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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

Five years ago I had a brainwave. BigChange, which was just a start-up back then, was starting to make an impact and we had amazing customers coming on board every single day. That’s when it hit me: wouldn’t it be incredible if I could help these companies work together to grow, and become more successful than they could on their own?

That was the seed of an idea that would grow into the BigChange Network, a directory where our customers could find contractors, share jobs, and expand, both geographically and in terms of the services they could provide. Today, we have over 550 customers on the Network and we’re beginning to see how collaboration is accelerating their growth and success. 

Imagine you’re a plumbing business based in Brighton, and a customer in North London needs a job done. It doesn’t make sense to send someone all the way from Brighton to do the work – not from a business or carbon efficiency standpoint. So, you look on the Network, find a great London plumber, give them a call, and then send the job over via the BigChange platform. Once they accept, you can track the work in real-time. Once the job is complete, you have all the paperwork required for the end customer, with your company branding, and you get the signed off job card including all the completed health and safety processes and photos. This collaborative system also means that you make a nice profit on a customer that you may have had to turn down otherwise. What could be simpler?

In fact, our innovative customers are using the Network to solve increasingly complex business challenges. Lori Kidd, who manages the Network, has found all kinds of fascinating user cases. “We have some customers who offer maintenance but might be approached by customers looking for an installation,” she explains. “If they say they can’t instal the equipment and the customer goes elsewhere, that other company may end up servicing the equipment later, so the customer has lost out twice. We are seeing those companies finding an installer through BigChange and then handling all the future maintenance afterwards.”

I love hearing stories about how smart business leaders are using the Network to test out new services, expand their geographical reach, and take on urgent jobs when they are booked solid. I’d like to share some of these with you today. Even if you’re not a BigChange customer, I hope these insights fuel your ambitions, and if you are, and you’re not on the Network, I hope this inspires you to take the plunge!

Offering a seamless service

Steve Baker is the founder of Jardak Services, which started out as a contract cleaning company but now offers a full facilities management service. The business has been going for 22 years, and now employs 60 staff. Steve believes that the Network has transformed the way he contracts out work. “We have a sister business, called Trustwater, which offers fire risk assessments and health and safely consultancy,” he says. “Trustwater is on BigChange too, so we use the Network to refer jobs between the two businesses while ensuring that all our paperwork and processes are completely consistent. It’s an example of how you can use the Network internally to make the sub-contracting process even more seamless.”

Contract out with confidence

Dan Rochester founded Target with his brother Dean in 2014. From a standing start, the property management and fire protection company has grown to employ 90 staff and turn over £8.5m. “We have found the Network really helpful for finding like-minded companies and sharing jobs,” he says. “Because you are dealing with a BigChange customer, you know what kind of company it’s likely to be. We have found the standard of work has been very high, and we know that they can provide all the information we need in the right format for our records and our health and safety processes.”

Boost your revenues

Aaron Eastwood is the co-founder of Site Secure, a CCTV manufacturer and fire alarm installation firm. The business has been running since 2018 and joined the network a little over a year ago. “We always use the Network as the first port of call to find sub-contractors,” he says. “Without the Network, we could use some of the people we already have on our books as approved contractors but there would definitely be some work we would have to turn down without it, especially the stuff that is out of our area or is really urgent.” Aaron says that the Network has increased revenues by 10%-15%. “That has the ability to grow as we use the Network more and more,” he adds. “We are doubling in size every year.”

Free publicity!

“I can’t understand why every BigChange customer isn’t on the Network,” says Jardak’s Steve Baker. “It’s free publicity for your business. Once you’re set up to take on jobs, you don’t have to do anything, and the referrals come in whenever someone needs your help on a job.”

A virtuous cycle

When you refer a job to a contractor through the Network, you forge a new professional relationship that could result in more work coming your way in future. “We’ve had a few instances where we have referred work to a BigChange customer and then they have given us work back,” says Site Secure’s Aaron Eastwood. “We always give new contractors a ring when we find them on the Network, so you get to know each other.”

Sharing best practice with existing customers

It’s always useful when you find out an existing customer is already on the BigChange platform, according to Dan Rochester. “You can work together to improve the reporting and processes that you get from each job. I have one client that I work closely with, and we are always sharing our learnings and helping one another to get even more out of the software. I’ve made a lot of changes to our back end – it looks very different to the off-the-shelf product now – and I’ve shown him all our workarounds.”

Save time and resource

“When you search for contractors on BigChange, it shows you the exact catchment area they work in, and all their specialist services, which is a real time-saver,” says Jardak’s Steve. “We would otherwise use Google to try and find someone but then you often call up and they don’t work in the area that you searched for, or they don’t offer the specialist service that you need. Given that we only tend to subcontract out the more specialist stuff, we can’t afford to waste time ringing around.”

Learn more about how to reduce outgoings and increase profitability in your field service management business by reading our 5 top tips blog.

Over the last few years, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising fuel costs, rocketing energy prices, and the possibility of an extended economic recession have left field service businesses looking at new ways to reduce costs and remain profitable. 

But, how can you achieve this without compromising on quality of service? 

The first step is to look at how you can drive productivity and customer satisfaction in order to boost profits. Here are our five top tips to cut outgoings and boost income as costs rise. 

  1. Make every hour count

Making sure a mobile workforce gets the most from every day is essential to productivity and cost efficiency in field service management. 

Poor scheduling can lead to: 

  • Low technician productivity 
  • Overloaded technicians
  • Technicians who are available not being assigned jobs
  • Poor customer satisfaction too
  • A damaged reputation and loss of clients and income. 

On the other hand, a well-managed schedule can:

✅Increase efficiency

✅Improve accuracy 

✅Boost productivity

Scheduling software helps to create the best schedule based on factors such as location, skills, available parts, customer history, traffic conditions, and technician and customer availability. 

In addition, a digital scheduling assistant can help get the right engineer, with the right skills, to the right place, by the right route, and streamline job management. 

And, the potential savings are huge. Saving just one hour more than covers the costs of the technology that delivers it. 

Better, automated scheduling means less time spent on admin for back office staff, an ability to track jobs in progress, and a reduction in wasted journeys and travel time for field technicians. 

This allows technicians to increase the number of customers they visit in a day and allows back office staff to focus on tasks that can drive additional revenue for the business. In addition, you will improve customer service, which leads to increased satisfaction and repeat business.

  1. Compete on customer service, not just cost

According to a recent survey, 70% of customers would pay more for better service and more convenience. 

Modern technology is allowing businesses to drive efficiency in new ways, but 52% still use manual methods for field service delivery. These manual methods can result in problems such as: 

  • Technicians arriving at jobs without the proper equipment or tools
  • Wasted journeys to cancelled appointments
  • Wasted time
  • Lack of productivity and unnecessary fuel costs 
  • Frustrated customers who do not receive the service they require 

With the rise of new technologies across the entire consumer journey, modern customer expectations have changed significantly with on-demand services such as Uber, Deliveroo, and Amazon Prime available. 

Field service management software can help companies to keep up with the changing expectations of customers. 

When customers request a booking, a team member with the right skills and tools, and in the right location, can be instantly assigned to the job and the booking is confirmed with automated communications. The customer can then be kept up-to-date on who is coming to complete the job and when they will be arriving. 

Field management software with CRM capabilities can help companies provide better customer service with a secure online booking portal and the ability for back office staff to gain a 360 view of customer’s accounts at the touch of a button. 

  1. Make sure your work is profitable

Too many jobs at field service businesses can cost the company money. 

Companies need to be sure that costs are covered and a fair margin is made on every job. 

It’s important to understand how much profit a job is likely to drive based on the following:

  • Resources needed
  • Travel time for the whole job
  • Vehicle running and upkeep costs 
  • Accurate quotes given to customers 

Job management systems allow companies to store information about jobs completed, routes taken and the number of jobs completed per technician to provide an overview of the profitability of each job. 

As a result of this data, you can continually improve profitability and customer service.

In short, a job management platform provides a clear view of the profit margin for each job and takes the guesswork out of quoting. Plus no more jobs that leave you out of pocket.

  1. Cut mileage

Fuel prices for fleets are staggering and, in the current climate, this is unlikely to change. 

Unnecessary journeys made by field technicians can cost thousands in petrol and labour time so, when driving cost efficiency, reducing these unnecessary costs can be a critical factor to success. 

Live tracking allows for route optimisation which helps to:

  • Reduce fuel consumption
  • Keep technicians productive
  • Reduce wear and tear on vehicles (which results in decreased maintenance costs)

Live tracking will also allow back office staff to track the whereabouts of technicians in real-time whilst assigning jobs based on location. This will ensure the technician doesn’t travel further than required for their next job. 

As a result, smart job scheduling and route planning can cut mileage by 10%, helping to make journeys more cost efficient and allowing technicians to complete more jobs per day. 

  1. Do it once, do it right

First-time fixes can provide huge cost savings and play a critical role in customer experience too.

A high first-time fix rate can improve productivity and efficiency for the business, with technicians spending less time travelling and equipped to fix customer’s problems without having to turn back for parts or tools. 

Having to return to jobs wastes fuel and staff time, whether that’s back office staff dealing with queries or frontline teams doing the work. 

Ensuring a full understanding of the customer’s problem and ensuring that the technician assigned to the job has the tools, materials and information required to take care of it is essential for achieving a high first-time fix rate and providing cost efficiency.

A mobile app can allow technicians to improve their first-time fix rates by viewing the stock, equipment and parts available to them while they’re out on-site. This reduces unnecessary journeys. 

Job history can also be viewed at a glance, which allows technicians to see what the problem is and fix it quickly.  

Key takeaways

Cost efficiency in the field service industry is driven by ensuring that field technicians are provided with the correct tools and knowledge to complete customer jobs, alongside route optimisation to reduce travel time and fuel costs. 

All of these factors can contribute to higher customer satisfaction which drives repeat business and helps companies to remain profitable. 

Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today.

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Historically, field service organisations have been slow to adopt the latest technologies to manage and optimise their operations. In fact, a staggering 52% of companies are still relying on outdated manual administration methods. 

But, if the COVID-19 crisis taught us anything, it’s that digital transformation is essential in today’s world for businesses to survive and thrive. 

Luckily, you can digitise your current working practices with the right field service management tool in place. By eliminating time-consuming tasks and reducing the margin for error, you can enjoy boosted productivity levels, more profits and fewer unnecessary delays.

In this article, we’ll explore the top ways you can optimise your field service process by using modern technology.

How to Streamline your Field Service Process: 3 Top Tips

Here are the top three ways you can use a field service management tool to enhance your operations:

1. Perform Preventative and Predictive Maintenance on Your Vehicles

Although the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ might apply to many aspects of running a successful business, it certainly doesn’t work when it comes to taking care of your fleet. Shockingly, unplanned maintenance costs three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance. 

Not to mention that defective equipment or assets can severely hinder or, at worst, halt your projects and set you back several days. Picture this: your technician, Michael, has an important appointment to attend. He loads all his equipment onto the van, gets in, and tries to start the engine.

After several attempts, Michael realises that the van isn’t going anywhere. So, he asks the back-office team if there’s another vehicle available. But, by the time Michael secures a new van, loads it up and gets on the road, he’s running exceptionally late. Your customer is unimpressed, and Michael is now speeding to get to the location quickly, putting himself and others in danger. 

Even if the original van had started, there’s a chance it could’ve broken down on the road and caused an accident since no one had maintained it. 

Fortunately, by performing preventative maintenance and adequate safety checks, you can avoid frustrating situations caused by defective equipment altogether.

With a field service management tool, you can complete daily electronic vehicle walkaround checks. The assessments make it simple to identify and report defects or potential problems to your Fleet Manager, ensuring that you’re able to keep a safe and legal fleet on the road.

By taking steps to maintain your vehicles, you can enable your technicians to attend more appointments per day, save money on emergency fixes and guarantee that your workers are safe on the roads.

2. Digitise Your Equipment and Asset Management Tracker

Did you know that 43% of small businesses aren’t tracking their inventory and assets effectively? With many field service organisations continuing to rely on spreadsheets, legacy systems and other manual administration processes to manage their vehicles, stock and tools, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to a host of issues.

For example, if you’re using a paper-based document for technicians to sign equipment in and out of storage, you will likely find that numbers stop adding up relatively quickly. Maybe the technicians have forgotten to fill out the form, or their writing is illegible. Perhaps they’ve taken too much stock so they can store it in their vans for future jobs.

When you can’t obtain an accurate overview of your inventory, you won’t be able to ensure that all your technicians have what they need for each job. Subsequently, they could be turning up to bookings without the right gear and need to make another appointment to finish the work. 

Fortunately, there is a more efficient way to manage your assets and stock. With a modern field service management tool, you’ll have access to real-time, accurate data on all of your valuable goods, regardless of their location.

Consequently, your team can allocate stock, tools and equipment directly to customer bookings so your technicians can complete the job the first time. In the long run, you’ll save more time, enjoy higher levels of productivity and boost your bottom line.

3. Use Real-Time Data to Schedule and Manage Jobs

According to a survey conducted by Verizon Connect, half of field service businesses struggle with ‘quickly re-routing technicians’. A further 48% claimed their biggest hurdle is ‘keeping everyone updated about the schedule’ and, for 45%, it’s ‘informing customers of technicians’ estimated times of arrival’. 

Unfortunately, job management and scheduling are tricky when you don’t have real-time data or the right technology in place. Without complete visibility over your workers in the field, you have to rely on phone calls, texts and spreadsheets to ensure that your technicians attend all customer bookings on time. 

The good news is, using a field service management tool with an integrated intelligent scheduling feature such as BigChange, you’ll have all the vital information you need whenever you need it. The system uses GPS tracking technology to collect data in real-time, giving you every technician’s exact whereabouts and keeping your customers in the loop with automated texts and emails.

Whenever your customers make or reschedule a booking on the portal, your back-office team can instantly assign a technician to the job, taking into account the following:

  • Traffic information
  • Location
  • Job constraints (for example, specific qualifications the technician must hold)
  • Vehicle type

Not only can you guarantee that you’ll be sending the most appropriate worker to each booking, but you also eliminate the risk of scheduling issues such as clashes or delays. Plus, you’ll be arming your team with the tools they need to be more agile in the case of an emergency booking.

Grow Your Business with BigChange’s Field Service Management Tool

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.

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

With many more experienced field service technicians fast approaching retirement age, they’re leaving behind a significant skills gap that younger generations cannot fill. In fact, 70% of organisations expect the ageing workforce to severely impact their operations within the next five to ten years. 

Therefore, business leaders will need to create innovative ways for their teams to deal with their usual high volume of work without requiring additional hires. 

In reality, the missing piece of the puzzle may lie with field service management (FSM) software. Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, FSM platforms have the power to revolutionise how companies operate and deal with the fallout of the ever-growing skills gap. Read on to learn more. 

How to Close the Skills Gap with Field Service Management Software

Here are the top three ways a field service management platform can help reduce workload for your existing staff and enable you to take on more jobs with fewer resources:

1. Go Paperless and Streamline Administration Processes

Employees believe they waste a staggering two hours per day on admin, paperwork and other pointless tasks instead of focusing on business-critical activities. Worse still, they spend at least 26 minutes of an average seven-and-a-half-hour working day working out how to use outdated or failing technology.

Therefore, if you’re still relying on the same legacy systems and manual processes that you did in the past, it’s time to consider an alternative. When you reduce the workload currently sitting on your team’s ‘to-do’ list by automating time-consuming tasks, you free up their time to take on other activities that would’ve previously required additional hires to cover. 

For example, when you use a field service management platform, customers can make and amend their own bookings via an online portal, meaning your staff won’t have to take phone calls and manually manage the calendar. Instead, they can instantly see the details on the system and use them to assign and dispatch a worker at the click of a button. 

2. Simplify Your Schedule

For many field service businesses, scheduling and dispatching workers presents the most challenges. High levels of reliance on paper-based documents, spreadsheets and multiple inefficient systems cause delays, confusion and even leave some bookings to fall through the cracks entirely.

In contrast, job management platforms take care of the entire process and help your schedule to run like clockwork. The system uses its integrated intelligent scheduling assistant to find technicians for each job based on their location, skillset, qualifications, and vehicle type. 

By significantly shortening your workers’ routes and ensuring that they’re the best person to complete the job the first time, you’ll find that they have time to attend additional bookings each day. So, instead of needing to take on new hires, you can maximise your current workforce’s time to make the most out of their schedules.

3. Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities

41% of people recognise the importance of networking and want to attend more events but don’t believe they have the time. However, networking is one of the best ways to expand your reach and make important professional relationships. 

The good news is that there are now a wide variety of options for time-starved business leaders. When you invest in BigChange’s field service management platform, you’ll instantly gain access to the BigChange Network. As such, you won’t have to leave your office to build partnerships with thousands of other trusted field service organisations worldwide.

You’ll be able to list your company on the site for free and begin receiving connection requests immediately. Additionally, you can post active jobs and hire subcontractors to carry out the work on your behalf. Each listing allows you to include specific requirements, such as qualifications, so you can rest assured that only the most relevant people will represent your organisation. 

As a result, you can offer more services in a broader range of locations, giving you the power to grow your business without needing to embark on a costly recruitment process or struggling to find talent. 

How to Close the Skills Gap with Field Service Management Software

In 2020, 52% of field service businesses were still relying on inefficient, antiquated systems and error-prone manual administration methods to manage their operations. Unfortunately, with the skills gap becoming an ever-increasing issue in the field service industry, businesses will need to modernise their processes in order to manage a higher volume of work with fewer people.

Field service management technology makes it simpler than ever to manage your business. With a platform like BigChange, you can do the following:

  • Accept customer bookings
  • Assign and dispatch workers
  • Track vehicles, assets, stock and equipment
  • Take payments and invoices

…and more, all on a single easy-to-use platform. Simplifying your ways of working and finding ways to reduce the workload for your team will liberate time to attend extra bookings and take on other tasks that contribute directly to business growth. Remember, your existing staff are your most valuable asset, so you must put their time and skills to good use.

Make running your business easier 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.

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

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), UK companies lose an average of 38.8 million working days each year due to work-related illnesses and workplace injuries. Not only are occupational ailments inconvenient for workers and companies alike, but they also damage your reputation and have the potential to destroy your bottom line.

Therefore, for field service organisations to thrive in a competitive, post-pandemic landscape, they must make employee health and safety their number one priority.

Fortunately, thanks to technological advancements in recent years, maintaining visibility over your workforce and health and safety procedures needn’t be a headache. Read on to discover how you can use state-of-the-art job management software to look after your employees and avoid disruptions to business-as-usual activities.

Looking After Employees: How Do I Ensure My Staff are Safe at Work?

Historically, it has been tricky for field service organisations to gain a bird’s eye view of their entire operations to guarantee that health and safety procedures are being followed to the letter. Reliance on outdated legacy systems and manual paper-based administration methods create a significant margin for errors to occur. So, how can companies obtain accurate information and keep their workers safe?

At the opposite end of the spectrum, modern technology has the power to handle your health and safety measures without creating extra admin for your back-office team. Here are the top three ways a state-of-the-art job management platform can enhance health and safety in the workplace:

1. Manage Timesheets Electronically

Around 44% of businesses struggle with timesheet errors — some of them on a weekly or daily basis. However, apart from being time-consuming to correct, timesheet mistakes can prevent you from keeping an accurate record of working hours, leading to technicians potentially working over the legal limit per week. 

The good news is, inadvertent errors caused by manual timesheet processing can be a thing of the past when you move over to a job management platform. By providing your field technicians with a mobile application, they can easily log their start and finish, breaks, and travel times directly from their mobile devices.

The platform instantly logs the data from your technicians’ devices and reconciles it against detailed vehicle tracking reports and time-stamped records of job activities. As such, you’ll have an extensive, accurate record of each workers’ day and can ensure that they’re working within legal limits.

2. Maintain Your Equipment and Assets

Data collected by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) suggests that around 44,000 non-fatal injuries are caused by machinery at work each year. Unfortunately, the likelihood of being seriously hurt only increases when you don’t properly maintain your equipment and assets. 

Consequently, predictive and preventative maintenance is key to lowering the risk of harming one of your technicians on the job. With job management software, you can easily keep track of all your equipment and assets to ensure that they’re in excellent working condition.

For example, technicians can perform daily vehicle walkarounds and log the results in the app. Your fleet manager can then see common, recurring issues and work to mitigate them before they become a dangerous or costly hazard.

3. Carry Out Risk Assessments

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to protect your staff and anyone who visits your site from illness or injuries caused by the work environment. A risk assessment enables you to identify all hazards and work to prevent them before they affect people. In fact, if you employ five or more people, it’s a legal requirement to document your findings.

However, keeping a paper record of your risk assessments can be a logistical nightmare, especially if you need to refer back to them further down the line. In contrast, when you manage your risk assessments electronically, you create and view a complete record of your appraisals in an instant.

But, with a job management platform such as BigChange, risk assessments aren’t limited to your site exclusively. You can protect your technicians on customer visits by providing them with mandatory digital risk assessment forms that they must complete before beginning any work.

The risk assessment results instantly appear on your back office’s system, enabling your team to mitigate hazards and safely get the job back on track without any delay. 

Job Management Software makes Looking After Employees Straightforward

With businesses across the country shelling out an estimated £16.2 billion due to injuries and ill-health caused by the workplace, it’s evident that a lack of proper health and safety procedures presents a costly issue.

Since COVID-19 has impacted many companies countrywide, very few can afford to risk the fallout resulting from occupational harm. Luckily, technology provides a straightforward solution and ensures that your people feel safe at work.

Using BigChange’s job management platform, you’ll have access to the following health & safety features:

  • DVSA-compliant vehicle checks
  • Driver behaviour analysis
  • Risk assessments and method statements
  • Individual resource profiles that show how many hours technicians are working

Subsequently, you and your staff can rest assured that health and safety remain at the forefront of everyone’s minds, regardless of their location.

Create Robust Health and Safety Procedures 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 here and arrange a free demo today.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a damaging impact on many field service companies across the country. However, despite the ongoing disruption, the industry is predicted to surpass a global value of £2.9 billion by 2025 as demand for skilled field service technicians remains high. 

But, to survive in a post-pandemic landscape, field service organisations must innovate to maintain long-term commercial viability. Investing in technology will set your business apart from the competition and keep you ahead of the curve as customers look for more modern, convenient services.

In this article, we’ll explain what field service management (FSM) software is and why it’s a must-have for businesses that want to grow following a period of economic turbulence. We’ll also share the top five ways that a field service platform can benefit your company.

What is Field Service Management Software?

Field service management (FSM) organises and enhances all work performed outside the office. However, around 52% of organisations currently manage their operations using error-prone manual methods and inefficient legacy systems. 

Although traditional methods of overseeing your field-based workforce may get the job done eventually, they are incredibly time-consuming and often lead to various costly errors. For example, suppose you’re using an old in-house system or a spreadsheet to run your operations. In that case, you may find that you have poor first-time fix rates, booking clashes or delays, dissatisfied customers and low productivity levels. 

In a post-pandemic world, field service organisations can’t afford to be complacent about their ways of working. To stay ahead of the curve and thrive during times of economic turbulence, you must look for innovative ways to keep your business running smoothly.

That’s where field service technology comes in.

State-of-the-art FSM platforms can revolutionise and streamline your current processes, giving you more visibility and control over your business than ever before. Better still, you’ll be able to improve productivity, provide better service to your customers and boost your bottom line simultaneously.

Plus, the most cutting-edge platforms provide an integrated app that aids in seamlessly connecting your back-office staff, field technicians and customers. FSM mobile apps put vital information in the palm of your workers’ hands, enabling them to do the following:

  • Communicate with your back-office staff in real-time
  • Access the CRM (customer relationship management) system
  • Complete electronic vehicle walkaround checks
  • Log expenses in seconds
  • Capture photos and signatures
  • View available stock, parts and equipment
  • Carry out risk assessments and view method statements
  • Fill out and submit timesheets

With your entire workforce more connected than ever before, you’ll be able to run a smoother, more competitive operation.

How Field Service Technology Benefits Your Business

1. Enhanced Levels of Employee Productivity

Almost three-quarters (72%) of people who experience low stress levels at work say they have access to technology that enables them to work productively. Furthermore, 64% of people believe that automation can reduce workload and stress. 

However, when your team’s ‘to-do’ lists are filled with monotonous tasks and pointless busywork, you’ll likely find that productivity levels decrease as your employees become less engaged in their work. 

To keep your workers engaged, you must consider how technology will liberate their time to spend on more motivational activities that contribute directly to business growth. Field service management technology moves your entire operation onto one easy-to-use platform, giving your staff the ability to manage a customer’s booking — end-to-end — in just a few clicks.

By using your team’s time more effectively on business-critical activities, they’ll be able to complete more tasks, provide your customers with a better service and boost your bottom line.

2. Happier and More Loyal Customers

Unsurprisingly, businesses that prioritise the customer experience outperform those that don’t by an astounding 80%. Customers have high expectations, so if you aren’t taking the time to consider their needs, they’ll be less inclined to use your company again in the future.

But, how can field service technology improve the customer experience? To answer that question, we must look at the aspects of a business that are most attractive to customers:

1. Speed of Service

For 70% of customers, speed of service matters the most. Investing in technology is paramount to eliminating all inefficiencies that slow down your team. For example, field service management platforms remove the admin-heavy aspects of managing a customer’s booking and liberate your team’s time to focus on getting the job done well and to a high standard.

2. Good Communication

Only 14% of customers say they’re happy with current business communications. No one wants to have to chase down important information by waiting on the phone for hours to speak to a representative, so you need to keep your customers in the loop at regular intervals using less time-intensive communication methods. 

Field service management platforms can pull through client data directly from the CRM (customer relationship manager) and place them into company-branded email templates before sending out automatic communications at the most vital points of the buyer journey. Consequently, your customers will never have to wonder where their technician is or waste time chasing them up.

3. Knowledgeability

Just under half (46%) of all customers will abandon a company if they don’t seem to be knowledgeable. But, with field service management technology, you can rest assured that everyone in your business will have all the information they need to hand, wherever they are. 

For example, your back-office staff will have access to a robust system that includes everything — from booking details right up to invoices and payments — so they have a comprehensive record of each customers’ service history whenever they need it. Additionally, your field-based workforce can access the same information from their mobile devices, meaning they have the most up-to-date intelligence on each job and are equipped to answer any customer queries.

3. Better First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know that high-first time fix rates directly correlate with customer retention levels? Yet, second visits are a frequent occurrence for many field service organisations. Here are some of the most common issues that prevent workers from being able to complete a project on the first appointment:

  • Incorrect or unavailable parts: 29%
  • Customer or asset unavailable for service: 28%
  • Improper diagnosis at time of dispatch: 19% 
  • Technician didn’t have the required skills: 15%
  • Resolution was only temporary: 8%

Fortunately, field service technology has the power to eradicate the obstacles that cause low first-time fix rates:

1. Unsuitable Parts and Temporary Resolutions

With a field service management platform, you’ll have complete visibility over your inventory, enabling you to see quantities of stock in real-time, regardless of location. Furthermore, your back-office staff can allocate items directly to jobs, so your technicians never have to worry about arriving at an appointment with the wrong gear.

2. Unavailable Customers or Assets

Today’s customers lead busy lives, so you must provide them with the freedom to make and amend their bookings via an online portal, which many field service management platforms include. 

By removing the need to sit on the phone to speak to a representative, you’re making it more convenient for customers to handle their appointment times and ensure they give you plenty of notice when they need to re-schedule. As a result, you’ll likely find that the frequency of customers being unavailable on the day of a booking significantly reduces.

3. Technicians with the Wrong Skill Sets and Improper Diagnoses

Although it’s essential to keep technicians’ travel times to a minimum, location isn’t the only factor you should consider when assigning workers to jobs. In fact, skill sets and qualifications play a large part in being able to deliver outstanding services. 

If your technician doesn’t have the right skill set to diagnose or fix an issue, chances are they won’t be able to resolve the customer’s dilemma during the first appointment. The good news is that field service technology provides a way to guarantee the right people attend the right jobs. Using real-time data, the system analyses every technician available to match them up with the appointments they are best qualified to complete and simultaneously optimises their routes.

4. Enables Your Technicians to Attend More Appointments Each Day

In 2020, a quarter of field service organisations were using spreadsheets for job scheduling. The rest relied on whiteboards and other equally inefficient manual methods. Therefore, it’s no surprise that managing technicians’ schedules presents a significant challenge to many businesses. 

But, with field service management technology, you can optimise your workers’ routes at the click of a button. Using an intelligent scheduling assistant, the system suggests particular technicians for each job based on their location, skill set, vehicle type and job constraints. 

By reducing the amount of time your workers spend on the road and ensuring that they’re adequately qualified to carry out the work during the first appointment, you can free up more time for them to attend additional jobs each day. 

5. Improves Your Business’ Financial Stability

Worryingly, since the beginning of the pandemic, late payments in the UK have escalated by 23%, putting significant strain on field service businesses countrywide. Consequently, companies have had to consider new ways to get paid on time and avoid the harmful financial repercussions of late payments.

Field service technology digitises the entire invoicing and payment process to make for a seamless transaction between you and your customers. Once your technicians have completed their jobs, they can instantly generate invoices from their mobile devices and send them to your customers in a matter of seconds.
As soon as your customers receive and approve their invoices, they can then pay using a range of straightforward online options, meaning that they can send funds to your account on the same day. Modernising the invoicing and payment process means that you won’t have to wait days — or possibly weeks — for payments before chasing them up. Instead, you will have a steady cash flow which will help to boost your bottom line.

Investing in Technology is Your Best Bet to Standing Out from the Competition

75% of organisations that have adopted field service technology have benefited from improved employee productivity and customer satisfaction levels, leading to better ways of working and increased profits. Therefore, investing in technology is a smart move for those that want to bounce back stronger than ever in a competitive, post-pandemic market.

Field service management technology makes it simpler than ever to manage your business. With a platform like BigChange, you can do the following:

  • Accept customer bookings
  • Assign and dispatch workers
  • Track vehicles, assets, stock and equipment
  • Take payments and invoices

…and more, all on a single easy-to-use platform. Simplifying your ways of working and finding ways to reduce the workload for your team will liberate time to attend extra bookings and take on other tasks that contribute directly to business growth. Remember, your existing staff are your most valuable asset, so you must put their time and skills to good use.

Transform Your Business and Boost Your Bottom Line 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.

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.

Whether you’ve just started up your cleaning business, or you’ve been established for some time, knowing how to attract new clients is an essential skill. Fortunately, winning contracts doesn’t have to be a headache if you have the know-how and the right technology in place.

In this article, we’ll explain how to get clients for your cleaning business. Plus, we’ll explore the ways that modern technology can give your organisation a competitive advantage.

How Do I Get Cleaning Contracts?

Did you know, there are approximately 66,420 businesses currently operating in the UK cleaning market? With so many organisations for customers to choose from, competition to win cleaning contracts is fierce.

However, there are several methods you can use to set yourself apart from your competitors. Here are the top four ways you can turn prospective clients into paying customers:

1. Word of Mouth

When it comes to attracting customers to your cleaning company, word of mouth is one of your best tools. In fact, word of mouth marketing results in five times more business than paid media, and people are 90% more likely to purchase products or services that have been recommended by someone they know. 

Therefore, you must ensure that you provide your existing customers with a positive experience. Fortunately, by using state-of-the-art field service management software, impressing your clients needn’t be time-consuming or challenging.  

For example, you can provide your customers with a user-friendly portal to easily make and rearrange appointments. Your team can then use the details the customer submitted to schedule and dispatch the most appropriate workers and equipment for the job.

Once your cleaners have completed the work, they’ll be able to instantly send customers invoices from their mobile devices for simple, online payment. Your customers will appreciate the rapidity and simplicity of your service and, as such, be more inclined to tell others about your business.

Field service management platforms also allow you to send your customers satisfaction surveys and personalised follow-up communications to ensure they’re happy. Post-job emails are the perfect opportunity to ask your customers to recommend you to others – you could even offer them a small discount for spreading the word.

2. Be Active on Social Media

With over 420 billion people active on social media, it has become one of the primary advertising channels for small businesses hoping to attract new clients. Consequently, you should ensure that you regularly update at least one channel.

Remember, cleaning is a visual service, and social media is your portfolio, so platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are ideal for showing off your work. You may wish to share before and after photos or even time-lapses of your team at work to give customers an idea of what to expect when they hire you.

Social media is also an excellent place to target specific prospective clients. For instance, if you want to win more office cleaning contracts, you could tailor your content specifically to corporate customers. Or, if you operate in a specific area, you can tag your posts to exact locations.

Finally, to build up a solid social media following, you should take time to respond to comments and connect with other users. Taking a friendly approach will make you stand out and attract more customers to your organisation.

3. Create a Website

Shockingly, it only takes about 50 milliseconds – or 0.05 seconds – for customers to form an opinion about your website. Sadly, if their first impressions aren’t positive, you could be losing business, so it can be tempting to forego a website entirely. 

But, in today’s digital world, having a website is necessary if you want prospective clients to find you. 

The good news is, you no longer have to be a tech wizard or break the bank to create a professional-looking website. There are now plenty of website builders with templates you can use to put your own site together in a few clicks. 

When making a website, you should tailor it to your customers and what they want to see. With a contemporary CRM (customer relationship management) system, you can obtain a snapshot of your customer base and their requirements at the touch of a button. 

Every interaction you’ve had with your clients, from phone calls to satisfaction surveys, are stored on the platform, so you can tell what industry the majority of your customers operate in, where they’re located and what feedback they gave you. As such, you can use the data you’ve collected to shape your website’s content and continue attracting similar customers.

4. Collaborate with Other Businesses and Expand Your Reach

Networking is a powerful method of growing your organisation and winning new contracts. Still, if you’re one of the 41% of people who believes they don’t have time to connect with other professionals in their field, you could be missing out on business opportunities.

Luckily, you can eliminate the time-consuming aspects of networking by employing the latest field service management technology such as BigChange. With BigChange, you can make the most of their ‘Network’ of trusted global field service companies without needing to leave the office.

Instead, you can list your business for free and start receiving connection requests immediately. From there, you’ll have the option to collaborate on projects with other like-minded companies, meaning you can bid for larger contracts and operate further afield without needing to hire extra resources.

You can specify the types of jobs you have available, alongside the skill requirements, so you can be sure that any subcontractors meet your standards and will represent your business appropriately.

Turn Prospective Clients into Paying Customers with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated job 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 can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

When it comes to running a successful field service business, every minute counts.

However, you can only ensure that you’re making the most of your workers’ time and delivering an excellent service when you have access to real-time data. Without live updates, you’ll be relying on second-hand information to make decisions, possibly when it’s already too late.

That’s where field service management software come in.

Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, you can now gain complete visibility over your operations at the touch of a button. Never again will you have to rely on guesswork or slow, inefficient processes to get the job done. In fact, companies that use field service management software enjoy a 90% time saving on average.

In this article, we’ll explore the main reasons why real-time data is critical for your company and how you can access live updates on BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform.

Why is Real-Time Data Important?

Big data is undoubtedly contributing to the growth of almost every industry today. Nonetheless, if you don’t currently have methods of harvesting this information or aren’t using it to your advantage, you could fall behind the competition. 

Therefore, it’s worth considering how you can capture and use real-time data to grow your business. Here are just some of the top benefits your business could enjoy:

1. Boosts First-Time Fix Rates

The average first-time fix rate for field service businesses is between 75-79%. Although the percentage may seem high, in reality, it means that at least a quarter of all service calls involve a follow-up appointment. 

Not only are additional engineer visits inconvenient for the customer, but they also eat into your profits and disrupt your schedule. 

Instead, when you have access to real-time data, the risk of not fixing an issue the first time plummets. For example, your back-office staff can assign equipment and assets directly to a particular job and dispatch an engineer with the right skill set to carry out the work.

Once they arrive at a job, your technicians can access all the data they need to resolve the issue as promptly and accurately as possible. As a result, your technicians will be able to attend more appointments per day, your customers will be content, and your bottom line will experience a boost.

2. Increases Customer Satisfaction

Currently, 32% of field service organisations are failing to attain at least 80% customer satisfaction. Poor customer satisfaction rates can destroy your reputation and make it harder to win new business in the future.

When you don’t have complete visibility over your operations, meeting customer expectations becomes much more challenging. In addition to causing poor first-time fix rates, lack of real-time data prevents your customers from tracking their appointment statuses, causing a lot of inconveniences.

In comparison, when you use a modern workforce management system, you can use the live data it collects to:

  • Assign the correct equipment to jobs
  • Dispatch an appropriately skilled technician to jobs
  • Provide customers with live job status updates to keep them in the loop
  • Equip your technicians with all the information they need to carry out work effectively

Aside from being satisfied with the speed and quality of work, your customers will also appreciate your personalised approach to communication. Consequently, they may use your business again or recommend your services to friends, family, and professional networks.

3. Cuts Down Travel Costs

Time is money. Unfortunately, with petrol prices escalating to an eight-year high in the UK, many field service businesses are losing large sums of money by not optimising their technicians’ routes between jobs. 

When you don’t have visibility over your field engineers, it becomes incredibly complicated to ensure that you’re allocating the best resources for jobs and keeping travel times to a minimum.

But, with state-of-the-art scheduling technology in place, you can revolutionise the way you plan jobs. The software uses real-time data to account for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type so you can rest assured that you’re allocating the right people and equipment to the right place.

Subsequently, you’ll save money on petrol and improve productivity by freeing up your technicians’ time to attend to more projects per day. 

4. Enables You to Create Accurate Budgets

According to a BlueSnap report, 37% of organisations cannot accurately forecast their cash flow because they use outdated processes and legacy systems to manage their finances. If a lack of financial visibility is plaguing your business, you may be spending more than you should be.

In contrast, when you adopt a workforce management software, it collects real-time data, which you can use to have more clarity and control over:

  • Stock and equipment quantities
  • Outstanding customer invoices
  • Cost centres

With the exact quantitative data to hand, you can make better-informed budgeting decisions for the future. For example, you are less likely to inadvertently over-order stock because you’ll have the exact number recorded in the system. Instead, you can use your profits to continue growing your business.

Access Real-Time Data and Maximise Efficiency with BigChange

See your entire operation at a glance on BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform.

Our cloud-based job management software provides you with live data so you can:

  • Schedule and dispatch workers based on location, skill set and availability
  • Assign assets and equipment directly to jobs to increase first-time fix rates 
  • Respond to urgent requests and mitigate potential issues
  • Make informed, accurate decisions about your business

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.

Workforce scheduling and optimisation are critical elements of any field service company. They ensure that your operations are running smoothly and that you are making the most of your engineers’ time. 

But, organisations that fail to modernise and adopt technology to maximise their job scheduling efficiency now risk becoming obsolete. With a staggering 89% of customers preferring an ‘Uber-like’ service for tracking technician arrivals, traditional methods of managing your schedule aren’t going to delight your customers and keep them coming back in the future.

Thankfully, the latest job scheduling software eliminates the headaches associated with creating an efficient workflow and automates the entire process, impressing customers and freeing up your back-office staff’s time simultaneously. 

Read on to learn more about what field service job scheduling software is, why it’s important and how it can benefit your business.

What is Job Scheduling Software and Why is it Important?

Workforce scheduling involves planning each field workers’ day to manage the workload within your business. However, 25% of companies currently use spreadsheets and manual data entry to create their schedules. The remainder relies on whiteboards and other inefficient, error-prone processes.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of scheduling jobs aren’t going to cut it in the modern world. Customers are used to seamless, convenient experiences that spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems cannot provide.

Picture this: a customer calls your back-office team, asking to make an appointment for Wednesday at 3pm. Your employee makes a note of it and assigns Sasha to the booking in the spreadsheet.

But they don’t notice that they’ve made a typo and put 4pm instead. In the meantime, another team member has received a call for Wednesday at 3pm, and they assign Sasha to it, not realising that she is supposed to be in another location at that time.

On Wednesday, Sasha receives her schedule and begins the day. At 3pm, she attends the booking on her sheet. However, about ten minutes into the job, she receives a call from a back-office team member who wants to know why she didn’t show up to an appointment.

After some back and forth, your team finally concludes that there’s been a scheduling error. Only problem is, your employees now face the dilemma of either letting one customer down and rescheduling or trying to find an engineer who can visit the customer at the last minute.

Not only is a poorly managed schedule inconvenient for staff and customers alike, but it can be costly and destroy your reputation in the process.

That’s where field service job scheduling software and job sheet system comes in.

Using intelligent scheduling technology, you can ensure that you always have the right resources in the right places. 

Customers can book and reschedule their appointments directly via an easy-to-use online portal. Your back-office team can then use the customers’ booking information to schedule and dispatch workers without needing to worry about the potential for human error. 

The intelligent scheduling software is designed to account for traffic information, worker location and skill set, availability, and job constraints, so you know that you’re assigning the best person for the job.

The 5 Top Benefits of Using Field Service Job Scheduling Software

Here are the top five benefits your business could experience by adopting field service job scheduling software:

1. Optimised Routes Between Customer Bookings

A large portion of a field engineer’s working day is spent on the roads, travelling between customers. In addition to long journeys being extremely pricey, especially since petrol prices in the UK have skyrocketed to an eight-year high, they also take up a large chunk of time that could be better spent attending to customers.

Using traditional job scheduling methods doesn’t provide you with the complete visibility you need to plan routes in the most efficient way. If you can’t see who’s working for you on what day and where, how can you ensure that you’re keeping time on the road to a minimum?

Instead, with state-of-the-art job scheduling software, you can use real-time data to assign appropriately skilled workers to jobs, accounting for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type.

The inbuilt intelligent scheduling assistant enables you to optimise the travel distance of hundreds of jobs at the touch of a button, slashing both time and cost of each journey. In fact, you’ll be able to see the ‘cost to serve’ each customer directly on the system so you can factor it into your future budgets.

By optimising each technician’s journey, they’ll have more time than ever before to attend additional bookings and focus on doing what they do best.

2. Better First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know that companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% enjoy an 86% customer retention rate? Conversely, those with a rate under 70% only manage to retain 76% of customers, which is a 10% reduction. Consequently, completing jobs the first time is paramount to run a successful business.

Still, businesses continue to risk banking on spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems to manage their scheduling effectively. Although traditional methods may have worked in the past, customer expectations are constantly becoming more demanding, and people don’t want the inconvenience of needing to book more than one appointment. 

Luckily, thanks to modern job scheduling technology, you can dramatically improve your first-time fix rates and impress customers simultaneously.

Your back-office team can use real-time data to assign skilled resources, equipment and assets such as vehicles directly to a booking. By ensuring that your technicians have the right skills for the job and are armed with the correct gear each time, they are far more likely to complete the project on the same day.

When you use technology to streamline your processes, you can rest assured that everyone on the team can do their jobs effectively and satisfy your customers. Ousting repeat visits will also free up more time for your technicians to complete more visits each day and boost your bottom line further.

3. A More Motivated Team

It’s no secret that manual administration processes can be time-consuming. In reality, workers say they spend around two hours every day on admin instead of focusing on more business-critical tasks.

Aside from taking up your team’s precious time, arduous, repetitive work can obliterate employee morale and cause productivity to hit an all-time low. The worst part is that when your staff aren’t engaged in their work, the margin for error increases exponentially. 

As such, you may find that there are more missed appointments, delays and scheduling clashes, which bruises your company’s reputation and costs you in the long run. 

In contrast, field service job scheduling software is designed to streamline processes and eliminate the repetitive nature of administration work. Your back-office team can schedule and dispatch workers based on their location, availability, vehicle type, and skill set at the touch of a button.

For maximum productivity, you could use a platform that incorporates a CRM. For example, BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform enables your team to pull customer information directly into bookings, reducing the room for mistakes. Plus, the system updates live so your team can’t inadvertently book your technicians to be in multiple places at once.

With your team needing to spend less time on monotonous tasks, you’ll find that their motivation levels will rise, and they’ll have more opportunities to work on jobs that directly contribute to business growth.

4. Ability to Mitigate and Respond to Emergencies

Over half (56%) of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. Therefore, you must have the means to act rapidly, regardless of the situation.

Let’s imagine that a customer’s pipe bursts in the only bathroom in their house. They call your back-office team to see if you can send a plumber over as soon as possible. Sadly, your employee cannot get hold of an engineer because they’re all busy and aren’t answering their phones. 

As a result, the employee can’t schedule someone to get there soon, and they have to decline the job, meaning the customer goes to your competitor instead. 

Fortunately, frustrating scenarios like the above are entirely avoidable with field service job scheduling software such as BigChange. Communication with technicians is straightforward as they all have access to an app that provides them with all the information they need to know in real-time — no more missed calls or text messages.

Additionally, your back-office team can use GPS tracking and live data to see which engineers are nearby. As a result, they can rapidly allocate resources to emergency call-outs and ensure that no bookings are left unattended.

Because your company can respond so speedily to emergency requests, you can mitigate a host of expensive issues and impress your customers, meaning they’ll be more inclined to use your services again in the future.

5. Guarantees Compliance

In addition to keeping your customers happy, a large part of running a field service business involves taking measures to protect your workers’ health and safety and ensuring that you follow industry regulations.

When you don’t have complete visibility over your workers, guaranteeing that you’re running your operations compliantly becomes a near-impossible task. Nevertheless, if your business is found to be in breach of specific regulations, you could be hit with severe financial and reputational damage. 

The good news is, with a suitable job scheduling software such as BigChange in place, compliance worries can become a thing of the past.

BigChange records all actions in the system for a detailed audit trail, from engineers’ time spent on the road to timesheets and jobs completed. Subsequently, you can ensure that your field engineers are working within legal hours and that you’ve paid them the right amount for the work they’ve completed.

Additionally, your back-office team can create workflows to assign to each scheduled job. The workflows are mandatory and ensure that the technician has carried out appropriate health and safety measures, such as conducting a risk assessment before starting the project. 

Once the work is complete, they can capture photos and signatures from their mobile devices to ensure that the work is compliant and meets industry standards. The system instantly assigns every piece of information your technicians capture to the scheduled job, so you have a complete record to look back on should you need to in the future.

Make the Switch to Intelligent Scheduling with BigChange

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

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.

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.

Did you know that 40% of organisations experience growth using field service management software solutions? By modernising and streamlining your processes, you can eliminate inefficiencies and spend more time concentrating on business-critical tasks instead. 

However, you must ensure that you’re choosing the right solution for your company.

In this article, we’ll explore the top four things you should consider before implementing a solution and share how BigChange can help field service businesses reach their full potential.

What to Consider Before Implementing Field Service Management Software Solutions

There are many field service management software solutions on the market. But they’re not all created equally. To ensure you’re implementing the right one for your business, you should consider the following:

1. Your Pain Points

The first step to figuring out what solution to implement is to think about your pain points. Currently, only 52% of organisations are using field service management software solutions. The remaining businesses continue to rely on error-prone manual processes and antiquated legacy systems to manage their operations, which leads to a host of challenges. 

Here are some of the most common issues field service businesses encounter:

  • Job scheduling issues
  • Poor first-time rates
  • Inadequate communication methods
  • Lack of visibility over operations
  • Inconsistent cash flow
  • Inability to track performance

You should look at your current ways of working to figure out where the weaknesses are and what you can do to alleviate any problems. For example, if cash flow issues are plaguing your company, you may want to consider a solution with an inbuilt invoicing and payment feature

For more insights on the top field service management challenges and ways to mitigate them, click here.

2. Team Requirements

The next most important aspect you must consider is your team since they will use the system daily. Remember, your back office employees will have different requirements to your field technicians, so it’s worth getting both teams’ opinions.

Back-Office Staff

If your business currently relies on outdated systems and manual, paper-based processes, chances are you’re missing out on the opportunity to boost productivity. Workers who have to complete repetitive, mundane tasks on a daily basis are likely to be less satisfied with their jobs, leading to more errors and slowed workflows.

However, companies that go paperless notice that team productivity rises by nearly 30%. By eliminating the monotonous aspects of the job, your team will have more time and feel more motivated to focus on activities that directly contribute to business growth.

Therefore, you should take time to identify where processes could be streamlined and modernised. Once you’ve determined what you can do to improve your working practices, you can look for the right field service management solutions to help you achieve your goals.

Field Technicians

45% of technicians report that their current tools aren’t fast enough, and a further 38% say they can’t access all the information they need. Aside from being frustrating for your technicians, lack of correct tools or information leads to delayed work, confusion and dissatisfied customers.

Because your team spends most of their day off-site at customer jobs, you should consider using a cloud-based field service management software that includes a mobile app. With access to all the information they need at their fingertips, your technicians will be able to focus on getting the job done. Plus, they can instantly provide real-time updates to your back-office staff and complete digital documents on their mobile devices, making for a more seamless and rapid workflow.

3. Customer Needs

In today’s client-driven market, customer experience (CX) is king, and more field service businesses will need to consider how to make their operations meet expectations. In fact, 92% of field service executives want to transform their service models to meet customer needs.

Fortunately, improving customer experience needn’t be challenging or costly, thanks to cloud-based field service management software. Using a platform with an inbuilt CRM (customer relationship management) system allows you to anticipate your customers’ needs using real-time data and deliver an outstanding service.

State-of-the-art CRMs allow you to easily manage each customer’s case in the system, allocate and dispatch workers, provide personalised updates using templates and instantly issue important documents for speedy invoicing and payment. As such, your customers will appreciate the swift and convenient service and may be more likely to use your company again in the future.

4. The Future of Your Organisation

Processes that currently work for your business may not work in the future. Using inefficient methods to manage your operations could result in errors, delays, and burnt-out staff. According to University College London (UCL), overworked employees report more health problems, and as a direct consequence, are less productive and use more sick days.

Therefore, you must find software that can scale alongside your operations. With BigChange’s cloud-based field service software, you’ll have access to five helpful workforce management systems all on one, easy-to-use platform. 

Get the most out of your existing staff without hiring extra resources to keep up with increasing business activities by streamlining processes and going paperless. Your team can complete various actions, such as scheduling jobs, dispatching workers and updating your customers, at the touch of a button. As a result, they’ll have more hours each day to target more meaningful tasks.

Grow Stronger on the BigChange Complete Job Management Platform

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

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.

As of 2020, only 52% of businesses are using field service management software. The rest continue to rely on outdated legacy systems and error-prone manual processes to manage their field service operations.

Therefore, it’s unsurprising that field service organisations experience a host of common issues, including miscommunication, delays, and inconsistent cash flow. But, by modernising your processes and using the latest technology to improve your workflow, you could eliminate complications and free up your time to focus on business-critical activities instead.

Also, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve. Roughly half of your competitors haven’t yet made the most of technology, so early adopters will find themselves in a highly lucrative position.

In this article, we’ll explore the top four challenges in field service management and share how field service management technology can provide a cost-effective and straightforward solution.

The Top 4 Field Service Management Challenges

1. Scheduling Conflicts

Scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the main field service management challenges for businesses today. However, job management is one of the most crucial aspects of running a field service organisation since it ensures that your people know what they’re supposed to be doing, when and where.

Without proper scheduling processes in place, you may find it tricky to keep track of everything, leading to delays, clashes and double booking. Not only are these conflicts inconvenient for both your technicians and your customers, but they also have the potential to affect your bottom line.

However, by replacing traditional manual processes with an intelligent scheduling assistant, you won’t have to worry about allocating resources anymore. Modern software uses real-time data to guide you to the perfect engineer for each job, taking into account location, traffic, job constraints and vehicle type.

Consequently, you can be confident that you’re making the most of your technicians’ time and keeping your customers happy simultaneously. 

2. Asset and Stock Management

It’s estimated that inaccurate asset management reporting results in an approximate $1.1 trillion loss for companies worldwide. As such, your asset and stock management reports must be reliable; otherwise, you could be haemorrhaging revenue.

Businesses that rely on paper-based documentation and spreadsheets may find that, over time, numbers become skewed, and equipment goes missing. As a result, you may have to halt projects because you don’t have the right items available or end up over-ordering on stock that your staff has miscounted.

In comparison, when you use live asset and stock management software, you can easily keep track of all your belongings, regardless of location. Plus, you can assign stock and assets directly to jobs within the system, so your technicians will never be without the correct gear.

3. Communication and Administration

When businesses rely on archaic manual methods of communication, such as phone calls, texts and paper-based documentation, they are missing out on an excellent opportunity to increase efficiency. Poor communication and administration processes often lead to confusion and could destroy your entire workflow.   

In contrast, companies that adopt digital tools to alleviate field service management challenges achieve a 45% increase in the number of jobs completed each day. With a complete job management platform, you can manage the entire end-to-end process on one system, giving your back office staff and your field engineers complete visibility over the information they need when they need it.

The system updates information in real-time, meaning your team will receive live status updates on projects and be able to send automatic, personalised communications to your customers. Then, once your technicians have completed a job, they can simply fill out all forms from their mobile devices and generate an instant invoice.

By making administration and communication methods simpler for your team, you’ll find that they’re able to make the most of each day. For example, your back-office staff can allocate resources based on accurate information, and your technicians don’t have to spend hours completing paperwork. Instead, they can move straight onto the next scheduled job.

4. Invoicing and Payment

Since the beginning of the pandemic, late payments in the UK have shot up, with a 23% increase in unpaid invoices impacting companies nationwide. Subsequently, for your business to survive in a post-COVID world, you must streamline your payments process.

Organisations that don’t receive payments by the deadline could be unable to meet operational expenses, pay vendors, take on new projects or grow their operations. Fortunately, BigChange’s invoicing and financial technology integrates directly with your accounting software to increase efficiency, reduce errors and ensure that you get paid on time. 

Additionally, the system makes all documentation paperless, meaning that engineers can send invoices directly to your customers via their mobile devices as soon as they’ve completed the work. Customers can then pay on the same day using BigChange Pay, which provides them with the speediest and most convenient payment options.

By advancing the invoicing process, reducing the margin for human error and providing your customers with straightforward payment methods, you can rest assured that your cash flow will remain consistent.

Overcome Typical Field Service Problems with BigChange

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

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.

51% of organisations continue to rely on phone calls, texts, outdated legacy systems and burdensome, paper-based administration methods to manage their field service operations. 

Businesses that continue to use manual and paper-based processes instead of adopting technologies to maximise their efficiency risk being left behind by competitors. Research shows that a massive 89% of customers prefer to use an “Uber-like” service for ordering and tracking field worker services, so traditional methods of managing your schedule aren’t going to keep your customers coming back in future.

Thankfully, job scheduling software can eliminate the difficulties of creating an efficient workflow and can automate the entire process for you and your customers. Streamlined ways of working impress your customers, reduces your back-office admin and boosts your bottom line. 

Read on to learn how to use software to simplify your field service appointment scheduling.

Using a self-service portal

88% of consumers expect an organisation to have some form of self-service portal available. If your business is still using a ‘contact us to book’ method for appointments, then you should consider adopting software that allows your customers to manage their bookings at their own convenience. Not only do self-service portals improve the customer experience, but you will likely see an increase in bookings.

Show your availability

Using self-service software allows your customers to book appointments when it suits them, at the most convenient time for them. Sharing your availability allows the customer to book immediately when they need to, instead of waiting for business hours to contact your company and find out when you are available to help them.

Additionally, online scheduling software enables your customers to log onto your schedule or reschedule jobs at the touch of a button. Again, the convenience of managing their booking themselves will save them time and create a better customer experience and reduce administrative work for your back-office team.

BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant goes even further by allowing your team to allocate and reallocate resources based on location, traffic information, job constraints, and vehicle type. As a result, your customers will get the best and nearest resource for the job — and be able to track their technician or engineer with the built-in geolocation.

Notification features

Providing your customers with transparency about the job status and their engineers’ locations is essential. In fact, if a business sends automatic updates, then 68% of customers have a better opinion of the company.

BigChange’s field service management software allows your customers to see the precise live location of their engineer via the geolocation vehicle tracking feature. Subsequently, they will never again wonder when the engineer will show up or have to wait around all day because they were given a vague timeslot.

Repeat customer bookings

Using online scheduling software that allows your customers to manage bookings on their own is one step in the right direction to building an excellent customer experience. However, you can go one step further to delight your customers by making it simpler than ever to book repeat appointments.

BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for customers who know they have many jobs for you. The recurring job feature enables you to group jobs so you can schedule them all in one go. Not only have you saved your customer time and stress, but the software makes for less administrative work for your office staff too.

The software still has features that allow you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job if more work has to be carried out. Fortunately, the new appointment for the additional work will also link to any previous jobs so that all the relevant information is readily available for the customer or engineer who is working on it. 

The new job automatically created as a follow up will include the job contract, original project details, skills required, any constraints that apply, financial line items, original engineer’s comments about the job, and documentation such as risk assessments. Having all relevant information connected to each related job saves your field workforce time and admin when working on the new project. 

Automating and simplifying the scheduling process for your customers makes the experience of doing business with you faster and easier. Ultimately, that’s what customers expect for an excellent experience with your company.

Using scheduling software for more jobs and profit

With an intelligent scheduling assistant, you can optimise your schedule and free up more time for engineers to attend additional jobs each day. 

For example, the software can create a more streamlined calendar based on appointments, their purpose and the time they took. This system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to out of date manual scheduling processes or human error. 

56% of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. By using software that optimises your schedule, you’ll have the resource to act rapidly. Your customer needs will be met quicker when using a scheduling assistant as the diary will likely have better availability since all other appointments are optimised. In addition, more free time means more ability to respond to emergency call outs, as the schedule can be flexible enough to accommodate emergency customer scenarios. 

Not only will the intelligent scheduling assistant allow you to take on more jobs to create more revenue, but you can make your bottom line stronger on BigChange because the platform has an integrated invoicing feature. The feature makes the payment process far more straightforward so that there are fewer delays and less admin involved in getting paid for completed work. In addition, quicker payments mean better cash flow, which benefits everyone in the business.

Field service appointment scheduling is simpler on BigChange

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

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

On average, employees waste around 26% of each day on burdensome administrative chores and outdated ways of working. Consequently, field service businesses are losing out on opportunities to improve their customer experience, complete more work, boost their bottom line and grow their company.

That’s where BigChange comes in. 

Martin Port, Founder and Chairman at BigChange, commented:

“I founded BigChange in 2013 to liberate businesses of all sizes from inefficient, manual processes. With our innovative platform, we have democratised the industry, creating a simple, scalable platform that lets any business manage its whole operation all the way from quotation to invoice on a mobile or tablet.”

Read on to learn more about BigChange’s field service management software and how it can help grow your business.

How BigChange’s Field Service Management Software Can Benefit Your Business

BigChange is a field service management platform that enables you to handle all aspects of running a field service business in one place. Modernise your ways of working and experience the following benefits when you deploy our system:

1. Advanced Back Office and CRM Processes

Research shows that 52% of field service businesses still rely on manual methods to keep their operations running. Although tried and tested processes may eventually get the job done, they’re terribly inefficient and could cause several problems, including:

Dissatisfied Customers

61.5% of marketing professionals agree that poor customer experience (CX) leads to a loss in clientele. Modern customers are used to straightforward, digital experiences, and they expect the same from your company, so you must consider ways to make your processes meet their standards. 

Unfortunately, sluggish, manual workflows aren’t going to cut it in today’s world of instant gratification, and businesses that don’t stay ahead of the curve run the risk of becoming obsolete.

However, with BigChange’s fully integrated CRM, customers can easily book and reschedule appointments via an online portal. You can then instantly log all interactions with each client for simple case management and create templates for automated communication, which keeps your customers in the loop. 

Plus, you can digitise all your paperwork, meaning that your field technicians can immediately send forms to your back office once they have completed a job. Customers won’t have to wait several days to sign documents as they’ll be able to sign straight away from their mobile device and receive an invoice the same day. 

Demotivated Workers

Did you know that happier employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy ones? Therefore, to get the most out of your people, you must ensure that their work is fulfilling and exciting. 

Teams that have to carry out laborious, repetitive tasks will become dissatisfied, leading to lowered productivity, poor communication with field engineers, more errors and, in some cases, resignations. 

Instead, when you arm your back-office employees with BigChange’s state-of-the-art field service management software, you eliminate several monotonous administration tasks and free up your team’s time to focus on business-critical projects. 

Irregular Cash Flow

Typically, it takes 11 hours for an AR (accounts receivable) team to manually process an invoice. Your customer then has to wait several more days to receive the invoice in the mail before they can write a cheque and mail it back to you, provided there are no errors that could inadvertently stall the process further.

Since manual processes are slow and inherently error-prone, they often lead to late payments, which can be detrimental to field service businesses. A poor cash flow may prevent you from taking on new projects, meeting operational expenses, maintaining supplier relationships, and growing your business.

In contrast, BigChange’s CRM software significantly reduces the risk of human error by making the entire invoicing process digital. You can produce all documents directly in the system using pre-populated customer data to ensure the information is correct.

According to Helen Carrison, Company Secretary at Kingston Cleaning Solutions:

BigChange is the perfect CRM solution. We don’t need delivery notes anymore, which saves us time and money. Now, customers can sign off jobs on the BigChange computer, and we can invoice straight away.”

2. Superior Job Scheduling

With so many organisations depending on outmoded processes to maintain their job schedule, it’s easy to see how scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the top challenges for field service businesses.

When you don’t have complete visibility over who is working for you, where they’re working and when, it can be tricky to ensure the right resource is always in the right place. 

But, with BigChange, scheduling issues can be a thing of the past. Our smart scheduling software enables you to do the following:

  • Account for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type
  • Optimise technicians’ routes to reduce time spent on the roads and lower costs
  • Create rules for unscheduled jobs and automatically allocate them to custom categories
  • Produce custom pricing models for each job type, with customer-specific prices and rate tables
  • Check parts, equipment and stock availability in multiple locations and assign them to jobs
  • Design step-by-step workflows that mandate work against your standard processes
  • Create and share electronic certificates, reports and job cards instantly

As a result, you’ll be able to improve communication, boost first-time fix rates, complete more jobs per day, and offer better service to your customers, all of which help grow your business.

According to David Robbie, Managing Director at McDougall:

“BigChange has fundamentally impacted the way we operate. By automating job scheduling and routing, we have increased the number of jobs we can do with the same resources. Productivity has been boosted by 17 per cent.”

3. Real-Time Vehicle and Asset Tracking

Shockingly, 43% of businesses cannot track their inventory and assets effectively because they still use traditional methods such as paper-based tracking sheets.

Although, in theory, it may make sense to ask your technicians to sign equipment and assets in and out, it doesn’t work in practice. Whether the engineers’ writing is illegible, they forget to sign the sheets, or they accidentally take too many items and store them in their van for future projects, numbers will soon become skewed.

At worst, inconsistent numbers could eventually halt your projects because you may not have the right equipment available, despite your tracker showing that you do. You may also end up ordering replacement items needlessly, putting a dent in your profits.

BigChange’s real-time vehicle and asset tracker is designed to prevent inconsistencies and give you visibility over your assets, regardless of location. Also, with the system updating in real-time, you can track the location of all your vehicles and assets on the road to allocate resources rapidly throughout the ever-changing workday. 

Marty Collins, Office Manager at CMT Wood Flooring, commented:

“With BigChange’s software, we now have complete visibility, enhanced productivity, better customer service and improved driver behaviour. It’s also helped resolve disputes regarding times and locations.”

4. Easy-To-Use Mobile Workforce App

Although field technicians are off-site for most of the day, mobile technology is still not standard in field service businesses. However, 80% of field service technicians say that mobile technology is critical to increasing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers.

With BigChange’s mobile workforce app for iOS and Android, you and your technicians will have access to all the necessary information in one place. Furthermore, you can manage the entire end-to-end process, from appointment booking to invoicing, in the palm of your hand.

The app synchronises new jobs, completed jobs and those in progress between technicians’ mobile devices and your back office in real-time. Subsequently, your team can send job cards and certificates directly to your customers as soon as work is complete. 

Not only can the app free up more time for your technicians to focus on doing an outstanding job, but your customers will appreciate the more rapid service and excellent communication.

5. Revolutionary Collaboration Network

Historically, field service businesses that want to grow have had to hire more staff to keep up with increasing workloads. But, with the skills shortage presenting a threat to the industry, companies will need to think of other, innovative ways to expand without needing to take on more people or rely on unfamiliar subcontractors who are difficult and costly to manage.

Fortunately, with technology, the possibilities for business growth are endless.

BigChange’s Network is a seamless way of connecting with other trusted contractors and subcontractors in the system. You can collaborate with them to expand your services and increase your reach without high levels of capital expenditure.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy by using the BigChange Network:

Free Business Listing

Post your business on the system and start receiving networking requests immediately. You’ll have the choice to work with a range of different companies.

Robust Security and Privacy

All information on the Network is entirely secure as we use the latest cloud-based technology.

Real-Time Progress Updates

You’ll be able to see how the job is progressing as contractors and subcontractors can provide live updates from their mobile devices.

Instant Alerting

Your contractor will receive an alert as soon as the subcontractor has completed the work, improving communication and ensuring everything remains on schedule.

Superior Processes

You can continue to use your own preferred worksheets so you can rest assured the subcontractor completes the job to your high standards.

Define the Job Types You Want

You’ll be able to share the types of jobs you want, along with the skills required to complete them.

A Straightforward Experience

Customers will still receive paperwork with the original company’s branding on it, but you can invoice as normal, so there’s no disruption on either end.

Agreed Rates

The system uses agreed rates shared via our Network to calculate the invoice, meaning you’ll never be out of pocket.

Above all, by meeting virtually every month with other members to network and form partnerships, you’ll feel inspired and have practical ideas on how to drive your business growth further.

Grow Your Field Service Business with BigChange

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange’s complete job management platform can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Statistics show that 52% of organisations continue to rely on phone calls, texts, outdated legacy systems and burdensome, paper-based administration methods to manage their field service operations. 

But, companies that want to prosper in a post-pandemic world will have to step up their game to meet customer expectations and maintain their cash flow. 

To effectively manage a field service business, you must ensure that you have excellent communication methods and efficient processes that maintain the workflow. Plus, you’ll need complete visibility over your workforce, inventory and finances.

With field service management software, you can seamlessly connect your office, field-based workers and customers. Better communication makes the entire procedure – from quotation to invoicing – streamlined and agile.

Read on to find out how technology can benefit your business in more detail.

How Will Field Service Management Software Help My Business?

1. Superior Job Scheduling

Job scheduling is a crucial component of field service management. However, organisations that depend on antiquated systems and manual processes to manage their schedule may struggle with unnecessary downtime, dispatching issues and overlaps that complicate the entire workflow.

With field service job scheduling software, you can simplify your job scheduling methods and increase efficiency. State-of-the-art platforms take into account future predicted workloads by allowing you to set up recurring jobs and allocate the resources required. 

Using real-time data and geolocation tracking, you can assign projects to the appropriately skilled engineer nearest to the customer. Modern systems can also handle the dynamic nature of the workday, enabling you to promptly re-allocate resources to fit in emergency jobs and mitigate any potentially costly issues before they occur.

Automated, smart scheduling processes reduce time spent on the road, lower travel costs and enable your field-based engineers to complete a higher volume of work each day.

Why Accurate and Reliable Data is So Important in Asset Management

Without accurate and reliable data, you won’t have full visibility over your equipment and assets. As a result, you could end up spending more money than you need to, reducing first-time fix rates, increasing downtime and losing high-value items. 

Instead, companies that have access to solid asset management data benefit from the following:

1. Fewer Equipment Losses

On paper, it makes sense to use manual check-out and check-in sheets to keep track of your equipment. However, traditional asset management methods don’t always work in practice and are inherently error-prone. In fact, human error is the leading problem for 46% of businesses when it comes to accurately reporting on assets.

Whether your technicians forget to sign the sheets, inadvertently take too many items and stash them in their van for another project, or their writing is simply illegible, you’ll soon realise that numbers aren’t adding up.

As such, your equipment can go missing, and there’s no exact way of tracking what happened to it. Not only will lost equipment likely stall other projects, but replacements can be pricey. 

Instead, when you digitise your asset management methods, you can create a detailed register of equipment and other vital assets, maintain a record of fitted parts, track item movements and include serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes on the stock. Your technicians can then check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, and you will have better visibility over your valuable equipment.

2. Visibility Over Finances

Cutting costs and increasing revenue are essential to business success. But, if you don’t have complete visibility over your financial data, or if information is stored across multiple platforms, you may be unable to visualise the whole picture, create suitable budgets or make informed decisions.

Field service management software gives you complete visibility over operational spending and other vital metrics such as unpaid or overdue invoices. With access to the latest and most accurate data all stored in one place, you’ll be able to make better judgments when ordering stock and create more realistic budgets for the future based on your current situation.

Better control over your finances and spending will ensure that your business has the funds it needs to take on more projects in the future and continue to grow. 

3. Enhanced Cash Flow

Let’s imagine for a moment that your accounts receivable team has mailed a paper invoice to your customer. The invoice arrives several days later, and the customer puts it on their finance department’s desk to process. 

However, the customer’s finance department accidentally throws the paper in the bin. Several days later, your accounts receivable team realises that the payment is overdue, so they call the client. 

Unfortunately, their finance department can’t find the invoice, so your team now has to send out a new one and wait even longer for the cheque to come through. In the meantime, your cash flow has taken a hit, and you’re wondering how you’ll cover other operational expenses.

With field service management software, you can speed up the payments process. Once your field-based engineers have marked the job as complete from their mobile devices, an electronic invoice is immediately issued to your customer. Alternatively, your accounts receivable team can generate the invoice directly in the system. You can also include payment links, which enable your customers to pay via card and mark the invoice as complete.

No more lost or forgotten invoices. No more waiting weeks on end for payments.

4. Increased Customer Satisfaction

By removing the reliance on phone calls and paper-based documents, you could be saving around two hours each day, making the process much speedier for both the customer and your back-office team. You can manage all administrative aspects of a project on one easy-to-use platform with field service management software.  

Instead of being stuck on the phone for 15 minutes to make an appointment, customers can book online via the portal. You can then allocate the best resource for the job based on set requirements or skills and send your customers real-time status updates. 

When engineers complete their jobs, having filled in the electronic paperwork as they go, the system instantly generates job cards, certificates and invoices to email to the customer or head office. You can also provide your customers with a survey to measure your performance, so you can be sure that they are pleased with the job. 

Not only will your customers be satisfied with the communication, along with the quality and speed of the work, but they’re likely to spend more as a result of the exemplary service.


5. Guaranteed Compliance

Annually, UK companies lose approximately £16.2 billion as a result of injury. In addition to hazards for your technicians, poor compliance can endanger your customers. For example, if your engineer incorrectly installs an electrical system, it can catch fire.

Therefore, it’s critical for any field service business to prioritise health and safety. With a field service management system, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents:

  • Digitised paperwork: Engineers fill out the forms and paperwork from their mobile devices. You can set mandatory fields within the digital documents to ensure that the workers follow the correct protocols. Engineers can also attach time, date and geolocation-stamped photos, videos and more to the work order as evidence.
  • Geolocation tracking and online timesheets: With a digital record of your engineers’ working hours, you can ensure that they’re not exceeding legal limits. 
  • Scheduling: You can set automatic service schedules for installed equipment to guarantee that they’re inspected at set intervals and are continuing to operate correctly.

By reducing the number of workplace incidents, you’ll have happier staff and customers, your reputation will flourish and your business will grow.

Manage Your Field Service Business Effectively with BigChange

BigChange is the complete job management software system that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences. Bringing customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform.

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. Also read the 5 biggest benefits of field service management software.

During the height of the Coronavirus outbreak, 78% of all field service organisations completely stopped deploying technicians to customer sites because of health and safety-related issues. 

Understandably, companies are now eager to return to business-as-usual to prevent any further disruption to their operations. Nevertheless, despite official government restrictions easing significantly, COVID remains a severe public health risk. 

Therefore, businesses will need to consider ways to deliver a great customer experience whilst ensuring clients and technicians feel safe during these uncertain times. Failure to do so could be detrimental to organisations that took a financial hit in 2020. 

Thankfully, with the latest field service management software in place, it’s possible to transform your ways of working to impress customers during the pandemic and beyond. 

Read on to find out more. 

How to Deliver a Great Customer Experience During and After the Pandemic

The COVID-19 virus has impacted how field service businesses operate over the last year. However, if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that technology has the power to revolutionise industries and help overcome a range of challenges. 

Fortunately, many of the technological advancements that field service organisations put in place to deal with the crisis have the potential to continue benefiting your business post-pandemic.

Here are some of the ways you can deliver a great customer experience during COVID and beyond:

1. Clear Communication with Customers

68% of people say it increases their perception of a brand when companies send them proactive customer service notifications. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to provide your customers with job status updates if you don’t have access to all the real-time information you need.

Instead, when using a state-of-the-art workforce management system, you can use the live data it collects to see where your technicians are and send your customers automated messages.

Your customers can then ensure that they have time to prepare for the appointment, which is especially important if they need or want to put COVID health and safety measures in place. 

Good communication not only creates a safer experience for your customers and technicians but also demonstrates a high level of professionalism that clients will welcome long after the pandemic. 

2. Improve First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know, organisations that have a first-time fix rate of over 70% boast an 86% customer retention rate?

Aside from the benefits a high first-time fix rate provides your business, it also limits the amount of contact your technicians and customers need to make during the pandemic.

By empowering your team with the software they need to assign the right technicians and equipment to jobs, the likelihood of requiring a second visit plummets. Technicians will be able to arrive at the job on time, with the right equipment and have all the information they need to hand to complete the work on the same day.

Whilst it’s essential to reduce contact with customers whilst COVID still presents a health risk, reducing the frequency of multiple visits is more convenient for the customer in general. Consequently, businesses that continue to use workforce management software to streamline and enhance their operations stand a better chance of thriving in a post-pandemic world.

3. Offer Flexibility

Many of today’s customers don’t want the inconvenience of sitting on the phone to book or reschedule appointments. In fact, 42% of people across all ages prefer to book online. 

Straightforward appointment booking and rescheduling processes have never been more essential than during the pandemic, which constantly disrupts plans. As a result, companies have had to learn how to become more flexible than ever before.

Thankfully, with modern workforce management technology, flexibility doesn’t mean you have to bend over backwards to deliver a great customer experience.

Your customers will simply log into an easy-to-use portal where they can pick an appointment that suits them or reschedule when necessary. Plus, your back-office staff won’t have to worry about the headache of additional admin or paperwork because the system will handle the scheduling.

The smart scheduling assistant enables your team to allocate and reallocate resources at the touch of a button based on location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type. With access to the most accurate real-time data, you can rest assured that you’ll always have the right resource in the right place. Every time.

Again, your customers will appreciate a high level of flexibility long after COVID, so it’s worth investing in a platform that can handle the unpredictability of job scheduling to continue delivering a great service. 

4. Be Respectful of Customers’ Wishes

Remember, although COVID safety measures aren’t as strict as they were at the height of the pandemic, many people still don’t feel comfortable returning to ‘normal’. For example, a recent BBC study showed that 40% of Britons want to keep wearing masks in shops and on public transport permanently.

Subsequently, you must be respectful of your customers’ health and safety wishes — continuing to wear a mask and sanitising your hands if required, for instance. With field service management software such as BigChange, you can take COVID prevention measures one step further. 

BigChange’s platform offers a ‘no touch’ app, where customers can sign paperwork directly from their mobile devices instead of needing to use the technicians’. Once the documents and invoices are ready, customers can also make instant, online payments, eliminating the need for paperwork and physical cheques.

Many customers will enjoy the convenience and simplicity that contactless features offer, even once the pandemic is a distant memory.  

Deliver a Great Customer Experience with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated CRM 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.

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, a back-office team member can still work remotely to support any reactive (urgent) job scheduling and communicate in real-time with the engineer.

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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