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Introducing ‘Job Hints‘ – BigChange has introduced an exciting new feature that will help you schedule your jobs more efficiently.

Have you ever found yourself visiting the same site/client several times over in a short period of time, when you know deep down you could have combined the visits?

When creating or scheduling a job from the back office, it is useful to know of any other jobs waiting to be scheduled, or already booked in, at the same site. This information allows you to combine jobs, therefore reducing travel costs. The JobWatch system now displays this information as a useful hint when creating jobs. As a job is created and a contact is entered, a hint now appears below the contact name detailing the number of scheduled jobs within the next 7 days and unscheduled jobs for this contact.

You can watch the guide video below for full details of this great new feature from BigChange:

BigChange, the mobile workforce management technology company, today announced that it has hired Michelle Dewberry as an ambassador.

Dewberry will support sales and marketing activities for the BigChange Collaboration Network, which allows customers to collaborate with others across the UK via the BigChange platform, winning new business whilst improving efficiency and the services they provide.

Broadcaster and businesswoman Dewberry shot to fame in 2006 when she won the second series of BBC reality television show The Apprentice. Since working for Lord Alan Sugar following the programme, Dewberry has founded three startups and consulted to organisations including Comic Relief, Tesco, and Merlin Entertainments on digital transformation.

At BigChange, Dewberry will promote the company’s interests alongside two other well-known ambassadors: former England football captain and manager Kevin Keegan OBE, and the British racing driver Nicolas Hamilton, who supports BigChange’s campaign to reduce the number of people killed on Britain’s roads by people driving for work.

Michelle Dewberry comments:

“BigChange is an amazing company with a fantastic workplace culture and the potential to make a big positive difference globally. The company is at the forefront of digital transformation, liberating businesses from paperwork and plate spinning so that they can grow and focus on delivering for their customers.”

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“We’ve been talking to Michelle for over a year about how we might work together and we are delighted that she is now a BigChange ambassador. Michelle is an inspiration to the team, she has a wealth of experience in technology and digital transformation, and she shares our values. We’ve no doubt that she’ll be a valuable asset for the business as we expand the Network and grow internationally.”

Over 1,200 organisations and 40,000 individual users currently use BigChange’s pioneering mobile workforce management, JobWatch, which combines CRM, smart job scheduling, vehicle tracking, and a series of mobile applications to eliminate paper records, automate manual processes, and facilitate collaboration between companies on the go.

Michelle Dewberry presentation

We’ve introduced a new feature to help you quickly access information on key features in the JobWatch platform.

Here at BigChange we invest time in ensuring that there are Help Centre articles – and sometimes videos – to take you step-by-step through how our features work.

JobWatch now includes a ‘floating’ Help Button, providing easier access to specifically relevant content. The button has been designed to show content from the help site applicable to the page you are on when you click it, as well as a useful search box.

This great new feature makes it easier for you to access the help exactly when you need it!

Take a look at the video included below for full details of this new feature:

In Jobwatch you can now see both the current and 5-day weather forecast for the location of your jobs.

Does the weather affect when you can complete your jobs? This great new feature from BigChange makes it easier for you to plan ahead for work that can be affected by the elements.

When creating a job, once the contact’s location has been auto-populated, you will now see that a weather icon at the top right showing the current weather at the location is displayed.

BigChange new job weather

Hovering over the icon will display descriptive text, whilst clicking on it will display the forecast for the next 5 days at the job’s location in 3 hourly increments:

BigChange weather display

When you view a job after it has been scheduled, the weather icon displays lower down and shows the predicted weather for the actual date and time of the job.

View the video included below, which showcases this useful new addition in full:

BigChange brings you another paperless solution that allows you to automatically and seamlessly capture digital signatures and customise acceptance information, issuing a digital receipt when the document is signed.

This very exciting new function gives customers the ability to ‘legally’ accept quotations and order forms/contracts through JobWatch.

Upon acceptance of a quote, a “Certificate of Completion” is created and sent alongside the quote, which shows:

  • signatories details;
  • times and dates of receiving/viewing/completing the document;
  • the IP address from the computer which signed the document;
  • the operating system and much more.

All of this ensures a legally binding quotation/contract.

Take a look at the helpful video below, which will explain the new feature in more detail and guide you through exactly how to do it:

BigChange, the mobile workforce management company, today announced that it has appointed Jo Godsmark as its Chief Operating Officer.

Jo will lead the company’s customer-facing activities in this new role, managing teams responsible for implementing BigChange’s award-winning JobWatch technology and training users, as well as its account management, customer service, and consulting activities.

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, Jo has 30 years’ experience working in manufacturing, supply chain and logistics environments. She has previously worked for Mars Inc. and the Ford Motor Company, Jo joined BigChange in January 2019 with the acquisition of her company Labyrinth Logistics Consulting.

Jo’s promotion coincides with a prolonged period of growth at BigChange. The company was recognised recently as one of the UK’s fastest-growing privately-owned technology businesses, with annualised sales growth of 77 percent over the last three years.

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“Jo has made a big impact at BigChange, integrating Labyrinth successfully and expanding our consulting capabilities. With the continued growth of BigChange, it has become increasingly important to have someone of Jo’s calibre looking across the operational side of the business to ensure that it runs smoothly for our customers.”

Jo Godsmark, Chief Operating Officer, comments:

“I am very excited to take on this new role at BigChange. This is clearly a company going in the right direction, creating growth, new opportunities and incredible value for customers. I’m looking forward to supporting that further by working across the BigChange business.”

BigChange provides a pioneering mobile workforce management management system called JobWatch that is used by over 1,000 organisations and 35,000 individual users globally. JobWatch combines CRM, smart job scheduling, vehicle tracking, and a series of mobile applications to eliminate paper record keeping, automate manual processes, and facilitate collaboration between companies on the go. BigChange works primarily with organisations in the construction, facilities management, field service, transportation, logistics, and waste management industries.

It’s been a while since we last sat down with Paul, the Network’s Managing Director, to chat. Here’s what he had to say when we asked for an update:

BigChange: Please remind us of what the Network is.

Paul: The BigChange Network allows our customers to work with other businesses seamlessly, whilst maintaining control of their documentation, updates, controls and alerts. Businesses can win or offer work, and it’s especially useful where they don’t have the geographical reach or right skillset to deliver a service for their client, or they want to grow their business.

BigChange: How has the Network grown over the last year?

Paul: We’ve seen terrific growth of the Network across the last year and now have over 170 businesses using the system to support them. It’s growing all the time!

BigChange: What are your Network highlights so far; are there any particular successes that stand out to you?

Paul: There are a number of areas. The running of regular events that allow customers to meet with others wanting to work together; these have proved very successful. Also, supporting customers with highlighting particular service offerings they have or where they’ve been looking to find others to work for them on particular projects, have resulted in very positive outcomes. We’re also spending time talking to customers to find out what else they want from our Network and putting these suggestions into future development specifications.

BigChange: What should users and potential users be looking forward to in the coming months?

Paul: We will be spending time meeting customers to understand how we can support them further. There’re also more events coming that will be held across the UK, along with industry specific events held at our offices in Leeds. They’re a great way to network with other like-minded businesses. We are also currently working on new developments that will bring added functionality when using our Network.

BigChange: Is it easy to join the Network? Is there a cost?

Paul: It’s very simple to join our Network – it can be done right from within our system by clicking on the Network tab. There’s no cost to use the Network.

BigChange: Can I offer my services to others via the Network?

Paul: Yes. We are currently supporting customers to do this by sharing their details with all our customers using our system. Please contact us at network@bigchange.com. In future developments we will be adding a jobs board where this can then be directly done via the system.

BigChange: How can I find out more?

Paul: You can find out more about the BigChange Network by visiting https://www.bigchange.com/products/join-the-bigchange-network/. We look forward to hearing from you!

BigChange Network Paul Whitter

New research from BigChange, the mobile workforce management technology company, has revealed that company bosses are more likely to have a chequered driving history than people at any other rung on the corporate ladder.

The research, which was conducted by Opinium and published to coincide with the launch of Leaders for Life, a new campaign to help business leaders promote safer driving at work, shows that people are more reckless at the wheel as they rise the corporate ladder. While just nine percent of workers with no managerial responsibility have incurred a driving ban, the number jumps to 12 percent for middle managers and more than doubles for board level executives (25 percent).

Chief Executives and Managing Directors are the worst offenders, with more than half having received bans (51 percent). This compares to less than one in five (16 percent) commercial van drivers and just 12 percent of all people who drive on company business. Chief Executives and Managing Directors were also likely to have accrued the most penalty points, averaging 4.8 and 3.7 points respectively on their licenses. By contrast, the average van driver has accrued 2.7 points.

A third (32 percent) of all board level executives surveyed admitted to speeding at least once a week, while a quarter (25 percent) said they used a mobile phone while driving on a weekly basis. One in five (20 percent) admitted to driving while tired on a regular basis.

The level of bans can’t simply be attributed to upper management being older and therefore more likely to have accrued penalty points over time. Regardless of rank, people aged 18-34 were twice as likely to admit to have been banned from driving (28 percent) as 35-54 year olds (14 percent).

Almost half of BMW drivers have been banned before

The study also revealed that some drivers of premium car brands conformed to negative stereotypes. 42 percent of BMW drivers have at one point been served a driving ban, alongside 41 percent of Audi drivers. By contrast, just nine percent of people who drive Mercedes-Benz cars and 13 percent of Ford drivers have been banned previously.

Martin Port, CEO of BigChange, comments:

“Whether it’s the stress of work, trying to fit too much into the day or simply something in the nature of business leaders that makes us drive too fast, this research confirms our suspicions that busy bosses are at high risk of engaging in poor driving practices. These create unacceptable levels of risk and set a poor example to others in our organisations. Businesses recognise that if you can measure it you can manage it, so we are highlighting the bad driving of leaders to show that we can all improve our own driving and take steps to encourage greater road safety throughout our organisations.”

Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake, comments:

“Speeding and mobile phone use are illegal and highly dangerous driving behaviours which can all too easily result in devastating consequences. Business leaders should be setting an example to their workforce when behind the wheel and that’s why the Leaders for Life campaign is so important. Nearly a third of all road deaths involve someone driving for work and that won’t change until business leaders take charge of their own driving habits and those of their employees. This research shows that anyone that gets behind the wheel can be guilty of dangerous driving, and business leaders must do more to manage the behaviour of everyone who drives on their behalf.”

About Leaders for Life

The Department for Transport published figures today revealing that there were 1,793 reported road deaths in Britain in 2017, five a day on average, and 170,993 casualties of all severities.

Leaders for Life is a new campaign, created by BigChange and backed by the road safety charity Brake, to raise awareness of the contribution business leaders play as role models for road safety and reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads.

BigChange is providing its driving analysis technology free of charge to business leaders so that aspects such as speed, braking, acceleration and cornering can be evaluated. It will provide confidential feedback on leaders’ driving habits and donate £1,000 each month to Brake on behalf of the best and most improved drivers.

BigChange aims to recruit more than 1,000 business leaders to support its campaign by acting as role models for road safety by the end of the year. Des Evans OBE, formerly managing director of MAN Truck & Bus UK, Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, and the British racing driver Nic Hamilton are among the leaders who have already agreed to take part in the campaign.

Business leaders wishing to be ambassadors for safer driving can register to support the Leaders for Life campaign at https://www.bigchange.com/leadersforlife/.

Let BigChange save you time by automatically scheduling your follow-on jobs!

This amazing new feature from JobWatch allows our customers to automate the process of booking their follow-on jobs, completely negating the need for manual input. New follow-on jobs can be automatically triggered and scheduled until the work is done, with no additional admin needed.

We know a lot of our customers are already very excited about this new feature! Could it help you? To find out how this feature can start saving you time, take a look at the handy video guide below.

What defines a quality business? Is it the customer support provided or the quality of the service or product they deliver?

Is it how the organisation is run or more about their ability to understand customer needs, harnessing innovative technology into sales and repeat customers?

Without a clear, multi-industry standard to quantify best business practices, it becomes very difficult to find and assess reliable partners for collaboration (such as through the BigChange Collaboration Network) or subcontractors. This is where business management accreditations come in.

By providing a comprehensive measure to evaluate how a business is run- from the top-down- companies of all sizes are instantly given the tools to determine: Is this business following industry-standard best practices in all the areas that our customers care about?

In this short blog, we will discuss the globally recognised and respected ISO certification, why it matters to your customers and the impact ISO certification can have on your bottom line.

What is ISO 9100 certification?

ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system. ISO 9100 implementation enables businesses and organizations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction by:

  • Demonstrating their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

The ISO 9100 certification process can be used by any organisation regardless of size or its scope of activity. Based on a core of quality management principles, the ISO audit and implementation aims to gauge best practices in;

  • Including a strong customer focus
  • The motivation and implication of top management
  • The process approach and continual improvement.

To date, over one million companies and organisations in over 170 countries have received ISO 9001 certification. Organisations must be re-certified every three years in order to maintain their ISO 9001 certification status.

What value does ISO bring to your business?

ISO 9001 certification is suitable for all sizes and types of organisations and is internationally recognised as an essential Quality Management System standard. The certification encompasses the entire organisation, thus the establishment of best practices via ISO 9001 permeates throughout every corner of the business- from mobile workers to back-office and upper management.

In practice, the implementation of ISO 9001 serves to benefit both your organisation and customers.

Some of the benefits to your organisation:

  • Provides senior management with an efficient management process
  • Sets out areas of responsibility across the organisation
  • Mandatory if you want to tender for some public sector work
  • Communicates a positive message to staff and customers
  • Identifies and encourages more efficient and time-saving processes
  • Highlights deficiencies
  • Reduces your costs
  • Provides continuous assessment and improvement
  • Marketing opportunities

Some of the benefits to your customers:

  • Improved quality and service
  • Delivery on time
  • Right first-time attitude
  • Fewer returned products and complaints
  • Independent audit demonstrates a commitment to quality
  • Increased customer value
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Improved customer loyalty
  • Enhanced repeat business
  • Enhanced reputation of the organisation
  • Expanded customer base
  • Increased revenue and market share

The dual approach of ISO 9001 drives continuous improvement. Your customers benefit by receiving products/services that meet their requirement while you deliver consistent performance. Internally, the organisation stands to profit from increased job satisfaction, improved morale, and improved customer retention.

BigChange is ISO certified, how can we bring value to your operation?

At BigChange, we recognised that 9001:2015 helps organisations achieve, benchmark and monitor high-quality performance across all their business operations. ISO 9001 provides a framework to ensure that requirements are met consistently, whilst keeping up to date with market developments and enhancing customer satisfaction. All this meant that it was the only logical choice of benchmark for developing our own management systems.

Relying upon the seven quality management principles, BigChange’s ISO certification enables our business to help yours in defining and optimising;

  • Customer focus, Leadership
  • Engagement of people
  • Process approach
  • Improvement
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Relationship management.

Overall, we have calculated that with BigChange, you can look forward to a typical average of 20% improved workforce utilisation, first-time fix and productivity. With BigChange, and ISO 9001 your business can reach new levels of productivity and customer satisfaction!

Live text alerts ensure you and your customers always have your finger on the pulse as jobs are happening.

From alerting customers of driver and job progress to keeping the back office in sync with all invoicing, task completion and driver behaviour, live alerts are increasingly providing vital insights into how your business operates. By providing text-based transparency, via a simple set of preconfigured messages your customers always feel in the know, increasing retention and satisfaction across the board.

A host of occurrences happen daily and threaten to jeopardise the plan; from traffic and urgent unplanned jobs to visits and drops that take far longer than estimated. By creating a stressfree means to update customers and support staff on the daily ebb and flow of driver or engineer progress, confusion is lost and jobs can be optimised accordingly.

What are Live Alerts?

With the rise and use of mobile devices—estimated at 5 billion worldwide and climbing—alerts via text message are quickly becoming the ideal method for today’s modern businesses to make instant connections with their customers and employees.

With all-in-one systems, such the feature-rich mobile workforce management software by BigChange, seamlessly directs attention to potential late arrival through alerts, allowing office-based teams to update customers and adjust the plan. Alerts can also highlight excessive working time, unauthorised out-of-hours use and safety-related concerns such as working time directive and speeding.

Live Alerts can be customised to report on multiple factors and occurrences. Alerts can report on vehicles, web-users or mobile resources all triggered by predetermined system indicators.

Keeping Customers in the Loop:

“Arrival alerts, like all notifications, rarely go unnoticed, with an open rate for SMS at 98%. With SMS messaging, delivery based businesses can share real-time tracking and transit information so customers know exactly when their order will arrive. ETA alerts are extremely useful for on-demand retailers who are providing quick fulfilment of everything from groceries, dry-cleaning, pet food, and just about anything else you can buy online. The familiarity and deliverability of text messaging provides a comfortable back-and-forth of interaction with customers.”

With simply constructed and dispatched messages your customers can instantly view live driver progress, and receive easy to understand messages regarding job completing or anticipated delays. By creating a clear flow of communication customers always feel they are being kept in the loop while the back office doesn’t have to worry about constantly updating customers on any change to route or service capability.

Back Office has its fingers on the pulse:

Live alerts provide the back office with instant access to critical data points impacting mobile technicians and on-site progress. With automatic text alerts sent when:

  • A task is completed
  • A driver has exceeded their geofence (left a specific territory or county for example)
  • A driver is exceeding the speed limit
  • Parts required on site

The back office is able to have a complete picture of mobile technicians progress on their various jobs including a breakdown of individual job completion and driving habits. By creating a system of automatically triggered live alerts, the back office is able to seamlessly integrate and update job histories and requirements in real time. Additionally, with the automatic functionality of live alerts, your back office staff is now free to prioritize their time on more important tasks like getting new customers or supporting your mobile workforce

Case Study ROI:

  • “I need to be able to locate the nearest vehicle when a customer calls in. With the BigChange system, if I need to tell the driver something, I can message him directly. I receive alerts if the vehicles move after 8 pm and before 6 am. This gives us peace of mind.”- Jalpa Upadhyay, Office Administrator, American Dry Cleaning
  • “JobWatch has made a BigChange to our customer service operation. Customers get text alerts reminding them of their agreed delivery time and driver-tracking.” – Claire Wild, Distribution Administration Manager, HU Housing Units
  • “The BigChange system means the delivery team and our customer contact centre are always in perfect sync.”- Mick Eaton, Appliances Direct
  • “BigChange provide immediate and clear evidence detailing when our drivers turn up on site. keeping customers informed of ETAs.”-Mark Emery, GAP Group
  • “Going with BigChange has improved our professionalism and efficiency. we always know where our engineers are so we can inform our customers. Eliminating the need for calling to and from the office.”- Danny Bee, Service Solutions Ltd

What kind of live alerts can you expect with BigChange?

“By integrating SMS notifications within your CRM, whether you are a furniture retailer or a Facilities Management company, alerting customers throughout the entire process via text-based messaging enhances the business-customer relationship.” But that’s just one part of how live alerts can save your business time, money and stress. With fully stacked mobile workforce management systems, like BigChange you can expect to receive real-time text alerts for:

  • Engine idling
  • Vehicle movement
  • Vehicle geofence entrance
  • Job status changes
  • Accident or logged vehicle event
  • Jobs that will run over the scheduled time
  • Answer at risk on the worksheet
  • ETA
  • Reported vehicle defects
  • Task is overdue
  • Vehicle requires service
  • MOT expired
  • Customer service reminder
  • Sales appointment completed

How can BigChange Transform your business?

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage and monitor many of the most significant factors driving customer satisfaction. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service requests to optimise your team’s strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel. Using advanced smart scheduling technology, JobWatch by BigChange can optimise your business, improving technician response times and productivity by over 10%.

Through the use of an integrated Mobile Workforce Management platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance.

By improving transparency via live alerts and broad system visibility, and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve productivity, collaboration and customer retention.

To learn more about how JobWatch by BigChange can help you plan, manage, schedule and organise your business click Here.

Utilising the diverse skills of your team and available networks are critical in the modern business arena. No longer can one person problem solve and innovate, provide customer service and keep up with technical advancements, thus collaboration is key!

That is why BigChange created the Collaboration Network, to better focus the collective capital of our customers knowledge and build a forum to subcontract and connect with other high-quality users of the BigChange system across the service sectors. From Aggregates and Building Maintenance to Field Service and Waste and more, BigChange partners can utilise our shared network to extend geographical reach and capacity, providing customers with the best service opportunities regardless of your resource availability or service limitations.

With the rallying success of the Collaboration Network so far, we have hired Paul Witter as the network’s full-time Managing Director. We recently sat down with Paul to discuss his journey to BigChange and how the BigChange Collaboration Network will be providing important services to existing customers.

BigChange: Please provide a bit of background about yourself, professional experience and unique skill set geared towards your current positions

Paul Witter: I have over 30 years of work-place management experience, of which 18 years have been spent within the building services industry. Over this time I held several senior roles, both Operationally and in Commercial / Financial Management. Prior to working in the Building services sector, I also ran my own company and worked within the domestic insurance repair market, before spending a number of years quantity surveying.

Having managed the national hard-services engineering division within Bilfinger, with sales in excess of £27 million per annum and delivering services to over 500 clients across 4,500 sites nationwide for a number of years, I then joined TECS Group in 2016 where I successfully led the strategy to grow the business exponentially. Taking the business from start-up to £4m turnover in two and a half years, through both acquisition and organic growth.

These opportunities have allowed me to develop a broad range of skills and understanding of the management of business and delivering services to a wide spectrum of clients.

BigChange: What was the impetus of the BigChange collaboration network?

Paul Witter: BigChange saw the opportunity to add further value for its customers, helping them to improve their efficiency, capacity and service quality through broadening their reach and availability of suitable resources. We have created a platform where customers can work together for the benefit of their customers, supporting sustainable business growth.

BigChange: Who stands to benefit the most from this feature?

Paul Witter: Companies of all sizes will benefit from this feature. The collaboration Network allows companies to work together in real time using our system to manage all of the activity. When our customers collaborate they manage the works in their usual manner, so all of the key attributes of their jobs such as SLA’s, Risk management & financial protocols remain the same as if they were completing the works themselves. The Consumer sees no difference in the service and application, which is a huge demonstrable benefit.

BigChange: What are the customers saying about the collaboration network?

Paul Witter: The Network has been well received by our customers and we already have over 100 businesses that are using it now. Customers like the simple functionality, their ability to manage works using other companies with full visibility as works are completed and that they can do that anywhere geographically.

BigChange: What should users and potential users be looking forward to in the coming months, in regards to networking events and product functionality?

Paul Witter: We will be holding more Network events in the coming months from September through to November this year and bringing customers together at these events to both network and have a say in the future development of our system. We are currently working to build upon the system functionality. For example, we are enhancing the user interface further so that our customers can simply manage all their business on any device from anywhere at any time.

BigChange: Why does BigChange value collaboration?

Paul Witter: BigChange is an advocate of building strong business relationships and working with Customers to support them achieving their aims and improving their business functions which are key to them scaling their businesses. We’ve achieved this by creating a fantastic system that genuinely meets our customer’s needs. Collaboration is really the next step as it allows our customers to work with others in the same way, whilst maintaining their quality and standards, expanding their reach geographically and at times where otherwise they would not have the resources to complete works or it would not be commercially viable.

BigChange: How can people learn more about developments in the collaboration network?

Paul Witter: We are available to discuss the network at any time and would encourage all customers whether existing or new to contact us directly if they have any questions or to share their opinions. All of our upcoming events and developments are available to view at https://www.bigchange.com/about-us/events/ and we would recommend customers attend our networking events where they’ll have opportunity to meet with us and likeminded businesses directly.

To learn more about the BigChange Collaboration Network please visit
https://www.bigchange.com/products/join-the-bigchange-network/

BigChange Audit is a simple yet comprehensive online application which allows companies to self-audit and help directors, managers and employees truly understand the legal responsibilities.

BigChange Audit enables straightforward auditing and visibility of all aspects of transport compliance. Utilizing cloud-based hosting allows for remote visibility of uploaded evidence providing at-a-glance compliance checks and a central repository. In total, BigChange Audit provides a cost-effective solution to address several specific risks within the business.

There are four modules which are relevant to different fleet profiles:

What is the basic functionality of BigChange Audit?

BigChange Audit provides clients with the ability to review their fleet and safety compliance; it encourages ownership of compliance by people doing the job. It’s a cloud-based audit tool which requires uploaded evidence and includes an extensive Knowledge Bank to aid users to understand and answer the questions. Easy to view dashboards also help users see where issues exist and help them to address them. Questions cover both the existence of clear processes and the active use of these processes.

Who is this product ideal for?

All clients running a fleet – where it is a few vans or a major large goods vehicle operator. The product makes visibility easy across a large geographical area. A simple red/amber/green dashboard shows a simple, visible compliance status with the ability to click through to get more detail where issues exist

What tangible impact can BigChange Audit have on your business Health & Safety compliance strategy?

BigChange Audit can make a swift and significant impact on improving a client’s fleet compliance; it can be used by the people involved in the day-to-day management of the vehicles to improve their ownership and understanding of all aspects of fleet risk: safe driver, safe vehicle and safe journey. BCA provides a value-for-money approach to demonstrating that the company is meeting its moral and legal obligations, with a clear audit trail. It is a flexible tool which can also be used for internal and external audit.

What are the benefits to the customer?

  • Audit your operation using up to date guidance and industry best practice standards,
  • Keep depots involved inputting responses and uploading evidence,
  • Complete online visibility of compliance status across the company;
  • Compliance status dashboard, audit trail and action lists accessible anywhere.
  • Make big reductions in miles travelled and time spent auditing your transport operation

BigChange Audit example diagram

What services or onboarding is included in the implementation of BigChange Audit?

We offer client-tailored support from as little as half a day a month; we always do a full training session and ensure that clients are “over the hump” with their initial gap analysis.

How does BigChange Audit meet the needs of growing businesses in implementing industry best practices?

BigChange Audit is an ideal tool for growing businesses as it enables SMEs to punch above their weight against larger competitors as clients can be confident their audits are being done in an up to date, compliant environment. BigChange Audit can also be used as evidence of best practice when clients are bidding for business.

How can customers find out more about BigChange Audit?

Please visit www.bigchange.com or call Ruth on 0113 4571000.

Whether you are looking to improve safety compliance, decrease fuel costs or dramatically improve customer satisfaction & retention, BigChange can provide the solutions essential to make your business run sleeker, more efficient and paperlessly.

The BigChange Mobile Workforce Management system seamlessly provides your back-office and field based teams with everything necessary to plan, manage, schedule and dispatch your mobile workforce, regardless of size! The BigChange platform provides fully stacked functionality, including;

  • Invoicing
  • Real-time vehicle & asset tracking
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • Collaboration Network
  • Proactive alerting
  • Job Scheduling, work-order management and dispatch
  • Customisable workflows that manage work step by step
  • Access to Industry Standard documents
  • iOS and Android apps for your mobile workers

With a diverse range of features to optimise how your service sector business operates, BigChange can provide the means to significantly enhance staff productivity and give your customers the best service experience possible, every time.

What sectors and industries does BigChange operate in?

BigChange provides a comprehensive range of services for business operating in the following sectors and industries:

  • Hire
  • Fire & Security
  • Councils
  • Highways & Civil Administration
  • Plumbing & Heating
  • HVAC
  • Industrial equipment
  • Facilities Maintenance
  • Field Service
  • Catering
  • Industrial Doors & Shutters
  • Aggregates
  • Drainage
  • Transport & Logistics
  • Electrical Contracting
  • Cleaning
  • Construction
  • Hygiene Services
  • Lifts
  • Materials Handling
  • Passenger Transport
  • Materials Handling
  • Pest Control
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Social Housing
  • Scientific Services
  • Utilities
  • Waste

What do the customers say?

With expansive system functionality relevant to your business size and sector, BigChange brings together all the core elements driving your business’ success. But don’t just take our word for it. Over 1000 customers and 35,000 active users have seen first-hand how the Paperless revolution has improved mobile technician productivity and customer satisfaction.

Customer Satisfaction

“The BigChange technology has put us in another league and has made the customer experience completely seamless.”- Stuart Hardiman, Commercial Service Manager, Blue Group (Industrial Machinery)

“BigChange has revolutionised our customer service and given us a really useful tool to support our health and safety accreditation.”- Allan Letford, Head of Customer Services, Bobst (Industrial Printing Machinery)

“BigChange is significantly increasing productivity; minimising customer wait time and driving first time fix at competitive cost.”- Alastair Barton, Founder, Boilercare 24/7 (Plumbing and Heating)

Invoicing

“BigChange has created a seamless, paperless system all the way from order to invoice. By receiving electronic PODs we have immediate and accurate information!”- Chris Newman, Group Operations Director, Complete Business Solutions (Office Supplies)

“BigChange provides a complete audit trail of work with job reports backed by tracking logs and photographs. Invoicing is now much more efficient. Previously it could take up to two weeks to get an invoice out; now we can generate invoices within 48 hours.”- Ben Long, UK Operations Manager at Gartec (Lift Maintenance)

“JobWatch ensures invoices are accurate and are in line with what the customer is expecting and as they are received soon after the job, there are many fewer queries and payment is always quicker.”- Andrew Goddard, Service Manager, Thetford International (Waste Machinery)

Asset & Driver Tracking

“With BigChange’s software, we now have complete visibility, enhanced productivity, better customer service and improved driver behaviour. It’s also helped resolve disputes regarding times and locations.”- Marty Collins, Office Manager, CMT Wood Flooring

“JobWatch is very quick and easy to use. We’ve improved driver behaviour and have saved money by reducing driving hours.”- Kelly Kenny, Director, Debmat Surfacing Ltd (Surfacing Contractor)

“BigChange provides immediate and clear evidence detailing when our drivers turn up on site, keeping customers informed of ETAs.”- Mark Emery, Development Manager, Gap (Hire)

CRM

“BigChange’s JobWatch is the perfect CRM solution. We don’t need delivery notes any more, which saves us time and money. Now, customers can sign off jobs on the BigChange computer and we can invoice straight away.”- Helen Carrison, Company Secretary, Kingston Cleaning Solutions (Cleaning)

Live Alerts

“I need to be able to locate the nearest vehicle when a customer calls in. With BigChange’s JobWatch system, If I need to tell the driver something, I can message him directly. I receive alerts if the vehicles move after 8 pm and before 6 am. This gives us peace of mind.”- Jalpa Upadhyay, Office Administrator, American Dry Cleaning

“JobWatch has made a BigChange to our customer service operation. Customers get text alerts reminding them of their agreed delivery time and driver tracking.”- Claire Wild, Distribution Administration Manager, Housing Units (Furniture Retailer)

Job Scheduling and Dispatch

“JobWatch allows us to have tracking and job scheduling in one system. Our engineers now capture signatures on the JobWatch computer. This is downloaded immediately and sent back to the office.”- Marvin Cairnes, Engineer Manager, Martyn Edwards & Frank Ford Ltd (Catering Equipment)

“BigChange has fundamentally impacted the way we operate. By automating job scheduling and routing, we have increased the number of jobs we can do with the same resources. Productivity has been boosted by 17 per cent.”- David Robbie, Managing Director, McDougall (Field Service)
Mandatory Workflows

Mandatory Workflows

“JobWatch is bringing about a digital transformation for our logistics business, streamlined workflows and enabling our drivers to be connected in real time with our back office.”- Andrew Spence-Wolrich, Managing Director, Hargreaves (Aggregates)

Mobile access with Back office guided restrictions

“With BigChange we have a real-time paperless solution and there are significant benefits especially in the reduction of administrative work. We no longer have to chase engineers for their reports, everything is immediately available.”- Craig Firth, Director at GasTech

How can BigChange bring Power to the Paperless?

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage and monitor many of the most significant factors driving customer satisfaction. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service requests to optimise your team’s strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel. Using advanced smart scheduling technology, JobWatch by BigChange can optimise your business, improving technician response times and productivity by over 10%.

Through the use of an integrated Mobile Workforce Management platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance.

By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve productivity, collaboration and customer retention.
To learn more about how JobWatch by BigChange can help you plan, manage, schedule and organise your business click Here.

Workplace safety and the adherence to mandatory company and safety policies impact both the health of your staff and the ability for those professionals to accurately respond to customer expectations.

From decreasing insurance and operational costs within the business to improving customer service experience and first-time fix rate, improving workplace safety can make a significant impact on your bottom line.

What factors impact workplace safety?

The ability of your staff to follow industry standard safety protocols directly correlates to customer retention and the overall quality of the service visit. If field technicians have the means to ensure that all safety requirements have been fulfilled, the need for repeated site visits, reactive maintenance calls and additional customer costs dramatically decrease.

The key factors which make the biggest impact in field technicians’ ability to follow safety requirements include:

  • Familiarity with the specific service request
  • Access to safety workflows and checklists
  • Correct inventory / parts
  • Access to complete service histories
  • Mandatory compliance systems
  • Back office reporting and personal technician accountability

Key product features needed to improve safety protocol is followed

As we discussed above, there are a number of very volatile variables which can influence safety compliance. In order to simplify the job of field operatives, companies in the service sectors should strongly consider a dynamic mobile workforce management system, such as BigChange, to streamline operations into one centralised location accessible to back office and mobile staff (with varying systems restrictions to meet your needs!).

In choosing the ideal platform to help your business reach new levels of safety compliance, it is important that the system includes the following core functions.

  • Mandatory workflows & Integrated mobile safety checklists

Mandatory workflows and integrated mobile safety checklists are the lifeblood of Mobile Workforce Management platforms. By ensuring that a technician cannot move forward with the service visit without following industry standard safety protocols, this feature provides significant improvement in compliance and results in a notable decrease in repeated service visits.

  • Timestamp, Geo-stamp, and Photo logging

Safety procedures are followed through mandatory workflows, but they are recorded and added to comprehensive service histories via photo capture. By inputting images, customers and technicians have a visual record of all installations, deliveries and service events. Through the integration of automatic geo and time stamping, the image provides a dynamic record of completion of an assigned tasked which is beyond refute.

  • Mobile access to CRM

With a complete picture of service requirements; including skills required, parts needed, mandatory risk assessments, and industry standard documents, field operatives are better prepared to fulfil customer expectations the first time, every time!

  • Service Notes and Automatic Alerts

In order to sustain complex service systems, a live data bank of collected knowledge and service information from all technicians is recorded during onsite service visits and recorded in the back office. With collaboration features, your digital system can seamlessly integrate records of service events while providing automatic alerts to customers when a task has been completed or technician is in-route to the site.

With these features integrated into a mobile or tablet-based app, your field technicians can drastically improve safety compliance and improve customer satisfaction with the click of a button. The question then turns to: how can technology or mobile workforce management best provide safety compliance for your business?

How can BigChange revolutionise your safety compliance?

BigChange’s 5-in-1 Mobile Workforce Management platform encompasses a function-rich CRM to meet the needs of your business.

BigChange enables businesses of all sizes to better manage many of the most significant factors influencing the customer experience. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor that safety protocols have been followed as well as managing the scheduling & dispatch of service requests. This optimises your field based teams’ strongest skills and prevents unnecessary travel.

With BigChange, the point of contact staff can access complete customer histories and ensure all service requests and customer expectations are met the first time, every time. Utilising BigChange’s innovative Mobile Workforce System, contractors are able to deliver the required service, workflow and mandatory safety protocols with ease.

Through the use of an integrated Mobile Workforce Management system, technicians can resolve any service request with the click of a button. Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the BigChange system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully (first time fix), while also alerting the back-office planner or operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance.

By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of BigChange, your business can save 10 hours of travel time, per mobile worker per month while decreasing total fuel costs by 10%!

BigChange, the mobile workforce technology company, today revealed the first steps in its ambitious European expansion plans.

The Leeds-based company has established a subsidiary business in France to spearhead its move into mainland Europe and recruited a reseller partner to accelerate the adoption of its award-winning JobWatch system in Cyprus and Greece.

BigChange sets up a wholly owned subsidiary

BigChange has moved into the French market with the launch of a BigChange France, a wholly owned subsidiary business led by Frederic Dupeyron, who joined the company as Executive Vice President for Europe in January. BigChange has established a sales and marketing office in Paris, as well as a dedicated customer support facility in Marseille.

Five people will be based at BigChange’s Paris office initially, including Aurélie Rodriguez, who has joined the company as Head of Sales and Business Development. The customer service operation in Marseille comprises four people and is led by Chief Operations Officer Emma Levy.

BigChange strikes a strategic partnership to expand in Greece and Cyprus

BigChange has signed a reseller agreement to operate in Cyprus and Greece with JobWatch Cyprus, a new company established by Cypriot entrepreneur Andys Sofroniou to sell BigChange’s technology. Sofroniou is establishing a business development and technical support operation in Nicosia and has secured four new customers for BigChange already.

Sofroniou is also the managing director of Handy’s Security Systems, which became BigChange’s first customer in Cyprus in 2018. Sofroniou approached BigChange to establish a reseller partnership following the successful adoption of its JobWatch technology at Handy’s.

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“We want to make BigChange a £100 million business and that means accelerating our international expansion efforts. By moving into France and establishing a partnership to cover Cyprus and Greece we are opening up a number of new markets, putting in place excellent sales and customer support people to delight our customers, and insulating the business from the effects of a potential no deal Brexit.”

Frederic Dupeyron, Executive Vice President for Europe at BigChange, comments:

“Organisations worldwide are being challenged to improve service, become more efficient and eliminate paperwork and manual processes from their operations. Opening offices in France is a significant first step in our international expansion plans. Establishing a presence here means we can better serve customers and drive faster expansion for BigChange in mainland Europe.”

Andys Sofoniou, founder and managing director of JobWatch Cyprus, comments:

“I spent years looking for a system to eliminate paperwork, streamline mobile workforce operations and improve communication with engineers at my security business. BigChange is amazing, it revolutionised how we run that business and I was so impressed with the system that I decided to set up a new company to make it more readily available to sectors such as building services, IT, hospitality and logistics in Cyprus and Greece.”

BigChange was privileged to host BBC Dragons Den Entrepreneur Jenny Campbell on July 1, 2019.

Campbell’s story and journey to overcoming adversity and achieving personal and professional success truly captivated the entire BigChange team and served as an inspiration to what one can accomplish when driven to meet your goals and fulfil your potential.

Jenny Campbell left school at 16 and eventually climbed the ranks to become one of the few senior female bankers in the UK (at the time). After 30 years in the banking industry, Ms Campbell launched a major restructure of Hanco ATM Systems which helped guide the organisation to regain financial viability and European market share. Campbell later bought out the business and became the majority shareholder in the newly rebranded YourCash Europe Ltd leading to its eventual sale for £50 million in 2016.

With a vast range of business experience at all levels of the process; from low-level clerk to high-level corporate executive, Jenny Campbell provided her inspiring reflections on a fascinating life in the business world to the BigChange team.

BigChange, the mobile workforce technology company, today announced that it has appointed Paul Witter as the Managing Director of its groundbreaking Collaboration Network venture.

Witter has a wealth of experience in senior commercial and operational roles gained from 30 years in business, almost two decades of which was in the building services industry. He joins BigChange from engineering firm TECS Group, where he was Managing Director. Previously, Witter managed the hard-services engineering division at industrial services giant Bilfinger.

At BigChange, Witter will be responsible for expanding the company’s Collaboration Network globally, which makes it quicker and easier for organisations to find trusted subcontractors and manage work undertaken on their behalf by third-party partners. The Collaboration Network has attracted more than 100 organisations from the construction, facilities management, building maintenance, electrical contracting, transportation and waste sectors since its launch in April.

Paul Witter, Managing Director of the BigChange Collaboration Network, comments:

“We have seen fantastic uptake of the BigChange Collaboration Network already, with more than 100 companies able to allocate jobs to each other at the touch of a button and gain real-time insight into work done on their behalf by partners. The potential for this is huge, and we are working closely with our early adopters to explore what more we can do to help companies work together to save time, money and significantly improve the service they provide to customers.”

Martin Port, Founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“I’ve worked with Paul for many years and I am delighted to welcome him to BigChange. He is a first class operator and a proven business builder with a wealth of experience and contacts in the sectors that stand to gain most from being part of the BigChange Collaboration Network.”

“This venture is a genuine industry first. We’ve built a platform that enables companies to win more business and share work with subcontractors easily, accelerating the growth of the sharing economy in sectors such as engineering, facilities management and building services. With the BigChange Collaboration Network we are eliminating the paperwork, emails and phone calls that frustrate subcontractor collaboration, and improving standards and operational efficiency in the sectors the economy relies on the most.”

Many factors can impact the success of your staff in the field and how your customers respond to the service visit.

As we addressed in previous blogs; customer satisfaction and technician productivity directly impact the profitability of service providers. To best improve customer satisfaction and technician productivity it is vital to integrate a smart scheduling functionality, such as those available through JobWatch by BigChange, into your mobile service workforce.

Building customer loyalty and a motivated staff dictate the long-term success of a business. When your customers are happy and your team is dedicated and qualified for the job at hand, your bottom line sees the reward. With the implementation of a smart scheduling system, such as JobWatch by BigChange, your back office can better dispatch technicians, organise appointments and keep customers in the loop with ease.

Building an accurate schedule to accomplish this goal can be a huge challenge on operational managers, with an integrated smart scheduling system, this worry can become a thing of the past.

What defines ‘Smart Scheduling’?

Intelligent or so-called ‘smart scheduling systems enable the back office and the mobile workforce a clear channel of communication to deploy the best-qualified technician, tradesman, salesperson or estimator to a specific location or service appointment. Smart scheduling systems, such as the comprehensive mobile workforce management software, JobWatch by BigChange takes into account skills, product-knowledge, territories and proximity and instantly provides a list of qualified personnel able to be dispatched to any location with the click of a button.

Smart scheduling functionality, often through a broader job management or mobile workforce management system helps utilise driver tracking data and staff skills to deploy the best person for any job. By simplifying the dispatching process, customers receive better service personalised to their specific needs and, through the use of an integrated system, can also provide service technicians all the information essential to meeting any service requirement- from inventory and mandatory safety workflows to instant invoicing and customer history reports.

How does this provide added value to your business?

Smart scheduling functionality, such as those included in JobWatch, the comprehensive mobile workforce management platform, guides you to the perfect resource for each job.

Smart scheduling systems rely upon a number of factors in order to accurately dispatch and organise the best technician for any service request. These include:

  • Real-time resource location
  • live-traffic information
  • job constraints (such as skills or qualifications)
  • Type of vehicle
  • Inventory
  • Detailed service information
  • Customer history and requirements

The implementation of a smart scheduling system allows your business to respond faster and optimises travel distance. In practice, Field service companies can improve their productivity by approximately 68% and decrease their scheduling costs by 15% with the integration of a smart scheduling system.

Smart scheduling also gives employees an easy way to organise and view their working schedules by using mobile applications, which provide an interactive and accessible way to view changes to their schedule. Through these apps, employees can set their preferences on working availability, choosing their most optimal times of work, as well as view schedules, receive notifications of changes, send alerts, offer and accept additional shifts, and even request time off.”

The use of comprehensive job management systems with smart scheduling functionality can provide lower costs, faster resource deployment and less speeding (as jobs are spaced out properly) to the benefit of your customers. With the use of a smart scheduling system, you can turn idle time into working time while boosting responsiveness to improve customer satisfaction.

JobWatch by BigChange gives you all the features you need:

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage and monitor many of the most significant factors driving customer satisfaction. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service requests to optimise your team’s strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel. Using advanced smart scheduling technology, JobWatch by BigChange can optimise your business, improving technician response times and productivity by over 10%.

Through the use of an integrated Mobile Workforce Management platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance.

By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve productivity, collaboration and customer retention.

To learn more about how JobWatch by BigChange can help you plan, manage, schedule and organise your business click Here.

Throughout the service and transport sectors, a number of seemingly similar and non-intuitive terms have begun to form a modern dictionary of confusing scale and scope.

Is it CRM or FSM? Am I looking for an invoicing and scheduling system or a comprehensive, all-inclusive mobile workforce management system to run and organise my business?

With the mix of terms and functions, features and innovative approaches to running your day to day operations, we thought a short explanation to Mobile Workforce Management could help clear the air.

In this blog, we’ll sift through the haze and attempt to explain how a Mobile Workforce Management System, like JobWatch by BigChange can not only add significant value to your bottom line but bring your business to a new level of transparency and productivity.

What is Mobile Workforce Management?

Mobile Workforce Management is the automation of the entire end-to-end workflow and operations in any of the service or transport sectors. Mobile Workforce Management is also known as Field Service Management, Service Management, Job Scheduling Software and Job Management Software.

Mobile Workforce Management replaces manual planning and paper job forms with intelligent and dynamic electronic scheduling, making it easy to schedule for multiple mobile workers or resources at the same time.

In addition, Mobile Workforce Management means that mobile workers receive their jobs instantly out in the field on smartphones using native Android or iOS mobile apps. Lengthy and laborious job forms are no longer required – customised workflows are completed on the mobile device, and the job can be completed instantly in the field, allowing the customer to be invoiced immediately.

Why so many names for the same thing?

There are two prime reasons for the seemingly endless interchange of names ‘defining’ the array of CRM based technologies currently on the market; chiefly functionality & company branding.

Expanded functionality combined with the growing tool-box of mobile, and desktop-based service management platforms have caused a degree of mass confusion, and distinct systems overlap creating a dizzying collection of product and service names.

From Field Service Management, Job Scheduling Software, Service Management platforms and Job Management Software to integrated CRM’s and all in one platforms, the names and subtle nuances can be confusing to even the most refined eye.

What Makes Mobile Workforce Management different?

In practice, all of the above terminologies intends to reflect the expansive nature and potentially vital system functions which can simplify your business. What differentiates these various field service management systems from a comprehensive mobile workforce management platform is the ability to:

  • Create schedules for mobile employees and back office staff
  • Dispatch mobile employees to new jobs, with access to service histories
  • Two-way communication between mobile employees and back office in real-time
  • Perform capacity planning for high-volume or low-volume periods
  • Track employees en route to different jobs to facilitate smart scheduling
  • Log job start, completion and travel time to track driver behaviour
  • Track average length of service engagements and complications which may arise
  • Track employee performance
  • Connect with a CRM or other system of record to streamline operations

Mobile Workforce Management systems often incorporate a number of existing tracking, invoicing, and customer relationship management (CRM) processes with a cloud-based element which previously was not fully integrated within a business’s CRM platform.

Recent research from Forrester suggests “the global mobile workforce management market is expected to grow with approximately 13% CAGR during the forecast period from 2017-2023.”

CRM vs Mobile Workforce Management platform

In simplest terms, a Mobile Workforce Management platform, such as JobWatch by BigChange integrates all basic CRM functions, with the ability to link field technicians with back office staff and a customer portal seamlessly through the cloud.

Whereas most off the shelf CRM typically provides the barebones customer information and basic service details, a fully optimised Mobile Workforce Management system like JobWatch by BigChange can use this service data to instantly form invoices, update comprehensive service and customer histories and provide real-time driver updates while demanding mandatory safety and systems protocols are followed 100% of the time.

Why now? What is driving the rise of Mobile Workforce Management solutions?

“Rising popularity of mobile devices, better network connectivity and expansion of the scale of operations in organisations have increased the demand for mobile workforce management and related technology. Small and medium level enterprises utilise these technologies extensively due to the majority of the personnel being in the field and a need to monitor and aid them in carrying out their activities with minimal resources.”

Recent studies have indicates that by 2020 in the U.S. alone, the number of mobile workers will increase to 105 million. Concurrently, the falling prices of tablets and smartphones, as well as the growth of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend in the workplace have caused a noticeable push to bring these mobile elements into the company purview.

Additionally, the “latest innovations in computing and mobile broadband technology are the key drivers for the growth of the mobile workforce management market. As mobile ownership is increasing, more companies are adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies which have many advantages like employees can use devices they are familiar with and work flexible hours which increases productivity and companies can save the cost on hardware.”

Key Stats

With an effective Mobile Workforce Management platform, like JobWatch by BigChange your company can expect:

  • 10% reduction in fuel costs
  • 8 hours of saved admin time, per mobile worker per month
  • 10 hours of road time saved by each mobile worker per month
  • 4 additional jobs completed per service vehicle per month
  • 0 failed jobs
  • Allows for real-time customer portal and live SMS updates

JobWatch by BigChange brings it all together

BigChange’s 5-in-1 Mobile Workforce Management platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage many of the most significant factors driving business success. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service request to optimise your staffs strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel.

Through the use of an integrated platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile Workforce Management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance. By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve First-Time Fix Rate.

To read more about how mobile workforce management software can save you money click HereHere & Here

BigChange, the mobile workforce technology company, today announced that it intends to adopt a four-day working week across its business by the end of 2021.

BigChange – which has its headquarters in Leeds and employs 125 people in the UK and France – plans to make greater use of automation and machine learning technologies so that all of its employees can move to a 32 hour working week.

The company plans to identify the best way to introduce a four-day working week over the next 18 months, with a view to moving to this new way of working during 2021. It will establish a taskforce with representatives from across the business to lead this activity and has committed to retraining people for new roles should automation replace their work entirely.

Martin Port, founder and managing director of BigChange, comments:

Machine learning and automation are the future of BigChange. Our technology is being used by customers to automate many tasks undertaken in organisations employing mobile workers, and there is a fantastic opportunity with tools such as A.I. to enhance productivity, job satisfaction and quality of life for our people.”

“We want to give people at BigChange the tools and the opportunity to do their jobs in four days, not five. They will make the same money as they would if they were working a full week, but they’ll also have more time for relaxing and spending time with their families.”

BigChange provides a pioneering mobile workforce management system called JobWatch that is used by over 1,000 organisations globally. JobWatch combines CRM, smart job scheduling, vehicle tracking and a series of mobile applications to eliminate paper record keeping, automate manual processes and facilitate collaboration on the go between companies. BigChange works primarily with organisations in the construction, facilities management, field service, transport, logistics and waste management industries.

Prioritising road safety is something we truly value at BigChange. With our Leaders for Life initiative, we have partnered with Transaid & Brake, the UK Road Safety Charity, to do our part to improve responsible driving habits across the UK.

This month, we’re very excited to announce that Richard Burnett of the Road Haulage Association has won this month’s Leaders for Life Most Improved Driver Award.

We sat down with Richard to discuss his experience in the logistics industry and how BigChange and the Leaders for Life programme have impacted his driving behaviour.

BigChange: Could you briefly explain your background and relevant industry experience?

Richard Burnett: I have, so far spent 34 years in the logistics industry working for many well-known companies including TDG, Hays Distribution and Wincanton who, in turn, are responsible for the distribution of many well-known household brands such as H J Heinz, GSK, Panasonic and adidas. Before becoming chief exec of the RHA I was MD of Samworth Brothers Supply Chain.

BigChange: How long have you worked with Martin Port & BigChange?

Richard Burnett: I first met Martin at the Motor Transport Awards in 2017. During the evening, several chief executives were ‘auctioned’ to raise money for Transaid. Martin won the bidding and I subsequently spent a evening with him, finding out more about him and his company, BigChange.

BigChange: How has BigChange impacted your business?

Richard Burnett: The advantage of Jobwatch isn’t just an end-to-end transport management system – it provides job tracking and traceability.

Being chief executive of the UKs only organisation dedicated to the road transport industry, I am always supportive of any IT platform that improves driver efficiency and safety.

BigChange: Why are you committed to being a leader for life? Why do you value improving road and driver safety?

Richard Burnett: Even though the UK has some of the safest roads in the world, one accident involving a fatality is one too many. Our pace of life is so fast and there are so many distractions, all inevitably leading to poor driving.

It’s a well-known fact that 94% of accidents are caused by people’s behavior. To change that needs demonstrable leadership. That’s why I felt so committed to lead from the front and show that if my driving style could change, so could that of others.

BigChange: Why should other business and industry leaders participate in Leaders for Life and other road safety campaigns?

Richard Burnett: For the logistics industry, the roads are our place of work and it’s critical for them to be safe. As an industry it’s important that we practice what we preach and therefore our industry leaders should demonstrate their commitment to road safety and embrace the Leaders for Life programme.

Customer-Relationship Management software, commonly known as CRM’s have become an impact technology in recent years.

Providing a digital platform to bring together customer data, service histories and invoicing (among other potential functionality), CRM’s are forcing a fundamental shift in how service sector businesses organise and manage their operations.

In this blog, we’ll look at the top 6 reasons your business should consider switching to a comprehensive CRM platform, such as JobWatch by BigChange.

From the ease in accessing customer data across multiple devices to the vast potential savings in time and fuel costs for mobile technicians, CRM’s can simplify burdensome tasks, ensure mandatory workflows are followed and automatically create detailed service information all at the click of a button.

Unlike the standalone desktop systems of the past, newer fully integrated CRM’s are quick, agile and far more user-friendly. This new generation of CRM’s is cost-effective for small and medium-sized businesses while providing the dynamic benefits previously only accessible to large corporations.

Why should you consider implementing a CRM system?

  • The Power of the Cloud
  • Improve Customer Retention
  • Savings to your bottom line
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Increase your team’s productivity
  • Improve your conversion rate

The Power of the Cloud

The proof is in the numbers. Of the diverse CRM systems on the market today, 87% are driven by the cloud compared to just 12% just in 2008. By centralising the various functionality of a CRM in the cloud, staff in the back office and technicians in the field can access and share vital service data across mobile and desktop portals in real-time.

Through the increased data transparency provided by cloud-based CRM platforms, such as JobWatch by BigChange, companies can expect a 3 fold increase in reaching sales quotas (65% using a CRM vs just 22% without) according to a recent study by Nucleus Research.

CRM systems like JobWatch have adapted to market demands for improved mobile accessibility by shifting operations to cloud-based servers. Additionally, the cloud provides a secure repository for critical service data facilitating broad visibility for all relevant parties, thus improving customer attentiveness and first-time fix rate.

Improve Customer Retention

The ultimate goal of any successful business is to perpetually gain new customers while actively improving the relationships with existing ones. With effective CRM onboarding, many key elements necessary for improving customer retention can be accomplished automatically through system functionality.

In the rapid paced, instant gratification society we live in today, customers demand a comprehensive and transparent view of the entire service experience, easily accessible at their fingertips.

Through the use of an all in one CRM system, such as JobWatch by BigChange, your business can provide, in real time, all of these data points, concisely organised and custom branded to your business’ needs.

Through the use of system features such as; Real-time SMS alerts, Live driver tracking, Automatic invoicing and creation of standard reports & Detailed customer histories accessible on mobile devices, your business could improve customer retention by as much as 27%, according to Nucleus Research.

Savings to your bottom line

A recent Forrester study of 2,000 employees found that ROI, when a CRM system is properly integrated, can exceed a whopping 245%. CRM systems provide wide-reaching benefits across all areas of business operations. Some key stats that illustrate just how much impact a CRM system can have on your bottom line include:

  • 50% of teams improved productivity
  • Sales productivity and uplift was 5%
  • Consultation time was reduced by 10%
  • Revenue increased by 2%
  • Customer service labour cost was reduced by 40%
  • Labour costs overall decreased by 20%
  • Marketing budgets saved at least £60,000

Simply put, an effective CRM can jumpstart your business across the board. By removing the time constraints and human errors incumbent in paper systems, CRM platforms, which form part of BigChange’s Mobile Workforce Management system, allow staff to focus on providing the best service to their customers freeing them from focusing unneeded time and energy on data input and endlessly searching for relevant customer details.

Improve customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction often dictates the entire nature of the extended service relationship.

According to PwC “43% of all consumers would pay more for greater convenience; 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience. Among U.S. customers, 65% find a positive experience with a service provider to be more influential than great advertising.”

Through the use of a CRM system, such as JobWatch by BigChange, your business could improve customer satisfaction by 47%.

Improving customer experience is more often than not a complicated formula which requires the balancing of technical skills and emotional awareness. If blended correctly the customer experience can be enhanced and provide the basis for a symbiotic relationship between the service provider and customer.

Bringing these two parties together is the CRM element which can centralise and organise the entire service dynamic. In practice, this has resulted in 74% of businesses using CRM reporting better customer relationships and improved customer satisfaction.

Increase your team’s productivity

Getting the most out of your staff is an ongoing battle regardless of the industry you work in. In the service sectors improving productivity, in both the back office and in the field are essential to meet growing customer expectations and evolving standard business practices.

Through the use of CRM technology, such as JobWatch by BigChange, many of the factors inhibiting productivity can be resolved on the spot. CRM systems, if integrated with; a live tracking, inventory, and/ or invoicing element, can dramatically increase productivity and total jobs completed.

According to a recent study, 50% of teams using CRM reported improved productivity, and respondents saw a 20% overall decrease in labour costs.

Additionally, the use of mobile access to a CRM can increase sales force productivity by an average of 14.6% with a further 30% of mobile CRM users reporting productivity improvement by more than 20%.

This spike can most likely be attributed to how smart scheduling, improved invoicing and system automation functionality allows staff to focus their time more effectively in the field and back office.

Improve your conversion rate

A CRM system, such as JobWatch by BigChange, greatly improves the conversion potential of a sales team. Through a combination of easily accessible and centralised customer data with the automated feature set of many CRM platforms, sales teams can expect an increase in revenue generated by 41%.

Current data suggests that 79% of all marketing leads are never converted to sales. CRM systems can improve conversion rate by dramatically improving and simplifying all relevant data points and making them easily accessible to the sales team. As a result, the use of a comprehensive CRM system can improve conversion rate by 300%.

JobWatch brings CRM software to a new height

BigChange’s 5-in-1 Mobile Workforce Management platform encompasses a function-rich CRM to meet the needs of your business.

JobWatch by BigChange enables businesses of all sizes to better manage many of the most significant factors influencing the customer experience. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service requests to optimise your field based teams’ strongest skills and prevent unnecessary travel.

With JobWatch, powered by BigChange, the point of contact staff can access complete customer history and ensure all service requests and customer expectations are met the first time, every time. Utilising BigChange’s innovative mobile workforce system, contractors are able to specialise service, workflow requirements and mandatory safety protocols with ease.

Through the use of an integrated CRM platform, technicians can resolve any service request with the click of a button. Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance.

By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can save 10 hours of travel time, per mobile worker per month while decreasing total fuel costs by 10%.

Running a fleet? Join us in Leeds for this free event on 12th June from 11am – 2pm to learn more from our experts about fleet safety.

Talks will cover reducing the risks of having a road traffic collision and how you can protect your workforce from workplace transport risk, ensuring that you stay on the right side of the law and saving you money.

Lunch is included.

To book please email events@bigchange.com to secure your place; numbers are limited.

Road safety campaigners have taken their message to Westminster on a vintage Routemaster London bus and called on the Government to legislate to encourage higher road safety standards from UK businesses.

BigChange CEO Martin Port, founder of the Leaders for Life road safety at work campaign, organised the mission to Westminster. He was joined on the bus by the racing driver Nick Hamilton and representatives from the road safety charity Brake.

The bus is owned and was driven by Sir Peter Hendy CBE, the chairman of Network Rail and former Commissioner of Transport for London.

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“We went to Westminster because we want politicians to drive higher safety standards on UK roads. More than 500 people a year are killed in the UK as a result of crashes involving people driving for work. While responsible business leaders are already improving road safety standards in their own organisations and we are in a position to be able to help them with that, we want Government to legislate to hold everyone who employs company drivers to the same high standards.”

“The UK should be aiming to achieve the highest road safety standards in the world. Vehicle tracking devices should be compulsory for all vehicles used on company business, and all organisations employing people who drive for work – whether in a truck, company car or their own vehicle – should have a nominated director responsible for road safety policy and reporting on KPIs such as miles driven, speeding incidents and time and distance driven.”

Samuel Nahk, Senior Public Affairs Officer at Brake, comments:

“There are many things that business leaders can do to encourage safer driving at work. They can make sure drivers are not using their phones at work, that they are not exceeding the speed limit and that they are sticking to their working hours and taking the appropriate rest breaks. Leaders should also set an example to their people and make sure that everyone is working together to make our roads as safe as possible.”

Nic Hamilton, racing driver and ambassador for the Leaders for Life campaign, comments:

“My cars are built for driving to the limit, but the roads aren’t and people need to understand how dangerous the roads can be. It is all about getting from A to B as safely as possible and people need to understand the consequences of driving erratically. I race on a circuit but I don’t race on the road. There is absolutely nothing to gain from racing on the road and it is super important to drive home the fact that people need to be as safe as possible.”

1,793 reported road deaths in Britain in 2017

The latest annual figures from the Department for Transport show there were 1,793 reported road deaths in Britain in 2017, five a day on average, and 170,993 casualties of all severities. It is believed that around a third of fatal crashes would have involved someone driving for work

Leaders for Life was developed by BigChange in partnership with road safety charity Brake to encourage business leaders to become ambassadors for safer driving in their workplaces. The company is providing driving analysis technology free of charge to the leaders of medium and large UK businesses to help them understand and improve their own driving.

Leaders can register to support the campaign at https://www.bigchange.com/leadersforlife/.

BigChange has become a Sage Developer Platinum Partner. The Leeds-based provider of mobile and office IT for paperless working becomes one of a very few UK companies to achieve this endorsement and accreditation from Sage.

Sage is the market leader for cloud based accounting software that is generally regarded as the de-facto standard worldwide. In awarding Platinum Partner status, Sage recognises that BigChange offers outstanding levels of training, knowledge and experience.

BigChange has been working closely with Sage for a number of years and this has culminated in the development of the JobWatch Sage 50 integration tool which allows exchanges of financial transactional data between the two systems.

Martin Port CEO and Founder of BigChange, says:

“Achieving Sage Platinum Partner Status represents an important milestone for BigChange and reinforces our position as a provider of business IT, but with a unique offering for businesses that rely on mobile workforces,”

“The integration between Sage and JobWatch is important as it enables organisations to introduce completely seamless, paperless business processes that will significantly reduce administration boosting productivity.”

The integration tool eliminates dual keying to improve invoicing speed and accuracy, reducing debtors and improving cash flow. The Sage-certified tool connects JobWatch and Sage 50 providing complete synchronisation of everything from invoices and credit notes, to nominal code lists, departments to customers and suppliers, account balances and account statuses, quotations and purchase orders.

BigChange is for companies that have a mobile workforce and enables managers and mobile workers to be connected in real-time to the office using their smartphones and tablets. BigChange offers a complete range of back-office software including CRM, job scheduling and invoicing with seamless interfaces to corporate accounting and ERP systems.

JobWatch allows important financial tasks such as raising and authorising purchase orders, quotations and invoices to be managed around the clock from anywhere. The system is already in wide use with businesses running mobile operations such a field services, plant hire and goods transport.

Port says:

“The BigChange Sage integration allows financial control and management to be extended beyond the office, seamlessly connecting those involved at the front end of the business to the back office as part of a fully digital, paper-free and real-time IT solution,”

“That ultimately means improved cash flow and profitability, backed by a complete digital audit trail.”

BigChange Sage duo

New opportunities to gain work experience and college credit. The traditional path of vocational apprentices has involved a combination of on the job, and academic training with the eventual end goal of creating honed and qualified tradesmen.

Recent shifts in UK policy on vocational apprenticeships have created new hybrid programs which offer traditional vocational training with the additional opportunity to achieve a full Bachelors or Master’s degree upon the completion of the apprenticeship.

The new programs have been deemed ‘Degree apprenticeships’ and formed through partnerships between employers and universities or colleges. The Degree Apprenticeship programme was launched by HRM government in 2015, and lasts between 1-6 years.

Unlike traditional courses in college or university, participants in Degree Apprenticeships allows for greater flexible study method suits to accommodate their employer’s needs – whether that’s distance learning, blended learning or block mode learning.

The qualification for degree apprentices are similar to the higher apprenticeship, where apprentices are expected to hold full-time employment status rather than student status.

However, while higher apprentices have the option to gain a Bachelors-level qualification, university study is mandatory in degree apprenticeships. As well as holding employment status and receiving a wage throughout the course, an apprentice’s tuition fees and training costs are settled between their education institution and employer.”

England has made major strides in its commitment to develop and expand the quality of apprenticeship nationwide. Leading elements which are changing the face of British apprenticeships include; “a new funding arrangement in the form of an employer levy, and major reforms of the apprenticeship system including the development of new apprenticeship standards created in close consultation with employers, and an overall aim of increasing both the quality and quantity of apprenticeships.”

Earning potential of Apprentices in the UK

“In England an apprentice earns between 50% and 60% of the skilled worker wage but this average hides large variations. In 2011 apprentices under 19 earned approximately 32% of the fully qualified rate, while those aged 19-24 earned 49%. In England, according to the law, the minimum wage of apprentices aged under 19, and those aged 19 or over in the first year of their apprenticeships amounts to 47% of the national minimum wage.”

Factors which can trigger a wage increase:

  • Turning 19
  • Completion the first year of an apprenticeship
  • Completion of second year of an apprenticeship
  • Shifts in government regulations

These conditions can trigger a substantial increase in an apprentice’s wage potential, especially if the apprentice is paid the legal minimum. For example, the legal minimum wage of an apprentice who started on a programme at the age of 18 increases in the second year by 60%. As a direct result of the added year on year costs of apprenticeships, many employers limit the length of vocational apprenticeship to between 12-18 months.

Industries most active in supporting apprenticeships in England

BigChange top 5 sectors for apprenticeships graph

Impact of Vocational Apprenticeships on the BigChange Network

Within the BigChange collaborative network there are countless stories of innovative and dynamic individuals who have built upon their vocational apprenticeships to form companies leading the service sectors. Two of our most accomplished customers and members of the collaboration network are Jordan Woods & Michael Cairns.

You’ll have difficulty finding two more dedicated and hard-working young professionals than Jordan & Michael. They truly represent the core values of BigChange, i.e. tirelessly working to help every customer with top notch customer service, quality technical staff and seamless mobile workforce management systems to make a major impact in their collective sectors.

What brought these two young industry leaders to their current positions?

According to Jordan Woods, Founder of Woods Building Maintenance, “I left school at the age of 13 and joined a work-based Learning programme in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). After persuading Daniel Robinson, a Director at Industrial & Commercial Heating in Leeds, to let me work for free for a number of years I was finally they given an apprenticeship at 16. Without Daniel giving me that opportunity, I would never have got into the HVAC industry. It just wouldn’t have been a possibility.”

Michael Cairns, Director of Celsius Plumbing reflected frankly on his experiences as a vocational apprentice. “I began my apprenticeship as a plumbing and heating engineer in 2003. At the time, plumbing apprenticeships were dominated by 16-18 year olds but this doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Do in no small part to the current significant shortage of domestic skilled labour many people are beginning apprenticeships later in life and becoming independent trades people, way more than ever before. This impacts the balance of skilled labour because people are not taking on apprentices’ which could really change the face of the future skilled labour force.”

As a direct result of Michael Cairns experience as a vocational apprentice Celsius Plumbing has championed apprenticeships. “We have been training apprentices here at Celsius since 2007. We have proudly trained 7 apprentices so far, all of whom have gained their full industry qualifications. we currently have an apprentice in his 3rd year and are about to start a new 1st year apprentice, which is really exciting for us. The reason we feel so strongly about taking on apprentices, is because we recognise the value and importance of passing on the knowledge to the next generation. I suppose, I recognise personally how much an apprenticeship shaped my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today without one.”

As a fundamental path to the service sectors, vocational apprenticeships provide hundreds of thousands of people in the UK each year with the technical, on the job and academic training essential for instilling skilled labour in the next generation of service technicians and operators. BigChange strongly believes in the importance of vocational apprenticeships and the skills they transmit to the next generation of service technicians.

As new legislation and government sponsored vocational programmes continue to grow, the opportunities of vocational apprentices to make a meaningful impact in the labour market appear significant.

With the rise of apprenticeships in the UK, BigChange looks forward to ushering in a new generation of service professionals and conveying the value mobile workforce platforms, such as BigChange’s JobWatch, can add in simplifying and centralising operations.

To read more about how the BigChange Mobile Workforce Management system can help your business go paperless click Here.

Customer Experience is infinitely personal and continuously evolves from each service encounter to colour how customers view both the service event and the provider as a whole.

In part II of ‘What Drives Customer Experience in the Service Sectors’ we will take a look at how Customer Expectations, Technology & Personalisation influence Customer Experience as well as how mobile workforce management software, such as JobWatch from BigChange can revolutionise the Customer Experience.

Customer’s Expectations:

“The key reason why the customer experience is and will never be ‘in control’ is because customers are individuals and the core element in the customer experience equation is highly emotional, personal, contextual and diverse.”

The customer often sets the tone for the entire service relationship however, with mobile access to detailed transaction history and an integrated CRM system, such as JobWatch from BigChange, expectations can be reasonably met while providing a comprehensive service picture to your entire staff.

Part and parcel to understanding and exceeding customer expectations is forming a strong personal rapport with the customer. In addition to facilitating a better service experience, effective communication with clients can act as a second marketing department creating brand ambassadors while providing vital feedback on ways to improve the service interaction from the people who matter most.

To build a holistic, customer-centric approach each personalised interaction must be valued, recorded and used to improve future practices.

Technology & Skill Set of Technician:

In a time of dramatic technological advancements “Human interaction [still] matters now — and 82% of U.S. and 74% of non-U.S. consumers want more of it in the future. Regardless, the technology supporting human interaction must be seamless and unobtrusive across platforms.”

Customers expect real-time messaging and self-service tools to advance their service experience. The digitally savvy customer today demands a constant flow of up to date information narrating their broader service experience, from initial consultation to post service follow up and billing.

Concurrently, customers want these technological breakthroughs to still have a human touch, and (if needed) easy access to a person to help navigate supposedly intuitive systems.

Relying upon a range of digital touchpoints include websites, app interaction and use of online CRM systems; such as JobWatch by BigChange, technicians can better deliver specialised services on the click of a button.

As PwC astutely points out “The challenge [is]: how to use new technology with purpose to make the experience feel more human—without creating frustrations for customers and while empowering employees.” If technicians and service staff cannot apply the new methods to resolve the broader issues- regardless of the technology- customers will not be happy.

In a time where the service experience is strongly dictated by technical capability, the results are often projected for the world to see. Good experiences are shared on social media — and as are less than ideal ones, while surely horrible service experiences go viral — and can easily damage or destroy a company’s reputation globally.

Personalisation:

The service experience is not limited to the physical service call or maintenance event. Increasingly customers are demanding optimized post-purchase experiences which include personalised service and support. As a result, “79% of customers are willing to share relevant information about themselves in exchange for contextualized interactions in which they’re immediately known and understood.”

Customers want to feel heard and catered to. They are willing to expand engagement and the information they share if it can significantly improve their broader customer experience.

“59% of customers say tailored engagement based on past interactions is very important to winning their business.”

In the past customers wanted a prompt response to their questions or complaints. Now customers expect every element of their service experience to be personalized. “61% of the people surveyed [by Forbes] felt they were treated like case numbers rather than people. That must stop. The survey found that 59% of customers said being treated as an individual was more important than how fast the issue was resolved (53%). The numbers are close, but the point is that customers want to be treated like people, not account numbers. And, if you can deliver both speed and personalisation, you have a winning combination.”

Customer Experience, Company Loyalty and Retention:

80% of companies believe they provide a superior proposition with only 8% of customers agreeing.” Bridging the gap between perception and reality, as the stats clearly show, can be difficult. The only way to make real improvements is to ask customers: What went right? What went wrong? Why did you choose our service? Did our services meet your expectations?

At the end of the day, no one is a mind reader and thus we all must lean on the recipient of the service experience to facilitate best practices and improve retention.

The resolution to this may be simpler then you may think. Auto messaging, standardised templates and surveys to gauge customer experience and satisfaction in real time. With fully integrated mobile workforce management software, like JobWatch from BigChange, your business can streamline operations and engage customers holistically.

The customer experience is more often than not a complicated formula which requires the balancing of technical skills and emotional awareness. If blended correctly the customer experience can provide the basis for a symbiotic relationship between the service provider and customer. Bringing these two parties together is the CRM element which can centralise and organise the entire service dynamic.

BigChange Mobile Workforce Management Revolutionising the Customer Experience:

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage many of the most significant factors influencing the customer experience. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service requests to optimise your field based teams’ strongest skills and prevent unnecessary travel.

With JobWatch, powered by BigChange, the point of contact staff can access complete customer history and ensure all service requests and customer expectations are met the first time, every time. Utilising BigChange’s innovative mobile workforce system, contractors are able to specialise service, workflow requirements and mandatory safety protocols with ease.

Through the use of an integrated platform, technicians can resolve any service request with the click of a button. Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance. By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve customer experience.

What to do from here?

Improving the overall quality of customer experience for service providers often is the determining factor driving customer relations and long term business performance.

Optimising the broader customer experience goes beyond fulfilling customer requirements to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. The ultimate objective in catering a comprehensive service experience is to maintain and cultivate a long-term customer relationship which continuously creates opportunities for business to profits via sustained service interactions and activities.

Balancing the complex dynamic of customer experience requires constant calibration and dedication to providing the best services, staff and technology all integrated to give real-time data and live quotes with ease.

A recent study of 15,000 consumers surveyed in 12 countries found that “60% of customers would stop doing business with a company due to unfriendly service, 46% said they would cease the business relationship because of employees lack of knowledge and 50% would end the relationship if they don’t trust the company. 32% of customers would walk away from a brand they have a strong affinity towards after just one bad experience.”

With customers increasingly willing to change service providers after the smallest inconvenience it is essential to be receptive to customer needs and ensure all elements of the customer experience are consciously monitored and improved daily.

To read Part I click Here.

Customer experience, simply put, is the most decisive factor driving a business’s success in the service sectors. Through the establishment of a fluid and adaptive customer experience, brand loyalty is created, customers are cultivated and long term relationships are formed.

Customer experience is infinitely personal and continuously evolves from each service encounter to colour how customers view both the service event and the provider as a whole.

In this blog, we will take a deep dive into what elements shape customer experience, from the initial point of contact to final billing. We will define the customer experience and the broad range of factors which, if properly balanced, can improve customer retention and the overall service dynamic across business operations.

Factors defining Customer Experience:

Customer experience is defined as the perception a client has of a business or service as influenced by:

  • An Employee or Point of Contact member of staff
  • Customer Expectations
  • Technology
  • Personalisation

With this ever-growing basket of factors influencing customer experience it can be exhausting to try and find that perfect balance point to satisfy customer needs. With fierce competition and an increasingly demanding customer base, many businesses are often faced with the question of where to focus their time and energy to improve customer retention and brand loyalty?

A recently conducted study of over 6,700 customers found that 80% of people agree that the experience your brand creates is just as important as the product or service you are selling. Long gone are the days when having quality service and a skilled workforce alone were enough to ensure customers use your product or service in the future.

Today’s marketplace is defined by; ease of accessibility and personalisation of services, as well as highly informed customers who demand transparency throughout the entire service experience. Customers expect technicians to be friendly and knowledgeable, well versed in cutting edge technology and quick on their feet to adapt to a request on a moment’s notice.

According to PwC “43% of all consumers would pay more for greater convenience; 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience. And, among U.S. customers, 65% find a positive experience with a service provider to be more influential than great advertising.”

In order to improve customer experience, it is critical to understand the role each component part plays in illustrating the broader relationship between service provider and customer. If correctly understood and integrated into a long term business strategy, these factors can vastly improve customer satisfaction and in turn, facilitate customer retention.

Point of Contact:

The customer experience is heavily influenced by the point of contact. As the person who facilitates the broader service experience, the service technician or staff member must “incorporate all of the aspects of the service firm with which customers may interact, including its personnel, physical facilities, and other tangible elements during a given period of time. It has been suggested that from the customer’s viewpoint, staff members provide the service and staff behaviour therefore, influences customer perceptions of the service.”

Staff competence, helpfulness, and responsiveness are vital factors which guide the evaluation of service. Unfortunately “only 46% of consumers outside the U.S. say the employees they interact with understand their needs.”

An organisation’s employees, or the salespeople representing it in retail channels, are a key channel for delivering superior Customer Experience. It’s no good saying you’re great if your staff don’t act like they believe it. Everyone in an organisation has to be aligned with corporate objectives and on-message. So teaching staff to understand their role within the organisation and how everyone contributes to outsiders’ perception of it is hugely important.”

It is essential that companies hire passionate staff and train them to love the product or service. Ensuring the point of contact is well versed and easy going helps customers have a positive experience and significantly impacts the perception of the brand overall.

In Part II we will discuss the impact of; Customer Expectations, Technology & Personalisation on Customer Experience.

To read more about how BigChange can help improve your Customer Experience click Here.

The service sectors live and die on the success of vocational apprenticeships and the skills they impart on the growing domestic workforce.

Apprenticeships across the UK aim to train the next generation of skilled technicians, service contractors, and back office staff to meet the evolving needs of a massive range of jobs, many of which you might not think traditionally involve an apprenticeship component. In the 2016-17 academic year alone, 900,000 people received compensation to participate in an apprenticeship in the UK.

Historically, vocational apprenticeships have provided the prime avenue for young and novice individuals to gain the skills and industry-specific experience necessary to work in the service sectors, especially within; Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing and Service Maintenance.

In part I, we will examine the state of vocational apprenticeship in the UK. We’ll look at what is involved in a vocational apprenticeship in the UK, as well as some of the current trends influencing the potential growth of vocational apprenticeships in the coming years.

In part II, we will highlight some of the new higher education opportunities being provided through new and innovated vocational apprenticeship programmes.

What is a vocational apprenticeship?

In the UK, vocational apprenticeships are defined as training programs which include both academic study and hands-on or in-the-field element. Apprentices must complete a minimum of 30 hours’ paid work a week and 5 ½ hours of study towards a vocational qualification, which may vary depending on the specific field.

The general image most people have of vocational apprenticeships are young people (16-18) trying to gain their first skilled labour position, however, over 50% of those starting an apprenticeship in the UK are over 25.

While many technical and intricate mechanical fields, such as electrical repair and installation or plumbing have been heavily represented in UK based vocational apprenticeship programs the opportunities go far and beyond these sectors.

Vocational training is available across a wide range of subjects and industries, from engineering, construction and manufacturing to IT and communications, creative and digital media, health and social care, and more.”

Apprenticeships in the UK

English apprenticeships differ from those of other European countries as they are, on average less than 18 months, compared with 3-4 years typical in other countries.

As a result of the condensed training period, English vocational apprenticeship programs, compared to Austria, Germany and Switzerland, are more likely to be trained at a lower skill level, with 100-200 hours of training, compared to 300-400 of their European counterparts.

To evaluate the range of vocational training, and the skills imparted within the process the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) was established in the UK. The QCF contains vocational or work-related qualifications which are recognised in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The QCF also defines several levels of vocational training, from “entry level to level eight – but the focus is generally on levels two and three, which are pitched at GCSE A*-C level and A-Level respectively.”

Trends impacting apprenticeships in the UK: More opportunities and greater gender equality

Apprenticeship participation in England has significantly increased in the last two decades. Recent statistics state around 500 000 apprenticeships are started every year in England, with men and women roughly equally represented.

These figures represent dramatic increases from the late 1990’s, when the equivalent figure was less than 100 000 [a five-fold increase]. Most of the growth has been in older apprentices, with stats for those over 25 more than quadrupling from just under 50 000 in 2009/10 to more than 200 000 in 2015/16.”

While traditionally, British based apprenticeships have offered less training compared to their European neighbours, recent years have seen that “starts for higher-level apprenticeships have increased faster than for Level 2 apprenticeships, but Level 2 apprenticeships still represented nearly 60% of the total in 2015/16.”

Gender Equality?

In 2016-17, 54% of total apprenticeship started in England were by women (262,820), compared with 46% by men (228,520). This data is also reflective of broader trends in the past decade, showing the number of women starting apprenticeships in England has been higher than men every year since 2010-11.

While broader trends of vocational apprenticeships in the UK are shifting towards greater gender parity, the balance is still noticeably limited in some areas.

“In 2015-16, more than 72,000 male apprentices started programmes in engineering in England, compared with 6,260 women, according to the DfE. By contrast, more than 100,000, or 40% of all female apprentices, started programmes in the health and social care sector.”

To read more about the impact of vocational apprenticeships click Here.

In the hyper-competitive field of service management any small mistake can be the difference between building customer retention and going out of business.

From enhancing brand visibility, offering competitive pricing and enlisting top quality technicians all aimed at providing the best service experience, there are clearly numerous formulas for improving broader customer satisfaction.

At BigChange we believe the best way to keep and build a customer base is to implement a system that consistently responds to the specific customer service request completely, the first time by attentive and polite technicians who are fast and communicative to any issues which may arise.

This is no small order. In truth, there are many issues which must be studied to better understand what drives the customer experience. In this blog, we will take a look at ‘How First-Time Fix Rate Impacts Customer Retention’ and review some key ways to improve FTFR exponentially.

What is First-Time Fix Rate (FTFR)?

First-Time Fix Rate is defined as the number of problems or service requests that are resolved during an engineer’s first visit.

First-Time Fix Rate, according to Aberdeen is impacted by:

  • Parts unavailability (i.e., incorrect or no part available) – 29%
  • Customer/asset not available for service – 28%
  • Improper diagnosis at time of dispatch – 19%
  • Technician did not have right skills – 15%
  • Resolution was only temporary – 8%

In turn, First-Time Fix Rate directly influences:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Technician productivity
  • Profitability of service provider

Customer Satisfaction:

As a simple rule, first-time fix rates tend to have the most significant impact on overall customer satisfaction. Customers are satisfied (and continue to use a business) when their problems are resolved quickly and efficiently without complaint. If your technicians are unable to resolve the customer’s issue on the spot your customer satisfaction rates will suffer.

“For those businesses with a first-time fix rate of over 70%, customer retention was at 86%. Those with a first-time fix rate of under 70% saw their customer retention rate drop to 76% — a decrease of 10%.”

Technician Productivity:

Just as important as having happy customers is having a productive and efficient workforce. Enhancing productivity lies in optimising technician’s time management and consistently fulfilling tasks based on established workflow protocols to help as many customers resolve their service issues as possible at the highest level of service.

The process of improving First-Time Fix Rate goes hand in hand with decreasing technicians fuel costs & optimising technician scheduling. By ensuring a task has been completed correctly, the first time, fewer site visits are required and drives are thus capable of completing more jobs in the saved time.

A recent survey found that Best-in-Class companies experience a “First-Time Fix Rate of 98.3% compared to the industry average of 77.8%. With service calls ranging in cost from £150 to £1,000 per event, the expenses for making repeat visits can be astronomical.”

Profitability of Service Provider

A major factor driving the long term viability of any business is, and will always be: how staff manages their time and collective responsibilities. With a conscious push to improve First-Time Fix Rate, technicians are able to better manage their workflow, schedule more tasks and accomplish more on the worksite in less time.

Concurrently, with improved First-Time Fix Rate, back office staff is able to focus on invoicing and optimising dispatch of technicians rather than managing additional customer support requirements. “In terms of service revenue, those at the upper end of the first-time fix rate scale witnessed a 4% increase in revenue, while those with a less than 70% fix rate saw no change in revenue. Likewise, serviceable asset uptime increased by 1% for those with a +70% fix rate, while others experienced a 2% decline.”

If an organisation intends to stay profitable, it is critical that all resources- especially inventory and technician time- are being used efficiently. By improving First-Time Fix Rate, businesses can allocate less resources to complete a job, and invest in the next task without repeated service visits to resolve lingering service demands.

First-Time Fix Rate in the Service Sectors

Recent research from the Aberdeen Group has found that “companies in the top 20% have a first-time fix rate of 88%. At the other end of the scale, the bottom 30% of companies has a first-time fix rate of 63%. These figures illustrate a clear link between the efficiency and swiftness of repairs to the success of a business.”

Keys to improving First-Time Fix Rate

As we touched upon above, there are broad range of factors which can influence your business’s success in First-Time Fix Rate. With diverse needs and seemingly divergent methods to resolve them, it can often seem overwhelming to attempt to boost FTFR.

With recent technological advances, such as the development and noted market success of the BigChange mobile workforce management system, it is now possible to centralise the core services and customer relations interfaces which can significantly improve FTFR across numerous service sectors.

The use of mobile workforce management systems, such as BigChange, can promote company-wide collaboration and improved data visibility to best direct drivers and resources to job sites with ease. Additionally “remote monitoring of assets [through CRM mobile applications] helps capture service diagnostic information that can be provided to field technicians in advance. Giving call centre staff more guidance through question trees and full access to customer history data can help resolve more calls over the phone (without costly truck rolls), and provide better information to technicians when they do have to go on-site.”

BigChange can facilitate better FTFR:

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage many of the most significant factors driving First-Time Fix Rate. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service request to optimise your staffs strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel.

Through the use of an integrated platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system, dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance. By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve First-Time Fix Rate.

To read more about how service management software can save you money click HereHere & Here

Just as important as driver and technician performance, the back office must be able to process all customer & technician data while generating invoices and inventory information without error.

With a comprehensive service management platform, the back office staff has access to live real-time data which fully reflects the service experience. Without having to wait for drivers to return to the office to provide service information, the back office can instantly produce invoices for customers.

Depending on the functionality of the system, you may be able to produce invoices within the platform itself, such as with the 5-in-1 functionality of JobWatch. Together with real-time alerts and visibility of progress against the work plan, mobile workforce management platforms can significantly improve back-office efficiency.

Within the BigChange platform, customers saved an average of 8 hours per mobile worker per month in back office time. On a small scale, these savings make a big impact, on the larger scale, service management software can save your organisation tens of thousands of pounds annually.

First-time fix rate & Improving Customer Satisfaction

The core element driving retention and customer satisfaction is the ability to solve the customer’s problem(s) during the first contractor or technician visit. Known in the industry as first-time fix rate (FTFR), this factor is often the make it or break it in building customer loyalty.

To improve FTFR, service providers and contractors must optimise:

  • Procurement of parts and consumables
  • Scheduling of technicians (based off skill set and proximity)
  • Management of workflow (to ensure protocols have been followed)
  • Parent-Child relationships (to ensure the best communication between back office and service contractors)
  • Client communication

Inventory Procurement & Preventing Overstock

You can’t solve a problem without the right tools for the job. Just as it is critical to have a technician with the right skill to resolve an issue, as well as all the specific items needed to fix the problem on the spot.

From smaller organisations with more limited resources to large companies with hundreds of employees and capital to back them, the ability to prevent overstocking can make a significant difference to your business’s bottom line. By ensuring that contractors don’t overstock parts and inventory, a business can reduce operating costs and ensure cash is not tied up in stock.

Real-time, cloud-based inventory ensures that contractors are always properly supplied with all parts and tools for each job. By minimising the number of required contractor visits, customer satisfaction drastically improves, while technicians can save, on average 10 hours of travel time per month.

BigChange meter productivity

Please read part III to learn about can Service Management Software can improve workflow compliance and save you Money!! To read Part I click Here.

Utilising a sleek and efficient workforce can improve service response times while decreasing the significant operational costs associated with running a fleet of vehicles, back office coordination & technician/service time.

In order to keep your team operating on top of their game, service technicians must have access to all the parts needed to resolve the problem at hand without the need for repeat visits and additional contractor related delays, known in the industry as the first-time fix rate.

How do you balance the need to have business-critical parts on hand, whilst avoiding having cash tied up in inventory?

The ability to minimise excess inventory while still proving service technicians all the critical tools to do their jobs and maintain a high first-time fix rate could be game-changing.

What is the potential relationship between 3D printing and improved first-time fix rate and customer satisfaction?

3D printers could offer a unique opportunity to remove inventory from the factors impacting first-time fix rate. By providing the possibility to print a broad range of specialised parts at the click of a button, contractors can prevent needless overstock of rarely used parts without risking the ire of disappointed customers.

DELOITTE Global predicts that “sales related to 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) by large public companies—including enterprise 3D printers, materials, and services—will surpass US$2.7 billion in 2019 and top US$3 billion in 2020. (For context, the global manufacturing sector’s revenue as a whole totals roughly US$12 trillion annually.1) This part of the 3D printing industry will grow at about 12.5 percent in each of those years, more than double its growth rate just a few years ago.”

As a direct result of this massive expansion, In some sectors, 3D printers are already beginning to make a serious impact on how business is done.

What are 3D printers typically used for and who uses them?

About 66 percent of industrial manufacturers are already using 3D printing, according to a 2014 PwC survey. Most commonly used to quickly create prototypes, this technology also enables maintenance professionals to significantly reduce inventory costs and extend the life spans of outdated assets.”

Removing the lag time between idea and physical prototype, 3D printing is already helping engineers and industrial manufacturers better turn concepts into reality.

In construction, 3D printing engineers are developing methods to form wall sections and plumbing and electrical hubs; potentially decreasing the future cost of home construction in orders of magnitude.

Novel types of printers are becoming available—those that exploit robotics more ingeniously, for instance, or are better adapted to compound materials—and are enabling new applications.”

In the medical sectors, 3D printing is being used to form new drug delivery systems to better distribute medicine to patients’ immune systems.

BigChange 3D printer equipment

How can 3D printing impact the service sectors?

In the service sectors, 3D printing could bring tangible changes in maintenance management via; inventory costs (a reoccurring and relevant theme across many sectors), assembly costs, and the replacement of discontinued parts.

Inventory Costs:

Maintaining an inventory of spare parts is expensive and not always viable depending on the size of your fleet and staff. Some parts are expensive and companies only need to keep a couple of spares on hand to avoid machine downtime. Through the implementation of 3D printing, businesses can send out technicians with common parts and the ability to print irregular parts on the spot if needed. This prevents overstock while ensuring it won’t negatively impact first-time fix rate.

Reduces Assembly Costs:

With a variance of methods to produce parts in real-time, e.g. CNC machining vs 3D printing, time and costs can make a major impact into which tool will be used to create specialised items.

Generally, a complex, 3D printed part is cheaper to produce than one that is traditionally tooled out of a CNC machine. This is because some parts are cut from metal and assembled after, while you create a 3D printed part in one solid piece.”

Replacement of Discontinued Parts:

If maintained properly machinery can operate for many years without major issue. But inevitably, a machine will become outdated and spare parts may be difficult to find or too expensive to source. Older assets can be kept running longer by outsourcing the 3D printing of discontinued, high-value parts, allowing these assets to be maintained at lower cost and for a longer duration.

What are the current obstacles preventing the widespread use of 3D printing in the service sector and what factors could change this?

There are a number of factors currently contributing to 3D printers/ printing being the method of choice to quickly acquire or produce a specialised part. However, some of the major obstacles include;

  • Cost of machinery (ranging for £4,500-£600,000)
  • Cost of materials to be formed in the 3D printer
  • Skill in operating the often complex software (see our recent blog on the impact of Millennials in the workforce to see how this is quickly becoming an issue of the past)
  • Simple to understand and standardised regulations in 3D printer construction
  • Patents and legal matters which are currently inflating the cost of producing high-quality 3D printers.
  • Lmitations in the pliability of materials and the resulting cost of easily printable materials
  • Timeline of total production on the 3D printer

How could a collaborative platform, such as JobWatch from BigChange help bring 3D printing into the toolbox of service contractors?

In some industries, 3-D printing has been considered or utilized for an extended period of time- on the scale of several decades. However, the use cases have been heavily dominated in the realms of prototyping and not to be effectively used for large scale manufacturing.

Industries that have gained a great deal of familiarity with 3D printing, primarily the aerospace and automotive industries, are beginning to unlock the capabilities so others can build working parts, elegantly designed fixtures, and models. Innovators and entrepreneurs are just beginning to scratch the surface of 3-D printing’s potential.

“To simplify tricky field logistics scenarios, field service professionals can set up on-demand printing stations in hard-to-reach or temporary field service job areas. The oil and gas, renewables, rail, and construction sectors all face the same challenge.

They must provide service in challenging locations and environments. Instead of delivering hundreds of parts on the back of a truck, why not deliver a handful of 3D printing machines that could custom print on-demand near the site? This could significantly reduce shipping costs and meet real-time parts replacement demands. And you’d only be manufacturing the parts you’ll use.”

And what better way to facilitate this collaboration than using the BigChange mobile workforce management Network? With the BigChange Collaboration Network, any active user can find and schedule subcontracting services with ease. As the field of 3D printing becomes more entrenched and mobile the BigChange team looks forward to welcoming relevant partners to join our network to best meet the needs of our dynamic customers and clients.

To read more on how the BigChange Collaboration Network can help your business better meet growing customer demands please see this link as well as this recent blog by Paul Skinner on the value of collaboration.

BigChange buy print deliver graphic

A generational shift is happening in the global workforce and its changing the way business is done.

No longer are the professional trades driven by the methods and process which dictated previous success. Now speed and accessibility of information are just as valuable as the quality of service.

With accessibility of services and response time being the major factors driving sales, especially in the service sectors, many business are increasingly relying on Millennials to define best practices in service management technology and customer experience.

The maturation and integration of the Millennial generation into the workforce has seen massive changes in how businesses operate. From the financial sectors’ significant shift and reliance on digital assets management to professional sports franchises utilisation of real time data and statistics to influence player conditioning, the millennial generation are adapting the traditional approaches and drivers of engagement to the new technological realities of the 21st century.

According to the Pew Center:

“Millennials are on the cusp of surpassing Baby Boomers as the USA’s largest living adult generation, according to population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. As of July 1, 2016 (the latest date for which population estimates are available), Millennials, whom we define as ages 20 to 35 in 2016, numbered 71 million, and Boomers (ages 52 to 70) numbered 74 million. Millennials are expected to overtake Boomers in population in 2019 as their numbers swell to 73 million and Boomers decline to 72 million. Generation X (ages 36 to 51 in 2016) is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.”

From the incorporation of tech savvy thinking and accessibility of on-demand information in real time many industries are improving customer satisfaction, response time and the ability to manage large fleets with ease in no small part because of the internal influence of millennials in the corporate management structure.

By 2025, Millennials Will Comprise Three-Quarters of the Global Workforce.

As a recent blog stated :

“We know the stereotypes. Millennials never settle down. We’re drowning in debt for useless degrees. We refuse to put our phone away. We are addicted to lattes even at the expense of our water bill. Our bosses are not wrong about these perceptions. But, pointing to our sometimes irresponsible spending and fear of interpersonal commitment isn’t going to solve your problem. You still need us. We’re the ones who’ve mastered social media, who have the energy of a thousand suns, and who will knock back £4.00 macchiatos until the job is done perfectly.”

What is a Millennial? What defines this generation?

The Pew Research Center defines Millennials as the people who were born between 1981 and 1996. Gallup uses roughly the same time window, and estimates that there are approximately 73 million Millennials in America.

“Millennials already are the largest segment in the workplace. Within the next two years, 50 percent of the U.S. workforce is expected to be made up of Millennials. It will be 75 percent by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics.”

At companies where managers show sincere interest in Millennials as people, the organization sees an 8x improvement in agility, and a 7x increase in innovation!

Millennials are the first-generation who can objectively be viewed as digital.

“Technology – particularly gadgets like smartphones, but also tablets and laptops – have revolutionised the way they connect and interact with one another and the rest of the world.

While the vast majority of people surf the Web from a desktop or laptop computer at home or work, 85 percent of Millennials access the Internet from their phones – more than all other generations.”

How will Millennials impact how business will operate in the future?

According to Deloitte’s seventh annual Millennial Survey:

Companies and senior management teams that are most aligned with millennials in terms of purpose, culture and professional development are likely to attract and retain the best millennial talent and, in turn, potentially achieve better financial performance. Loyalty must be earned, and the vast majority of millennials are prepared to move, and move quickly, for a better workplace experience.

The top priorities when looking for a job are money (92 percent), security (87 percent), holidays/time off (86 percent), great people (80 percent), and flexible working (79 percent).

Millennials want leaders to more aggressively commit to making a tangible impact on the world while also preparing their organisations and employees for the changes in the formulative process of how Industry works.

How can the service sectors best prepare for a millennial driven work force?

Millennials are especially motivated by dynamic, cross-functional positions that expand their skills and challenge them. As a direct result of this thirst for knowledge, millennials seek jobs that allow them to be in contact with and learn from experts with interesting and diverse skill sets. Millennials strive to enhance interactions with other professionals and teams across a number of projects and campaigns.

With a clearer understanding of the factors which enhance millennial loyalty, companies can develop career paths that provide a wide range of experiences and not just vertical promotions up the totem pole.

How Can BigChange help your business integrate millennials into your operations?

BigChange what millenials want graphic

BigChange provides a dynamic mobile workforce management platform that delivers the digital, paperless and on-demand app-based experience that today’s workforce is increasingly used to. Millenials increasingly use mobile apps and social media as their primary means of communication, whether it’s managing their lives via WhatApp and Facebook, carefully curating their online personas on Instagram or ordering food-on-demand from the proliferation of on-demand apps.

Millenials increasingly demand complete integration and a seamless experience from technology; they don’t expect the need to switch between multiple pieces of software.

With its easy to use interface, BigChange combines everything a mobile-workforce needs into one easy to use package. bringing together back-office CRM, intelligent job scheduling, a paperless mobile app that manages each job step by step and sophisticated live tracking of vehicles. This cloud based system can be accessed by mobile teams collaborating across multiple sites and geographies.

BigChange gives millennial employees the mobile-first experience that they expect in the workplace, boosting productivity.

Where previous service management methods catered to older generations with bulky paper trails and disorganised invoices, the BigChange platform, with its sleek user interface and easy to use portal gives the millennial population a vital tool to manage the customer experience and support technical staff while allowing the back office to manage all billing and invoices in real time. BigChange gives Power to the Paperless!

To learn more about the BigChange 5-in-1 system please click here

References
1. Richard Fry. Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation (2018). Link
2. Quick Take: Generations—Demographic Trends in Population and Workforce (2018). Link
3. Lisa McLeod. Why Millennials Keep Dumping You: An Open Letter to Management (2015). Link
4. Mark Emmons. Millennials are likely the most studied generation in history (2018). Link
5. Ed Frauenheim. 2018 Best Workplaces for Millennials Summary (2018). Link
6. How Millennials Want to Work and Live. Link
7. The Importance of Millennials in the Workplace. Link
8. The Deloitte Millennial Survey (2018). Link
9. Mark Emmons. Millennials are likely the most studied generation in history. (2018). Link

BigChange, the mobile workforce technology company, today announced that it has signed former England football captain and manager Kevin Keegan OBE as an ambassador and the first coach of its new club for entrepreneurs.

Keegan, who won 63 international caps for England and captained his country on 31 occasions before moving into football management, will play an active role in the BigChange Entrepreneurs’ Club, a new initiative from the company to help company owners develop their leadership skills and improve business performance.

Launched today, the Club provides a forum for the owners of organisations that work with BigChange to meet and discuss ideas with like-minded entrepreneurs once a quarter. Keegan will support BigChange’s efforts by providing leadership coaching and mentoring to members.

Keegan believes that his experience in top-flight football will inspire a premier level of performance among the Club’s members and help them achieve more business goals.

Kevin Keegan comments:

“Management in football is similar to business. You’ve got to get the best out of your people and you’ve got to keep delivering year after year. The companies that are successful are those where leaders are passionate about making progress, they want to see how far they can take their ideas and they inspire that passion and commitment among their people too. I see that passion at BigChange and I’m excited about working with the team and its customers. There’s a great buzz at BigChange, there’s a nice mix of youth and experience, and not only can I give something to help take the company forward, I can learn things here too.”

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“Kevin Keegan is one of the most iconic world footballers of his generation and an inspiration to me. He has achieved a huge amount both on and off the field and we are delighted to have signed him to BigChange. There is an enormous amount that businesses can learn from his focus, passion and leadership experience. The entrepreneurs and business leaders we work with are progressive and ambitious, and I am looking forward to working with Kevin to help inspire them to reach an even greater level of performance.”

BigChange provides a pioneering mobile workforce management system used by over 1,000 organisations globally that combines CRM, smart job scheduling, vehicle tracking and a series of mobile applications to eliminate paper record keeping and automate many of the manual processes undertaken by mobile workers. Easy to use and install, BigChange provides a unique system and has disrupted a market that was dominated previously by enterprise players who sold almost exclusively to large corporates that could afford complex, lengthy and expensive implementations.

With the UK’s recent push to digitise the tax reporting process many questions have arisen as to how these changes will alter business as usual.

To better understand the tangible differences of the new Digital Tax process, BigChange has taken a deep dive into the UK’s aim to Make Tax Digital.

In this article we will better define:

  • Who is obligated to file digital tax returns? What is the timeframe of this implementation?
  • How can the digitalisation of tax records and invoicing (via BigChange) save your business time and money?
  • What industries or sectors will be impacted the most by the digitisation of the tax filing process?
  • How can the BigChange platform help my company integrate our existing invoicing and billing to comply with the Digital Tax record requirements?
  • How does Sage integration with the BigChange Platform to help your business run more effectively?
  • What records need to be submitted and maintained through the Making Tax Digital Process?
  • What is a Digital VAT Account, and what is required to update your information?

Q: Who is obligated to file digital tax returns? What is the timeframe of this implementation?

A: Most businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold [currently £85,000] will be affected from April 2019, if they pay VAT. Niche and more complex businesses or organisations [around 3.5% of the total] have a postponed Making Tax Digital “MTD” start date of October 2019. Making Tax Digital for VAT has the force of law and is therefore mandatory. Outside of a handful of very unusual circumstances, you can’t opt out of MTD for VAT. In the UK, 89% of companies will have to alter the way they submit VAT.

Q: How can the digitalisation of tax records and invoicing (via JobWatch) save your business time and money?

A: On average a small-or-medium-size business can save 27.6 days a year by using digital accounting software in comparison to using manual methods, therefore giving you precious time back to focus on growing your business. An SME that uses digital accounting software can make an estimated saving of £17,000 per annum.

Digital accounting software seeks to further decrease your admin time, leaving you with more money to reinvest in your business. By automating submission, MTD will help businesses manage their tax affairs by alerting them before payment is due and keeping them on top of their tax liability. This will prevent payments from piling up and reduces the chance of error and incurring penalties.

Q: What industries or sectors will be impacted the most by the digitisation of the tax filing process?

A: The agricultural industry, Non-resident landlords, Medical practitioners and consultants operating clinics at several sites, Construction workers, Universal credit (UC).

Q: How can the BigChange platform help my company integrate our existing invoicing and billing to comply with the Digital Tax record requirements?

A: With ‘Making Tax Digital’ you’ll never have to enter the same information twice. You’ll have a real-time view of your tax, so you won’t be taken by surprise. As a Sage Platinum partner, we’re here to help all our customers towards being MTD ready. To make the process of reporting your tax digitally even easier, BigChange has created the JobWatch Sage 50 integration tool. It links the two systems together seamlessly, so data can be exchanged automatically.

Click HERE to learn more about the new Sage 50 integration tool.

Q: How does Sage integration with the BigChange Platform to help your business run more effectively?

A: Sage integration with the BigChange Platform:

  • Improves productivity and reduce double keying
  • Improves data quality and avoid inconsistencies
  • Increases cashflow and reduce invoicing delays
  • Reduces overall Sage costs, by sharing key data in JobWatch

Key financial data and transactions that occur in BigChange are automatically synced with Sage, including information on VAT collected or paid. This includes Sales Quotations, Purchase Orders, Sales Invoices and Receipts, as well as Credit Notes, Nominal Ledger codes and Department codes. BigChange’s integration tool has been written for Sage 50c Professional and is currently compatible with Sage 50 v24 and v25.

Q: What records need to be submitted and maintained through the Making Tax Digital Process?

A: Under MTD for VAT, businesses will be required to keep digital records and to file their VAT returns using functional compatible software. The four main categories of records to be kept digitally include; Designatory data, Supplies made, Supplies received & Digital VAT accounts.

Q: Could you explain in greater detail what is included in the Designatory data, Supplies made & Supplies received that must be kept digitally?

A: For Designatory data you will be required to have digital records including; Business name., the address of the principal place of business, VAT registration number, and a record of any VAT schemes used (such as the flat rate scheme).

A: For Supplies made you will be required to have digital records included for each supply made: Date of supply, Value of the supply & Rate of VAT charged. Outputs value for the VAT period split between standard rate, reduced rate, zero rate and outside the scope supplies must also be recorded. Multiple supplies made at the same time do not need to be recorded separately – it is sufficient to record the total value of supplies on each invoice or receipt that has the same time of supply and rate of VAT charged.

A: For Supplies received you will be required to have digital records included for each supply received: The date of supply, The value of the supply, including any VAT that cannot be reclaimed, The amount of input VAT to be reclaimed. If there is more than one supply on the invoice, it is sufficient just to record the invoice totals.

Q: What is a Digital VAT Account, and what is required to update your information?

A: The Digital VAT account links the business records and the VAT return. The VAT account must be maintained digitally, and the following information should be recorded digitally: The output tax owed on sales, The output tax owed on acquisitions from other EU member states, The tax that must be paid on behalf of suppliers under the reverse charge procedures, Any VAT that must be paid following a correction or an adjustment for an error, Any other adjustments required under the VAT rules.

In addition, to show the link between the input tax recorded in the business’ records and that reclaimed on the VAT return, the following must be recorded digitally: The input tax which can be reclaimed from business purchases, The input tax allowable on acquisitions from other EU member states, Any VAT that can be reclaimed following a correction or an adjustment for an error, Any other necessary adjustments.

For more info on how BigChange can help your organisation integrate with Sage accounting software, email us at info@bigchange.com

BigChange Sage making tax digital guide

Jobs are completed correctly when a company’s workflow process are followed. Technology can ensure that technicians follow safety and workflow process (risk assessments, method statements) without exception.

By mandating that workflow processes are followed for every project, maintenance request or service operation, workers improve their success rate.

With clear-cut directives outlining step by step directions (depending on your system this may also include uploading of images at each step to prove the protocol has been followed) technicians can focus on solving the issue at hand without the worry about missing vital safety, legal or maintenance requirements.

Through the use of management software, such as BigChange’s JobWatch, the back office can improve compliance of safety, operations, and legal procedures by upwards of 81%. In the end, drivers and technicians following all company policies- from servicing machinery to interacting with a customer- ensures the job will be done correctly, the first time, every time!!

Is Service Management software right for your business?

Traditional methods of managing mobile workforces rely upon a dizzying array of papers and phone calls; missed appointments and a problematic first-time fix rate. New fully mobile systems, like BigChange’s JobWatch, can significantly improve customer retention and satisfaction by improving communication between workers in the field and the back office.

Improved visibility between service staff and the back office reduces the time needed for manual administration, while improving the timeframe for scheduling and dispatch of team members to work sites.

For customers, the ability to track services and transaction history can drastically improve satisfaction rate. Bringing together technicians and managers with customers in one place enables everyone to do their jobs better. Saving time, money and making sure the job is done right.

Service Management software aims to optimise system-wide communication while organising customer data for project technicians and office managers. In creating a central hub for all aspects of the service operation- from customer calls to step by step servicing workflows- your business can;

  • Improve worker productivity
  • Decrease fuel costs
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Decrease overstocking
  • Ensure industry best safety standards are followed
  • Improve first-time fix rate
  • Simplify workflows and invoicing

If you’re looking to improve productivity and savings across the board you may want to seriously consider comprehensive service management systems, such as BigChange’s JobWatch with 5-in-1 functionality to streamline how your business operates.

To read the entire series please click Here for Part I & Part II

At BigChange we stand strong in promoting safe driving and greater accountability for business & community leaders to improve road safety.

We feel the that setting a good example for our customers, employees and the community starts at the top.

That’s why we’ve partnered with, Brake the Road Safety Charity and Transaid – Road Safety in Africa, as part of our corporate and social responsibility campaign “Leaders for Life”.

Leaders for Life brings together a group of influential and inspirational CEOs and senior executives who together will create a ‘movement for good’ through raising awareness of the importance of road safety and highlighting this in the workplace by sharing their own driving habits transparently.

This month’s winner of most improved driver goes to Alan Letford, Head of Customer Care, Bobst UK and Ireland. We recently got the chance to sit down with Alan to talk about the impact the Leaders for Life program has made on his driving habits. We couldn’t be prouder of Alan’s commitment to safe driving and Bobst UK’s desire to partner with BigChange on improving road safety and driver behaviour.

BigChange: Briefly explain your background and industry experience.

Alan Letford: I have worked in the packaging industry for almost 43 years, beginning my career at Metal Box, Liverpool, in 1976. Whilst there, I completed a recognised apprenticeship in engineering. As Metal Box was a large packaging company, with sites all around the UK and Europe, I worked in both the tin and paper printing divisions and gained significant experience.

BigChange: How long have you worked with BigChange?

Alan Letford: I first met with Martin when he was leading his first telematics company, specialising in vehicle tracking. I’ve known him for approximately 10 years. With BigChange, we began a programme to move employees from paper to electronic worksheets. We are currently the only BOBST site to have an app to record worksheet information, driver behaviour, expenses and CRM all on one mobile device.

BigChange: How has BigChange impacted your business?

Alan Letford: As one of the first customers to work with Big Change in the early days, BOBST has helped to develop the app, and Big Change helped us to introduce real-time data capture. The ability to capture reporting of all hours, expenses, measurable improvements and safety records of machinery in real time has increased the efficiency of several processes within the company.

BigChange: Why are you committed to being a leader for life? Why do you value improving road/ driver safety?

BOBST logo

Alan Letford: As part of my responsibilities as the Head of Customer Care at Bobst UK & Ireland, I also oversee health and safety and I see myself as an important role model to others, especially fleet drivers. As such, I take this responsibility very seriously.

With more than 31 years’ experience working at BOBST, I have driven thousands of miles on the roads and have unfortunately witnessed road traffic incidents almost daily. I believe the importance of any road safety campaign cannot be underestimated.

If driver behaviour is measurable then we all have a collective responsibility to send the message that we are serious about this subject.

BigChange: Why should other business and industry leaders participate in Leaders for Life/ road safety campaigns?

Alan Letford: If any company or business is taking health and safety seriously, then safe driving awareness must be put at the heart of the business strategy. Initiatives like this help raise awareness plus money for two recognised road safety charities, Brake and Transaid. Other leaders should participate to create a ‘movement for good’ to increase awareness of the importance of road safety.

In honour of Alan’s achievement BigChange will be making a donation of £500 to Brake and £500 to Transaid on his behalf. For more information on how you can become a leader for life, please visit https://www.bigchange.com/leadersforlife/

Leaders for Life logo
About BOBST

One of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and services to packaging and label manufacturers in the folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials industries. Founded in 1890 by Joseph Bobst in Lausanne, Switzerland, BOBST has a presence in more than 50 countries, runs 14 production facilities in 8 countries and employs close to 5400 people around the world. To find out more, please visit www.bobst.com

Workforce management today requires a complicated balancing act.

Attempting to coordinate a dizzying array of workers and service contractors with job assignments as they develop in real time can often prove to be an exhausting process. Within the highly competitive service sectors that you operate in, every edge is needed to build customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In practice, by providing the best service experience and expanding organizational transparency, customers will be more likely to buy your product or service. The question then becomes:

What tools can help your business improve customer experience and save you money in the process?

In bringing together back-office CRM, work order management and job scheduling, together with fleet and workforce tracking, invoicing, parts and the compilation of long-term transaction histories, mobile workforce management software can significantly simplify how your business operates.

Through the centralization of worker logs and customer data, the back office is able to more effectively communicate with customers and contractors, ensuring service standards are followed.

How can Service Management Software save you money?

Business management platforms, such as BigChange’s JobWatch, can save your business money in 3 critical areas.

  • Contractor, Technician and Vehicle tracking
  • In the Back office
  • First-time fix rate & Improving Customer Satisfaction

Contractor/ Technician tracking

The lifeblood of any service business is its technicians. Through the effective management and tracking of technicians, a business is able to better assign tasks, provide essential inventory and inform the end customer of any unexpected delays or complications.

The best manner to support the essential tasks of; scheduling, routing and organising contractors as well as maintaining adequate inventory, fuel consumption records and mandatory maintenance requirements is a mobile workforce management platform.

According to Gartner, “by 2019 more than 70% of Field Service Organisations will equip field technicians with a mobile application that drives profitability.” With the implementation of dynamic workforce management software, such as BigChange’s JobWatch, drivers & technicians are able to accurately manage a range of service situations with ease.

Service management platforms can provide live Satellite Navigation (SatNav) which better directs drivers to the worksite, decreasing fuel costs and unneeded travel time. Whilst real-time alerts and courtesy text messages can keep customers informed in the case of a service delay.

Through effective communication and detailed travel logs, customers receive the best contractor for their needs while the technician is absolved of the often lengthy paper trail which was previously obligatory of most service calls and jobs.

Though the use of BigChange’s JobWatch Platform technicians are able to complete (on average) four extra jobs per month while reducing fuel costs by 10%.

We’re harnessing our network of experts, thought leaders and industry professionals to bring you invaluable insights into the trends and industry related issues that impact your bottom line!

To start this series off, were particularly excited to introduce Steve Herbert. Steve is a seasoned and influential Service industry expert with extensive General Management and Programme Management experience within the UK and around the globe. In the coming weeks and months, Steve will be helping to answer some of your most frequently asked questions and share some of his battle-tested experiences amongst the BigChange Network.

BigChange: Tell us a little bit about your background, how you got started in the industry and some of your most significant accomplishments?

Steve Herbert: I am a TV engineer by trade and I worked in that industry for 10-12 years. When I decided to shift into a position that was more economically viable long term I looked into management positions.

I got my start working in the TV and VCR rental industry (if you even remember such a thing?) and I was blessed to become very successful in it. At my peak in the retail industry, I was responsible for 3 branches as a service manager. Eventually, I became a regional project manager in the US.

At the time it was great, I was rising in the business however the retail rental business was losing relevancy so I looked for a different sector to utilise my skills.
Dixons logoI joined Dixons, as a regional support manager in their service business, then shifted into the distribution side of the business. After a lot of hard work, I rose in Dixons to become the director for the entire UK and Ireland operations and joined their board of directors. With Dixons, I relocated to Russia, in order to manage the soon-to-be-acquired El Dorado company for $1 billion.

In Russia, I managed 29 warehouses and often dealt with Russia’s notorious & very strategically different conditions. When Dixons pulled out of the acquisition, I moved on to join HomeServe, the fast-growing provider of Home emergency plumbing and maintenance services.
Overall, in each of these opportunities, I had positive and meaningful experiences with all involved and it really helped to shape how I do business today.

BigChange: How has your relationship with BigChange enabled you to give over your experience to young businesses and entrepreneurs?

I met (BigChange CEO & Founder) Martin Port, in his previous business, when Dixons was using their GPS tracking system, and we’ve been friends ever since. I’ve been honoured to watch as Martin succeeded with his telematics business and has grown to new levels of achievement with BigChange; building a fabulous product and business.

I’ve always taken the view, that if my job involved people on an operational level, then I could do it. I have a talent for problem-solving. If I see something that doesn’t work, then quickly I can find solutions. Operations is something I’ve always excelled at. I’m a practical and logical person. And I’m a worrier. I’ve made a career in problem-solving so my partnership with BigChange was really a logical progression.

Homeserve logo

After I left HomeServe, I wanted to go out on my own. I set up my own consultancy to leverage my industry experience and make an impact on developing businesses. After this, Martin started to lean on me to help and advise young emerging talent with upward potential. It’s mostly a word of mouth operation but it’s been really meaningful and exciting to share the lessons that I’ve learned in the trenches.

BigChange: How has your time spent working in Russia, Europe & the US shaped your vision to think more globally and be aware and receptive to customer needs?

Steve Herbert: We live in a very demanding world in every respect. The pace of life and expectations of people in affluent countries is very intense. Where expectations of life have been inflated, you must readjust and in-the-end respond to evolving trends. If you’re not always keeping up with these trends and customer demands, you can’t be successful. I’ve been privileged to see it first hand in a number of different places that those companies who are not looking outside, not looking to different markets and broader technological and human resources trends, get left in the dust.
BigChange globe logo

History is littered with companies who didn’t evolve: look at Blockbuster or the TV rental business!

If you don’t change with trends and embrace the reality on the ground, you will fail and I’ve seen it in every place I’ve worked. For example, Russia is a very challenging environment which cannot be changed. You have to work within the system because that’s how you will reach your goals. Similarly, look at the pace of life and priorities of Mediterranean countries and it really can change your world view. You have to fit cultural norms to maximise productivity.

BigChange: What advice can you give over to small to medium size business owners trying to scale up operations?

Steve Herbert: Make good use of your time. I’m not a relaxed person. I can’t sit still and do nothing. I have to have a project and I always have a plan and this is critical. Having direction and staying focused keeps your moving forward.

Additionally, I think that accepting people for who they are is huge. Changing people is futile. You can help them to realise their potential but you have to understand that your collective differences aren’t a reason for value judgement. Also, it is very important that you integrate technical advancements into how you operate but not at the cost of customer service and personal relationships. Use your time and resources pragmatically.

Steve Herbert will be one of our rotating experts and thought leaders providing his experiences and guidance in a monthly series we’re calling ‘Ask Steve’, where Steve leverages his understanding to help your business work more efficiently.

At BigChange we believe in the power of collaboration, which is why we have launched the BigChange Collaboration Network.

To commemorate the launch of the network, we’ve teamed up with Collaboration Expert and author Paul Skinner whose new book “Collaborative Advantage” questions how collaboration can beat competition as a strategy for success.

We asked Paul why he wrote his book and for his thoughts on the importance of collaboration for our clients. Plus we have 10 signed copies of his book to give away (see details at the end of the article).

Here is what he had to say:

BigChange: What if the most important thing you had to do to grow your business this year was not to compete but to collaborate?

Paul Skinner: We tend to think of competition and cooperation as equal and opposite. They are however certainly not equal. Cooperation is a bigger idea than competition because when we compete we are using our own resources, but when we cooperate we can access the relatively unlimited resources that lie outside the bounds of our particular business.

And they are not opposites either: competition can itself be seen as a particular form of cooperation in which we agree to play the same game. And of course, in business, we rarely want to play the same game as other firms. The greatest value is unlocked when we bring something to market so unique it makes the notion of competition irrelevant.

In today’s environment, one thing I propose we can’t afford to do is to step back in our capacity to cooperate.

We frequently face such uncertainty that we can only really cope when we forge common purpose with others addressing similar challenges to ourselves.

We can only optimise productivity by learning more quickly from the world outside the business as well as across teams, functions and territories inside the business. The percentage of the world’s knowledge that any of us can hold inside our own mind is diminishing by the second and we are each affected every day in ways we don’t know, by actions we can’t see and by technologies none of us can individually fully understand, so we need to get better at working with others.

And with the potential for a further global downturn on the horizon, while every CEO wants to achieve more, many CFOs would still like us to spend less, so we need to get better at making better use of shared resources, avoiding the duplication of efforts and unlocking the fullest value of every investment.

Observations such as these led me to the questions that inspired my book:

  • How can we grow our businesses more quickly, by better accessing the resource, energy, and influence of all our stakeholders?
  • How can we better address social challenges by more strongly harnessing our collective agency and in particular by better enabling the groups we wish to support to actively help themselves?
  • What kinds of methods and techniques can help leaders to better mobilise around shared purpose across and beyond the business?

The winning formula for business today has to be less the ‘survival of the fittest’ than the ‘survival of the friendliest’; less through the creation of Competitive Advantage and more through the creation of Collaborative Advantage.

In transport, new forms of cooperation could make the difference in the years ahead between increasing gridlock or a phase transition towards digitally enabled greener modes of more efficient travel.

In construction and maintenance, this could mean the difference between today’s flat-lining productivity and the application of breakthrough technology in the hands of a safer, smarter workforce.

In mobile workforce management, it could mean the difference between staff who are disconnected and disempowered and the acceleration that comes from remote teams empowered to learn and work as one.

Through my advisory firm the Agency of the Future and my social enterprise Pimp My Cause, I have been involved in creating Collaborative Advantage for everything from entrepreneurial ventures to some of the biggest businesses in the world as well as across a diverse range of social and environmental issues from how to better adapt to the needs and capabilities of ageing populations to how to tackle climate change. One thing these experiences have convinced me of more than ever is that the best answers lie in the spaces between us.

What could you achieve with more of the world’s available support on your side?

For your signed copy, please like our page on social media and share this link and you will be automatically entered.

If you’d like to build your own Collaborative Advantage, consider using our platform the BigChange Collaboration Network to seamlessly allocate and manage jobs through external partners, bringing scale within access to the touch of a screen.

In anticipation of the upcoming racing season, Big Change sat down with Leaders for Life ambassador Nic Hamilton.

Nic is the first disabled athlete to compete in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and a committed partner with BigChange in promoting road safety. Nic story isn’t just inspiring, its life changing.

BigChange: Tell us a little bit about your background; where are you from and what got you into racing?

Nic Hamilton: I’m a race car driver by profession and a BigChange ambassador. I’m the younger brother (by 8 years) of 5 time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton. We grew up very working class in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, to parents who worked on the railway. I was born two month premature with cerebral palsy.

Nic Hamilton and his brother Lewis Hamilton as children

When we were little, my parents got Lewis a go kart, and he started racing on the weekend. As Lewis got older- by 13 – our family became very race focused. So it was a very natural progression to join the sport. In 2007 Lewis became first black formula 1 driver and that really pushed my interest into a different gear. Wheelchair bound for 16 years, Having an operation at 4 years was certainly difficult but by 2011 I had broken into racing myself.

BigChange: What was your family’s reaction to your commitment and dedication to racing?

Nic Hamilton: My Father never treated me any different than a able bodied person. At 7 years old we started working back and forth on a go kart. I had a bunch of crashes, and went down a 6 foot drop which really gave my family a scare.

After that, I always had a love for racing games, and even became British champion in video game.

Nic Hamilton on Gocart

After 10 years (at the age of 17), I convinced my father that we had some difficulties many years before but that wasn’t going to get in my way. I would say my parents were cautious but supportive. It really helped when the motor sports association initially declined application. But after much perseverance and a ton of monitoring, I got my racing licence. Eventually I started in a motor sport feeder series and was followed by the BBC in a documentary viewed by 50 million people.

BigChange: How have you made your mark (on and off the track) outside of your brother’s success on the track?

Nic Hamilton: Being a Hamilton in motor sports, without a ton of money backing the process, it’s not easy. To many people it may be hard to step out of Lewis’s shadow but I try to ignore the connection and show how my personal story and dedication to the sport is amazing in its own right. Training and maintaining racing for able body form is very difficult. Realizing how many people are inspired by having a role model with physical limitations in motor sports has really helped motivate me the process. After 6 years of battling hard and forming strong partnerships, learning to do a ton of PR, I think I’m respected in the sport and can stand on my own accomplishments.

BigChange: How has racing enabled you to overcome adversity?

Nic Hamilton: There is always negativity, but you have to push through to achieve your goals. I’ve learned that the way to become well accepted and respected in the industry is through hard work. If you show the dedication to the sport, you’ll be seen as one of the guys and almost overlook what every limitations may be.

Nic Hamilton

BigChange: What were the core values that helped you in your drive for success on and off the track?

Nic Hamilton: Not taking no for an answer. Having a goal and allowing yourself to make mistakes to achieve it. Keep on pushing. The best way to be successful is by learning from mistakes. Never forget the Importance in believing in yourself and ignoring negative criticism.

BigChange: How long have your partnered with BigChange & why do you value your relationship with BigChange?

Nic Hamilton: I’ve partnered with BigChange for the past 2 years. I met BigChange, and its CEO Martin Port, though a motivation speaking engagement for their monthly motivational Monday event. At first it was just another talk, nothing out of the normal. But soon I realized that BigChange was genuine and family oriented. The event at the time was only 20 people. It was a very casual and relaxed atmosphere.

The whole event reminded me of what I really care about, that business is not just about money, its more about the relationships. After speaking with the BigChange team, and hearing Martin’s story I was very impressed by his generosity. Martin offered to sponsoring my racing as a partner and it really blew me away. Also as BigChange is growing as a brand, my career is progressing as well so it really is the perfect partner and (to be honest) like a second family.

Nic Hamilton Sponsored by BigChange

BigChange: Why do you support the Leaders for Life Campaign?

Nic Hamilton: With BigChange’s desire to help others and prevent the dangers associated with road safety it seemed like a natural connection to partner in this program. As a race car driver its only logical to promote safe driving behaviour is important. Personal accountability is critical to saving lives.

BigChange: How has your commitment to road safety grown through your partnership with the Leader for Life campaign?

Nic Hamilton: I’ve always been in the mindset that safe driving is essential. The race track is for speed. On the road you need to be aware of all the other dangers. There is no need rush. You need to be responsible. If you can save just one life then you’ve done your job. So being an ambassador for the program really reinforced by already strong commitment to road safety.

BigChange: What are you most looking forward to in the coming racing season?

Leaders for Life - Brake

Nic Hamilton: Well, this coming season will be my first full year in British touring cars. It’s a fantastic opportunity to have a full shot at motor sport and channel my skills in very prestigious venues worldwide. Competing against seasoned professionals, and being the most inexperienced is tough. ‘I have a great team, car and partners behind me so when I’m in my car I recognise that I’m representing everyone behind me. Without their support I wouldn’t be able to achieve my dream. And I know the harder we work the more well grow together.

BigChange: What lessons could you give to kids with physical or intellectual limitations about achieving your goals, overcoming difficulty and becoming a role model to others?

Nic Hamilton: The only people’s opinions who matter are your family and self. Everyone will say you can or can’t do certain things, but you’re the only one who can make that choice. And sometimes you need to learn from your mistakes, never be afraid to fail. Always continue to push through every barrier and realise what you can achieve. I wouldn’t have changed what I did to get me here, because my failures have helped me get to where I am today. Success doesn’t always come so fast but with patience it comes in the end.

BigChange couldn’t be more excited to partner with Nic Hamilton in his quest for motor sports success. As a inspirational person, dedicated driver and strongly committed member of the road safety community, Nic represents exactly what hard work, drive and never giving up can achieve. We look forward to sharing in Nic’s upcoming races and support him and the Leaders for Life community in promoting road safety and driver accountability.

To see Nic in action, and event register to win tickets to his upcoming races please like our posts on social media and go to https://www.bigchange.com/about-us/meet-bigchange-ambassador-nic-hamilton-win-tickets-to-the-british-touring-cars/

Nic Hamilton photo

At BigChange, we’re always looking to provide better and more comprehensive services for our customers.

We feel that by providing the best product for your business we can simplify operations, and remove the hassle of excess paperwork, to help you do your job more efficiently.

In our quest to meet the needs for advanced business advisory solutions, BigChange recently acquired Labyrinth Logistics Consulting Limited and their highly capable staff. With Labyrinth’s history of customer success, innovative solutions and pragmatic approaches to complicated problems, we are thrilled to integrate their best practices into how we help our customers reach their collective goals.

To help our customers and the service sector understand how this acquisition will enable BigChange to better support customers’ needs, we recently sat down with Jo Godsmark & Ruth Waring. Ruth and Jo are Directors of the BigChange Advisory Plus unit.

BigChange: Could you tell us a little bit about your background, industry experience and previous accomplishments?

Women in logistics logo

Ruth Waring: I have 30 years’ experience working in different roles within the transport industry specialising in UK road freight as well as the logistics and transport community. In 2008 I set up the voluntary organisation Women in Logistics UK which is a point of personal pride. I was honoured to be recognised from 2016 to 2018 as a member of the “Logistics 100” top influencers in the Logistics Industry, winning the overall “Top Influencer” award in September 2018.

Before BigChange’s acquisition, I had spent the previous 17 years at Labyrinth directing all aspects of transport cost management, transport compliance and Health & Safety for the organisation. Along with Jo [Godsmark] and our Labyrinth colleagues we developed SilkThread®, a compliance audit tool with evidence hosted in the cloud. SilkThread® is being rebranded as BigChange Audit and is available to BigChange customers to help them manage compliance.

Jo Godsmark: I started my career in manufacturing engineering, at Ford and Mars, culminating in the build of a greenfield sugar factory in the Czech Republic, before moving into supply chain design and logistics procurement at Mars. For ten years I was privileged to head up Labyrinth’s Supply Chain division. In this role I was responsible for, building up a strong base of clients across a wide range of sectors including the aviation, industrial, food, construction and charity logistics sectors. I was voted a member of member of the “SHD Logistics 100” top influencers in the Logistics Industry, in 2018.

Jo Godsmark talking

In my philanthropic work I am the chair of Transaid, the international development organisation working on transport solutions in Africa. BigChange is one of Transaid’s corporate members and I am delighted to be able to continue this role with BigChange’s support. I am also the Chair of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s Outsourcing and Procurement Forum, looking at best practice related to outsourced logistics, initiating research and promoting networking and discussion in this area. I am currently co-authoring a book on logistics outsourcing, using insights from this group.

BigChange: What will your role will entail at BigChange?

BigChange advisory plus logo

Ruth Waring: As Director of BigChange Advisory Plus my role will be to combine the three stands of expertise: Transport industry intelligence, BigChange Audit and JobWatch functionality to provide a one stop shop for the logistics industry. My role will involve business development as well as managing the team.

Jo Godsmark: My role at BigChange is Director of Advisory Plus, the new consultancy arm of BigChange. Together with Ruth Waring I will be building this new service within BigChange to support both existing BigChange customers and new customers. My particular focus will be on supporting customers with strategic reviews and business change. We will also be using JobWatch data to target efficiency improvements and support transport modelling.

BigChange: How does BigChange’s acquisition of Labyrinth’s tangibly help customers?

BigChange team photo

Ruth Waring: It is a fantastic synergy; we already had meetings with a number of our customers and it is clear that there is massive potential for cross-selling and benefits for all. In practice, I view BigChange’s acquisition as a real meeting of minds, bringing our expertise to a market segment that BigChange had, until recently, not actively pursued. In bringing Labyrinth’s experience with industry-leading, blue chips and our truly hands-on approach to providing practical solutions combined with our real-world understanding of the logistics industry, I think we can significantly expand the services BigChange provides, particularly in the area of compliance and risk management.

Jo Godsmark: BigChange’s acquisition of Labyrinth tangibly helps its customers by offering them broader business support to help them transform business performance. For JobWatch customers we can use data in the system to pinpoint improvement opportunities. However, unlike other BigChange support services, the Advisory Plus team can also tackle business strategy outside the scope of JobWatch. This might unlock the savings potential from JobWatch, but will also deliver savings unrelated to the product.

BigChange: Why are you excited to work at BigChange?

Ruth Waring: Working with Martin and the team is a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment but we are loving it. Additionally by offering this new service (Business Advisory Plus) BigChange are able to work more strategically with their client base and unlock barriers to achieving greater improvement. We are also able to take insight from our consultancy to relentlessly improve the product, which in itself is a really exciting prospect considering the high quality stature the BigChange platform already stands in.

Jo Godsmark: I’m excited to be joining the BigChange team and to be part of such a dynamic and industry disruptive team. I hope that I can play a role in transforming how BigChange’s operational data is used to inform and target business performance improvements through insights gained through our strategy work. Martin’s vision and drive to achieve that vision is inspiring and I’m delighted to be part of BigChange’s journey.

BigChange, the mobile workforce management technology company, today announced the it has appointed Sonal Sidpara as the company’s first Head of HR and People Culture.

Sidpara, who has relocated to Leeds from London, will take charge of HR activities at BigChange, which has expanded rapidly in recent years. The company created 40 new jobs during 2018 and recently acquired Labyrinth Logistics Consulting and Trace Systems to accelerate its scale-up plans. It will open its first international offices in France and Israel this year.

Sonal Sidpara comments:

“I am delighted to be joining such an exciting and successful businesses. BigChange is growing fast and moving rapidly into new territories, but it still recognises the importance of putting people first and looking after them properly. I’m really looking forward to working with everyone at BigChange and helping the company achieve its full potential.”

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“Sonal is a fantastic addition the BigChange team. As the business expands she will help put the structures in place that larger businesses require, while ensuring that BigChange remains a place where people are inspired to come to work every day and feel they can make a real difference.”

With recent dramatic technological advances and the rise of millennials in the mobile workforce (more on this topic in the coming weeks, stay tuned), new software solutions have become an essential element in helping businesses save money, contractor time and improve customer satisfaction.

Advanced CRM systems fill the ever-growing need to find cohesive and simple to use systems to organise numerous contractors, suppliers, invoices, their related costs, and the resulting paper trail.

Where traditional methods of managing a mobile workforce often involved a dizzying array of papers and phone calls; missed appointments and a less than ideal first-time fix rate, new fully mobile systems, like BigChange’s JobWatch, can make a significant impact on these critical factors driving customer retention and satisfaction.

CRM software is the process which brings all these parts together.

BigChange mobile device

Through the integration of CRM platforms, such as BigChange’s JobWatch, service providers gain a new level of system-wide transparency never previously possible.

A holistic approach to field service management must include features which give customers greater access to time-sensitive updates, transaction history and detailed inventory of service calls, while also enabling the back-office to quickly create invoices and detail service reviews for billing.

With a range of CRM options out there it may be difficult to determine which one best meets your organisational needs and goals. Some important questions to think about in choosing the right platform for your unique service requirements include the following.

  • Do you need a system which includes features such as, Job Scheduling and Mobile Apps which provide greater visibility to back-office personnel?
  • Would it be valuable to have tracking for drivers and field operatives connected in real-time to cloud-based operational management software?
  • Do you need a customer portal to provide additional service updates, inventory records, and complete transaction histories?
  • Is it valuable to have a built-in navigation function which alerts customers and back office in case of delay?
  • Would your business’s operational cost decrease through comprehensive driver behaviour analytics and individual feedback?

BigChange CRM blog image
If you have answered yes to these questions, it is very likely that a dynamic CRM system, such as BigChange’s JobWatch, could save you upwards up 8 hours of back-office time, per mobile worker per month, as well as a 10% reduction on fuel costs and a significant reduction in time to produce and process invoices.

If you are interested in learning more about how BigChange can assist your business to plan, manage, schedule and track your mobile workforce please go to www.bigchange.com.

Here at BigChange we are truly committed to improving road safety. We feel the that setting a good example for our customers, employees and the community starts with us.

That’s why we’ve partnered with two Charites, Brake the Road Safety Charity and Transaid – Road Safety in Africa, as part of our corporate and social responsibility campaign “Leaders for Life”, to make the biggest difference we can.

Leaders for Life brings together a group of influential and inspirational CEOs and senior executives who together will create a ‘movement for good’ through raising awareness of the importance of road safety and highlighting this in the workplace by sharing their own driving habits transparently.

This month’s winner of most improved driver goes to Stuart Lawlor of Corporate Road Solutions. We recently got the chance to catch up with Stuart to talk about the impact the Leaders for Life program has made on his driving habits. We couldn’t be prouder of Stuart’s commitment to safe driving and Corporate Road Solutions desire to partner with BigChange on improving road safety and driver behaviour.

BigChange: Could you briefly explain your background and industry experience.

Stuart Lawlor: I have over 40 years’ experience in the transportation and logistics industry. I began my career as a Driver for White Arrow, then moved onto Woolworths and then Argos where I was employed for twenty-seven years, fifteen of these as a Transport Manager.

BigChange: How long have you worked with BigChange & how has this partnership impacted your business?

Stuart Lawlor: Corporate Road Solutions began its partnership with BigChange in the past year and has had a big impact on the business, both from an efficiency and motivational point of view. We have been able to make savings in areas like fuel consumption. We have also had very positive feedback from our drivers and may implement our own Driver of the Month recognition.

BigChange: Why are you committed to being a leader for life? Why do you value improving road/ driver safety?

Stuart Lawlor: I am committed to being a Leader for Life as I believe its principals, values and what it stands for are key for improving and advancing the transport industry. Improving road and driver safety has to be at the forefront of everyone in the industry’s mind – it is that important.

BigChange: Why should other business and industry leaders participate in Leaders for Life/ road safety campaigns?

Stuart Lawlor: Other business and industry leaders should participate in Leaders for Life/ road safety campaigns because of the benefits it can bring to the industry, fewer accidents, fuel savings, more motivated staff and also less vehicle emissions.

In honour of Stuart’s achievement BigChange will be making a donation of £500 to Brake and £500 to Transaid on his behalf. For more information on how you can become a leader for life, please visit https://www.bigchange.com/leadersforlife/

BigChange leaders for life logo

Nicolas Hamilton, the BigChange backed British racing driver, will rejoin the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship in 2019, for his first full assault on the series at the wheel of a ROKiT-sponsored Motorbase Performance Ford Focus RS.

Leeds-based BigChange, which provides mobile workforce management technology, is one of the sponsors that is supporting Hamilton’s BTC bid. Hamilton is an ambassador for Leaders for Life, BigChange’s campaign to turn business leaders into role models for road safety and reduce the number of people killed on Britain’s roads by people driving for work.

Hamilton, the brother of five-time world champion Lewis, contested 12 rounds of the UK’s premier motor racing championship in 2015 at the wheel of an Audi S3. The 26-year-old, who competes with cerebral palsy, will race a specially modified Ford Focus RS in the full 30-race BTC programme this year.

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“Nic is a fantastic ambassador for our business and our road safety campaign, and we are delighted that our support is helping him to race in the BTCC this year. We are proud to support Nic and wish him all the best for the season ahead.”

Nicolas Hamilton comments:

“I am very proud that I finally get this chance to have a full crack at motorsport and to be doing it in the BTCC, driving for a competitive outfit such as Motorbase Performance, is unbelievable. As well as having ROKiT on-board, each specific relationship I have with my additional partners is very personal to me. I am delighted to be supporting the Leaders for Life campaign and I would urge all business leaders to sign up and play their part in reducing risk on Britain’s roads.”

David Bartrum, Team Principal at Motorbase Performance, comments:

“I’m looking forward to Nic joining us in the BTCC. He brings a different type of journey for us to go on with him. He also brings with him a steely determination, a willingness to learn and a craving to succeed.”

Hamilton will join former BTCC Independents Trophy winner Tom Chilton and Ollie Jackson in the three-car Motorbase Performance team. The new Kwik Fit BTCC season kicks off at Brands Hatch in Kent on April 6th.

Nic Hamilton photo

An update from Transaid’s CEO, Caroline Barber – I hope you had a wonderful festive break and are settling into the new year.

Looking back on 2018, the last quarter saw us develop some exciting new corporate partnerships, make great progress in our programmes and celebrate an important milestone — our 20th anniversary.

In the last half of 2018 we mobilised a team of Zambian trainers, who travelled to Sierra Leone to deliver essential motorcycle training. By November, 190 field officers working on a national education initiative had been trained. We also delivered training of trainers to ensure that sustainable capacity is left in Sierra Leone.

After data from the MAMaZ Against Malaria (MAM) pilot recorded an incredible 96% reduction in child mortality from malaria in the Serenje district, Zambia, we were awarded funding to scale up the programme. Work on the scale-up began on the 1st December, and we now aim to reach over 220,000 people in rural Zambia.

The MAM scale-up will be in part funded by the proceeds of our Christmas appeal, which beat its target to raise over £29,000. Meanwhile, other fundraising efforts in the UK have taken us to many industry events in the run up to Christmas. We were delighted to attend the FTA Logistics Awards, Seahorse Christmas Party, CILT Fellows’ Lunch and Global Freight Awards amongst others.

We are now looking forwards to a busy and productive 20th anniversary year, as always motivated and humbled by the invaluable support we receive from the industry.

BigChange bicycle ambulance

Latest Updates

    • Transaid was delighted to see the MAMaZ Against Malaria programme featured in the New York Times in December 2018. The story highlighted the pilot’s outstanding results reducing child mortality from malaria in rural Zambia. You can read the full story online here.
    • MAMaZ Against Malaria was also featured in the Guardian in October. You can read the story here.
    • In addition to hosting our 20th Anniversary Showcase in November, Transaid has also had a presence at several industry events. On the 9th November, CEO Caroline Barber went to the Transport News Scottish Rewards Breakfast, which raised an astonishing £7,065. The figure was a record for the event.
    • Events highlights for the quarter also include the Global Freight Awards, where over £2,380 was raised, and the FTA Logistics Awards, which raised over £4,500. Thank you to everyone who donated to any of the raffles run at industry events this quarter.

BigChange’s Impact

BigChange donated bicycle ambulanceThis quarter, BigChange once again became wonderful ‘Gold’ supporters of our Christmas Appeal, enabling us to reach and exceed our £25,000 fundraising target!

Transaid was also delighted to be invited by BigChange to partner on the ‘Leaders for Life’ initiative; inspiring CEOs and senior executives to raise awareness of the importance of road safety. So far, you have already made £1,650 worth of donations to Transaid through the scheme. Thank you!

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, we received news this quarter that two bicycle ambulances donated by BigChange have been distributed to the selected communities. They were received with great appreciation and songs of jubilation, as these two communities now have means of transporting children with severe malaria to the health facility.Transaid, our partners and the whole community are so grateful to Martin, BigChange and to Mike for making this possible. Children’s lives are certain to be saved as result.

2018 Christmas Appeal exceeds its £25,000 target

BigChange Transaid Christmas appealWe are extremely humbled and grateful for the incredible response to Transaid’s 2018 Christmas Appeal. This year the appeal surpassed its original £25,000 fundraising target to raise an impressive £29,245, an improvement on last year’s total of £26,442.

A huge thank you to everyone who supported the appeal and made this phenomenal total possible. Alongside the magazines that published our festive advert on a pro bono basis — Coach & Bus Week, Forwarder, Motor Transport, SHD Logistics, and Commercial Motor — we are also very thankful for the enthusiastic response from corporate supporters, which was instrumental to the appeal’s success.

This year Transaid was also given an exciting match funding opportunity which doubled every donation given by individual non-corporate supporters. To make the most of this, we set ourselves an additional individual fundraising target of £3,000. The total raised towards this secondary target currently sits at £3,795, and we are once again overwhelmed at the generosity of those who have donated to help us reach our goal.

The proceeds from the appeal will be put towards the MAMaZ Against Malaria programme, which has already seen a staggering 96% reduction in child mortality from malaria in the Serenje District, Zambia. The fantastic results of the appeal will help us reach even more rural communities who currently lack access to vital medical services.

Transaid’s 20th Anniversary Showcase: update

On the 21st November 2018, Transaid celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special showcase event in London. The event was attended by over 150 industry supporters, partners, ambassadors, and the entire Transaid team, as well as Patron HRH The Princess Royal.

The Anniversary Showcase highlighted Transaid’s journey through the past two decades as well as showcasing a variety of our achievements over the years. We also unveiled our 20th anniversary film, which sheds light on the direct impact that Transaid’s programmes have had on people’s lives in Africa. The video has since been made available on our YouTube channel, here.

Addressing the assembled guests, The Princess Royal said: “Thank you for being part of the first 20 years of Transaid. I hope you can all see what has been achieved and what is yet to come. Your industry expertise and knowledge has driven this success, which is making a real difference in places where people are looking for change.”

Commenting on Transaid’s driver training initiatives, she added: “Evidence suggests that increasing driver training across sub-Saharan Africa has improved lives across the board – Transaid’s programmes have been proven to work and I hope the industry recognises the value they add.”

Transaid CEO Caroline Barber took the opportunity to announce the scale up of the MAMaZ Against Malaria programme in Zambia, which saw outstanding results in its pilot earlier that year. She also welcomed Lytx, who had recently pledged their support to Transaid, as a corporate member.

BigChange Transaid 20th anniversary showcase

Speaking about Transaid’s successes over the past 20 years, Barber said: “It’s been an incredible journey for us and we have made real progress in transforming people’s lives in Africa. We’re stronger than ever and we have a clear vision to guide us, with 32 faithful corporate partners by our side. Together we can make the world a better and safer place.”

Ismaila Balogun, a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, shared his personal experience working alongside Transaid to implement the Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) in Adamawa State, Nigeria. He highlighted the positive change brought to the area by the scheme, which he had seen first-hand.

He told guests: “I have worked with Transaid since the beginning of the ETS scheme, sharing local transport solutions which improve access to basic services and economic opportunity for rural communities. These experiences have been profound and rewarding for me, and also for the lives of vulnerable women in subSaharan Africa who have been touched by the exceedingly great work and commitment that has been put in by Transaid.”

The event was held at Mail Rail — The Postal Museum, home to the one hundred year old Post Office underground railway. The venue was once the hub of logistics activity for Royal Mail in London.

Samworth Brothers Supply Chain donates training vehicle to Professional Driver Training programme, Uganda

In October 2018, Samworth Brothers Supply Chain donated a training vehicle to Transaid, which will help meet the growing demand for qualified HGV drivers in Uganda.

This is the first show of support from the temperature -controlled distribution service, which operates within the Samworth Brothers Group.

The MAN TGX truck was shipped over 6,000 miles to become a dedicated training vehicle for the Professional Driver Training — Uganda (PTD-U) project.

Globally, road traffic accidents are the biggest killer of children and young adults aged 5-29, with road deaths being three times higher in low income countries (source: WHO). PTD-U aims to build the capacity of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and passenger service vehicle (PSV) driver training in Uganda, improving road safety in the process.

The project was secured in partnership with the German development cooperation’s GIZ E4D/SOGA – Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa, local nongovernmental organisation – Safe Way Right Way, the Ugandan Government and the local private sector.

The PTD-U training school has since opened its doors to train the first group of drivers. There has already been huge demand for the service, with over 4,000 people expressing their interest in response to a recent media campaign. The first 52 trainees have already completed the project’s license acquisition training course.

Neil Rettie, Transaid Road Safety Project Manager, said the vehicle donation will support the PTD-U school’s continued success. “We anticipate a massive demand for high quality professional driver training in Uganda and we are so thrilled to welcome each new driver that expresses an interest in training with the PDT-U school.

BigChange trainees at the PDT-U school“The benefits for the transport industry in Uganda from the PDT-U school truly shows how much of an impact Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Samworth Brothers Supply Chain donates training vehicle to Professional Driver Training programme, Uganda projects are having in sub-Saharan Africa and how important this cause is to communities. The Uganda initiative was officially launched in 2017, and already the support it has received in the form of vehicle donations has been excellent.”

Commenting on the vehicle donation, Ian Cooper, Samworth Brothers Supply Chain Regional Fleet Manager, said: “Having the MAN available will prove so beneficial to the PDT-U project in helping drivers to learn new skills to ensure a safer working environment. Being able to contribute to its success is such a rewarding experience for us and we would not hesitate to assist Transaid again in the future.”

The donation follows in the tracks of a similarly specified Volvo FH tractor unit which was previously donated by corporate member Volvo Trucks. Together they will be used to haul a platform trailer — donated by W H Malcolm — loaded with an empty container for driver training. Thanks to the two second-hand vehicles and the trailer, Transaid can effectively double the number of drivers trained in a given period.

Transaid banner

BigChange, the mobile workforce technology company, today announced that it has appointed Frederic Dupeyron, a highly experienced transportation and technology industry leader, to spearhead its expansion in mainland Europe from 1 February 2019.

Having served as a non-executive director at BigChange since it was founded, Dupeyron will join the company on a full-time basis at the beginning of February as Executive Vice President for Europe. He is tasked with establishing BigChange subsidiaries in mainland Europe and driving its expansion across the region.

Frederic Dupeyron, who will report directly to BigChange’s CEO, Martin Port, has held several senior leadership positions for European transportation and technology organisations over the last 20 years. He was CEO at Masternaut prior to its acquisition by Francisco Partners in 2012 and previously served as CEO of Hub One and ADP Management, subsidiaries of French airport operator Groupe ADP.

Frederic Dupeyron began his career working in finance, serving in the Transport Finance Team at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and then as Director of Corporate Finance at Aéroports de Paris.

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“2019 is going to be a huge year for BigChange as we ramp up our activities around the world. I’ve worked with Frederic for many years and am delighted that he is joining BigChange on a full-time basis to lead our charge into mainland Europe.”

BigChange Frederic Dupeyron
Frederic Dupeyron, comments:

“I’ve seen BigChange go from strength-to-strength since it was launched and I am excited the opportunity now exists for me to focus my efforts on boosting its business in mainland Europe. BigChange’s multilingual technology is already transforming mobile workforce operations on the continent, and there are huge growth opportunities for the company there.”

BigChange, the mobile workforce management software company, today announced that it has gained valuable new software and consulting capabilities, as well as over 100 new customers, with the acquisition of two UK-based businesses.

BigChange has acquired Labyrinth Logistics Consulting, an award-winning supply chain and logistics consultancy based in Royal Leamington Spa. Labyrinth provides logistics strategy, compliance and procurement consultancy, alongside a self-audit software application called SilkThread®, to major transport, logistics, FMCG, and retail organisations in the UK.

Its directors, Ruth Waring and Jo Godsmark, will join BigChange’s leadership team and spearhead a new consulting arm called BigChange Advisory Plus

BigChange has also acquired Trace Systems, an established provider of fleet, garage and workshop management software. Trace works with fleet operators across the UK, including plant hire and haulage companies, local authorities and the emergency services.

The acquisition of Trace, which is based in Coventry, provides BigChange with a world-class asset and stock management capabilities that will be integrated into BigChange’s JobWatch platform. Trace’s founder, Bill Davies, will work as an advisor to BigChange.

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“We are delighted to complete the acquisitions of Labyrinth and Trace. These businesses are the first that BigChange has acquired since it was launched in 2013 and provide us with more fantastic people, world-class technology, amazing new customers and multi-million revenue boost. They represent a significant milestone for our business and a major boost to our scale up plans.”

Ruth Waring, Managing Director of Labyrinth Logistics Consulting, comments:

“We are very excited to be part of BigChange. It is a strong, growing business that complements our offering very well indeed. As part of BigChange, we can develop a more comprehensive consultancy offering and take it to many more organisations around the world.”

Bill Davies, Founder of Trace Systems, comments:

“Having built a business over 30 years we see the sale of Trace Systems to BigChange as the next chapter in our development. It will allow us to transform our fleet, garage and workshop software to take full advantage of the latest cloud and mobile technology pioneered by BigChange. This will provide fantastic opportunities for our existing and future customers.”

KPMG and Blacks Solicitors advised BigChange

For both acquisitions, BigChange was advised by Graham Pearce, Head of Technology at KPMG, Nigel Hoyle & Richard Parr Partners at Blacks Solicitors in Leeds.

Graham Pearce, Head of Technology at KPMG, comments:

“I’m thrilled to have helped BigChange cement its position as a leading vendor, adding these exciting capabilities to its portfolio. With these two acquisitions, BigChange will continue to be at the forefront of technology in the UK and the rest of the world.”

BigChange Trace team

 BigChange, the mobile workforce technology company, today announced its full year financial results for 2018. The company attracted more than 250 new customers in 2018 and signed new business contracts worth £16m.

Full year sales at the company reached £11m in 2018, an increase of 65% year-on-year, while profits before tax grew to £1.4m, almost three times the level achieved in 2017.

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“2018 was a stellar year for growth at BigChange. We’ve made significant investments in sales, marketing, product development and customer support, and these have been rewarded through substantial increases to both sales and profitability.”

Port adds:

“Our customers want to be greener, more efficient and offer Amazonian levels of service. We are helping more than 800 organisations and over 20,000 mobile workers and back office users of our system deliver on all three of these objectives across the retail, construction, transport, field service and waste management sectors.”

Port continues:

“We will be scaling up our activities significantly in 2019, with strategic acquisitions and international expansion planned for France, Germany and the US. We are targeting over £25m in new contract wins and full year sales in excess of £17m in 2019.”

BigChange provides an award-winning, cloud-based system called JobWatch that provides everything organisations need to monitor and manage their mobile workforces. The five-in-one system combines CRM, smart job scheduling, vehicle tracking and a marketplace booking app to eliminate paper record keeping and automate many of the manual processes undertaken by mobile workers. New subscribers in 2018 include AFI UpliftArcoBraemar Shipping ServicesBID GroupRecycling LivesJackson Fire & Security, Nationwide Window Cleaning, PHMGSnorkel UK and Tripod Crest.

BigChange creates 40 new jobs to sustain growth

Growing demand for JobWatch in 2018 has coincided with the creation of more than 40 new jobs at BigChange and enabled the company to donate more than £200k to charities, including Transaid and Brake.

In September, BigChange launched Leaders for Life, a campaign to turn business leaders into role models for road safety and reduce the number of people killed and injured on Britain’s roads by people driving for work. Ambassadors for the campaign include the British racing driver Nic Hamilton, who is also sponsored by BigChange.

Sales growth employee

BigChange

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