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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.” 

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 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, 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 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, to support its ambitious growth plans. By demonstrating its commitment to customer service using BigChange, 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

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

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

Why Legal Compliance in Facilities Management is Important

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

Your Reputation

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

Your Operation

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

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

Your Finances

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

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

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

1. Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations

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

Employer Duties — Risk Assessment

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

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

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

Employer Duties — General

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

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

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

Employee Duties

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

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

2. Manual Handling Regulations

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

As an employer, you must:

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

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

3. Display Screen Equipment Regulations

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

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

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

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

4. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations

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

Health

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

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

Safety

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

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

Welfare

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

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

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

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

PUWER requires that any equipment for work purposes is:

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

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

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

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations

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

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

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

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

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

Facility Management Software Helps You Stay Compliant

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

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

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

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

Ensure Your Employees are Staying Safe in the Workplace with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

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

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

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

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 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, 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.  

National Maintenance, the Nottingham-based national facilities management company, has successfully rolled out a new field service management system from BigChange. With BigChange software, field operatives using rugged tablets are connected in real time to the office as part of a complete job management platform.  

National Maintenance provides repair, refurbishment and maintenance services for the private and public sector.  Clients include Barratt Homes, St Andrews Healthcare, nursery group Busy Bees, and Nottingham City Council.  The company, which has seen a 40 per cent year on year growth since formation in 2009, implemented BigChange early in 2021 to provide a platform for further expansion nationally.

National Maintenance embraced technology right from the start with paperless working in the office. However, with ambitious plans to expand and a need to meet more stringent reporting requirement of clients operating nationally, the company needed to overhaul its systems. 

“We looked at a number of systems, shortlisting two.  We initially made the wrong decision and after 6 months of frustration we realised it was a mistake and we switched to BigChange,” says Jon Johnson, MD, National Maintenance Ltd. “That has proved to be the right decision; BigChange has proven to be much easier to use and implement and crucially, support has been exceptional.” 

BigChange is a complete job management platform bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, and online portal into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform. National Maintenance has now been able to consolidate all of their business automation needs into one system and BigChange also integrates with their Xero accounts software. 

Johnson explains:

“We’ve only really just become aware of the power of BigChange; it really is an all-in-one business solution.  It provides a seamless flow of real-time information from initial job booking, to field operations, to finance and management and onto our customers. It’s already reduced office and accounts administration by 50 per cent.”   

National Maintenance undertakes scheduled and reactive work with field operatives receiving and managing jobs on their tablets. The job management software automates every conceivable task in the field, replacing paperwork with real-time electronic reporting synchronised with the central BigChange platform.  Uses includes daily van checks, risk assessments, job sheets supported with time and location tracking logs and before and after photographs.   

Johnson comments:  

“The industry has become a lot more demanding and providing real-time, evidence-supported, digital reports is becoming the norm.  The platform does literally everything and creating job sheets for different tasks has been really easy; it gives us a true future-proof solution to meet any client need and freely expand the business”

National Maintenance particularly like the way BigChange boosts the quality and consistency of reporting through the use of workflows.  It guides the operator step-by-step and disallows anything to be skipped; something that’s also very useful for training new recruits. 

Johnson adds:

“From a business perspective BigChange is a game-changer.  Being cloud-based and mobile we’ve been able to set up a new office literally in a day and get new field operatives up and running in a few hours. I can also use the management app on my phone to keep a watch on everything going on, 24/7 from anywhere.”

National Maintenance Van

Facilities maintenance service company Clearground is using workforce management technology from BigChange to improve health and safety across its nationwide operation. Specialising in waste management, commercial window cleaning and drainage services, Clearground is using the cloud-based, 5-in-1 solution to ensure the safety of operatives with automated, dynamic risk assessments.

BigChange is also helping Clearground identify potential issues at customer sites with intelligent incident analysis, comparing callout rates between similar sites and reviewing historical and current activity.  

“Safety and compliance are key to the welfare of our staff and customers and also to the success of our company, in fact, it’s one of the reasons we selected BigChange. The ability to create customised, dynamic risk assessments and make their completion on-site mandatory goes beyond other systems we looked at. It is more than just a box ticking exercise; it means our operatives really must consider the environment in which they are working and understand what risks that may pose.”

Claire Piercy, General Manager at Wirral-based Clearground.

She continued:

“BigChange also helps us look after our staff and customers in other ways, the driver behaviour alerts allow us to identify driving styles that may lead to problems which, when combined with the scoring system, allows us to performance manage drivers to ensure safe working practices. From a customer care perspective, we can monitor the number and type of incidents in relation to agreed KPIs and work with clients to prevent future occurrences.”

From its inception in 2003, Clearground has expanded its operation and now works with organisations such as global student accommodation provider Campus Living Villages, residential rent developers Watkins Jones Plc and premium bar operators Revolution Bars Group. Working across the UK, Clearground provides facilities maintenance services including high-level access window cleaning, industry compliant kitchen extractor fan cleaning as well as industrial and high-pressure cleaning.   

Clearground selected BigChange to replace disconnected systems used for timesheet logging, purchase order tracking and basic workforce management. A single-platform CRM, Job Scheduling, Mobile App, Vehicle Tracking and Online Portal, BigChange has already eliminated repetition of data entry between systems, reducing back-office resource and minimising the potential for errors, and has eliminated virtually all paperwork used in the management of the mobile workforce.

Clearground is also using the BigChange platform to schedule routine maintenance jobs and ad-hoc callouts, manage staff holidays, absences and sickness and provide automatic alerts for out-of-hours vehicle use or toll-road driving. Available from any internet-connected device, BigChange gives total visibility of the sales process, from initial enquiry, through quotation to invoicing, something Clearground plans to build on with pipeline analysis and automated marketing campaigns.

Piercy concluded:

“One of the major differences between BigChange and other suppliers is they listen and then they respond, and, like us, BigChange is a progressive company, so I am confident that as we continue to grow, they will grow with us.”

Clearground cleaning windows

BigChange

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