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Michael Taylor – CEO – Contego Environmental Services: What BigChange Means to me

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate BigChange for receiving its Queens Award for Enterprise. It’s a phenomenal achievement and well deserved. BigChange makes a massive contribution to our business.

Contego started life in 2004 as a one-man-band specialising in bird control and has grown to become one of the largest national pest control businesses in the UK. BigChange has ensured our operations could keep up with that level of growth.

We’ve used BigChange for several years now, and it has transformed our business. It gives us complete visibility of our operations and allows us to manage our national workforce centrally from our base in County Durham.

I’ve always been an early adopter of digital technology and explored three or four other options before settling on BigChange. JobWatch pulls everything together. It allows us to run our business processes on a single piece of software.

The beauty of Jobwatch is that it’s customizable. We’ve created a series of dynamic processes to cover every stage of the employee journey, from induction to job worksheets and inspection documents. BigChange provides lots of support when we need it, and ensures the software does what we need it to.

BigChange has also enabled us to offer greater visibility to our customers. Using data from our worksheets, we can automatically make our customers aware of the threats and risks at their different sites.

BigChange is also central to our safety and compliance activities. Each of our people uses BigChange to complete their daily vehicle checks, which alerts our fleet manager to any problems and allows remedial work to be booked immediately.

Our risk assessments and workflows are also available on BigChange, guiding our technicians in the field and helping them complete work safely. We can see when things are done, and we’ve got access to a full audit trail.

I couldn’t recommend BigChange more highly. The technology is excellent and easy-to-use, and it has ensured that we’ve remained in control as our business has grown. It would have been much more challenging to grow at the speed we have been without BigChange.

AGS, provider of facilities management services to Transport for London (TfL), has completed the implementation of a mobile workforce system from BigChange.

The system, which sees field technicians equipped with tablets connected in real time to a control centre, has been rolled out initially across the company’s fast-expanding Pest Control division.

AGS provide a range of services for the upkeep of public transport facilities across London, including the Underground, rail lines, tunnels, rail and bus stations. As a contractor to TfL, AGS provide everything from cleaning, maintenance, painting and specialist coatings. The Group’s pest control division was formed two years ago as part of a strategic move to expand the AGS business nationally.

David McMillan, General Manager, AGS Pest Control says:

“The UK pest control market has undergone some major changes in recent years and we have identified a need for small, specialist and highly mobile teams to deliver fast-response services,”

“BigChange provides a highly agile and accessible platform that will underpin this expansion and allow us to easily collaborate with like-minded companies nationally.”

AGS Pest Control are using JobWatch, the 5 in 1 mobile app from BigChange linked in real time to BigChange back office CRM and work scheduling. JobWatch replaces a series of separate systems to provide a fully integrated IT solution for paperless working throughout the company.

McMillan says:

“We have previously equipped our technicians with tablets but they were simply used to take pictures and send emails. It was not a connected system so it required a lot of laborious data entry and frankly wasted time for both our field technicians and office administrators,”

“We wanted a system that would do everything and BigChange offered the best solution.”

With their TfL contract AGS face challenging working conditions. often underground or trackside and are bound by stringent safety and security procedures. The array of paperwork has been eliminated with the introduction of JobWatch that provides on-screen workflows and fully digital working.

In London, AGS technicians are not patch based but get allocated jobs across London. The system helps to ensure the right technicians are assigned to the right jobs based on their skills and certifications. With parking difficult in London travel by van is minimised and BigChange scheduling software assigns the best daily working schedule for each technician based on jobs location.
The TfL work is fault based and service requests are via the TfL system that will soon be integrated with the BigChange system to provide a seamless digital workflow from start to completion. With a pool of over 60 mobile operatives the pest control specialists are sometimes supported by crews to undertake supporting work such as clearing vegetation and removing litter.

McMillan says:

“BigChange provides us with an overview of everything that is happening in real time. With colour coded status reports I can instantly see how we are doing and deal quickly with any outstanding issues. It’s a brilliant management tool,”

“The other thing we really like is that it is a fully integrated system that does everything we need; it joins up all the dots.”

AGS operate 24/7 with night and day shifts. Work is usually scheduled the day before deployment with technicians receiving jobs on their tablets. The devices are then used for all tasks onsite such as risk assessments, certifications, job sheets and customer sign off on glass. On completion the job details a sent directly to the client with the AGS Control Centre dealing with any issues and additional service needs, with quoting and invoicing as required.

AGS has ambitious plans for expansion nationally and BigChange provides a platform that will underpin this growth.

McMillan comments:

“Being a cloud solution we can expand without any IT infrastructure restraints and we really like the flexibility of the system. In our business there are numerous types of reports and different clients have different requirements; it can get very complicated. With JobWatch we can simply configure report templates to meet any requirement. This is important as we plan expansion nationwide,”

AGS also see a future in collaboration.

McMillan explains:

“With the pest control market opening up in recent years we believe there is void to be filled by specialists around the country. With JobWatch we can easily share work by giving contractors access to the JobWatch app or by collaborating with other companies who are part of the fast-growing BigChange network,”

“Smaller operators can compete not only by sharing resources and intelligence but by using JobWatch there is a professional system in place that provides all the functionality and credentials needed to deliver big company services but with more reactive and better value services.”

BigChange AGS teamwork

Contego, the nationwide pest control company, has turned to the latest smart mobile technology to underpin ambitious business expansion within the UK.

The 5 in 1 system from BigChange has transformed Contego’s business, replacing existing systems and eliminating paperwork. Called JobWatch, the mobile workforce management solution has replaced over 100 paper forms with a series of simple apps running on mobile devices used by the company’s field technicians.

Contego is one of the UK’s largest independent pest control companies and a respected leader within the industry; recently shortlisted for British Pest Management Awards Company of the Year. The Durham-headquartered firm operates a four hour fast-response service 365 days a year and the BigChange system is seen as an essential element to support planned expansion in 2019 and beyond.

Michael Taylor, CEO of Contego says:

“Our aim is to become the biggest independent pest control operator in the UK and to do that we knew we needed to invest in the very latest and best technology available,”

“Since making the move to BigChange we’ve already increased the business by over £1million as we scale up within new regions, next year we have ambitious plans for a 50 per cent expansion in the business and we aim to become the largest independent pest control operator in the UK.”

Established in 2004, Contego has always been an industry innovator and had implemented earlier generation mobile systems and vehicle tracking. The company’s specialist Falconry Response services utilises specially trained falcons and hawks deployed to control bird pests.

Taylor adds:

“A rogue pigeon loose in a food factory or warehouse can mean the entire operation shuts down. Dealing with the problem quickly and effectively is pretty vital.”

Taylor comments:

“We are always looking for new ways to challenge traditional methods of pest control and we see new technology as fundamental to changing the industry; I like to think we are regarded as the industry innovators. As an independent operator we can adapt quicker than big corporates, deploying new technology and techniques to react to changes in the market.”

Taylor continues:

“BigChange is all about having real-time and visible information and it has certainly given us a competitive edge,”

“The visibility extends to our customers and it has allowed us to boost our service levels with real time data including photographs for treatment recommendations and proof of job done, backed by geo-referenced signatures. It has also virtually eliminated invoicing queries; one of those management benefits that has made my job a lot easier.”

The system handles everything from the initial service request through to completion. This includes job scheduling, live tracking, completion of risk assessment and other compliance related forms including vehicle safety checks, treatment forms, signature capture, invoicing and full management reports.

Taylor adds:

“The key is better visibility – for us and the customer. We can better assess service delivery and advise our customers of the best treatments and ensure money is not wasted doing unnecessary work. The system can generate very useful management reports; something clients love. The system also allows us to keep ahead of compliance which is very important in our business.”

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