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During August 2021, we engaged the research consultancy Opinium to survey field service businesses about how they fared since the UK government eased their strictest lockdown measures.

Although, for the most part, many companies are doing better now than they were in July 2020, the survey revealed that 13% of organisations are still struggling. In fact, those in the worst affected category fear they will go out of business in the next year as costs continue to rise and COVID-19 support measures are phased out.

At BigChange, we’re committed to making a difference to the way you work and helping your business grow stronger. In this article, we’ll share the top three ways to increase profits for your business and bounce back post-pandemic.

How to Boost Your Profits

1. Reduce Travel Expenses

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy profit margin is to reduce business expenses. With petrol prices rising by 18% and diesel leaping by 16% to a near-record level over the last year, it’s worth looking at your current travel costs and devising ways to minimise them. 

If you’re currently relying on spreadsheets to schedule your technicians’ working days, you could be missing out on the opportunity to optimise their routes. Thankfully, technological advancements in recent years have made it simple to assign relevant workers to jobs based on their location, skills and qualifications and vehicle type. 

A job management platform optimises routes, which helps to reduce the amount of time each technician spends on the road. Lowered travel times increase the number of appointments technicians can attend each day, making it a worthwhile investment. 

2. Improve First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know, companies that achieve a high first-time fix rate of over 70% enjoy a 4% increase in revenue? Subsequently, it’s crucial to equip your technicians with everything they need to complete their assignments the first time.

Keeping a close eye on your stock, equipment, and assets will ensure that you always have the correct items for each job and allows you to attend more reactive appointments. Modern asset management systems give you complete, real-time visibility over your inventory and allow you to assign gear directly to jobs. 

By allocating equipment before each job, your technicians can rest assured they have the right tools to finish the work there and then. Plus, an increase in first-time fixes will liberate more time for your workers to take on additional jobs — which will prove to be particularly lucrative, as the workload has increased by 70% across the field service industry.

3. Digitise Your Processes

On average, we found that users of job management software grew faster than businesses still relying on spreadsheets and paper processes last year. Better still, those that made the most of the latest technology are now in a better position to take on further work and deliver it profitably in 2022.

Using job management software like BigChange, you can digitise all your processes and manage them on one easy-to-use platform. As a result, your back-office team can handle bookings — from the moment the client makes an appointment right up to invoicing and payment — at the click of a button. 

Furthermore, the system records all customer interactions, meaning you’ll have a comprehensive record of information to refer back to whenever you need it without having to sift through mountains of paperwork. Additionally, you’ll reduce business costs by eliminating the need to store documents on-site or pay for storage.

Consequently, your team will have more time to spend on activities that contribute directly to business growth, leading to significant profits further down the line.

Job Management Platforms are the Future

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has taken its toll on field service organisations. Currently, fewer than half of field service firms are profitable. That’s why business leaders will need to think outside the box and look for innovative solutions that will help their companies bounce back.

In order to stay ahead of the curve and thrive in a turbulent economic landscape, you must consider how technology will help you overcome the obstacles you’re facing presently. Job management platforms arm you with all the tools you need to boost profitability and provide a great return on investment, which will benefit your business long after the effects of the pandemic have disappeared. 

Help Your Business Bounce Back Stronger than Ever on BigChange

BigChange’s job management software 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, workforce management, financial data 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, arrange a free demo today!

Invoicing is an essential part of running any organisation, but the payment process is often riddled with obstacles and extremely inefficient. From late payments that obliterate your cash flow to arduous, manual processes that leave your Accounts Receivable (AR) team feeling frustrated, outdated payment processes can negatively impact business performance.

However, there is a way to streamline the payment cycle, saving you time and money that could be better spent elsewhere in the company.

With automated invoicing and payment software, everything is digitised and stored on one easy-to-use platform, which ultimately speeds up the whole process and ensures you get paid quicker.

We’ve summarised the most significant benefits that automated invoice processing provides and how it optimises payment lifecycles, enabling you to focus on business priorities instead.

1. Going Paperless

Going paperless isn’t just environmentally friendly, it makes good business sense.

Paperless processing permanently avoids the risk of invoices becoming forgotten about or lost. Instead, you, your employees and your customers can access cloud-based documents any time, anywhere.

Additionally, going paperless enables you to complete approvals directly on the platform. Invoices won’t have to sit, piled on someone’s desk for weeks on end and records of the process are catalogued to save time spent searching through old files.

Removing your reliance on paper, also saves money on storage and logistics costs. Companies with hard copies of invoices need to keep them somewhere for auditing purposes, but eventually, they begin to run out of space and need to pay to store them in an off-site location.

Furthermore, data regulations such as GDPR prevent organisations from keeping records after a certain amount of time. As a result, businesses with boxes of paper records in storage will need to pay employees for the manual labour of sorting through and discarding old records.

By contrast, automated invoice processing eliminates the dependence on paper, freeing up time, money, and office space.

2. Eliminating Repetitive Tasks

For each physical invoice that needs to be processed, someone must input the information manually, print it out, put it in an envelope and mail it off to the customer before filing a copy somewhere in the office.

Repetitive tasks are a morale killer for AR teams, who currently spend an average of 11 hours manually processing each invoice. When your employees are unhappy, they’re more likely to jump ship, leaving you to spend time and money hiring replacements.

Invoicing and payment software is designed to oust the monotony of payment processing by keeping everything in one place and automating administrative tasks. By alleviating your AR team of burdensome processes, you can expect to see a significant boost in productivity and motivation.

3. Less Human Eror Error

Imagine this: your AR team posts an invoice to a customer, who receives it several days later. The customer checks the invoice but notices a mistake – the total doesn’t match up with the original quote.

Not wanting to pay the incorrect amount, the customer calls your AR department and disputes the invoice. After some time spent going back and forth over the phone, the AR team realises it was an innocent mistake and then has to correct, print, seal and send off the new invoice, which the customer will receive in a few days.

Seems pretty inefficient.

Invoicing and payment software leaves much less room for human error because it automatically generates invoices using existing company data. Fewer slip-ups mean your team can spend less time processing a single invoice and focus on more pressing tasks that will help to grow your business.

Plus, you won’t have to rely on snail mail to send invoices. The software will automatically send invoices to the customer, where they can electronically sign them and issue a payment immediately.

4. Fewer Employee Hours

Your business is bound to go through peaks and troughs of activity. Therefore, it can be tempting to take on temporary staff when your AR team reaches peak capacity to lighten the load.
But recruitment is very costly and time-consuming, especially when you’re hiring non-permanent staff.

Forward-thinking companies invest in invoicing and payment software, which scales as your business does. With automated processes in place, your team will be able to handle invoices much faster, giving them more time to focus on strategic activities instead.

5. No More Chasing

With a lowered risk of human error, immediate invoice generation and a digital record of all documents, wasting time chasing overdue payments can become a thing of the past.

Automated invoice processing organises what was once a slow but chaotic workflow and streamlines it to ensure you get paid by the deadline.

Rather than spending hours on the phone chasing down your customers, business leaders are investing in invoicing and payment software to empower their AR teams. Companies can continue focusing on business priorities whilst their invoices follow a quick, simple online workflow between your organisation and the customer.

Use Automated Invoice Processing to Streamline Your Payment Cycle with BigChange

Create financial documents quickly based on pre-saved line items or automatically calculated job costs. Generate and share invoices, quotes, estimates, purchase orders and credit notes in seconds with BigChange.

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

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.

JobWatch, our highly secure, cloud-based technology, helps you track and control every job from 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, 24/7/365 human support based in Yorkshire.

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 singular, 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 projects, 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.

An all-in-one 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.

JobWatch, our highly secure, cloud-based technology, helps you track and control every job from 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, 24/7/365 human support based in Yorkshire.

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.

JobWatch, our highly secure, cloud-based technology, helps you track and control every job from 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, 24/7/365 human support, based in Yorkshire.

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 an all-in-one 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.

Companies that don’t only want to survive, but thrive, in a post-pandemic world will need to innovate and think of ways to stay ahead of their competition. 

If COVID taught us anything, it’s that technology has the power to change the way we work and eliminate a range of roadblocks that have the potential to stand in the way of business. One piece of technology that can revolutionise the way you run your organisation is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform with payment gateway integration.

A CRM streamlines the sales cycle, end-to-end, and speeds up the entire process. Consequently, you can get paid on time, take on more projects and scale your company. 

In this article, we’ll explore the five main perks of using a CRM with integrated payment solutions.

1. Streamline the Payment Process

Time is money, which means that all those hours your Accounts Receivable (AR) team is spending manually processing payments is costing you dearly.

In fact, for the average small-to-mid-sized company, it takes approximately 25 days to process a single invoice manually from receipt to payment. As a result, businesses have to contend with overdue invoices, high processing costs and employees spending their time on long-winded tasks.

CRMs with payment gateway integration speed up the payments process. No more searching through stacks of paper to find the information you need, no more reliance on snail mail to send your customers an invoice and waiting days for their accounting team to handle it, and no more risk of human error that can delay the process further.

Integrated payment solutions allow you to automatically send your customer a payment request via the CRM — where all your other documents are stored — and receive the funds instantly. 

Not only will your AR team thank you for freeing up their time to focus on more crucial tasks, but your cash flow will likely remain more consistent.

2. A More Secure Way to Pay

The National Crime Agency (NCA) estimates that businesses lose around £190 billion to fraud each year in the UK. Being a victim of a scam can cause severe financial and reputational damage to your business, so you must have preventative measures in place.

A good CRM provides an additional layer of security that you wouldn’t get when you process payments traditionally using legacy systems and paper invoices. All payment data is encrypted and transferred securely, significantly reducing the risk of fraud. 

In addition to the added security, a CRM with payment gateway integration can seriously speed up the payments process. 

Rather than taking credit card numbers over the phone or waiting for a cheque in the post before passing them over to your accounting department, you can request a payment from your customer directly through the CRM and receive the funds instantly.

3. Convenience for Your Customers

In today’s digital world, where convenience and speed are king, failure to meet the standard your customers have come to expect is a surefire way to lose business.

Although B2C payments have continued to innovate and provide modern, user-friendly ways to pay, B2B payments have historically fallen behind. However, B2B organisations are quickly realising due to the COVID crisis that their payments desperately need consumerization.

Say you have a customer who is waiting for your invoice to arrive in the mail before they can send you a cheque, but that same customer was just able to complete a near-instant, cloud-based payment for another company. It’s not hard to guess who they would prefer to work with again in the future.

CRMs that have integrated payment solutions vastly improve the customer experience and help maintain your relationship long-term. You can expect far more repeat customers if your processes are painless and consider their needs.

4. Keep Everything in One Place

One of the main benefits of having payment gateway integration in your CRM is that you essentially have a single, central customer database where all the information is correct.

Keeping customer details updated across multiple platforms is slow, destroys team morale, creates duplicates work and increases costs. However, a CRM with payment gateway integration enables your AR team to quickly generate an invoice based on correct, pre-populated information about the customer and accept payments all in the same place.

As a result, you can expect far less human error and mismatched data. With all the time saved, you and your team can focus on more valuable work. 

5. See the Bigger Picture

Integrating your payment processing tools with your CRM will be instrumental in helping you understand your business better, not only financially, but also from a marketing perspective.

Usually, when you acquire a new lead, you mark the source in the CRM. However, if your CRM and payments platform aren’t integrated, it becomes trickier to see the true ROI on each of your marketing channels.

Suppose you want to learn which channels provide you with the most repeat customers, which channels generate the most ROI and which channels attract the most new clients. In that case, it’s essential to employ a CRM with integrated payment solutions, which lets you see financial and client data in the same place.

Learn More about Integrated Payment Solutions with BigChange

Using an all-in-one platform like BigChange enables you to stay ahead of the curve.

Create financial documents quickly based on pre-saved line items or automatically calculated job costs. Generate and share invoices, quotes, estimates, purchase orders and credit notes in seconds.

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

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