of their operations in real-time, as well as method statements and documented ways of working that can be followed easily in the field. 

#5 Customer Experience

Limited opportunities to offer ‘competitive prices’ has meant more firms are turning customer experience into a new source of competitive advantage. More than two-thirds of leaders (68 per cent) said ‘good service’ now requires same-working-day fixes for reactive jobs, and companies are optimising their operations to be able to deliver that more consistently.

Another area we see field service businesses focusing on to improve customer experience is the use of digital tools. More and more are introducing online booking as part of digital experiences that keep clients fully informed on things like arrival times and job progress.

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.

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Did you know that, as of 2020, around half (48%) of your competitors are still using manual administration processes and antiquated legacy systems to manage their field service operations? 

In today’s modern world, where technology has integrated itself into almost every aspect of our lives, outdated ways of working aren’t going to cut it. Customers expect streamlined, rapid experiences, which is tricky to provide if you’re still using the same methods you did ten or more years ago. 

Since so many businesses are yet to enjoy the benefits of automating their workflows, it’s the optimum time to be an early adopter of modern technology and stand out from your competitors.

In this article, we’ll explain what field service management software is. We’ll also discuss some common field service problems and how technology can alleviate them.

What is the Purpose of a Field Service Management Platform?

Field service management (FSM) technology replaces outdated manual administration processes and clunky legacy systems to unite your entire operation on one easy-to-use platform.

With a field service management platform, you can handle the entire end-to-end process of dealing with your customers – from appointment scheduling to final payments and beyond – at the touch of a button.

By removing the typical inefficiencies that plague field service organisations, you can increase your profits, enable your business to run more smoothly, and free up your employees’ time so they can focus on more business-critical activities.

But, FSM technology isn’t purely focused on the back-end aspects of running a successful company. State-of-the-art platforms also consider ways to make it simpler to manage your field-based workforce and provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

With integrated mobile apps now more widely available than ever before, you can ensure that your field technicians and back-office staff are always on the same page. The app equips technicians with everything they need to know about each case, allows them to complete digital paperwork and invoices rapidly, and shares real-time data for effective communication.

FSM platforms are revolutionising the industry, but how do they specifically alleviate the most common field service problems? Read on to find out.

Common Field Service Business Pain Points and How to Alleviate Them

As a field service business leader, you’ll likely be familiar with some or all of the pain points below. Luckily, thanks to technology, running a profitable company needn’t be a headache. Here are four of the most common issues and ways you can use field service management software to overcome them:

1. Poor First-Time Fix Rates

When it comes to running a successful field service business, high first-time fix rates are crucial. In fact, companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% manage to retain 86% of their customer base. For those that don’t manage to hit 70%, their client retention rate drops to just 76%. 

Still, as we mentioned earlier, many organisations continue to use inadequate methods to manage their operations, leaving them susceptible to errors and complications.

For example, imagine using a paper-based form that your technicians must use to sign equipment in and out of storage. Perhaps some of them forget to do so, or maybe their writing is illegible. They may accidentally take too much stock and store it in their van for another job further down the line. 

You quickly realise that numbers aren’t adding up, and technicians are turning up at customers’ appointments without the appropriate gear to complete the job on the same day.

When you have to make multiple appointments to complete work, your bottom line and productivity levels can take a nosedive.

How a Field Service Management Platform Can Help

When you use a field service management platform to manage your stock and assets, you won’t have to worry about inaccurate data ever again. Using real-time information, you can see exactly how much stock and equipment you have – across multiple locations – at the touch of a button.

With complete visibility over your stock, equipment and assets, your team can simply allocate the necessary items to each customer’s job. As such, your technicians can confidently arrive at every appointment, knowing they have all the right gear in their van to complete the job there and then.

Aside from keeping your customers satisfied, an improved first-time fix rate will free up more time for your technicians to attend more appointments per day and do what they do best.

2. Expensive Travel Costs

Although you can’t control the cost of fuel, which has hit a staggering eight-year high in the UK, you can ensure that your technicians are making the most efficient journeys between each job. By cutting down the time each worker spends on the road, you can save money on petrol and increase the number of bookings they can attend per day.

Unfortunately, if you’re using old in-house systems, spreadsheets and other manual processes to plan routes, chances are, they’re not as streamlined as they could be. 

You may already be matching jobs to workers based on location but, when you don’t take their availability or traffic information into account, you may be overlooking another technician that would be better suited to complete the project.

How a Field Service Management Platform Can Help

Field service management platforms have the potential to shave off a significant amount from your current fuel expenses. Using GPS vehicle tracking, the system provides you with real-time data on your technicians’ locations, where they’re working and whether there are any traffic issues.

Subsequently, your team can define the best route between jobs for hundreds of jobs simultaneously and reduce your cost to serve per customer call-out. 

Additionally, when you use BigChange’s 5-in-1 workforce management system, you’ll automatically have access to the Network, where you can connect with thousands of other trusted field service organisations. 

You can list your company for free and immediately begin receiving connection requests. By building strong professional relationships with other companies worldwide, you can collaborate on projects by subcontracting workers to each other. 

As a result, you’ll be able to fulfil jobs in a range of locations without needing to hire extra resources or spend an excessive amount on travel costs.

All Network members also have the opportunity to join a virtual meet-up each month, which allows you to share tips and tricks on how to grow your business further.
Want to discover more about the BigChange Network? Check out this informative video.

3. Scheduling Conflicts

For field service organisations, ensuring that the right technician is in the right place at the right time is paramount to success. However, according to a survey conducted by Verizon Connect, 50% of business leaders rated ‘quickly re-routing technicians’ as their most critical issue. 

48% claimed it was ‘keeping everyone updated about the schedule’, and 45% suggested the biggest hurdle for them was ‘keeping customers informed of technicians’ estimated times of arrival’.

When you don’t have accurate, real-time data to hand, it becomes almost impossible to keep tabs on what is happening in the field. Consequently, it is much harder to navigate the unpredictability of each workday and keep the necessary individuals in the loop.

If you’re unable to communicate effectively with your technicians and maintain an overview of their schedule, you’ll soon find that there are delays, conflicts and confusion. At worst, you could lose customers who are unimpressed with your service.

How a Field Service Management Platform Can Help

Common field service problems such as scheduling conflicts can become an obstacle of the past when you adopt a field service management platform. 

Your customers can make and reschedule appointments on a simple self-service online portal, which automatically sends the details to your back-office team. Once they’ve received the necessary information, your employees can use the intelligent scheduling assistant to see which technician is suitable for the job, taking into account the following real-time data:

  • Job constraints (for example, the technician may be required to have specific qualifications)
  • Location 
  • Traffic information
  • Vehicle type

Not only will you be able to guarantee that your schedule is running optimally, but it also means you’ll have the capacity to respond to emergency call-outs. With the GPS tracker enabling your team to see the exact whereabouts of each technician, they can reroute workers at the touch of a button.

Plus, your customers will never have to deal with the frustration of wondering where their technician is. Instead, you can send out automated, personalised texts and emails via the system so they can track their technicians’ vehicles live.

4. Slow Invoicing and Payment Methods

Since the beginning of the pandemic, late invoice payments in the UK have risen by a shocking 23% and thus had a substantial impact on field service businesses across the country. As such, companies will need to consider more innovative ways to ensure they get paid on time if they are to survive and thrive in a post-COVID world.

Let’s explore the traditional method of invoicing for a moment. Typically, the accounts receivable (AR) team processes invoices in batches, meaning that the customers’ jobs could be complete for a while before they receive a payment request. 

The AR team either uses a spreadsheet or standalone accounting software to manually create, print off and mail out a paper-based invoice. The customer then receives the invoice several days later before writing out a cheque and mailing it back, provided there are no mistakes. Of course, if there are any problems, the process begins all over again.

Very long-winded. 

The longer it takes to send an invoice, the longer it takes to get paid. Not to mention that drawn-out payment procedures may cause customers to inadvertently misplace or forget about the invoices.

If your customers aren’t paying on time, your cash flow will take a hit, potentially leading to you being unable to do the following:

  • Take on new projects
  • Meet operational expenses
  • Budget for future jobs
  • Pay your suppliers

How a Field Service Management Platform Can Help

Fortunately, there is a better way of processing invoices and payments.

Using a field service management platform such as BigChange, you can use the integrated invoicing feature to obtain payments instantly.

As soon as your technicians complete their jobs, they can fill out the essential paperwork directly on their mobile devices and send the customers electronic copies of their invoices. The invoices pull through all the correct details from the platform’s CRM (customer relationship management) system, so there are no errors.

Once the customers receive their invoices, they can make a digital payment straight away. Not only will more convenient payment methods ensure that you’re paid on time, but customers will appreciate the simplicity and be more inclined to use your services again in the future.

Make Typical Field Service Problems a Thing of the Past with BigChange

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with 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 easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Despite 2020 being one of the toughest years in recent economic history, growing a plumbing business was still a viable business endeavor. In fact, 23% of the people surveyed in the UK said they hired a plumber in 2020, making them the most in-demand tradespeople in the country. 

If the plumbing industry can thrive in 2020, imagine what’s possible in the future. No matter what year it is, though, the question of how to get more customers is still a top concern for plumbing business owners. 

Like in other fields, getting more customers requires you to know the marketplace and stand out amongst the competition. Having an excellent online presence, working with top-of-the-line plumbers, and utilising an online all-in-one workforce management software are all fantastic ways to grow your plumbing business. 

In this article, we will discuss how to attract more customers and how workforce management software like BigChange can improve your marketing and business operations.

How to Get More Plumbing Customers: 4 Top Tips

1. Create a Website

Since plumbing services are always in demand, it can be tempting to forgo creating a website, but these companies are missing out on getting more customers. 

While some companies can sustain their organisations by leaving their business cards around town, a website will enable you to tailor your company’s advertising and offerings directly to your customers’ needs. Using a field management CRM (customer relationship management) system like BigChange will enable you to keep track of every interaction you’ve had with your clients, from bookings, phone calls, invoices, to customer satisfaction surveys. Not only that, your CRM can inform you of what industry the majority of your customers work in, where they’re located, and their feedback. 

You can then use this client data to tailor your website to your customers’ requirements and even provide special offers tailored to the most in-demand products and services.

2. Claim Your Listing and Get Reviews on Google

It’s no surprise that having good reviews on Google, where customers can see your business’ location, is one of the best ways to grow your plumbing organisation. 

If you haven’t already done so, make sure you claim your business on Google immediately and add your phone number and website to your listing. From there, you can use your CRM to go through previous customer satisfaction surveys and contact people who were happy with your work to see if they would write you a Google review. 

The more positive reviews you receive on Google, the more trust you will instill in prospective clients.

3. Expand Your Reach Through Collaboration

Individual plumbing jobs are a great way to get new customers, but most businesses seek out larger jobs and projects whenever they can. Securing larger contracts often requires building your contacts in your location and industry, something many organisations simply don’t have time to do. In fact, 41% of people say they don’t have time to connect with other professionals in their field. 

Fortunately, field management software like BigChange makes networking more straightforward. The BigChange Network gives you access to a list of other global professionals and provides you with collaboration opportunities. 

You can list your company on the network for free and begin receiving requests from other providers immediately. This way, you’ll be able to work with other businesses on larger, more profitable projects without needing to hire additional resources. 

In addition to accepting plumbing jobs, you can also list jobs that you have available, including the skills required to perform them. As such, you can begin informing your clients that you have extra services at your disposal in the case that they’re looking to hire a field service team for a larger project. 

The BigChange Network also provides members with the chance to network through monthly virtual meetings, which allows organisations to build professional relationships and share tips on how to grow a business.

4. Provide Great Plumbing Services

One in three customers say they will walk away from a brand they love after one bad experience. With this statistic in mind, it’s imperative that you ensure your team always delivers a positive experience to your customers. 

If you’re running a plumbing business, it may be difficult to manage every single interaction your employees have, but what you can ensure is that they’re always well-briefed on any job they’re scheduled to complete. 

Unfortunately, using paperwork, spreadsheets, and multiple different applications can make it easy for communication errors to come about. As a result, important information about a plumbing job can get lost, duplicated, or recorded incorrectly, which makes it difficult to deliver a consistent service to your customers. 

Thankfully, workforce management software can help you keep all essential information in one place. From appointment bookings, job details, invoices, payments, and even geofenced locations, you can equip your plumbers with everything they need to impress your clients. Not only that, your back-office staff will also have access to the job information including real-time data on the assigned plumber’s location and job status

Workforce management platforms like BigChange also feature an app that your plumbing staff can use on the go. They’ll have access to all the job information, communication with the back-office staff, and lists of any tools they need in the palm of their hands. Consequently, they’ll never have to arrive at a job unprepared again, giving your customers a positive impression of your business.

Get More Plumbing Customers with BigChange

With a never-ending demand for plumbing service, now is the time to strategise. 

Setting up a website, claiming your business on google, collaborating with other providers, and providing excellent service are all sure-fire ways to grow your plumbing business. However, every one of these steps is much easier when using an all-in-one workforce management software. 

BigChange’s workforce management software comes with a CRM that gives you a snapshot of your customers, their industries, and locations that will help you create a compelling website suited to their needs. 

Discover how BigChange can help you grow your plumbing business and arrange a free demo today.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a damaging impact on many field service companies across the country. However, despite the ongoing disruption, the industry is predicted to surpass a global value of £2.9 billion by 2025 as demand for skilled field service technicians remains high. 

But, to survive in a post-pandemic landscape, field service organisations must innovate to maintain long-term commercial viability. Investing in technology will set your business apart from the competition and keep you ahead of the curve as customers look for more modern, convenient services.

In this article, we’ll explain what field service management (FSM) software is and why it’s a must-have for businesses that want to grow following a period of economic turbulence. We’ll also share the top five ways that a field service platform can benefit your company.

What is Field Service Management Software?

Field service management (FSM) organises and enhances all work performed outside the office. However, around 52% of organisations currently manage their operations using error-prone manual methods and inefficient legacy systems. 

Although traditional methods of overseeing your field-based workforce may get the job done eventually, they are incredibly time-consuming and often lead to various costly errors. For example, suppose you’re using an old in-house system or a spreadsheet to run your operations. In that case, you may find that you have poor first-time fix rates, booking clashes or delays, dissatisfied customers and low productivity levels. 

In a post-pandemic world, field service organisations can’t afford to be complacent about their ways of working. To stay ahead of the curve and thrive during times of economic turbulence, you must look for innovative ways to keep your business running smoothly.

That’s where field service technology comes in.

State-of-the-art FSM platforms can revolutionise and streamline your current processes, giving you more visibility and control over your business than ever before. Better still, you’ll be able to improve productivity, provide better service to your customers and boost your bottom line simultaneously.

Plus, the most cutting-edge platforms provide an integrated app that aids in seamlessly connecting your back-office staff, field technicians and customers. FSM mobile apps put vital information in the palm of your workers’ hands, enabling them to do the following:

  • Communicate with your back-office staff in real-time
  • Access the CRM (customer relationship management) system
  • Complete electronic vehicle walkaround checks
  • Log expenses in seconds
  • Capture photos and signatures
  • View available stock, parts and equipment
  • Carry out risk assessments and view method statements
  • Fill out and submit timesheets

With your entire workforce more connected than ever before, you’ll be able to run a smoother, more competitive operation.

How Field Service Technology Benefits Your Business

1. Enhanced Levels of Employee Productivity

Almost three-quarters (72%) of people who experience low stress levels at work say they have access to technology that enables them to work productively. Furthermore, 64% of people believe that automation can reduce workload and stress. 

However, when your team’s ‘to-do’ lists are filled with monotonous tasks and pointless busywork, you’ll likely find that productivity levels decrease as your employees become less engaged in their work. 

To keep your workers engaged, you must consider how technology will liberate their time to spend on more motivational activities that contribute directly to business growth. Field service management technology moves your entire operation onto one easy-to-use platform, giving your staff the ability to manage a customer’s booking — end-to-end — in just a few clicks.

By using your team’s time more effectively on business-critical activities, they’ll be able to complete more tasks, provide your customers with a better service and boost your bottom line.

2. Happier and More Loyal Customers

Unsurprisingly, businesses that prioritise the customer experience outperform those that don’t by an astounding 80%. Customers have high expectations, so if you aren’t taking the time to consider their needs, they’ll be less inclined to use your company again in the future.

But, how can field service technology improve the customer experience? To answer that question, we must look at the aspects of a business that are most attractive to customers:

1. Speed of Service

For 70% of customers, speed of service matters the most. Investing in technology is paramount to eliminating all inefficiencies that slow down your team. For example, field service management platforms remove the admin-heavy aspects of managing a customer’s booking and liberate your team’s time to focus on getting the job done well and to a high standard.

2. Good Communication

Only 14% of customers say they’re happy with current business communications. No one wants to have to chase down important information by waiting on the phone for hours to speak to a representative, so you need to keep your customers in the loop at regular intervals using less time-intensive communication methods. 

Field service management platforms can pull through client data directly from the CRM (customer relationship manager) and place them into company-branded email templates before sending out automatic communications at the most vital points of the buyer journey. Consequently, your customers will never have to wonder where their technician is or waste time chasing them up.

3. Knowledgeability

Just under half (46%) of all customers will abandon a company if they don’t seem to be knowledgeable. But, with field service management technology, you can rest assured that everyone in your business will have all the information they need to hand, wherever they are. 

For example, your back-office staff will have access to a robust system that includes everything — from booking details right up to invoices and payments — so they have a comprehensive record of each customers’ service history whenever they need it. Additionally, your field-based workforce can access the same information from their mobile devices, meaning they have the most up-to-date intelligence on each job and are equipped to answer any customer queries.

3. Better First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know that high-first time fix rates directly correlate with customer retention levels? Yet, second visits are a frequent occurrence for many field service organisations. Here are some of the most common issues that prevent workers from being able to complete a project on the first appointment:

  • Incorrect or unavailable parts: 29%
  • Customer or asset unavailable for service: 28%
  • Improper diagnosis at time of dispatch: 19% 
  • Technician didn’t have the required skills: 15%
  • Resolution was only temporary: 8%

Fortunately, field service technology has the power to eradicate the obstacles that cause low first-time fix rates:

1. Unsuitable Parts and Temporary Resolutions

With a field service management platform, you’ll have complete visibility over your inventory, enabling you to see quantities of stock in real-time, regardless of location. Furthermore, your back-office staff can allocate items directly to jobs, so your technicians never have to worry about arriving at an appointment with the wrong gear.

2. Unavailable Customers or Assets

Today’s customers lead busy lives, so you must provide them with the freedom to make and amend their bookings via an online portal, which many field service management platforms include. 

By removing the need to sit on the phone to speak to a representative, you’re making it more convenient for customers to handle their appointment times and ensure they give you plenty of notice when they need to re-schedule. As a result, you’ll likely find that the frequency of customers being unavailable on the day of a booking significantly reduces.

3. Technicians with the Wrong Skill Sets and Improper Diagnoses

Although it’s essential to keep technicians’ travel times to a minimum, location isn’t the only factor you should consider when assigning workers to jobs. In fact, skill sets and qualifications play a large part in being able to deliver outstanding services. 

If your technician doesn’t have the right skill set to diagnose or fix an issue, chances are they won’t be able to resolve the customer’s dilemma during the first appointment. The good news is that field service technology provides a way to guarantee the right people attend the right jobs. Using real-time data, the system analyses every technician available to match them up with the appointments they are best qualified to complete and simultaneously optimises their routes.

4. Enables Your Technicians to Attend More Appointments Each Day

In 2020, a quarter of field service organisations were using spreadsheets for job scheduling. The rest relied on whiteboards and other equally inefficient manual methods. Therefore, it’s no surprise that managing technicians’ schedules presents a significant challenge to many businesses. 

But, with field service management technology, you can optimise your workers’ routes at the click of a button. Using an intelligent scheduling assistant, the system suggests particular technicians for each job based on their location, skill set, vehicle type and job constraints. 

By reducing the amount of time your workers spend on the road and ensuring that they’re adequately qualified to carry out the work during the first appointment, you can free up more time for them to attend additional jobs each day. 

5. Improves Your Business’ Financial Stability

Worryingly, since the beginning of the pandemic, late payments in the UK have escalated by 23%, putting significant strain on field service businesses countrywide. Consequently, companies have had to consider new ways to get paid on time and avoid the harmful financial repercussions of late payments.

Field service technology digitises the entire invoicing and payment process to make for a seamless transaction between you and your customers. Once your technicians have completed their jobs, they can instantly generate invoices from their mobile devices and send them to your customers in a matter of seconds.
As soon as your customers receive and approve their invoices, they can then pay using a range of straightforward online options, meaning that they can send funds to your account on the same day. Modernising the invoicing and payment process means that you won’t have to wait days — or possibly weeks — for payments before chasing them up. Instead, you will have a steady cash flow which will help to boost your bottom line.

Investing in Technology is Your Best Bet to Standing Out from the Competition

75% of organisations that have adopted field service technology have benefited from improved employee productivity and customer satisfaction levels, leading to better ways of working and increased profits. Therefore, investing in technology is a smart move for those that want to bounce back stronger than ever in a competitive, post-pandemic market.

Field service management technology makes it simpler than ever to manage your business. With a platform like BigChange, you can do the following:

  • Accept customer bookings
  • Assign and dispatch workers
  • Track vehicles, assets, stock and equipment
  • Take payments and invoices

…and more, all on a single easy-to-use platform. Simplifying your ways of working and finding ways to reduce the workload for your team will liberate time to attend extra bookings and take on other tasks that contribute directly to business growth. Remember, your existing staff are your most valuable asset, so you must put their time and skills to good use.

Transform Your Business and Boost Your Bottom Line with BigChange

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with 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 easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

We engaged the research consultancy Opinium in August 2021 to survey field service organisations and learn about how they fared since the UK’s strictest lockdown came to an end a year ago.

Impressively, 72% of the UK’s field service businesses are growing, but only 1 in 5 are growing stronger. At BigChange, we’re committed to making a difference to the way you work and helping your business thrive. 

That’s why, with 2022 fast approaching, we’ve put together a simple guide that explores the top three ways you can refresh your ways of working and succeed in the new year. Read on to learn more.

Your Field Service Business 2.0: How to Thrive in the New Year

1. Upgrade Your Operational Visibility and Reporting Methods

One of the best ways to manage your operations efficiently is by upgrading your outdated legacy systems. In fact, 54% of businesses believe that a good system automates and optimises everything — from job scheduling to invoicing — within a single platform.

Job management software is designed specifically to help you manage every aspect of running a field service business and remove the time-consuming administration that manual methods create. By creating so much spare time, your team will instead be able to focus on tasks that contribute directly to business growth.

Since the technology records all data in real-time, you’ll also have the most accurate information to create detailed reports that can inform future business decisions. For example, you won’t have to lose money by over-ordering stock as you’ll be able to see exact quantities of all items in your inventory, no matter where they’re stored.

With such a powerful platform available whenever you need it, you can rest assured that you have complete control over your company and its finances.

2. Prioritise the Customer Experience

Thanks to the ‘Amazon effect‘, today’s customers expect more superior experiences than ever before. When we surveyed over 500 field service organisations, we found that 65% believe good service involves the customer being kept in the loop with precise arrival time updates, details of who their engineer is and confirmation of the work completed.

With job management technology, you can tick all the boxes and more. The system pulls customer data from the inbuilt CRM (customer relationship manager) and adds it to pre-designed email templates with your company’s branding. As such, you can easily send out personalised communications at the most crucial points of the customer journey.

Plus, on the day of their appointment, you can send customers an automated text update, including an arrival time for their engineer and a live tracking link. So not only will your customers be impressed with the convenient service, but you’ll also save your back-office team from having to provide manual updates.

3. Prepare for a Talent Shortage

Whilst eight out of ten firms expect their turnover to grow into 2022, the talent crisis means that they will face increasing demand without employee numbers rising at the same rate. As more experienced engineers reach retirement age, they’re leaving behind a gap that’s hard to fill.

Fortunately, when you use BigChange’s job management platform, you’ll gain access to the Network. You can list your business for free and immediately connect with thousands of like-minded companies worldwide. 

By making connections, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate on projects, meaning you can easily access resources for any job, of any size, in any location. You’ll never have to worry about the skills shortage again.

Put Your Business First in 2022 with Job Management Technology

81% of field service businesses say the pandemic has hit their turnover or profits over the last 12 months. Therefore, to survive long-term, companies will need to innovate and find ways to boost their bottom line.

With a job management platform, you can modernise and streamline your entire operation, bringing it onto one easy-to-use system. As a result, you can impress customers, maintain visibility over the most critical aspects of your business and overcome a range of obstacles that may otherwise hinder your profitability.

Why not start your new year by making a big change for the better?

2022 Will Be More Profitable on BigChange

The BigChangecomplete job management platform is helping field service businesses across the UK win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bring your customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling,  live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence onto one easy-to-use platform and begin enjoying the benefits of a smarter way of working today.

Want to find out more?

Discover how your business can grow stronger on BigChange here and arrange a free demo today.

Get the full State of the Field Service Sector Report here

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the number of new businesses being set up countrywide. In fact, UK business incorporations increased by 30% in December 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

Therefore, if you’re setting out on a new window cleaning business venture, you must learn how to stand out from the competition. Fortunately, with the right tools and know-how, creating and growing a company can be extremely rewarding.

In this article, we’ll explain how to run a window cleaning business, breaking down the steps you will need to take to set up your company and begin attracting clients. Plus, we’ll explain how state-of-the-art field service management technology will help you manage your new business.

Setting up Your Business and Finding Window Cleaning Jobs

1. Write a Business Plan

Although the start-up costs for a window cleaning business are relatively low, you will need to consider your organisation’s future. For example, if you plan to take on extra staff, you’ll need to cover training and additional insurance costs. Or, if you want to spread the word about your new company, you’ll need to pay for marketing materials.

Therefore, it’s worth taking some time to put together a business plan. Many small businesses forgo creating a plan, but it helps you keep your operations on track and gives you the chance to forecast additional costs further down the line. 

If you hope to grow your business and purchase high-end equipment to take on larger clients, you may wish to consider obtaining financial backing to get started. There are many routes you can take to gather funds, so do some research on the best method for your organisation.

2. Take Out an Insurance Policy

To start taking on window cleaning jobs, you’ll need to have the right insurance policies in place. You should consider taking out the following:

  • Public Liability Insurance: Covers your legal fees and compensation costs if your business injures a member of the public or one of your clients, or damages their property.
  • Personal Accident Insurance: Covers and compensates you in the instance of accidental injury or death.
  • Employers’ Liability Insurance: Covers and compensates your employees in the case they are injured at work.
  • Business Equipment Insurance: Covers and compensates you in the instance of damage, loss or theft of window cleaning equipment.

If you plan to hire a team, the best way to keep your insurance premiums low is by providing comprehensive health and safety training. By investing in field service management software, you can create mandatory risk assessments and workflows that your technicians must complete before they can start the job. As a result, you can rest assured that the chance of a workplace injury is kept low.

3. Register Your Business

Once you’ve arranged your new business’ legal and financial aspects, you will need to register it with HMRC. There are three routes you can take, depending on your company type:

Sole Trader

If you’re a sole trader, you run the business alone and are self-employed. You can keep all your companys’ profits once you’ve paid the tax, but you’re also personally responsible for any losses you make.

Limited Company

When you form a limited company, your personal and business finances are separate. However, there are more management and reporting responsibilities. Although you can set up a company by yourself, it may be helpful to get help from an accountant. 

Partnership

A partnership is usually the best route for two or more people who want to run a business together as you share financial responsibilities. You can learn more about partnerships here. 

For further support on setting up a business, visit the GOV.UK website.

4. Market Your Business and Attract Clients

Now you’ve set up your new company, you’ll need to spread the word to get your first window cleaning job. Today, around 71% of small businesses create a website to market their organisation, making it a popular choice.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a tech whizz or know anything about coding to make a professional-looking website. There are plenty of templates you can use to share important details about your business, such as:

  • Contact details
  • Your services
  • Locations you cover
  • Social media links
  • Customer testimonials (once you start receiving feedback)

Although customer attraction is crucial, retention will ensure that your business has a consistent stream of income. As such, you should ensure that you’re providing a great customer experience at all stages of the buyer journey. 

With a field service management platform like BigChange, your customers can easily make and change bookings via our online portal, track the location of their technician in real-time and receive automated email updates from your business. By keeping your clients in the loop, they will feel valued and prefer to use your company’s services over your competitors’.

Field Service Management Software Provides the Perfect Window of Opportunity to Grow Your Business

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on many businesses in the field service industry. However, one key takeaway from the crisis is that technology can help organisations overcome a range of challenges. According to research from Cisco, companies that adopted technology quickly during the pandemic reported a higher rate of recovering from COVID-related economic issues. 

Consequently, in today’s turbulent market, you must consider ways to maintain business-as-usual without needing to go through costly recruitment processes that could end in frustration for both you and your new hire. 

With the right job management platform in place, you can be confident that your team will have everything they need to deliver outstanding service and grow your business without becoming overworked. 

Deal with a High Volume of Work Effortlessly with BigChange

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 boost productivity as a result. 

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

UK trades firms are investing more in technology to stay on top of costs and manage the increase in demand they predict going into 2022, according to a study by field service software provider BigChange and independent research consultancy Opinium

  • Almost all UK trades businesses expected demand for their services to grow into 2022
  • Increasing cost of materials, fuel and people to impact over two-thirds of firms negatively
  • Technology spending growth is expected to outpace rise in employees and other investments

The study shows that 85 per cent of firms expect to be busier over the next 12 months, and nearly one-in-five (17 per cent) anticipate that workloads will at least double.

Expectations of growth are highest among building maintenance, facilities management, cleaning and waste management firms. At least 88 per cent of business leaders surveyed from these sectors said they expected workloads to increase going into 2022.

But growing demand doesn’t mean plain sailing in the year ahead. 73 per cent of respondents said increasing costs for materials and fuel would reduce their profitability in 2022, and 69 per cent said that the higher price of labour would negatively impact their finances.

Almost all (94 per cent) of the firms surveyed expected to increase technology spending in 2022 to help manage extra demand and rising costs. A quarter (23 per cent) say they will spend at least 50 per cent more on digital tools than in the last 12 months.

The median – or middle of the pack – firm expects to increase technology spending by 11 per cent in the next 12 months. Median firms plan to employ seven per cent more people and increase broader investment in their business by 10 per cent over the same period.

82 per cent of leaders told researchers that good practice in their sector now involved using digital systems to manage their businesses. More than half (54 per cent) said that operations should be automated and optimised within a single system.

Richard Warley, BigChange CEO, comments:

“Demand for trades and other services delivered by field-based employees is booming. This is clearly good news for the sector.”

“However, it also brings significant challenges. With costs spiralling, firms can’t afford to take on and train a proportionate number of new employees. 

“Our study suggests that almost all trades businesses are now looking to use technologies proven to make the best use of resources and time. Firms are working smarter as well as harder.”

For more details on BigChange’s study and how trades businesses are faring in the current climate, visit https://www.bigchange.com/field-service-sector-report/

Trade turn to digital tools

In August 2021, we engaged Opinium — a research consultancy —  to survey field service organisations and learn about how they fared in the year since the UK’s strictest lockdown ended.

Did you know that 53% of field service leaders said breached compliance requirements harmed their business over the last year? With rules and regulations constantly updating, it can be tricky to keep up-to-date. But, in a post-pandemic world, organisations can’t afford to be complacent if they are to bounce back stronger than before. 

That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide, which will share some ways you can guarantee your business is always meeting rules and regulations. Read on to learn more.

How Do I Ensure My Business is Meeting Rules and Regulations?

1. Conduct Risk Assessments

Health and safety procedures in the workplace are a must-have for any business to remain compliant. Around 693,000 people sustain an injury at work each year in the UK, but if your company is found to be responsible, there could be hefty fines to pay.

Fortunately, keeping your engineers safe on the job needn’t be an impossible task. When you use job management software to manage your operations, you can provide your field-based workers with an app that enables cross-communication between them and your back-office staff.

As such, you can set mandatory risk assessments that engineers must complete on their mobile devices before starting work or filling out timesheets. Then, should your workers encounter a potential hazard, they can send an alert to your back office. The alert allows your team to work together and mitigate the problem, getting the work back on track without delay.

Not only do risk assessments prevent jobs from coming to a halt, but they also give you peace of mind that your technicians are working safely and to industry standards.

2. Handle Customers’ Information Properly

Shockingly, 52% of businesses aren’t GDPR compliant, putting them at serious risk of operational, financial and reputational damage. Worse still, the chance of inadvertently breaching regulations increases as companies expand rapidly — so how can you ensure your customers’ data is always kept safe?

The best way to handle customer data and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands is by investing in robust, cloud-based software. BigChange’s complete job management platform secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), the world’s most comprehensive and widely-used cloud system. 

The cloud encrypts all sensitive information — meaning it won’t be vulnerable to hackers — and creates backups, so you never have to worry about system crashes. As a result, you and your customers can rest assured that their information won’t be subject to a breach.

3. Monitor Employees’ Working Hours

Approximately 44% of businesses struggle with timesheet errors on a weekly or daily basis. Aside from creating more time-consuming admin, mistakes can give you an inaccurate record of working hours, so you can’t ensure your operatives have been working within legal limits.

When you digitise your timesheets and allow employees to fill them out via their smart devices, they can easily log their start and finish, breaks, and travel times throughout the day. The central job management system then reconciles employees’ data against detailed vehicle tracking reports and time-stamped records of job activities. Consequently, you’ll have an extensive, accurate record of each workers’ day and can ensure that their working hours are compliant with the law. 

Remove the Headache of Meeting Compliances with a Job Management Platform

In the last 12 months, more than half of the field service businesses caught out for breaching rules ended up paying a fine, losing work or suffering reputational harm. Such severe consequences are not ideal for companies that need to bounce back from the already damaging effects of the pandemic.

Therefore, you must modernise your data protection and workplace safety procedures to make them simpler to manage. With BigChange’s field service management software, you’ll have access to the following:

  • DVSA-compliant vehicle checks
  • Driver behaviour analysis
  • Risk assessments and method statements
  • Resource profiles that show technicians’ working hours
  • Secure customer records

Make rules and regulations a priority with state-of-the-art technology, and you’ll never have to worry about the harsh penalties of non-compliance.

Health and Safety Procedures in the Workplace are Prioritised on BigChange

The BigChange complete job management platform is helping field service businesses across the UK win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bring your customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling,   live tracking, field resource management, health and safety procedures, financial management and business intelligence onto one easy-to-use platform and begin enjoying the benefits of a smarter way of working today.

Want to find out more?

Discover how your business can grow stronger on BigChange here and arrange a free demo today.

Get the full State of the Field Service Sector report here.

When it comes to running a successful field service business, every minute counts.

However, you can only ensure that you’re making the most of your workers’ time and delivering an excellent service when you have access to real-time data. Without live updates, you’ll be relying on second-hand information to make decisions, possibly when it’s already too late.

That’s where field service management software come in.

Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, you can now gain complete visibility over your operations at the touch of a button. Never again will you have to rely on guesswork or slow, inefficient processes to get the job done. In fact, companies that use field service management software enjoy a 90% time saving on average.

In this article, we’ll explore the main reasons why real-time data is critical for your company and how you can access live updates on BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform.

Why is Real-Time Data Important?

Big data is undoubtedly contributing to the growth of almost every industry today. Nonetheless, if you don’t currently have methods of harvesting this information or aren’t using it to your advantage, you could fall behind the competition. 

Therefore, it’s worth considering how you can capture and use real-time data to grow your business. Here are just some of the top benefits your business could enjoy:

1. Boosts First-Time Fix Rates

The average first-time fix rate for field service businesses is between 75-79%. Although the percentage may seem high, in reality, it means that at least a quarter of all service calls involve a follow-up appointment. 

Not only are additional engineer visits inconvenient for the customer, but they also eat into your profits and disrupt your schedule. 

Instead, when you have access to real-time data, the risk of not fixing an issue the first time plummets. For example, your back-office staff can assign equipment and assets directly to a particular job and dispatch an engineer with the right skill set to carry out the work.

Once they arrive at a job, your technicians can access all the data they need to resolve the issue as promptly and accurately as possible. As a result, your technicians will be able to attend more appointments per day, your customers will be content, and your bottom line will experience a boost.

2. Increases Customer Satisfaction

Currently, 32% of field service organisations are failing to attain at least 80% customer satisfaction. Poor customer satisfaction rates can destroy your reputation and make it harder to win new business in the future.

When you don’t have complete visibility over your operations, meeting customer expectations becomes much more challenging. In addition to causing poor first-time fix rates, lack of real-time data prevents your customers from tracking their appointment statuses, causing a lot of inconveniences.

In comparison, when you use a modern workforce management system, you can use the live data it collects to:

  • Assign the correct equipment to jobs
  • Dispatch an appropriately skilled technician to jobs
  • Provide customers with live job status updates to keep them in the loop
  • Equip your technicians with all the information they need to carry out work effectively

Aside from being satisfied with the speed and quality of work, your customers will also appreciate your personalised approach to communication. Consequently, they may use your business again or recommend your services to friends, family, and professional networks.

3. Cuts Down Travel Costs

Time is money. Unfortunately, with petrol prices escalating to an eight-year high in the UK, many field service businesses are losing large sums of money by not optimising their technicians’ routes between jobs. 

When you don’t have visibility over your field engineers, it becomes incredibly complicated to ensure that you’re allocating the best resources for jobs and keeping travel times to a minimum.

But, with state-of-the-art scheduling technology in place, you can revolutionise the way you plan jobs. The software uses real-time data to account for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type so you can rest assured that you’re allocating the right people and equipment to the right place.

Subsequently, you’ll save money on petrol and improve productivity by freeing up your technicians’ time to attend to more projects per day. 

4. Enables You to Create Accurate Budgets

According to a BlueSnap report, 37% of organisations cannot accurately forecast their cash flow because they use outdated processes and legacy systems to manage their finances. If a lack of financial visibility is plaguing your business, you may be spending more than you should be.

In contrast, when you adopt a workforce management software, it collects real-time data, which you can use to have more clarity and control over:

  • Stock and equipment quantities
  • Outstanding customer invoices
  • Cost centres

With the exact quantitative data to hand, you can make better-informed budgeting decisions for the future. For example, you are less likely to inadvertently over-order stock because you’ll have the exact number recorded in the system. Instead, you can use your profits to continue growing your business.

Access Real-Time Data and Maximise Efficiency with BigChange

See your entire operation at a glance on BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform.

Our cloud-based job management software provides you with live data so you can:

  • Schedule and dispatch workers based on location, skill set and availability
  • Assign assets and equipment directly to jobs to increase first-time fix rates 
  • Respond to urgent requests and mitigate potential issues
  • Make informed, accurate decisions about your business

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Workforce scheduling and optimisation are critical elements of any field service company. They ensure that your operations are running smoothly and that you are making the most of your engineers’ time. 

But, organisations that fail to modernise and adopt technology to maximise their job scheduling efficiency now risk becoming obsolete. With a staggering 89% of customers preferring an ‘Uber-like’ service for tracking technician arrivals, traditional methods of managing your schedule aren’t going to delight your customers and keep them coming back in the future.

Thankfully, the latest job scheduling software eliminates the headaches associated with creating an efficient workflow and automates the entire process, impressing customers and freeing up your back-office staff’s time simultaneously. 

Read on to learn more about what field service job scheduling software is, why it’s important and how it can benefit your business.

What is Job Scheduling Software and Why is it Important?

Workforce scheduling involves planning each field workers’ day to manage the workload within your business. However, 25% of companies currently use spreadsheets and manual data entry to create their schedules. The remainder relies on whiteboards and other inefficient, error-prone processes.

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.

Picture this: a customer calls your back-office team, asking to make an appointment for Wednesday at 3pm. Your employee makes a note of it and assigns Sasha to the booking in the spreadsheet.

But they don’t notice that they’ve made a typo and put 4pm instead. In the meantime, another team member has received a call for Wednesday at 3pm, and they assign Sasha to it, not realising that she is supposed to be in another location at that time.

On Wednesday, Sasha receives her schedule and begins the day. At 3pm, she attends the booking on her sheet. However, about ten minutes into the job, she receives a call from a back-office team member who wants to know why she didn’t show up to an appointment.

After some back and forth, your team finally concludes that there’s been a scheduling error. Only problem is, your employees now face the dilemma of either letting one customer down and rescheduling or trying to find an engineer who can visit the customer at the last minute.

Not only is a poorly managed schedule inconvenient for staff and customers alike, but it can be costly and destroy your reputation in the process.

That’s where field service job scheduling software comes in.

Using intelligent scheduling technology, you can ensure that you always have the right resources in the right places. 

Customers can book and reschedule their appointments directly via an easy-to-use online portal. Your back-office team can then use the customers’ booking information to schedule and dispatch workers without needing to worry about the potential for human error. 

The intelligent scheduling software is designed to account for traffic information, worker location and skill set, availability, and job constraints, so you know that you’re assigning the best person for the job.

The 5 Top Benefits of Using Field Service Job Scheduling Software

Here are the top five benefits your business could experience by adopting field service job scheduling software:

1. Optimised Routes Between Customer Bookings

A large portion of a field engineer’s working day is spent on the roads, travelling between customers. In addition to long journeys being extremely pricey, especially since petrol prices in the UK have skyrocketed to an eight-year high, they also take up a large chunk of time that could be better spent attending to customers.

Using traditional job scheduling methods doesn’t provide you with the complete visibility you need to plan routes in the most efficient way. If you can’t see who’s working for you on what day and where, how can you ensure that you’re keeping time on the road to a minimum?

Instead, with state-of-the-art job scheduling software, you can use real-time data to assign appropriately skilled workers to jobs, accounting for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type.

The inbuilt intelligent scheduling assistant enables you to optimise the travel distance of hundreds of jobs at the touch of a button, slashing both time and cost of each journey. In fact, you’ll be able to see the ‘cost to serve’ each customer directly on the system so you can factor it into your future budgets.

By optimising each technician’s journey, they’ll have more time than ever before to attend additional bookings and focus on doing what they do best.

2. Better First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know that companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% enjoy an 86% customer retention rate? Conversely, those with a rate under 70% only manage to retain 76% of customers, which is a 10% reduction. Consequently, completing jobs the first time is paramount to run a successful business.

Still, businesses continue to risk banking on spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems to manage their scheduling effectively. Although traditional methods may have worked in the past, customer expectations are constantly becoming more demanding, and people don’t want the inconvenience of needing to book more than one appointment. 

Luckily, thanks to modern job scheduling technology, you can dramatically improve your first-time fix rates and impress customers simultaneously.

Your back-office team can use real-time data to assign skilled resources, equipment and assets such as vehicles directly to a booking. By ensuring that your technicians have the right skills for the job and are armed with the correct gear each time, they are far more likely to complete the project on the same day.

When you use technology to streamline your processes, you can rest assured that everyone on the team can do their jobs effectively and satisfy your customers. Ousting repeat visits will also free up more time for your technicians to complete more visits each day and boost your bottom line further.

3. A More Motivated Team

It’s no secret that manual administration processes can be time-consuming. In reality, workers say they spend around two hours every day on admin instead of focusing on more business-critical tasks.

Aside from taking up your team’s precious time, arduous, repetitive work can obliterate employee morale and cause productivity to hit an all-time low. The worst part is that when your staff aren’t engaged in their work, the margin for error increases exponentially. 

As such, you may find that there are more missed appointments, delays and scheduling clashes, which bruises your company’s reputation and costs you in the long run. 

In contrast, field service job scheduling software is designed to streamline processes and eliminate the repetitive nature of administration work. Your back-office team can schedule and dispatch workers based on their location, availability, vehicle type, and skill set at the touch of a button.

For maximum productivity, you could use a platform that incorporates a CRM. For example, BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform enables your team to pull customer information directly into bookings, reducing the room for mistakes. Plus, the system updates live so your team can’t inadvertently book your technicians to be in multiple places at once.

With your team needing to spend less time on monotonous tasks, you’ll find that their motivation levels will rise, and they’ll have more opportunities to work on jobs that directly contribute to business growth.

4. Ability to Mitigate and Respond to Emergencies

Over half (56%) of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. Therefore, you must have the means to act rapidly, regardless of the situation.

Let’s imagine that a customer’s pipe bursts in the only bathroom in their house. They call your back-office team to see if you can send a plumber over as soon as possible. Sadly, your employee cannot get hold of an engineer because they’re all busy and aren’t answering their phones. 

As a result, the employee can’t schedule someone to get there soon, and they have to decline the job, meaning the customer goes to your competitor instead. 

Fortunately, frustrating scenarios like the above are entirely avoidable with field service job scheduling software such as BigChange. Communication with technicians is straightforward as they all have access to an app that provides them with all the information they need to know in real-time — no more missed calls or text messages.

Additionally, your back-office team can use GPS tracking and live data to see which engineers are nearby. As a result, they can rapidly allocate resources to emergency call-outs and ensure that no bookings are left unattended.

Because your company can respond so speedily to emergency requests, you can mitigate a host of expensive issues and impress your customers, meaning they’ll be more inclined to use your services again in the future.

5. Guarantees Compliance

In addition to keeping your customers happy, a large part of running a field service business involves taking measures to protect your workers’ health and safety and ensuring that you follow industry regulations.

When you don’t have complete visibility over your workers, guaranteeing that you’re running your operations compliantly becomes a near-impossible task. Nevertheless, if your business is found to be in breach of specific regulations, you could be hit with severe financial and reputational damage. 

The good news is, with a suitable job scheduling software such as BigChange in place, compliance worries can become a thing of the past.

BigChange records all actions in the system for a detailed audit trail, from engineers’ time spent on the road to timesheets and jobs completed. Subsequently, you can ensure that your field engineers are working within legal hours and that you’ve paid them the right amount for the work they’ve completed.

Additionally, your back-office team can create workflows to assign to each scheduled job. The workflows are mandatory and ensure that the technician has carried out appropriate health and safety measures, such as conducting a risk assessment before starting the project. 

Once the work is complete, they can capture photos and signatures from their mobile devices to ensure that the work is compliant and meets industry standards. The system instantly assigns every piece of information your technicians capture to the scheduled job, so you have a complete record to look back on should you need to in the future.

Make the Switch to Intelligent Scheduling with BigChange

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Did you know that 40% of organisations experience growth using field service management software solutions? By modernising and streamlining your processes, you can eliminate inefficiencies and spend more time concentrating on business-critical tasks instead. 

However, you must ensure that you’re choosing the right solution for your company.

In this article, we’ll explore the top four things you should consider before implementing a solution and share how BigChange can help field service businesses reach their full potential.

What to Consider Before Implementing Field Service Management Software Solutions

There are many field service management software solutions on the market. But they’re not all created equally. To ensure you’re implementing the right one for your business, you should consider the following:

1. Your Pain Points

The first step to figuring out what solution to implement is to think about your pain points. Currently, only 52% of organisations are using field service management software solutions. The remaining businesses continue to rely on error-prone manual processes and antiquated legacy systems to manage their operations, which leads to a host of challenges. 

Here are some of the most common issues field service businesses encounter:

  • Job scheduling issues
  • Poor first-time rates
  • Inadequate communication methods
  • Lack of visibility over operations
  • Inconsistent cash flow
  • Inability to track performance

You should look at your current ways of working to figure out where the weaknesses are and what you can do to alleviate any problems. For example, if cash flow issues are plaguing your company, you may want to consider a solution with an inbuilt invoicing and payment feature

For more insights on the top field service management challenges and ways to mitigate them, click here.

2. Team Requirements

The next most important aspect you must consider is your team since they will use the system daily. Remember, your back office employees will have different requirements to your field technicians, so it’s worth getting both teams’ opinions.

Back-Office Staff

If your business currently relies on outdated systems and manual, paper-based processes, chances are you’re missing out on the opportunity to boost productivity. Workers who have to complete repetitive, mundane tasks on a daily basis are likely to be less satisfied with their jobs, leading to more errors and slowed workflows.

However, companies that go paperless notice that team productivity rises by nearly 30%. By eliminating the monotonous aspects of the job, your team will have more time and feel more motivated to focus on activities that directly contribute to business growth.

Therefore, you should take time to identify where processes could be streamlined and modernised. Once you’ve determined what you can do to improve your working practices, you can look for the right field service management solutions to help you achieve your goals.

Field Technicians

45% of technicians report that their current tools aren’t fast enough, and a further 38% say they can’t access all the information they need. Aside from being frustrating for your technicians, lack of correct tools or information leads to delayed work, confusion and dissatisfied customers.

Because your team spends most of their day off-site at customer jobs, you should consider using a cloud-based field service management software that includes a mobile app. With access to all the information they need at their fingertips, your technicians will be able to focus on getting the job done. Plus, they can instantly provide real-time updates to your back-office staff and complete digital documents on their mobile devices, making for a more seamless and rapid workflow.

3. Customer Needs

In today’s client-driven market, customer experience (CX) is king, and more field service businesses will need to consider how to make their operations meet expectations. In fact, 92% of field service executives want to transform their service models to meet customer needs.

Fortunately, improving customer experience needn’t be challenging or costly, thanks to cloud-based field service management software. Using a platform with an inbuilt CRM (customer relationship management) system allows you to anticipate your customers’ needs using real-time data and deliver an outstanding service.

State-of-the-art CRMs allow you to easily manage each customer’s case in the system, allocate and dispatch workers, provide personalised updates using templates and instantly issue important documents for speedy invoicing and payment. As such, your customers will appreciate the swift and convenient service and may be more likely to use your company again in the future.

4. The Future of Your Organisation

Processes that currently work for your business may not work in the future. Using inefficient methods to manage your operations could result in errors, delays, and burnt-out staff. According to University College London (UCL), overworked employees report more health problems, and as a direct consequence, are less productive and use more sick days.

Therefore, you must find software that can scale alongside your operations. With BigChange’s cloud-based field service software, you’ll have access to five helpful workforce management systems all on one, easy-to-use platform. 

Get the most out of your existing staff without hiring extra resources to keep up with increasing business activities by streamlining processes and going paperless. Your team can complete various actions, such as scheduling jobs, dispatching workers and updating your customers, at the touch of a button. As a result, they’ll have more hours each day to target more meaningful tasks.

Grow Stronger on the BigChange Complete Job Management Platform

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

As of 2020, only 52% of businesses are using field service management software. The rest continue to rely on outdated legacy systems and error-prone manual processes to manage their field service operations.

Therefore, it’s unsurprising that field service organisations experience a host of common issues, including miscommunication, delays, and inconsistent cash flow. But, by modernising your processes and using the latest technology to improve your workflow, you could eliminate complications and free up your time to focus on business-critical activities instead.

Also, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve. Roughly half of your competitors haven’t yet made the most of technology, so early adopters will find themselves in a highly lucrative position.

In this article, we’ll explore the top four challenges in field service management and share how field service management technology can provide a cost-effective and straightforward solution.

The Top 4 Field Service Management Challenges

1. Scheduling Conflicts

Scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the main field service management challenges for businesses today. However, job management is one of the most crucial aspects of running a field service organisation since it ensures that your people know what they’re supposed to be doing, when and where.

Without proper scheduling processes in place, you may find it tricky to keep track of everything, leading to delays, clashes and double booking. Not only are these conflicts inconvenient for both your technicians and your customers, but they also have the potential to affect your bottom line.

However, by replacing traditional manual processes with an intelligent scheduling assistant, you won’t have to worry about allocating resources anymore. Modern software uses real-time data to guide you to the perfect engineer for each job, taking into account location, traffic, job constraints and vehicle type.

Consequently, you can be confident that you’re making the most of your technicians’ time and keeping your customers happy simultaneously. 

2. Asset and Stock Management

It’s estimated that inaccurate asset management reporting results in an approximate $1.1 trillion loss for companies worldwide. As such, your asset and stock management reports must be reliable; otherwise, you could be haemorrhaging revenue.

Businesses that rely on paper-based documentation and spreadsheets may find that, over time, numbers become skewed, and equipment goes missing. As a result, you may have to halt projects because you don’t have the right items available or end up over-ordering on stock that your staff has miscounted.

In comparison, when you use live asset and stock management software, you can easily keep track of all your belongings, regardless of location. Plus, you can assign stock and assets directly to jobs within the system, so your technicians will never be without the correct gear.

3. Communication and Administration

When businesses rely on archaic manual methods of communication, such as phone calls, texts and paper-based documentation, they are missing out on an excellent opportunity to increase efficiency. Poor communication and administration processes often lead to confusion and could destroy your entire workflow.   

In contrast, companies that adopt digital tools to alleviate field service management challenges achieve a 45% increase in the number of jobs completed each day. With a complete job management platform, you can manage the entire end-to-end process on one system, giving your back office staff and your field engineers complete visibility over the information they need when they need it.

The system updates information in real-time, meaning your team will receive live status updates on projects and be able to send automatic, personalised communications to your customers. Then, once your technicians have completed a job, they can simply fill out all forms from their mobile devices and generate an instant invoice.

By making administration and communication methods simpler for your team, you’ll find that they’re able to make the most of each day. For example, your back-office staff can allocate resources based on accurate information, and your technicians don’t have to spend hours completing paperwork. Instead, they can move straight onto the next scheduled job.

4. Invoicing and Payment

Since the beginning of the pandemic, late payments in the UK have shot up, with a 23% increase in unpaid invoices impacting companies nationwide. Subsequently, for your business to survive in a post-COVID world, you must streamline your payments process.

Organisations that don’t receive payments by the deadline could be unable to meet operational expenses, pay vendors, take on new projects or grow their operations. Fortunately, BigChange’s invoicing and financial technology integrates directly with your accounting software to increase efficiency, reduce errors and ensure that you get paid on time. 

Additionally, the system makes all documentation paperless, meaning that engineers can send invoices directly to your customers via their mobile devices as soon as they’ve completed the work. Customers can then pay on the same day using BigChange Pay, which provides them with the speediest and most convenient payment options.

By advancing the invoicing process, reducing the margin for human error and providing your customers with straightforward payment methods, you can rest assured that your cash flow will remain consistent.

Overcome Typical Field Service Problems with BigChange

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Historically, field service businesses that want to expand have had to rely on unfamiliar subcontractors and invest money in hiring more staff to keep up with the volume of work. However, it can be tricky to maintain a smooth operation when you don’t have visibility over your workers or control over the processes they use.

Plus, with the skills shortage making it increasingly challenging to find talent, companies will need to consider other, more modern ways to grow. Luckily, technology can provide a cost-effective and convenient solution.

Read on to find out more about the BigChange Network and learn how networking with other businesses will enable you to enhance your operations.

What is the BigChange Network?

Joining BigChange means that your business can gain access to the BigChange Network, where you can connect with thousands of trusted, like-minded organisations around the country. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with each other to expand your services without the risk that usually accompanies company growth.

Since the Network is integrated with our BigChange job management software platform, you won’t have to wrap your head around another system. Instead, you can simply manage your subcontractors using the back-office technology you currently use for your own team, making for an efficient and uncomplicated workflow. 

Want to discover more? Check out this informative video.

The BigChange Network: How Technology Can Help Your Business

Here are just some of the ways the BigChange Network can benefit your organisation:

1. Straightforward Networking Opportunities

Did you know that 41% of people want to network more frequently but believe they don’t have the time? In-person networking events can take a significant chunk out of your day when you could be focusing on running your business. But, in today’s talent-short market, networking has never been so crucial.

With the BigChange Network, you won’t have to leave your office to enjoy the benefits that networking provides. Rather, you can post your organisation on the system for free and start receiving connection requests immediately. From there, you’ll have the choice to collaborate on projects with a range of different, BigChange-approved field service companies.

You can also specify the types of jobs you have available, along with the skills required, so you can rest assured that you’ll only be working with the most relevant subcontractors. 

2. Complete Visibility Over Operations

Over 75% of field service organisations currently rely on third parties to carry out work. Although reliance on subcontractors is a necessary part of scaling your operations, it comes with a whole host of potential issues. 

Whether you pin your reputation on an unfamiliar technician who does an unsatisfactory job, or you have to spend time chasing them because your customers need an update, you’ll quickly find that traditional methods of hiring subcontractors do more harm than good.

That’s where the BigChange Network comes in.

All businesses on the platform are approved BigChange members, so you can be confident that you’ll only be working with the most reputable engineers who will represent your company appropriately. Plus, you can see how each job is progressing in real-time as subcontractors can provide you with live updates straight from their mobile devices.

You’ll receive an alert as soon as the subcontractor has completed the work, ensuring that everything remains on schedule and your customers are satisfied. 

No more waiting. No more chasing.

3. Control Over Processes

81% of customers claim they need to trust a brand in order to buy products or services from them. Consequently, if you’ve spent time and effort building up your reputation in the market, it can be daunting using a third party to represent your business. 

Not only could they fail to meet your high standards, but paperwork with a different organisation’s branding on it could be confusing to your customers and potentially cause them to lose trust in your company. As a result, you’ll be spending more time resolving problems than focusing on business-critical tasks.

When you become a member of the BigChange Network, you don’t have to worry about confusing processes. You’ll be able to carry on using your preferred worksheets and procedures to ensure the subcontractor completes the job exactly as you expect. Additionally, customers will receive paperwork with your company’s branding, so they know a trusted technician has carried out the work.

You’ll also be able to invoice as usual, using agreed rates shared via the Network. As such, you’ll still benefit from the convenient, paperless processes that the BigChange job management platform provides, and your customers won’t notice any difference from your usual service.

Networking with Other Businesses is Simple when You Use BigChange

Increase your reach without high levels of capital expenditure.

The BigChange Network is a seamless way of connecting with other trusted contractors and subcontractors in our system. Experience the perks of expanding your business without worrying that unfamiliar contractors are misrepresenting your brand or carrying out unacceptable work.

Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to increase your bottom line even further by selling your services to other BigChange users around the world.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

In 2020, a quarter of field service organisations still relied on spreadsheets for job management, while the remainder used whiteboards and other manual methods. However, as the COVID-19 crisis demonstrated, technology has the potential to remodel and improve working practices.

Therefore, to stay ahead of the curve and avoid becoming obsolete in an increasingly digital world, businesses must consider modern ways to make their processes more efficient.

In this article, we’ll explain the importance of job management software and share how intelligent scheduling can maximise efficiency to benefit your business.

What is Job Management Software?

Efficient job management is critical to maintaining the workflow and creating order within your organisation. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing, when they’re supposed to be doing it and where, allowing them to concentrate on delivering exceptional service to your customers. 

Job management software revolutionises the way field service businesses schedule their technicians’ time. Unlike unmanageable legacy systems and manual, paper-based methods, modern technology gives you access to real-time data. As such, you can rapidly respond to customer requirements and assign the perfect resource for the job every time.

The system also takes location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type into consideration to lower costs, optimise travel distance and improve productivity.

How Intelligent Scheduling Can Benefit Your Field Service Business

Since so many businesses bank on manual processes to maintain their job schedule, it’s not surprising that scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the top challenges to field service operations.

That’s where job management software comes in. By making use of technology to optimise your resources, you could enjoy the following benefits:

1. Lowered Travel Costs

With petrol prices skyrocketing to an eight-year high in the UK, field service companies will need to devise new ways to optimise their engineers’ journeys. But, it can be tricky to plan routes effectively using traditional methods, and businesses who don’t modernise may find that they’re losing profits unnecessarily. 

Instead, when you use an intelligent scheduling assistant, you’ll be able to see technicians’ locations in real-time so you can deploy them to nearby customers, reducing their fuel consumption. 

Plus, you can optimise hundreds of jobs instantly. The system will calculate the overall ‘cost to serve’ per job and provide hints that enable you to lower the travel expenses associated with each project. 

As a result, you’ll find that field engineers’ journeys are far shorter, and they need to fill up their tanks less frequently.

2. Maximised Efficiency and Productivity

According to research, businesses waste an astonishing 140 hours per year by creating a manual job schedule. Burdensome administration tasks act as a morale killer for your team, lower productivity levels and increase the margin for error. 

At worst, unfulfilling work can result in a high staff turnover.

Spending so much time on laborious, ineffective processes and recruiting replacement employees takes time away from more business-critical tasks and stunts company growth.

In contrast, state-of-the-art job management software allows your team to complete tasks, such as booking recurring jobs and sharing electronic documents, at the touch of a button. Eliminating the error-prone and arduous aspects of scheduling workers’ jobs frees up more time for your back-office staff to focus on what they do best. 

Additionally, using an intelligent scheduling assistant to optimise technicians’ routes not only saves on fuel costs but also enhances productivity. Less time spent travelling per day provides more opportunities to complete more jobs and boost your bottom line as a result.

3. Increased First-Time Fix Rates

Let’s imagine for a moment that your engineer, Claire, has just finished working on a job. She checks her schedule and heads to the next project your team assigned to her nearby. Your customer shows Claire the problem, which is an easy fix. Claire heads out to her van to get the parts she needs but soon realises they’re not there. 

Consequently, Claire has to come back later after picking up the correct parts. Apart from being inconvenient for both parties, failure to complete a job first-time is costly and unproductive.

When using job management software, you can increase first-time fix rates by assigning items directly to jobs. With complete visibility over your workers and their equipment, you remove the risk of a technician turning up to a project without the gear they need to complete it the first time.

4. Better Workflows

45% of technicians report that their current tools aren’t fast enough, and a further 38% say they can’t access all the information they need. As a consequence, they have to take time out of their day to hunt down vital details and manually share job status updates with the back-office team using outdated methods of communication.

In comparison, job management software ensures that communication between technicians, your back office and customers is seamless. You can create simple, step-by-step workflows that mandate tasks against your standard processes. Technicians can then effortlessly capture additional information, such as photos, from the client site to create and share electronic documents instantly.

Maximise Efficiency with BigChange’s Job Management Software

Provide excellent service on schedule. Every single time.

BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant provides you with live data. Therefore, you can make informed decisions about the best resource for each job, reducing time spent on the road, increasing productivity and lowering travel costs.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

In 2020, research showed that around half (48%) of your competitors are still using manual administration processes and legacy systems to manage their field service operations.

Many businesses are yet to realise the benefits of changing their field service management processes from manual to digital. As a result, there’s a unique opportunity to get ahead of the competition by embracing a digital-first approach in your business operations.

This article explains three reasons why adopting digital field service management software can make your business more successful and efficient.

1. Improved Productivity

Eliminates Paperwork

Digital processes can reduce the number of mistakes or errors compared to manual methods. What if numbers on a physical invoice are miswritten, or if the handwriting is unreadable? 

Software that incorporates any forms you have been filling out manually will enable you to work more efficiently across different teams, as all relevant documents will be easily accessible to everyone on the system.

A Clear View of Resources Available

Using software to manage your people allows you to match the right person to the right job quicker than ever. 
Systems such as the BigChange Network —available through BigChange’s management system — grants access to thousands of companies worldwide to sub-contract. Because of directories like this, you’ll be able to fulfil jobs in a broader range of locations without having to hire extra resources or spend unnecessary amounts on travel costs for a job that’s farther away.

Improved Communication

A survey conducted by Verizon Connect found that 48% of business leaders claimed their biggest struggle was ‘keeping everyone updated about the schedule’, and 45% suggested the biggest hurdle for them was ‘keeping customers informed of technicians’ estimated times of arrival’. 

By storing all relevant information about a job in one place, you can use your field service management platform to improve communication across all parties involved. This transparency about every job will mean communication between all key stakeholders is easier, but it will also provide a better experience for your customers.

2. Providing a Responsive Customer Experience

In the field service business, high first-time fix rates are essential to a good customer experience. Companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% manage to retain 86% of their customer base. Any less than this, and the retention rate drops by 10%. 

When you use field service management software to manage your stock and assets, you can use the real-time information to give you complete visibility over your inventory and equipment. As such, your team can efficiently allocate the necessary items to each customer’s job. 

The system then makes sure your technicians can confidently arrive for appointments with all the right tools in their van to complete the job immediately. This removes the need for your team to return with parts or equipment that were missed in the initial planning.

When using a field management platform, your customers can also make and reschedule appointments themselves. Using a self-service portal means your employees can use the intelligent scheduling assistant to see which technician is suitable for the job. The system then allows you to make plans based on several factors such as:

  • Job constraints (for example, are specific qualifications needed in this job?)
  • Location 
  • Traffic information
  • Vehicle type

If you have an optimised schedule, you can free up the capacity to respond to emergency call-outs and provide quicker service for customers that need your help urgently. 

Plus, your customers will never be frustrated and wondering where their technician is. Instead, you can send texts and emails via the system so customers can track their technicians’ vehicles live with geolocation. 

3. Increasing Your Bottom Line

Ensuring Invoices are Paid Promptly

Ever since COVID-19 hit, late invoice payments in the UK have risen by 23%. Successful companies are considering more effective ways to ensure they’re paid on time to thrive post-pandemic and so that they maintain good cash flow.

Ultimately, the longer it takes for your team to send an invoice, the longer it takes to get paid. Drawn-out manual payment processing procedures may also cause customers to forget about the invoice. However, using a digital field service management platform such as BigChange, you can instantly use the integrated invoicing feature to obtain payments.

Once technicians complete their jobs, they can fill out the essential information directly on a smartphone and send the customers digital copies of the invoice. The invoices include all the correct customer details from the platform’s CRM (customer relationship management) system — meaning errors are eliminated.

When the customers receive their invoices, they can make a digital payment straight away. Not only will more convenient payment methods ensure that you’re paid quickly and on time, but customers will appreciate the convenience and be more inclined to use your services again in the future.

Reducing Travel Costs

Although you can’t control the cost of fuel — which has hit a staggering eight-year high in the UK — you can ensure that your technicians are making the most efficient journeys between each job.

Field service management platforms have the potential to shave off a significant amount from your current fuel expenses. Using GPS vehicle tracking, the system provides you with real-time data on your technicians’ locations, where they’re working and whether there are any traffic issues. Your team can find the best route for hundreds of jobs simultaneously and reduce your cost to serve per customer call-out using digital software. 

By cutting down the time each worker spends on the road, you can save money on petrol and increase the number of bookings they can attend per day. The software would also allow you to choose an available technician sooner than another, even if they are farther away. It will enable you to select technicians based on efficiency, not just location alone.

Make Running Your Business Easier with BigChange

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange Job Management Software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

51% of organisations continue to rely on phone calls, texts, outdated legacy systems and burdensome, paper-based administration methods to manage their field service operations. 

Businesses that continue to use manual and paper-based processes instead of adopting technologies to maximise their efficiency risk being left behind by competitors. Research shows that a massive 89% of customers prefer to use an “Uber-like” service for ordering and tracking field worker services, so traditional methods of managing your schedule aren’t going to keep your customers coming back in future.

Thankfully, job scheduling software can eliminate the difficulties of creating an efficient workflow and can automate the entire process for you and your customers. Streamlined ways of working impress your customers, reduces your back-office admin and boosts your bottom line. 

Read on to learn how to use software to simplify your field service appointment scheduling.

Using a self-service portal

88% of consumers expect an organisation to have some form of self-service portal available. If your business is still using a ‘contact us to book’ method for appointments, then you should consider adopting software that allows your customers to manage their bookings at their own convenience. Not only do self-service portals improve the customer experience, but you will likely see an increase in bookings.

Show your availability

Using self-service software allows your customers to book appointments when it suits them, at the most convenient time for them. Sharing your availability allows the customer to book immediately when they need to, instead of waiting for business hours to contact your company and find out when you are available to help them.

Additionally, online scheduling software enables your customers to log onto your schedule or reschedule jobs at the touch of a button. Again, the convenience of managing their booking themselves will save them time and create a better customer experience and reduce administrative work for your back-office team.

BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant goes even further by allowing your team to allocate and reallocate resources based on location, traffic information, job constraints, and vehicle type. As a result, your customers will get the best and nearest resource for the job — and be able to track their technician or engineer with the built-in geolocation.

Notification features

Providing your customers with transparency about the job status and their engineers’ locations is essential. In fact, if a business sends automatic updates, then 68% of customers have a better opinion of the company.

BigChange’s field service management software allows your customers to see the precise live location of their engineer via the geolocation vehicle tracking feature. Subsequently, they will never again wonder when the engineer will show up or have to wait around all day because they were given a vague timeslot.

Repeat customer bookings

Using online scheduling software that allows your customers to manage bookings on their own is one step in the right direction to building an excellent customer experience. However, you can go one step further to delight your customers by making it simpler than ever to book repeat appointments.

BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for customers who know they have many jobs for you. The recurring job feature enables you to group jobs so you can schedule them all in one go. Not only have you saved your customer time and stress, but the software makes for less administrative work for your office staff too.

The software still has features that allow you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job if more work has to be carried out. Fortunately, the new appointment for the additional work will also link to any previous jobs so that all the relevant information is readily available for the customer or engineer who is working on it. 

The new job automatically created as a follow up will include the job contract, original project details, skills required, any constraints that apply, financial line items, original engineer’s comments about the job, and documentation such as risk assessments. Having all relevant information connected to each related job saves your field workforce time and admin when working on the new project. 

Automating and simplifying the scheduling process for your customers makes the experience of doing business with you faster and easier. Ultimately, that’s what customers expect for an excellent experience with your company.

Using scheduling software for more jobs and profit

With an intelligent scheduling assistant, you can optimise your schedule and free up more time for engineers to attend additional jobs each day. 

For example, the software can create a more streamlined calendar based on appointments, their purpose and the time they took. This system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to out of date manual scheduling processes or human error. 

56% of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. By using software that optimises your schedule, you’ll have the resource to act rapidly. Your customer needs will be met quicker when using a scheduling assistant as the diary will likely have better availability since all other appointments are optimised. In addition, more free time means more ability to respond to emergency call outs, as the schedule can be flexible enough to accommodate emergency customer scenarios. 

Not only will the intelligent scheduling assistant allow you to take on more jobs to create more revenue, but you can make your bottom line stronger on BigChange because the platform has an integrated invoicing feature. The feature makes the payment process far more straightforward so that there are fewer delays and less admin involved in getting paid for completed work. In addition, quicker payments mean better cash flow, which benefits everyone in the business.

Field service appointment scheduling is simpler on BigChange

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Discover how BigChange field service management software 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 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 at every buying stage, you should think about every touchpoint before, during and after a sale. Being efficient at booking, job execution, and aftercare can set you apart from your competition. 

This article will guide you on how you can build relationships, optimise your schedule, drive growth and improvement, and strengthen your customer experience on BigChange.

Delivering Great Service at First Contact

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 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 own leisure without talking to a representative.

Using a job management platform makes it easy for customers to see your availability and book jobs with you. Making the ”first contact” stage as simple and customer friendly as possible is one of the most effective strategies for creating an excellent customer experience.

A Great Customer Experience During the Booking Process

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, out-of-date legacy systems and slow manual administration processes for bookings aren’t going to cut it anymore. That’s where BigChange comes in.

Using a Self-Service Platform

88% of consumers expect an organisation to have some form of self-service portal available. If your business is still using a ”contact us to book” method for customer appointments, you should consider adopting software that allows customer to manage their bookings online. Not only do self-service portals improve the customer experience, but you will likely see an increase in bookings because of the convenience it provides.

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

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% manage to retain 86% of their customer base. If they achieve less than this, their retention rate drops by 10%. Therefore, in the early stages of the booking, 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 like BigChange to gather information and allocate the right assets to a job means your technicians can confidently arrive for appointments with all the right tools to complete the job the first time. In addition, efficient information gathering creates a better customer experience because your engineers won’t have to return with parts or equipment that your staff may have missed in the initial stages of planning the job.

Optimised Schedule

Currently, employees believe they spend around two hours each day on pointless administration tasks. Manual administrative processes can slow the workflow internally and make for a bad customer experience if important information is missed or bookings fall through the cracks. 

With the intelligent scheduling assistant on BigChange, you can optimise your schedule and free up more time for both back-office staff and your technicians to attend additional jobs each day. 

The scheduling software can create a more streamlined calendar based on appointments, their purpose and the time they took. The system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to manual scheduling or human error. 

56% of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. By using software that optimises your schedule, you’ll have the resource to attend more emergency appointments and act quickly on incoming customer requests.

What Customers Expect on the Day of Service

Now, the day of the appointment has arrived. Let’s look at how you can streamline the customer experience in this part of their journey.

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 can be ineligible, and such mistakes can mean things can go missing easily and replacements can be costly. Not to mention that a lack of necessary items lead to slow response times for a customer while you get parts or tools back in stock.

Instead, you can digitise your asset management. BigChange allows you to create a detailed register of equipment and parts, and you can track the movements of items using serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes. Your technicians can then check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, and you will have better visibility over your valuable equipment. Doing so means 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 people 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, but traffic could cause them to take longer to arrive than another available person. These scenarios are where software can help streamline the customers’ experience. BigChange can identify the quickest routes for your field service workforce and match the best person for the job based on time and travel.

Notification Features with Geolocation

On the day of an appointment, there is nothing worse for a customer than waiting at home all day because they were given a vague timeslot. Therefore, providing your clients with transparency about the job status and their technicians’ locations is essential. If a business sends automatic updates, then 68% of customers have a better opinion of the company.

BigChange’s field service management software allows your customers to get notifications about their appointment status and see the precise live location of their technician via the geolocation vehicle tracking feature. Never again will your customers feel like they’re left in the dark about the status of a job.

Excellent After-Appointment Care

Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that don’t focus on their clients’ needs. 

It’s no secret that customers who are satisfied with the service they received will be more willing to purchase your service or product again. Plus, people who have a favourable view of your business are more likely to spread the word to their social circle, family and professional network, providing you with a new audience that could potentially turn into sales. So, how do you improve the after-appointment experience?

Follow-up Appointments

We’ve seen how using online scheduling software that allows your customers to manage bookings on their own is one step towards creating an excellent customer experience. You can go one step further to delight your customers by making it simpler than ever to book repeat appointments.

BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for customers who know they have many jobs for you. The recurring job feature enables you to group jobs so you can schedule them all in one go. So, not only have you saved your customer time and stress, but the software makes for less administrative work for your office staff simultaneously.

The software still has features that allow you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job if the customer requires more, unexpected work, in future. Fortunately, the new appointment for the additional work will also link to any previous jobs. Thus, all the relevant job history is readily available for the customer or 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, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software with integrated payment gateways can speed up the payment process. 

Integrated payment solutions allow you to automatically send your customer an invoice via the CRM — where all your other documents are stored — and receive the funds instantly. So 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, making it more convenient for the customer, and better for your cash flow.

Better Security

79% of customers say they are concerned about how companies use their data. However, unlike spreadsheets and manual paperwork, CRM systems allow you to carry out GDPR-compliant management of individuals’ data. For instance, customers can edit their contact preferences, opt-in or out to marketing, which gives them more control over what you do with their information.

Plus, many advanced CRMs include robust security features. BigChange’s system secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), the world’s most comprehensive and widely-adopted cloud platform. Your customers can then have peace of mind that their data is safe during their experience working with you, and beyond.

Asking for Customer Feedback

Though your interaction with the customer is almost over, it’s essential to understand what you could have done better. In fact, 77% of customers say they view companies more favourably if they seek out and apply customer feedback. 

However, when using multiple systems, spreadsheets and physical documents to manage your operations, it can be tricky to collate customers’ opinions, much less do anything useful with the information.

That’s where CRM systems come in.

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 you completed and their overall experience with your company.

Improving Your Operation

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 about the previous stages of their purchase journey.

Using software like BigChange’s field service management system eliminates many tiresome and time-consuming processes throughout the customer journey. The technology can free up your staff time to focus on more business-critical tasks to make your customer experience the best it can be at every stage of their journey with you.

Deliver Excellent Field Service Customer Experiences Effortlessly, on BigChange

Manage your entire operation on a single platform. 

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.

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 field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

On average, employees waste around 26% of each day on burdensome administrative chores and outdated ways of working. Consequently, field service businesses are losing out on opportunities to improve their customer experience, complete more work, boost their bottom line and grow their company.

That’s where BigChange comes in. 

Martin Port, Founder and Chairman at BigChange, commented:

“I founded BigChange in 2013 to liberate businesses of all sizes from inefficient, manual processes. With our innovative platform, we have democratised the industry, creating a simple, scalable platform that lets any business manage its whole operation all the way from quotation to invoice on a mobile or tablet.”


Read on to learn more about BigChange’s field service management software and how it can help grow your business.

How BigChange’s Field Service Management Software Can Benefit Your Business

BigChange is a field service management platform that enables you to handle all aspects of running a field service business in one place. Modernise your ways of working and experience the following benefits when you deploy our system:

1. Advanced Back Office and CRM Processes

Research shows that 52% of field service businesses still rely on manual methods to keep their operations running. Although tried and tested processes may eventually get the job done, they’re terribly inefficient and could cause several problems, including:

Dissatisfied Customers

61.5% of marketing professionals agree that poor customer experience (CX) leads to a loss in clientele. Modern customers are used to straightforward, digital experiences, and they expect the same from your company, so you must consider ways to make your processes meet their standards. 

Unfortunately, sluggish, manual workflows aren’t going to cut it in today’s world of instant gratification, and businesses that don’t stay ahead of the curve run the risk of becoming obsolete.

However, with BigChange’s fully integrated CRM, customers can easily book and reschedule appointments via an online portal. You can then instantly log all interactions with each client for simple case management and create templates for automated communication, which keeps your customers in the loop. 

Plus, you can digitise all your paperwork, meaning that your field technicians can immediately send forms to your back office once they have completed a job. Customers won’t have to wait several days to sign documents as they’ll be able to sign straight away from their mobile device and receive an invoice the same day. 

Demotivated Workers

Did you know that happier employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy ones? Therefore, to get the most out of your people, you must ensure that their work is fulfilling and exciting. 

Teams that have to carry out laborious, repetitive tasks will become dissatisfied, leading to lowered productivity, poor communication with field engineers, more errors and, in some cases, resignations. 

Instead, when you arm your back-office employees with BigChange’s state-of-the-art field service management software, you eliminate several monotonous administration tasks and free up your team’s time to focus on business-critical projects. 

Irregular Cash Flow

Typically, it takes 11 hours for an AR (accounts receivable) team to manually process an invoice. Your customer then has to wait several more days to receive the invoice in the mail before they can write a cheque and mail it back to you, provided there are no errors that could inadvertently stall the process further.

Since manual processes are slow and inherently error-prone, they often lead to late payments, which can be detrimental to field service businesses. A poor cash flow may prevent you from taking on new projects, meeting operational expenses, maintaining supplier relationships, and growing your business.

In contrast, BigChange’s CRM software significantly reduces the risk of human error by making the entire invoicing process digital. You can produce all documents directly in the system using pre-populated customer data to ensure the information is correct.

According to Helen Carrison, Company Secretary at Kingston Cleaning Solutions:

BigChange is the perfect CRM solution. We don’t need delivery notes anymore, which saves us time and money. Now, customers can sign off jobs on the BigChange computer, and we can invoice straight away.”

2. Superior Job Scheduling

With so many organisations depending on outmoded processes to maintain their job schedule, it’s easy to see how scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the top challenges for field service businesses.

When you don’t have complete visibility over who is working for you, where they’re working and when, it can be tricky to ensure the right resource is always in the right place. 

But, with BigChange, scheduling issues can be a thing of the past. Our smart scheduling software enables you to do the following:

  • Account for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type
  • Optimise technicians’ routes to reduce time spent on the roads and lower costs
  • Create rules for unscheduled jobs and automatically allocate them to custom categories
  • Produce custom pricing models for each job type, with customer-specific prices and rate tables
  • Check parts, equipment and stock availability in multiple locations and assign them to jobs
  • Design step-by-step workflows that mandate work against your standard processes
  • Create and share electronic certificates, reports and job cards instantly

As a result, you’ll be able to improve communication, boost first-time fix rates, complete more jobs per day, and offer better service to your customers, all of which help grow your business.

According to David Robbie, Managing Director at McDougall:

“BigChange has fundamentally impacted the way we operate. By automating job scheduling and routing, we have increased the number of jobs we can do with the same resources. Productivity has been boosted by 17 per cent.”

3. Real-Time Vehicle and Asset Tracking

Shockingly, 43% of businesses cannot track their inventory and assets effectively because they still use traditional methods such as paper-based tracking sheets.

Although, in theory, it may make sense to ask your technicians to sign equipment and assets in and out, it doesn’t work in practice. Whether the engineers’ writing is illegible, they forget to sign the sheets, or they accidentally take too many items and store them in their van for future projects, numbers will soon become skewed.

At worst, inconsistent numbers could eventually halt your projects because you may not have the right equipment available, despite your tracker showing that you do. You may also end up ordering replacement items needlessly, putting a dent in your profits.

BigChange’s real-time vehicle and asset tracker is designed to prevent inconsistencies and give you visibility over your assets, regardless of location. Also, with the system updating in real-time, you can track the location of all your vehicles and assets on the road to allocate resources rapidly throughout the ever-changing workday. 

Marty Collins, Office Manager at CMT Wood Flooring, commented:

“With BigChange’s software, we now have complete visibility, enhanced productivity, better customer service and improved driver behaviour. It’s also helped resolve disputes regarding times and locations.”

4. Easy-To-Use Mobile Workforce App

Although field technicians are off-site for most of the day, mobile technology is still not standard in field service businesses. However, 80% of field service technicians say that mobile technology is critical to increasing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers.

With BigChange’s mobile workforce app for iOS and Android, you and your technicians will have access to all the necessary information in one place. Furthermore, you can manage the entire end-to-end process, from appointment booking to invoicing, in the palm of your hand.

The app synchronises new jobs, completed jobs and those in progress between technicians’ mobile devices and your back office in real-time. Subsequently, your team can send job cards and certificates directly to your customers as soon as work is complete. 

Not only can the app free up more time for your technicians to focus on doing an outstanding job, but your customers will appreciate the more rapid service and excellent communication.

5. Revolutionary Collaboration Network

Historically, field service businesses that want to grow have had to hire more staff to keep up with increasing workloads. But, with the skills shortage presenting a threat to the industry, companies will need to think of other, innovative ways to expand without needing to take on more people or rely on unfamiliar subcontractors who are difficult and costly to manage.

Fortunately, with technology, the possibilities for business growth are endless.

BigChange’s Network is a seamless way of connecting with other trusted contractors and subcontractors in the system. You can collaborate with them to expand your services and increase your reach without high levels of capital expenditure.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy by using the BigChange Network:

Free Business Listing

Post your business on the system and start receiving networking requests immediately. You’ll have the choice to work with a range of different companies.

Robust Security and Privacy

All information on the Network is entirely secure as we use the latest cloud-based technology.

Real-Time Progress Updates

You’ll be able to see how the job is progressing as contractors and subcontractors can provide live updates from their mobile devices.

Instant Alerting

Your contractor will receive an alert as soon as the subcontractor has completed the work, improving communication and ensuring everything remains on schedule.

Superior Processes

You can continue to use your own preferred worksheets so you can rest assured the subcontractor completes the job to your high standards.

Define the Job Types You Want

You’ll be able to share the types of jobs you want, along with the skills required to complete them.

A Straightforward Experience

Customers will still receive paperwork with the original company’s branding on it, but you can invoice as normal, so there’s no disruption on either end.

Agreed Rates

The system uses agreed rates shared via our Network to calculate the invoice, meaning you’ll never be out of pocket.

Above all, by meeting virtually every month with other members to network and form partnerships, you’ll feel inspired and have practical ideas on how to drive your business growth further.

Grow Your Field Service Business with BigChange

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange’s complete job management platform can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

When your team is working across various customer sites, it can be tricky to maintain visibility over who is working, where and when. The fact that 52% of field service businesses continue to rely on outdated legacy systems and manual administration methods only adds to the dilemma further.

When you’re unable to properly manage your field service engineers, it directly affects the service you provide to your customers. Unfortunately, with everyone’s lives being so busy, your customers won’t appreciate having to wait for late technicians, needing more than one appointment to fix their issue or spending hours chasing down your back-office team for updates.

However, thanks to modern field service management technology, effectively managing your field technicians is more straightforward than ever before. With access to real-time data and visibility over your entire operations, you can rest assured that your field service engineers are doing an outstanding job and that your customers are satisfied.

In this article, we’ll explore what field service management is before sharing the top five ways businesses can effectively oversee their field-based workers using modern workforce management technology. 

What is Field Service Management?

To put it simply, field service management (FSM) is a method of organising and enhancing work performed outside of the office. But, as we mentioned earlier, the majority of businesses rely on antiquated, error-prone manual processes to manage their workflow.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of handling your field technicians are time-consuming and ineffective. Not to mention that they can cause a host of issues, including poor first-time fix rates, delays and booking clashes, and workplace-related injuries.

In contrast, field service management technology has the potential to completely revolutionise the industry, giving managers more control and visibility over their entire operations than ever before. Consequently, you’ll be able to improve productivity, provide better service to your customers and boost your bottom line.

The best field service platforms come with an app that arms your field-based workers with all the essential information they need, regardless of location. With such a powerful tool at their fingertips, your technicians will have the ability to do the following:

  • Log expenses in seconds
  • Capture photos and signatures
  • View available stock, parts and equipment
  • Complete risk assessments and view method statements
  • Access the CRM (customer relationship management) system
  • Carry out electronic vehicle walkaround checks
  • Fill out and submit timesheets
  • Communicate with your back-office staff in real-time

Providing your field technicians with the best technology not only ensures that they can complete each job to the highest standard, but you’ll have a better understanding of what is happening off-site. You can then use the real-time data that the FSM technology captures to make crucial business decisions that enable you to grow your operations more rapidly.

How Can Modern Technology Help Manage Field Service Engineers?

If the COVID-19 outbreak has taught us anything, it’s that technology has the power to transform the way businesses operate. In fact, companies that adopt technology report a higher rate of recovering from pandemic-related economic challenges.

In addition to the overall advantages to your organisation, technology can also help you manage your field-based workforce more effectively. Here are the top five ways that your business could benefit from implementing a field service management platform:

1. Create a More Effective Job Schedule

Currently, 25% of field service businesses rely on spreadsheets for job management. The remainder use whiteboards and other unreliable manual methods. As such, it’s no surprise that job scheduling presents a significant challenge to many organisations.

Let’s imagine that a customer has requested a plumber to fix their shower on Thursday at 10:00am. They schedule an appointment with one of your employees, who assigns Dev to the job. 

At the same time, another team member is also making a booking for a customer on Thursday at 10:00am. They can see that the customer is based in Wakefield. Dev’s 9:00am appointment on Thursday is in Wakefield, so it makes sense to assign him to this job straight after.

Both employees add the bookings to the spreadsheet, not realising that there’s a scheduling issue. Unfortunately, on Thursday, Dev finishes his 9:00am booking and realises that he somehow has to be in two places at once. 

Now you face the dilemma of either letting one of your customers down or trying to find another plumber nearby who can attend one of the appointments at the last minute. Not ideal.

Luckily, job scheduling issues can become a thing of the past with modern field service management technology. With access to real-time data and an intelligent scheduling assistant, your team can assign technicians to jobs based on location, availability, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type.

Therefore, you can rest assured that you’ll have the right resource in the right place. Every time.

2. Provide Real-Time Connectivity

Data from MarketsandMarkets estimates that the global field service management market will more than double in size between 2019 and 2024. One of the primary reasons for such rapid growth is the increasing demand for mobility solutions that support real-time visibility into field service operations. 

In a world where technology can provide real-time connectivity, it doesn’t make good business sense to continue banking on phone calls and texts from technicians every time you or your customers need an update. Second-hand information is slow and unreliable, leading to a range of potentially costly issues further down the line.

Modern field service management solutions, such as BigChange, allow you to view your entire operations at the touch of a button and keep everyone in the loop simultaneously.

For example, once your team has scheduled and dispatched engineers, they can send instant messages to your customers, which provides an estimated arrival time. In the meantime, you can see exactly where your technicians are using geolocation vehicle tracking so you can ensure that everyone is on schedule.

Once your technicians are on-site, they can complete pre-determined workflows from their mobile devices, which guarantees that they’re carrying out their projects to your high standards. Finally, once the work is finished, they can again use their mobile devices to send essential documents and invoices to the back-office team and customers before marking the job as complete.

It’s never been simpler to stay connected with your field-based workers. 

3. Promote Efficiency and Productivity

Did you know that around 75% of field service businesses that adopt mobility tools have enjoyed increased employee productivity?

Whilst traditional methods of managing your workflow may get the job done eventually, they are slow, leave a significant margin for error, and are unfit to deal with modern customer expectations. 

If your workers often have to arrive at jobs without the information they need to hand, or the information is consistently incorrect, their morale will take a nosedive, and they won’t be as productive.

Contrastingly, when you use state-of-the-art field service management software that includes an integrated mobile app, you can provide your technicians with everything they need to know in the palm of their hands. With the ability to access vital information in seconds, your technicians can complete their jobs more promptly and efficiently.

Plus, using the intelligent job scheduling feature, your back-office team can organise each field service engineer’s working day in a way that optimises their time. Instead of spending several hours travelling between customers, you can dramatically decrease the amount of time spent on the road by assigning work to your technicians based on proximity and traffic information.

4. Increase First-Time Fix Rates

According to 54% of field technicians, not having access to pre-work site data is the industry’s biggest bottleneck. Suppose you expect your field engineers to attend a job without giving them all the information upfront. In that case, it becomes much harder for them to do an adequate job and will likely mean that they’ll need to revisit the customer later to complete the work.

On the contrary, when your engineers can access a field service management platform directly from their mobile devices, they can view the most up-to-date case files and ensure that they gain a strong understanding of the customers’ requirements before starting the work.

Plus, your back-office staff will have already used the real-time data the system provides to assign the right stock and equipment to each project, meaning your technicians will never arrive with the wrong gear.

With the proper knowledge and equipment in place, your field technicians won’t have to worry about finding a workaround, wasting time going back and forth with your back-office team, or scheduling another appointment with your customers. Instead, they can focus on doing what they do best.

5. Improve Health and Safety

Research from The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows that UK businesses lost a staggering 38.8 million working days due to non-fatal workplace injuries and occupational ill health during 2019-20. Aside from inconveniencing businesses and employees alike, poor health and safety measures can also cause severe reputational and financial damage.

The good news is, by using a field service management system, injuries and illnesses can – for the most part – be avoided. For example, before beginning any job, your field engineers can view method statements and complete risk assessments to ensure that they’re operating compliantly.

When required, technicians will need to obtain sign-off on the documents, which are completed on their mobile devices, before they can begin any work. 

Furthermore, if a field engineer deems the environment unsafe or believes a hazard could jeopardise the job, they can immediately alert your back-office team. Your employees can then communicate directly with the field technician to mitigate any risks and get the work back on track without compromising anyone’s health or safety.

However, for technicians working on the field, customers’ sites are not the only place where workplace injuries can happen. A large portion of their day is spent on the road, so you must also consider ways to keep workers safe as they travel between projects.

With a field service management platform like BigChange, you can use the geolocation vehicle tracking feature to assess your technicians’ driving. Your drivers will then receive a score that you can track over time, meaning you can reward safe behaviour and provide additional training for those who take more risks on the road.  

Manage Your Field Technicians More Efficiently with BigChange

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how our market leading Field Service Management Software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Over half (51%) of field service businesses currently rely on texts, phone calls, paper-based documents and antiquated legacy systems to manage their operations. Although these traditional methods may have worked in the past, they’re now terribly inefficient in today’s world, where technology is integrated into almost every aspect of our lives.

Modern customers are used to convenient, digitised services and will expect no different from your company. Therefore, organisations that don’t meet customer expectations risk becoming obsolete.

Thankfully, with the latest field service management software, you can revolutionise your ways of working and stay ahead of the curve.

Read on to find out more about field service software and how it can benefit your business. 

What is Field Service Management Software?

Field service management (FSM) software enables organisations to run their operations as smoothly as possible and remove any inefficiencies caused by traditional, manual paper-based processes.

Since technicians are off-site for most of the day, many contemporary field service management software platforms offer an integrated app to blend back-office and technician workflows. As a consequence, all employees have access to the vital information they need to delight customers, regardless of their location. 

With field service management software, you can manage the entire end-to-end process – from job scheduling and dispatching workers to invoicing and payment – in one place. By optimising your field service management methods with the latest technology, you can simplify tasks for your workers and enjoy improved productivity levels accordingly. 

How Field Service Software Benefits Your Organisation

Here are just three of the main ways that field service software can advance your business:

1. Financial Stability

When you send customers paper invoices, you’re increasing your chances of receiving late payments. Firstly, invoices take several days to arrive in the mail once your accounts receivable team has processed, printed and sent them. 

Secondly, paper invoices could get forgotten about or lost once they reach your customer. At worst, your accounts receivable team may have made a mistake and have to send a new one out, delaying the payment process even further.

If your customers aren’t paying invoices on time, your cash flow could take a hit, leaving you unable to do the following:

  • Meet operational expenses
  • Take on new projects
  • Pay your suppliers
  • Budget for future jobs

Unfortunately, since the beginning of the pandemic, late payments in the UK have shot up by 23%, which has had a significant impact on field service organisations countrywide. Subsequently, businesses have to consider ways to speed up the payment process to continue business as usual.

When you use field service management software with an integrated payment feature, late payments can become a challenge of the past. Once your field engineers have completed their jobs, they can instantly send digital invoices to your customers from their mobile devices. 

Your customers can then pay the same day via card using payment links and mark the invoices as complete. The days of waiting weeks on end for a payment are over.

2. Greater Profits

Customers who are satisfied with the service they received are likely to spend more with your business in future. Hence, it pays to optimise the customer experience (CX).

Using a field service management system with an integrated CRM (customer relationship management) platform, you’ll be able to anticipate your customers’ needs and impress them with an outstanding experience. 

For example, you can provide your customers with an easy-to-use portal that eliminates the need to book and reschedule appointments over the phone. Instead, they can conveniently pick a time and date to suit them at the touch of a button.

Your back-office team can then use real-time data to schedule and dispatch the most relevant engineers for each project before providing live job status updates to your customers.

After your technicians have completed the work, you can also provide your customers with a survey to measure your performance. Consequently, you can rest assured that they are pleased with the work and are more likely to use your business again.

3. Seamless Job Scheduling

Scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the top challenges to field service businesses that depend on outdated manual processes to maintain their job schedule. 

When you don’t have complete visibility over your field-based workers or equipment, it can be tricky to ensure they’re in the right place at the right time. As a result, you could end up inadvertently causing calendar conflicts and delays or even scheduling multiple technicians for the same job. 

Not only are manual job schedules disorganised and create costly issues, but they take over three hours per week to create on average. 

In contrast, field service software that incorporates an intelligent scheduling assistant eradicates the error-prone and time-consuming aspects of manually creating a job schedule. Your back-office staff can simply use real-time data to see which engineers and equipment are available nearby and assign them directly to relevant jobs.

Plus, unlike traditional scheduling methods, modern systems can keep up with the ever-changing workday. As such, you’ll be able to promptly re-allocate resources to cover emergency jobs as they arise and mitigate any potentially costly issues. 

Enhance Your Operations and Boost Your Bottom Line with BigChange’s Field Service Software

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how our market leading Job Management Software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

As a field service business leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your workers are safe and that your operations are compliant. Failure to meet compliance laws and regulations, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, could put your business at risk of severe operational, financial and reputational damage. 

However, it can be tricky to maintain strict compliance when you don’t have the right tools or complete visibility over your operations. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can use modern technology to run your organisation compliantly. Read on to learn how to improve compliance within your field service operations using BigChange’s job management software.

How to Improve Compliance: Four Top Tips

Running your field service operations compliantly doesn’t have to be a headache. With the right solution in place, you and your employees can maintain accurate records, carry out work according to rules and regulations, and protect customer data all on one platform.  

Here are just some of the ways you can improve compliance using state-of-the-art workforce management software:

1. Complete a Risk Assessment

Not only will a risk assessment help you to identify any potential hazards in the workplace, but it’s also a legal requirement to document it if you employ five or more people.

There are several pieces of information you must note when carrying out a risk assessment:

  • Which hazards the assessor identified
  • The persons or groups that could be affected
  • The methods your organisation put in place to mitigate risks
  • Who is monitoring the preventative measures
  • Who carried out the assessment
  • The date of the assessment

You must also show that you’ve taken measures to mitigate risks that comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act and associated regulations.

Historically, field service businesses have relied on humble clipboards and pens to conduct their risk assessments. But, traditional manual methods of detailing workplace hazards are inefficient and challenging to keep a record of for future reference. 

Instead, when using a field service management system with built-in health & safety features, you can keep a digital record of all risk assessments for easy access. Plus, you can use your findings to create method statements in the system, which all engineers will have access to, ensuring that they carry out all work safely and compliantly.

For guidance on how to carry out a risk assessment, click here.

2. Enhance Your Communication Methods

When it comes to health and safety compliance, communication is critical. Engaged employees are five times less likely to have a safety incident than non-engaged employees. Therefore, you should ensure that every member of your team has access to essential information.

BigChange’s field service software for iOS and Android provides your engineers with everything they need to know in the palm of their hands. Then, once your workers have completed a job, they can fill out all the necessary paperwork from their mobile device and send it straight back to the office in real-time.

You can set mandatory fields in each document to ensure that your technicians are carrying out work compliantly. For example, you can require your workers to attach photos of their completed projects or obtain customers’ signatures. 

As a result of improving communication between technicians and back-office staff and providing necessary information upfront, you’ll find that your workers can operate more compliantly. Additionally, by streamlining your processes, your workers can maximise their time to complete more jobs per day.

3. Create Mandatory Workflows for Field Technicians

Not only can intelligent, digital workflow automation increase productivity by 20%, but it also ensures that your technicians are working compliantly. 

With the BigChange job management software, you set your own workflows in the system that technicians must follow. The workflows prevent your engineers from carrying out any work until they’ve electronically confirmed that they have followed all your health and safety protocols beforehand.

The system also allows you to create multiple vehicle-specific or role-specific safety checks. Your team will also have access to all previous tests, enabling them to view outstanding defects and fix or reconcile issues directly from the app. 

4. Manage Confidential Customer Information Digitally

Keeping records is an essential part of running a business. However, when all your documentation is paper-based, you have to find somewhere to store it and potentially hire staff to manage the filing system. Not to mention that you run the risk of breaching GDPR (general data protection regulation) if you don’t manage customer information correctly.

In contrast, BigChange’s CRM system enables you to carry out GDPR compliant management of individuals’ data and give your customers opt-in preferences, so they have peace of mind that your team has recorded their information with their consent. 

Most importantly, our software is cloud-based, meaning that all information is highly protected. Consequently, you and your customers can rest assured that all confidential information will remain that way.

Guarantee that Your Field Service Operations are Compliant with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

Using our leading Field Service Management Software will give 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 the BigChange complete Job Management Platform can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

According to a report, a staggering 43% of small businesses fail to track their assets and inventory effectively. Many field service organisations still rely on antiquated, manual tracking methods, and some have no official processes in place, leaving them vulnerable to a range of potentially costly issues.

But, companies can’t afford to slip up if they are to survive in a post-COVID world.

In this article, we’ll explain what asset management is and why accurate and reliable data is so important. Plus, we’ll share how a comprehensive asset register is a must-have to keep track of your stock and equipment, and just one of the feature’s on the BigChange field service management software platform.

What is Asset Management?

Asset management is a crucial element of any field service business, whether you have 50 employees or 5,000. It’s responsible for keeping track of all the items a company uses to operate, from tools, vehicles and devices, to parts for customer jobs.

Historically, many field service organisations have relied on spreadsheets and paper-based tracking sheets to record the status of their equipment and assets. But, traditional methods often result in inaccurate reports and can cost companies dearly. 

With state-of-the-art asset management software in place, unreliable data becomes a problem of the past. Modern systems record data in real-time, allowing you to make more informed business decisions based on fact rather than needing to count on potentially skewed details. 

Why Accurate and Reliable Data is So Important in Asset Management

Without accurate and reliable data, you won’t have full visibility over your equipment and assets. As a result, you could end up spending more money than you need to, reducing first-time fix rates, increasing downtime and losing high-value items. 

Instead, companies that have access to solid asset management data benefit from the following:

1. Fewer Equipment Losses

On paper, it makes sense to use manual check-out and check-in sheets to keep track of your equipment. However, traditional asset management methods don’t always work in practice and are inherently error-prone. In fact, human error is the leading problem for 46% of businesses when it comes to accurately reporting on assets.

Whether your engineers forget to sign the sheets, inadvertently take too many items and stash them in their van for another project, or their writing is simply illegible, you’ll soon realise that numbers aren’t adding up.

As such, your equipment can go missing, and there’s no exact way of tracking what happened to it. Not only will lost equipment likely stall other projects, but replacements can be pricey. 

Instead, when you digitise your asset management approach, you can create a detailed register of equipment and other vital assets, maintain a record of fitted parts, track item movements and include serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes on the stock. Your engineers can then check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, and you will have better visibility over your valuable equipment.

2. Improved Finances

Did you know, 80% of equipment maintenance is reactive? Studies show that most field service businesses only maintain their assets when they break down or need immediate repair. However, proactive conservation of stock equipment and assets is less expensive in the long run and prevents disruptions to your workflow.

But, it can be challenging to schedule regular maintenance when you don’t have full visibility over your equipment and data isn’t being recorded properly. Broken equipment can have a knock-on effect, leaving your workers without the tools or materials they need to carry out jobs. Aside from being a major inconvenience, halted projects will destroy your bottom line.

With a cloud-based asset and stock management tool, you can raise cases directly against your equipment for more efficient maintenance. Your engineers will always have the right gear for the job, and you won’t have to worry about something breaking down unexpectedly.

Plus, you can use the accurate and reliable data that the system updates in real-time to make the most of your assets. Assign stock and equipment directly to jobs for seamless check-in and check-outs, maximising efficiency, profit and first-time fix rates.

3. Processes that Grow as the Business Does

Unfortunately, inaccurate asset management reporting results in an estimated $1.1 trillion loss for businesses globally. Although manual processes may work when you don’t have many items to consider, it doesn’t provide you with much room to scale your operations. Consequently, you may struggle to monitor all your stock as your business grows.

Using asset and stock management software, you’ll have the most accurate and reliable data to hand, which allows you to digitally keep track of all your assets, regardless of quantity or location. Subsequently, you’ll never have an issue with over-ordering stock or not having the suitable materials or equipment available for scheduled jobs.

With an easy-to-use platform in place, you can also maintain your team’s productivity by eliminating burdensome processes and freeing up their time to focus on other tasks that contribute directly to business growth. 

Make Asset Management Simpler with BigChange

Asset management needn’t be a headache.

With BigChange’s complete field service management software solution, you’ll have access to real-time data on the location of your stock and equipment. With complete visibility over your assets, you can assign them directly to jobs, allowing your technicians to complete more projects per day.

Plus, you can easily manage stock in various locations, from warehouses and vans to client sites.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange’s job management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.


Statistics show that 52% of organisations continue to rely on phone calls, texts, outdated legacy systems and burdensome, paper-based administration methods to manage their field service operations. 

But, companies that want to prosper in a post-pandemic world will have to step up their game to meet customer expectations and maintain their cash flow. 

To effectively manage a field service business, you must ensure that you have excellent communication methods and efficient processes that maintain the workflow. Plus, you’ll need complete visibility over your workforce, inventory and finances.

With field service management software, you can seamlessly connect your office, field-based workers and customers. Better communication makes the entire procedure – from quotation to invoicing – streamlined and agile.

Read on to find out how technology can benefit your business in more detail.

How Will Field Service Management Software Help My Business?

1. Superior Job Scheduling

Job scheduling is a crucial component of field service management. However, organisations that depend on antiquated systems and manual processes to manage their schedule may struggle with unnecessary downtime, dispatching issues and overlaps that complicate the entire workflow.

With field service job scheduling software, you can simplify your job scheduling methods and increase efficiency. State-of-the-art platforms take into account future predicted workloads by allowing you to set up recurring jobs and allocate the resources required. 

Using real-time data and geolocation tracking, you can assign projects to the appropriately skilled engineer nearest to the customer. Modern systems can also handle the dynamic nature of the workday, enabling you to promptly re-allocate resources to fit in emergency jobs and mitigate any potentially costly issues before they occur.

Automated, smart scheduling processes reduce time spent on the road, lower travel costs and enable your field-based engineers to complete a higher volume of work each day.

Why Accurate and Reliable Data is So Important in Asset Management

Without accurate and reliable data, you won’t have full visibility over your equipment and assets. As a result, you could end up spending more money than you need to, reducing first-time fix rates, increasing downtime and losing high-value items. 

Instead, companies that have access to solid asset management data benefit from the following:

1. Fewer Equipment Losses

On paper, it makes sense to use manual check-out and check-in sheets to keep track of your equipment. However, traditional asset management methods don’t always work in practice and are inherently error-prone. In fact, human error is the leading problem for 46% of businesses when it comes to accurately reporting on assets.

Whether your technicians forget to sign the sheets, inadvertently take too many items and stash them in their van for another project, or their writing is simply illegible, you’ll soon realise that numbers aren’t adding up.

As such, your equipment can go missing, and there’s no exact way of tracking what happened to it. Not only will lost equipment likely stall other projects, but replacements can be pricey. 

Instead, when you digitise your asset management methods, you can create a detailed register of equipment and other vital assets, maintain a record of fitted parts, track item movements and include serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes on the stock. Your technicians can then check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, and you will have better visibility over your valuable equipment.

2. Visibility Over Finances

Cutting costs and increasing revenue are essential to business success. But, if you don’t have complete visibility over your financial data, or if information is stored across multiple platforms, you may be unable to visualise the whole picture, create suitable budgets or make informed decisions.

Field service management software gives you complete visibility over operational spending and other vital metrics such as unpaid or overdue invoices. With access to the latest and most accurate data all stored in one place, you’ll be able to make better judgments when ordering stock and create more realistic budgets for the future based on your current situation.

Better control over your finances and spending will ensure that your business has the funds it needs to take on more projects in the future and continue to grow. 

3. Enhanced Cash Flow

Let’s imagine for a moment that your accounts receivable team has mailed a paper invoice to your customer. The invoice arrives several days later, and the customer puts it on their finance department’s desk to process. 

However, the customer’s finance department accidentally throws the paper in the bin. Several days later, your accounts receivable team realises that the payment is overdue, so they call the client. 

Unfortunately, their finance department can’t find the invoice, so your team now has to send out a new one and wait even longer for the cheque to come through. In the meantime, your cash flow has taken a hit, and you’re wondering how you’ll cover other operational expenses.

With field service management software, you can speed up the payments process. Once your field-based engineers have marked the job as complete from their mobile devices, an electronic invoice is immediately issued to your customer. Alternatively, your accounts receivable team can generate the invoice directly in the system. You can also include payment links, which enable your customers to pay via card and mark the invoice as complete.

No more lost or forgotten invoices. No more waiting weeks on end for payments.

4. Increased Customer Satisfaction

By removing the reliance on phone calls and paper-based documents, you could be saving around two hours each day, making the process much speedier for both the customer and your back-office team. You can manage all administrative aspects of a project on one easy-to-use platform with field service management software.  

Instead of being stuck on the phone for 15 minutes to make an appointment, customers can book online via the portal. You can then allocate the best resource for the job based on set requirements or skills and send your customers real-time status updates. 

When engineers complete their jobs, having filled in the electronic paperwork as they go, the system instantly generates job cards, certificates and invoices to email to the customer or head office. You can also provide your customers with a survey to measure your performance, so you can be sure that they are pleased with the job. 

Not only will your customers be satisfied with the communication, along with the quality and speed of the work, but they’re likely to spend more as a result of the exemplary service.

Win-win.

5. Guaranteed Compliance

Annually, UK companies lose approximately £16.2 billion as a result of injury. In addition to hazards for your technicians, poor compliance can endanger your customers. For example, if your engineer incorrectly installs an electrical system, it can catch fire.

Therefore, it’s critical for any field service business to prioritise health and safety. With a field service management system, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents:

  • Digitised paperwork: Engineers fill out the forms and paperwork from their mobile devices. You can set mandatory fields within the digital documents to ensure that the workers follow the correct protocols. Engineers can also attach time, date and geolocation-stamped photos, videos and more to the work order as evidence.
  • Geolocation tracking and online timesheets: With a digital record of your engineers’ working hours, you can ensure that they’re not exceeding legal limits. 
  • Scheduling: You can set automatic service schedules for installed equipment to guarantee that they’re inspected at set intervals and are continuing to operate correctly.

By reducing the number of workplace incidents, you’ll have happier staff and customers, your reputation will flourish and your business will grow.

Manage Your Field Service Business Effectively with BigChange

BigChange is the complete job management software system that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences. Bringing customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

In August 2021, we engaged the research consultancy Opinium to survey field service organisations and learn about how they fared in the year since the UK’s strictest lockdown came to an end.

Did you know that just over a quarter (26%) of field service companies lost money between August 2020 and July 2021, despite being busier than ever? Unfortunately, you could be running your business by the book but still notice your profits taking a nosedive if your customers consistently pay their invoices late.

But, how can you ensure your clients consistently pay by the deadline?

We’ve put together this guide to help you take back control over your finances, maintain a healthy cash flow and grow stronger. Read on to learn more.

What Happens If You Don’t Get Paid On Time?

For 27% of the UK’s field service organisations, clunky legacy systems cause efficiency issues. But, it’s not just productivity that takes a hit when you use outdated technology to run your operations. You could also be severely damaging your bottom line. 

Suppose you currently send out manual invoices. By the time your finance team has processed and sent the invoice to your customer, it could be anywhere up to a month since your technician completed the job. 

Once your customer finally receives their invoice, there’s a chance that they could lose it or forget to pay it until you eventually chase them. In the meantime, your cash flow may have ground to a halt, leaving you unable to do the following:

  • Take on new projects
  • Meet operational expenses
  • Budget for future jobs
  • Pay your suppliers
  • Pay back loans

In a post-pandemic world, where financial recovery is critical to business survival and growth, it’s paramount to consider new, innovative ways to get paid on time.

Maintaining a Healthy Cash Flow

The good news is, maintaining a healthy cash flow needn’t be a challenge when you use job management software. Here are just some of the ways technology can enhance the invoicing and payment process:

Digital Invoices

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, unpaid invoices skyrocketed with an increase of 23%. Fortunately, you can combat the adverse financial effects of the pandemic by digitising your invoices. 

For example, the most advanced job management platforms come with a mobile application that your technicians can use from anywhere. The app enables your workers to instantly generate an invoice — using pre-populated information from the integrated customer relationship manager (CRM) — the moment they’ve completed each job.

Creating invoices with accurate data significantly decreases the margin for human error. As a result, your customers can sign off their electronic invoices the moment they receive them via their mobile devices and begin the payment process. 

Aside from being a more favourable method for your customers, you’ll also find that digital invoices save on back-office costs and time. Removing the admin-heavy aspects of processing an invoice leaves them with more hours to focus on activities that directly contribute to business growth. 

Electronic Payments

Today’s customers expect simpler, more convenient ways to pay, so field service organisations must modernise their payment processes. Continuing to handle payments ‘the traditional way’ increases the likelihood of customers forgetting about your invoice since it involves more effort than the straightforward methods to which they’ve become used to.

However, with BigChange’s job management software, you can receive payments in seconds. As soon as your customers receive their electronic invoices, they can send funds from their smart devices via BigChange Pay, which includes several user-friendly payment options. So, not only will your customers appreciate the speed of service, but you can rest assured that you’ll get paid on time.

Technology is the Key to Rapid Payment

Sadly, the amount of debt taken on by field service businesses increased by 50% over the last year. If you don’t get paid on time, you might find that you also have to take on unnecessary loans to cover the gap. Therefore, to avoid being affected by rising debt levels, you should consider streamlining your financial processes.

Luckily, job management technology lets you wave goodbye to the inefficiencies of traditional methods. By arming your team with state-of-the-art technology and digitising your invoices, you can eliminate the obstacles that often lead to late payments and, instead, bounce back stronger post-pandemic.

Your Finances Will Bounce Back Stronger on BigChange

The BigChange complete job management platform is helping field service businesses across the UK win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bring your customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence onto one easy-to-use platform and begin enjoying the benefits of a smarter way of working today.

Want to find out more?

Discover how your business can grow stronger on BigChange here and arrange a free demo today.

Get the full State of the Field Service Sector Report here.

Do you know how productive your field service management activities are? Unfortunately, businesses that rely on outdated systems and manual administrative processes may struggle to get an idea of the bigger picture.

The good news is, it’s easier than you may think to improve productivity.

With a cloud-based field service management solution, you can schedule jobs, dispatch workers, receive updates on job progress, manage inventory and handle the invoicing and payments process all in one place.

In fact, around 75% of field service organisations that use mobility tools have observed increased employee productivity and customer satisfaction rates.

Read on to learn about the six top ways you can improve your field service management productivity.

How to Improve Productivity in Field Service Management

Here are six top tips that will help you achieve productivity improvement:

1. Schedule Jobs Strategically

Your field service technicians are one of your most valuable, yet expensive, assets. Therefore, you must schedule your field-based workers’ time efficiently to maximise revenue. The less downtime there is, the more jobs they can complete each day.

With a modern field service management solution, you’ll be able to get the right resource to the right place every time using accurate data. Plus, by reducing the volume of admin, you’ll free up time for your back-office staff to focus on other business-critical activities.

2. Plan Better Routes

In addition to scheduling jobs smartly, you must think about the routes your workers are taking. Although travelling between customers is part of the technician’s job, they’re not earning money for your company when they’re in transit. Therefore, it’s vital that you minimise the amount of time they spend on the road.

With a field service management solution, you’ll receive alerts for key movements, such as toll roads, and be able to locate the nearest resource with the relevant skills. As a result, you can define the best possible journey between jobs, saving time, fuel and money.

3. Set Realistic Targets

Setting targets for your workers is crucial to improving productivity. However, it may be tricky to ensure that the goals are realistic or measure progress if you don’t have the facts.

Using a field service management solution, you’ll have access to real-time data such as where your workers are and how long they take to travel between locations. Equipping yourself with factual information enables you to set achievable objectives for your team and increase productivity.

Furthermore, if workers aren’t meeting targets, you’ll be able to get to the root of the issue much more rapidly than if you had to rely on second-hand – and possibly distorted – information.

4. Increase First-Time Fix Rates

Picture this: your technician travels to a customer’s premises to complete a task. They inspect the issue and soon realise they don’t have the right parts in their van. Subsequently, they have to reschedule another visit with the customer, which takes time away from other projects.

How unproductive.

Yet, second visits are an inconvenient reality for many field service companies. According to research, these are the most common issues that impact a worker’s ability to complete a job first time:

Unavailable or incorrect parts: 29%
Customer/asset not available for service: 28%
Improper diagnosis at time of dispatch: 19%
Technician didn’t have required skills: 15%
Resolution was only temporary: 8%

Nevertheless, you can achieve productivity improvement with the right field service management solution. With complete visibility over everything from inventory to technician locations, you’ll be able to forecast the requirements for each job precisely and increase first-time fix rates.

5. Manage Your Inventory Effectively

In theory, it may seem that traditional inventory management methods such as manual check-out and check-in sheets should work. But, whether technicians forget to fill out the sheets, their writing is illegible, or they take out too many parts and stash them in their van for later, you’ll quickly find inconsistencies in your stock numbers.

Not only will you be unable to forecast stock requirements for the future accurately, but technicians may also be unable to complete scheduled projects if the equipment isn’t available.

Digitising your inventory with a field service management solution is key to productivity improvement, especially as your business grows and accumulates more assets. You can
create a detailed register of equipment and other assets, track item movements, see a record of fitted parts and include serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes on the stock.

As a result, your technicians can check stock in and out from their mobile devices, and your admin staff can budget for inventory far more effectively.

6. Go Paperless

It’s no secret that manual administrative tasks take up more time than they should. According to a survey, workers say they typically spend over two hours per day on admin instead of getting on with more important jobs.

When your field engineers have to fill out paper forms and bring them into the office, they’re wasting a valuable chunk of their day. Plus, your back-office staff then have to spend more time processing the document, entering the data into outdated systems and creating paper-based invoices.

With a field service management solution, such as BigChange, you can digitise all documents, enabling field service technicians to promptly fill out forms and send them to the office from their mobile devices. The forms pull through pre-populated data about the customer and tell the technician exactly what information to add, reducing the risk of human error.

Consequently, your field service engineers can spend more time working on projects, and your back-office team can spend less time processing documents before generating an invoice.

Achieve Productivity Improvement with BigChange

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange.

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.

Bringing customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, BigChange liberates you from inefficient paper-based processes and the complexity of multiple different technology systems that hold your business back.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Efficiently managing your workforce is paramount to making customers happy and growing your business, but it’s notoriously tricky to keep track of everything. Manual data entry and outdated methods cause miscommunication and squander precious time that you and your employees could spend completing more business-critical work.

Yet, small and medium-sized businesses are reportedly spending 23% of an average workday manually inputting data. That’s two hours wasted per day.

Thankfully, with an advanced field service management (FSM) platform in place, you can manage your workforce more efficiently, keep your customers happy and grow your business simultaneously.

In this guide, we’ll explain what FSM is, why efficiency is fundamental in improving field service operations, and what you need to manage a field-based workforce effectively.

What is Field Service Management?

Field service management refers to the handling of overseeing workers, equipment and operations out in the field.

Processes such as job scheduling and dispatching workers, communicating with people on the job, product inventory maintenance, collecting data, compliance and back-office administration are all dealt with through field service management.

However, field service management is complex and multifaceted, making it tricky to manage. Unfortunately, the challenge is only magnified further if businesses use multiple, unconnected systems and slow processes.

As a result, more organisations are beginning to realise the value of a good field service management platform. In fact, statistics show that the FSM market could reach £7.9 billion by 2026 as business leaders turn to software to stay ahead of the curve and keep up with the ever-evolving field service industry landscape.

By managing all business operations within a single, easy-to-use platform, you can streamline the workflow, improve communication and free up more time for everyone to focus on critical priorities.

Increasing Workforce Efficiency to Improve Field Service Operations

Although most field-based service businesses use computers and mobile devices day-to-day, only 51% have adopted field service management software. A quarter of organisations continue to rely on spreadsheets, and the remainder use whiteboards and other antiquated methods to manage their operations.

Tried-and-tested methods may get the job done eventually, but they’re shockingly inefficient.

Modern field service management systems remove the inefficiencies traditional methods create and equip your team with the tools they need to be productive. Here are six ways workforce efficiency improves field service operations:

1. Saving Time

Running a business is already time-consuming as it is. Adding pointless, manual administrative processes and unnecessary phone calls into the mix takes even more valuable hours away from you and your team, making it harder to focus on more essential tasks.

In fact, 55% of small and medium-sized organisations report that insufficient time places an extensive constraint on their business activities.

With the right resources in place that enable your team to schedule jobs, dispatch workers and keep track of activity, the entire workflow becomes more efficient. As a result, field service operations improve since employees, both field and office-based, have sufficient time to enhance the customer experience and complete more work.

2. Saving Money

Companies that spend money maintaining legacy systems are wasting time on inefficient software and losing money in the process.

Ineffectual processes and systems lead to poor communication, which causes several headaches across the entire workflow. Instead, by improving workforce efficiency through a field service management system, you could benefit from the following:

    • Effective stock control and procurement: With greater visibility over your stock, there’s a lowered chance of over-ordering or running out of vital materials right before an important project.

You can also use the data collected over extended periods to analyse your habits and better forecast future requirements. Consequently, you’ll be able to complete more jobs and potentially negotiate better rates with your regular vendors in the future.

  • Higher first-time fix rates: To get a project done on time and to a high standard, you need to send the right person for the job. For maximum cost-saving and efficiency, the worker must also be nearby and have the right tools and materials with them.

If you can ensure that the worker ticks off all the requirements, you’ll save money on travel costs, and first-time fix rates will likely improve, meaning the worker can move on to more projects in a shorter time frame.

  • Remote resolution: Field service management systems are agile and can therefore handle the unpredictability of each day. With access to real-time data, schedulers and managers have complete visibility over their workforce, improving communication with both the workers and their customers, and pre-empting any issues before they become costly.

3. Creating A Positive Working Environment

Studies show that happier employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. Therefore, to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workforce, you must keep them engaged with their work.

If your business still relies on outdated, manual systems, you may find a dip in productivity. Teams that have to carry out repetitive, arduous work will quickly become dissatisfied, leading to more errors, poor communication with field workers and, at worst, staff resignations.

Improving workforce efficiency is one way to alleviate the burden on your employees, which in turn boosts field service operations. Arming your employees with the best field service management software allows them to manage the process end-to-end quickly and easily.

With less ‘busy work’ taking up their time, employees will be more motivated to direct their attention to activities that directly contribute to business growth.

4. Enhancing Accuracy

Your employees expect good service, but when you leave your business operations’ fate in the hands of legacy systems and manual processes, you increase the margin for error.

Whether you have to spend time correcting an invoice that doesn’t match the quote, or you underestimated the quantity of materials available to carry out a project, your company’s reputation begins to suffer and projects become delayed.

However, you can easily avoid inefficiencies caused by human error.

Using a field service management system increases accuracy by providing precise data and using pre-existing customer information to populate important documents. Subsequently, you can complete work far quicker, your reputation remains intact and your customers receive better service. Unsurprisingly, customers who receive excellent service spend 140% more on average than those who don’t, so you could also expect higher revenue in the long run.

5. Improving Communication

It isn’t easy to ensure the entire company is on the same page if you don’t have suitable communication methods in place. Banking on texts, paper-based forms and phone calls to get up-to-date information from your field-based workers could cause a plethora of issues.

Traditional communication methods aren’t always the most reliable or accurate, making it hard to understand what’s working and what isn’t. To continuously improve field service operations, you must make sure your communication methods are effective.

Field service management software gives you access to real-time information about where your workers are, how long it takes to travel to locations, and each active job’s status. With complete visibility and exact data coming directly from your workers’ mobile devices, you can plan ahead, complete more projects and mitigate any issues before they impact the workflow.

6. Quicker Invoicing

For many businesses, once a field-based worker has completed a job, it takes approximately 11 hours to process an invoice for the customer manually. However, the payment process can only begin once the technician has submitted their paper-based documents, by hand, to the office.

Fortunately, there is a way to improve efficiency and thus field service operations.

Field service management software digitises forms and automatically pulls through accurate, pre-populated data about the customer. Field-based technicians can send paperwork as soon as the job is complete via their mobile device and include any additional information that may be required, such as photographic evidence.

The immediacy at which documents can be sent between workers, the office, and clients dramatically accelerates the payment process. Customers will be happy that everything was straightforward, and your cash flow will remain steady as a result.

Field Service Management Software: Helping You Manage a Field-Based Workforce

Field service management occurs in various industries, but the fundamental dilemmas it poses are the same. In order to improve field service operations, there are a core set of requirements you must address:

1. Strong Communication

It’s almost impossible to manage a field-based workforce without knowing where the workers are or what they’re doing. Historically, businesses haven’t had the complete visibility they need to make informed decisions. Instead, they rely on phone calls, texts and paper-based documents to maintain communication with their staff.

When businesses use traditional methods to contact their remote workers, it creates an intrinsically sluggish, disorganised and error-prone way of working.

Modern technologies play a crucial role in transforming communications between organisations and field workers with smartphone apps, cloud-based software and GPS tracking. Not only can you access accurate information instantly, but you can use it to streamline current ways of working.

2. Flexibility

Field service operations are truly put to the test when things go wrong. For example, organisations that use outmoded systems and processes may find that they can’t handle delays or errors at speed, leading to inevitable cancellations and complaints.

Real-time data and cloud-based platforms are ideal for improving flexibility. The system tracks everything from the moment you take on a new client right up to invoicing and payment, complete with digital proof of work carried out. Therefore, you can use the information to predict and manage challenges, and communicate them with your field-based workforce, before they become problematic.

3. Performance Monitoring

When your workers carry out all jobs off-site, how do you keep track of progress? Relying on paperwork, phone calls and texts will prevent you from receiving real-time data. Consequently, you won’t have complete visibility over projects, which will hinder your ability to make ongoing improvements to field service operations.

That’s where field service management systems come in handy. With access to continuous, accurate updates, you can monitor your team’s performance and set achievable targets to continue advancing overall efficiency.

4. Smart Technology

There’s a lot of choice for business leaders who are considering implementing a field service management system. However, the challenge lies with finding the right one for your organisation.

To manage your field-based workforce effectively, you must have a technology in place that will improve your current ways of working. Take a look at your existing processes. If they’re creating inefficiencies and losing your business money, you should look for a technology that can tackle those issues directly.

A single, integrated platform, such as BigChange, allows you to manage everything, from prospecting to quoting, job scheduling to service delivery and from invoicing to taking payments, all on one system. It’s never been easier to connect your office, field-based workers and customers seamlessly.

Improve Your Field Service Operations with BigChange

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange.

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

As with any industry, innovation is essential to survival and long-term commercial viability. Companies that don’t stay ahead of the curve may be surpassed by their competition or, at worst, render themselves obsolete.

The field service management (FSM) industry is undergoing a significant transformation. With the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies, manual processes, paper-based documents, and antiquated legacy systems are becoming a thing of the past.

Despite ongoing disruption, the field service management industry continues to thrive. In fact, the sector is projected to surpass a global value of £2.9 billion by 2025.

In this article, we’ll explore what the future holds for FSM and how you can use workforce management technology to benefit your business.

The Future of the Field Service Management Industry

As the field service management industry continues to flourish, companies face increasing pressure to advance their ways of working. To help you prepare for the future, we’ve put together three predictions on how the industry will continue to evolve:

1. Customers Will Expect A Better Experience

Today’s customers know what they want, and they’re willing to be more loyal to companies that provide them with seamless transactions. According to research, 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience enjoy a spike in revenue.

To thrive in the field service management industry, you must constantly adapt to account for evolving customer expectations. For example:

  • Simplicity: With workforce management technology in place, you can provide your customers with an easy-to-use portal. Your customers will not only be able to view all the details of their booking, but they will also be able to cancel or reschedule at the touch of a button.
  • Communication: Real time tracking has become highly popular thanks to the instant gratification models offered by online ecommerce sites. From parcels to pizza delivery, modern customers expect maximum levels of convenience across a range of services. Using workforce management technology, you can provide your customer with real-time updates on the location of their technician, arrival time, delays and job status.
  • Speed: Workforce management technology allows you to provide a speedy service by optimising the entire process. Companies can enable their customers to pay with seamless checkout experiences. The most efficient operators distinguish themselves even in extremely competitive markets. In fact, 75% of field service businesses report increased customer satisfaction rates from using mobility tools. Competitors that still depend on paper-based documents, phone calls and legacy systems will only continue to fall further behind.

2. The Talent Pool Will Shrink

The talent pool is shrinking in field management services, with several factors exacerbating the problem. Firstly, as the market grows, demand for skilled workers is beginning to outnumber supply. Plus, when you consider that 7.25 million people are set to work in the gig economy by 2022, competition for the best contractors and permanent workers becomes even fiercer.

The ageing workforce presents another challenge for field service businesses to overcome. As the Baby Boomer generation (1956-1964) retires from the workforce, they leave behind a considerable knowledge gap. Subsequently, there will be a shortage of replacement workers within the Millennial (1981-1996) and Generation Z (1997-2012) groups.

Your business must prepare for the increasingly small and competitive talent pool. For example, you should consider ways to train new field service technicians and think about how you will attract and retain the best talent.

Field service companies that use workforce management technology have a competitive edge in recruitment, especially with younger workers. 80% of Gen Z say they want to work with cutting-edge technology, so businesses that digitise their processes will stand out from the competition as a more desirable workplace.

3. Automation Will Become Standard

49% of field service organisations are still using manual processes that are slow, error-prone and inconvenient for everyone involved.

However, automation is revolutionising outdated ways of working and turning them into rapid, reliable processes that boost productivity. Using workforce management technology like BigChange, you can schedule jobs, dispatch workers, active project statuses and complete a whole host of other administrative tasks at the touch of a button.

Field-based workers can complete forms, pre-populated with customer information, from their mobile devices and send them electronically to back-office staff. Less time spent completing manual paperwork means more time spent completing jobs and generating revenue.

With all the free time created by automated processes, your back-office staff will also be able to concentrate on other tasks that help provide your company with a solid competitive advantage.

Future-Proof Your Business with BigChange’s Workforce Management Technology

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange.

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.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Historically, late B2B payments have presented a massive challenge for organisations that rely on manual AR (Accounts Receivable) processes and legacy systems. They’re both antiquated, unnecessarily difficult and take up valuable time, annihilating cash flow.

But businesses can avoid the problem of frequent late payments altogether. In fact, with the right technology, companies can simplify payment processes and add value to their business at the same time.

In this article, we’ll explore how late payments affect your company, how to fix the issue of customers not paying on time and how automating your AR processes can enable your business to thrive.

How Late Payments Affect Your Business

Since the beginning of the pandemic, late payments in the UK have skyrocketed, with an increase in unpaid invoices of 23% impacting businesses nationwide.

We’ve listed the main ways that late payments could be affecting your company below:

  • You may be unable to take on new projects

If your customer doesn’t pay on time, cash flow becomes limited and hinders business growth. As a result, you may find that you don’t have the funds to take on new jobs or invest in equipment for other, larger projects.

Chasing payments to improve your cash flow wastes your time and takes your focus away from the most crucial aspects of running a business. In the worst case, constantly hunting down unpaid invoices could cause you to lose your competitive edge.

  • You could struggle to meet operational expenses

A limited cash flow does more damage than just limiting future projects. 

If you’re dealing with frequent late payments, you may also find that your current operating expenses are getting out of hand. When operational expenses become an issue, it inhibits your ability to run a business effectively and you may even need to take out loans to cover the costs.

  • Your credit rating might take a hit

According to research, around 38% of small businesses that have suffered cash flow problems have been left unable to pay debts. If you’ve had to take out a loan or used a credit card to cover running costs and don’t have the funds to pay it back on time, your credit rating will suffer. 

Credit bureaus take late payments into account when evaluating your credit score, so your rating will drop if you can’t pay by the deadline. With a lower credit score, it will be trickier and costlier to secure loans in the future.

  • Supplier relationships could suffer

Late payments create a chain reaction. If your customer doesn’t pay you on time, you then won’t be able to pay your suppliers on time. Consequently, your supplier relationships may suffer as they then have to spend time chasing your business for payments.

Suppliers are more reluctant to work with companies that take a long time to pay invoices and, if late payments become a regular issue, they may cut ties with you altogether.

How to Fix the Issue of Late Payments

The silver lining is that there are ways to fix the issue of late payments. By making your AR processes quicker and more straightforward, your business will be able to prosper and grow.

Here are some ways you can begin improving the payment process:

  • Build Good Relationships with Your Customers

It pays to have a strong relationship with your clients. Take the time to build rapport and a positive customer experience and they’ll be more likely to pay their invoices by the deadline.

Although it can be frustrating to chase overdue invoices, try not to let it sour the relationship. A polite approach will help to keep your customer on-side and will yield better results in the long run.

  • Invoice Correctly and Quickly

Be mindful of inefficient payment processes that can slow down approvals and lead to overdue invoices. Organisation and attention to detail are key to ensuring that your customers pay on time.

The sooner you generate your invoice and send it over to the customer, the sooner you’ll receive payment. Companies that wait to send invoices out in batches could be inadvertently stalling the payment process by several weeks.

Human error also plays a significant role in creating long payment cycles. For example, customers may dispute incorrect invoices that don’t match up with quotes or include the wrong purchase order, which then requires additional time to resolve the issue.

  • Automate Your AR Processes

You need your customers to pay on time so you can keep your business running, maintain supplier relationships and grow the company. Still, sluggish payments remain a frustrating reality for most organisations. That’s where AR automation comes in.

With a complete job management platform such as BigChange, you can automatically raise invoices directly in the system. By digitising your important documentation and keeping it on one platform, businesses can remove the risk of human error, reduce the amount of time spent on arduous, manual paperwork, and prevent documents getting forgotten about or lost.

Instead, customers can sign digitally to confirm that the job is complete and instantly make an online payment.

It really is that simple.

Learn How BigChange Enables Customers to Pay On Time

Create financial documents instantly based on pre-saved line items or automatically calculated job costs, which can be sent automatically to customers on job completion. Generate and share invoices, quotes, estimates, purchase orders and credit notes in seconds with BigChange.

Plus, with the BigChange Pay feature, you can now also take instant payments.

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

How Digital Transformation is Driving Customer Experience

Did you know, two-thirds of a company’s competitive edge comes from its customer experience? In today’s busy world, customers expect businesses to anticipate their needs and provide simple, seamless services. Therefore, organisations must innovate and devise ways to take their customer experience to the next level to avoid becoming obsolete.

But, how do you ensure that the customer experience meets expectations without spending too much money or time implementing a solution?

Simple. You use technology to your advantage. 

In this article, we’ll explain how digital transformation is driving customer experience and how you can use modern job management software to make your business stand out from the crowd.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation involves integrating technology into some — or all — areas of a business to create or improve processes. Fundamentally, digital transformation changes the way companies operate and provide value to their customers. 

Since traditional, paper-based processes are error-prone and inefficient, more field service businesses are considering disruptive ways of leveraging state-of-the-art technology to enhance their ways of working. 

But what effect can a digital transformation of customer experience have on your business?

The Impact of Digital Transformation on Customer Experience

According to statistics, 73% of customers agree that customer experience helps to drive their buying decisions. Consequently, you must consider ways to attract modern buyers and deliver on their expectations in order to continue growing your business.

With digital transformation, not only will you provide a superior customer experience, but you’ll also enjoy several benefits. Here are some examples of how digital transformation is driving customer experience:

1. More Reliable Workers

Historically, many field service businesses have had to rely on subcontractors they don’t know or can’t manage to complete jobs for customers. As a result, communication can be disjointed, and clients may receive a sub-par service.

Unfortunately, when customers aren’t happy, your business and its reputation take a hit. In fact, 39% of customers claim they would stay away from a vendor for up to two years after a negative experience.

Instead, companies that use online networks to collaborate with other like-minded businesses can extend their reach to offer additional services in a wider range of locations. Online platforms also provide access to real-time data, meaning you can see who is working for you, what they’re doing and where. Plus, you can instantly share information with your customers, giving them more visibility over their appointment. 

As a result, you’ll be able to experience the benefits of company expansion without the additional cost or risk, and your clients will receive a better service.

2. Faster Processes

According to research, businesses that go paperless notice that staff productivity rises by nearly 30%. The repetitive, manual administration methods that many field service businesses rely on act as a motivation killer for their staff and, in turn, cause more errors and make already sluggish processes even less efficient.

Picture this: Bob has waited several working days for an invoice in the mail from you. He opens it and realises that the details don’t match up with your initial quote. Confused, Bob calls your back-office team and contests the invoice. After some back and forth, your team realises that they have made a typo and now have to mail out another invoice.

Bob is unhappy that the process is taking so long, and your team now has to spend more time fixing the problem. Not ideal.

If you use a cloud-based job management platform, on the other hand, you will quickly realise the impact of digital transformation on customer experience. Customers can book appointments online before your back-office team deploys a worker based on location and skill set. You can then share real-time updates with your customer, so they know when to expect the technician.

Once the work is complete, the technician can fill out and send paperwork to your back office via their mobile device and create a digital invoice. Your customer will receive the invoice immediately and be able to pay online the same day.

With a cloud-based system, you can eliminate the risk of human error, speed up your processes and provide your customers with an outstanding experience at the touch of a button.

3. A Personal Touch

Unsurprisingly, 98% of marketers say personalisation advances customer relationships. Modern customers are used to online experiences that are tailored directly to their individual needs, so your business will need to do the same to keep your customers. 

However, when you rely on paper-based documents and multiple, outdated legacy systems, keeping track of your customers and their requirements can be tricky. As such, your customers won’t be receiving a personalised service and may look to your competitors to provide them with a more tailored experience. 

Using a cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) system, such as BigChange, personalising the customer experience has never been easier. For example, you can see customer information and history on the platform, which ensures that you have all the details you need to keep track of projects and provide your customers with the correct updates as and when required.

Begin a Digital Transformation of 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.

Want to find out more?
Discover how Field Service Management Software from BigChange can make your business grow stronger and arrange a free demo today.

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