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It’s inevitable. As field service businesses grow, keeping track of every element of a job can become just that little bit trickier.

Plus, the more jobs there are to manage, the more communication tends to break down, updates are slower, human error is more prone. All this eats into profit margins.

And this is where job management software comes in.

In this blog, we’ll look at the top reasons field service businesses take the plunge. But first, let’s start with a quick definition of what exactly job management software is.

Quick definition: What is job management software?

Job management software is a tool that allows field service businesses to easily and efficiently track jobs and specific tasks.

How?

Backed by the right cloud-based tech, the tool gives all employees quick and easy access to complex project schedules, real-time tracking, reporting and even invoicing. So, whether your staff are in the field or in the office, everyone is kept up-to-date – instantly.

The efficiency and productivity benefits are endless… For example, it provides real-time updates of customer information, speedy and accurate automated invoicing, better forecasting, and so much more.

In fact, there are so many benefits that we’ve written an entire blog on it 👇

📕 Read more: How does job management software actually save your field service business money?

Now, if you’re not sure if you’re ready for job management software, making the leap can seem unnecessary. After all, you’ve successfully run a business without it.

So let’s look at telltale signs that now really is the time to change.

Top 5 signs your field service business is ready for job management software

For decades, field service businesses have successfully operated using a manual approach to job management.

But going paperless ultimately saves businesses money (more on this here).

Let’s look at the most common areas manual-based processes start to create strain on field service businesses and ultimately hold them back. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Costly delays
  2. Job tracking issues
  3. Compliance, communication and team collaboration
  4. Sales and customer experiences are suffering
  5. Too many software solutions draining time

#1: Costly delays

Field service businesses relying on manual processes can hit unnecessary costs and delays.

Why?

Because they don’t have quick access to a centralised platform to input customer information and it can then be tricky to organise the right stock, mobile workforce resources and vehicles.

The result? Businesses often aren’t able to achieve first-time fixes (because of not having the right part/credentials) and they can’t respond quickly to new client requests, call-outs and scheduled servicing.

Ultimately, this impacts revenue streams and also the standards of customer service.

📲How job management software helps:

Essentially, it provides instant access to information so that employees can see key information such as engineer and site locations, client job records, relevant suppliers and prices, and team availability. User access, of course, can be limited.

This instant information transfer whilst on the road means fast response times for urgent jobs and a greater likelihood of smashing SLAs.

And fundamentally, with the right software, Managers can be better prepared in the first place. Using the software as a task management tool, they can quickly sort exactly what they need to save time and money on things like return visits by organising the right people and the right equipment for each job.

#2: Job tracking issues

Manually tracking scheduled service agreements and ensuring engineers are allocated within SLAs uses significant admin resources… And it leaves businesses open to missed appointments.

Plus, manual processes mean businesses often have to dig information out from multiple sources to create one view of job progress. This is rarely up-to-date.

📲 How job management software helps:

To sum up, it automates this entire process.

The result? Teams receive automated notifications and warnings when service agreement visits are approaching SLA deadlines. Or, when job sheets are complete, allowing for swift invoicing. And this level of reactive ability can help win new business and negotiate better terms on renewals.

What’s more, real-time oversight enables more accurate future planning.

Plus, it enables quick access to key job and financial information for high-level reporting for Managing Directors and shareholders.

#3: Compliance, communication and team collaboration

Manual communication such as job reporting and engineer handovers can be easily affected by logistical issues such as working hours, or even internal conflict.

This means that there’s a delay in key information being passed through to the back-office teams. And this impacts a wide range of things: everything from stock orders, to invoicing, to financial reporting.

To add to this, this issue is compounded when field service businesses work with other external contractors to complete jobs — especially when they need to adhere to regulatory standards.

📲 How job management software helps:

Job management software creates a central project view. It provides one single point for all information by allowing multiple users to upload, view and documents — like job records and invoices — in real-time, available 24 hours a day.

Plus, with some project management software contractors can get managed access to this centralised platform. This means they have all the information they need but the field service business can limit the user’s access. So better external team collaboration too 👍

You can also automate job sheets and mandatory fields to ensure engineers complete jobs within the guidelines of certain accreditations and legislations. This can be a deal-breaker for new business opportunities and really help you stand out against the competition.

#4: Sales and customer experiences are suffering

Often, field service businesses that use manual processes see a lag in response times and customer service.

That’s because of the issues flagged above like difficulty tracking jobs. 

Without things like invoicing, job scheduling and inventory management being managed in one central place, businesses can expect errors and delays — which can impact customer satisfaction and retention.

📲 How job management software helps:

Ultimately, job management software is a powerful tool for streamlining processes both internally and for the customer, and for improving forecasting and planning.

Here are just a handful of ways it does this:

  • Easily access quotations once submitted – no discrepancies in quotes between sales and accounts.
  • Sales teams can quickly quote profitable prices – with easy access to stock costings to identify margins.
  • Sales teams forecast better – with real-time updates, they can see how they are performing against targets and forecast future sales.
  • Minimise stock delays and disruption to customers – by ensuring smooth relationships with suppliers through prompt payment and knowing exactly what you need for forthcoming jobs.
  • Access the latest information – with both real-time customer updates and stock information in one place, you can easily keep customers updated, particularly handy when they call in. Better still, with some field service management software, additional features like client portals allow customers to view job updates, track engineers and self-serve to book appointments.
  • Track customer feedback and communications – with some CRM systems you can even automate personalised feedback forms.

#5: Too many software solutions draining time

Multiple software solutions for accounts, stock management, sales orders and more wreaks havoc in any business and make it difficult to manage finances — everything from forecasting, to budgets, through to payroll.

And they can cause teams to work in silos, rather than collaboratively because employees just can’t see what other departments are doing and the impact on the business.

📲 How job management software helps:

Put simply, it allows field service businesses to gain easy, quick access to a variety of financial and working documents, like job sheets, through a single online portal. With some job software solutions, this can even be remotely accessible via mobile applications or tablets so it’s easy to update on the go.

The result? Real-time notifications for quick and better decision-making. And saving hundreds of admin hours manually inputting or even duplicating data input.

Choosing the right job management software

Just a quick one to bear in mind before launching in: Not all field service management software is the right software for your business.

If you want a solution that can support growth, here are the key features to look out for:

An all-in-one solution – that covers multiple business needs like job tracking, scheduling and invoicing.

Easy integration with your other tech – to enable swift invoice issuing and allow prompt payment.

Accessible 24/7 – and from anywhere, and any device so engineers can use it out in the field and outside of office hours (keep an eye out for cloud-based tech).

📕 Take a look at this handy checklist to learn more: 5 tips for choosing job management software.

Ready to add BigChange to your shortlist? Get in touch for a personalised demo and one of our field service specialists will talk you through how it can help your business grow.

In this blog we’ll talk through how other field service businesses avoid common operational issues.

When it comes to running a slick field service management operation, there are three key areas in which businesses trip up: process, communication, and not focusing on the customer.

These all have a direct impact on profits and so getting these things right should be on everyone’s 2023 wishlist.

Let’s dive straight into the 6 most common pitfalls… And, more importantly, how to dodge them going forward.

Field service management mistake #1: Low first-time fix rates

Measuring first-time fixes is likely one of your top KPIs because it’s used to measure quality and productivity.

Jobs that aren’t complete when an engineer first attends, or when they go back to rectify an issue, are a leading cause for haemorrhaging money for most field service businesses.

Why? Because low first-time fixes direct engineers away from new business opportunities, cost money, lower productivity, and overall they don’t create a great impression for the customer.

Here’s how to fix this 👇

💡Top tip: Field service businesses that nimbly avoid this issue focus on customer intel – they know the precise job details and make sure they have everything they need for the job. Using a CRM software will ensure that your office staff have access to all of the job information for a customer… Make it cloud-based and your field service workforce can access it too. Better yet, if you use a fully integrated field service management software, teams can update each other at all times, wherever they are.

📕Want to learn more?  Read: Top 5 tips to improve cost efficiency in field service management

Field service management mistake #2: Lacking robust planning

To achieve first-instance and first-time fixes, you need to be prepared. And this covers everything from inventory and stock control through to scheduling engineers to be at jobs as quickly as possible.

Put simply, not having the right tools or parts means the job won’t get fixed the first time around. Seems obvious, but this is largely overlooked by the majority of field service businesses.

The cause? Often, it’s because of a lack of customer intel or reduced technical understanding of other team members planning in jobs.

Again, the inconvenience of an unfinished job could have serious complications for the customer (e.g. going without utilities)… And at best, would require the customer needing to become available again due to a missing part, which can damage your reputation.

💡Top tip: Savvy field service businesses now prepare jobs on an individual basis. They look at the exact stock needed, any specialist knowledge required, and even the location in relation to other jobs on the schedule to optimise field workers’ time and routes. This can all be managed through a job planning tool so that everyone is on the same page.

📕Want to learn more?  Read: How does job management software actually save your field service business money?

Field service management mistake #3: Difficulty monitoring operational performance

Data is now deemed the most valuable asset in the world, according to The Economist. In fact, 76%1 of businesses say it’s an integral part of forming their business strategy.

To sum up, accurate data and analytics on everything from customer information through to field visit reports and job sheets allow you to not only get the information you need, when you need it… It also allows you to track everything down to fuel used, miles travelled, overtime used, and more.

💡Top tip: With the right business intelligence tools, you can track every element of a job in a single platform. The end result? You can streamline operations, improve job profitability, AND increase customer satisfaction. 

📕Want to learn more?  Read: 5 job management challenges and how to overcome them.

Field service management mistake #4: Using old-school methods

The biggest cause of the first three top mistakes? Sticking to the way things have always been done.

Field service businesses that continue to lean on paper tickets, Excel spreadsheets, whiteboards and the likes, find it almost  impossible to avoid wasting effort and days of time fixing things, making it hard to compete in an increasingly digital world.

Plus, these manual methods leave businesses open to human error, slow invoicing and cash flow, and customer dissatisfaction.

Here’s just one example: A&S Newbuild Aftercare saw a boost in turnover of £5m in just two years after switching to digital operations. Find out how, right here.  

💡Top tip: Once a field service business says goodbye to old methods, every area of the business is easier to manage — from reducing manual processes through to real-time reporting. With a proper job management tool, being slow is no longer an issue that impacts competitive advantage. 

📕Want to learn more? Read: Moving from manual to automated job management

Field service management mistake #5: Poor communication

There’s no doubt that poor communication across a field service business leads to bad coordination.

Keeping field service teams on the same track as back-office teams can be tricky, particularly if you’re using the old-school methods mentioned above that just don’t allow the two to easily update each other.

This has impacts on all areas of operations from job scheduling, planning in first-fixes or attending emergencies, all the way through to accounts as work cannot be invoiced until a report is filed saying the job is complete.

💡Top tip: This all changes with real-time updates on jobs, like live tracking of your field based teams. Automated texts and emails free your office staff from repeat process drudgery whilst actually improving your customer comms. Meanwhile, field workers can use a mobile device to access the job data they need and can then quickly file reports and get customer signatures on the job.

📕Want to learn more? Read: Going paperless: What does it really mean for field service management

Field service management mistake #6: Putting the customer experience last

So we’ve already touched on customer experience briefly in the sections above. It’s easy to see why a customer focus is beneficial.

Yet, in so many industries — not just field services — this one can often get dropped towards the bottom of the priority list.

With the pressures on other KPIs like first-time fixes and other cost efficiency strategies, the impact of strong customer service on profits falls behind.

But, ultimately, boosting customer experiences bolsters profits and business growth.

Here’s just one example: Comlink Fire and Security increased their turnover by 298% by digitising internal business processes to improve customer service. Read more here.

💡Top tip: With a CRM built specifically for field service businesses, you can improve all areas of the customer experience from booking in the initial appointment through to providing self-service tools for them to book in, pay invoices and provide feedback. All this is automated with the right tool, so it’s quick and frees you up to focus on other work.

📕Want to learn more? Read: How to use CRM to improve the customer experience

Key takeaway

As you’ve probably guessed, tech and going digital with field service operations is how businesses are supporting growth in 2023 and beyond. 

But before you go comparing software providers, we’ve one final takeaway for you.

⚠ Look out for an all-in-one job management software solution. And one built specifically for field service businesses. Reason being, if you choose different software solutions for each of these challenges, you’re leaving yourself open to gaps in service and profitability.

Why? Because the systems just don’t talk to each other or provide one single view of business operations. And teams continue to work in silo — which defeats the object.

If you’re ready to grow your business and profit margins, you’re probably ready for automated job scheduling. Why not jump straight in and book a one-on-one demo with our field service business specialists? We’ll show you exactly how our software can help you avoid these common mistakes to win you more work, reduce operations costs and satisfy customers.

Sources:

1 Reea Global

Want to grow your field service business? Here, we’ll compare manual versus automated job scheduling to help you win more work and reduce operations costs.

Field service businesses rely on accurate job management and scheduling. Yet many still struggle with a mix of tools and methods that don’t work well together – or use spreadsheets they have outgrown as the company scales. 

Whether you’re just starting to think about automating job management or have a solution already underway, there are significant opportunities for improving job management through automation. 

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the benefits of moving from manual to automated job management and the risks of sticking with a paper-based approach.

Let’s dive in. 

Why move to automated job management?

Automated job management provides the ability to move away from the costly, error-prone ways of manual scheduling towards improving the overall management of your entire business.

It reduces admin, increases efficiency, and provides excellent cost savings. 

In fact, after moving to digital and automated processes, JWH Tanks saw 35% growth:

We have slashed the time taken to produce vital documentation for each job. Customised worksheets such as tank cleaning reports and consignment notes can be completed simply by our engineers, which is complemented by easy access to important safety information such as method statements and risk assessments.” 

The end result? JWH Tanks has raised customer service levels with real-time updates and ETAs. They’ve minimised administrative costs to increase turnover. And they’ve reduced errors such as data duplication.

JWH Tanks using BigChange in the office to schedule, track and manage their work.

The risks of a manual approach

If you haven’t moved to automated job management, you’re not alone. In 2018, over half (52%) of businesses were still using manual methods for the bulk of their field service processes. 

Yet manual methods pose huge risks. 

A manual or paper-based approach means information stored in multiple places – including lots of spreadsheets, office whiteboards, T-cards, and printed job sheets. 

Updates are often made by engineers via calls and text messages or even by post. And you’d have to wait to receive the printed job sheets before updating a job and then manually raise an invoice.

While spreadsheets are easy to use – they aren’t made for job scheduling. They also rely on everyone having access to a live version and being able to track changes.

Ultimately, this all makes job management a lengthy and admin-heavy process. 

Plus, it’s prone to bottlenecks and involves a lot of coordination, deadlines, and data entry – the risk of human error is huge. 

Not to mention these additional challenges that manual processes present:

  • Paperwork – As well as the need for manual data input to systems, paperwork can also get lost, it can be difficult to interpret different hand-writing, and keep up with job progress. Plus, updates aren’t in real-time.
  • Invoicing – Manual invoicing can be slow, disorganised and negatively impact cash flow.
  • Competitive disadvantage – Competitors can leap ahead with quicker scheduling and smoother customer experiences (with automation, they can provide live updates on a job).

The bottom line? This approach can’t be easily scaled to support a growing business. This is why we’ve seen a real shift in the market with more and more field service businesses making the leap to automation.

For smaller businesses, the need or urgency for a move away from manual job management is less pressing. However, if you hope to grow your business, it might make sense to look for an alternative sooner rather than later.

As an interesting side note, during the pandemic, businesses that quickly moved to automated job management software could continue to operate seamlessly. Whilst we never want to experience something like this again, it’s good to future-proof your business for the unknowns.

Benefits of automated job management

Moving away from manual processes, automated job management uses specialist job management software to allow for accelerated growth in a way that paper systems just can’t handle.

How? Going paperless means all information is available at all times, regardless of your location. This means you can check a job’s progress or send an invoice from anywhere and from your mobile!

Likewise, because this type of platform can automate all the steps in the job management process – and requires only minimal admin input – it ensures efficiency and eliminates effort. 

As a result, you can adapt and scale to changing needs, provide 24-hour service availability, comply with legal requirements, and free up valuable time. 

For savvy field service businesses, it’s a no-brainer. 

No bottlenecks, no data issues, and no more struggling to get a mish-mash of tools and spreadsheets working. Just job management and scheduling that works. 

Here are some additional benefits:

  • Increase the number of bookings – Reduce administration so you can focus resources on booking and attending more jobs. 
  • Speed and accuracy of job scheduling – Arrange job scheduling in the most time and fuel-efficient way, allowing you to do more jobs with the same number of engineers.
  • Respond quickly to new opportunities – Everything from quicker generation of quotes and proposals, through to automating timely follow-up emails and reminders.
  • Quickly adjust job schedules on the go – With a real-time view of every job, engineer and vehicle, you can respond to unforeseen circumstances such as emergency call-outs, driver illness or a vehicle breakdown.
  • Route your team to the nearest jobs – With live tracking and a precise location of a site, you can send drivers exactly where they need to be whilst keeping fuel costs down.
  • Increase profits – Automate everything from timesheets to customer service due reminders to reduce administrative costs, freeing up your team’s time for more bookings.
  • Run a more cost-efficient business – Say goodbye to admin errors and lost paperwork. Automated workflows ensure every job is done right every time, using the closest resource.
  • Improve the customer experience and response times – Say hello to automated, real-time customer updates and ETAs. Plus, have access to all customer details (full job history for each customer, including financial history, model numbers, contact details and more).

In a nutshell, you can run a healthier business: An automated job management system can have a ripple effect through a business positively impacting all processes and teams involved. 

With the ability to link data with the click of a button, so many areas of mobile operations can be streamlined. 

This is why businesses like A&S Newbuild Aftercare have seen a boost to turnover of £5m in just two years. Here’s how:

“We have complete visibility of everything going on in real-time… It has allowed us to really streamline our mobile operations. Tradesmen are now much more self-sufficient; journeys to the depot are rare, first fix rates are improved, and there are fewer wasted hours.”

The end result? Automation allows A&S to meet any contract specification, opening up new business opportunities and much bigger contracts – with the assurance that they can deliver exceptional service.

A&S using BigChange job management software.

Make the move to automated job management 

Automated job management can help you save two of your business’s most critical resources – time and money. 

Even when you have a small number of employees, manual job management can create a mass of work and lead to errors. Of course, the problem only increases as your business grows. 

The good news is that automated job management software can take the burden off your shoulders – replacing 70-80% of repetitive work, such as keying in paper-based job sheets – so you can focus on more value-added work. 

In conclusion, moving from manual to automated job management ensures your business stays on the path to continued growth. Ultimately, you can differentiate yourself as a market leader with a strong competitive advantage.

If you’re ready to grow your business and profit margins, you’re probably ready for automated job scheduling. Take a look at this latest blog for a checklist of must-haves to look for in a job management software provider. 

Or, jump straight and book a one-on-one demo with our field service business specialists to see how our software can win you more work, reduce operations costs and more.

Decided to move to job management software, but need to ensure you’re choosing the best option for your needs? Here’s the key criteria to consider.

If you’re running a field service business in this day and age, it helps to use job management software. Delivering improved cost savings, efficiency, and profits — it’s not surprising it’s so popular among time-pressed businesses. 

You’ll never go back to messy spreadsheets or paper job sheets again. 

But once you’ve made the decision to invest, what do you need to consider? And what key factors should you think about when choosing job management software

Let’s get into it.

How to choose the best job management software

If you’ve decided to move to job management software (also known as field service management software), how do you ensure you’re choosing the best option for your needs? 

📝Here are some of the key criteria that should make their way onto your list.

Criteria for choosing job management software

  • All-in-one solution with the right integrations
  • Easy-to-use (even for those less tech-savvy)
  • Advantages beyond job management
  • Strong supplier and partnership relationship
  • Ability to scale with your business

To help you assess each one, we’ve pulled together some key questions to consider when weighing up solutions and suppliers. 

#1. What do you need your job management software to do? 

Some job manager software providers offer job scheduling. Others are designed to support customer quoting and invoicing. Others major in job progress tracking.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find one that can do all three with ease.

Having a clear idea of your priorities can make the selection process far easier. 

The key here is to think about your objectives – what are you looking for in your job management software? Is one area more important to you than another? 

Or maybe, the ideal software is an all-in-one solution that fully integrates with other useful systems. For example, syncing up your finance software such as Sage or Xero, plus GPS and What3Words for location finding. 

Similarly, one thing that businesses find particularly handy is software with the ability to automatically create job cards and industry-specific certificates that can be quickly shared with customers.  

#2. Who will be using it? 

Often, one of the reasons businesses want to introduce job management software is to make everyone’s life easier. If this is one of your reasons for investing in mobile workforce management, it needs to be part of your decision process. 

Given that, think about the skill set of those you want to make use of the solution. Are they all good with software? Not everyone is ‘app savvy’. 

You want to avoid a complex or unintuitive solution – what you invest in needs to be user-friendly with support on hand. 

Likewise, to ensure adoption with your users, your solution needs to allow anyone – not just management – to access and update jobs if it’s to deliver real benefits to your business.

Aside from your field teams, think about who else might need access to the software, such as stock control, reporting, finance and other teams. Consider if everyone will get what they need from your chosen solution.

#3. Does it have advantages beyond job management

Chances are, you’ll need to ‘sell in’ the idea of investing in field service management software to your director. If you can identify and shortlist a solution whose benefit goes beyond improving job management scheduling, you’ll be far more likely to secure the budget you need. 

The best solutions will enable you to not only schedule jobs but offer an all-in-one solution. 

Look for solutions that offer:

  • Mobile job management app for efficient paperless job management
  • Client job portal (or booking site)
  • Automated job scheduling
  • Live tracking of fleet and resources with real-time updates
  • Better customer CRM and project management
  • Financial management, including quotes and invoicing
  • Integration with your accounting software (or with an ERP system for larger businesses) 
  • Business insights and reporting
  • Audit trail with time stamping
  • Customer messaging, such as text messages to confirm when engineers will arrive 
  • Ability to control the workflow step-by-step, so nothing is missed

Are you short-listing suppliers that can deliver on all this?

#4. Does the supplier match up to the solution? 

When you choose a job management solution, remember you’re not buying just a solution but a supplier as well. The right supplier can turn into a fruitful business partnership. 

Ask these key questions:

Ensuring your chosen supplier can support you on your job management automation journey is vitally important. Make sure the service levels match up to the technical elements of the solution. 

#5. Does the solution have the capacity to scale with you?

Finally, as your business scales, you need job management software that has the capacity to scale with you. 

Can it handle increased workloads while adding users with minimal cost impact? Can you add integrations, such as Xero, as you grow? And is the supplier constantly updating the software with new features?

Equally important, is the solution fast and flexible to launch? Some software requires complex IT involvement, while others can be up and running straight away. 

In short, make sure the solution suits your needs today and has what you need in five years’ time. 

If the answer is yes, put that vendor on your shortlist.

Getting it right when making decisions on job management software

The benefits of job management software are well-recognised. You can save significant time, improve productivity, reduce your admin, and increase efficiency. 

We can’t say it enough. Making sure you select the best solution for your business is the crucial step in achieving the benefits field service management software can deliver.

When narrowing down your options, be sure to read customer reviews and compare features and benefits

Hopefully, this blog has given you some ideas of how to get it right when you’re choosing job management software. 

When in doubt, schedule a demo

Scheduling software demos are an excellent way to understand each software better and get a better feeling for their customer support. If you’re ready to put BigChange on your shortlist, why not book a one-on-one demo today? Our team will show you how to win more work, take control of your operations, and deliver the best customer experiences.

Intelligent scheduling

July 2022 was England’s driest month since 1935, and August hasn’t been much wetter. But this lack of water is actually leading to more work for drainage and sewage companies.

Firms are called on to make urgent fixes to drought-damaged pipes. And they are inspecting and clearing drains ready for the downpours that often follow long dry periods.

To address this demand, drainage companies are looking for ways they can do more with the same resources. This is exactly what a complete job management system – like BigChange’s drainage job management software – is there to help with.

Get to urgent work fast with a drainage scheduling app

With dry weather affecting so much of the UK, drainage companies must be able to act fast to fix problems across their customer network. A smart drainage scheduling app can:

  • Give easy oversight of all field-based teams so you can get a nearby engineer out fast
  • Guarantee that the engineer allocated has the skills/tools needed for a first-time fix
  • Schedule fast, efficient routes so workers arrive at jobs in good time

Keep engineers safe and work on track

With engineers working harder in hotter, drier conditions, firms should take every precaution to keep them safe. But as work stacks up, it’s vital to carry out compliance in the most efficient way. By switching from paper to digital job sheets, you can:

  • Set up workflows that make sure engineers haven’t forgotten vital checks
  • Save time in the field and at back-office by capturing records once and saving them automatically in the cloud
  • Require photos of completed jobs to make sure work is done right-first-time.

With improved compliance, you can keep your people safe while helping them get started on their urgent jobs faster.

Use powerful automation to keep customers cool

Temperatures and tempers flare up in the heat. Communicate clearly with customers to avoid stress and give outstanding service. Job management software, like BigChange’s, makes this easy by:

  • Putting customers in control of when and how they book with a bespoke online booking portal
  • Automating alerts, ETAs and job updates so your customers feel in control and in the loop.
  • Automatically sharing invoices on sign-off, cutting invoice queries and service disputes.

Automate key steps in the customer journey to turn quality service into your competitive advantage while saving time for frontline and back-office staff.

BigChange keeps the work flowing with drainage engineer software

Drainage companies will be called on urgently during this long, hot summer. BigChange is here to help.

  • Using BigChange’s job management platform, Sapphire Utility Solutions reported a 100 per cent rise in productivity across its Severn Trent Water Network Operations
  • BigChange also helped sewerage solution specialist Jet Aire Services eliminate virtually all paper from the management and scheduling of its work

Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today. You can also get helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below.

Keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

As schools close and students are let loose for summer and families prepare for some much needed time away, firms already struggling with capacity issues will need to work smarter to manage the extra challenges the summer holiday period brings

Here are some ways the BigChange Job Management platform can keep your business running smoothly – and give you peace of mind over the summer holidays:

  1. Mobile workforce scheduling makes it easy to meet urgent work with the right employees

    A capacity crunch forces businesses to deploy their workforces as effectively as possible to meet their customers’ demands. BigChange’s intelligent scheduling and vehicle tracking tools give leaders total visibility over their field-based teams and instantly ensure you find the best option when urgent jobs pop up. 

  2. Personalised customer comms, even with a reduced back-office

    A reduced admin team is no excuse to let customer service standards slip. The BigChange platform automates key customer touch-points – from an online booking portal to personalised updates across quoting, ETAs, job progress or invoicing – keeping customers in the loop without squeezing your remaining back-office staff. 

  3. Engage a network of subcontractors that stick to your high standards

    The BigChange Collaboration Network gives access to a wealth of contractors who can meet your high standards if you need to add capacity quickly during a pinch.

    Using the platform, you can assign work, agree on rates, and operate on shared systems. Complete job visibility between businesses shows that standards are met and keeps service consistent.

  4. Automated timesheets make shifting staff easy to track

    During the holidays, it’s likely that some team members will be working overtime, while others take half-days. BigChange takes the headache out of tracking the schedules of a shifting workforce. The system automatically logs start and finish times, breaks, and travel.

  5. Job management software that helps you deliver more with less

    When workloads threaten to outgrow capacity, workers want to do the job at hand as effectively and efficiently as possible. With digital workflows, all the information needed to get the job done is stored on an easy-to-use mobile device. Proof of service is quickly captured in-app and records are saved automatically in the cloud. It’s why each field-based worker does four extra jobs a month on average using BigChange.

There’s no need to spend your break worrying about whether your business is running smoothly and your workers are delivering on customer commitments.

While you’re holidaying on the golf course, a beach or in your back garden, the BigChange Job Management Platform ensures you can relax, knowing that jobs are done timely, effectively, and to the highest of standards.

While there are many challenges associated with the aging workforce and the rise of younger workers – there are field service management solutions available to help.

One of the biggest threats to field service businesses is an aging workforce. The industry has a shortage of workers and the rate of new applicants is not enough.

Essentially, it’s clear that something needs to be done to combat the skills gap caused by an aging workforce. 

In this blog, we look at the changing demographics of the field service management workforce and key strategies to put in place to attract and retain workers. 

Let’s jump in.

The changing workforce

The tides are turning in workplaces worldwide. While workers younger than 25 make up only 9% of the construction industry today, by 2030, millennials will make up about 40% of the workforce and Gen Z about 32%. 

In view of that, recently it was ‘World Youth Skills Day’, an initiative focusing on engaging young people in the workforce.

To help attract younger workers, leaders should look for ways to make their businesses attractive to the next generation of talent:

  • Research from Digital Futures reports that “Gen Z feels technology helps them in all areas of their lives (81%) and that they expect it to create job opportunities for them (69%).”
  • And Deloitte found that “the most digitally advanced small businesses earned two times as much revenue per employee and were almost three times as likely to have created jobs compared with the previous year.”

But how can field service management businesses put this into practice? 

The rise of the tech-enabled trades – from job management systems to SaaS solutions

With the growing popularity of automated field service management software and the need to streamline operations, many field service businesses are evolving into the digital era.

In fact, BigChange research found that the UK’s trades industries have shown they’re ready and willing to take advantage of the opportunities technology offers – on average, leaders expected to spend 52% more on technology in 2022, than in 2021.

The changing workforce is looking for more digital experiences. If you don’t provide those experiences, you’re going to have a hard time recruiting. 

The good news is field service management software can meet the needs of this emerging generation in several ways:

App-enabled workflows

The businesses best placed to attract new talent have moved on from paper-based working, to embrace the benefits of digital workflows. 

Real-time and accurate data, which is automatically synced to the cloud, will provide the vital information needed to improve the customer’s experience.

With a solution like BigChange, all the documents a worker needs to get the job done are easily accessible on one mobile app.

Powerful automation dispels back-office drudgery

Monster.com found that over a third of Gen Z (39%) are motivated to choose a job by the challenges it offers. Repetitive tasks do not inspire them, such as double-keying data collated on paper reports from the field. They prefer convenience and self-service. 

A solution like BigChange automates data entry across scheduling, reporting and invoicing. This frees up your staff for more high-value work. Not only can it automate elements of job management, can also automatically create reports, certificates, and customer documents. All adding to admin and error reduction.

Approached correctly, automation won’t overwhelm you. It’s simply a series of smaller projects that, when strung together, are going to make your technicians happier and your customers more satisfied. 

Guide your team with the right tech

Today’s younger workforce value convenience over just about anything. 

The right technology makes every day run smoothly. With a real-time view of every job, engineer, and vehicle – you can help team members respond quickly and efficiently to unforeseen changes. 

Likewise, with smart routing, you can provide your team with the best routes to site for efficiencies.

Your customers expect it now too. For example, an increasing number of consumers want to see modern technology with ‘Amazon-type’ features like real-time updates, the engineer’s location, and two-way communication. 

In other words, businesses are looking to the right technology to improve operations and customer experience.

Digital training helps Gen Z reach new heights

GWI, the polling agency, reported that 63% of Gen Z say learning new skills is important to them. 

BigChange is a plug-and-play platform – meaning new starters can learn what they need to get going in minutes, not days. 

Further training available through the BigChange University and expert support can help you discover how BigChange can help your business grow stronger – and meet the needs of a generation hungry to learn more.

Is it time to digitally evolve?

If you’re considering digital solutions, a good place to start is to look at your own business: Do you have siloed systems that don’t talk to each other? Is your field service business managed with whiteboard calendars and paper-based work orders? Are you using a mobile app to manage your field teams?

While there are many challenges associated with the aging workforce and the rise of younger workers – at the same time, there are solutions available to help you operate more efficiently.

These solutions provide the ability to future proof your business well into the future. 

Final tips to attract the next generation workforce:

  • Offer training: Have procedures in place to train new field service technicians quickly. 
  • Flexibility and support: People like companies who are easy to work with. Respect your employees’ time by giving them the tools that help make them more efficient and better at their jobs. 
  • Offer real customer relationships: Give your technicians the opportunity to have real relationships with customers. 
  • Automate processes: Automation helps workers spend less time on actions that don’t make money – like checking in with the back office – and more on those that do.

By automating your processes, you’ll shorten service times and speed up your billing. You’ll also grow profit margins, enhance employee productivity, and improve customer satisfaction. If you are ready to learn more, you can find out about making the move from manual to automated job management right here.

According to data from Glassdoor, the average cost of recruitment for a new employee in the UK is £3,000. Therefore, ensuring each hire will add value to your organisation long term is paramount.

Although it can be tempting to hire more resources during busy periods, ultimately, it doesn’t account for troughs in activity and could eat into your profits as a result. In other words, you could end up hiring people only to realise that you no longer need them a few months down the line, which is not only financially damaging but also destroys your employer brand.

Fortunately, being more selective when hiring new employees doesn’t mean that your current staff have to take on extra work. With the right job management platform in place, you’ll be able to handle your current workload — and more — without needing any additional resources.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can use modern technology to make the most of your existing team and efficiently deal with a high volume of work.

How to Grow Your Business with Your Existing Team

Here are the top three ways your team can deal with a high volume of work without becoming burnt out:

1. Digital Job Scheduling

Did you know that field service organisations waste a staggering 140 hours per year by creating their job schedules manually? Aside from causing productivity to take a nosedive, burdensome administration tasks take time away from your back-office team, which could be focusing on activities that directly contribute to business growth. 

Not to mention that manual processes are inherently error-prone, leading to delays and scheduling conflicts that leave a bad impression on your customers. 

Instead, when using a job management platform, your team can schedule jobs and dispatch workers at the touch of a button. The best systems on the market include an intelligent scheduling assistant, which suggests technicians for each job based on their location, availability, skillset and vehicle type. 

Since job management platforms provide real-time updates, your technicians can also see any changes to their schedule in an instant, regardless of their location. As such, they’ll be better equipped to deal with emergency appointments, and you can rest assured that you’ll always have the right resources in the right places. 

2. Provide Your Technicians with a Mobile App

80% of technicians think that mobile technology is a vital tool for enhancing efficiency and enabling them to help customers more effectively. Yet, many field service companies don’t provide mobile technology as a standard. 

When you rely on text messages, phone calls and paperwork to receive updates on the status of each job, vital information can be miscommunicated, incorrect or delayed. Poor communication can have a knock-on effect over your entire operation and leave customers with a negative impression of your business.

In contrast, a mobile application that links directly to your back-office team’s central platform will arm your technicians with everything they need to complete each job the first time. They can instantly see any changes to their schedule, read essential information about each case, complete risk assessments and mandatory forms, as well as issue invoices — all from the palm of their hand. 

With all information updating in real-time, your back-office staff won’t have to sit on the phone for hours each day, chasing technicians for updates. They can see all changes as they happen, making for seamless communication and integrated workflows across your entire operation. 

3. Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities

One of the most effective ways to grow your organisation is through networking. But, with 41% of people believing they don’t have the time to attend networking events, a large percentage of business leaders are missing out on lucrative opportunities. 

Thankfully, when you use BigChange’s job management platform, you’ll gain free access to the Network. So rather than having to forfeit a day at the office to attend an event, you can simply post your business on the system and start receiving connection requests from thousands of other trusted field service organisations the same day.

With each connection you make, you’ll have the chance to collaborate on a range of projects around the world, expanding your reach further than ever before without needing to make a single hire. You can specify which jobs you have available, along with the skills required, to ensure that only the most relevant subcontractors represent your company. 

Most importantly, you’ll have access to a virtual meeting every month with other members to network and form partnerships. Subsequently, you’ll gain practical ideas on how to drive your business growth further.

Field Service Management Technology is Key to Growing Your Business

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on many businesses in the field service industry. However, one key takeaway from the crisis is that technology can help organisations overcome a range of challenges. In fact, companies that adopted technology quickly during the pandemic reported a higher rate of recovering from COVID-related economic issues. 

Consequently, in today’s turbulent market, you must consider ways to maintain business-as-usual without needing to go through costly recruitment processes that could end in frustration for both you and your new hire. 

With the right job management software in place, you can be confident that your team will have everything they need to deliver outstanding service and grow your business without becoming overworked. 

Deal with a High Volume of Work Effortlessly with BigChange

Manage your entire operation on a single platform. 

BigChange gives you complete control of your admin, from quotes to invoicing and beyond. Also, with our mobile app (available on iOS and Android), you can seamlessly connect your office, field technicians and customers and boost productivity as a result. 

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

With the field service industry set to grow by 16.9% between 2019 to 2026, competition will become fiercer than ever. Businesses will need to do all they can to stay ahead of the curve. 

However, typical field service management organisations have several moving parts by nature.  From job scheduling and dispatching to invoicing and beyond, managing field service companies can be extremely complex, leaving vital details to fall through the cracks.  

Luckily, thanks to technological advancements in recent years, managing your field service operations can be as simple as clicking a button. In this article, we’ll share some field service management best practices that will help keep your organisation running smoothly. Plus, we’ll share how field service management software enables you to improve your working methods without burdening your back-office team with more admin.

The Top 3 Field Service Management Best Practices

Here are the top three field service management practices that will ensure your business stands out against the competition:

1. Scheduling and Dispatching Technicians Efficiently

Data from Verizon Connect suggests that scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of today’s main challenges for field service organisations. How do you effectively manage the schedule when your workflow depends on several technicians being in various locations at once?

The solution lies with field service management technology.

Instead of relying on error-prone spreadsheets and antiquated legacy systems, you can make the most of a workforce management platform such as BigChange to schedule your field-based workers at the touch of a button. 

The intelligent scheduling assistant highlights workers for a planned job based on location, skillset, vehicle type and job constraints to ensure that you have the right resource in the right place — every time. Since all information updates in real-time, your technicians can instantly see their assignments, meaning they’re able to respond to any job without any issues throughout the ever-changing workday. 

2. Performing Predictive and Preventative Maintenance

Did you know that unplanned maintenance costs an eye-watering three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance? To make matters worse, 81% of businesses experience downtime at least once each year due to defective equipment and assets. 

Consequently, to ensure your organisation can run like clockwork year-round, you should prioritise predictive and preventative maintenance. Fortunately, with a modern field service management (FSM) system in place, scheduling maintenance needn’t be a logistical nightmare. 

In fact, FSM technology streamlines the entire process and improves health and safety measures simultaneously. For example, you can make it mandatory for your technicians to complete a safety walkaround check of their vehicles and submit the results via their mobile devices before they can begin travelling to a job.

Then, using the information your technicians provide, your fleet manager can see all outstanding defects and even reconcile some issues directly from the app. As a result, they’ll be able to see what problems commonly occur and work to mitigate them without needing to spend hours keeping manual records.

3. Arming Your Field-Based Workforce with the Right Tools

According to 80% of technicians, mobile technology is critical to enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers. But, despite technicians being on the road or attending client sites for most of their days, many field service organisations don’t provide mobile technology as a standard.

Businesses that don’t consider their customer experience run the risk of denting their bottom line. At worst, field service businesses could make themselves obsolete as people look to their competitors for a better service. 

When you equip your field-based team with a mobile app that connects directly to your back office’s central platform, you’ll be able to connect your entire workflow seamlessly. As such, your technicians will have all the knowledge they need about each assignment so they can deliver exceptional service each time. 

Plus, once the work is complete, your technicians can fill out all paperwork directly from their mobile devices and instantly share it with your admin team, meaning you can process each job in less time and get paid the same day. 

Technology is the Future of Field Services

Research from Microsoft shows that 44% of businesses can run a more efficient field service operation by using technology to eliminate silos and other common hurdles caused by outdated manual administration methods. 

Additionally, customers expect a straightforward, convenient experience that you will struggle to provide when using traditional field service management methods. Therefore, to survive and thrive in today’s modern world, field service companies must keep up-to-date with the latest technology, so they don’t fall behind. 

With BigChange’s field service management software, you can manage your entire business on one easy-to-use platform, eliminating arduous paperwork and significantly lowering the margin for error. Subsequently, your team will have more time to focus on activities that contribute directly to business growth. 

Run Your Business Efficiently with BigChange’s Field Service Management Technology

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange. 

Our secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. Everything you need to know will be at your fingertips, making it easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

With no shared office environment, monitoring technicians’ task performance and client interactions can be difficult. How can you be sure that every field technician is performing to your company’s expectations and doing a good job?

Unfortunately, with 52% of field service businesses relying on spreadsheets, legacy systems and other inefficient manual methods, guaranteeing satisfactory services across the board becomes an impossible task. During the pandemic, firms adopted new technologies to facilitate their work more easily, and field service companies will need to do the same to survive in a post-pandemic landscape.

Unfortunately, the field service industry requires more flexible solutions for their dynamic environment — especially as competition increases and roles become more technical.

In this article, we’ll explore some key ways you can track technician job performance using tech-based solutions to deliver consistent service and increased productivity.

What Does ‘Doing a Good Job’ Mean to You?

PwC data from 2018 shows that trust between workforces and senior leadership is vital as businesses progress. Unfortunately, field service firms are at particular risk of trust being challenged as staff performance expectations evolve.

While field technicians have historically enjoyed a certain level of autonomy over their work, outdated in-house systems prevent firms from removing inefficiencies and reducing ‘cost to serve’ overheads.

Without effective communication as to why and how roles are changing, field service firms will likely lose highly trained staff members. That’s why, when seeking to track technician performance, you’ll first need to answer three crucial questions:

  • What does good performance look like?
  • How transparent are existing processes for measuring performance? (In other words, what don’t you know about field tasks as they happen?)
  • How can current processes be improved?

We’ve made a list of the most important areas of field technician performance below to help you get started with defining success and tracking technician job performance effectively.

How to Track Technician Job Performance Effectively

Tech-based field engineer scheduling software solutions are the future. Research from McKinsey has shown firms can reduce overheads by 40%, increase productivity by 30% and scale more flexibly with future demand — offering businesses an essential competitive edge. 

However, such gains can only be made with the right digital tools. Secure, cloud-based job scheduling software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. 

With everything you need to know at your fingertips, you can plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce more easily. 

Here are six ways you can use field service management technology to gain better visibility over your workforce and accurately measure technician performance.

1. Meeting Job Requirements

Field technicians need to be prepared for a variety of scenarios at each new job site, which is why communicating task requirements is vital. Job management platforms like BigChange come with a jobs and workflows feature, ensuring staff have an overview of the key steps of any job and can deliver speedy service.

BigChange also comes with a photo capture feature that allows staff to see previous work associated with a client and access time-saving context. Better still, the photo capture feature provides proof of work after work has finished, so you’ll always have a comprehensive record to refer back to in the future.

2. Staying Safe

Between 2019 and 2020, nearly 700,000 people were injured at work — up from around 580,000 the previous year. Safe practices in the workplace are essential, but field technicians are at heightened risk of accidents and injury. Without a single workplace to control, staff are exposed to a range of potential risks with each new job site.

Field service management software allows you to track technician safety and job performance. For example, you can add mandatory risk assessments and vehicle walkarounds before job details or timesheets appear, so field technicians are always operating safely.

3. Driving Well

Safety doesn’t stop once staff leave the job site. Last year, there were over 100,000 road accidents in the UK. That’s why the best field service management platforms on the market provide insight into technicians’ driving behaviour in real-time. 
You can track technician locations, speed, engine idling and more and receive scores on how safe and how eco-friendly your fleet are driving. Already, the BigChange platform has helped avoid 5 million kilograms of CO2 emissions.

4. Satisfying Customers

Recent research from McKinsey found that low customer satisfaction is a consistent problem for the field services industry. The sector has been slow to adopt technology that can assist with resource management and invoicing, leading to a dated and clunky experience.

That’s why it’s crucial that any field management software needs to work for your customers also. In particular, modern customers expect an easy booking system, ETA updates and seamless invoicing and payment options.

5. Meeting Service Level Agreements

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) offer firms a reliable revenue stream but need careful resource management once the contracts begin. Legacy booking systems can leave blind spots in workloads and can jeopardise SLAs unexpectedly.

Don’t leave your contracts vulnerable to bottlenecks: allocate resources more efficiently and ensure your most critical service agreements are delivered on time and to standard with a resource management platform. 

Doing so can benefit ongoing client relationships and help your company build a reliable reputation with customers.

6. Taking Breaks

Stress levels within the field services industry are amongst the worst in Britain and are leading to losses in revenue from staff sickness and productivity decreases. Field technicians need to take sufficient breaks during their working day or risk service standards decreasing.

Using a platform like BigChange lets you generate timesheets and staff schedules that automatically factor in breaks, so you can track technician work and rest periods. Not only can this feature help safeguard staff well-being, but it also ensures your business delivers a consistent and sustainable job standard for continued growth.

Track Technician Performance as if You’re On-Site

Identify key performance areas and use integrated software solutions to gain an overview of your organisation like never before. Track technician performance to ensure field-based staff go from doing a good job to a great one, operating safely and efficiently.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

Did you know that, as of 2020, around half (48%) of your competitors are still using manual administration processes and antiquated legacy systems to manage their field service operations? 

In today’s modern world, where technology has integrated itself into almost every aspect of our lives, outdated ways of working aren’t going to cut it. Customers expect streamlined, rapid experiences, which is tricky to provide if you’re still using the same methods you did ten or more years ago. 

Since so many businesses are yet to enjoy the benefits of automating their workflows, it’s the optimum time to be an early adopter of modern technology and stand out from your competitors.

In this article, we’ll explain what field service management software is. We’ll also discuss some common field service problems and how technology can alleviate them.

What is the Purpose of a Field Service Management Platform?

Field service management (FSM) technology replaces outdated manual administration processes and clunky legacy systems to unite your entire operation on one easy-to-use platform.

With a field service management platform, you can handle the entire end-to-end process of dealing with your customers – from appointment scheduling to final payments and beyond – at the touch of a button.

By removing the typical inefficiencies that plague field service organisations, you can increase your profits, enable your business to run more smoothly, and free up your employees’ time so they can focus on more business-critical activities.

But, FSM technology isn’t purely focused on the back-end aspects of running a successful company. State-of-the-art platforms also consider ways to make it simpler to manage your field-based workforce and provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

With integrated mobile apps now more widely available than ever before, you can ensure that your field technicians and back-office staff are always on the same page. The app equips technicians with everything they need to know about each case, allows them to complete digital paperwork and invoices rapidly, and shares real-time data for effective communication.

FSM platforms are revolutionising the industry, but how do they specifically alleviate the most common field service problems? Read on to find out.

Common Field Service Business Pain Points and How to Alleviate Them

As a field service business leader, you’ll likely be familiar with some or all of the pain points below. Luckily, thanks to technology, running a profitable company needn’t be a headache. Here are four of the most common issues and ways you can use field service management software to overcome them:

1. Poor First-Time Fix Rates

When it comes to running a successful field service business, high first-time fix rates are crucial. In fact, companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% manage to retain 86% of their customer base. For those that don’t manage to hit 70%, their client retention rate drops to just 76%. 

Still, as we mentioned earlier, many organisations continue to use inadequate methods to manage their operations, leaving them susceptible to errors and complications.

For example, imagine using a paper-based form that your technicians must use to sign equipment in and out of storage. Perhaps some of them forget to do so, or maybe their writing is illegible. They may accidentally take too much stock and store it in their van for another job further down the line. 

You quickly realise that numbers aren’t adding up, and technicians are turning up at customers’ appointments without the appropriate gear to complete the job on the same day.

When you have to make multiple appointments to complete work, your bottom line and productivity levels can take a nosedive.

How a Field Service Management Platform Can Help

When you use a field service management platform to manage your stock and assets, you won’t have to worry about inaccurate data ever again. Using real-time information, you can see exactly how much stock and equipment you have – across multiple locations – at the touch of a button.

With complete visibility over your stock, equipment and assets, your team can simply allocate the necessary items to each customer’s job. As such, your technicians can confidently arrive at every appointment, knowing they have all the right gear in their van to complete the job there and then.

Aside from keeping your customers satisfied, an improved first-time fix rate will free up more time for your technicians to attend more appointments per day and do what they do best.

2. Expensive Travel Costs

Although you can’t control the cost of fuel, which has hit a staggering eight-year high in the UK, you can ensure that your technicians are making the most efficient journeys between each job. By cutting down the time each worker spends on the road, you can save money on petrol and increase the number of bookings they can attend per day.

Unfortunately, if you’re using old in-house systems, spreadsheets and other manual processes to plan routes, chances are, they’re not as streamlined as they could be. 

You may already be matching jobs to workers based on location but, when you don’t take their availability or traffic information into account, you may be overlooking another technician that would be better suited to complete the project.

How a Field Service Management Platform Can Help

Field service management platforms have the potential to shave off a significant amount from your current fuel expenses. Using GPS vehicle tracking, the system provides you with real-time data on your technicians’ locations, where they’re working and whether there are any traffic issues.

Subsequently, your team can define the best route between jobs for hundreds of jobs simultaneously and reduce your cost to serve per customer call-out. 

Additionally, when you use BigChange’s 5-in-1 workforce management system, you’ll automatically have access to the Network, where you can connect with thousands of other trusted field service organisations. 

You can list your company for free and immediately begin receiving connection requests. By building strong professional relationships with other companies worldwide, you can collaborate on projects by subcontracting workers to each other. 

As a result, you’ll be able to fulfil jobs in a range of locations without needing to hire extra resources or spend an excessive amount on travel costs.

All Network members also have the opportunity to join a virtual meet-up each month, which allows you to share tips and tricks on how to grow your business further.
Want to discover more about the BigChange Network? Check out this informative video.

3. Scheduling Conflicts

For field service organisations, ensuring that the right technician is in the right place at the right time is paramount to success. However, according to a survey conducted by Verizon Connect, 50% of business leaders rated ‘quickly re-routing technicians’ as their most critical issue. 

48% claimed it was ‘keeping everyone updated about the schedule’, and 45% suggested the biggest hurdle for them was ‘keeping customers informed of technicians’ estimated times of arrival’.

When you don’t have accurate, real-time data to hand, it becomes almost impossible to keep tabs on what is happening in the field. Consequently, it is much harder to navigate the unpredictability of each workday and keep the necessary individuals in the loop.

If you’re unable to communicate effectively with your technicians and maintain an overview of their schedule, you’ll soon find that there are delays, conflicts and confusion. At worst, you could lose customers who are unimpressed with your service.

How a Field Service Management Platform Can Help

Common field service problems such as scheduling conflicts can become an obstacle of the past when you adopt a field service management platform. 

Your customers can make and reschedule appointments on a simple self-service online portal, which automatically sends the details to your back-office team. Once they’ve received the necessary information, your employees can use the intelligent scheduling assistant to see which technician is suitable for the job, taking into account the following real-time data:

  • Job constraints (for example, the technician may be required to have specific qualifications)
  • Location 
  • Traffic information
  • Vehicle type

Not only will you be able to guarantee that your schedule is running optimally, but it also means you’ll have the capacity to respond to emergency call-outs. With the GPS tracker enabling your team to see the exact whereabouts of each technician, they can reroute workers at the touch of a button.

Plus, your customers will never have to deal with the frustration of wondering where their technician is. Instead, you can send out automated, personalised texts and emails via the system so they can track their technicians’ vehicles live.

4. Slow Invoicing and Payment Methods

Since the beginning of the pandemic, late invoice payments in the UK have risen by a shocking 23% and thus had a substantial impact on field service businesses across the country. As such, companies will need to consider more innovative ways to ensure they get paid on time if they are to survive and thrive in a post-COVID world.

Let’s explore the traditional method of invoicing for a moment. Typically, the accounts receivable (AR) team processes invoices in batches, meaning that the customers’ jobs could be complete for a while before they receive a payment request. 

The AR team either uses a spreadsheet or standalone accounting software to manually create, print off and mail out a paper-based invoice. The customer then receives the invoice several days later before writing out a cheque and mailing it back, provided there are no mistakes. Of course, if there are any problems, the process begins all over again.

Very long-winded. 

The longer it takes to send an invoice, the longer it takes to get paid. Not to mention that drawn-out payment procedures may cause customers to inadvertently misplace or forget about the invoices.

If your customers aren’t paying on time, your cash flow will take a hit, potentially leading to you being unable to do the following:

  • Take on new projects
  • Meet operational expenses
  • Budget for future jobs
  • Pay your suppliers

How a Field Service Management Platform Can Help

Fortunately, there is a better way of processing invoices and payments.

Using a field service management platform such as BigChange, you can use the integrated invoicing feature to obtain payments instantly.

As soon as your technicians complete their jobs, they can fill out the essential paperwork directly on their mobile devices and send the customers electronic copies of their invoices. The invoices pull through all the correct details from the platform’s CRM (customer relationship management) system, so there are no errors.

Once the customers receive their invoices, they can make a digital payment straight away. Not only will more convenient payment methods ensure that you’re paid on time, but customers will appreciate the simplicity and be more inclined to use your services again in the future.

Make Typical Field Service Problems a Thing of the Past with BigChange

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange. 

Our secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. Everything you need to know will be at your fingertips, making it easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

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Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

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