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BigChange the Mobile Workforce Management technology specialist has won a contract to supply global mining, energy and logistics company Hargreaves Services Plc with its three-in-one JobWatch system, across their 500-strong fleet of specialist aggregates vehicles that includes tractors and trailers. Headquartered in Durham, Hargreaves Logistics transports over 7 million tonnes of bulk materials each year.

The turnkey solution from BigChange is introducing a paperless revolution at Hargreaves Logistics, equipping hundreds of drivers with a Samsung Android tablet that manages receipt of job instruction, electronic proof of collection and delivery, timesheets, electronic start-of-day vehicle walkaround checks, driver behaviour scoring promoting safe eco-driving, tachograph interface and Health and Safety procedures. The system is also a rich vehicle tracking system providing real-time location updates.

A full integration is in place with Hargreaves’ Stirling Solutions back-office Transport Management System meaning that planned collections and deliveries are automatically pushed through to the JobWatch system. On logging on to the JobWatch app at the start of each day, Drivers are guided to start their timesheet, conduct a walkaround check that meets DVSA requirements (recording, photographing and alerting any defects) and have instant access to the day’s run manifest.

The JobWatch system is saving the company hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper annually and has significantly improved back-office administration. Drivers used to amass multiple paper forms for each delivery and collection including delivery notes and weighbridge tickets. On return to the office, these required manual processing including scanning, filing and sending the originals back to the customer. With JobWatch, the workflow is paperless. Drivers receive accurate loading and unloading instructions, site staff complete the ‘sign on glass’ POD, and a time, date and location watermarked photo of the weighbridge ticket is captured by the driver. Proof of service is instantly relayed to the back office allowing for prompt invoicing. In addition, Hargreaves Logistics are benefiting from 24/7 on-demand RoadCrew customer service for all back office users and drivers including remote support and management of all tablets.

Andrew Spence-Wolrich, Managing Director at Hargreaves Logistics Division commented:

“JobWatch is bringing about a digital transformation for our logistics business. The JobWatch mobile App has streamlined workflows and enabled our drivers to be connected in real time with our back office. Flexibility and Integration with Stirling Solutions Transport Management System was what attracted us to JobWatch; for example we’re using the system to manage TASCC jobs and paperwork trails required for audit. This requires careful cleaning of trailers for loading with food for human consumption. JobWatch rigorously manages the workflow and ensures photographic proof of the process is saved.”

Drivers’ use of the timesheet and expense functionality on the app allows the Finance team to efficiently allocate costs to vehicles and drivers and run payroll. A timesheet reconciliation report combines drivers hours, tachograph information and vehicle tracking data. At the end of each journey drivers view their behaviour score allowing them to track their personal driving improvements and ranking.

Martin Port, Founder and CEO at BigChange commented:

“Hargreaves are embracing the JobWatch system across their logistics operation and are reaping the rewards from the technology. They are a truly future focused business and we look forward to further developing our relationship.”

NOT EVERYTHING CAN BE MEASURED, BUT THAT DOESN’T STOP US TRYING. Data is the religion of 21st century business. Forget the false prophets of employee engagement, agility, tech or entrepreneurialism: numbers are what will get the board singing in the aisles.

To the faithful, data is nothing short of the irrefutable truth itself. Anything, from profit and performance through to wellbeing, can be reduced to an all-revealing number or chart. Those who can interpret them increasingly run the place. Those who can’t, to paraphrase W. Edwards Deming, are just people with opinions.

As with any religion, though, you will find the odd heretic. Renowned academic Clayton Christensen for instance recently warned MT about the dangers of using ratios to guide business strategy. Heaven forfend. You could almost hear the scandalised whispers in the City.

But what if the heretics have a point? Maybe measurements and targets are overrated. Maybe our obsession with KPIs is getting us in trouble.

‘Would you review a book based on the number of pages it has?’ Asks business performance consultant Chris Pearse. ‘It’s risible. You might want to know if it’s a 1500-page job that will keep you going all holiday, or if you’re spending a fortune on a ten-page coffee table book, but the whole raison d’etre of a book goes far beyond the physics of it. The same is true with any organisation.’

Pearse is quick to point out that, as a trained engineer, measurement is close to his heart. KPIs, he insists, are still fundamental to running a business, they’re just not sufficient. The problem is that we don’t seem to realise this fact.

‘I get cheesed off when people try to measure things that are palpably not measurable. A lot of companies purport to being able to measure employee engagement for example. You may say I’m being pedantic, but no you can’t measure it, you can assess it. To measure you need an absolute standard, such as a volt or an inch, that’s repeatable and that everyone understands. What’s the unit of measurement for engagement, a smiley face? It’s totally arbitrary.’

The distinction between measurement and assessment is an important one, because once we elevate something to data, we start basing decisions on it even when it goes against our better judgement.

This can lead to some unfortunate consequences because, in business as in quantum mechanics, observing something changes the thing being observed, and not always in a good way.

Measuring people against targets encourages gaming (think a car-park full of patients being kept in ambulances so the A&E department doesn’t flunk its waiting time targets) and short-term thinking. The nature of the stock market, for example, encourages short-termism in managers whose careers are dependent on meeting certain numbers.

‘It totally demeans the raison d’etre of the organisation and the real value they’re actually delivering to society and stakeholders. It’s insidious,’ says Pearse.

The way round this is to make sure firstly that we don’t measure things that can’t be measured and secondly that we accept that we can’t reduce business to a mechanics equation. The relevant working parts of an organisation – the employees, the customers, the investors and yes, even the boss – are human beings after all, and humans are unpredictable, emotional creatures.

It may just be that the best way to figure out whether your employees are engaged is not to perform psychometric tests but to talk to them. Stranger things have happened.

All this is a scary prospect for people who like hard facts and logic, and who dislike ambiguity. (Possibly because, as a school of academics led by Daniel Goleman suggests, we don’t make decisions based on reason at all, but on feelings which may or may not be affected by whether we believe a decision to be rational.)

It doesn’t mean, however, that we should abandon KPIs and metrics and apostasies from the church of data. What it does mean is that we should be open to the possibility that data doesn’t have all the answers. That way, you can respect quantifiable measures for what they are, while still keeping a place for good judgement.

Article by Adam Gale Read more at https://www.managementtoday.co.uk/kpis-enemy-good-leadership/leadership-lessons/article/1421348

Martin Port Signature
Martin Port
Founder & CEO

BigChange Welcomes Dale Light, We will be providing a delicious healthy vegetarian meal selection comprising of fresh soups and main coarse dishes from next Tuesday.

We will be promoting this new initiative the food will not only be healthy and tasty but also good value for money hopefully this will meet everyone’s lunchtime budget.

NOW DOWN TO BUSINESS!!

I hope you are all keeping your New Year resolutions?

Party time is now over and it is time to get down NOW to losing that Christmas excess!

There is never an easier time to lose weight, than in January. Everywhere you look everyone is talking about diet, fitness and wellbeing. The latest ‘miracle’ diets are being tried by all.

Statistically we follow these kinds of diets for 2 weeks before boredom kicks in then the weight you have lost slowly creeps back on! Over the holiday, I have been studying all the different types of diet that are out at the moment and it is, as always, utterly contradictory.

Experts have agreed that the BEST diet after numerous researches of all diets is a plant based (vegetarian) low sugar diet without any artificial additives or preservatives.

We all know (experts included) that the best and healthiest way to lose weight is 1-2lbs per week but when your scales are showing that the pounds have piled on, it’s normal to be impatient and want it off quick!!

With this in mind I have launched BigChange weight management in collaboration with Dale’s Diet ‘Skinny Plan’ it is designed for a quick boost to your weight loss efforts.

It is still eating food, not crazy liquid drinks, but it is more hard-core than the normal eating plan and does have great results.

The problem one has when they do ‘Quick fixes’ is that as soon as you cut out food groups your brain registers you’re not having them. Once you return to suddenly eating them again, your body stores them in a panic and they are then stored as fat. This is why you need to reintroduce slowly, slowly.

It is not just calories we need to look at, it is protein, saturated fat and of course our new enemy those hidden sugars and even sweeteners! Sugar has now been proved to be as addictive and habit forming as nicotine or any drug.

By following Dales plan, the hard work is done for you and you can eat with confidence that you are eating healthily. The myth that you can’t eat certain foods (i.e. carbohydrates) when dieting is rubbish although you should reduce them.

Dale has lots of clients who have lost amazing amounts of weight by eating everything. I just cut the gluten, the wheat, saturated fat and sugar. Also one of the most important areas….the portion size. The hardest part of dieting is the planning, shopping and preparation of meals. Dale has done all that for you all you need to do is buy some salad/extra veg if required and any meat/fish if you wish to add.

One problem that many of us have is alcohol try to have a clean January if you can but if not certainly reduce your intake. Why not swap onto a spirit such as gin & tonic or vodka. It is less calories but also lasts longer wine is a definite unknown quantity and that’s where the problem lies. It is much easier to say no to an extra spirit than a quick refill of wine.

Exercise….the dreaded word….I don’t have time…I hear you say? We can all fit some exercise into our day; again we just have to think smart. No time for the gym? Why not run up and down your stairs 5 times in a row think about how much that is over a week and it gets the heart pumping, (The most important muscle in your body that most of us ignore!) Or take a lunchtime walk around the beautiful Colton Country Estate!

Park your car a bit further away from your destination than usual so you have to walk a little bit further each day. Try some sit ups before bed. Instead of getting in the car to go somewhere nearby think….no….I will walk. Walking briskly really is so beneficial. You have to find an exercise you enjoy so what about a Zumba class or any dancing class, make it fun and you will stick to it. As I always say little small changes make a BigChange all add up and over time make a massive difference.

DON’T PUT IT OFF START TODAY AND YOU WILL SEE A NEW YOU.

You will be happier, healthier and have a completely different outlook on life once you have achieved your goal.

Martin Port Signature
Martin Port
Founder & CEO

BigChange

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