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Metroline Fire & Security has implemented high tech mobile workforce management technology from Leeds-based BigChange. The cloud based system that combines back office software with a mobile app has replaced a number of different systems with a real-time management and operational system that has proved invaluable for delivering services during the Coronavirus crisis.

Folkstone-based Metroline Fire & Security design, install and maintain fire alarms, intruder alarms, access control and CCTV systems for commercial and residential clients throughout Kent and East Sussex. The BigChange system, which went live in January 2020, has replaced an ageing job management software and a separate vehicle tracking system.

“BigChange has enabled us to undertake a complete digital transformation of our business, replacing a series of separate systems giving us a single view and total visibility of the business” says Paul Roberts, Director Metroline Fire & Security.

Running a fleet of 25 vehicles – tracked as part of the BigChange system – the company’s engineers use JobWatch a 5 in 1 mobile phone app that synchronises in real time with the central office CRM and scheduling system.

Paul commented:

“BigChange has already provided Metroline with significant improvements in productivity and customer service and during the Coronavirus crisis it has allowed us to continue to operate seamlessly with no impact of our ability to deliver our services. On lockdown, everyone could work from home we were able to shut down the office and be up and running at home within one hour.”

With BigChange also we can change the way we operate we are looking at ways to stock up vehicles to use the stock facility on JobWatch.

Metroline installation and maintenance engineers receive jobs on their mobiles with the JobWatch app replacing all paperwork with electronic data entry for everything from job sheets, to vehicle checks and risk assessments. Linked to job sheets are photographs captured on site showing completed installations and repairs with control panels to provide evidence of ‘all working in order’.

Paul continued:

“The BigChange No Touch Signature Capture App has been especially useful allowing us to gain job sign-off without directly interacting with the customer. With hotels and schools closed our usual contacts are simply not at work with the No Touch feature supported by photos showing work completed we can easily get jobs signed off.”

Metroline has seen some immediate benefits in efficiency through improved scheduling and tracking allowing the optimisation of resources through pinpointing of the nearest available engineer and improved route planning to reduce unnecessary mileage.

BigChange Metroline vehicle

Automatic fire suppression specialist, Fireward Ltd, has rolled out high-tech mobile workforce management software, providing real-time visibility to field operations within the business.

The App-based software, JobWatch sees field-based engineers equipped with rugged tablets, replacing all need for physical paperwork, delivering a 5-in-1 business solution incorporating a CRM, job scheduling, tracking, invoicing and management reporting.

Formed in 2009, Fireward is regarded as the UK’s leading specialist in fire suppression systems for mobile and heavy plant machinery and equipment. The Chelmsford-based company installs, maintains and services systems manufactured by Reacton Fire Suppression Ltd, which detects and suppresses fires in a matter of seconds. Requiring no electricity to operate and with exceptional reliability, Fireward’s fire suppression systems protect a wide range of high-value assets from plant machinery & equipment to electrical control panels, buses & coaches to airport ground support equipment.

Edward Barnes, CEO of Fireward commented:

“Fire is often overlooked as a cause of disruption and as a serious risk to the business itself. The immediate physical damage is only part of the problem caused by a fire; the costs of operational disruption and reputational damage often far exceed the cost of the original damage. Without adequate protection, it can take just a matter of minutes to bring a company to its knees.”

Fireward’s certified engineers install, maintain and service fire suppression systems across the UK. Providing a rapid response service, engineers use their tablets, for everything from risk assessment and post-fire reports to job checklists and vehicle inspections.

Barnes, comments:

“We were pleased to discover BigChange at a show back in 2016. We had been through a long and unsuccessful process trying to get three different systems working for our business and all had failed. Due to the ease of set-up, we were able to implement the system ourselves in just two weeks,”

“With BigChange we now have a system that supports our business model providing many benefits in terms of efficiency, productivity and customer service.”

Fireward’s fleet of nationwide vehicles is fitted with BigChange trackers, providing the customer service team with full visibility of engineer locations and a record of arrival and departure times from site. The location and condition of plant and other assets are key factors in assessing the risk of fire and the tablets are used to record ‘time and location’ linked photographs. With the ability to capture a customer’s signature ‘on-screen’ via the app, there is immediate proof of every job completed, allowing for a streamlined invoicing process resulting in fewer billing queries.

Barnes adds:

“BigChange supports our company ethos, which we achieve with a modest team in place. JobWatch has not only allowed us to do five times more services a month but has allowed us to freely expand our business where we are now installing well in excess of 1200 new systems a year,”

Some of the favoured features by the Fireward team include the job allocation and scheduling features of the system, which sees ‘jobs’ added to an ‘unscheduled’ list, allowing for all outstanding jobs to be reviewed in one place before allocation, depending on engineer location and availability.

The CRM software meanwhile has become a useful tool for the Fireward sales team. As well as allowing customer locations to be pinpointed to aid streamlining customer visits, the team has utilised the BigChange software to connect a comprehensive list of plant machinery and equipment to a correctly specified fire suppression system, allowing for fast and accurate quotations.

With the Fireward engineers working remotely across the UK, they need to have the ability to effectively manage their stock levels without causing downtime and potential loss of business. With the help of the JobWatch tablet, engineers are now able to track and replenish their van stocks with ease, as well as the ability to record and review all stock movements, parts and equipment used during the process of installation, maintenance and servicing of Fireward’s fire suppression systems.

BigChange Fireward quote

CCTV Monitoring, one of the fastest-growing construction site CCTV installation and monitoring businesses in the UK, has rolled out a mobile workforce system as part of a cloud-based business system from Leeds-based BigChange.

Equipped with rugged tablets running a 5 in 1 app called JobWatch, CCTV Monitoring engineers are tracked and connected in real-time to the central system giving management 24/7 visibility of their field operations.

CCTV Monitoring has a team of CCTV and security specialists with engineers that can be deployed quickly nationwide to provide a complete CCTV service from site assessment to installation, monitoring and servicing. Based in Emley, West Yorkshire, the company also operates a 24 hour state of the art monitoring station for key building sites across the UK. CCTV Monitoring services some of the biggest names in industry including Kier, Balfour Beatty, Morgan-Sindall, Galliford Try, Willmott Dixon and Skanska.

BigChange has provided a complete end-to-end solution to CCTV Monitoring which handles the entire business process. From logging incoming service requests on CRM software, to work scheduling and job allocation, through to routing and tracking to live job reporting, invoicing and management reporting.

Stuart Capstick, Managing Director of CCTV Monitoring, says:

“Initially we simply used BigChange as a CRM but we knew straight away that it provided a tremendous opportunity to improve the way we worked. The potential became very clear when we installed some large screens in the office and we could all immediately see our entire operations in real time and see the exact status of each job,”

he adds:

“BigChange really has revolutionised our business and it helps that it is very intuitive, very easy to use; it’s just ‘out there’,”

Founded 2005, CCTV Monitoring was formed to resolve the problems caused by opportunistic and professional theft from construction sites by using cost effective, technologically based CCTV alternatives to manned guards. The company secures sites in the most effective and technologically beneficial way; including an environment-friendly solar-powered system for remotely monitoring sites without the need for mains power.

With BigChange CCTV Monitoring has improved the way resources are allocated as the system gives an instant overview of each engineers’ location, status and capability. Linked to GPS trackers on their vans, engineers use their tablets for navigation, job sheets, timesheets, parts ordering and vehicle safety inspections. The devices can also be used for capturing time and location stamped photographs; providing indisputable evidence from site should future customer queries arise.

Capstick says:

“With BigChange we can get the right people to the right job quickly and efficiently; we’ve seen a very significant increase in productivity since implementing BigChange;”

he adds:

“Our profitability per job is now typically 30 percent greater than before. That profit is being ploughed back into the business to invest in new equipment and support our expansion plans nationally and into new markets,”

Like other adopters of BigChange CCTV Monitoring sees the system as a platform for growth. After consolidation last year, the company is expected to grow by 40 percent in 2019 with expansion not only in the construction sector but also into new markets and new areas of service such as access control and fire prevention.

Capstick explains:

“The thing about BigChange is that we are no longer constrained as a business. We can expand freely without needing to worry about our IT capability – it is all on the cloud and mobile. As they say old ways won’t open new doors and we have a new way – BigChange gives us fingertip control of the business and with the flexibility of the system we can easily tailor it to bring on new services.”

With the introduction of BigChange, customer services have had a big boost through improved communication with clients. With better and more up to date information clients are kept in the picture with emails with expected time off arrival on site and job completion reports, backed with photographs.

Capstick says:

“For many clients we already provide live CCTV feeds through our monitoring service but they were pretty much in the dark when it came to our installation and service work. With BigChange that has changed and now we can keep them in the picture,”

“It’s good for business in other ways as well as previously we were going out to do chargeable reactive maintenance work but our records were not updated; on this alone BigChange has increased our annual billings by around £30k a year in fees previously not charged.”

CCTV monitoring on a computer

BigChange

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