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As people start heading back into the workplace post-pandemic, it’s never been more crucial to undertake a risk assessment to identify any potential hazards.

Currently, UK businesses lose 38.8 million working days due to work-related illness and injury. But, with COVID-19 presenting new threats to people’s health, organisations that want to continue with business-as-usual will need to invent new ways to protect their people and maintain a healthy workforce. 

In this article, we’ll explain what a workplace risk assessment is, why it’s so important and what you need to consider. We’ll then explore the benefits of workplace design and risk assessment before sharing how BigChange can help make the process simpler. 

What is a Workplace Risk Assessment?

As an employer, it is your duty to protect your employees, and anyone else on-site, from illness or injuries caused by the work environment. You can determine how to prevent incidents by conducting a legally mandated workplace risk assessment. If you employ five or more people, you must also document your evaluation.

A workplace risk assessment examines potential causes of harm. Organisations can then decide whether they have taken enough precautions to prevent them. All measures must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and associated regulations by reducing the number of incidents in the workplace.

However, with COVID-19 now thrown into the mix, a standard risk assessment is unlikely to be thorough enough. For example, a traditional risk assessment may not consider if there are specific cleaning protocols in place to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Subsequently, your risk assessment should also follow public health regulations and current government guidelines. Workplace risk assessments help to ensure you’re keeping your employees and on-site visitors safe during the pandemic.

How to Carry Out a Workplace Risk Assessment

Every workplace has its own set of potential threats which could cause ill-health or injury. Threats vary in scope and nature and could range from a wet floor to something much more severe, like the spread of coronavirus. 

However, risk assessments help drastically reduce the likelihood of accidents or illness at work by raising awareness of hazards and enabling you to come up with a prevention plan.

Here are the main steps you need to follow when carrying out a workplace risk assessment:

1. Identify the Hazards When Conducting a Workplace Risk Assessment

The first step is to identify anything that can cause harm. On top of the common hazards you would usually look for, you must now also consider how people could transmit COVID to each other on-site. For example, if your spaces aren’t well ventilated, staff may be at greater risk.

Take a walk around your workplace and make a note of any safety concerns you have. Once you’ve created a list, it’s a good idea to ask other people what they think. Someone else may notice a hazard that isn’t immediately obvious to you, especially if they fall into a more vulnerable category. 

2. Figure Out Who Will Be Affected

For each hazard you listed, you must consider everyone that is at risk of harm. You don’t have to identify each person by name; instead, make a note of particular groups. For example, ‘on-site visitors’. By considering specific parties, you’ll be able to establish the best way of mitigating risks in the workplace for anyone who may be directly affected. 

Again, it would be best to ask someone else to double-check that you haven’t missed anyone. Remember, some people may be at higher risk than others, including:

  • New hires who are unfamiliar with the workplace
  • Younger, inexperienced workers
  • Disabled and chronically ill people
  • Pregnant people
  • People who aren’t on-site all the time
  • Members of the public near the site

You should then also consider the likelihood of an incident and the severity of the potential outcome. Covering all the worst-case scenarios of a workplace hazard will help you to develop appropriate precautionary solutions. 

3. Evaluate the Risks and Determine Precautions

Now that you’ve identified the potential hazards, you need to devise a way to avoid them. The best way to put preventative measures in place is to look at your current processes and determine whether they’re effective enough or need an upgrade. You then need to look at any threats where you don’t currently have any defences in place and implement a solution. 

If you can’t eliminate a hazard altogether, you should instead consider ways to control the risk. Here are some steps you can take to lower the chances of accident or injury:

  1. Try a less dangerous alternative: For example, if your workers use chemicals, research the safest option and switch out products to less harmful versions.
  1. Prevent access to the hazard: If people don’t need to enter hazardous areas regularly, consider putting barriers in place to prevent access.
  1. Reduce exposure to the hazard: Don’t expose anyone to potential threats unless absolutely necessary. You must ensure that all employees are adequately trained to deal with any hazardous situation they may find themselves in because of their job role.
  1. Provide personal protective equipment: The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 state that you must provide suitable protective gear to your workers who may be exposed to a hazard unless you’ve adequately controlled threats by other means.
  1. Ensure there are welfare facilities: You must supply your staff with first aid kits and ensure there are designated first aiders in your office. To help prevent the spread of COVID and other illnesses, you should also provide suitable hand washing facilities. 

4. Implement Your Plan

Companies with five or more employees must keep a record of their workplace risk assessment findings. With a field service management system like BigChange, you can keep an electronic record of all risk assessments for future reference, saving you from manually filing and storing your findings.  

Following the evaluation, you should document the following information:

  • Which hazards the assessor identified
  • The persons or groups that could be affected
  • The methods your organisation put in place to mitigate risks
  • Who is monitoring the preventative measures
  • Who carried out the assessment
  • The date of the assessment

It’s also vital to make all employees aware of your plan and spread awareness of risks in the workplace. A better understanding of potential hazards and measures you’ve put in place will help lower the risk of an illness or injury. For example, some companies are still recommending that people continue to wear masks indoors to prevent the spread of COVID.

For more guidance on working safely during the pandemic, you can visit the GOV.UK website.

5. Continuously Review and Update Your Risk Assessment

Now, more than ever, risks in the workplace are constantly changing. Consequently, you should keep your risk assessment up-to-date and re-assess whether your preventative measures are effective at regular intervals.

Here are some examples of when you may need to review your previous assessment:

  • Following a workplace health or injury-related incident
  • When someone has reported a near-miss
  • If there have been significant changes within the workplace

Benefits of Workplace Design and Risk Assessment

It’s crucial to carry out a workplace risk assessment as a means of protecting your employees, on-site visitors and your company. Carrying out the evaluation correctly and putting processes in place to protect people from hazards will ensure that your business doesn’t suffer from destructive financial and reputational repercussions. 

Here are some of the benefits of executing a thorough risk assessment:

1. Alleviates Costs

If you don’t have the necessary measures in place to protect your workers, you could face a colossal financial loss. Not only could you be fined for non-compliance, but you may also have to pay compensation, replace damaged equipment and train replacement staff whilst your injured worker is away.

If you are fined for non-compliance, your insurance premiums could also skyrocket, and your industry reputation will likely take a hit.

Carrying out an in-depth workplace risk assessment and taking the necessary steps to reduce hazards will result in fewer illnesses and injuries. In addition, employees that feel safe at work are less likely to leave, meaning you’ll have decreased turnover and training costs.

A workplace risk assessment needn’t be costly, but any investment you do need to make to maintain compliance are minimal compared to the potential costs following an incident.

2. Saves Lives

Did you know that over the last year, 142 UK workers suffered a fatality at work?

Workplace risk assessments not only lower the chance of employees suffering from minor illnesses or injuries, but they save lives. 

If your workers use heavy machinery, are frequently exposed to toxic materials – such as asbestos – or work with electricity, the probability of an accident increases dramatically. As such, it becomes even more crucial to conduct a thorough workplace risk assessment. 

Highlighting potential workplace risks to your workers may make them think twice about doing something dangerous and, therefore, considerably reduce the likelihood of a disaster.

3. Lowers the Risk of Legal Liability

Whenever your employees report an incident, people will likely want to know who was at fault. If the affected individual or party believes that the company’s negligence caused the problem, it could result in serious legal proceedings and fines. 

Since 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced new guidelines that outlined harsher penalties and fines for organisations that fail to competently manage health and safety matters. As a result, the average fine has shot up to a staggering £150,000. So, if your business is found guilty, you could end up paying dearly.

When conducted with due care and diligence, a workplace risk assessment can significantly minimise the chance that your business will be found guilty of non-compliance. Instead, you can rest assured that you’ve taken the correct steps towards keeping everyone safe on-site.

4. Enhances Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

Workplace risk assessments eradicate the barriers that prevent your employees from doing their jobs and provide them with the correct tools to complete tasks. Instead of wasting time trying to resolve issues resulting from unsuitable working practices or equipment, they will be able to carry on with their work stress-free and be much more productive.

Plus, a safe and healthy workplace results in happier staff, fewer sick days and more company loyalty. Organisations with highly engaged employees enjoy 21% greater profitability, proving that employee happiness can make a big difference to your bottom line.

5. Maintains Your Company’s Reputation

Companies that effectively prevent workplace-related illnesses and accidents are able to build 

a strong reputation with their employees and clients. Therefore, maintaining a safe work environment and avoiding negative publicity is imperative if you want to ensure your business keeps its good name. 

In fact, companies risk losing 22% of business if potential customers find a negative article in their search results. So, make an effort upfront to carry out a comprehensive workplace risk assessment and put sufficient preventative measures in place. As a result, you may find that you’re able to win more work.

Prevent Risks in the Workplace with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

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

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

Want to find out more?

Discover how our Job Management Software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Did you know that a stressed and anxious driver’s heart rate can accelerate from its typical 70bpm to 180bpm? Road rage increases a driver’s chance of getting into an accident, and when it comes to travelling between jobs, managers should do all in their power to ensure their field service engineers are driving stress free. 

As a leader in driver safety, BigChange has developed workforce management software, including a GPS vehicle tracking system, whose goal is to make roads safer. Through our initiative Leaders for Life, we have conducted studies that reveal the true nature of this problem, such as our 2017 study, where we learned that possibly a third of fatal crashes happened on the job

In this article, we’ll discuss ways that you can positively influence your operations so that your field service technicians can travel between jobs safely.

1. Use a GPS Vehicle Tracking System

In the 21st century, it’s hard to imagine ordering something, whether a product or a job, and not receiving an update on when it will arrive. Unfortunately, this is the experience that many businesses in the field service industry experience when they rely on non-digital means of communication and paperwork. 

BigChange’s advanced GPS vehicle tracking system makes poor visibility problems obsolete. Not only will you see when your field service technician will arrive on the customer’s job site, but you can track their drive live on the platform. The system also shares real speed limits so that you can tell if a driver is speeding, which could increase the likelihood of an accident. 

The GPS vehicle tracking system also ensures your field service engineers arrive at the exact location they need to be. While mobile maps, such as Google maps, are often correct, there are times when the exact location of a job isn’t available on the map. Unreliable information could cause your field service technician to drive around searching for the location, which could distract them from focusing on the road. 

Using the BigChange platform, you can create and manage territories and geofences so that your field service engineer knows exactly where to meet your client.

2. Ensure Vehicle Safety Checks

If you’re the Head of Operations at your company, it’s unlikely you’ll know everything about every vehicle in your fleet. At most companies, the state of a field service technician’s vehicle is logged in a book or spreadsheet somewhere only accessible to the back-office staff. 

With BigChange’s mobile workforce software and GPS vehicle tracking system, you’ll have access to your entire fleet’s history and real-time-location with the tap of your finger. Not only does this give you a comprehensive overview of  each vehicle, its age, mileage, and condition, you will also be able to access each DVSA compliant walkaround to ensure your vehicles are safe for driving. 

Now you’ll know the status of every vehicle you have out on the road and your field technicians will be less likely to encounter problems while traveling between jobs. 

3. Analyse Technician Driving History

When most companies hire field service technicians, the last thing they think about is how they drive when they travel between jobs. Usually a business’s priority is to hire top talent with the most competitive rates. When it comes to safety, though, managers need to keep an eye-out for how their field service technicians are driving. 

BigChange’s commitment to improving safety on UK roads is why we’ve developed an advanced driver behaviour analysis feature for our platform. Using our GPS vehicle tracking system, you can generate an analysis for each technician that includes their idling, speeding, cornering, braking, and harsh accelerations. To give managers an at-a-glance view of each field service technician’s driving behaviour, the platform assigns a driving score for each driver. 

Combine this driver behaviour analysis with our advanced time-stamping records for each driver, and you’ll be able to understand how your field technicians are driving and if they’re taking the necessary breaks to ensure they’ll be alert on the road.

4.Reduce Time Spent Traveling Between Jobs

As we mentioned earlier, stress can lead to road rage, and one of the best ways to stress out a field service technician is to overlook their travel between jobs. Although field service technicians are paid for travel between jobs, the annual road casualties report indicates that the time spent traveling between jobs can influence the likelihood of an accident. 

Put simply, the more time your field service technicians spend traveling between jobs, the more opportunities there are for a crash. 

Fortunately, it’s easy to reduce a technician’s travel time between jobs using BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant. The intelligent scheduling assistant enables you to shorten your technicians’ routes by sharing the following real-time information:

  • 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

This data will show you the nearest and most experienced technicians, allowing you to reduce travel time, and potential accidents, by hiring someone who is already near the job site.

5. Prevent Texting While Driving

Without field service management software like BigChange, many field service technicians end up having to answer calls, texts, and emails while on the job, or worse, on the road. Hiccups on the job, such as an unexpected missing part, can also put field service engineers off schedule, resulting in the need to inform the next customer of a changed arrival time. 

When using BigChange’s job management software, your field service technicians no longer have to notify the client if they’re running late. The platform will send an automated message with the driver’s ETA as well as a live tracking link so that the customer knows exactly how far away your field technician is.

Help Your Field Service Technicians Travel Safely with BigChange

Creating safer roads is in everyone’s best interest, and as managers, you have the opportunity to make a big difference in making our roads safer. By using BigChange’s GPS tracking system you can receive your field service technician’s real-time driving information and verify they’re not speeding. 

Our job management software also gives you access to vehicle safety checks and driver behaviour analysis that will give you a clearer picture of how each driver is behaving so you can identify problematic driving patterns and vehicles. Auto-alerts sent to the client and geofenced locations can also keep your field service technicians from getting distracted on the road. 

Want to find out more?

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

Checking in on a job and finding out your field service engineer has exceeded the legal working hours is a surprise no manager wants. As we all know, working in the field isn’t exactly predictable. There are contracts to sign, parts to order, and sometimes a job that should have taken one hour ends up taking four. Not to mention that driving time, an essential aspect of a field service engineer’s job, is counted as hourly work. 

Unless you’re prepared to receive a formal grievance from a resource, it’s best to learn the facts behind the UK’s employment laws and ensure you have procedures in place to prevent illegal overtime work before it happens. 

In this article, we will discuss what constitutes legal working hours and five strategies to help you maintain a compliant work schedule for your engineers.

How to Maintain Legal Working Hours: Five Top Tips

Like most workers in the UK, field service engineers are allowed to work a maximum of 48 hours a week, including overtime. For field service engineers, travel to and from each site, time spent on call on a worksite, and even travel between home and work all count as legal working hours. 

Whether or not overtime is stipulated in the contract, working more than 48 hours is considered in excess of the legal working hours. Employers have the option of asking their employees or contractors to opt out of the 48-hour work week, but a special contract must be signed stating so. 

Although there is a lot to keep track of, managing your employees’ working hours needn’t be a headache. 

Fortunately, we are living in a digital age where mobile workforce solutions like BigChange can help keep jobs on deadline, track working hours, and help you stay in compliance with UK labour laws.

1. Reduce Administrative Time with Digital Paperwork

What’s worse than knowing your field service managers are wasting hours on the job trying to find the right paperwork? 

Digitising your processes and procedures could greatly reduce the time that each field engineer spends on the job. With a mobile workforce management platform like BigChange, field service engineers can use their phone cameras to provide proof of a finished job, send requests for additional equipment with the tap of a finger, and view and share relevant files with the back office in real time. 

Best of all, using modern workforce management technology lets you see how each job is going and, most importantly, how long it’s taking, right from your phone, tablet, or computer.

2. Easily Track Field Engineer Hours

The easiest way to make sure your field service engineers stay within legal working hours is to see how many hours they’re putting in each day. Using BigChange’s mobile workforce management software, you will have access to each individual’s working hours, hourly pay, and any special out-of-hours rates. 

The software will help your back-office staff keep track of resource timesheets, expenses, and holidays. Using BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform, managers can also quickly approve and reject timesheets, holidays, and expense claims. 

BigChange’s detailed time-stamping feature also goes beyond when an engineer clocked in and out. It also includes when jobs were received and accepted, when the engineer began traveling, and when they arrived to begin work. Not only will this help you see exactly how your engineers are spending their time, you can also use this information if you face a customer complaint.

3. Reduce Driving Time with Intelligent Scheduling

One of the main reasons many jobs end up taking longer is due to driving time. Now that companies are required to pay field service engineers for time spent driving to clients, the hours can add up fast. 

The best way to address this problem is to reduce how far each technician travels for each job. Using BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant enables you to shorten your technicians’ routes by sharing the following real-time information:

  • 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

As such, you can rest assured that you’re making the most of your technicians’ time and attending to more customers’ jobs per day.

4. Stop Overbooking Before It Happens

When business is moving at such a fast pace, it’s not always easy to make sure that your field service engineers aren’t accruing excess hours. While having an individual profile of each engineer’s working hours, holidays, and absences can help you stick to the legal working hour limit, having systems in place to alert you if there’s a possibility of overtime work is your best bet. 

Beyond simply tracking hours and cutting out time-consuming paperwork, BigChange’s mobile workforce management software enables employers to set up custom alerts to notify engineers if they’re in danger of over-running a job. 

Field service engineers are also empowered to pause, suspend, or reject jobs that they either don’t have the bandwidth to perform or are running over schedule. All of this communication can be done seamlessly through the BigChange app so that field service engineers and the back-office are always on the same page instantaneously.

5. Complete Extra Work Orders with Subcontractors

When you’re doing good work, you often end up with more work as a result of your great reputation. Although a boost to your bottom line is always beneficial, it could make sticking to each individual’s 48-legal working hours a challenge if you don’t have the field service engineers on-hand to handle your workload.

Being able to easily hire subcontractors when you have an unexpected workload is a great way to address this problem. Luckily, setting up subcontractor licenses through the BigChange Network makes hiring extra help a breeze.

Guarantee Legal Working Hours with BigChange

BigChange’s mobile workforce management software doesn’t just help simplify your business procedures, it also provides you with various ways to avoid exceeding legal working hours for your field service engineers. 

Whether it’s digitising job paperwork, easily tracking your field service engineers’ hours, hiring the best and closest engineers for the job, or bringing on a subcontractor when there’s a large workload, using the BigChange mobile workforce management platform will help you keep your staff within their legal working hours. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Running a business isn’t an easy task, and it becomes even trickier when you throw complex data protection laws into the mix. Shockingly, over half (52%) of businesses aren’t GDPR compliant, putting them at risk of severe operational, financial and reputational damage.  

For field service businesses, collecting customer data is a necessary part of the process. You couldn’t send an engineer to a customer’s home without knowing their address, for example. So, how do you ensure that you’re managing sensitive information compliantly?

In this article, we’ll break down the jargon to explain what GDPR is and how it affects field service businesses that need to store customer data. We’ll then share how you can manage your clients’ details compliantly and explore the benefits of using a cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) system.

What is GDPR and How Does it Affect Field Service Businesses?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, which is the strictest privacy law in the world. Although the European Union (EU) originally drafted and passed the regulation, it affects any organisation that targets or collects data related to people in Europe. 

Ultimately, the regulation is designed to give people more control over their personal data.

Since GDPR came into effect on 25 May 2018, businesses have had to follow more stringent processes when obtaining and storing customer information to avoid the harsh penalties of non-compliance. 

But, how do you ensure that your business isn’t in breach of GDPR? Read on to find out more.

Customer Data Compliance: How Do I Ensure My Business is Not in Breach of GDPR?

Whether you’re a large corporation or an SME (Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise), you are fully responsible for protecting your customers’ data. As it stands, the maximum fine for infringements is £17.5 million or 4% of your annual turnover – whichever is greater.

Consequently, it’s essential to put together a compliance strategy.

Below are five steps you can take towards ensuring that your company is GDPR-compliant. However, it’s also essential to seek advice from a lawyer about legal requirements for your particular business.

1. Identify the Type of Data You’re Collecting

The first step to managing customer data according to GDPR is identifying and categorising the type of information you’re collecting. Here are some examples of personal data that field service organisations may need to keep a record of:

  • Names
  • Home addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Credit card or bank account details

Once you’ve figured out the type of data you’ll be storing, you can determine the best method of processing it compliantly. 

2. Process the Data Correctly

Any time you obtain, use, share or store a customer’s data, you need to follow the seven GDPR principles, which are:

1. Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency: You must process all personal data according to the law and ensure that you’re transparent about the actions you’re taking.

2. Purpose Limitation: You shouldn’t collect or store customer data for anything other than its intended, legal purpose or without proper permission.

3. Data Minimisation: Only collect the minimum amount of personal data you need to deliver your service.

4. Accuracy: Never collect, store or use inaccurate or outdated details.

5. Storage Limitation: Only keep data for as long as necessary. Once you no longer require the details, you must dispose of them correctly. You may also anonymise data if you intend to use it for business reporting purposes (for example, how many customers visited your website over the last five years).

6. Integrity and Confidentiality: You must process all data in a manner that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and accidental loss, destruction or damage.

7. Accountability: You should be accountable for how you handle customer data.

Remember, the GDPR requires you to prove the nature of consent between you and your customers. As such, you should keep a comprehensive record of how clients joined your database and what permissions they provided.

3. Keep Customers’ Information Secure

Regardless of how you choose to store your customers’ details, you must adopt safety measures to secure the database. Unfortunately, if you rely on spreadsheets and legacy systems to defend sensitive information, you risk becoming the victim of a data breach. 

Instead, you can ensure that your database is completely secure when you use a modern, cloud-based CRM system. Unlike in-house CRMs, which are vulnerable to hackers, cloud CRM providers encrypt customer data and create backups. 

Cloud systems enable you to take immediate action whenever security threats are detected so you can prevent any issues before they become serious. Additionally, the backups ensure that you can restore your entire database if the system crashes due to a virus.

4. Listen to Your Customers and Action their Requests

58% of people in the UK said they are concerned that a company might sell their personal information to other companies. Naturally, your customers will want to protect their data and GDPR is designed to give them more control over the way businesses use their details.

Therefore, you must make provisions for clients to exercise their rights by allowing them to access their data and deleting or modifying their details when asked. Your responses should be prompt, and you will need to provide a genuine, logical reason if you wish to delay or refuse their requests.

5. Assess Your Database for Risks

Since field service businesses deal with a high volume of customer data and collect information such as home addresses and bank details, you should carry out a DPIA (Data Protection Impact Assessment). 

Much like a standard impact assessment, a DPIA is designed to help you identify and minimise any data protection risks. Your DPIA must:

  • Describe the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing
  • Assess necessity, proportionality and compliance measures
  • Identify and assess risks to individuals
  • Highlight any additional steps to mitigate risks

If you identify a high risk that you cannot mitigate, you must consult the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) before you begin processing data.
To learn more about DPIA and when you should carry out an assessment, click here.

What are the Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based CRM System to Manage Customer Data?

Evidently, there is a lot to think about to ensure that you’re operating compliantly. However, thanks to modern technology, customer data compliance needn’t be a headache. In reality, using CRM software not only ensures that you’re following the GDPR but also boasts a range of other benefits that your business will enjoy. 

Here are four reasons why a cloud-based CRM system is a must-have for any field service management business:

1. More Straightforward for Your Team

A study conducted by Professor of Business, Raymond R. Panko showed that the probability of human error is between 18-40% when people manually enter data into simple spreadsheets. For complex spreadsheets, the possibility of error escalates to a staggering 100%. So it’s not that people are lazy or incompetent, but that repetitive data entry directly causes mistakes. 

But, when it comes to GDPR, there is no room for error. 

If you’re still relying on antiquated legacy systems, spreadsheets and other paper-based methods of managing customer data, you’re increasing the likelihood that you’ll be fined for non-compliance.

Luckily, modern CRM systems eliminate all the arduous manual processes and paperwork by keeping everything on one easy-to-use platform. Your team can find your customers’ contact details directly in the system using Google Maps to ensure all the data is correct as it goes into the database.

Your back-office staff can then use the pre-populated information to communicate directly with customers, who will have the option to opt-in or out of marketing emails. Since the CRM stores all correspondence with customers, it will immediately record their preferences and sort them into categories. Your team then doesn’t have to worry about remembering which customers don’t want to be contacted each time they send out communications.

2. Lower Costs

Field service organisations that use paper-based documents and manual processes to manage their operations spend more money than needed. Gartner estimates that as much as 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on paper, printing, filing and the costs to store and maintain files of information.

Therefore, going paperless and managing customer data on a CRM system isn’t just great for the environment. It makes good business sense.
Instead of paying for additional storage or needing to hire people to manage the admin processes associated with paper files, your team can handle all your customers’ information on one online platform. Subsequently, you can respond much more rapidly to clients’ ‘amend’ or ‘delete’ requests, enabling you to meet the 30-day GDPR requirement.

3. Improved Communication with Your Customers

It may seem like GDPR is designed to stop companies from reaching out to their customers, but this isn’t the case. In truth, the regulation has led to an increase in data quality, which is good news for the 64% of businesses that believe inaccurate data undermines their ability to provide an excellent customer experience. 

When you use a cloud-based CRM system to manage customer data, you will be able to see the bigger picture and categorise your clients based on their preferences. As a result, you’ll only be sending personalised marketing communications to customers that opted-in, meaning that click-throughs and engagement are likely to skyrocket.

With increased customer engagement, you can use the data the CRM collects to inform future marketing campaigns and tailor your services to client requirements.

4. Customers’ Data is Protected

In today’s digital world, protecting your clients’ data is more critical than ever. In fact, failure to keep sensitive details safe could be detrimental to your organisation, with 71% of people saying they would take their business elsewhere after a data breach.

When you use a spreadsheet to store and handle customer information, you’re inadvertently putting your organisation at risk of a data breach. Spreadsheets are easy to duplicate and share with others, meaning your database of sensitive customer data could end up in anyone’s hands. 

Even if you have protected your spreadsheets with passwords, you still can’t guarantee that someone won’t gain unlawful access to them. So, it can be challenging to prove that you have taken the proper precautions to secure customer information in the event of a breach.

In contrast, a cloud-based CRM system significantly lowers the possibility of a data breach. For example, BigChange’s CRM secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), which is the world’s most comprehensive and widely-used cloud platform in the world. 

As such, you can show customers that you take data privacy seriously, and they can rest assured that their information is in good hands.

Guarantee GDPR Compliance on BigChange’s Cloud-Based CRM System

Managing data subject consent doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

BigChange equips you with the tools you need to handle all customer data compliantly at the touch of a button, with our market leading Job Management Software.

Carry out GDPR-compliant management of an individuals’ data within the system, including opt-in preferences. Anonymise data, and add flags to segment contacts for financial or marketing purposes. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

According to The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), UK businesses lost an eye-watering 38.8 million working days due to occupational ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries during 2019-20. However, companies could avoid a large proportion of these lost days in the future by ensuring that they manage their health and safety protocols effectively.

Fortunately, health and safety has come a long way since the days of clipboards and pens. There are now more superior ways to assess and mitigate risks, thanks to the technological advancements we’ve experienced in recent years. 

Read on to find out more about how health and safety compliance management software can aid in keeping your employees safe and benefit your business simultaneously.

Keeping Your Employees Safe with Technology: What are the Benefits?

As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees, and anyone else who may be affected by your business, are safe from harm during working hours. However, when you rely on manual processes and paper-based documents to handle your health and safety procedures, you run the risk of occupational illnesses and injuries becoming more commonplace and, at worst, being fined for non-compliance.  

In contrast, health and safety compliance management software can simplify the entire process, reducing the potential for human error and improving worker health and safety. Here are just some of the benefits your organisation could enjoy by using technology to handle workplace hazards:

1. Less Human Error

When it comes to health and safety, human error can be the difference between life and death. With HSE recording 111 fatal workplace injuries over the course of just one year, businesses must do all they can to improve their processes and reduce the frequency of avoidable disasters.

By using health and safety compliance management software, you can significantly lower the margin for errors to occur. You will be able to manage all health and safety-related documents in the system using pre-populated, correct information. For example, you can add method statements that field engineers must complete from their mobile devices before they can begin a job. 

Promoting health and safety in the workplace via mandatory method statements reduces the likelihood that your technicians will forget vital protocols.

2. Guaranteed Compliance

In 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties for businesses that fail to manage health and safety risks appropriately. Consequently, the fine has skyrocketed to £150,000. Therefore, to avoid a severe financial hit, you must ensure your business manages workplace hazards compliantly.

Fortunately, keeping your employees safe needn’t be challenging or costly when you use the latest health and safety software

You can create mandatory electronic workflows and integrated mobile safety checklists, ensuring your technicians follow industry-standard protocols. Not only do these digital documents enable your workers to complete jobs compliantly, but they also have the potential to increase first-time fix rates significantly because they ensure that workers complete jobs to the highest standard.

3. Streamlined Processes and Improved Productivity

Typically, UK workers spend around two hours per day completing administration tasks. Consequently, companies are missing out on opportunities for growth since their employees are focused on manual processes instead of business-critical work.

Digitising your health and safety procedures eliminates the time-consuming paperwork and provides your team with a more streamlined workflow. Engineers can complete digital forms from their mobile devices and instantly send them through to your back-office team instead of filling out paper-based forms and hand-delivering them to the office at the end of the day.

The system automatically records all details, including any photographs the technicians take on-site, to ensure that you have an easy-to-access record of all work. As such, your employees won’t have to spend hours filing and sorting through documents and, instead, they can focus on doing what they do best.

4. Boosted Worker Morale

Research shows that companies with highly engaged employees experience 21% greater profitability, indicating that worker happiness plays a significant role in business success.

But, when your employees don’t believe that you’re prioritising their health and safety, their morale will take a nosedive. Plus, if there are lots of barriers standing in the way of your workers being able to complete jobs safely, they will have to waste time trying to resolve issues.

As a result, you’ll find that your workers take more sick days, and productivity reaches an all-time low.

With BigChange’s health and safety compliance management software, you and your employees can rest assured that suitable measures are in place to prevent workplace hazards. 

For example, field engineers can answer a questionnaire from their mobile device, which identifies risks at the customer site. The system automatically triggers an alert to your back-office staff, allowing them to take immediate action and protect the technician.

Plus, you can carry out daily electronic vehicle walk-around checks, which allow you to identify defects and potential problems. As a result, you’ll have a reliable and legal fleet on the road, and your technicians won’t have to worry about their safety as they travel to your customers.

Promoting Health and Safety in the Workplace Has Never Been Simpler with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

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

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

Want to find out more?

Discover how our Job Management Software can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

As a field service business leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your workers are safe and that your operations are compliant. Failure to meet compliance laws and regulations, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, could put your business at risk of severe operational, financial and reputational damage. 

However, it can be tricky to maintain strict compliance when you don’t have the right tools or complete visibility over your operations. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can use modern technology to run your organisation compliantly. Read on to learn how to improve compliance within your field service operations using BigChange’s job management software.

How to Improve Compliance: Four Top Tips

Running your field service operations compliantly doesn’t have to be a headache. With the right solution in place, you and your employees can maintain accurate records, carry out work according to rules and regulations, and protect customer data all on one platform.  

Here are just some of the ways you can improve compliance using state-of-the-art workforce management software:

1. Complete a Risk Assessment

Not only will a risk assessment help you to identify any potential hazards in the workplace, but it’s also a legal requirement to document it if you employ five or more people.

There are several pieces of information you must note when carrying out a risk assessment:

  • Which hazards the assessor identified
  • The persons or groups that could be affected
  • The methods your organisation put in place to mitigate risks
  • Who is monitoring the preventative measures
  • Who carried out the assessment
  • The date of the assessment

You must also show that you’ve taken measures to mitigate risks that comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act and associated regulations.

Historically, field service businesses have relied on humble clipboards and pens to conduct their risk assessments. But, traditional manual methods of detailing workplace hazards are inefficient and challenging to keep a record of for future reference. 

Instead, when using a field service management system with built-in health & safety features, you can keep a digital record of all risk assessments for easy access. Plus, you can use your findings to create method statements in the system, which all engineers will have access to, ensuring that they carry out all work safely and compliantly.

For guidance on how to carry out a risk assessment, click here.

2. Enhance Your Communication Methods

When it comes to health and safety compliance, communication is critical. Engaged employees are five times less likely to have a safety incident than non-engaged employees. Therefore, you should ensure that every member of your team has access to essential information.

BigChange’s field service software for iOS and Android provides your engineers with everything they need to know in the palm of their hands. Then, once your workers have completed a job, they can fill out all the necessary paperwork from their mobile device and send it straight back to the office in real-time.

You can set mandatory fields in each document to ensure that your technicians are carrying out work compliantly. For example, you can require your workers to attach photos of their completed projects or obtain customers’ signatures. 

As a result of improving communication between technicians and back-office staff and providing necessary information upfront, you’ll find that your workers can operate more compliantly. Additionally, by streamlining your processes, your workers can maximise their time to complete more jobs per day.

3. Create Mandatory Workflows for Field Technicians

Not only can intelligent, digital workflow automation increase productivity by 20%, but it also ensures that your technicians are working compliantly. 

With the BigChange job management software, you set your own workflows in the system that technicians must follow. The workflows prevent your engineers from carrying out any work until they’ve electronically confirmed that they have followed all your health and safety protocols beforehand.

The system also allows you to create multiple vehicle-specific or role-specific safety checks. Your team will also have access to all previous tests, enabling them to view outstanding defects and fix or reconcile issues directly from the app. 

4. Manage Confidential Customer Information Digitally

Keeping records is an essential part of running a business. However, when all your documentation is paper-based, you have to find somewhere to store it and potentially hire staff to manage the filing system. Not to mention that you run the risk of breaching GDPR (general data protection regulation) if you don’t manage customer information correctly.

In contrast, BigChange’s CRM system enables you to carry out GDPR compliant management of individuals’ data and give your customers opt-in preferences, so they have peace of mind that your team has recorded their information with their consent. 

Most importantly, our software is cloud-based, meaning that all information is highly protected. Consequently, you and your customers can rest assured that all confidential information will remain that way.

Guarantee that Your Field Service Operations are Compliant with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

Using our leading Field Service Management Software will give you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

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

Want to find out more?

Discover how the BigChange complete Job Management Platform can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Since 19th July, otherwise known as ‘freedom day’ in the UK, businesses have had to carefully consider how stage four of the government roadmap will affect their ways of working. With many people returning to the office post-lockdown, facilities managers have a considerable part to play in ensuring that employees are kept safe in the workplace.

But, despite the lockdown ending, COVID remains widespread across the country and will need to be carefully managed for some time. So, what is the role of a facilities manager during this transitional period, and how can they ensure worker safety maintains a priority?

In this article, we explain why facilities management is so important and share the role of a facilities manager in a post-lockdown workplace.

Why is Facilities Management so Important?

Facilities Managers play an essential role in any workplace because they manage the day-to-day organisation and delivery of services on behalf of your business. They aim to reduce running costs and enable your company to meet all its objectives.

The role of a facilities manager may include the following:

  • Staff safety
  • Ensuring that all facilities comply with UK legislation and guidance
  • Ordering stock

During COVID, facilities management has become more vital than ever before. Since March 2020, workplace health and safety practices have been under a magnifying glass, putting pressure on facilities managers to adhere to the latest government guidelines. 

However, measures designed to protect against the spread of COVID, such as social distancing and work from home restrictions, have come to an end. Therefore, facilities managers have to deal with a new set of challenges. Now, they must consider ways to keep everyone safe on-site during a pandemic when there are no official guidelines in place.

Post-Lockdown: What is a Facilities Manager’s Responsibility?

Employers have a legal duty to manage risks associated with their workplace, including any COVID-related threats to worker health. Subsequently, you must take appropriate steps to mitigate any issues before they arise.

That’s where facilities management comes in. Here are some measures facilities managers should take to ensure the workplace remains a safe environment for staff:

Carry Out a Risk Assessment

The first stage of protecting everyone in your building is to carry out a workplace risk assessment, which highlights potential hazards to health and safety. Once you’ve completed the evaluation, you can decide whether you have taken enough precautions to prevent harm.

All measures must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and associated regulations. But, during the pandemic, you may need to consider some additional risks. For example:

  • Is the building well ventilated?
  • Is there enough room to maintain distance between workers?
  • Do you have adequate hand sanitising facilities?

You will also need to consider those at higher risk of infection, such as the clinically vulnerable or people who haven’t yet received both doses of the vaccination. Facilities managers will need to make reasonable adjustments for anyone who could be adversely affected by the virus.

Remember, if you employ over five people, you must document your findings. With a 5-in-1 workforce management system like BigChange, you can easily keep an electronic record of all your risk assessments for future reference, saving you from having to file and store your findings manually.

Communicate Health and Safety Measures to Staff

Following a risk assessment, the role of a facilities manager is to communicate their findings — along with any preventative measures they’ve put in place — with employees. Strong communication will ensure that everyone is aware of their role in maintaining health and safety in the workplace.

Some steps facilities managers may wish to take to prevent the spread of COVID could include:

1. Planning a Gradual Return to the Office

Although mandated working from home restrictions have ended, the government still recommends a gradual return to the workplace over the summer. Therefore, you should consider scheduling return dates for your staff and communicating them clearly with each individual.

2. Encouraging a Respectful Environment

It’s worth communicating to employees that ‘freedom day’ doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone, and some people still may not be comfortable with contact. Encourage staff to be respectful of other people’s wishes and to maintain distance to prevent the spread of COVID where possible.

3. Maintaining Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

It’s no longer mandatory to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces. However, COVID still poses a threat to public health, so the government advises people to use ‘personal risk-based judgements’. As such, they suggest that everyone continues to wear a mask in crowded and enclosed spaces.

Workplaces will need to ensure that they’ve taken all reasonable steps to minimise health and safety risks, so facilities managers may want to encourage all non-exempt employees to wear a mask when they’re not sitting at their desks.

Make the Role of a Facilities Manager Simpler with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

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

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

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

Although official government COVID restrictions ended on 19 July in the UK, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) announced that its pandemic safety guidance would remain in place for construction firms that wish to maintain them as a means of protecting their workers. The CLC commented:

“Whilst it would be inappropriate for the CLC to seek to impose on the industry any requirements over and above those set out by the Government, we recognise that businesses across the supply chain have welcomed the consistency that the CLC guidance has provided.”

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the guidance and share how you can continue to keep your employees healthy and safe.

Construction Industry COVID Guidance

According to research, 90% of UK construction firms reported a reduction in revenue due to the pandemic, making it one of the worst affected industries. Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to be widespread across the country and will need to be managed for some time. As such, it’s more critical than ever to ensure your employees are healthy and able to complete projects. 

Whilst official restrictions are no longer in place, the Construction Leadership Council has still made their pre-‘freedom day’ guidance available for construction firms that want to continue protecting their workforce. 

Here are some workplace measures you may want to consider:

1. When to Go to Work

The Construction Leadership Council recommends that, if employees can’t work from home, they should socially distance themselves from others in the workplace. In some cases, your employees may need to self-isolate, for example, if they have:

  • Received a positive COVID test result
  • Been exposed to COVID via someone in their household
  • Returned from a country on the red list
  • Been told to isolate by the NHS

Encouraging your employees to isolate when necessary reduces the risk of them coming into work and spreading the virus across your entire workforce. Plus, with a solution such as the  BigChange Network in place, isolating employees needn’t be a hindrance to projects. Instead, they can continue to work remotely and communicate with colleagues in real-time, safeguarding workflows.

However, if a staff member develops symptoms of COVID at work, they must immediately alert their manager and return home to take a test. If the test result is positive, the worker shouldn’t return to the site until they have completed their period of isolation and are no longer unwell.

2. Site Access

The key to preventing the spread of COVID on-site is to limit the number of people in enclosed areas of the building. For example, you may want to prohibit access for any non-essential visitors or schedule staggered start and finish times for your office-based staff, so that they’re not all in the building at the same time.

For your field-based workers, you should reduce the number of people in attendance at site inductions. Consider holding site inductions outdoors whenever it’s practical to do so. Drivers should also aim to remain in their vehicles when loading and unloading deliveries when possible. If they must exit the vehicle, they should wash or sanitise their hands before handling any materials.

To ensure that everyone is following best hygiene practices, you must provide your workers with suitable toilet and handwashing facilities and make them aware of any COVID safety measures you have in place to prevent contamination.

3. On-Site Facilities

If your offices have communal areas such as canteens or showers, you should also consider ways to mitigate the risk of a COVID outbreak in those spaces. For example, you may wish to make it mandatory for non-exempt employees to wear a face mask when they’re not sitting at their desks or outdoors. 

Again, you should consider capacity. Try to limit the number of people using communal facilities at one time and encourage everyone to socially distance. You can control the group size by staggering break times or providing additional recreational areas for staff members to use during the day.

As with any area in the building, you must frequently clean surfaces and provide handwashing facilities.

4. Work Planning

You should conduct a risk assessment to determine whether work can continue safely and share the results with your employees. The Construction Leadership Council advises that certain activities should be eliminated or reduced to lower the risk of a COVID outbreak at work:

  • Eliminate: Workers who have COVID shouldn’t attend the workplace. Likewise, you should avoid holding in-person meetings where several people will be in one room.
  • Reduce: You should minimise the frequency and time that people are working together. Ensure you keep teams to small numbers and that they frequently wash their hands.

For COVID safety measures to be effective, everyone in your construction firm must take responsibility for their actions. Encourage an open and collaborative approach where employees can discuss any issues. As a result, you’ll find that your employees work better and more safely together.

5. First Aid

You still need to administer first aid to workers until the emergency services attend. However, there may be delays in the emergency service’s response due to the pandemic. Consequently, you should consider rescheduling high-risk work or providing additional trauma resources. You must also ensure that there is adequate first aid equipment on-site and that worker contact details are up-to-date. With BigChange, you can store all employee information electronically for straightforward access during emergencies.

To read the complete Construction Leadership Council guidance, click here.

Protect Your Workers and Your Construction Firm with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

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

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

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.



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