Traffic and Highways
Gritting company AA Salt has doubled the productivity of its gritting operators following the introduction of a cloud-based mobile workforce system from BigChange.
Operators equipped with rugged tablets use a mobile app that synchronises in real time with back office management software as part of a 5 in 1 solution for paperless working.
The productivity gains, which are due to improved routing and job scheduling using BigChange Schedular software and greater efficiency through the elimination of paperwork. As part of the system the fleet is also fitted with GPS tracking so gritting operations can be monitored 24/7 and this, coupled with live status reports from gritting operators, has allowed AA Salt to boost customer service.
Still a family-run business, AA Salt was founded in 2002 to provide gritting services across the Hereford and Worcester area. Today with a fleet of 14 vehicles, the company specialises in providing commercial gritting and snow clearing services to an area that now extends from the West Midlands to Gloucestershire.
Ben Tanner comments:
“As demand for our gritting service increased we knew we had to automate more”
Sales and Operations Director, AA Salt explained:
“When the Beast from the East hit the country in 2019 we had just started using BigChange. Without the system we would never have coped with the demand and BigChange has basically allowed us to double our business.”
“Productivity gains have been very substantial thanks to BigChange. Through work optimisation and digital reporting we reckon we are saving 5 minutes per job and reducing driving time by a total of 4 hours each night. From just 100 jobs a night we can now do up to 450.”
AA Salt clear and grit private roads and estates such as car parks at retail sites, universities and industrial estates. Jobs are scheduled and allocated in BigChange and allocated with jobs sent directly to gritting operators’ tablets. AA Salt has mapped and geofenced each site and using the BigChange JobWatch app, operators can see job specifications and notify of any issues with time and location referenced photographs on location.
AA Salt has seen a significant improvement is customer service as a result of the real time data now being received. Now all gritting reports are live and accessible to customers through the JobWatch web portal. Previously records of work done was very limited and the company did not have the job reporting capability required by some potential key customers.
“We needed to take the business up to the next level and BigChange has given us the capability to offer reports on par with larger competitors,”
The system has also given AA Salt greater confidence in expanding the business whilst retaining high levels of service. Now winning contracts with national facilities management companies and landowners, the company occasionally relies on contractors for out of area work as far afield as Winchester and Nottingham.
“Previously we were too nervous to outsource work but that has changed with JobWatch. Now if we need to contract out the contractor can use exactly the same JobWatch app on their mobile phone so we can have the same level of control and seamless reporting to the customer.”