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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.

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.

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

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 workforce management 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.

Magicman, the company that repairs almost any hard surface ‘back to new’, has transformed its nationwide repairs services with a 5-in-1 system from BigChange

Providing a single cloud-platform for CRM, job scheduling, mobile app, vehicle tracking and management reporting, BigChange provides Magicman with real-time 24/7 visibility of operations, improved control, customer service and productivity.

Established for over 25 years, Magicman has built a reputation as the go-to company for hard surface repairs having developed techniques for the complete repair/restoration of anything from ceramics to wood, stone and acrylic surfaces. Magicman’s innovations and craftsmanship have led to a resurgence in ‘repair don’t replace’. Enabling domestic customers, insurers, construction companies and cruise ship operators to save up to 80 percent against the cost of replacement.

Over the years Magicman has used various CRM and booking systems. It has been a struggle to find a system that integrates with other systems and fully meets their needs. However, after a number of years the company became frustrated with progress and took a fresh look at commercial offerings.

Discovering BigChange was a complete revelation according to Niall Pollard, Head of Magicman Insurance Services:

“With BigChange we had at last found a system that could be adapted to meet our needs and with worksheets and reports that we could easily customise ourselves. The fact that it was easy to use was also a big bonus as we knew there would be resistance to change from the previous system that had been used for many years”.

BigChange is used as a complete end-to-end solution for the business, integrating with Sage for accounts. Magicman services both business and domestic customers and there is a growing insurance division; an area where BigChange has been particularly useful due to stringent operational and reporting requirements. 

Magicman has a large fleet with multi skilled technicians working remotely across the UK delivering a fast-response service. Work can include almost anything from cracked sanitary ware, chipped or burnt worktops, damaged UPVC window frames, damaged stonework to high quality refurbishment within international cruise ships all around the world. In addition to indistinguishable repairs, there are savings on cost, customer disruption and of course landfill when avoiding the replacement of damaged items.

Jobs are booked into the BigChange building maintenance job management CRM and then scheduled to the nearest available technician who receive the worksheets on their mobile phones. Using the BigChange app, technicians have a handy tool that replaces all previous paperwork, providing navigation to site, risk assessments and job sheets supported with before and after photographs to show work completion. 

The biggest benefits for Magicman come from the visibility that BigChange provides, allowing management and customer service teams to see where technicians are, the real-time status of each job and the ability to easily book in new work from a well categorised outstanding work system.

Niall Pollard commented:

“With BigChange we are much more efficient.  In the office we have been able to re-deploy 2 or 3 staff by eliminating paperwork and the insurance team is saving several days’ work a month providing monthly reports and real time data to insurers with a single click, it’s still early days and there are many more useful features we have yet to use. BigChange is however a key to productivity and our efficiency has certainly improved, wasting a lot less time now.”

Repair service magicman deploys bigchange

After-care specialist A&S Contractors has turned to the latest technology to improve the management of its nationwide workforce operation. 

The roll out of a 5 in 1 BigChange mobile resource management system, which sees 65 technicians equipped with rugged tablets, is boosting customer service and efficiencies on site with productivity gains of 20 percent.         

Established just 7 years A&S Contractors has become a leading player in the fast-growing market for new build after-care.  The company works with the major house builders, such as Taylor Wimpey, Countryside, Bellway, Vistry and McCarthy & Stone.  A&S employ multi-skilled and specialist trade teams to work alongside the customer service and construction departments, carrying out NHBC remedial claims, assisting with high volume build programmes, remedial repairs and providing a technical report facility.

Providing a single cloud-platform for CRM, job scheduling, mobile app, vehicle tracking and customer portal, BigChange’s building maintenance job management software provides A&S with real-time 24/7 visibility of operations, improved control, customer service and productivity. BigChange, which replaces a previous workforce management system, also links seamlessly with Sage accounts.

Sean Coldrick, Managing Director at A&S Contractors stated:

“Delivering an exceptional service and best value is our mission and we need a system that would support that.”

“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.”

A&S employs 65 mobile technicians able to deal with mechanical, electrical, gas, assisting their technicians covering all other building trades. The company sets itself apart in the market by being able to provide a turnkey operation.

With a head office near Chester, the company has expanded from the North West to the North East and to the Midlands, recently opening a new office and national training centre in Market Drayton.  BigChange is having most impact on the mobile workforce and fleet operations, improving job scheduling, resource allocation, health and safety and productivity, as well as reducing mileage.

Using the BigChange mobile app, engineers 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.

A&S is very enthusiastic about the BigChange customer portal facility, that will allow its customers to book jobs and access all information on their jobs.  The system is also being used to overhaul stock management, with real-time stock control and replenishment enabling increased stock on vans and the ordering of parts and materials by engineers via their tablets, again increasing on-site productivity.  

Coldrick continued:

“BigChange has allowed us to really streamline our mobile operations.  Technicians are now much more self-sufficient; journeys to the depot are rare, first fix rates are improved and there are fewer wasted hours.  We are already seeing workforce productivity up by around 20 percent.”

“We know we are at the forefront of the new build after-care industry and we see BigChange as an important partner.  Like us they have a forward vision and ambition to grow; that fits very much with our own ambitions.”

Working alongside their customer base, A&S has developed technical innovations such as special glue bond procedures to resolve microcracking, and the bespoke on-site fabrication of retrofit cavity trays.  The innovations not only improve remedial work but also provide long-term solutions to provide best value for clients and their customers. The implementation of the new mobile technology has been the obvious next step.

A&S Newbuild Aftercare employee driving a branded van

Millane Contract Services is using BigChange mobile workforce technology to bolster workforce health and safety. The cloud-based, 5-in-1-system BigChange is being used to monitor driver behaviour, complete on-site risk assessments and ensure the company’s maintenance engineers are free from COVID symptoms and ready for work.

The BigChange system is also helping the multi-discipline building, roofing and maintenance company automate communications between staff, management and customers, which in turn is boosting job completion rates, speeding invoicing and improving cashflow across the Essex-based business.

Stephen Rickwood, Maintenance Manager at Millane Contract Services commented:

“Driven by the Board, we initially looked at BigChange last year.”

“At the time trade was impacted by the lockdown, as many of our customers are in the retail and hospitality sectors, so in a way that gave us breathing space to look at better ways of working and what’s important to our business.”

Rickwood continued:

“The main drivers for implementing BigChange were workforce wellbeing and business preparedness.”

“BigChange will help us ensure our workforce is happy, safe and well, and that our business is as ready as it can be for whatever the future throws at us as we return to the new normal.”

A family run business headquartered in Basildon, Essex, Millane offers a national service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The maintenance division, comprising a nationwide team of field-based service engineers supported by contract managers and a dedicated helpdesk team, provides both planned and reactive maintenance for brands such as Pizza Express, The Range, Cosy Club and The Entertainer.  

BigChange provides a single platform CRM, Job Scheduling, Mobile App, Vehicle Tracking and Online Portal. Using the system, Millane has introduced a range of ‘start of shift’ checks for each remote worker ensuring they are ready to work and free of COVID symptoms. Vehicle and equipment checks are also in place and BigChange is being used by management to improve driver behaviour with alerts for idling, speeding and harsh braking, for example. The BigChange mobile app, can also be used to prompt engineers to complete on-site risk assessments and access previously completed method statements.

Rickwood concluded:

“Although our initial focus was our workforce and ensuring the business was ready to bounce back after lockdown, we know BigChange has so much more to offer.”

“We are excited to explore the full potential of BigChange and build on the processes and benefits already in place.”

https://mln82ewwzgbv.i.optimole.com/w:auto/h:auto/q:mauto/https://www.bigchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/millane-main-blog-top-sml.jpg

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

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Facilities maintenance company Kiwi FM has increased productivity by 20 percent since it introduced mobile workforce management technology from BigChange.

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

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Rapid Maintenance Solutions (RMS), the Manchester-based provider of property maintenance services, has implemented the latest mobile working technology from BigChange.

The cloud-based system provides end-to-end paperless working with tradesmen and engineers equipped with rugged tablets running JobWatch, the 5 in 1 app from BigChange.

RMS are specialists in residential property maintenance, providing everything from plumbing, heating and electrical services through to repair, renovation and construction supervision. Formed in 2017, the company has seen a four-fold expansion since introducing BigChange’s building maintenance job management software.

Meir Halter, Director, RMS says:

“Having worked in the property market ourselves we were very aware that property landlords and agents continually struggled to get professional, reliable services for emergency work and small jobs. We realised there was an opportunity in the market to offer a better service and our mission from the outset was to make trades reliable,”

Previously RMS relied on paper to manage the business with mobile phones for communication. With JobWatch everything is now automated as part of a real-time digital system that has eliminated paperwork both in and out the office. The tablets are used for everything from job sheets and photographs on site, to health and safety procedure workflows and certifications.

Meir says:

“Our market is still served mainly by the independent handyman and plumber who still rely on their phones and paper records to run their businesses. This is the way we started but we were acutely aware of the shortcomings of our paper-based way of working. Just the fact that we had to call and disrupt our tradesmen to find out where they were and how they were getting on was frustrating enough,”

“BigChange is a game changer; from having very limited communication and desks piled high in paper we now have a seamless digital system. We now know where everyone is, how they are doing and when they’ll get to the next job. It’s all live and allows us to provide really professional customer service; way beyond the scope of our competitors. It’s also easy to use so we don’t really need to worry about training; it is largely apps based.”

The majority of RMS work involves plumbing and gas work. However, the team of multi-skilled staff – all with over ten years of experience – enable the company to deal with any property-related work for their clients that include property owners, letting agents and estate agents.

JobWatch handles all job scheduling and links to BigChange satellite trackers allowing customer services to see where tradesmen are and provide ETA’s to customers. With live reports and customer sign-off on job completion, the office can immediately deal with any issues on site and quotes for any additional work can be raised and agreed quickly.

Meir explains:

“With the system we have real time visibility and everything can be done much more quickly and efficiently. Invoices are raised within 24 hours and customers are kept up to date on the status of work – they are all very impressed with the reliability and professionalism of the service we provide and that is ultimately down to BigChange,”

RMS cover the Greater Manchester area and RMS has started picking up business from Manchester property owners and agents spread as far as London and Dubai.

Meir comments:

“One the biggest benefits of JobWatch is that it allows us to expand freely. We reckon we can run an operation with 40 to 50 vans with just 3 office staff. Our business – and certainly our ambitions business growth plan – is only viable because we have JobWatch,”

Target Maintenance has rolled out a new generation mobile workforce system using tablets linked in real time to a central management software as part of a 5 in 1 cloud-based solution from BigChange.

Target Maintenance is a fast-expanding UK company that specialises – through its Target Fire team – in ensuring buildings are fire safe with retrospective building modifications involving fire compartmentation and the assessment and replacement/repairs of fire doors, alarms, smoke vent systems and emergency lighting. The company has recently expanded its operation into new build fire compartmentalisation works and expects rapid growth in this area.

BigChange has provided Target Maintenance with a completely paperless system that integrates the field operations with their central office IT system, which is all part of JobWatch, the cloud-based solution from BigChange. The system handles everything, from call logging to job schedulingjob management and invoicing, with live vehicle tracking to give Target Maintenance complete visibility of all jobs in progress and once completed.
Target Maintenance switched to BigChange from another service management system and a separate tracking system.

Dean Rochester, Managing Director of Target, says:

“We wanted to modernise our IT and invest in a solution for the future – something that could assist in what is proving rapid growth in the business,”

“BigChange was particularly appealing as it is a true end-to-end solution and we knew that would make things much easier; a single system with the seamless flow of data from start to finish, which will also aid our clients.”

Rochester adds:

“The fact that it is cloud based – and therefore accessible anywhere, anytime – was appealing and we like the fact that it is continually evolving. Every new feature is an improvement, adding functionality that helps us save time and reduce costs,”

“This ensures our clients are continually seeing improvement in our service.”

Target Maintenance provide both fast, reactive maintenance services as well as planned longer term contract services. As well as the FIRAS accredited fire safety work, Target provides facilities and maintenance services to the property sector including commercial, retail and leisure, social housing, insurance and lettings. From its headquarters in Bedfordshire and its field based operatives, Target Maintenance cover a wide geographical area from London and the South East, to the Midlands, East Anglia and west as far as Swindon.

Rochester explains:

“Previously we were getting overwhelmed with paper processes as the business grew. Paperwork was simply delaying invoicing for completed works and impacting on our customers and their budgets. We identified it as an area we needed to focus on and have through BigChange improved and reduced our processes. BigChange was the solution,”

“We feel we are quicker and more organised having eliminated much of the paper with digital records and now all the information our clients need is at our fingertips and readily available.”

The system is helping improve customer service as well by improving communication. Customers now get instant auto-alert emails when job requests are received, and work is scheduled. In addition, the electronic job sheets and progress photographs from site allow customers to be kept fully informed on work progress.

Rochester adds:

“Larger projects can take some months and therefore a digital record of progress, completed and to complete tasks ensure a smoother flowing project. From a quote through to invoicing and providing certification, each process and task has been adjusted to allow for automatic updating and reporting. The digital reporting process also ensures better checks are in place. That means there are less queries from our clients and transparency is improved.”

First established in 2005 the company re-formed in 2014 (under the group brand Target Maintenance) and Target Fire set up as a specialised team in 2017. Since 2014 Target has expanded from 30 staff to the current 80 staff and turnover of £3.5million. Target’s 35 field service engineers operate the JobWatch mobile app – which is coupled with BigChange vehicle tracking – to manage their work and report progress accordingly.

Daniel Rochester, Target Fires Operations Director, adds:

“BigChange allows us to capture the data we need and make it available when we need it. The bespoke reporting is very good and we now get daily reports so management and customer services have up to date visibility of all work in progress.”

BigChange Target lady using software on computer

With the 5 in 1 system from Leeds-based BigChange, DFP has equipped its engineers with rugged tablets as part of a fully digital system connected in real time to the company’s national service centre in Durham. The paperless system has boosted efficiency, reduced administrative work and improved engineer productivity.

With origins in fire protection, DFP installs, services and maintains equipment operating a 24/7 planned and reactive services for gas, heating, plumbing and alarms. The company a major provider to services in the care home sector and with 30 percent annual growth, DFP was recently recognised as one of the top 50 growing businesses in the northeast of England.

The BigChange solution has completely replaced five other systems including systems for service management, vehicle tracking and certification. JobWatch now handles everything from the original services request through to invoicing; jobs are now booked, allocated and managed with the system which allows DFP engineers to operate independently around the clock.

Heather Taylor, Commercial Manager at DFP, says:

“Managing a 24 hour service has always been difficult out of hours but with JobWatch we can always see what is going on and deal with things such as emergencies by simply accessing the system from our mobiles,”

“Also engineers manage everything from their devices so it means they can work fairly independently. Without having to rely on the office so much they can get on with their work; that has boosted productivity and job satisfaction.”

The company employs 45 engineers and 76 staff. The fleet comprises mainly Ford Transit with a few Mitsibishi L200 pick-ups; all fitted with BigChange trackers and tablet cradles for navigation and communication on route. As well as reporting, the tablets are useful for taking photographs of work done and relative state of the site on arrival and on departure.

Jon Paul Seed, Managing Director at DFP Services, says:

“BigChange provides a number of key operational and business benefits. Always knowing what is going on is of course really helpful but so is the management information and traceability that the system offers,”

“We can now review the business properly and Big Data reports allow us to drill-down by customer, by engineer and any other criteria so we can accurately assess performance and profitability. We simply couldn’t do this before.”

Due to the nature of their work certification is vitally important with the BigChange automated certificates have been introduced. Previously certificates were issued with invoices and that could be a week later. Certificates have to be provided for everything from gas safety, fire alarms, emergency lighting and fire extinguisher, with often multiple certificates in each area.

The fact that BigChange is web based is providing other significant benefits as Taylor explains:

“We have just opened an office in Leeds and because BigChange is a cloud solution setting up the office was really easy. IT-wise we were up and running pretty much instantly; connected and fully synchronised to a single system. That was a real revelation and BigChange gives us the flexibility to expand freely and nationally in the future.”

The digitisation is also helping DFP expand the business as within tenders there is often request for an online portal and the provision of electronic documentation/certificates.

Taylor, says:

“The system has been a real help for Bid writing as now we can provide exactly what customers want; we can now tick every box. BigChange means we are no longer restricted as we can offer everything the customer needs. It is especially useful when we need to show we can provide things like customer feedback or an online portal, plus it helps us comply with our ISO 1401 certification for paperless working. All in all BigChange has proved brilliant for competing tenders.”

DFP is also seeing big benefits from the move to the cloud and apart from the obvious benefits of an always-on, accessible-anywhere system, the company found it invaluable for business expansion.

Sherwoods, the FM building services company, has assisted its business with a 5 in 1 mobile management system from BigChange.

Sherwoods’ field service engineers are equipped with the latest ruggedised tablets running a completely paper-free system. The mobiles are live connected to the cloud hosting a complete management solution from BigChange that covers everything from CRM to routing, purchasing, job scheduling, certification and invoicing.

Founded in 1970, with a 48 year history and still family owned, Sherwoods provides a genuine one-stop-shop range of services and has grown to become one of the fastest growing sustainable FM building services providers, covering all of the South West UK. The company has grown organically with successful apprenticeships underpinning growth.

Kevin Sherwood, Managing Director of Sherwoods, comments:

“We invest in people as our primary focus, our people are everything. They are central to our success and our future. Many of our key people started with us as apprentices, with 2 of these apprentices now Directors and owners.”

“By coincidence it was the BBC show The Apprentice that increased our interest in BigChange when we read one of the show’s winners set up a new business utilising BigChange. We also discovered that the Marketing Manager at BigChange also starred on the show.”

Sherwoods has long been an early adopter of technology with vehicle tracking first employed back in 2003, and digital service management software and PDAs employed across all operations since 2007.

Sherwood explains:

“When we saw BigChange for the first time we realised that the JobWatch apps could really help us make a positive difference, and assist our mission to become the FM Building services partner and employer of choice across the UK Southwest region.”

“The BigChange team understood logistics and why real time, open, accessible, transparent and visible information is vital to us continuously improving communication, managing compliance and risk, and delivering the best service experience possible for everyone involved throughout the life of a job.”

Sherwoods has a 35-strong team of mobile field engineers, residing across the region and working from home providing comprehensive coverage across the UK South West region, including Hampshire, Bristol, South Wales and Cornwall and all postcodes in between. Services include Compliance, PPM, Project, planned & reactive maintenance 24-7 365 days a year.

Being a true one-stop-shop, the Sherwoods’ multi-skilled, in-house directly employed team of 50 take care of everything from a permanently manned Opsdesk, roofing, electrical, plumbing, drainage, gas, oil, LPG, HVAC and all exterior and interior building fabric. ‘Roof to Drains and everything in between’

Sherwoods’ mobile field engineers use JobWatch for everything from timesheets, jobsheets, signature capture and certification – with photographs. JobWatch is used 100% of the time to provide an evidential record of all works, with GDPR compliant, real time data, always available online.

Sherwood added:

“We really like the fact that with JobWatch we write our own workflows and customise it for everything we do. It is a flexible system and being a cloud service, it allows us to grow in line with our sustainability agenda without being burdened by IT capability or capacity.”

“The apps and tracking are only one part of what BigChange provides; it is a complete end-to-end solution. BigChange like to call it a 5 in 1 system but it is actually a lot more than that. For us it provides a seamless solution between our office, field, client and suppliers, that is used all the way from initial customer enquiry through all communication to resource management, procurement, service delivery, KPI reporting and invoicing.”

With conservative plans to double the business turnover by 2022, Sherwoods work with private and public organisations, with a diversity of clients and sectors that include local, regional, national and international brands.

Sherwood states:

“Our company values are to be adaptable, fun, honest and committed; we live and breathe these values. Those are values we see in BigChange as well, and it makes for a good partnership.”

“The team at BigChange are open and transparent and they want their clients to talk to each other to improve each business and their product. JobWatch facilitates our mission and vision and shows our values providing data that is open and accessible. We share GDPR compliant data with our clients; nothing hidden, we are completely transparent, building trust which is also completely central to everything we do, and always will be.”

FSH, the one-stop construction company servicing the north of England, has transformed its business with a 5 in 1 management system from BigChange.

Operating as a cloud service linked to mobile apps used by workers onsite, the solution provides FSH with real time operational information for improving efficiency, productivity and service.

Employing 132 mobile tradesmen and 65 office staff, the Castleford headquartered company has regional offices in Hull, Liverpool and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. FSH specialises in insurance-related work, typically repairing flood or fire damaged properties. A new construction arm handing reactive maintenance work is also driving expansion in sectors such as social housing and education.

With a fleet of 132 BigChange equipped vehicles providing live data for managing operations, tradesmen are being equipped with rugged Samsung tablets running JobWatch. Mobile apps completely replace paperwork with live data reporting and the devices capture useful time and location stamped photographs, as well as customer signatures.

Matthew Cappleman, Managing Director of FSH, comments:

“We work mainly for the UK’s biggest insurance firms and providing a consistent high quality rebuild and refurbishment service is absolutely vital,”

“The monitoring and reporting of our work on site is however just as important and that’s where BigChange comes in. It gives real-time visibility of every job and provides an audit trail of all work. That means we can not only manage work better and improve customer service, but we can also provide insurers with immediate job updates and evidence of work done.”

Operationally JobWatch is used from job start to completion with tradesmen receiving jobs scheduled by BigChange. The devices are used for daily vehicle checks and on departure the tablets are clipped in dashboard cradles to provide navigation to the job location. On arrival, JobWatch ensures the tradesman completes a risk assessment and captures photographs showing the current state of the work site – with photographs repeated at the end of the day.

Cappleman added:

“BigChange really does expedite everything as our tradesman can go straight to the job and put in a full, productive 8 hour day. The system also ensures good work discipline and good practice as the tradesmen are in effect self-managing their work, backed up with their reports and photographs. With JobWatch there is no more sitting around and managers no longer need to go onsite to check the work. Everyone wins.”

With the entire fleet tracked, FSH has an instant view of all vehicle locations. This allows tradesmen working on reactive maintenance to be dynamically re-scheduled to urgent jobs, gives customer services valuable insight into any delays arriving onsite and also helps in the quick retrieval of stolen vans. However according to FSH, it’s the logged data that is of particular value.

Matthew Cappleman continued:

“BigChange logs vehicle movements so we’ve always got evidence of arrival and departure times should queries arise. The data helps us check timesheets, monitor unauthorised mileage and spot poor driving. With weekly driver performance reports we have seen an all-around improvement in driving and not only is that good for staff safety on the road but ultimately it means less vehicle wear and tear and better fuel consumption.”

Stuart Welburn, Finance Director at FSH agrees that BigChange has had a positive impact, added:

“Certainly BigChange has been good for business and we estimate efficiency gains of 2 or 3 percent. However, we anticipate it will improve our profitability not only through better utilisation of our resources, but by generally improving our services to continually improve our reputation and win more business.”

BigChange FSH employee in van

BigChange

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