With the 5 in 1 system from Leeds-based BigChange, DFP has equipped its engineers with rugged tablets as part of a fully digital system connected in real time to the company’s national service centre in Durham. The paperless system has boosted efficiency, reduced administrative work and improved engineer productivity.
With origins in fire protection, DFP installs, services and maintains equipment operating a 24/7 planned and reactive services for gas, heating, plumbing and alarms. The company a major provider to services in the care home sector and with 30 percent annual growth, DFP was recently recognised as one of the top 50 growing businesses in the northeast of England.
The BigChange solution has completely replaced five other systems including systems for service management, vehicle tracking and certification. JobWatch now handles everything from the original services request through to invoicing; jobs are now booked, allocated and managed with the system which allows DFP engineers to operate independently around the clock.
Heather Taylor, Commercial Manager at DFP, says:
“Managing a 24 hour service has always been difficult out of hours but with JobWatch we can always see what is going on and deal with things such as emergencies by simply accessing the system from our mobiles,”
“Also engineers manage everything from their devices so it means they can work fairly independently. Without having to rely on the office so much they can get on with their work; that has boosted productivity and job satisfaction.”
The company employs 45 engineers and 76 staff. The fleet comprises mainly Ford Transit with a few Mitsibishi L200 pick-ups; all fitted with BigChange trackers and tablet cradles for navigation and communication on route. As well as reporting, the tablets are useful for taking photographs of work done and relative state of the site on arrival and on departure.
Jon Paul Seed, Managing Director at DFP Services, says:
“BigChange provides a number of key operational and business benefits. Always knowing what is going on is of course really helpful but so is the management information and traceability that the system offers,”
“We can now review the business properly and Big Data reports allow us to drill-down by customer, by engineer and any other criteria so we can accurately assess performance and profitability. We simply couldn’t do this before.”
Due to the nature of their work certification is vitally important with the BigChange automated certificates have been introduced. Previously certificates were issued with invoices and that could be a week later. Certificates have to be provided for everything from gas safety, fire alarms, emergency lighting and fire extinguisher, with often multiple certificates in each area.
The fact that BigChange is web based is providing other significant benefits as Taylor explains:
“We have just opened an office in Leeds and because BigChange is a cloud solution setting up the office was really easy. IT-wise we were up and running pretty much instantly; connected and fully synchronised to a single system. That was a real revelation and BigChange gives us the flexibility to expand freely and nationally in the future.”
The digitisation is also helping DFP expand the business as within tenders there is often request for an online portal and the provision of electronic documentation/certificates.
“The system has been a real help for Bid writing as now we can provide exactly what customers want; we can now tick every box. BigChange means we are no longer restricted as we can offer everything the customer needs. It is especially useful when we need to show we can provide things like customer feedback or an online portal, plus it helps us comply with our ISO 1401 certification for paperless working. All in all BigChange has proved brilliant for competing tenders.”
DFP is also seeing big benefits from the move to the cloud and apart from the obvious benefits of an always-on, accessible-anywhere system, the company found it invaluable for business expansion.