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Rubbish removal company Clearance & Clean Up has achieved a ten-fold growth in business following the roll-out of a job management system from BigChange. With an online booking system, which automatically creates customised worksheets, an integrated CRM from start to finish job management and real-time vehicle tracking and mobile app, BigChange is reducing the administrative resource required to run the nationwide operation. This has also helped the Yorkshire-based company achieve and maintain the highest quality service standards with the most five-star reviews for a property clearance and rubbish removal company.

“We adopted BigChange quite early in our journey and, as we have grown, BigChange has grown and evolved with us,” commented Tom Pickering, Managing Director of Clearance & Clean Up. “BigChange allows us to offer an unmatched level of service whilst ensuring waste is dealt with quickly, legally and ethically.”

Tom Pickering, Managing Director of Clearance & Clean Up

Clearance & Clean Up was established by ex-Royal Navy supervisor Tom Pickering in 2010 and he has subsequently grown the company by more than 1000 per cent to become Yorkshire’s largest property clearance and rubbish removal company. Offering a range of services from single item collection to full house clearance, trade and business waste to event management, Clearance & Clean Up works with tenants and home owners, local councils and housing associations, letting / estate agents, developers as well as high street names.

The BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence, in one easy to use system, is used to manage every aspect of the mobile operation from initial enquiries and booking through to invoicing and marketing. An online booking portal captures information via an API connection from Clearance & Clean Up’s website, automatically populating initial job cards and appointment calendar. BigChange also allows Clearance & Clean Up to create personalised booking sites for regular commercial customers.

The integrated CRM means Clearance & Clean Up can manage every aspect of its nationwide customer base including details of bookings, legal documents such as Waste Transfer Notices, invoicing and marketing communications. BigChange also provides the ability to create and customise bespoke worksheets depending on the type of booking received. Operatives complete these using the mobile app whilst on-site, capturing vital evidence, including date stamped photographs, the scale and nature of the waste on arrival, and the site as it is left.

Each of Clearance & Clean Up’s modern, purpose-built trucks, is fitted with a real-time tracker and each field operative is armed with a mobile device running the BigChange Mobile App. This gives management 24/7 visibility of the mobile operation, allows for intelligent and reactive scheduling and route planning and provides additional evidence to inform customer communications.

“We rely on accurate information from our customer in order to provide the best possible service,” Pickering continued. “In return BigChange allows us to capture, record and share real-time service updates, detailed job reports and comprehensive management intelligence whenever and where ever its required”.

Tom Pickering, Managing Director of Clearance & Clean Up

“BigChange has been an essential part of our business growth journey and, with the excellent support they offer and tools such as the BigChange University, I expect it to be an integral part of our successful future,” he concluded.

Off-mains drainage expert UKDP Solutions, is pinning ambitious expansion plans on its use of a BigChange job management system. The specialist drainage company has already transformed the management of its field operation using BigChange, with engineer’s mobile devices and vehicle trackers live-linked to a central management system. This has meant a 30 percent gain in operational efficiencies, as engineers spend less time completing paperwork, and boosted customer service with real-time access to service updates and automatically generated ETAs. UKDP is also saving tens of thousands of pounds per year in office rent as the cloud-based system has allowed remote working, introduced during the pandemic to be continued.    

“We have ambitious expansion plans and BigChange will play a big part in them, as it allows scalability at any pace, due to the continuity it provides and the transparency it offers,” commented James Warren, Technical Director at UKDP Solutions. “We have proven that BigChange works and I have no doubt that regardless of the challenges we face, it always will.”  

James Warren, Technical Director at UKDP Solutions

It is estimated that around 5 percent of UK properties are not connected to mains drainage relying instead on systems such as septic tanks, sewage treatment plants or cesspits. Located in mainly rural areas, UKDP offers a range of services to these properties, including new installations, inspections, surveys, repairs, and routine maintenance and emptying. A team of directly employed Field Operations Managers (FOM), armed with tablets running the BigChange mobile app, cover the whole of Britain using a mixed fleet of Ford and Peugeot vans.

UKDP selected the BigChange job management platform system, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence, to replace a number of disconnected systems including a standalone office suite, online calendar and email server. Using BigChange, UKDP has digitised all previous systems and processes and created a library of over 40 customised worksheets covering every job type which engineers complete onsite leading to an increase in productivity of 30 percent.

Real-time tracking allows UKDP to issue accurate arrival times and update customers of any delays. This visibility and accessibility of information also means any member of the office team can answer queries, at any time, it also provides a valuable input for time / cost analysis by providing ‘time on site’ transparency. This transparency is extended to other areas of the business including financial reporting. With all job costs and invoices on the system UKDP can assess the profitability of individual jobs and produce detailed reports in a matter of minutes.

“We have fully immersed our entire operation in BigChange and, as cheesy as it may sound, the more we have put in the more we have got out,” Warren continued. “It took some time to get all our documents and workflows on the system but it was the best thing we have ever done. We are now exactly where we need to be to start the next stage of our development and BigChange has been, and will continue to be, an integral part of our journey.”

James Warren, Technical Director at UKDP Solutions

Engineers looking at a tablet next to work vans
BigChange Underpins Expansion Plans for UKDP Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction to gas engineer software

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

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

It also helps improve customer service and communication with clients. 

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

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

The top 4 benefits of using gas engineer software

#1: Time savings

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

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

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

#2: Cost savings

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

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

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

#3: Improved customer service

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

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

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

#4: Improved bottom line

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a few examples of real life results:

Gas Smart Heating boosts efficiency by 25%

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

“Our old system was fine at the start, but as we began to recruit more engineers it was clearly not up to the job. What we really wanted was a single system that would do everything.”

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

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

Heatforce boosts customer service and business performance 

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

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

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

📕You can read more about how BigChange transformed operations here

MHL heating engineers improve admin efficiency by 90%

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

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

📕You can read more about MHL’s success here

Choosing the best gas engineer software

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

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

📕Related: How to choose the best gas engineer software

Ready to add gas engineer software to your toolkit?

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

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

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

You can even book your first demo right now. 

Prymo Surface Solutions has doubled the size of its business in just six months following the implementation of a BigChange job management system.

Offering a complete repair, restore and resurface solution for any type of surface, Prymo has dramatically increased productivity in the office by eliminating paperwork and introducing automated workflows. The system also gives management complete visibility of the operation 24/7, as well as the ability to produce in-depth business critical analytics at the touch of a button. 

“Committing to BigChange was a big step but it was all about mindset,” commented Prymo Managing Director and founder Jasen Jackiw. “I knew the system did everything we needed, and more, so it was a bit like a symbolic burning ship. By signing on the dotted line, I was getting rid of the worries and the ‘what ifs’ and committing to making the company a success. And that’s exactly what happened; with BigChange we are going from strength to strength and the system just keeps on delivering”.

Jasen Jackiw, Managing Director and founder of Prymo

“BigChange has also empowered and motivated us as a team,” he continued. “This has transformed the feel of the business from a small company to one that can provide a more corporate, larger-company experience – but retaining the personal touch.”

Based in Manchester, Prymo is the largest repair and resurfacing company in the north-west. From small damage repairs to full facade solutions and work packages, Prymo offers a complete surface repair, coatings, restoration and cleaning solution for organisations such as Balfour Beatty, English Heritage and Manchester City Council and has just committed to a 25% growth in its mobile team to drive future expansion plans.

The BigChange job management system, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence, has replaced a number of disparate systems including spreadsheets, sales management software and multiple apps with one simple to use and easy to integrate solution. The use of real-time tracking in combination with intelligent routing and scheduling is ensuring efficient job planning and communication with customers and technicians, armed with mobile phones running the BigChange app, can access a huge variety of customisable job sheets and workflows whether they are working on large construction projects or in retail environments.

Prymo has also halved the cost of its internal account management thanks to BigChange. By eliminating menial administrative tasks, staff have been freed up and redeployed to work on customer service and business development.

“By investing in BigChange we have invested in our staff and we have committed a 110% to BigChange and therefore the business and its people,” Jackiw continued. “As a result, we have made people’s jobs easier so we have less problems. Less problems means a happier team with a better mindset and this means a more productive workforce.”

Jasen Jackiw, Managing Director and founder of Prymo
Prymo using the BigChange system in their back office to manage their jobs.
Prymo using the BigChange system in their back office to manage their jobs.

Glass Polishing & Restoration Specialists, Chicago Glass (UK) Ltd has grown its field resources by 25 percent since implementing a job management system from BigChange, boosting capacity and providing a strong foundation for continuous growth.

The Kent-based company, which operates across the UK, has achieved this by replacing multiple standalone software packages with one simple-to-use system, freeing up time spent on administration. BigChange has also enabled Chicago Glass to work towards becoming a paperless business, seeing a reduction of more than 90 percent with all paperwork out on-site now done via a mobile app.

“We chose BigChange because it is simple to use, it could significantly reduce our internal and inter-group paperwork, and it can easily handle business growth,” commented Tom Baker, Operations Director at Chicago Glass.

Tom Baker, Operations Director, Chicago Glass

Chicago Glass has been established for over 20 years and, in 2020, became an Employee-Owned Company. Now one of the largest glass polishing and restoration companies in the UK, Chicago Glass offers solutions for most on-site glass problems, from impact damages, to scratches, graffiti, spatter and surface contamination. Chicago Glass has also introduced an Architectural Spraying Division to repair damaged metal framework on-site for its trade customers.

The BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence, has become the core system used by Chicago Glass. From initial enquires logged in the CRM, quote production with customised documents, to the management of the enquiry, the sales process has been transformed with all information in one place. As soon as a job becomes live, it is assigned to a field resource, and they can view all relevant information about the job on the BigChange App.

With a large team of 20 field-based technicians, all running the BigChange App on mobiles, pre-filled customised worksheets can be completed on-site, including the ability to upload photographs. This information is shared, in real-time, with the back-office using BigChange’s live-link system, helping aid communication and visibility. It has also reduced the timeframe for getting paperwork from the technician to the Head Office. 

Chicago Glass also uses BigChange to track its fleet of low-emission compliant Fiat vans whilst routine vehicle checks and alerts for servicing and other time-critical actions ensure they are well maintained.

“The BigChange system saves us a lot of time with paperwork. The CRM function is paramount to our work, and the ease of use is a big plus point. We would recommend this system to others to improve productivity and data collection.”

John O’Bree, Operations Manager at Chicago Glass
Chicago Glass using BigChange job management system.
Chicago Glass using BigChange job management system.

NWCE Food Service Equipment is saving thousands of pounds a year, boosting engineer productivity, and reducing its environmental impact, having implemented a job management system from BigChange. Offering commercial catering equipment services across the UK, NWCE uses BigChange to intelligently schedule and create optimised routes for its team of around 60 field engineers.

With average savings of just over 30 miles, per van, per day, this equates to enormous annual savings, reduced travelling times and a decrease in Carbon Dioxide emissions. BigChange also provides the Bolton-based business with 24/7 visibility of its mobile workforce, automated stock management and a range of fleet management tools.   

“We had a system before BigChange, but it was slow and clunky,” commented Ben Odling, Managing Director of NWCE Food Service Equipment.

“BigChange is the complete opposite! It’s fast, it’s reactive, and it is there when you need it. With our promise not to let our customers down even when their equipment does, this directly relates to and supports our ethos and way of working.”

Ben Odling, Manager Director of NWCE Food Service Equipment

NWCE Food Service Equipment offers a nationwide commercial catering service working with a diverse customer base which includes organisations and businesses from the health, retail, hospitality and education sectors. With a team of engineers, gas professionals and kitchen installers, NWCE services include 24-hour breakdown and repair, design and installation, equipment maintenance, and sales on a vast array of catering and refrigeration equipment found in commercial kitchens or catering environments. 

NWCE implemented the BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence, in 2019. The intelligent scheduling assistant, which uses real-time data to account for location, traffic information, job constraints and engineer type, combined with smart route planning, has contributed to an average saving of more than 30 miles per vehicle per day.

This equates to a reduction in travelling time of 3 ½ hours per engineer per week, boosting productivity by 10 per cent. It also means the business is limiting the environmental impact of its mobile operation with an annual reduction in vehicle emissions of 90 tonnes of CO2.

Engineers are further boosting efficiency with direct access to customer files, site service histories and equipment documentation using the BigChange app; this also helps NWCE keep their clients up to date on asset management and equipment spend. Customisable job sheets can be automatically shared with the back office, which is improving customer communications and service levels.

“Before BigChange, an engineer could be hanging around on-site waiting for paperwork to come through by email,” continued Odling. “For example, if a fryer was condemned, they would have to wait for someone in the office to dig out the right piece of paper for that specific unit, send it across for the engineer to fill out and return, and then put together a quote for a replacement. With BigChange, it’s literally a one-button process, and the customer has all the information they need to make a decision before they even know the extent of the problem.”

Other aspects of BigChange that are positively impacting on NWCEs bottom line include automated stock control, with real-time updates and trend analysis, which allows for just-in-time ordering and re-stocking and a reduction in expensive items sitting in a warehouse or in service vehicles. Fleet management tools, including daily vehicle checks and alerts for events such as MOTs, servicing and insurance renewals, are improving driver and vehicle performance, and real-time tracking allows NWCE to issue accurate arrival times and update customers of any delays.

“Since implementing BigChange, we have trebled the size of our employed workforce and, with the competitive edge that BigChange provides, I am confident we will continue to expand and evolve, and BigChange will support us at every step,” Odling concluded.

Ben Odling, Managing Director of NWCE Food Service Equipment
NWCE using BigChange job management system in the back office.
NWCE using the BigChange job management system in the back office.

BigChange has helped DBS, a specialist in the repair and maintenance of petroleum forecourt structures and retail sites, boost operational productivity by 20 per cent.  The job management system has also improved customer service, cut office administration work by half, and improved workforce health and safety. The complete job management platform links field workers to back-office staff with real-time tracking, scheduling and reporting.

DBS is a family-run business that has been trading since 2000. Based in Southampton, DBS is a leading forecourt maintenance service company, specialising in the nationwide construction, branding, repair and maintenance of all commercial, retail, agricultural and petrol forecourt structures. Working with brands such as BP, Shell and MFG, DBS offers a range of construction services, including steel erection and fabrication, signage, HIAB crane hire, roofing and cladding.

“Prior to BigChange, we relied on spreadsheets, paper files and a large wall-mounted map. We work all over mainland UK and would update the map manually each day, with magnets to show the current location of each gang and all our outstanding surveys and jobs. It was extremely time-consuming and left room for human error.”

Emma Lamburne, Operations Manager at DBS.

“We considered other systems before choosing BigChange, but they were either too complicated or not fit for purpose. We have up to six teams available to work, 24/7, anywhere in the UK, in addition to our survey team,” she continued. “Between them, they can visit up to 40 sites a week, so being able to track and share live ETAs is really helpful. The scheduling function allows us to respond to emergency callouts whilst minimising disruption to planned works, and the HR features, including time sheets, holiday requests and staff training, have all been well received by our staff.”

Using the BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple-to-use and easy-to-integrate platform, DBS manages virtually every aspect of its mobile operation. Quotations for proposed work and invoices for completed projects are automated as BigChange integrates with the company’s accounting software, and field engineers can digitally complete Risk Assessment and Method Statement (RAMS), saving time, paper and the potential for errors.

Real-time tracking allows back-office staff to keep customers up to speed, and automated scheduling has allowed the company to be flexible with working practices. Digital forms and photo libraries are helping engineers and surveyors to share condition reports and feedback, which in turn is helping DBS be proactive with maintenance programmes and responsive to client requests for information.

“BigChange saves us time and money on every aspect of the business, and the support has been outstanding.”

Jacob Lamburne, Operations Director, DBS
Forecourt Construction Firm DBS Boosts Productivity 20% with BigChange
Forecourt construction firm DBS boosts productivity 20% with BigChange.

“We’ve eliminated paper and all the administration dealing with it, and in the office, we’re certainly twice as productive. BigChange has also had a big impact on our field operations with better scheduling and resource allocation, improved communication and real-time reporting. It means we can do more jobs during the month, and I reckon we’re 20 per cent more productive now, and that has a big impact on the bottom line.”

Jacob Lamburne, Operations Director, DBS

J W Hinchliffe (Tanks), a specialist in fuel tank services, has boosted its annual turnover by 35 per cent following the introduction of a BigChange job management system.

Initially selecting the cloud-based platform to help gain and maintain quality standards and industry accreditations, JWH Tanks also used BigChange to improve the management of their nationwide operations by reducing data duplication, minimising paperwork and eliminating inefficient workflows.

Part of a family business dating back 150 years, JWH Tanks has been offering safe, reliable and cost-effective tank cleaning, tank removal, decommissioning and other fuel-related services for over 40 years. With teams operating across the UK, the Leeds-based company has completed projects for organisations such as the NHS and MOD, major fuel forecourt brands and large development projects, alongside smaller organisations such as independent building contractors and even domestic clients.

Since we went live with BigChange around 2 years ago, we have increased our turnover by around 35 per cent,” commented Nick Saunders, Operations Manager at J W Hinchliffe (Tanks). “I believe this is attributed to a number of benefits brought on by BigChange, particularly efficiency savings, allowing us to focus on other aspects of the business, such as brand promotion.”

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

Nick Saunders, Operations Manager, J W Hinchliffe (Tanks)

“Once a job is completed, clients no longer wait 24 or 48 hours for paper documents to be returned to the office. In many instances, our clients receive their post-work completion packs before our engineers even return to base, using the benefit of real-time information sharing.”

Using BigChange, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence, has dramatically reduced the time and resource required to manage the complete project lifecycle from the initial enquiry right through to project sign-off and invoicing. Intelligent scheduling and routing are reducing costs and unnecessary returns to base between jobs, and the digitisation of paper documents is improving access to and sharing of job-specific information.

Since implementing BigChange, the administrative burden has been dramatically reduced, and management has better control over costs, all contributing to the increase in turnover. The system also improves communication between field-based teams and back-office staff, raising customer service levels and boosting feedback with real-time updates, ETAs and reporting. In addition, the management of staff and vehicles is streamlined with automated checks and alerts, real-time tracking and 24/7 visibility of remote staff. 

“BigChange has freed up my time to run the business rather than it running me,” concluded Saunders. “It gives me the tools and information I need when I need them, it provides the mechanism to share time or business-critical data, and it provides the intelligence we need to be accountable to ourselves, our customers and external organisations. This has allowed me to invest time in other areas of the business, such as the website, advertising and customer care, which has undoubtedly contributed to our growth.”

Nick Saunders, Operations Manager, J W Hinchliffe (Tanks)
JWH Tanks using BigChange in the office to schedule, track and manage their work.

London Drainage Facilities (LDF) is achieving 15 per cent annual growth following the introduction of a job management system from BigChange.

The cloud-based system, which allows its customers to keep track of the status of drainage work from the initial call right through to job completion, is also saving LDF customers time and money, evidenced by 86 per cent of its business coming from repeat customers.  Operating across the South East of England, LDF is now one of London’s leading providers of planned, emergency and drain repair services.

“We previously operated a service management system, but it was old and clunky, struggled with the high volume of jobs we complete and failed to support the specific needs of our clients,” commented Danny Fuller, Operations Director at London Drainage Facilities.

“Having found BigChange, it soon became apparent how manoeuvrable and user-friendly the system was, giving us complete control on how we interact with clients to meet their individual needs. BigChange helped us get away from the old ‘one rule for everyone’ way of working!”

Danny Fuller, Operations Director, LDF

London Drainage Facilities was established in 2006 and, since implementing BigChange, has experienced year-on-year growth and has ambitious plans, supported by BigChange, to build on this. LDF operates a mixed fleet of 40 vehicles ranging from fast response vehicles dealing with blocked drains and vans carrying specialist CCTV equipment through to excavation machinery and tankers. Providing drainage solutions for commercial, residential and public sector clients, LDF is proud to have worked with brands such as Kier, Macdonald’s and even the House of Commons.   

Using the BigChange job management system, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence, in one simple-to-use and easy-to-integrate platform, LDF has a live and real-time view of its mobile operation beginning when a job is scheduled, and a customer receives an automated email to confirm the full details of the job. Upon completion of works, the LDF technician sends confirmation of the work carried out, complete with photographs, via the BigChange PDA, and if any additional recommendations have been noted, a formal quotation will be sent within 72 hours of call out. BigChange also integrates with LDF’s accounting software Sage to reduce manual data entry and the potential for errors.

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

Danny Fuller, Operations Director, LDF

Each of LDF’s emergency service vehicles are fitted with BigChange vehicle trackers allowing their location to be displayed on a secure, web-based mapping system at the head office. This real-time tracking provides instant visibility of technicians, as well as the latest traffic conditions, meaning emergency call-outs can be allocated to the closest team available, reducing customer waiting time and minimising travel costs and emissions. BigChange is also used to manage and maintain the fleet with van safety checks, routine maintenance alerts and driver behaviour monitoring.

LDF using BigChange on a mobile device to track their field technicians.

New build after-care specialist A&S has used the latest mobile workforce technology to double its business to a £5m turnover in 2 years.

Using the cloud-based job management system from BigChange, A&S has successfully diversified into high-level access services and asset management services for the Private Rental Sector (PRS).  

Established just eight years, A&S has become a leading player in the fast-growing market for new build after-care.  With a head office near Chester and a national training centre in Market Drayton, the company employs multi-skilled and specialist trade teams carrying out NHBC remedial claims, assisting with high-volume build programmes, remedial repairs and technical reports.

A&S works with the major house builders and is now expanding into the private rental sector providing services to UK and overseas investors with A&S Asset Management. With a pool of 100 tradesmen using mobile devices to connect in real-time with the office, BigChange provides a paperless dynamic CRM system that is boosting customer service and efficiency on site.

A&S recently acquired JA Access, allowing the group to offer high-level remedial works, technical external investigations and cladding remedial schemes. JA Access will be the first scaffold access company to utilise BigChange, and A&S are creating a nationwide supply chain network to provide access across the country. This new capability will help A&S complete recently secured cladding remediation and solar panel installation projects.

“BigChange has already delivered productivity gains of 20 percent within our after-care business,” said Sean Coldrick, Group Managing Director, A&S. “Now it has been deployed to underpin expansion into the private rental sector and manage new division in access services – helping us to boost turnover to £5m in just 2 years.”

Sean Coldrisk, Group Managing Director, A&S

“BigChange has transformed JA Access from a paper-driven to paperless business, allowing processes to be streamlined,” Coldrick explains.

“Incorporating JA Access was easy thanks to the ability to link data by the click of a button, making purchase orders and job data simple to exchange. It’s now a business underpinned by a dynamic CRM system; we’ve been able to seamlessly add new clients, double staffing levels and boost sales by 50 percent.”

Sean Coldrick, Group Managing Director, A&S

Using the BigChange mobile app, tradesmen manage all work on-site, aided by on-screen workflows to ensure all the correct procedures are followed and information recorded.  It is completely paperless, and job cards are completed with accompanying on-site photographs, generating contra-charge reports at the click of a button. BigChange also has fully integrated vehicle tracking, providing time and location data, routing, customer ETA alerts and driver performance reporting.

With customer service central to A&S, BigChange provides an important platform for customer mediation, with a portal allowing customers to access all information, including quotes, bookings, job cards and invoices.  BigChange has also been used to transform stock management, with real-time stock control and replenishment of stock on vans and the ordering of parts and materials by tradesmen via their tablets.

“BigChange has allowed us to really streamline our mobile operations.  Tradesmen are now much more self-sufficient; journeys to the depot are rare, first fix rates are improved, and there are fewer wasted hours.

We have complete visibility of everything going on in real-time and that provides assurance that all works are properly controlled.  The system allows us to meet any contract specification, opening up new business opportunities and much bigger contracts – with the assurance that we can deliver exceptional service with a well-proven system and processes.”

Sean Coldrick, Group Managing Director, A&S

BigChange is also helping A&S expand into private rental, creating a new division. A&S Asset Management provides a complete service to the PRS sector, working with UK and overseas investors and increasing the ROI on residential units by providing a high-end cost affective refurbishment scheme for residential units. 

The new division has already secured a multi-million-pound scheme within the NW to bring what are currently standard rentable units up to a modern category, introducing green energy and modern techniques to reduce carbon footprints significantly.

BigChange allowed A&S to centralise all overhead facilities and gave both JA Access and A&S Asset Management a foundation to provide the clients with reassurance.  BigChange ensures all the key requirements are in place; H&S, tracking of jobs and vehicles, asset control and transparency with client login.

“BigChange has lived up to our expectations and transformed the business.  However, more than anything, we chose BigChange because the system was clearly backed up by real people; a team of professionals that have since proven to be invaluable in the roll-out of the system,” said Coldrick. “And like us, they have a forward vision and ambition to grow; that fits very much with our own ambitions.”

Sean Coldrick, Group Managing Director, A&S
A&S using BigChange job management software.

Norspace Hire has boosted customer service and reduced costs since rolling-out job management software from BigChange.

Used to schedule and report on its delivery and service teams using mobile devices in the field, the system is giving Norspace real-time visibility of the entire mobile operation.  Norspace supplies temporary accommodation and welfare facilities in Ireland, and since implementing BigChange earlier this year, the company has improved cash flow through quicker, more accurate invoicing, increased sales and boosted customer satisfaction.

“I truly believe that most problems in business are caused by a lack of communication or communication of the wrong information,” commented Matthew Smyth, Managing Director of Norspace Hire, “and BigChange helps to eliminate this.”

“Using BigChange mobile devices, our drivers capture real-time information which is communicated instantly to our back office who can share it with customers to either confirm the job was completed as scheduled or to explain why the job wasn’t completed. This information is time and date stamped, recorded to an exact location and backed up by photographs. It takes a couple of seconds on site to capture the information and is instantly available for back-office staff to view and share with customers or management.”  

Matthew Smyth, MD, Norspace Hire

Prior to the implementation of BigChange job management software, Norspace relied entirely on paper job cards, phone calls and texts. Issues, for example, blocked access to customer sites or lost keys, could take days to be reported to the depot and communicated back to a customer, potentially resulting in credit notes for un-serviced units, lost charges for extended time on-site and unanswerable customer queries.

“BigChange reduces the potential for complaints,” Smyth added.

“We record, access and share information in seconds and with just a couple of clicks. This has all but eradicated negative customer experiences and gives us room to manoeuvre as situations change.”

Matthew Smyth, MD, Norspace Hire

Norspace Hire, headquartered in Lisburn with depots across Northern Ireland and the Republic, is a family-run business with over 35 years of experience providing temporary accommodation and welfare facilities for the construction, infrastructure, health, education, and events and hospitality sectors. Norspace operates a fleet of trucks ranging from small service vehicles to articulated lorries and loader cranes. Offering a range of products and services, from portable toilets to full-scale onsite temporary accommodation, Norspace projects range from 1 day to many years.

Since implementing the BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field service management, job finance and business intelligence, in one simple to use and easy-to-integrate platform, Norspace has seen a marked improvement in customer feedback and staff satisfaction. Intelligent and responsive scheduling allows Norspace to react immediately to unforeseen circumstances. Customisable job cards and reports have significantly improved efficiencies onsite and in the back office, which gives Norspace the right platform to maintain high service levels and customer satisfaction.

Office worker using two screens in an office setting.
Norspace Hire using BigChange in the office to manage their daily jobs.

Central heating specialist Warmaway is using a job management system from BigChange to achieve efficiencies across its mobile workforce operation.

Integrated with back-office systems, BigChange is improving the productiveness of engineers, with less time spent travelling and filling out paperwork, and increased the turnaround time between completing the work and invoicing the customer via a seamless integration with the company’s accounting software Xero.

Warmaway is also planning to implement an online booking portal powered by BigChange, which will allow customers to request, book and manage appointments at their convenience. The BigChange customer portal also means Warmaway’s customers can track jobs and download job cards and invoices when the work is completed.

“Prior to BigChange, we had a basic CRM system, which literally gave us an address, so we tried to have a bespoke solution built, but this still limited us to desktop use,” commented Adam Redgwick, Sales Director at Warmaway.

“BigChange is different. From vehicle tracking to accessing a boiler’s service history, BigChange is there when and where we need it.

Adam Redgwick, Sales Director, Warmaway

“Using BigChange, we can see exactly where our engineers are, where they are going next and how they are driving,” he continued.

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

Adam Redgwick, Sales Director, Warmaway

Warmaway is a family business with more than 45 years in the plumbing and heating industry. Founder Brian Redgwick installed some of the first domestic central heating systems in the 1970s, and the Yorkshire-based company is now in the capable hands of his son and grandsons. Warmaway provides a range of services, including central gas heating, boiler repairs and electrical work, and has more recently focused on renewable energy systems. Warmaway is Gas Safe, NICEIC approved, and MCS certified.

Used by Warmaway, the BigChange job management software incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple-to-use and easy-to-integrate platform. Automated vehicle checks and driver behaviour alerts ensure Warmaway’s fleet of Ford Transit vans is well serviced, maintained and driven, whilst real-time tracking, complete with customisable alerts, provides 24/7 visibility.

Advanced engineer scheduling means Warmaway is achieving more with the same resource, and customisable job sheets and completion reports mean the flow of information between back-office staff and field engineers is more structured with reduced scope for errors. Warmaway engineers can also access, via the BigChange tablets, complete service histories and online manuals, complete with photographs.

The seamless integration of BigChange with the company’s Xero accounting software is fuelling further efficiencies and business benefits as staff no longer have to ‘double-key’ information, invoices are produced as soon as a job is completed, and management can access up-to-date financial reports.

Warmaway using BigChange in the back office to plan, track, schedule, and manage their business.

Specialist Project Logistics (SPL), a specialist transport and delivery service for high-value items, has achieved a 40 per cent growth in business since implementing the latest job management technology from BigChange.

The cloud-based platform has allowed SPL to transform its paper-based operation with end-to-end digital workflows reducing costs and improving communications. The fully integrated CRM ensures every opportunity is managed to its full potential, helping the business secure more work, whilst automated scheduling improves the efficiency of the mobile workforce by up to 50 per cent.

“Prior to BigChange, we were completely paper-based, which meant vital information was not accessible, and the operation was not scalable,” commented Phil Dixon, Commercial Director at Specialist Project Logistics. “My remit was to implement a strategy for growth, and to achieve this, I knew I needed to provide a structure that allowed for the flow of information between the field teams, back office and management.

“BigChange provides this! From initial enquiry through the actual delivery process to invoicing and payment, every piece of information is recorded and centrally stored, meaning it is accessible whenever and wherever it’s needed. In addition, the CRM has transformed our sales process, so we are winning more business; the intelligent scheduling means we can do more work with the same resource, and the real-time tracking and updates mean we can respond to changes as they occur and keep the customer informed.”   

Phil Dixon, Commercial Director, SPL

SPL is based just outside of Doncaster, with easy access to the motorway network allowing them to provide a bespoke delivery service across the mainland UK. Operating a mixed fleet of trucks and vans, SPL specialises in the transport of high-end white goods, ensuring equipment is delivered in situ. Working alongside its sister companies General Catering Services and Jeros UK, for high street names such as J D Wetherspoons, Co-Op and Five Guys, SPL offers a complete solution including warehousing and consolidation, unpacking and positioning, and removal and disposal. 

BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy-to-integrate platform, has transformed service delivery for SPL. Using the CRM to log enquiries provides intelligence for the management team for business development and ensures consistency of information once work is won. Drivers armed with tablets have access to delivery details and the flow of real-time information between field and office, including POD, complete with photographs and time/date stamps and continuously updated ETAs ensuring the client is kept informed. 

“BigChange is like one big encyclopaedia for our business,” Dixon continued,

“When the pressure is on, and multiple plates are spinning, BigChange is a steady hand ensuring nothing gets dropped! BigChange is easy to use – even for the least techy person, and the support from the BigChange team is excellent.” 

Phil Nixon, Commercial Director, SPL
SPL engineer's using BigChange technology to manage their day.
SPL engineers using BigChange technology to manage their day.

Leeds, 07 September 2022 – Plumbing & Gas Solutions is set to improve their efficiency, saving the company time and money, following the implementation of a BigChange job management system.

By automating workflows and connecting mobile engineers armed with tablets to back-office staff and management, BigChange is improving efficiencies, reducing outgoings and eliminating the potential for errors.

“Using BigChange we are changing our behaviours and therefore our culture,” said Darryl Taylor, the new Operations Director taken on to implement BigChange for Plumbing & Gas Solutions. “Management no longer needs to keep tabs on the workforce, engineers can focus on the job, not the paperwork, and our customers can engage with us when and how they want to. This will allow us to grow the business in a sustainable way to the benefit of our staff, our clients and our community.”

“Occasionally, paperwork that had not been correctly filled in or submitted was resulting in the odd job not being invoiced,” commented Carl Yeomanson, Managing Director of Plumbing & Gas Solutions. “This was not just costing us in terms of lost billing, parts would have been purchased to do the job, engineers were still being paid and we were using fuel and other consumables, to do the work. Due to the size of the projects we work on we know that in the first week of using BigChange we saved many hours of time scheduling jobs and had a more streamlined approach to our billing system!

“But the savings don’t stop there,” he continued. “There were other avoidable charges, such as lapsed vehicle leases, and we were not using our engineers to their maximum capacity.”

Plumbing & Gas Solutions was established in 2010 and was initially focused on domestic services; the company fitted the first bathroom for Homebase, which was recently sold for close to £100 million. Having consistently grown year on year, Plumbing & Gas now specialises in commercial and industrial reactive maintenance and retrofit projects, working for brands such as Centre Parcs, Stadium MK, Cranfield University and Bletchley Park. Plumbing & Gas operates a mixed fleet of vans and trucks and has the largest team of commercial gas engineers in the region

Using the BigChange job management plumbing software, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence, in one simple-to-use and easy-to-integrate platform, Plumbing & Gas now work smarter rather than harder.

Intelligent scheduling ensures the most appropriate resource is allocated to each task and ad-hoc requests can be accommodated, whilst engineers no longer have to physically check in at the office as there is a real-time flow of information between office and field, with job cards, completion reports and photographs available 24/7. Equipment-specific service histories, certificates and maintenance records can be accessed in just a couple of clicks, and the invoicing and payroll are automated based on vehicle tracking and digital reporting.

The BigChange customer portal allows Plumbing & Gas’ clients to self-serve with access to certificates, completed work reports and invoices, and they can even book their own appointments based on continuously updated engineer availability. Plumbing & Gas is also utilising the features of the BigChange CRM to boost customer service by reviewing dormant clients and identifying additional opportunities with existing relationships.

Plumbing & Gas’ engineers are also embracing BigChange with guided vehicle checks, advanced routing and even driver alerts for speeding and idling, which is creating healthy competition, further reducing costs and minimising environmental impact.

Building Services engineering company FORTH, has implemented BigChange to improve the management of over 10,000 combustion, air conditioning, mechanical and electrical assets for customers, ranging from the Royal Household to global real estate firms.

A complete job management solution, BigChange is improving the efficiency of routine maintenance scheduling, ensuring compliance with strict servicing standards, reducing back-office resources and boosting customer service levels with detailed, customised reporting. Cost control features and automated invoicing are also contributing to FORTH’s rise as one of the fastest-growing building service companies in the UK.

“Prior to BigChange, the work of our engineers and the financial management of jobs was completed using a variety of tools,” commented Sarah Jones, Systems Process Manager at FORTH. “Whilst this was right for us as a much smaller operation, it did not provide the ability to manage specific servicing records, and consequent remedial works, of every asset we look after. It was also inefficient and hampered our ability to deliver specific servicing information to clients.

“Having looked for a solution for approximately two years, BigChange was the only one which combined all of the elements of job management we were looking for, together with strong asset and financial management capabilities.”

Sarah Jones, Systems Process Manager at FORTH

FORTH is a specialist, multi-disciplined mechanical and electrical service provider operating throughout the South of England, London and the Midlands. FORTH has over 60 years of experience designing, installing and maintaining HVAC and electrical plant equipment within the public sector, heritage, commercial and industrial spaces. FORTH is trusted by facilities and estate professionals in organisations such as Salisbury Cathedral, University Hospital Southampton and the Priory Group.

The BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy-to-integrate platform, has had a big impact for FORTH. Routine tasks have been automated, and the ability to create detailed service standards has enabled FORTH to work directly with clients to create, report on and continuously improve the health of their assets.

The ability to access historical service records whilst on-site ensures continuity of service, and the speed and immediacy of completion reporting are boosting customer service levels and financial control. FORTH is also using BigChange vehicle tracking to monitor and improve driving standards

“BigChange is the solution that will enable us to scale our business to the next level, and we know we have made the best possible choice, both for our current and future requirements,” she concluded.

“The whole team has embraced BigChange, and we have been supported by them at every stage; there is always someone available, and they are always able to help!”

Sarah Jones, Systems Process Manager at FORTH
FORTH van travelling to their next job.
FORTH on the road -using BigChange software to plan, manage, schedule and track their jobs.

Omnia Plumbing and Heating is using the latest job management technology from BigChange to achieve award-winning product and service innovation and customer satisfaction.

Named as ‘Plumbing Company of the Year’ in the Manchester and North-West Prestige Awards, Omnia uses BigChange to improve communication, increase efficiency and reduce costs. The cloud-based platform, with live-linked tablets, is also helping Omnia minimise its environmental impact with reduced paper and fuel consumption and improve job completion reporting eliminating lost revenue.

“Before BigChange, we had a standalone diary system, separate accounting software and no CRM, which meant countless phone calls and lots of wasted time,” commented Alastair Barton, Omnia owner and Managing Director. “BigChange appealed to us at it offered a one-stop shop, ticking all our boxes for overall functionality, specific features, peer reviews, support and price, to name just a few.

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

Alastair Barton, Omnia owner and MD

Omnia offers plumbing and heating services to domestic and commercial customers across Cheshire and south Manchester. Working closely with property developers, builders, landlords and property investment businesses, Omnia installs and maintains plumbing and heating services for new build, refurbished and rental properties. Formerly known as Boilercare 24/7, Omnia was rebranded in 2020 to reflect growth in demand for energy-saving solutions and the design and installation of multi-boiler and renewable systems in high-end residential building projects.

Omnia uses the BigChange job management software, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple-to-use and easy-to-integrate platform to coordinate its field teams with back office staff. Customer interactions are recorded using the CRM, and automated scheduling and vehicle tracking provide real-time updates for clients, contractors and other team members.

Vehicle management features, complete with daily checks and alerts for routine maintenance and servicing, ensure Omnia maintains its fleet to the highest standards, and the company is also looking to introduce a monthly award for the best driver based on individual driving styles recorded by the BigChange job management app.

Omnia Plumbing & Heating working in the back office on two screens using BigChange software
Omnia uses the BigChange job management system, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple-to-use and easy-to-integrate platform to coordinate its field teams with back office staff.

Quest Waste Management has achieved significant business growth following the implementation of cloud-based job management technology from BigChange.

In the past 18 months, the Yorkshire-based provider of domestic and commercial drainage services has opened a new depot serving the Midlands and south, invested over £1.8m in its fleet of specialist vehicles and more than doubled its workforce. The BigChange platform has been an integral part of this success, reducing Quest’s reliance on paper job sheets and manual scheduling, improving communication and providing additional business intelligence.

“BigChange has helped us to transform our business,” commented Ivan Smyth, Managing Director at Quest Waste Management. “By providing tools to efficiently manage every aspect of the mobile operation, we have achieved a strong foundation for continuous growth.”

“In fact, we see the impact of BigChange on the business every day,” he continued.

“From the initial enquiry through to job allocation, completion and invoicing, BigChange helps us manage our resources and share critical information both within the company and with contractors and clients.”  

Ivan Smyth, MD Quest Waste Management

Quest Waste Management is a specialist in tankering, CCTV drainage and sewer inspections, drain cleaning and unblocking, and ‘no dig’ technology pipe repairs. With a workforce of more than 65 individuals and a fleet of vehicles including articulated, rigid, vacuum and Jet Vac tankers, Vacuum and recycler units and CCTV and jetting vans, Quest provides a nationwide service to domestic and commercial customers, including Costain, A1 Loohire and Acumen LTD.

The BigChange job management system incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy-to-integrate platform. Used to record customer details such as service histories, live quotes and ongoing jobs, the CRM is an important business tool helping Quest improve customer service levels, win more work and have insight into its commercial activities.

Customisable jobs sheets, accessed by field staff using tablets that are live linked to the back office, as well as automated scheduling, are reducing the admin resource required to manage the mobile workforce and increase operational efficiencies, whilst vehicle management tools, including real-time tracking, driver behaviour reports and utilisations statistics, are further improving job allocation and resource management.

BigChange is also helping Quest maintain the highest possible standards in quality, environment and health and safety management, in accordance with its ISO accreditations.

Quest Waste Management using the BigChange job management system.

Specialist grounds maintenance company Greenskape is using field service management software from BigChange to underpin ambitious plans to triple its business.

Working with schools, colleges and universities, Greenskape provides a range of services, including grass cutting, line painting, tree surgery and outside cleaning. Since implementing the complete job management platform from BigChange, Greenskape has secured several new contracts and is planning to expand its operation into new geographical areas with new regional service centres.

“We are a third generation, family run business that has a reputation for quality, however, before BigChange we didn’t use the latest technology. When I joined the business, I knew that if we wanted to protect existing contracts and secure new ones, we needed to be transparent in our service delivery and offer real-time digital customer reporting.”

Nat Wigley, Groundcrew at Greenskape

“We looked at a few systems, but they were overly complicated and expensive, so, following a recommendation from a multi-million pound local business in a parallel industry, we approached BigChange. From the outset we have been impressed with their friendly professionalism and they have been with us at every step, from sales and onboarding who made sure we got up and running to Road Crew who make sure we stay that way; nothing is too much trouble.”

Nat Wigley, Groundcrew at Greenskape

Using the BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy-to-integrate platform, Greenskape has transformed its business management. From any internet-enabled device, managers can see where crews are, where they have been and where they are due next. Advanced scheduling tools have improved operating efficiencies and reduced costs, which in turn has reduced emissions from vehicles and equipment. The company has also invested in new battery-powered equipment and is looking at electric vehicles to further enhance its green credentials.

The online customer portal from BigChange has also had a big impact for Greenskape, distinguishing them from their competition. Using the online facility, Greenskape’s customers can see what work has been done, when and by who. This insight is potentially important for safeguarding and allows customers to review forthcoming schedules to see how these might impact on busy educational timetables.

“With BigChange we can dare to dream! We were told the portal would win us business and it has. We can now go head-to-head with larger competitors and are actively planning to expand the business a process that BigChange supports as it allows us to visualise different scenarios and we know it will grow with us.”

Nat Wigley, Groundcrew at Greenskape

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We’ve only really touched on the features offered by the system – our mission now is to catch up a bit with further automation of processes and take advantage of more features so we can underpin future expansion.

Tom James, Director,
ComLink Fire & Security

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About ComLink fire & security

Based in Carmarthen, ComLink services mainly commercial customers within a one-hour catchment area in south and west Wales. Formed in 2017, the company specialises in the installation and service of fire alarms, security systems, HD CCTV and automatic gates.  ComLink became the 22nd fastest growing company in Wales in 2021; a year earlier the company won the small business category at the West Wales Business Awards.

Gym equipment repair specialist Upholstery2u is using the latest technology to streamline workflows and boost customer service levels. Supplied by BigChange, the complete job management platform dynamically schedules work for a nationwide team of upholsterers which is shared, via an app, to mobile phones that synchronise in real-time with the back-office solution.

Since implementing BigChange’s job management system, Upholstery2u has seen a marked improvement in its SLA reporting and customer feedback and has also reduced the administrative resource required to manage the mobile operation.

“We chose BigChange as it was relevant to our industry with many features that suit our specific needs,” commented Daniel Boyle, Managing Director of Upholstery2u. “Having said that, it is also extremely user-friendly and flexible which means we can make changes and tweaks if we need to.

“Since implementing BigChange we have noticed a difference in every aspect of the business,” he continued. “BigChange takes care of the routine, time-consuming tasks, which allows us to focus on what we do best – getting the job done and keeping our customers happy.

“Using BigChange we can automatically schedule and track our team. In turn, they have more control over their workload with job completion reporting, photo sharing and stock requests, all available through the app on their phone. Our SLA monitoring and customer service is better, and customers can self-serve with live tracking and completion reports.”

Daniel Boyle, Managing Director of Upholstery2u

Upholstery2u provides on-site upholstery repair services for gyms across the UK. With a fleet of mobile workshops in customised MWB vans, U2U repairs and replaces damaged pads on gym equipment minimising downtime and disruption for gyms and their users. U2U also offers annual maintenance contracts and in-house repair services. Working with names such as Energie, JD Gyms and Total Fitness, Upholstery2u makes around 10,000 site visits a year looking after hundreds of pieces of gym equipment.

Since implementing the BigChange building maintenance job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence, in one simple to use and easy-to-integrate platform, Upholstery2u has streamlined workflows throughout the business. Customer quotations, completion reports and invoices are all automatically produced and customers can monitor progress in real-time and provide feedback through the platform.

Accessible 24/7, from any internet-enabled device, BigChange has also enabled managers at Upholstery2u to take back control of the business rather than focus on day-to-day administration. Performance reports, business metrics and forecasting are all available at the click of a button which it hopes will fuel future growth.

Upholstery2U Engineer in vehicle holding their BigChange tablet
An engineer for Upholstery2u uses a BigChange tablet to manage their jobs for the day.

Envirocare has replaced four different admin systems with one complete job management solution streamlining the organisation of its nationwide commercial gardening and grounds maintenance operation.

Using the cloud-based BigChange solution, Envirocare has boosted customer service with improved access to and sharing of time-critical or site-sensitive information. With field staff using mobile devices to connect to the back-office system, Envirocare has also reduced the time and resources required to quote on new work, report on completed work, issue invoices and respond to customer queries.     

Prior to the implementation of BigChange, Envirocare used a number of different systems for job scheduling, tracking, site audits and communication. Each system was standalone, and sharing information between systems was cumbersome and timely.

“One of the major drivers for change was we wanted a system that could combine different aspects of our existing systems into one single solution,” commented Luke Yates, Project Co-ordinator at Envirocare.

“BigChange does it all – it’s like it’s cherry-picked the best aspects of other systems and combined them into one easy-to-use solution.

Luke Yates, Project Co-ordinator at Envirocare

“Using BigChange we have reduced both the time and resource it takes to do the day-to-day admin tasks,” he continued. “This means we are more responsive to customers when it comes to quotations, invoicing and query resolution. In addition, as everything is stored online and is available to staff 24/7 from any location, we can access site audits and risk assessments as needed and we have customised worksheets to accommodate the varied nature of the work we do.”

With their Head Office in Lancashire, Envirocare offers a wide range of services, including Grounds Maintenance, Hard & Soft Landscaping, Playground Maintenance & Inspections and Tree Works, working alongside a number of Property Management Companies, Retail & Industrial Parks and Care Homes. Envirocare is currently rolling out BigChange, across its franchise network to improve the management and utilisation of around 100 ground staff nationwide. Envirocare has received 11 consecutive RoSPA Gold Awards for health and safety and prides itself on the quality of care it delivers.

Since implementing the BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence, in one simple-to-use and easy-to-integrate platform, Envirocare has been able to replace a number of disparate systems resulting in a reduction in licensing costs and a more integrated approach to job management.

The complete job management platform, BigChange, is also supporting Envirocare’s impressive health and safety policy with vehicle checks and real-time tracking, including driver behaviour alerts.

Envirocare engineer and van
An Envirocare engineer prepares his next job using BigChange whilst standing by his van.

VM Elevators, a premium, independent lift and escalator services provider, is boosting its green credentials using BigChange job management software.

Using the cloud-based platform, VME delivers 100 per cent of its client reports electronically and has moved its business to an entirely paperless system. Intelligent scheduling and routing, and collaboration with other BigChange users through the BigChange Network, is also improving efficiency and reducing mileage whilst live vehicle tracking, complete with driver behaviour alerts, promotes greener driving across the fleet of mobile service engineers. These benefits have combined to save VME more than £120k per annum and reduced its administrative resource by 80 percent.

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

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

Simon Whitebread, CEO of VM Elevators

VM Elevators was established in London in 2008 and has since grown to a nationwide company serving more than 50 locations across the UK. VME provides a fully ‘turnkey’ solution, including new installations, modernisation, maintenance, repair and 24/7 call-out assistance, for lifts and escalators within virtually any setting including commercial, industrial, public sector and residential.

Since implementing the BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence, in one simple to use and easy-to-integrate platform, VME has eliminated paper from its operation with digital job cards, automated completion reports and an online library of risk assessments, service histories and method statements.

Intelligent scheduling reduces unnecessary mileage, reducing emissions and improving productivity, and live vehicle tracking, complete with driver behaviour alerts promotes greener driving speeds and reduced idling, braking and harsh accelerating. BigChange is also supporting extended home working which was introduced during lockdown and is now being promoted to reduce the environmental impact of unnecessary commuting.

“BigChange has been pivotal in helping us work towards a greener future,” Simon Whitbread concluded. “It has also given us greater freedom as to how we work, where and when we work which is something our team embraces.”

VME using BigChange software on screens.
VME using BigChange software on-screen

The exponential growth of a Hertfordshire-based heating, plumbing and electrical business has been driven by field service management software from BigChange.

By equipping engineers with mobile devices, connected in real-time to a centralised job management system, SC Duncan Heating Plumbing and Electrical has fuelled efficiency gains and boosted customer service levels. This has resulted in an 8-fold increase in its workforce and has allowed the company to expand its operation to service domestic customers and extend into renovation and general building services. As a result, SC Duncan has quickly established itself as one of Hertfordshire’s premier private residential property services businesses.

“I have a background working in large service companies, using a number of bespoke and off-the-shelf systems – good and bad! To underpin our expansion, it was clear we needed an all-encompassing piece of software that could assist with every aspect of the customer journey,” commented James Tranham, Managing Director of SC Duncan. “So, the first thing I did was to engage with job management software providers and seek recommendations from other users. I knew I needed a solution that put the customer at the heart of every aspect of the system, yet also had the regulatory and compliance aspect rigidly embedded in all its workflows.

“I am thankful to say I picked BigChange, which has been fantastic from the outset. BigChange has everything we need – a complete solution for the customer journey from booking and confirming appointments right through to invoicing. The reporting is also excellent, but the overall winning aspect is its simplicity.”

James Tranham, Managing Director, SC Duncan

SC Duncan was originally founded by Samuel Campbell Duncan in Stevenage in 1973. With increasing demand from private customers, James Tranham joined Samuel’s grandson John to form SC Duncan Heating Plumbing and Electrical and more recently SC Duncan Construction. SC Duncan implemented the BigChange job management software for plumbers, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy-to-integrate platform, to support its business transition.

“We pride ourselves on delivering a traditional local service underpinned by cutting edge modern delivery and BigChange is at the heart of this,” Tranham concluded. “As we continue to increase the of range services we provide and the geographic area we cover we know that BigChange will be with us at every step.”

Sapphire Utility Solutions is using the latest field service technology to transform the delivery of water network services to its customers.

Supplied by BigChange, the new job management platform has allowed Sapphire to significantly reduce administration, with efficiency gains in the back office and field, and achieve a 100 per cent rise in productivity.

The complete system, which sees field engineers equipped with mobile devices for real-time reporting, is also helping deliver client critical milestones, manage risk on street works liabilities and assure a right-first-time approach.

Sapphire initially selected BigChange to support its recently awarded Severn Trent Water Network Operations Support Services contract, which delivers vital water maintenance services on behalf of four million homes and businesses across the Midlands and mid-Wales. 

Colin Kelly, Partner and Managing Director of Sapphire Utility Solutions commented, “We recognise that we are delivering essential services to customers and we are focused on being a catalyst for change by introducing new thinking, innovation and technology, such as BigChange to provide a better customer experience” 

Using the BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field service management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy-to-integrate platform, Sapphire has realised a number of operational and management benefits. BigChange’s drainage engineer job management software allows the right resources to be scheduled for each job and also tracks jobs on a real-time basis. Savings in administration have been achieved and the platform supports remote working enabling a 24/7/365 operation.

Real-time monitoring also enables Sapphire to jeopardy manage works through constraints and alerts allowing client critical milestones to be met.

“We selected BigChange as it was easy to use, highly configurable and intuitive, and this decision has been borne out by how quickly it has been embraced by both field and back-office staff,” added Mo Dawood, Director of IT at Sapphire Utility Solutions.

“By making sure teams are where they are needed, at the right time with all the information they need, BigChange has boosted morale and aided staff retention. The results we have achieved have exceeded expectations and we are looking forward to replicating this in other areas of the business and on other contracts.”

Mo Dawood, Director of IT at Sapphire Utility Solutions

Since its foundation in 2013, Sapphire has quickly become a trusted name in the utility industry, providing a wide range of services for the water, wastewater, telecoms and gas infrastructure sectors. 

BigChange boosts Sapphire’s productivity by 100% on multi-million-pound water contract

Reseller of telematics and fleet technologies moves to offer access to BigChange’s complete field-service job management platform

BigChange, the field-service management software provider, today announced the appointment of EcoTrack as its reseller partner in the North East Midlands. EcoTrack is the sixth reseller to sign up for BigChange’s channel programme since it launched in January 2022.

Based in Melbourne, Derbyshire, EcoTrack is an established reseller of telematics and other fleet technologies that improve sustainability, reduce costs and deliver business efficiencies. The company advises and supports field-service businesses across the UK with the adoption of smart fleet technologies and the move to more sustainable transportation.

By becoming a BigChange channel partner, EcoTrack has broadened its offering beyond telematics and transportation to help clients improve business processes across their field-service operations with BigChange’s complete job management platform. EcoTrack will resell BigChange software to businesses with Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Lincoln and Peterborough postcodes.

BigChange brings together CRM, job scheduling, vehicle tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple, easy to integrate system. Almost 1,700 field service businesses in the building maintenance, construction and environmental services sectors already use BigChange. The company attracted a £75 million private equity investment in 2021 to fund further growth and innovation.

Chris Tucker, Managing Director of EcoTrack, comments: “Many field-service organisations that invested previously in telematics to improve fleet management are looking to drive efficiencies and improvements throughout their operations. BigChange’s platform saves a lot of time and effort in managing field-service businesses. It is a game-changer.”

Paul Witter, Chief Partnerships Officer at BigChange, comments: “We are delighted to welcome EcoTrack to the BigChange family. It has a strong track record of supporting businesses with the adoption of complementary technologies, and we look forward to growing our businesses together by helping our customers to grow stronger.”

“Look, I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works. To anyone who’s been offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars, and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”

Elon Musk stunned viewers with his opening speech on Saturday Night Live last year. The Tesla boss talked about having Asperger’s and his attempts to run “human in emulation mode”. It was an interesting insight into the mind of the man who has become the richest man in the world.

 I knew very little about the tech billionaire until recently, when I watched a Netflix documentary about him, and started to consume as much media as I could about his journey, like this interview on the FT

Before this research, I thought of him as a Twitter-obsessed genius, who challenged Vladimir Putin to “single combat”. Now, I think I have a more rounded view of him as a man and an entrepreneur, and it got me thinking about how quick human beings can be to dismiss those whose behaviour seems strange or erratic.

The underlying truth about Elon Musk is that he is a renegade and an independent thinker, who does things in his own idiosyncratic way. He is trying to make many positive changes in the world, whether that’s reducing road accidents through driverless cars, minimising our reliance on fossil fuels, protecting human livelihoods from the artificial intelligence revolution, or helping civilians trapped in war-torn Ukraine. Those are the things that should matter now – and will matter when he is remembered in history books, not whether he’s tweeted a dumb meme.

I’m no Elon Musk but I am also what you might call “a character”. I have my own ways of doing things, I like to take action today – never tomorrow, and I like to question why things are done the way they are. Why can’t we do it better? Over the years, this has certainly rubbed people up the wrong way and I understand why. But if people knew me better, they would see that I’m not so eccentric after all, I’m just absolutely committed to customer service, continuous improvement, and trying to be a good person.

I think that society needs to learn to be more accepting of renegades. No, I want to go further than that, we need to celebrate them and stop trying to limit or ridicule the scale of their aspiration. We need to judge people on their actions, not their words. We need to try and form opinions more slowly, with greater care.

Now, when I think about Elon Musk, I don’t think about the time he smoked a spliff on the Joe Rogan show, or those strange tweets when those boys were trapped underground in Thailand, I see someone whose vision and aspiration eclipses everything else. Someone who will make an indelible mark on human history for all the right reasons. So let’s all try and be a bit more Elon. 

Facilities management start-up, Novex FM, has turned to field service management software from BigChange to underpin major expansion plans. The Manchester-based FM company launched last year providing project management, repairs and preventative maintenance services to residential and student properties, and private landlords. Using the all-in-one job management platform from BigChange, Novex is now launching a full range of FM services, nationwide, confident its automated, streamlined workflows and reporting will future-proof the business as it continues to grow.

“As an experienced project manager, every contractor I have ever worked with that has shown up on time, did the work they said they would and invoiced correctly, had one thing in common, and that was BigChange,” said Ben Ousey, Operations Manager at Novex FM. “So, when we started Novex it was a no brainer – we had to have BigChange.”

Using the BigChange job management platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, Novex has complete visibility of the business, at any time, from any web-enabled device. With just a couple of clicks, the Novex management team can get reports on outstanding quotes, missed opportunities and unpaid invoices, as well as a complete breakdown of costs per job.

“With BigChange, everything is in one place,” Ousey added.

“I have all the information I need, at my fingertips, so I know that as we expand, we have the workflows and management processes in place. I am also confident that the BigChange community, including the Collaboration Network, will play a significant role in our continued growth.” 

Ben Ousey, Operations Manager, Novex FM

Novex FM is a facilities management company run by property managers. From project planning through to delivery of landscaping, cleaning, redecoration, repair and refurbishment services, Novex prides itself on exceptional customer experience. Novex has access to a nationwide network of specialist staff and skilled contractors it can call on to expand its service offering and geographical coverage.

“With BigChange there is no such thing as can’t,” he continued. “Not only do the tools they provide mean ‘we can’, they also provide unrivalled support. Between the BigChange University tutorials, the extensive YouTube content and the 24/7 RoadCrew support team, BigChange has given us the skills and the confidence to take our business to the next level.” 

Dyno-Rod has revolutionised the provision of drain cleaning services in the Republic of Ireland following the implementation of field service management software from BigChange. The only operator with full national coverage, Dyno-Rod selected BigChange to help it transition to paperless working and improve operational efficiency.

Using the BigChange drainage engineer software, Dyno-Rod is already saving a day a week in the administrative resource it requires to run its team of mobile service engineers whilst more efficient job scheduling and tracking has boosted capacity and profitability, helping to strengthen the business and support growth.

“BigChange has been a real eye opener,” commented Sam Crowley, Managing Director of Dyno-Rod’s Cork office. “I have never introduced new software or new working practices that has not been met with some degree of scepticism by the workforce. But with BigChange its different. I think it’s because everyone, from field-based engineers to back-office staff and management, can see how it makes their job easier.

“Before BigChange we had disparate systems and processes that were not joined-up and didn’t communicate. With BigChange we have one system that does everything,”

Sam Crowley, Managing Director at Dyno-Rod Ireland

“With intelligent job allocation and real time tracking we can take on more jobs per person per day and react, in real-time, to changing schedules if something unexpected crops up. All our paperwork has been replaced with easy to fill in digital forms which means we capture the right information at the right time and can share it instantly with the right people. This means no more lost jobs sheets, no customer queries we can’t answer and no missed invoices.”   

Dyno-Rod has been operated by the Crowley family since 1975 and provides 24/7 emergency response to residential, commercial and industrial premises. Dyno-Rod implemented the BigChange platform, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, at the start of the pandemic when homeworking was first mandated.

“The BigChange team were amazing introducing the solution in bite-size, easy to digest chunks, and as we have rolled out the functionality, from simple tracking and vehicle checks to integrated job scheduling, reporting and invoicing, they have been with us at every step.” continued Crowley.

“BigChange University means we can get new staff up and running in no time and, unlike other software companies, BigChange is open and reactive to feedback.”

Sam Crowley, Managing Director at Dyno-Rod Ireland

Capital, a specialist cleaning and facilities management company, has deployed BigChange field service management software to launch a new nationwide outsource service. Providing support to other facilities management companies that need to boost their field service capacity or businesses that require additional resources or skills, Capital’s Service Team will help with a range of tasks including office moves, regular cleaning, site inspections, equipment installations and audits. Using the integrated job management platform from BigChange, Capital can take online bookings, schedule work, report on completed tasks and issue invoices.

“We like to think of our Service Team as the business equivalent of the A-Team – if you have a problem, if no-one else can help, you can hire the Capital Team,” commented Eddie Tomlins, owner of Capital. “But Service Team was inspired not by a TV programme but by BigChange. Without BigChange we wouldn’t have thought of the idea and we certainly couldn’t have delivered it.”

Capital was originally established as Capital Computer Care in the 1980’s offering equipment installation, maintenance, cleaning, testing and decommission of PCs, data centres and server rooms. To aid service delivery Capital used a multitude of different processes including a standalone CRM, multiple Excel spreadsheets, a vehicle tracking system, paper field reports and a manual invoicing system.

“Before discovering BigChange we used a hotchpotch of different systems which meant everything took longer, was harder to control and was susceptible to human error”

Dave Usher, Director of Capital

“Also, it was a challenging time for the business. We had been growing organically for around 30 years, but we had not invested in our business’s processes or the future evolution of the business. We needed a complete rethink as to how we ran the business and the type of services we offered,” added Dave.

Capital selected the BigChange facilities management job scheduling solution, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, following an independent review of available systems. Initially attracted by a cloud-only solution, Capital was also impressed with the range of functionality, competitive pricing and evolving application lifecycle.

Since implementing BigChange, Capital has transformed its business by identifying and launching new revenue streams and expanding the operation in terms of service offering and geographical coverage. The integrated CRM and scheduling are saving hours of admin resource every month whilst digital worksheets, complete with photographs, are improving customer satisfaction.

Capital also uses BigChange to manage UK wide stock levels, moving essential supplies between operatives at a time when supply chains faced unprecedented difficulties. The BigChange report and alert functionality is saving management time with automated reminders and notifications of a host of event or date driven actions including MOTs, contract renewals or vehicles using toll roads or entering charging zones.

“BigChange has already saved us literally hundreds and hundreds of hours in management and admin time and continues to do so”

Dave Usher, Director of Capital

“We have streamlined our business in terms of expenditure and productivity but have still maintained the highest levels of customer service and satisfaction,” continued Usher.

“I am convinced that had we not invested in BigChange we would not have been able to make the changes required to our systems, processes and personnel, to continue trading. So, we would not be around today, especially if you factor in the additional impact on the business of COVID,” Tomlins concluded. “We also know that BigChange will continue to evolve with new features offered on a regular basis so will be around to support us for many years to come!”

Capital Launches Nationwide Facilities Support Service using BigChange Platform

BigChange field service management software is helping facilities management start-up Urban Maintenance achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Out-performing larger competitors in customer service reviews, Urban Maintenance adopted the BigChange platform to automate workflows across its operation from job allocation to completion reporting.

Working for individual householders up to FTSE 250 professional landlords, BigChange gives Urban Maintenance 24/7 visibility of the mobile operation allowing for prompt resolution of customer queries, efficient response to emergency call-outs and improved workforce health and safety.

“I established Urban Maintenance mid-pandemic when I was unable to take up a job offer abroad, and opportunities in the domestic FM market were limited,” commented Nathan Yates, Managing Director of Urban Maintenance. “With nearly a decade’s experience in property management, I understood the complexities of running a lettings agency, the legalities of block management and the pitfalls of insurance claims. I also knew the importance of making sure that Doris, at number 9, is happy and that her landlord knows it!

“That’s where BigChange has had a huge impact on the business,” he continued. “From a one-man-band start-up, Urban Maintenance is well en route to becoming a successful scale-up and BigChange has played an integral part.”

“Using BigChange we have automated our reporting, so our customers, and their tenants, know what is going to happen when it’s going to happen and if it doesn’t happen why! It’s this efficient and timely communication that sets us apart from other service providers.”

Nathan Yates, Managing Director of Urban Maintenance

Urban Management provides a range of domestic and commercial property management services, including plumbing, joinery, decorating and cleaning. Following a recommendation from an established FM operator and existing user of BigChange, Urban Management implemented the property maintenance software, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, to support its ambitious growth plans. By demonstrating its commitment to customer service using BigChange’s facilities management job scheduling software, Urban Management has secured several high-value contracts and is continuously hiring to ensure it has the capacity to meet growing demand.

“We are still at the early stages of our BigChange journey, and I know there is so much more the platform can do,” continued Yates. “I am keen to customise elements of the system to meet our exacting requirements and implement additional reporting and financial management and with the support of the BigChange team, we will achieve it.”

Urban Maintenance man and van

AinsCo Fire and Security is using BigChange field service management software to drive business growth. The company designs, supplies, installs and maintains bespoke fire and security systems working alongside organisations such as the NHS, Network Rail, Alstom Transport, Mersey Rail and Light Cinemas. Using the cloud-based platform, AinsCo has made efficiency gains across the board, reduced operational costs and improved customer service.

“Since implementing BigChange we have achieved many wins that, when we look at the bigger picture, have had a massive impact on the business overall,” commented Dan Ainscough, Operations and Finance Manager at Wirral-based AinsCo Fire and Security.

“We have reduced our carbon footprint, made efficiency savings across sales, operations and finance, reduced call-out rates and increased first-time fixes. We have lowered our costs and charges, whilst improving the service we provide and the protection we offer.”

Dan Ainscough, Operations and Finance Manager, AinsCo Fire and Security

AinsCo Fire and Security, formerly M P Electronic Fire and Security, turned to BigChange when it was looking to invest in technology as part of a major rebranding exercise. Prior to this, the Wirral-based company had used industry-specific software that required in-house servers to run and offered little visibility and even less automation of processes. AinsCo reviewed several solutions before selecting BigChange basing its decision on system capabilities, user-friendliness, and the ability to customise.

“Most of the systems we considered had a focus on sales and marketing and, like our old system, were very defined and restrictive,” continued Ainscough. “Our focus was on system functionality, and we knew we needed the ability to tailor the solution to meet our specific requirements. BigChange met all our benchmarking criteria, and the support and training were fantastic. We now feel we own our system rather than the other way round!”

Since implementing the complete fire and security job management solution, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, AinsCo has achieved a number of milestones in the management of its mobile operation. AinsCo uses the BigChange CRM to streamline new client onboarding resulting in efficiency savings across sales, operations and finance. All AinsCo vehicles are tracked giving real-time visibility and intelligence to respond to reactive jobs and the introduction of automated van stock has resulted in an increase in first-time fix rates.

BigChange is also helping AinsCo introduce new working practices and reporting processes with improved health and safety monitoring, including COVID risk assessments and method statements, job completion reports, complete with photographs, daily job cards and contactless sign-offs.

“BigChange has allowed us to streamline our business and has been instrumental in allowing us to scale up our operation whilst still maintaining the high levels of customer service we demand and our customers expect.”

Dan Ainscough, Operations and Finance Manager, AinsCo Fire and Security

“As a family business we are only as strong as our relationships, and we value BigChange, and the team behind it, as a key relationship that has already contributed to our success and will continue to positively impact the future of our business, ” Ainscough concluded.

BIgChange customer AinsCo desktop office shot

So many of the nation’s small businesses hold fascinating stories just waiting to be told. One of these is the history of Sherwoods, which has become one of the most admired firms in its sector, serving big-name customers all across the Southwest.

This month’s Chairman’s Spotlight is on Jo Sherwood, finance director of the fast-growth firm. She has helped grow Sherwoods from just 15 people to 111, and from a local electrical services provider to a fully-fledged building services facilities management company.

I first met Jo in the early days of BigChange. Sherwoods is run by four outstanding individuals: Jo, her husband Kev, whose father founded the company, Kevin Wiltshire and Jamie Bonner. Kevin W and Jamie started as apprentices in the business and have worked their way up to board level. It was Jamie who first saw the value in BigChange, and the whole team has worked with us over the years to help hone our offering. I’m so grateful to the team for their insight, recommendations, and feedback over the years.

I caught up with Jo to find out how her team has grown the business and the secrets to their success. It all started in 1970 when Kev’s father Mike Sherwood created Sherwoods as an electrical business in Torquay, South Devon. Kev had no intention of joining the business. He did an electrical apprenticeship at another firm! But when Mike decided to join Sir Chay Blyth on a year-long yacht trip around the world, he asked Kev to come and manage Sherwoods in his absence.

“Kev had no experience, he was in his early twenties, and it was during a recession, but he said he would give it a go,” says Jo. “He did such a good job that when his dad came back, he asked him to go into partnership.” In 2003, Jo and Kev were married, and she joined the business. “I started off doing a part-time admin job but, two years later, I was full-time finance director.” Jo has learned everything on the job, achieving her Association of Accounting Technicians’ level 3 qualification around the time she spent growing the business (and raising a family).

“When you are running a business, you have to live and breathe it,” she says. “When I went into hospital in 2005 to have my firstborn, I gave birth on the Sunday night, and Kev came back the next morning and I was there in my hospital bed doing the sub-contractors wages to make sure they got paid!”

Here are Jo’s five top tips for growing a successful family firm.

1.) Invest in your team – culture is everything!

“Our mission is to become the facilities management building services partner and employer of choice across the Southwest region, and we can only achieve this by continuously investing in our people.”

2.) Support your suppliers and clients

“When the first lockdown was announced, I pulled off our debtors’ report and saw we were owed £1.2m. I thought it was all over. But we worked closely with our customers and suppliers to make sure we all survived. We had a policy whereby when we were paid, we would pay as many people as we could, so everyone had some cash flow coming in. It was amazing to see everyone pull together and we built some really strong relationships during that difficult time.”

3.) Bring in new perspectives

“One of the best decisions we ever made was to bring other people into the business. When it was just Kev and I, it could sometimes be difficult. Being husband and wife and business partners, there was not always a clear way to resolve disagreements. But Jamie and Kevin W have grown with the business, they know our culture and how we do things. They now sit on the board and between us, we always find the best solution for the business. We even have heated debates! But we never fall out because we are all committed to Sherwoods.”

4.) Use BigChange

“BigChange has transformed the way we work. We couldn’t be without it now. Every job starts and finishes with BigChange. We cover a lot of the Southwest – it’s one of the hardest regions to cover as a contractor – but BigChange gives us the tools to do it efficiently.”

5.) Keep diversifying

“We are always looking for ways to spread our risk and a great way to do that is through diversification. That’s how we have become a one-stop shop, starting with electrical and then adding mechanical, and then onto a full FM service. We have also diversified into providing compliance services and planned maintenance for a range of clients. During the pandemic, shops, restaurants, medical facilities, and hotels needed to stay compliant and had we not diversified into that area, our challenges would have been significantly greater.”

I have such respect for Sherwoods’ commitment to its customers, colleagues and suppliers. I hope that you are as inspired by their story as I am. Check back soon for my next Chairman’s spotlight!

A leading provider of mechanical and electrical building services says a new job management system is helping it to win more business. Founded in 2005, Quora Group works nationwide with a range of clients across the public and private sector. The £10 million turnover company operates a fleet of more than 20 Ford Transit Custom vans for its mobile engineers. Quora uses the BigChange job management software which it says is enabling it to win new public sector tenders.

Craig Firth, director and co-founder of Quora Group, said, “BigChange is definitely a sales tool for us and has helped us to grow the business. We work primarily in the public sector, with contracts predominantly in healthcare and education. In these environments, there is a high level of compliance and documentation required. BigChange enables us to offer a far higher level of service in terms of digitised, evidence-based compliance and reporting than a company that still uses a paper-based system. It has been a big advantage for us in terms of winning and delivering these public sector contracts.”

The North Tyneside company started out in 2005 servicing and installing gas boilers but has grown from a father and son operation into a thriving business with more than 50 direct employees. “Part of that growth has been down to BigChange,” added Craig. “We use it across three of our four divisions, and it has helped us scale quickly. It is a simple product to use but it has so many functions and our clients love it.”

Quora uses BigChange’s building maintenance job management software in its electrical, service and maintenance, and water treatment divisions. A complete, simple to use and easy to integrate platform bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence, BigChange allows for all job scheduling and reporting to be done digitally, eliminating the need for mobile engineers to visit the office to pick up or drop off job cards. Rugged PDAs are also used to record job completion, including photographic evidence.

“The ability to adapt the worksheets is a great feature of the software,” said Craig. “We have just won a big contract for a local authority, and that includes specific documentation that they want us to use. I can create a worksheet in BigChange and provide them with a document that is exactly what they want.”

Quora also uses live tracking for its emergency call-out service. “We have service level agreements that require us to respond to emergencies within a certain time frame,” said Craig.

“With BigChange we can see the locations of the engineers in real-time, identify the person who is closest and has the right skill set to respond to the call-out, then inform the client with an accurate ETA.”

Craig Firth, director and co-founder of Quora Group

Quora Group has three ISO accreditations: 9001 (quality management), 14001 (environmental management), and 45001 (health and safety). BigChange has helped it achieve all three. “As part of our ISO management system we use BigChange to monitor and measure the greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicles,” added Craig. “It also helps with our health and safety management, because we can easily provide evidence that we have done what we said we were going to do.”

Quora Group using BigChange mobile app

Faelsafe Life Safety, the national fire and life safety company, has transformed its business using BigChange field service management software. Since implementing the cloud-based platform, Faelsafe has reduced its administrative resource, eliminated paper from its mobile operation and improved the efficiency of engineers working across mainland UK.

Working directly for organisations such as Stoke and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, Wooltex and Smurfitt Kappa, Faelsafe specialises in the installation and maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems, Fire Extinguisher supply and maintenance, fire safety equipment and through its sister company Faelsafe Electrical, commercial electrical works, specialising in sprinkler plant rooms.

“Our motto is ‘don’t fael to be safe’ yet we were ‘faeling’ to secure the future of the business by not investing to succeed,” commented Andrew Hutchinson, Director of Faelsafe. “Despite having job management software, we were still producing paper worksheets and reports, in triplicate, and having to wait for engineers to return to base before we could process them. This was labour intensive, resulted in delays in invoicing and meant dealing with customer queries was virtually impossible.

“Since implementing BigChange we have slashed our administrative resource, we have removed every filing cabinet from the office, eliminated delays in invoicing and query resolutions and improved the efficiency of our engineers.”  

Andrew Hutchinson, Director of Faelsafe

Headquartered in Leeds, Faelsafe made the move to BigChange following a recommendation from its IT support company. The complete job management solution, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, has helped Faelsafe remove paper from its job allocation and reporting workflows.

Engineers are automatically allocated work and completion reports, including photographs and customer signatures, which are digitally captured, stored and shared with the back-office operation. Route scheduling and live tracking is also helping Faelsafe optimise the use of mobile engineers reducing time spent travelling between jobs.

Additional aspects of the BigChange fire & security job management software that are helping Faelsafe improve service levels include the online library, which it uses to store information pertaining to specific customer sites and equipment, and customisable worksheets which are used to allocate health and safety checks such as PPE and equipment.

“BigChange supports our ambition to be a forward-thinking business,” concluded Hutchinson. “As it is truly cloud-based every member of the team can access and share the information they need, when they need it and from wherever they are, which positively impacts the service we provide every single day.”  

Morgans Plumbing and Heating has grown its business by more than 600 percent since implementing BigChange field service management software. Using BigChange, Morgans has achieved the highest levels of automation with the platform underpinning every aspect of the business including workforce management, customer communications, reporting and invoicing.

BigChange’s plumbing engineer software has also removed the need for home-based engineers to visit head office on a regular basis with digital job sheets, automated scheduling and up-to-the-minute stock control, saving Morgans both man-hours and mileage.

“Right from the outset I knew the only way to grow the business sustainably was with automation, and BigChange ticked that box and more,” commented Steven Morgan, Director of Morgans Plumbing and Heating.

“Before BigChange we were little more than a one-man band, with paper worksheets and no control of workflows, stock or costs. We now cover mid and north Wales, Shropshire and Cheshire and have plans to expand further up the west coast to Scottish borders and further down into south Wales and the Cotswolds. This ambitious expansion simply wouldn’t be possible without BigChange.”

Morgans is a Gas Safe and OFTEC registered, and Worcester Bosch accredited, family-run business, which installs, services and repairs all oil, gas and LPG appliances. Based in Welshpool, Morgans specialises in boilers – gas oil and LPG, can provide expert advice for oil tank, planning, installing and maintaining, and are on hand 24/7 for all emergency plumbing requirements.

Morgans selected BigChange after an exhaustive market review of available solutions during which different packages were benchmarked against an extensive wish list of requirements. Having been using the job management solution, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, for some time, Morgans is under no illusion as to the important role the platform has had in the business’ geographical expansion and positive customer feedback evidenced with consistent 5-star reviews.

“BigChange has been a critical part of our success so far,” continued Morgan.

“It saves us time and money every single day allowing us to focus on what we do best – which is being available to deliver the highest service possible, in the shortest amount of time and with the tools and stock we need to do the job.”

Morgans Plumbing and Heating

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Paul brings a wealth of global sales and channel management experience to BigChange

BigChange, the leading field service management software provider, today announced the appointment of Paul Monaghan as its first Chief Sales Officer. Paul is responsible for accelerating BigChange’s growth domestically and internationally. 

Paul joins BigChange from Lead Forensics, a business-to-business focused software provider, where he was Global Sales Director. Before that he led sales and channel activities across 22 countries for cloud collaboration company Intrado.

His appointment is an important step in BigChange’s development. In February 2021, the company secured a £75 million investment from Great Hill Partners to support its growth ambitions.

Paul Monaghan, Chief Sales Officer of BigChange, says:

“It’s great to be joining BigChange, at this phase of its growth. We have an amazing platform that really transforms the way that our customers run their businesses.  BigChange is a proven enabler of success and I’m excited by the prospect of driving growth and sustainability for field service firms worldwide.”

Richard Warley, CEO of BigChange, says:

“I’m very pleased to welcome Paul to BigChange to support our expansion plans and help more businesses grow stronger. He has a strong track record of serving customers, building high performing sales teams and delivering sustained growth for software companies.” 

Here’s one thing I know for a fact. Meaningful work is fundamental to a happy life. Whether you’re 25 or 55, able-bodied, disabled, if you have special needs, or you have an IQ of 135, having a purpose, being productive, having some financial independence, and having structure to your days, all these things help to create balance and joy.

This is why I think it is a terrible and worrying truth that so few opportunities are available to those with disabilities in this country. Just 5.1% of people with a learning disability in England are employed; overall, disabled people have an employment rate that is 28.4 percentage points lower than the able-bodied.

And this isn’t because people with disabilities don’t want to work. According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, when asked about the value of work, all 60 participants in its study unanimously agreed that their quality of life would be or had been much better in work than out of work. One participant said: “It gets you out of the house, you aren’t stuck in being miserable, everyone needs to get out, disabled or not, you need to get up in the morning, it’s a purpose, it’s the satisfaction when you do work.”

This won’t come as a surprise to many. Yet even though legislation has required employers to make reasonable adjustments to make work accessible for disabled people since 1996, the pathways into jobs for many with physical or mental impairments just don’t seem to exist. Significant barriers remain, from the job application process to ease of access to prejudice.

This was not always the case. The Remploy scheme was created in 1946 to help provide employment placements for those with disabilities, giving them training, support, and a career path. The original Remploy factories were set up for serviceman and civilians who were injured and disabled during World War Two. These factories stayed open for 70 years, but the government decided to privatise a decade ago and in 2013, all the factories were closed or sold. This was a tremendous loss to the disabled community. Remploy created 100,000 jobs for disabled people between 2009 and 2014 alone.

This is an issue that is close to my heart. I feel strongly that those with disabilities deserve the right to work and should be supported into suitable roles. At BigChange, the company I founded in 2013, we have prioritised inclusivity – it’s one of our core principles. Everyone in the business, from RoadCrew to management, understands the need to support one other and embrace diversity. We do this because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s good for business! World class teams are diverse teams.

With that in mind, I am met with Steve Ingham, CEO of the recruitment giant Page Group, this week, to discuss ways to build a more inclusive society. Steve has long been a champion of disabled workers’ rights – and has often been a lone voice on this topic. He said recently: “It just makes commercial sense. You could have a situation where nothing on your website mentions disability. There’s no mention in social media of anyone that’s disabled working for this company. Someone might be sitting there in a wheelchair and they’re the world’s leading cyber expert. They’re not going to come and join you if there’s little evidence that you’ve ever been an inclusive employer.”

I’m hoping that by being more proactive in talking about these issues, I can do my bit for this fight. We need to do all we can to encourage government, employers and charities to champion disabled people in the workplace. We all have different strengths and abilities in this life and that shouldn’t determine our ability to live a purposeful and happy life. 

BigChange field service management software is helping commercial and industrial door specialist Access Innovations reduce paper consumption by more than 70 per cent.

Using the BigChange platform, the West Midlands company has also reduced the resource required to manage its field service operation and has improved customer service with automatic job scheduling, reporting and invoicing. Responsible for around 20,000 doors, Access Innovations uses BigChange to improve workforce health and safety with daily vehicle and driver checks, live vehicle tracking and online access to risk assessments and method statements.

“As well as reducing our environmental impact through a massive reduction in the paper we consume, BigChange has also had a positive impact on other aspects of the business,” commented John Lunt, Operations Director at Access Innovations. “The back-office resource required to record, schedule and report on jobs has been reduced, which in turn results in better service for our customers. I even had one client email me saying ‘give us a chance’ having received completion reports, including photos, and the invoice, all within 5 minutes of the engineer finishing on-site!”

Access Innovations install, repair, service and maintain manual doors, fire doors, automatic doors, rapid action doors, roller shutters, fire shutters, sectional doors, manual and automatic traffic barriers, manual and automatic gates. Operating across the West Midlands and London, Access Innovations also supply and fit security fencing, bollards and crash barriers as well as dock levellers, dock shelters and dock bumpers. 

Access Innovation selected BigChange to replace an existing job control system. Since implementing the complete job management solution, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field service management, financial management and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, Access Innovations has recorded significant improvements in the workflows used to record, schedule, complete and report on routine service and ad-hoc maintenance tasks. Access Innovations is also planning to expand its use of BigChange with increased use of the CRM functionality which it hopes will support the continued growth of the company. 

“When we were looking for a new system, we identified a number of possible suppliers and requested on-site presentations but only 2 agreed to come and see us,” Lunt continued. “BigChange didn’t just sell their system to the management they communicated the benefits to the users, and they made the decision. Since that day the support we have had from BigChange has been excellent.” 

Access Innovations

It’s no secret that legislations form a large part of facilities management, and — to make matters more complicated — they’re constantly evolving. In recent years, as serious issues such as climate change and COVID-19 have impacted the way businesses operate, facilities managers have had to stay ahead of the curve.

Unfortunately, with so many regulations to remember and implement, the risk of non-compliance is high. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide, which will explain the top six facilities management legislations you need to know. We’ll also share how facility management software ensures that your organisation is running compliantly. Read on to learn more.

Why Legal Compliance in Facilities Management is Important

When managing facilities, it’s crucial to ensure that your operations are running compliantly. Failure to do so could mean you damage the following:

Your Reputation

In today’s digital world, news — good or bad — can spread and even go viral online in a matter of minutes. So, if your business is found to be operating non-compliantly, there’s a chance your customers will find out and potentially cut ties with you. In fact, 41% of people in the UK say they would stop using a company following a security breach.

Your Operation

Breaches of specific laws will mean that an organisation must cease operating until it has rectified the errors. Depending on how long it takes to resolve the issues, the downtime could significantly impact your ability to deliver services and make a profit. 

Worse still, your employees may not feel comfortable working for an organisation with a poor compliance record — especially if you’ve breached health and safety laws. As such, you’ll lose out on the best talent and won’t be as competitive in the market.

Your Finances

Did you know that the cost of non-compliance is typically double the amount it costs to follow all rules and regulations? In addition to fines, a damaged reputation and halted operations also prevent you from bringing more money in, making it even more challenging to recover following an incident.

Staying Safe in the Workplace: The Top 6 Facilities Management Legislations

Here are the top six facilities management legislations you must be aware of:

1. Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations

The UK Government introduced the Health and Safety at Work Regulations in 1999 to reinforce the Health and Safety Act of 1974. They clearly explain what employers must do to apply health and safety measures to every work-related activity. There are certain duties that both employers and employees are required to follow, including:

Employer Duties — Risk Assessment

The primary employer duty within the Health and Safety at Work Regulations is to undertake a risk assessment to identify any potential hazards to people on-site. Aside from being good practice, it is also a legal requirement to document your findings if you employ five or more people.

Once you’ve carried out your risk assessment, you must then make arrangements to implement health and safety measures to control or eliminate the hazards you identified. For each potential danger, you will need to assess the severity and apply the hierarchy of risk control to ensure that you’ve adequately handled the situation. 

Want to learn more about how to conduct a risk assessment? Click here to read our in-depth guide.

Employer Duties — General

As an employer, you must appoint at least one competent person — usually from within your organisation — to manage health and safety procedures and ensure that you’re complying with legislation. It is then their responsibility to do the following:

  • Provide everyone on-site (including temp workers and contractors) with necessary health and safety information in an understandable format.
  • Arrange for every employee to receive health and safety training.
  • Prevent workers from being given tasks beyond their competence or physical capabilities.

If you’re sharing your premises with another employer, you will need to coordinate your health and safety activities. For example, you should exchange any information from your risk assessment and include details about the preventative measures you’ve put in place.

Employee Duties

The majority of the responsibility falls with the employer when it comes to staying safe in the workplace; however, the Health and Safety at Work Regulations do include certain employee duties. They must:

  • Report health and safety shortcomings
  • Report dangerous situations
  • Report incidents and accidents
  • Use equipment in accordance with training and instruction
  • Take reasonable care of their own health and safety, and the safety of anyone who will be affected by their work

2. Manual Handling Regulations

Approximately 21% of all non-fatal workplace injuries are caused by incorrect manual handling, resulting in operational, financial and reputational damage. Therefore, it’s crucial to prevent situations where your workers could be harmed when lifting or moving heavy objects. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) legislation was introduced in 1992 and later updated in 2002 to provide employers with rules that will keep their workers safe.

As an employer, you must:

  • Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, as far as reasonably practicable
  • Assess the risk of injury from any manual handling task that cannot be avoided
  • Reduce the risk of injury from manual handling, as far as reasonably practicable

Again, you will need to conduct a sufficient risk assessment and put measures in place to reduce or eliminate manual handling hazards where possible. Failure to implement the requirements could be subject to actions from the regulatory authorities.

3. Display Screen Equipment Regulations

The Display Screen Equipment Regulations outline what employers must do to protect their staff from display screen equipment (DSE) risks, such as computers and laptops. Incorrect usage of DSE or poorly designed workspaces can cause musculoskeletal pains, wrist and hand pain, fatigue and eye strain, so it’s essential to ensure your office staff have the right tools to do their jobs.

Although the DSE regulations won’t apply to your field-based workers, it does cover anyone in your back office who regularly uses screen-based equipment as part of their daily work. As an employer, you must:

  • Do a DSE workstation assessment or train workers to carry out basic assessments
  • Ensure that workers take regular breaks from DSE work or complete other tasks intermittently
  • Provide eye tests
  • Provide adequate training and information for workers

As with the other regulations we’ve covered so far, you will need to conduct a risk assessment and record your findings.

4. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (WHSWR) outline the workplace’s minimum health and safety requirements, though they exclude construction sites. As the name of the legislation suggests, there are three key areas of focus:

Health

The ‘health’ aspect of the WHSWR refers to the following:

  • Ventilation
  • Temperature
  • Work in hot and cold environments
  • Lighting
  • Cleanliness and waste material
  • Room dimensions and space
  • Workstations and seating

Safety

The ‘safety’ aspect of the WHSWR refers to the following:

  • Maintenance
  • Floors and traffic routes
  • Falls into dangerous substances
  • Transparent or translucent doors
  • Gates, walls and windows
  • Escalators and moving walkways

Welfare

The ‘welfare’ aspect of the WHSWR refers to the following:

  • Sanitary conveniences and washing facilities
  • Drinking water
  • Accommodation for clothing 
  • Facilities for changing
  • Facilities for rest and to eat meals 

5. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, otherwise known as PUWER, place duties on anyone who owns, operates or has control over work equipment — including businesses and organisations whose employees use work equipment. 

PUWER requires that any equipment for work purposes is:

  • Suitable for the intended use
  • Safe for use, maintained and inspected to ensure that it’s correctly installed and isn’t deteriorating significantly
  • Used only by individuals who have received adequate information and training
  • Accompanied by suitable health and safety measures, such as protective devices and controls. Such devices typically include guarding, emergency stops, adequate means of isolation from energy sources, clearly visible markings and warning devices
  • Used in accordance with specific requirements

In addition to PUWER, certain types of work equipment may also be subject to other health and safety legislation. For example, lifting equipment will also need to meet the requirements of LOLER. 

Some work equipment is subject to other health and safety legislation in addition to PUWER. For example, lifting equipment must also meet the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and personal protective equipment needs to follow the PPE at work regulations. With COVID having a significant impact on how people use PPE in the workplace, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date with any changes to the legislation.

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations

Following on from the previous point, let’s take a closer look at the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) regulations. Although PPE has gained attention throughout the pandemic, it has always been essential for any facilities manager to know how it should be used in the workplace.

PPE is equipment that protects the user against health and safety risks at work. You can provide such protection with items such as safety helmets, high-visibility clothing, eye protection, gloves, safety footwear or respiratory protective equipment (RPE). 

Whilst you may have taken every other precaution to reduce hazards on-site, you may still need to protect your workers against injuries to:

  • The eyes — e.g. flying particles
  • The skin — e.g. corrosive chemicals
  • The lungs — e.g. breathing in contaminated air
  • The head and feet — e.g. falling materials
  • The body — e.g.extreme temperatures

However, it’s important to remember that PPE should only be used as a last resort (except when facemasks are required due to COVID), and you should always try to put other health and safety measures in place first. If you require your staff to wear PPE on the job, you will need to provide it free of charge.

Facility Management Software Helps You Stay Compliant

Although we’ve covered the top six legislations, there are many more that you must consider depending on your industry. But, with so many other responsibilities on your plate already, how can you guarantee that your organisation is compliant?

The best way to manage your operations is by using facilities management job scheduling software like BigChange, which has many inbuilt health and safety features. Here are just some of the features you can benefit from:

  • Mandatory risk assessment and workflows that workers must fill out on their mobile devices before beginning work
  • Daily vehicle walkaround checks
  • Driver behaviour analysis

By digitising your health and safety procedures, you’ll have a complete record of the measures you’ve taken to keep your employees safe. As such, you and your employees can rest assured that your organisation is following all industry regulations and won’t get caught out for non-compliance.

Ensure Your Employees are Staying Safe in the Workplace with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walkaround checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

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

Read this article to learn more about the best practices you should follow to ensure that your HVAC business is as successful as possible.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having a damaging effect on many field service businesses, the HVAC market growth shows no signs of slowing down. 

In fact, in 2021, the market was valued at $136.3 billion and is projected to expand at an annual growth rate of 6.3% from 2022 to 2030. 

However, while market growth is good news for business owners, it means that competition is fiercer than ever. Standing out and attracting customers takes more than just great technicians and a good business plan. You’ll need to look at how you manage the company and identify areas for improvement. 

In this blog, we’ll share our best practices for running a successful HVAC business and the tools that can help to set you apart from your competitors. 

Running your HVAC business successfully 

There are a number of elements that are important when running a HVAC business. We’ve outlined the top 4 things you need to take into account. 

  1. Plan 

Research shows that companies that plan ahead grow 30% faster than those that don’t. 

Therefore, it’s essential to take the time to put a solid HVAC business plan together. As a starting point, consider the following questions: 

✅ What is your unique selling proposition?

✅ What is your vision for the next five years?

✅ What is your target for sales, gross profit and net profit? If possible, you should break          your profits down per department.

✅ How many service calls should you aim to attend?

✅ How many installations should you aim to complete?

✅ How many technicians, installers, salespeople and back-office staff will you require?

✅ How much business should you aim to get from repeat customers?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to set realistic targets for your business and help you to meet them. 

💵 Project cash requirements 

Once you have answered these questions, you’ll need to project your cash requirements for each month. Calculate how much money will be coming in and compare it to your outgoings – is your remainder positive? 

If not, you’ll need to think about how you will earn the additional revenue required. 

Remember, having a steady cash flow is vital for any business, so you must ensure your customers always pay on time. Otherwise, you will find it challenging to meet operational expenses and take on new projects that contribute to company growth. 

🧰 Top tools 

Having a job management platform in place will allow you to send electronic invoices the moment a field service technician has finished a job. The whole process is automated and makes it easier for your customers to pay. 

Plus, with a range of simple, digital payment options available, customers can pay on the same day, providing you with peace of mind that your finances are in check. 

  1. Collect data 

Research from McKinsey shows that data-driven businesses are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result. So, if you’re not already analysing your company’s stats, you should be. 

The type of data you’ll want to collect will depend on your business goals. For example, ordering parts is crucial for running an HVAC business, but you could be spending far more than you should if you don’t have access to relevant accurate data. 

Perhaps your workers forget to sign parts in and out of storage, or maybe their writing is illegible, and you can’t see what they’ve used. Either way, you’ll soon notice that the numbers aren’t adding up. 

🧰 Top tools 

Job management platforms provide complete visibility over your operations and provide you with access to real-time data so you can make better-informed business decisions. 

So, not only will you be able to see how much stock you have available so you never accidentally over-order, but you can also take a closer look at whether the rest of your company is running as efficiently as possible. 

  1. Implement the right systems and processes 

The more your business grows, the more likely you are to encounter operational problems and flaws. This is a natural part of growing a business. 

However, not correcting these problems will exacerbate the problem which can result in flaws in the business and losses for HVAC businesses. 

Ensuring that you have the right systems and processes in place while your business is small is easier than trying to fix flaws once they have become serious flaws in your business. 

🧰 Top tools 

✅ Create team schedules – online job scheduling allows back office teams to take care of scheduling and dispatching technicians effectively. They can assign technicians with the right tools and skills, and who are in the right location to the right jobs. Your technicians can also remain informed of schedule changes to avoid wasted journeys. 

✅ Dispatch and route teams efficiently – live tracking and planning routes in advance means technicians spend less time on the road, save fuel and fit more into the day, which results in improvements in your business’ bottom line. 

In addition, back office staff can track technicians throughout the day to assign the right team member to the right job. They can also keep them informed of any possible delays and reroute them where necessary. 

Allow technicians to access information anywhere – a mobile app can keep technicians informed about the client jobs they’re going to. This ensures they’re informed of what the problem is, the tools they’ll need and the client history. All of which contributes towards higher first-time fix rates. 

  1. Recruit the best talent 

Although the HVAC market is booming, there is a serious shortage of talent.

As more experienced workers reach retirement age and leave the workforce, they’re leaving behind a gap that 70% of field service organisations believe will severely impact operations within the next five to ten years. 

Consequently, it will be the companies that can hire the best talent that will survive and grow in the years to come. But, to attract Millennial (1981-1996) and Generation Z (1997-2012) workers, businesses will need to modernise their ways of working. 

These tech-savvy generations will expect to work for companies that provide digital tools that enable them to work efficiently and deliver excellent services. 

Therefore, now is the perfect time to digitise your HVAC business and become an early adopter of the latest technology. 

🧰 Top tools  

Field service management software allows you to implement the latest technology which will allow you to meet both the changing expectations for customer service and your mobile workforce. 

You will be able to provide seamless communication between your field-based workforce and your back-office staff by equipping technicians with a mobile app. Better communication leads to a more productive and efficient workforce and helps you to meet customer expectations, improving the bottom line of your business. 

A mobile app allows workers to: 

📱 Complete risk assessments and workflow documents 

📱 Check customers’ files for important notes

📱 View their schedule and work orders in real-time

📱 Send digital invoices and accept payments 

By streamlining your processes and making it simple to complete each job, you’ll find that people will want to work for your company over those that continue to operate ‘the old way’. 

Key takeaways

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

BigChange transforms how your HVAC business operates, giving you the power to manage scheduled maintenance and respond to urgent reactive jobs more effectively. 

Give your team everything they need, from site directions and workflows to digital safety certification, and share live data with your back office as required.

Want to find out more?

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

Dealey Environmental, a specialist in environmentally friendly pest control, has reduced the resources required to manage its mobile workforce by 50 per cent following the implementation of latest job management software from BigChange.

Offering the full range of environmental protection services including bird control, fumigation, grounds maintenance and cleaning, Dealey has been pioneering environmentally friendly products and service since its inception in 1954. Using the BigChange platform, Dealey has further improved its green credentials with a significant reduction in paperwork and has boosted its customer experience with automated reporting.

Martin Cobbald, Managing Director of Dealey Environmental commented:

“Before BigChange we were killing trees not just pests! We consumed paper at an unsustainable rate and not only was this bad for the planet it was bad for us and for our clients. We had paper everywhere, except where it was meant to be, and it took a huge amount of my time to schedule jobs, manage the team and liaise with clients.

He continued:

“Around this time, I was introduced to the concept of ‘lean management’ which focusses on continuous improvement and optimising resources, I was also recommended BigChange and realised the fit between our aspirations, the model for a successful business and the BigChange solution, and we haven’t looked back.”

Dealey Environmental, based in Suffolk, offers a wide range of services in the field of pest control and wildlife management. Serving clients in the food manufacturing, bioscience, farming and haulage sectors – in fact any business with pests, Dealey is one of the few companies that will look to address the cause of an issue rather than just the manifestation. Where remedial action is required Dealey uses the best equipment with the latest chemicals and adheres to the most stringent audit standards. 

Since implementing the single platform CRM, Job Management, Job Scheduling, Live Tracking, Field Resource Management and Online Portal, from BigChange, Dealey records all customer interactions, automatically schedules routine tasks and captures site visit records, including photographs, for auditing and reporting. HR uses vehicle tracking reports to further reduce paperwork and reduce the monthly payroll resource and the online library has made new recruitment inductions and training more efficient and effective.

Cobbald concluded:

“Since the first meeting BigChange talked our language making an effort to understand our business and our needs. There is always someone available with guidance, insight and patience, and I know that as we continue to grow BigChange will grow with us.” 

Dealey Environmental

The UK is currently experiencing a skills shortage, with the demand for electricians exceeding the supply. In fact, an additional 15,000 fully qualified electricians will need to join the industry over the next five years to close the gap. However, the good news for existing electricians is that it’s the perfect time to win new, high-value contracts. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of tendering for electrical work. We’ll also share how field service management software for electricians can help you easily manage your growing business.

How to Win Electrical Contracts in 4 Simple Steps

1. Find a Suitable Opportunity

The first step to winning more electrical work is to find a tender that is relevant to the services you offer. A good place to start is by checking Contracts Finder or Find a Tender, where you will find all public tender opportunities in the UK. You can search using keywords, so you don’t have to waste time searching through irrelevant tenders.

There are three different contracting procedures that you’ll need to be aware of:

1. Open Procedure
An open procedure means that:
  • Anyone can submit a tender.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders.

There are no restrictions on when clients can use the above method, but they must evaluate all tenders they receive. As a result, clients often use an open procedure for simple procurements.

2. Restricted Procedure
A restricted procedure means that:
  • Any interested parties can express an interest in bidding.
  • The client must invite a minimum of five suppliers to bid — provided enough candidates have applied — so there is genuine competition.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders, but they may clarify details and finalise terms.

Again, there are no restrictions on when clients can use the above process. Usually, restricted procedures are suited to less stable markets where there are many competitors.

3. Competitive Dialogue
A competitive dialogue means that:
  • Companies shortlist candidates who respond to their advertisement, and only those selected are invited to bid.
  • Clients can negotiate with bidders to seek better offers.

Often, clients use competitive dialogue when they require a more tailored approach. For example, if the client’s organisation cannot use a ready-made solution or product due to the complexity of its requirements.

Once you’ve found a tender you want to apply for, you’ll need to register your interest. The client will then likely issue you with a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) in most cases.

2. Complete the Pre-Qualification Process (PQQ)

The PQQ is designed to help the client shortlist applicants for the tender, so you’ll need to provide strong evidence that your company can take on the project. The questionnaire will cover topics such as:

  • Experience level
  • Geographical reach
  • Financial information
  • Past and current clients
  • Insurance details

Remember, the PQQ will serve as the client’s first impression of your company, so it’s worth spending some time on your answers and ensuring that you’ve covered all the vital information you need to share. If you’re successful, the client will invite you to tender for the contract officially.

3. Invitation to Tender (ITT)

At the ITT stage, the client should supply more details on the scope of works, criteria, instructions and an explanation on how they will assess applicants. After you’ve carefully read through their requirements, you’ll need to pull together information about the following:

  • Some details about your company
  • How you’ll approach the project
  • An estimate and breakdown of costs
  • Your project management process

However, the above list isn’t exhaustive. Some clients may want you to include more information or have a preference over the format of your response. For example, you may have to upload your answers via an online portal with a maximum word count.

With a field service management platform in place, gathering crucial data to impress the client needn’t be a headache. You’ll have a comprehensive record of all previous jobs, cost centres, price lists and more at the click of a button. The platform tracks data in real-time, so you can rest assured that everything is accurate and up-to-date.

4. Begin Writing Your Bid

You should open your bid submission with a brief overview of your company’s qualifications and why you should win the contract. Then, you’ll need to outline how you’ll carry out the project, answering each question concisely and backing up statements with facts and figures.

Although the bid is a chance to demonstrate your strengths as an organisation, you must ensure the focus remains on the client. They will want to read about how you can help them with their specific requirements. Therefore, it’s a good idea to search your bid document for the word ‘we’ and change them to ‘you’ where appropriate.

Most importantly, once you’ve proofread your submission, you should submit it before or on the deadline. Late entries are likely to be ignored by the client, costing you time and a potential customer.

Field Service Management Technology Simplifies the Tendering Process

The tendering process can be lengthy and complex at times. As such, it may be tempting to keep attending to one-off, ‘quick win’ jobs. But, electrical companies should take advantage of today’s high demand for electricians and bid for larger, higher-value contracts that will maintain a steady income stream. 

The good news is you can streamline the tendering process by arming yourself with the vital data you need to impress potential clients. With a field service management platform such as BigChange, you can view details such as:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your health and safety procedures 
  • Payments and outstanding invoices

You’ll eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other activities that contribute directly to business growth.

Win More Electrical Work and Grow Your Business with BigChange

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

BigChange’s job management software for electricians gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

After a tough period, the building maintenance industry is back up and running with a 3.3% growth since the first quarter of 2021. As the economy continues to pick up, it’s a great time to start getting building maintenance contracts. 

However, if you’re unfamiliar with the tender process, new to the business, or you’re no longer using a tender writing service, the prospect of bidding for contracts can be intimidating. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how to get building maintenance contracts. We’ll explore what tenders are, tender types, and the process for bidding. You’ll also learn how BigChange’s property maintenance software can not only help you manage your building maintenance company but also make the tender writing process simpler.

What Are Tenders?

While word-of-mouth or a simple business proposal may be enough to bring on a new client in some industries, getting a building maintenance contract typically requires bidding on a tender.

But, what is a tender?

Tenders are requests for work to be performed and are a staple of the building maintenance and construction industries. A tender will often include the scope of the work, the type of work, and the client’s specific needs. Unlike a job posting, a tender requires a multi-step application process in which applicants must hold the exact qualifications and credentials requested.

Types of Tenders and Tender Writing

One of the most complicated aspects of getting building maintenance contracts is tender writing and preparing all the documents required for bidding. Before you start tender writing, it’s important to learn about the two tender types.

Open Tenders

Open tenders don’t require a pre-qualification questionnaire before obtaining the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document. You can begin responding to a business’ tender right away.

Closed tenders

Closed tenders have a two-phase process. The first phase essentially vets bidders with a pre-qualification questionnaire before sending you the ITT. 

The pre-qualification questionnaire is intended to ascertain your experience in relation to the bid you’re applying for and ensure you meet the requirements. If you pass the pre-qualification questionnaire, you will receive the ITT. 

Now that you know about the two types of tenders, let’s discuss how to approach a tender step-by-step. 

1. Find Out Who’s Taking Tenders

The first step to getting building maintenance contracts is to find out where companies are posting tenders. The site OJEU is a great source for finding new building maintenance contracts. 

Some companies will also release a prior information notice (PIN) which informs building maintenance companies that the client intends to release a tender in the next 12 months. It’s a good idea to keep tabs of these clients and prepare any necessary materials for bidding in advance. 

2. Apply to The Right Tenders

The next step is to examine each tender and see which jobs are realistic and viable for your company. Each building maintenance contract posted should include the following information for your review:

  • The type of contract
  • Its approximate value
  • The duration of the contract

Remember, you won’t be considered for tenders whose qualifications and certifications you do not meet. In order to decide if you are a good fit for the job, ask yourself the following questions: 

  1. Do you meet the financial criteria and stability to make the bid? 
  2. Can you deliver the maintenance required? 
  3. Do you have the necessary certifications? 

If you answer no to any of these questions or are unsure if you can meet the requirements, you should reconsider whether it’s worth taking time to bid on the job.

3. Familiarise Yourself with Contracts

Reading through contracts is one of the most important aspects of winning new business. Ensuring that you’ve understood the terms and responded to them appropriately in your tender writing will improve your chances of success. 

Although every contract you receive from a client can vary, the following are the four most common types of building maintenance and construction contracts used in the UK:

  • JCT (The Joint Contracts Tribunal)
  • ACA (Association of Consultant Architects)
  • FIDIC (Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseil)
  • NEC (The New Engineering Contract)

It’s important to acknowledge that contracts can have different specifications depending on the client and the needs of their business. Likewise, some of the above can have additional contracts, such as the CIC BIM Protocol, which is required for Level 2 BIM projects. 

For more information on the different types of building maintenance and construction contracts, click here.

4. Respond to the ITT

Now you’ve found some tenders to bid on, have gone over their contracts, and even been pre-vetted after answering the pre-qualification questionnaire, it’s time for you to fill out the Invitation to Tender (ITT). At this stage, the tender writing can be challenging, but it’s the most crucial step in getting new building maintenance contracts. 

The ITT exercise is where you address the tender and state why you are the best organisation for the job. When responding to the ITT, we recommend preparing the following information and documentation:

  • Scope of work and pricing list 
  • Details of how you will perform the initial phase of work 
  • Your proposed work schedule
  • Important staff members involved in the work
  • Resources and equipment you will use
  • Systems and technology used to organise and perform work 
  • Prior experience in the field 
  • References from previous clients

Once you’ve completed and turned in your tender, you will need to wait to see if you’re awarded the job. The ITT should specify how the client will rate each part of the tender. The rating is a way for the client to measure how qualified you are for the job and will give you a great insight into how well your bid performed. 

Make Tender Writing Easier with BigChange

When it comes to writing a tender, you must be able to provide a range of information about your business, which can be tricky when you don’t have complete visibility over your operations.

Imagine writing a bid where you could ensure you have all the information you need to hand, from how many people you have working for you and where, what skills they have, and what equipment and assets you have in stock. 

BigChange’s job management software offers a complete solution for planning, scheduling, and tracking your mobile workforce that is sure to impress your potential clients. 

In the competitive building maintenance landscape, having digital all-in-one solutions for your procedures will give you a sure advantage over the competition. 

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.

In 2020, plumbers were the most in-demand tradespeople, with 64% of people saying they required plumbing services at some point during the year. As such, there’s never been a better time to win new business and scale your company.

But, to run your organisation successfully and turn a profit, you need to know how to create financial documents correctly. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to write a plumbing quote and invoice. We’ll also discuss how to calculate the VAT rate on plumbing services, so you know how much tax to add to each job.

What is the VAT Rate on Plumbing Services?

If your taxable turnover is likely to be over the current VAT threshold of £85,000, then you must charge VAT on your services, otherwise known as ‘output tax’. Currently, there are three rates that a plumbing business can charge, which are as follows:

Standard Rate

The standard VAT rate on plumbing services is 20% and applies to work such as:

  • Domestic repairs and maintenance
  • Work to existing structures
  • Work to newly-built structures that don’t meet the zero rate criteria

Reduced Rate

There are certain situations where you can charge a reduced rate of 5%, for example:

  • Installation of energy-saving materials
  • Renovating a property that has been vacant for two years or more
  • Residential conversion work 

Zero Rate

You do not need to add VAT to invoices for zero-rate plumbing services, which include:

  • Services for a disabled person
  • Work on new build houses
  • Work on qualifying buildings if you are the main contractor — usually, these buildings are used for charitable or non-business purposes

For more information on VAT rates, visit the GOV.UK website.

How to Write a Plumbing Quote

Before you begin putting together a quote, you must examine the issue to assess the job’s complexity. Failure to carry out this vital first step could result in unexpected problems and additional hours of work. Your customers won’t be happy if the project falls behind schedule, and your bottom line will take a hit. 

So, visit the location, take notes and then send your customer an estimate that includes these details:

1. The Rate for Your Services

To set a rate for your services, you’ll need to calculate how much you require to pay your bills and make a profit whilst remaining competitive. Many plumbing businesses choose to quote their services in minimum blocks of time. Two hours is enough time to install a new sink, for instance. 

Subsequently, it’s a good idea to make a price card and rate list as a starting point. You can then tweak your prices depending on each customer’s requirement. Also, don’t forget to factor in any additional time you spent inspecting the problem initially, as that will have cost your team time that they could’ve used to attend to another job. 

Luckily, pricing your work needn’t be a headache. With a field service management system in place, you can create a digital rate card and price list that you can easily tailor to your clients’ projects at the touch of a button. 

2. Additional Fees

When putting together an estimate, you should always cover any other expenses you or your team will incur whilst carrying out the job. Your additional fees can include the following costs:

  • Travel; you can either charge a fixed rate or calculate your mileage
  • Union dues, pensions and insurance don’t need to be itemised, but you should include them as part of your hourly or base rate
  • Emergency call-outs that cover weekends, holidays or after-hours work
3. Supplies and Materials

More often than not, plumbing jobs require you to provide supplies and materials that add to your overall costs. So, once you’ve completed your initial inspection of the problem, you should make a note of the items you think you’re going to use and price them up. 

Your technicians should turn up at the job with all the proper equipment so they can fix the issue the first time, which is why you must be thorough with your list. Fortunately, plumbing field service software is designed to give you visibility over how much stock you have available and ensure you have enough to carry out the work.

The best plumbing apps allow you to assign supplies and materials to particular jobs, meaning no one on your team arrives at a job without the right gear. Plus, you will be able to see exactly how much stock you’ve assigned to the project, enabling you to calculate the total cost quickly.

Aside from your quotes being more accurate and straightforward to create, you’ll find that your first-time fix rate increases and your technicians can attend more appointments each month.

How to Write a Plumbing Invoice

Once a technician completes a job, it is a legal requirement to send your customer an invoice. Typically, invoices establish details such as what services your plumbing business provided, how much the customer owes you and the payment deadline.

Creating accurate invoices enables you to maintain your bookkeeping and helps prevent disputes or late payments. Here are the key elements you must include on your invoices:

1. Contact Information and Company Logo

Did you know that 75% of people recognise a brand by its logo? Therefore, it’s worth taking the time to add your logo onto each invoice you send so your customers know that the invoice has come directly from your organisation. 

Your company name and contact information must also be in a large font at the top of the invoice. Next, you should include your customer’s name and address to ensure that it reaches the right person or department. 

With modern field service management software, you can handle invoicing directly on the platform and create personalised documents in seconds. For example, you can add your logo into a pre-designed template for a professional-looking invoice. 

The template also pulls through all required information, including the customer’s address, and automatically adds it into the appropriate fields. As a result, there’s less margin for human error and a reduced chance of late payments. 

2. Invoice Number, Issue Date and Due Date

When used correctly, invoice numbers make it simpler for you to organise your sent invoices, track pending payments and keep a record of your income for tax purposes. The number should be unique, around three to five digits long, and clearly visible on each invoice.

Then, you must add the invoice’s issue date, showing the customer when you sent the payment request. Clients have a certain number of days after the issue date to pay the invoice, which you must indicate by including a due date.  

3. An Itemised List of Services and Parts

Customers should be able to see what they’re paying for, so you must include the information below:

  • A description of the job carried out, the number of hours it required, your hourly rate and the total amount billed
  • Parts required to complete the job, quantities, price per unit and the total amount

Remember, technical plumbing terms make sense to you, but customers will not share the same knowledge. Keep the descriptions simple, so there is no confusion on their end — if they need to ask questions or clarify details, it will delay the payment. 

You can keep a more in-depth description of the work in your CRM (customer relationship management) system for your own record. CRMs document all interactions you have with your clients, including any notes your team makes about the job, so you can refer back to specific details whenever you need them.

4. Before and After Photos

Since plumbing is a highly skilled trade, it’s crucial that your technicians take before and after photos to demonstrate the work they did. Customers may not understand how the plumbers fixed their issues, or the plumbing may be in areas they cannot access, like under the floorboards. Sharing photos provides your clients with peace of mind that their problem is resolved.

Using a state-of-the-art field service management platform, your technicians can take photos on their mobile devices and instantly attach them to the customers’ profiles. As such, both you and your clients will have a complete record of what the plumbers did. If there are any further issues down the line, it will be much simpler to look back through the job history and resolve the problem.  

5. The Total Amount Due

Although you’ve already created an itemised list of the costs, you must also provide your customers with a total amount due on a separate line. Ideally, the total should be in bold so that it stands out.

Getting the total correct is paramount to ensuring you get paid on time. Any disputes will cause a delay in the payment process, so you should always ensure that it’s right the first time. Many field service management systems include an invoicing and payment feature that automatically pulls accurate details and costs into a pre-made template.

By digitising your invoices, you not only save time on arduous administration tasks but also lower the risk of human error and thus get paid by the deadline. That’s a win for both your back-office team and your cash flow. 

6. Payment Terms

In addition to including a due date, you must also clearly state your payment terms:

  • Late fees: Once an invoice becomes overdue, you are allowed to charge late fees. However, you should tell the client exactly how much you charge in such situations. 
  • Accepted payment methods: Tell your customers how they can pay for your services. For example, if you’re using field service invoicing and payment software, people can pay from their mobile devices the minute they receive your electronic invoice. 
  • Guarantees and warranties: If you’ve included a warranty on any parts or you offer a money-back guarantee, you need to specify the terms. For example, how long is the warranty valid? Stating these details in writing mitigates the risk of disputes further down the line.
7. Personalised Note

According to research by PWC, 42% of people say they would pay more for a friendly customer experience. Consequently, it’s a good idea to include a brief, personalised note at the bottom of your invoices.

It’s not a legal requirement to add a note, but it is a friendly touch that will make you stand out from your competitors. You can thank your customers for their business or even use it as an opportunity to request feedback and referrals.

Customers will appreciate the kind message and be left with a more favourable impression of your plumbing business, meaning they’ll be more inclined to use your services again in the future.

Field Service Management Software Unclogs the Quoting and Invoicing Process

Eradicate the time-consuming aspects of quoting and invoicing by adopting a cutting-edge job management software for plumbers like BigChange. The system interlinks your CRM, asset management tool and pricing information so you can put together an accurate quotation in a few clicks. 

Then, once your technicians have completed their jobs, they can instantly generate invoices on their mobile devices and share them with customers in seconds. The invoices pull through all essential information, from final costs to photographic evidence, so your clients can check that they’re satisfied with the details straight away.

Plus, with BigChange Pay, making a payment has never been simpler. Instead of waiting days, or potentially weeks, to receive an invoice payment, your customers can pay the same day using a range of convenient online methods. 

Your clients will appreciate the speedy service, and you’ll free up more time to focus on doing what you do best. 

Make Quotes and Invoices for Your Plumbing Business in Seconds with BigChange

Create financial documents the fast way. 

With BigChange, you can generate and share invoices, quotes, estimates, purchase orders and credit notes in seconds. Our easy-to-use templates pull through pre-saved line items and automatically calculate job costs, so you don’t have to spend time manually inputting data. 

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

Pinnacle Group has transformed its customer experience and increased operational efficiency following the implementation of the latest field service management software from BigChange.

Supporting over 300,000 homes, 200 schools and 100 public and private buildings, Pinnacle is one of the UK’s largest facilities management providers. Using BigChange, Pinnacle has achieved a significant improvement in transparency and communication with clients by delivering live operational information and has overcome challenges resulting from the pandemic which saw a reduced workforce facing an increased workload. 

Raaj Bharania, Pinnacle Group Business Manager commented:

“Since implementing BigChange we have seen real time savings and productivity gains resulting in better quality of service, reduced resources and costs, and increased client and customer satisfaction. This can be directly translated into contract extensions and new contract awards.”

Pinnacle is a community-facing, people-first business that delivers, manages and maintains communities and places – including multi-tenure housing, schools, open spaces, public and private buildings, retail schemes, distribution centres, manufacturing plants, utilities and broadband networks – as well as a range of complementary employment and wellbeing outcomes. Formed in 1994, Pinnacle operates nationwide with major hubs in London, Chelmsford, Slough, Birmingham, Leeds, Morecambe, Stoke and Carlisle. Pinnacle provides integrated Facilities Management across all sectors and the frontline operation makes around 1,400 call outs per day with an 80/20 split between scheduled and reactive.

Since implementing BigChange’s complete facilities management job scheduling software solution, which incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform, Pinnacle can record, monitor and control every task in real-time. Details of site inspections and service delivery visits are captured, recorded and reported, complete with before and after photos, using a traffic light system allowing operatives to self-certify works. 

Area Manager Marcin Rosiak said:

“By giving clients access to the BigChange platform we have been able to reduce the time spent monitoring and reporting as they can access the information they need when they need it.”

Whilst Business Manager Seundouss Laroussi added:

BigChange has been transformational for us, and our clients, and we cannot imagine our operation without it!” 

BigChange has already been deployed on over 90 percent of Pinnacles soft FM contracts where it has been tailored to meet specific KPIs, SLAs and reporting requirements and roll out on the remaining 10 percent is ongoing. Further planned work includes the transition to a completely paperless operation and the use of BigChange to improve workforce engagement and health and safety management.  

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 plumbing 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

plumbing engineer software 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.

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.

According to data from the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme UK (CHAS UK), the COVID-19 pandemic decreased overall HVAC business turnover by 70%. As a result, just under half (45%) of stakeholders believe their company is under threat.

With that in mind, it’s never been more necessary to bid for larger contracts that will provide enough work in the long run. However, if you usually deal with residential customers exclusively, taking the leap to bid on a commercial agreement may be intimidating. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to bid for HVAC service contracts in a few simple steps and share how field service management technology can streamline the process.

How to Bid for HVAC Contract Work

1. Find Appropriate Contracts to Bid On

Before you can begin bidding on a contract, you must first find one you believe your business will be able to manage. A good place to start is by looking on the Contracts Finder page of the GOV.UK website. The Contracts Finder allows you to filter searches by sector. You can also see upcoming contracts and search for details of previous agreements.

You should then familiarise yourself with the three most common contracting procedures, which we’ll explain below.

1. Open Procedure

An open procedure means that:

  • Anyone is permitted to submit a tender
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders

There are no restrictions on when clients can use the above method, but they must evaluate all tenders they receive. As such, an open procedure is often used for straightforward procurements.

2. Restricted Procedure

A restricted procedure means that:

  • Any interested parties can express their interest in bidding.
  • A minimum of five suppliers must be invited to bid — provided enough candidates have applied — so there is genuine competition.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders, although they can clarify details and finalise terms.

Again, there are no restrictions on when clients can use the process above. Often, restricted procedures are suited to less stable markets where there are several competitors. 

3. Competitive Dialogue

A competitive dialogue means that:

  • Companies shortlist candidates who respond to their advertisement, and only those selected are invited to bid.
  • Clients are permitted to negotiate with bidders to seek better offers.

Often, competitive dialogue is used when a more tailored approach is needed. For example, if the client’s organisation cannot use a ready-made solution or product due to the complexity of its requirements.

2. Gather Accurate Data About Your Business

Once you’ve selected the HVAC contract work that you want to bid for, it’s time to gather some data. To justify your quote, you need factual evidence and accurate numbers — so you should calculate the following:

  • Labour costs
  • Prices of supplies
  • Equipment usage costs
  • Profit margin
  • Average timescales to complete work

Remember, although the price is important, it’s not a race to the bottom. Your company’s experience, certifications, qualifications and track record are also crucial factors, so clients will be looking at more than just who can offer the lowest bid.

Collecting all the vital information you need to share about your business can seem daunting — but it doesn’t have to be. With hvac field service software, you can obtain real-time, accurate data on anything from your inventory to finances in just a few clicks. Consequently, you’ll have all the details you need to write a successful bid without the headache of sifting through mountains of paperwork.

3. Put Your Bid Together

Begin your bid submission with a brief overview of your company’s qualifications and why you should win the contract. Then, explain how you will complete the job by answering each question concisely and sharing all the relevant information you sourced earlier. Don’t forget to submit any additional paperwork that the client has requested, such as proof of insurance, certifications, or a list of key personnel.

Whilst it’s beneficial to mention the positive aspects of your organisation, you must ensure you keep the focus on the client. The reader will want to know how you can help them with their specific requirements. Search your document for incidences of the word ‘we’ and consider how you can change them to ‘you’ instead.

Above all else, once you’ve double-checked your bid for errors, you must ensure that you submit it before or on the deadline. Failure to do so will likely cause the client to discount your submission entirely, meaning you’ve lost both valuable time and a potential customer. 

Field Service Management Technology Speeds Up the Bidding Process

Bid writing is a time-consuming process and, when there’s no guarantee that you’ll win the contract in the end, it can be tempting to simply continue attending to one-off jobs. But, to survive in a post-COVID world, HVAC organisations will need to secure a steady pipeline of work, which you can achieve by winning contracts. 

Fortunately, you can cut down your time writing bids by arming yourself with the vital data you need to impress potential clients. With field service management software such as BigChange, you can view details:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Payments and outstanding invoices
  • Your health and safety procedures 

As a result, you can eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other business-critical activities. 

Win More HVAC Contract Work 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.

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

Trustee Fire and Security has boosted productivity by 25 per cent using the latest field service management software. Since deploying the BigChange job management platform, Trustee has also been able to deliver significant improvements in customer service by providing digital, real-time reporting from service engineers using mobile devices linked to live vehicle tracking. 

Trustee is a fire and security specialist first established in 1978 and based in Orpington. The company provides solutions for both domestic and commercial properties with a range of services from fire and intruder alarms to CCTV, access control, automatic gates, fabrication and emergency lighting.  Trustee embarked on a major business expansion drive 3 years ago and has since seen year-on-year growth. 

Two years ago Trustee realised that their ageing legacy system could not cope with the expanding business. A new system was needed to provide a fully digital solution with high levels of automation, and a platform for future ambitious growth plans. 

Nick Toomey, Director, Trustee Fire and Security says:

“We work in an industry bound by a lot of health and safety legislation and is broadly behind the times when it came to digital working; it was still an industry burdened with paperwork we knew that moving to a real-time digital reporting system was the future but finding a suitable system proved difficult.  BigChange proved to be by far the best option and offers tremendous potential as the platform to transform this industry.” 

BigChange brings together 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. Trustee run a fleet of vehicles servicing clients across the south-east of England, with engineers equipped with rugged tablets for managing their jobs and reporting; the BigChange platform synchronises mobile devices and the central CRM so Trustee has complete visibility of all jobs. 

Trustee particularly like the automated scheduling and routing, ensuring the best allocation of resources, optimised and backed with useful management information, such as the calculated cost of each job.  Invoicing in BigChange is also much quicker and two-way integration with Xero accounts software means BigChange provides a completely seamless end-to-end business solution. 

Toomey comments:

“BigChange has enabled us to eliminate paperwork and completely digitally transform the way we work. That has led to productivity gains across the office and field service operations of around 25 per cent.  However, it’s customer service where the greatest benefits are being realised. Customers are very impressed with the provision of instantly updated data from our engineers and automated communications,”

On the fleet side, Trustee’s engineers use their tablets to record their vehicle safety checks and tracking provides useful safe driving performance statistics, as well as keeping customer services informed of the location and progress of all engineers. BigChange fire & security job management software guides engineers with workflows to ensure procedures are followed and all data is complete, ensuring consistency and quality.  Future implementation will address the stringent fire and security compliance reporting.    

Toomey adds:

“BigChange is a great business tool as we can see everything going on, in real-time and 24/7 from anywhere by just connecting online. That also makes business expansion so easy, it is just the case of adding another user.  It’s certainly broken down traditional IT barriers and we’ll be able to expand freely whether it be through organic growth or acquisition”

Trustee Fire & Security

Whether you’ve just started up your cleaning business, or you’ve been established for some time, knowing how to attract new clients is an essential skill. Fortunately, winning contracts doesn’t have to be a headache if you have the know-how and the right technology in place.

In this article, we’ll explain how to get clients for your cleaning business. Plus, we’ll explore the ways that modern technology can give your organisation a competitive advantage.

How Do I Get Cleaning Contracts?

Did you know, there are approximately 66,420 businesses currently operating in the UK cleaning market? With so many organisations for customers to choose from, competition to win cleaning contracts is fierce.

However, there are several methods you can use to set yourself apart from your competitors. Here are the top four ways you can turn prospective clients into paying customers:

1. Word of Mouth

When it comes to attracting customers to your cleaning company, word of mouth is one of your best tools. In fact, word of mouth marketing results in five times more business than paid media, and people are 90% more likely to purchase products or services that have been recommended by someone they know. 

Therefore, you must ensure that you provide your existing customers with a positive experience. Fortunately, by using state-of-the-art field service management software, impressing your clients needn’t be time-consuming or challenging.  

For example, you can provide your customers with a user-friendly portal to easily make and rearrange appointments. Your team can then use the details the customer submitted to schedule and dispatch the most appropriate workers and equipment for the job.

Once your cleaners have completed the work, they’ll be able to instantly send customers invoices from their mobile devices for simple, online payment. Your customers will appreciate the rapidity and simplicity of your service and, as such, be more inclined to tell others about your business.

Field service management platforms also allow you to send your customers satisfaction surveys and personalised follow-up communications to ensure they’re happy. Post-job emails are the perfect opportunity to ask your customers to recommend you to others – you could even offer them a small discount for spreading the word.

2. Be Active on Social Media

With over 420 billion people active on social media, it has become one of the primary advertising channels for small businesses hoping to attract new clients. Consequently, you should ensure that you regularly update at least one channel.

Remember, cleaning is a visual service, and social media is your portfolio, so platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are ideal for showing off your work. You may wish to share before and after photos or even time-lapses of your team at work to give customers an idea of what to expect when they hire you.

Social media is also an excellent place to target specific prospective clients. For instance, if you want to win more office cleaning contracts, you could tailor your content specifically to corporate customers. Or, if you operate in a specific area, you can tag your posts to exact locations.

Finally, to build up a solid social media following, you should take time to respond to comments and connect with other users. Taking a friendly approach will make you stand out and attract more customers to your organisation.

3. Create a Website

Shockingly, it only takes about 50 milliseconds – or 0.05 seconds – for customers to form an opinion about your website. Sadly, if their first impressions aren’t positive, you could be losing business, so it can be tempting to forego a website entirely. 

But, in today’s digital world, having a website is necessary if you want prospective clients to find you. 

The good news is, you no longer have to be a tech wizard or break the bank to create a professional-looking website. There are now plenty of website builders with templates you can use to put your own site together in a few clicks. 

When making a website, you should tailor it to your customers and what they want to see. With a contemporary CRM (customer relationship management) system, you can obtain a snapshot of your customer base and their requirements at the touch of a button. 

Every interaction you’ve had with your clients, from phone calls to satisfaction surveys, are stored on the platform, so you can tell what industry the majority of your customers operate in, where they’re located and what feedback they gave you. As such, you can use the data you’ve collected to shape your website’s content and continue attracting similar customers.

4. Collaborate with Other Businesses and Expand Your Reach

Networking is a powerful method of growing your organisation and winning new contracts. Still, if you’re one of the 41% of people who believes they don’t have time to connect with other professionals in their field, you could be missing out on business opportunities.

Luckily, you can eliminate the time-consuming aspects of networking by employing the latest field service management technology such as BigChange. With BigChange, you can make the most of their ‘Network’ of trusted global field service companies without needing to leave the office.

Instead, you can list your business for free and start receiving connection requests immediately. From there, you’ll have the option to collaborate on projects with other like-minded companies, meaning you can bid for larger contracts and operate further afield without needing to hire extra resources.

You can specify the types of jobs you have available, alongside the skill requirements, so you can be sure that any subcontractors meet your standards and will represent your business appropriately.

Turn Prospective Clients into Paying Customers with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated job management software 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.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the hospitality industry was one of the worst affected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As countrywide lockdowns prohibited events and forced many public locations to close their doors, catering businesses had to await further announcements and place staff on furlough, creating a sense of uncertainty.

Now we’ve entered the ‘new normal’, it’s the perfect time to grow your company. One way to obtain more clients is to win a public sector catering tender. The public sector — for example, schools, care homes, hospitals, airports and offices — regularly outsource catering services, so plenty are available.

In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of tendering for a catering contract. We’ll also share how job management software can help you easily manage your growing business.

7 Simple Steps to Winning Catering Jobs

1. Do Your Research

Firstly, you’ll need to find a tender that’s relevant to your business. In the UK, all public tender opportunities are listed on Contracts Finder or Find a Tender, and you can search using keywords related to your services.

2. Complete the Pre-Qualification Process (PQQ)

Once you’ve selected a tender you want to apply for, you’ll need to complete the PQQ process, which involves filling out a questionnaire. The questionnaire should cover topics such as experience level, past and current clients, geographical reach, financial information and insurance details. 

The answers you provide will enable the client to shortlist the suppliers that fit their requirements. All shortlisted suppliers can then officially tender for the contract, so take some time to fill out the questionnaire in detail and research the client to improve your chances of making the cut.

3. Invitation to Tender (ITT) 

If you’re invited to tender for a contract catering job, the client will invite you to tender and should supply the following information:

  • The scope of works
  • An explanation of the tender process and instructions
  • The criteria
  • How they will assess applicants

However, the above list isn’t exhaustive, and some clients may require you to include more information. The client might also have a preference over the format of your response; for example, you may have to upload your answers via an online portal with a maximum word count.

4. Visit the Client’s Site

The client will likely invite all bidders to their site to outline their catering objectives and provide a tour of their facilities. You’ll have the chance to see the working environment and equipment and learn more about the services and standards required. Plus, you can gain more insight into the company’s culture and ethos, which could help you decide whether the client is a good fit for your business.

5. Write the Tender Document

Now you’re ready to begin writing your tender. Often, you’ll need to submit the tender in both hard copy and digital formats, and you will need to include the following:

  • Sample menus
  • Staff information
  • Method statements
  • Specific company policies
  • Description of support resources
  • Mobilisation plan
  • Service innovation
  • Supply chain information
  • What differentiates your company from the competition

Therefore, it’s worth taking some time to review all your vital company data and highlight anything that should take priority in your answers. Remember, your responses will be more authoritative if you have accurate statistics to back them up. 

With a state-of-the-art field service management platform, gathering accurate, real-time data needn’t be a headache. In fact, you’ll be able to find everything you need — from finances to staff details — in one place. 

6. Prepare for a Client Visit 

After the client has evaluated all tender documents, they will arrange a visit to your site. The purpose of the visit is to see your catering abilities in person. As such, you must focus on delivering excellent service. You should pay particular attention to your menu, food presentation, customer service and marketing materials.

The person visiting your site will typically be your main point of contact if you are successful. Consequently, you should aim to make them feel like you could have a good working relationship in the future. 

7. Presentation

The presentation is the final stage of the tendering process and is an opportunity to showcase your proposal in reality. It may seem as though you’re simply repeating what you already included in the written tender, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. You could lose the opportunity if you don’t go into the presentation fully armed with the correct information.

Although it’s impossible to know what the client will ask, you should know your proposal inside out, including facts and figures. Subsequently, you’ll be able to answer all questions confidently and prove to the client that you’re the best supplier for their requirements.

Field Service Management Technology Simplifies the Tendering Process

It’s no secret that catering companies have faced many difficulties in recent years. As a result, it may be tempting to forgo tendering for larger opportunities in favour of completing ‘quick win’ jobs. After all, gathering vital data to support your proposal can be time-consuming and complex.

But, in a post-COVID world, job security is essential. The best way to ensure you have a steady pipeline of work is to bid on contract catering jobs. 

Fortunately, you can streamline the tendering process by equipping yourself with the crucial data you need to impress potential clients. With a job management platform such as BigChange, you can view details such as:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Payments and outstanding invoices
  • Your health and safety procedures 

You’ll eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other business-critical activities. 

Win More Catering Jobs with BigChange

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

BigChange’s Field Service Management Software 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.

BigChange

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