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If your main focus is on acquiring new customers, you should know that you’ll spend five times more than you would by simply retaining your existing clientele. In fact, your current customers are also more likely to be loyal to your brand, try new products and spend more in the long run. 

Therefore, to survive in today’s turbulent, post-pandemic market, you must prioritise customer retention. But, with your technicians — the faces of your organisation — scattered across the country, how can you ensure that they’re representing your company appropriately? 

The answer lies with job management software

Arming your field-based workforce with the latest technology provides them with everything they need to do an outstanding job every time. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of using a job management platform and share how it leaves a lasting impression on your customers. 

How Your Technicians Can Improve Customer Retention

89% of companies see customer experience as a critical factor in driving customer loyalty and retention. Therefore, your technicians must be aware of how to deliver excellent service. Here are our top three tips:

1. Boost First-Time Fix Rates

Field service organisations that achieve a first-time fix rate of over 70% boast an impressive 86% customer retention rate. Customers don’t want to have to wait around all day for a technician to arrive, only to find out that they can’t fix the issue and will have to come back. 

Fortunately, with job management software, enhancing your first-time fix rates has never been simpler. Once a customer makes an appointment via the self-service booking system, your back-office team can assign a technician based on location, skillset, job constraints and vehicle type. By assigning the best person for the job, you can ensure that they’ll complete the project in one appointment.

Plus, many state-of-the-art platforms link with your inventory to give you complete visibility over your stock and assets. As such, your team can simply assign parts and tools directly to a job, meaning that your technicians will never turn up unprepared. 

Upon their arrival at the client’s location, your technicians can use their mobile devices to find out everything they need to know about the job and see what equipment they have available. Instead of having to reschedule another appointment to fix an issue, they can focus on doing what they do best. 

2. Operate Compliantly

Now, more than ever, customers are aware of the importance of proper health and safety measures. For example, according to the BBC, 40% of Britons want to keep wearing masks in shops and on public transport permanently, indicating that many people are still uncomfortable returning to ‘normal’.

Even without COVID in the picture, proper health and safety measures are critical to ensuring your workers carry out their jobs safely and that there will be no severe repercussions further down the line. That’s where job management software comes in.

You can set mandatory workflows in the system that your technicians must follow before they’re permitted to carry out any work or access their timesheets. They can fill out the forms and risk assessments from their mobile devices and send the results to your back office instantly, providing you with a thorough record for future reference.

If there are any hazards that could jeopardise the job, your team can mitigate the issue and enable the work to continue without any delays. Using technology to remove roadblocks and improve health and safety measures will give you and your customers peace of mind that the work will be completed on time and to a high standard. 

3. Invoice Instantly

On average, it takes around 25 days for a small-to-mid-sized company to process a single invoice manually. Unfortunately, not only can slow invoicing methods lead to late payments, but they’re also inconvenient for your customers, who will have to wait weeks to pay for a service. 

In contrast, your technicians can handle the invoicing process from their smart devices when you use job management technology. Once the work is complete, they can pull through pre-existing information about the job for an accurate cost and send it to your customer for approval in seconds.

Customers will also appreciate the convenient payment methods that modern technology provides. For example, with a platform such as BigChange, people can pay using credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, direct debits and eWallets. 

Making the invoicing and payment process straightforward will help you stand out against competitors that rely on outdated manual methods. As a result, customers will want to use your business time and time again. 

Arming Your Field-Based Workers with Technology is the Key to Retaining Customers

According to PWC, 46% of people will abandon a company if they aren’t knowledgeable. Thankfully, technology has the power to ensure that your technicians have all the knowledge they need to hit the ground running every time they head to a new job. 

With the BigChange Mobile Application, your technicians can communicate with your back-office and customers in real-time. They will also have access to a range of valuable features, such as:

  • Expenses log
  • Photo and signature capture
  • Stock and equipment quantities
  • Risk assessments
  • Customer relationship manager
  • Timesheets

With so much information available at the tap of a button, you can guarantee that your technicians will leave a favourable impression on your clientele.

Your Customer Retention Rate will Skyrocket with BigChange

All the essential information your business could need at the click of a button.

BigChange’s field service management system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

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

According to data from the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme UK (CHAS UK), the COVID-19 pandemic decreased overall HVAC business turnover by 70%. As a result, just under half (45%) of stakeholders believe their company is under threat.

With that in mind, it’s never been more necessary to bid for larger contracts that will provide enough work in the long run. However, if you usually deal with residential customers exclusively, taking the leap to bid on a commercial agreement may be intimidating. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to bid for HVAC service contracts in a few simple steps and share how field service management technology can streamline the process.

How to Bid for HVAC Contract Work

1. Find Appropriate Contracts to Bid On

Before you can begin bidding on a contract, you must first find one you believe your business will be able to manage. A good place to start is by looking on the Contracts Finder page of the GOV.UK website. The Contracts Finder allows you to filter searches by sector. You can also see upcoming contracts and search for details of previous agreements.

You should then familiarise yourself with the three most common contracting procedures, which we’ll explain below.

1. Open Procedure

An open procedure means that:

  • Anyone is permitted to submit a tender
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders

There are no restrictions on when clients can use the above method, but they must evaluate all tenders they receive. As such, an open procedure is often used for straightforward procurements.

2. Restricted Procedure

A restricted procedure means that:

  • Any interested parties can express their interest in bidding.
  • A minimum of five suppliers must be invited to bid — provided enough candidates have applied — so there is genuine competition.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders, although they can clarify details and finalise terms.

Again, there are no restrictions on when clients can use the process above. Often, restricted procedures are suited to less stable markets where there are several competitors. 

3. Competitive Dialogue

A competitive dialogue means that:

  • Companies shortlist candidates who respond to their advertisement, and only those selected are invited to bid.
  • Clients are permitted to negotiate with bidders to seek better offers.

Often, competitive dialogue is used when a more tailored approach is needed. For example, if the client’s organisation cannot use a ready-made solution or product due to the complexity of its requirements.

2. Gather Accurate Data About Your Business

Once you’ve selected the HVAC contract work that you want to bid for, it’s time to gather some data. To justify your quote, you need factual evidence and accurate numbers — so you should calculate the following:

  • Labour costs
  • Prices of supplies
  • Equipment usage costs
  • Profit margin
  • Average timescales to complete work

Remember, although the price is important, it’s not a race to the bottom. Your company’s experience, certifications, qualifications and track record are also crucial factors, so clients will be looking at more than just who can offer the lowest bid.

Collecting all the vital information you need to share about your business can seem daunting — but it doesn’t have to be. With field service management software, you can obtain real-time, accurate data on anything from your inventory to finances in just a few clicks. Consequently, you’ll have all the details you need to write a successful bid without the headache of sifting through mountains of paperwork.

3. Put Your Bid Together

Begin your bid submission with a brief overview of your company’s qualifications and why you should win the contract. Then, explain how you will complete the job by answering each question concisely and sharing all the relevant information you sourced earlier. Don’t forget to submit any additional paperwork that the client has requested, such as proof of insurance, certifications, or a list of key personnel.

Whilst it’s beneficial to mention the positive aspects of your organisation, you must ensure you keep the focus on the client. The reader will want to know how you can help them with their specific requirements. Search your document for incidences of the word ‘we’ and consider how you can change them to ‘you’ instead.

Above all else, once you’ve double-checked your bid for errors, you must ensure that you submit it before or on the deadline. Failure to do so will likely cause the client to discount your submission entirely, meaning you’ve lost both valuable time and a potential customer. 

Field Service Management Technology Speeds Up the Bidding Process

Bid writing is a time-consuming process and, when there’s no guarantee that you’ll win the contract in the end, it can be tempting to simply continue attending to one-off jobs. But, to survive in a post-COVID world, HVAC organisations will need to secure a steady pipeline of work, which you can achieve by winning contracts. 

Fortunately, you can cut down your time writing bids by arming yourself with the vital data you need to impress potential clients. With field service management software such as BigChange, you can view details:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Payments and outstanding invoices
  • Your health and safety procedures 

As a result, you can eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other business-critical activities. 

Win More HVAC Contract Work with BigChange

All the essential information you need at the click of a button.

BigChange’s field service management system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

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

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the hospitality industry was one of the worst affected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As countrywide lockdowns prohibited events and forced many public locations to close their doors, catering businesses had to await further announcements and place staff on furlough, creating a sense of uncertainty.

Now we’ve entered the ‘new normal’, it’s the perfect time to grow your company. One way to obtain more clients is to win a public sector catering tender. The public sector — for example, schools, care homes, hospitals, airports and offices — regularly outsource catering services, so plenty are available.

In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of tendering for a catering contract. We’ll also share how field service management software can help you easily manage your growing business.

7 Simple Steps to Winning Catering Jobs

1. Do Your Research

Firstly, you’ll need to find a tender that’s relevant to your business. In the UK, all public tender opportunities are listed on Contracts Finder or Find a Tender, and you can search using keywords related to your services.

2. Complete the Pre-Qualification Process (PQQ)

Once you’ve selected a tender you want to apply for, you’ll need to complete the PQQ process, which involves filling out a questionnaire. The questionnaire should cover topics such as experience level, past and current clients, geographical reach, financial information and insurance details. 

The answers you provide will enable the client to shortlist the suppliers that fit their requirements. All shortlisted suppliers can then officially tender for the contract, so take some time to fill out the questionnaire in detail and research the client to improve your chances of making the cut.

3. Invitation to Tender (ITT) 

If you’re invited to tender for a contract catering job, the client will invite you to tender and should supply the following information:

  • The scope of works
  • An explanation of the tender process and instructions
  • The criteria
  • How they will assess applicants

However, the above list isn’t exhaustive, and some clients may require you to include more information. The client might also have a preference over the format of your response; for example, you may have to upload your answers via an online portal with a maximum word count.

4. Visit the Client’s Site

The client will likely invite all bidders to their site to outline their catering objectives and provide a tour of their facilities. You’ll have the chance to see the working environment and equipment and learn more about the services and standards required. Plus, you can gain more insight into the company’s culture and ethos, which could help you decide whether the client is a good fit for your business.

5. Write the Tender Document

Now you’re ready to begin writing your tender. Often, you’ll need to submit the tender in both hard copy and digital formats, and you will need to include the following:

  • Sample menus
  • Staff information
  • Method statements
  • Specific company policies
  • Description of support resources
  • Mobilisation plan
  • Service innovation
  • Supply chain information
  • What differentiates your company from the competition

Therefore, it’s worth taking some time to review all your vital company data and highlight anything that should take priority in your answers. Remember, your responses will be more authoritative if you have accurate statistics to back them up. 

With a state-of-the-art field service management platform, gathering accurate, real-time data needn’t be a headache. In fact, you’ll be able to find everything you need — from finances to staff details — in one place. 

6. Prepare for a Client Visit 

After the client has evaluated all tender documents, they will arrange a visit to your site. The purpose of the visit is to see your catering abilities in person. As such, you must focus on delivering excellent service. You should pay particular attention to your menu, food presentation, customer service and marketing materials.

The person visiting your site will typically be your main point of contact if you are successful. Consequently, you should aim to make them feel like you could have a good working relationship in the future. 

7. Presentation

The presentation is the final stage of the tendering process and is an opportunity to showcase your proposal in reality. It may seem as though you’re simply repeating what you already included in the written tender, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. You could lose the opportunity if you don’t go into the presentation fully armed with the correct information.

Although it’s impossible to know what the client will ask, you should know your proposal inside out, including facts and figures. Subsequently, you’ll be able to answer all questions confidently and prove to the client that you’re the best supplier for their requirements.

Field Service Management Technology Simplifies the Tendering Process

It’s no secret that catering companies have faced many difficulties in recent years. As a result, it may be tempting to forgo tendering for larger opportunities in favour of completing ‘quick win’ jobs. After all, gathering vital data to support your proposal can be time-consuming and complex.

But, in a post-COVID world, job security is essential. The best way to ensure you have a steady pipeline of work is to bid on contract catering jobs. 

Fortunately, you can streamline the tendering process by equipping yourself with the crucial data you need to impress potential clients. With a field service management platform such as BigChange, you can view details such as:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Payments and outstanding invoices
  • Your health and safety procedures 

You’ll eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other business-critical activities. 

Win More Catering Jobs with BigChange

All the essential information you need at the click of a button.

BigChange’s Field Service Management Software gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

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.

BigChange

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