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Fans of this blog will know: I never switch off. My every waking moment is spent thinking about how to grow BigChange and make the service we provide even better – much to the frustration of my family.

Part of being ‘always on’ means that I’m looking for leads all the time. It’s the entrepreneurs’ way: every interaction is a potential networking opportunity. If you are growing a business, you need to view every single person you meet as a potential advocate or customer for your company. This is a lesson I learned from my father, who was always talking to people. It’s also a skill I’ve passed on to my son’s, Joseph my 22 year old once found a brilliant partner for BigChange just by chatting to the people at the next table in a restaurant while we were out for dinner. I was so proud!

Here are some of the ways I turn any situation into a sales opportunity:

Trains, planes and automobiles

Whenever I’m travelling, I talk to people, and I travel a lot. I like to make eye contact with whoever is sitting opposite me and ask, “How was your day?” or “How’s business?” Or an old faithful is: “Do you know what time this train arrives in London?” That’s a reliable conversation starter, as it usually leads to us both moaning about delays, expensive fares and poor service. You never know who you’ll meet if you talk to strangers and, at the very least, you might make an interesting new friend.

One tip I would add is to have a sticker with your company logo on your laptop when you’re working on the train. People are often curious. The other week, the guy sitting next to me on the train looked me up on LinkedIn and told me, “Your CIO used to work for my company!”

LinkedIn Find Nearby

The LinkedIn app has a feature that allows you to see connections around you. If you activate the ‘Find Nearby’ option, you can see if any professional contacts are on your train or at your event so you can say hello in person. I love it when technology actually makes a face-to-face connection easier instead of harder. You can find out more about Find Nearby here: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/75689/using-the-find-nearby-feature?lang=en

Networking events

I used to be really sceptical about organised networking. I thought it was a rip off, full of people who were unlikely to generate sales for my business. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m a big supporter of the BNI movement, which hosts breakfasts for professionals. It’s amazing! You have to provide testimonials before you can attend, so everyone there – whether they are a plumber or a software developer – comes highly recommended by people they have worked with. Even if you don’t generate sales from these events, it’s a really useful way to practice your pitch and grow in confidence. A lot of people who run businesses aren’t the best at promoting themselves or their businesses, and even serial entrepreneurs like me benefit from a bit of practice now and then.

Exhibitions

I attend a lot of trade fairs with BigChange and I have several tried-and-tested ways of getting people to stop and talk to me. I’m going to let you in on a couple of my secrets (no charge!). The first is to try and shake someone’s hand as they approach. Most people can’t help it, and you both end up laughing and having a chat. The other is to say, “I’m sure I know you”. When they say they can’t remember you, look at their name badge and say, “Michael! It’s you!” Even when you confess that you’re complete strangers, it’s a conversation starter!

What’s the strangest place you’ve made a contact or sale? Share your tips in the comments!


Martin Port
Founder & CEO

What defines a quality business? Is it the customer support provided or the quality of the service or product they deliver?

Is it how the organisation is run or more about their ability to understand customer needs, harnessing innovative technology into sales and repeat customers?

Without a clear, multi-industry standard to quantify best business practices, it becomes very difficult to find and assess reliable partners for collaboration (such as through the BigChange Collaboration Network) or subcontractors. This is where business management accreditations come in.

By providing a comprehensive measure to evaluate how a business is run- from the top-down- companies of all sizes are instantly given the tools to determine: Is this business following industry-standard best practices in all the areas that our customers care about?

In this short blog, we will discuss the globally recognised and respected ISO certification, why it matters to your customers and the impact ISO certification can have on your bottom line.

What is ISO 9100 certification?

ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system. ISO 9100 implementation enables businesses and organizations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction by:

  • Demonstrating their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

The ISO 9100 certification process can be used by any organisation regardless of size or its scope of activity. Based on a core of quality management principles, the ISO audit and implementation aims to gauge best practices in;

  • Including a strong customer focus
  • The motivation and implication of top management
  • The process approach and continual improvement.

To date, over one million companies and organisations in over 170 countries have received ISO 9001 certification. Organisations must be re-certified every three years in order to maintain their ISO 9001 certification status.

What value does ISO bring to your business?

ISO 9001 certification is suitable for all sizes and types of organisations and is internationally recognised as an essential Quality Management System standard. The certification encompasses the entire organisation, thus the establishment of best practices via ISO 9001 permeates throughout every corner of the business- from mobile workers to back-office and upper management.

In practice, the implementation of ISO 9001 serves to benefit both your organisation and customers.

Some of the benefits to your organisation:

  • Provides senior management with an efficient management process
  • Sets out areas of responsibility across the organisation
  • Mandatory if you want to tender for some public sector work
  • Communicates a positive message to staff and customers
  • Identifies and encourages more efficient and time-saving processes
  • Highlights deficiencies
  • Reduces your costs
  • Provides continuous assessment and improvement
  • Marketing opportunities

Some of the benefits to your customers:

  • Improved quality and service
  • Delivery on time
  • Right first-time attitude
  • Fewer returned products and complaints
  • Independent audit demonstrates a commitment to quality
  • Increased customer value
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Improved customer loyalty
  • Enhanced repeat business
  • Enhanced reputation of the organisation
  • Expanded customer base
  • Increased revenue and market share

The dual approach of ISO 9001 drives continuous improvement. Your customers benefit by receiving products/services that meet their requirement while you deliver consistent performance. Internally, the organisation stands to profit from increased job satisfaction, improved morale, and improved customer retention.

BigChange is ISO certified, how can we bring value to your operation?

At BigChange, we recognised that 9001:2015 helps organisations achieve, benchmark and monitor high-quality performance across all their business operations. ISO 9001 provides a framework to ensure that requirements are met consistently, whilst keeping up to date with market developments and enhancing customer satisfaction. All this meant that it was the only logical choice of benchmark for developing our own management systems.

Relying upon the seven quality management principles, BigChange’s ISO certification enables our business to help yours in defining and optimising;

  • Customer focus, Leadership
  • Engagement of people
  • Process approach
  • Improvement
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Relationship management.

Overall, we have calculated that with BigChange, you can look forward to a typical average of 20% improved workforce utilisation, first-time fix and productivity. With BigChange, and ISO 9001 your business can reach new levels of productivity and customer satisfaction!

Hatton Traffic Management is rolling out the latest mobile technology as part of a resource management system connecting field operatives to fleet controllers in real time.

Supplied by Leeds IT company BigChange, the system is already providing significant improvements in efficiency and service with a switch to digital working and the elimination of paperwork.

Based in the North East, Hatton Traffic Management operates nationwide from 10 locations and provides complete range of traffic management systems for anything from motorway closures to city wide event traffic management, rail crossings and portable traffic light control. Working with local authorities, event organisers, highways agencies and many of the UK’s largest infrastructure companies, with clients from Balfour Beatty to the BBC.

With the rapid expansion of the business in recent years, Hatton Traffic Management has expanded its portfolio of services to include permanent sign supply and installation, mobile elevated work platform services, and equipment hire and sales. Hatton is also one of only a limited number of companies in the UK offering both temporary and permanent Vehicle Restraint Systems (VRS).

Simon Watton, Software Developer, Hatton Traffic Management says:

“As the company expanded we outgrew our previous IT system and began an exhaustive search for something that would handle our diverse needs. We found systems were very good at one thing but were unable to handle other aspects of our work; we really wanted a single system to manage everything. It soon became clear that BigChange was the only supplier that offered the flexibility we needed,”

Once quoted work is accepted, schedulers at each location automatically receive job details for their region.

Watton says:

“That’s a really useful feature.”

“Each depot simply has visibility of their jobs but centrally we see the whole picture.”

Hatton currently has 107 field operatives and once jobs are scheduled and allocated, the appropriate operative receives the job on their rugged tablets. The tablets run the BigChange 5 in 1 app called JobWatch which replaces traditional worksheets and an array of cumbersome paperwork that operatives used to have to carry and complete.

Hatton operates a fleet that include hybrid cars, euro 6 drop side vans and impact protection vehicles. All vehicles are equipped with dashboard cradles for the tablets that provide routing and navigation. On site tablets are unclipped and used for risk assessment ensuring operatives complete a safety and procedural check list before proceeding. The tablets are used for photographing the site on arrival and throughout the job through to the final off-hire equipment collection.

Darren Ryan, Regional Manager, Hatton Traffic Management says:

“Previously it took ages to get back all the paperwork but now it’s all digital everything is much faster and our operatives don’t need to come into the depot before starting a job.”

Watton adds:

“There are so many variables in traffic management and any number of different parties are involved introducing factors beyond our control. BigChange gives us – and our clients – a level of visibility that really has transformed our service and made things a lot easier to manage.”

The BigChange solution is entirely cloud-based providing easy access anywhere, anytime and this has made roll out nationally straightforward. The fleet is also equipped with BigChange satellite trackers so Hatton always know where everyone is so customers can be kept informed. Historical tracking data – linked to the worksheets and photographs is also proving useful for handling customer queries and as a check for invoicing and timesheets. JobWatch is also used for vehicle checks and to assess driver performance with the flagging up of excessive idling, speed and harsh braking.

Watton says:

“Our work is very diverse and different clients have different guidelines and procedures. This is where the BigChange solution is particularly good as we can tailor workflows, worksheets and anything else depending on the type of job and customer requirements. We also like the fact that the system is being continually evolved.”

JobWatch also provides access to a document library giving operatives instant access to all documentation relating to a job; vehicle cabs are no longer cluttered with reams of paperwork.

In terms of benefits the system is still being rolled out nationally but for those now implemented Hatton reports significant benefits in efficiency, service and cost savings.

Watton says:

“It’s too early to quantify savings but BigChange is clearly providing big improvements in efficiency. Just the fact that operatives can go straight to site is saving on miles and fuel and allowing more jobs to be done on any given day. Ridding everyone of paperwork has similarly boosted productivity – both in the office and in the field.”

Tom Bailey, Managing Director of Hatton Traffic Management comments:

“As a family-owned and family-run business, we pride ourselves in being able to adapt quickly and provide innovative solutions to client’s operational needs. With the BigChange system now being rolled out nationally we have in place the latest generation technology that is already providing significant benefits to our efficiency and service.”

BigChange Hatton traffic control team at work

I have been building BigChange for the last seven years. During that time, I suppose I have technically taken the occasional holiday but never more than a fortnight and I’ve always been on email the whole time, so it wasn’t a total break.

I recently received an email from a business associate who wants to take a sabbatical from work. He had been with the business five years and wanted to recharge his batteries. This got me thinking: how do we avoid burn out as entrepreneurs? And when is a good time for a sabbatical from your business?

I have lived and breathed BigChange since we launched but there are times when I feel tired and in need of motivation. I have found that four things can help get me out of an energy rut.

Have a huddle

For me, there is nothing more energising than getting the whole company together to talk about our plans for the future, and our latest achievements. Mondays are the toughest day of the week for me. Unless I have worked Sunday, I come in to a mountain of emails and I find it difficult to get excited about the day. This is why I schedule a 9am huddle to kick-start my week. It takes just 10 minutes but we get the team together and talk about how we are going to increase sales, the latest improvements to customer service, new hires, and ways to drive the business forward. These huddles give me a real boost. Even colleagues who work remotely dial in, and we record the whole thing to send to people who can’t be there. Listening to those recordings is motivation in itself.

Treat the team

I feel that we spend too much time emailing one another and not enough time having face-to-face interactions. This is why I like to have events booked in where I can spend time with my team. These people remind me why I love building this business: they are loyal, driven, and creative. My colleague Geoff is about to celebrate his 65th birthday, so I am taking the whole team out to bingo in his honour. It’ll be a great night out and give me the valuable time with team members that I need to stay motivated.

Get a PA

One of the best ways to avoid burn out is to have a brilliant executive assistant who can take care of all the admin and diary commitments. I finally appointed a new PA and she is helping me manage my time much better. I am spending less time trying to correct my spelling and grammar in emails and more time with customers, or focusing on strategy. That has been hugely motivating for me.

Good coffee

Someone asked me what I do when I’ve had a hard day and building a business is an uphill struggle. I make myself a coffee. But not just any coffee. I have my own machine that makes my coffee just the way I like it. My Jura machine doesn’t make an ordinary cup of Joe – mine’s an illy full strength bean to cup – it’s a real treat, and picks me up whenever I am low.

Even though these four strategies have been fundamental to avoiding burn out, I am still toying with the idea of a sabbatical. I’d love to give my team the chance to thrive without me. It would also prove that I have the right processes in place, which mean I don’t need to be around all the time. But how long should I take? Is four weeks enough time to recharge? And what should I do? Go to a mindfulness retreat or some kind of entrepreneur camp? All ideas and recommendations gratefully received. And if you have other smart ways you avoid burn out, please share those too.


Martin Port
Founder & CEO

Yorkshire drainage services company MW Waste has transformed its business with a mobile system providing 24 hour visibility of its emergency field operations.

Supplied by Leeds-based BigChange, the system provides a complete IT solution that connects rugged tablets running a 5 in 1 mobile app with vehicle tracking and time-stamped photographs from site. MW Waste reports savings of £50k per year and significant customer service improvements since implementing the system, called JobWatch.

MW Waste provide a 24/7 fast response service across the north of England from headquarters just off the A1(M) in North Yorkshire. The company’s wastewater engineers unblock drains, fix broken pumping station equipment and empty septic tanks. With a fleet of specialist vehicles including Jet Vac Tankers, CCTV survey vans and excavators, the company looks after tens of thousands of drainage assets for domestic and commercial clients including Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent, Balfour Beatty and various local councils.

Keith Chadwick, MD of MW Waste says:

“With our multi-skilled workforce and range of specialist vehicles and plant we are equipped to deal with just about any task involving wastewater,”

“We’ve seen a big increase in demand recently as a result of the tightening up of legislation and we realised we needed to find a system that would help us manage that demand and allow us to expand.”

First established in 1995, MW Waste originally managing everything on paper and by calls to mobile phones which was proving inefficient and unreliable. When it was discovered work was being missed or not invoiced due to poor records, the company decided action was needed.

Chadwick says:

“BigChange required us to change the way we work but we never looked back and it has completely revolutionised the business. The real surprise was the savings. We reckon it is going to save us a fortune over time and we’re already saving around £50,000 a year. The elimination of paperwork administration, the improved utilisation of resources, accurate invoicing and fuel savings are the most obvious benefits of the system,”

MW Waste has recently achieved ISO 9001 and 14001 accreditations for environmental and quality and JobWatch is proving vital to meeting an increasing amount of reporting required by their larger commercial clients. MW Waste like the fact that they can tailor their own worksheets as different clients require different forms. Having standardised feedback via the app drop-down lists is also proving very useful by insuring better consistency and quality of data.

Vehicles are equipped with BigChange satellite trackers giving the office real-time view of the fleet with accurate ETA information. The tablets provide navigation to site and the app includes site safety workflows and is used to take time-stamped and geo-referenced photographs linked to each job card.

Ben Bromfield, Operations Manager says:

“Using the tablets to take photographs on site showing before and after work and at every stage if required. This gives an immediate visual record and we can advise on jobs directly from the office and the images are attached to the job cards for the customer to clearly see the work has been done,”

Bromfield adds:

“The system is brilliant for allocating jobs and when vehicles are already out we can quickly view their location and job progress to see if another job can be done on the route back. This means we are not only more reactive but we are able to do more jobs a day. Now we have it, I don’t think we could operate without JobWatch.”

MW Waste maintain their own vehicles and the tablets are used for daily vehicle defect inspections. The JobWatch inspection reports are received by the fleet manager and the workshop is immediately made aware of any maintenance requirements. The work schedular meanwhile can immediately see on-screen any non-availability of vehicles so clashes in job scheduling are avoided.

Job Watch gives MW Waste complete visibility of every job and this is especially useful when taking calls from customers.

Bromfield explains:

“We can view the job details and any history to immediately answer any questions; that’s impressive customer service. We also can instantly check all the facts if issues are raised and we have evidence of a job done at our fingertips,”

Chadwick says:

“BigChange has made my life a lot easier.”

“With easy access anytime, anywhere we really feel we are in control of the business. I no longer have to worry things that used to take hours out of my day; everything is invoiced correctly and invoice queries are now very much a thing of the past. Customers are happier and that is ensuring we get repeat work and good referrals.”

Live text alerts ensure you and your customers always have your finger on the pulse as jobs are happening.

From alerting customers of driver and job progress to keeping the back office in sync with all invoicing, task completion and driver behaviour, live alerts are increasingly providing vital insights into how your business operates. By providing text-based transparency, via a simple set of preconfigured messages your customers always feel in the know, increasing retention and satisfaction across the board.

A host of occurrences happen daily and threaten to jeopardise the plan; from traffic and urgent unplanned jobs to visits and drops that take far longer than estimated. By creating a stressfree means to update customers and support staff on the daily ebb and flow of driver or engineer progress, confusion is lost and jobs can be optimised accordingly.

What are Live Alerts?

With the rise and use of mobile devices—estimated at 5 billion worldwide and climbing—alerts via text message are quickly becoming the ideal method for today’s modern businesses to make instant connections with their customers and employees.

With all-in-one systems, such the feature-rich mobile workforce management software by BigChange, seamlessly directs attention to potential late arrival through alerts, allowing office-based teams to update customers and adjust the plan. Alerts can also highlight excessive working time, unauthorised out-of-hours use and safety-related concerns such as working time directive and speeding.

Live Alerts can be customised to report on multiple factors and occurrences. Alerts can report on vehicles, web-users or mobile resources all triggered by predetermined system indicators.

Keeping Customers in the Loop:

“Arrival alerts, like all notifications, rarely go unnoticed, with an open rate for SMS at 98%. With SMS messaging, delivery based businesses can share real-time tracking and transit information so customers know exactly when their order will arrive. ETA alerts are extremely useful for on-demand retailers who are providing quick fulfilment of everything from groceries, dry-cleaning, pet food, and just about anything else you can buy online. The familiarity and deliverability of text messaging provides a comfortable back-and-forth of interaction with customers.”

With simply constructed and dispatched messages your customers can instantly view live driver progress, and receive easy to understand messages regarding job completing or anticipated delays. By creating a clear flow of communication customers always feel they are being kept in the loop while the back office doesn’t have to worry about constantly updating customers on any change to route or service capability.

Back Office has its fingers on the pulse:

Live alerts provide the back office with instant access to critical data points impacting mobile technicians and on-site progress. With automatic text alerts sent when:

  • A task is completed
  • A driver has exceeded their geofence (left a specific territory or county for example)
  • A driver is exceeding the speed limit
  • Parts required on site

The back office is able to have a complete picture of mobile technicians progress on their various jobs including a breakdown of individual job completion and driving habits. By creating a system of automatically triggered live alerts, the back office is able to seamlessly integrate and update job histories and requirements in real time. Additionally, with the automatic functionality of live alerts, your back office staff is now free to prioritize their time on more important tasks like getting new customers or supporting your mobile workforce

Case Study ROI:

  • “I need to be able to locate the nearest vehicle when a customer calls in. With the BigChange system, if I need to tell the driver something, I can message him directly. I receive alerts if the vehicles move after 8 pm and before 6 am. This gives us peace of mind.”- Jalpa Upadhyay, Office Administrator, American Dry Cleaning
  • “JobWatch has made a BigChange to our customer service operation. Customers get text alerts reminding them of their agreed delivery time and driver-tracking.” – Claire Wild, Distribution Administration Manager, HU Housing Units
  • “The BigChange system means the delivery team and our customer contact centre are always in perfect sync.”- Mick Eaton, Appliances Direct
  • “BigChange provide immediate and clear evidence detailing when our drivers turn up on site. keeping customers informed of ETAs.”-Mark Emory, GAP Ggroup
  • “Going with BigChange has improved our professionalism and efficiency. we always know where our engineers are so we can inform our customers. Eliminating the need for calling to and from the office.”- Danny Bee, Service Solutions Ltd

What kind of live alerts can you expect with BigChange?

“By integrating SMS notifications within your CRM, whether you are a furniture retailer or a Facilities Management company, alerting customers throughout the entire process via text-based messaging enhances the business-customer relationship.” But that’s just one part of how live alerts can save your business time, money and stress. With fully stacked mobile workforce management systems, like BigChange you can expect to receive real-time text alerts for:

  • Engine idling
  • Vehicle movement
  • Vehicle geofence entrance
  • Job status changes
  • Accident or logged vehicle event
  • Jobs that will run over the scheduled time
  • Answer at risk on the worksheet
  • ETA
  • Reported vehicle defects
  • Task is overdue
  • Vehicle requires service
  • MOT expired
  • Customer service reminder
  • Sales appointment completed

How can BigChange Transform your business?

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage and monitor many of the most significant factors driving customer satisfaction. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service requests to optimise your team’s strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel. Using advanced smart scheduling technology, JobWatch by BigChange can optimise your business, improving technician response times and productivity by over 10%.

Through the use of an integrated Mobile Workforce Management platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance.

By improving transparency via live alerts and broad system visibility, and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve productivity, collaboration and customer retention.

To learn more about how JobWatch by BigChange can help you plan, manage, schedule and organise your business click Here.

Utilising the diverse skills of your team and available networks are critical in the modern business arena. No longer can one person problem solve and innovate, provide customer service and keep up with technical advancements, thus collaboration is key!

That is why BigChange created the Collaboration Network, to better focus the collective capital of our customers knowledge and build a forum to subcontract and connect with other high-quality users of the BigChange system across the service sectors. From Aggregates and Building Maintenance to Field Service and Waste and more, BigChange partners can utilise our shared network to extend geographical reach and capacity, providing customers with the best service opportunities regardless of your resource availability or service limitations.

With the rallying success of the Collaboration Network so far, we have hired Paul Witter as the network’s full-time Managing Director. We recently sat down with Paul to discuss his journey to BigChange and how the BigChange Collaboration Network will be providing important services to existing customers.

BigChange: Please provide a bit of background about yourself, professional experience and unique skill set geared towards your current positions

Paul Witter: I have over 30 years of work-place management experience, of which 18 years have been spent within the building services industry. Over this time I held several senior roles, both Operationally and in Commercial / Financial Management. Prior to working in the Building services sector, I also ran my own company and worked within the domestic insurance repair market, before spending a number of years quantity surveying.

Having managed the national hard-services engineering division within Bilfinger, with sales in excess of £27 million per annum and delivering services to over 500 clients across 4,500 sites nationwide for a number of years, I then joined TECS Group in 2016 where I successfully led the strategy to grow the business exponentially. Taking the business from start-up to £4m turnover in two and a half years, through both acquisition and organic growth.

These opportunities have allowed me to develop a broad range of skills and understanding of the management of business and delivering services to a wide spectrum of clients.

BigChange: What was the impetus of the BigChange collaboration network?

Paul Witter: BigChange saw the opportunity to add further value for its customers, helping them to improve their efficiency, capacity and service quality through broadening their reach and availability of suitable resources. We have created a platform where customers can work together for the benefit of their customers, supporting sustainable business growth.

BigChange: Who stands to benefit the most from this feature?

Paul Witter: Companies of all sizes will benefit from this feature. The collaboration Network allows companies to work together in real time using our system to manage all of the activity. When our customers collaborate they manage the works in their usual manner, so all of the key attributes of their jobs such as SLA’s, Risk management & financial protocols remain the same as if they were completing the works themselves. The Consumer sees no difference in the service and application, which is a huge demonstrable benefit.

BigChange: What are the customers saying about the collaboration network?

Paul Witter: The Network has been well received by our customers and we already have over 100 businesses that are using it now. Customers like the simple functionality, their ability to manage works using other companies with full visibility as works are completed and that they can do that anywhere geographically.

BigChange: What should users and potential users be looking forward to in the coming months, in regards to networking events and product functionality?

Paul Witter: We will be holding more Network events in the coming months from September through to November this year and bringing customers together at these events to both network and have a say in the future development of our system. We are currently working to build upon the system functionality. For example, we are enhancing the user interface further so that our customers can simply manage all their business on any device from anywhere at any time.

BigChange: Why does BigChange value collaboration?

Paul Witter: BigChange is an advocate of building strong business relationships and working with Customers to support them achieving their aims and improving their business functions which are key to them scaling their businesses. We’ve achieved this by creating a fantastic system that genuinely meets our customer’s needs. Collaboration is really the next step as it allows our customers to work with others in the same way, whilst maintaining their quality and standards, expanding their reach geographically and at times where otherwise they would not have the resources to complete works or it would not be commercially viable.

BigChange: How can people learn more about developments in the collaboration network?

Paul Witter: We are available to discuss the network at any time and would encourage all customers whether existing or new to contact us directly if they have any questions or to share their opinions. All of our upcoming events and developments are available to view at https://www.bigchange.com/about-us/events/ and we would recommend customers attend our networking events where they’ll have opportunity to meet with us and likeminded businesses directly.

To learn more about the BigChange Collaboration Network please visit
https://www.bigchange.com/products/join-the-bigchange-network/

BigChange Audit is a simple yet comprehensive online application which allows companies to self-audit and help directors, managers and employees truly understand the legal responsibilities.

BigChange Audit enables straightforward auditing and visibility of all aspects of transport compliance. Utilizing cloud-based hosting allows for remote visibility of uploaded evidence providing at-a-glance compliance checks and a central repository. In total, BigChange Audit provides a cost-effective solution to address several specific risks within the business.

There are four modules which are relevant to different fleet profiles:

What is the basic functionality of BigChange Audit?

BigChange Audit provides clients with the ability to review their fleet and safety compliance; it encourages ownership of compliance by people doing the job. It’s a cloud-based audit tool which requires uploaded evidence and includes an extensive Knowledge Bank to aid users to understand and answer the questions. Easy to view dashboards also help users see where issues exist and help them to address them. Questions cover both the existence of clear processes and the active use of these processes.

Who is this product ideal for?

All clients running a fleet – where it is a few vans or a major large goods vehicle operator. The product makes visibility easy across a large geographical area. A simple red/amber/green dashboard shows a simple, visible compliance status with the ability to click through to get more detail where issues exist

What tangible impact can BigChange Audit have on your business Health & Safety compliance strategy?

BigChange Audit can make a swift and significant impact on improving a client’s fleet compliance; it can be used by the people involved in the day-to-day management of the vehicles to improve their ownership and understanding of all aspects of fleet risk: safe driver, safe vehicle and safe journey. BCA provides a value-for-money approach to demonstrating that the company is meeting its moral and legal obligations, with a clear audit trail. It is a flexible tool which can also be used for internal and external audit.

What are the benefits to the customer?

  • Audit your operation using up to date guidance and industry best practice standards,
  • Keep depots involved inputting responses and uploading evidence,
  • Complete online visibility of compliance status across the company;
  • Compliance status dashboard, audit trail and action lists accessible anywhere.
  • Make big reductions in miles travelled and time spent auditing your transport operation

BigChange Audit example diagram

What services or onboarding is included in the implementation of BigChange Audit?

We offer client-tailored support from as little as half a day a month; we always do a full training session and ensure that clients are “over the hump” with their initial gap analysis.

How does BigChange Audit meet the needs of growing businesses in implementing industry best practices?

BigChange Audit is an ideal tool for growing businesses as it enables SMEs to punch above their weight against larger competitors as clients can be confident their audits are being done in an up to date, compliant environment. BigChange Audit can also be used as evidence of best practice when clients are bidding for business.

How can customers find out more about BigChange Audit?

Please visit www.bigchange.com or call Ruth on 0113 4571000.

Workplace safety and the adherence to mandatory company and safety policies impact both the health of your staff and the ability for those professionals to accurately respond to customer expectations.

From decreasing insurance and operational costs within the business to improving customer service experience and first-time fix rate, improving workplace safety can make a significant impact on your bottom line.

What factors impact workplace safety?

The ability of your staff to follow industry standard safety protocols directly correlates to customer retention and the overall quality of the service visit. If field technicians have the means to ensure that all safety requirements have been fulfilled, the need for repeated site visits, reactive maintenance calls and additional customer costs dramatically decrease.

The key factors which make the biggest impact in field technicians’ ability to follow safety requirements include:

  • Familiarity with the specific service request
  • Access to safety workflows and checklists
  • Correct inventory / parts
  • Access to complete service histories
  • Mandatory compliance systems
  • Back office reporting and personal technician accountability

Key product features needed to improve safety protocol is followed

As we discussed above, there are a number of very volatile variables which can influence safety compliance. In order to simplify the job of field operatives, companies in the service sectors should strongly consider a dynamic mobile workforce management system, such as BigChange, to streamline operations into one centralised location accessible to back office and mobile staff (with varying systems restrictions to meet your needs!).

In choosing the ideal platform to help your business reach new levels of safety compliance, it is important that the system includes the following core functions.

  • Mandatory workflows & Integrated mobile safety checklists

Mandatory workflows and integrated mobile safety checklists are the lifeblood of Mobile Workforce Management platforms. By ensuring that a technician cannot move forward with the service visit without following industry standard safety protocols, this feature provides significant improvement in compliance and results in a notable decrease in repeated service visits.

  • Timestamp, Geo-stamp, and Photo logging

Safety procedures are followed through mandatory workflows, but they are recorded and added to comprehensive service histories via photo capture. By inputting images, customers and technicians have a visual record of all installations, deliveries and service events. Through the integration of automatic geo and time stamping, the image provides a dynamic record of completion of an assigned tasked which is beyond refute.

  • Mobile access to CRM

With a complete picture of service requirements; including skills required, parts needed, mandatory risk assessments, and industry standard documents, field operatives are better prepared to fulfil customer expectations the first time, every time!

  • Service Notes and Automatic Alerts

In order to sustain complex service systems, a live data bank of collected knowledge and service information from all technicians is recorded during onsite service visits and recorded in the back office. With collaboration features, your digital system can seamlessly integrate records of service events while providing automatic alerts to customers when a task has been completed or technician is in-route to the site.

With these features integrated into a mobile or tablet-based app, your field technicians can drastically improve safety compliance and improve customer satisfaction with the click of a button. The question then turns to: how can technology or mobile workforce management best provide safety compliance for your business?

How can BigChange revolutionise your safety compliance?

BigChange’s 5-in-1 Mobile Workforce Management platform encompasses a function-rich CRM to meet the needs of your business.

BigChange enables businesses of all sizes to better manage many of the most significant factors influencing the customer experience. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor that safety protocols have been followed as well as managing the scheduling & dispatch of service requests. This optimises your field based teams’ strongest skills and prevents unnecessary travel.

With BigChange, the point of contact staff can access complete customer histories and ensure all service requests and customer expectations are met the first time, every time. Utilising BigChange’s innovative Mobile Workforce System, contractors are able to deliver the required service, workflow and mandatory safety protocols with ease.

Through the use of an integrated Mobile Workforce Management system, technicians can resolve any service request with the click of a button. Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the BigChange system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully (first time fix), while also alerting the back-office planner or operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance.

By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of BigChange, your business can save 10 hours of travel time, per mobile worker per month while decreasing total fuel costs by 10%!

Whether you are looking to improve safety compliance, decrease fuel costs or dramatically improve customer satisfaction & retention, BigChange can provide the solutions essential to make your business run sleeker, more efficient and paperlessly.

The BigChange Mobile Workforce Management system seamlessly provides your back-office and field based teams with everything necessary to plan, manage, schedule and dispatch your mobile workforce, regardless of size! The BigChange platform provides fully stacked functionality, including;

  • Invoicing
  • Real-time vehicle & asset tracking
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • Collaboration Network
  • Proactive alerting
  • Job Scheduling, work-order management and dispatch
  • Customisable workflows that manage work step by step
  • Access to Industry Standard documents
  • iOS and Android apps for your mobile workers

With a diverse range of features to optimise how your service sector business operates, BigChange can provide the means to significantly enhance staff productivity and give your customers the best service experience possible, every time.

What sectors and industries does BigChange operate in?

BigChange provides a comprehensive range of services for business operating in the following sectors and industries:

  • Hire
  • Fire & Security
  • Councils
  • Highways & Civil Administration
  • Plumbing & Heating
  • HVAC
  • Industrial equipment
  • Facilities Maintenance
  • Field Service
  • Catering
  • Industrial Doors & Shutters
  • Aggregates
  • Drainage
  • Transport & Logistics
  • Electrical Contracting
  • Cleaning
  • Construction
  • Hygiene Services
  • Lifts
  • Materials Handling
  • Passenger Transport
  • Materials Handling
  • Pest Control
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Social Housing
  • Scientific Services
  • Utilities
  • Waste

What do the customers say?

With expansive system functionality relevant to your business size and sector, BigChange brings together all the core elements driving your business’ success. But don’t just take our word for it. Over 1000 customers and 35,000 active users have seen first-hand how the Paperless revolution has improved mobile technician productivity and customer satisfaction.

Customer Satisfaction

“The BigChange technology has put us in another league and has made the customer experience completely seamless.”- Stuart Hardiman, Commercial Service Manager, Blue Group (Industrial Machinery)

“BigChange has revolutionised our customer service and given us a really useful tool to support our health and safety accreditation.”- Allan Letford, Head of Customer Services, Bobst (Industrial Printing Machinery)

“BigChange is significantly increasing productivity; minimising customer wait time and driving first time fix at competitive cost.”- Alastair Barton, Founder, Boilercare 24/7 (Plumbing and Heating)

Invoicing

“BigChange has created a seamless, paperless system all the way from order to invoice. By receiving electronic PODs we have immediate and accurate information!”- Chris Newman, Group Operations Director, Complete Business Solutions (Office Supplies)

“BigChange provides a complete audit trail of work with job reports backed by tracking logs and photographs. Invoicing is now much more efficient. Previously it could take up to two weeks to get an invoice out; now we can generate invoices within 48 hours.”- Ben Long, UK Operations Manager at Gartec (Lift Maintenance)

“JobWatch ensures invoices are accurate and are in line with what the customer is expecting and as they are received soon after the job, there are many fewer queries and payment is always quicker.”- Andrew Goddard, Service Manager, Thetford International (Waste Machinery)

Asset & Driver Tracking

“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.”- Marty Collins, Office Manager, CMT Wood Flooring

“JobWatch is very quick and easy to use. We’ve improved driver behaviour and have saved money by reducing driving hours.”- Kelly Kenny, Director, Debmat Surfacing Ltd (Surfacing Contractor)

“BigChange provides immediate and clear evidence detailing when our drivers turn up on site, keeping customers informed of ETAs.”- Mark Emery, Development Manager, Gap (Hire)

CRM

“BigChange’s JobWatch is the perfect CRM solution. We don’t need delivery notes any more, which saves us time and money. Now, customers can sign off jobs on the BigChange computer and we can invoice straight away.”- Helen Carrison, Company Secretary, Kingston Cleaning Solutions (Cleaning)

Live Alerts

“I need to be able to locate the nearest vehicle when a customer calls in. With BigChange’s JobWatch system, If I need to tell the driver something, I can message him directly. I receive alerts if the vehicles move after 8 pm and before 6 am. This gives us peace of mind.”- Jalpa Upadhyay, Office Administrator, American Dry Cleaning

“JobWatch has made a BigChange to our customer service operation. Customers get text alerts reminding them of their agreed delivery time and driver tracking.”- Claire Wild, Distribution Administration Manager, Housing Units (Furniture Retailer)

Job Scheduling and Dispatch

“JobWatch allows us to have tracking and job scheduling in one system. Our engineers now capture signatures on the JobWatch computer. This is downloaded immediately and sent back to the office.”- Marvin Cairnes, Engineer Manager, Martyn Edwards & Frank Ford Ltd (Catering Equipment)

“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.”- David Robbie, Managing Director, McDougall (Field Service)
Mandatory Workflows

Mandatory Workflows

“JobWatch is bringing about a digital transformation for our logistics business, streamlined workflows and enabling our drivers to be connected in real time with our back office.”- Andrew Spence-Wolrich, Managing Director, Hargreaves (Aggregates)

Mobile access with Back office guided restrictions

“With BigChange we have a real-time paperless solution and there are significant benefits especially in the reduction of administrative work. We no longer have to chase engineers for their reports, everything is immediately available.”- Craig Firth, Director at GasTech

How can BigChange bring Power to the Paperless?

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables businesses of all sizes to better manage and monitor many of the most significant factors driving customer satisfaction. With BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch service requests to optimise your team’s strongest skills and prevent unneeded travel. Using advanced smart scheduling technology, JobWatch by BigChange can optimise your business, improving technician response times and productivity by over 10%.

Through the use of an integrated Mobile Workforce Management platform, technicians have access to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system dramatically improves the rate in which service technicians resolve all issues fully, while also alerting the operator to any upcoming scheduled maintenance.

By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve productivity, collaboration and customer retention.
To learn more about how JobWatch by BigChange can help you plan, manage, schedule and organise your business click Here.

The UK public sector employs more than 27m people – nearly 20pc of Britain’s population. This enormous patchwork of institutions, from local councils to central government departments, has a total spend of around £800bn.

When you are dealing with organisations of this size, it is natural that there will be inefficiencies. A single local council needs to cover hundreds of different disciplines, from pruning trees to special needs education, gritting roads to pest control. Each of these individual disciplines is likely to have its own IT system and operational platform. This means that a single council can run more than 70 different systems, none of which talk to one another, each linked to a separate budget.

As an entrepreneur, this model frustrates me. Silos are counterproductive: you can’t pass on best practice, share resource, or collectively problem-solve when you operate in a bubble.

There is another issue: the way that government budgets are allocated completely destroys any incentive for councils to unify operations or work with other departments. When the government slashed local council budgets a few years ago, the austerity measures meant that salary increases were stopped and any budget left over at the end of the year was reclaimed. Local councils now rush to spend their entire budget or risk losing it. Different departments are in competition with each other, which prevents them from working for the greater good. It’s quite perverse and the opposite of a pro-efficiency mindset.

At BigChange, we work with several local councils. Unlike many of their peers, these councils are battling these pressures and are trying to change. They have brought in the digital transformation specialists and business improvement executives and are actively looking to modernise.

Our platform typically takes out up to five legacy systems in one go, replacing them with a seamless, cross-discipline platform that unites the tree surgeons, special needs teachers and gritters alike. It’s incredibly exciting to see the savings that we can generate. And these councils shouldn’t have to lose their budgets; they should be able to funnel the savings into other under-funded projects, such as help for the disabled.

This would be a revolutionary change to the outmoded model but one that is sorely needed. There is huge potential for us, and others like us, to help councils and other government departments but progress is slow. It’s not down to the people – most councils employ brilliant and committed staff. It’s the system that is flawed.

One of the main reasons that there has been a huge push for government to do more business with small firms like ours is so that the public sector can benefit from our innovation and speed of delivery. But the government must do more: it must take the bold step of incentivising the public sector to make the big changes.


Martin Port
Founder & CEO

Europump, the provider of fuel pump maintenance services, has deployed the latest cloud and mobile technology as part of a real-time system for managing field engineering operations.

Supplied by Leeds-based BigChange, the system combines a 5 in 1 mobile app called JobWatch that connects seamlessly to central software including CRM, scheduling, invoicing and management reporting.

Europump Maintenance Ltd provides fuel retailers with pump and tank gauge maintenance services and is part of the Eurotank Service Group, who provide fuel tank cleaning, maintenance and installation services.

Europump provide a fast response service with a 40-strong network of engineers based out of three operating centres in Stoke-on-Trent, Southampton and Bellhills, Scotland; with a helpdesk centre in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Although most of the work is reactive Europump also undertakes planned maintenance work and provides other services such as Vapour Recovery Tests (VAR).

As a group Eurotank has long been at the forefront of technology and innovation having developed their own mobile workforce system a decade earlier. This bespoke system comprised rugged laptops with separate signature pads and dongles.

Jack Aplin, Director, Eurotank says:

“Although we led the field with our system it was based on old technology that was expensive and cumbersome to use,”

“We began a lengthy process of trying to find a replacement but we failed to find anything that would meet all of our needs. Then we discovered BigChange and the company had just the solution we wanted; something that could do everything we wanted in a single web-based system.”

The Europump help desk in Hebden Bridge is the hub of the national operations. Incoming service requests are logged into the BigChange scheduler which assigns the job to the most appropriate engineer. Engineers receive jobs on their tablets with the JobWatch app completely replacing all types of paperwork with digital workflows, reports, certificates and customer sign-off signatures.

Aplin says:

“The thing about the BigChange software is it is so easy to configure. We can build a system to do exactly what we want. We can literally create a new worksheet or workflow in an evening; something that previously would have taken our IT supplier 2 months to do,”

The mobile devices also provide navigation and are used to capture photographs to show site set up, equipment and work completed. BigChange trackers fitted to the fleet of vans give the help desk an instant view of the whereabouts of all the engineers and allow accurate ETA’s to be provided to customers. Engineers use JobWatch for their timesheets and expenses with tracking data providing mileages as well as arrival and departure times.

Michelle Brocklehurst, Group Helpdesk Manager, Europump says:

“BigChange was introduced initially to improve job scheduling, which was crucial as the demand for our reactive maintenance services increased,”

“The job scheduling is very easy to use and has made a big difference – we can work much quicker and more efficiently. However the main benefit of JobWatch is the visibility it gives us so we know exactly what is going on 24/7. With job status on screen we can immediately see what’s not been done.”

JobWatch is also used for managing the 2000 individual parts that are kept by central stores and in the vans. Engineers record parts used or request new parts in their job sheets. All data is then synchronised with central stores as part of a comprehensive stock control system that automatically replenishes stocks.

Stuart Tomkinson, Operations Manager, Europump comments:

“JobWatch has made it much easier to properly manage our stock levels and make sure the parts needed are always available. The system also stores historic data on work done previously which is very useful for engineers when they arrive on site,”

Aplin adds:

“Safety and compliance are key issues for Europump as the work is undertaken in a high-risk environment. The primary benefits of BigChange are in the visibility and transparency that the system provides –- compliance is very important and with JobWatch nothing can be fudged,”

Edward Wheeler, Group Managing Director of Eurotank Service Group says:

“It’s clear that fuel retailers are looking for people who can maintain any type of pump and are not tied to any manufacturer; we can maintain any equipment that retailers already have or are planning to purchase,”

“We have ambitious plans to expand the Europump business and the easy accessibility, flexibility and affordability of the BigChange system make it an ideal platform to support growth.”

Europump employee at work

BigChange, the mobile workforce technology company, today revealed the first steps in its ambitious European expansion plans.

The Leeds-based company has established a subsidiary business in France to spearhead its move into mainland Europe and recruited a reseller partner to accelerate the adoption of its award-winning JobWatch system in Cyprus and Greece.

BigChange sets up a wholly owned subsidiary

BigChange has moved into the French market with the launch of a BigChange France, a wholly owned subsidiary business led by Frederic Dupeyron, who joined the company as Executive Vice President for Europe in January. BigChange has established a sales and marketing office in Paris, as well as a dedicated customer support facility in Marseille.

Five people will be based at BigChange’s Paris office initially, including Aurélie Rodriguez, who has joined the company as Head of Sales and Business Development. The customer service operation in Marseille comprises four people and is led by Chief Operations Officer Emma Levy.

BigChange strikes a strategic partnership to expand in Greece and Cyprus

BigChange has signed a reseller agreement to operate in Cyprus and Greece with JobWatch Cyprus, a new company established by Cypriot entrepreneur Andys Sofroniou to sell BigChange’s technology. Sofroniou is establishing a business development and technical support operation in Nicosia and has secured four new customers for BigChange already.

Sofroniou is also the managing director of Handy’s Security Systems, which became BigChange’s first customer in Cyprus in 2018. Sofroniou approached BigChange to establish a reseller partnership following the successful adoption of its JobWatch technology at Handy’s.

Martin Port, founder and CEO of BigChange, comments:

“We want to make BigChange a £100 million business and that means accelerating our international expansion efforts. By moving into France and establishing a partnership to cover Cyprus and Greece we are opening up a number of new markets, putting in place excellent sales and customer support people to delight our customers, and insulating the business from the effects of a potential no deal Brexit.”

Frederic Dupeyron, Executive Vice President for Europe at BigChange, comments:

“Organisations worldwide are being challenged to improve service, become more efficient and eliminate paperwork and manual processes from their operations. Opening offices in France is a significant first step in our international expansion plans. Establishing a presence here means we can better serve customers and drive faster expansion for BigChange in mainland Europe.”

Andys Sofoniou, founder and managing director of JobWatch Cyprus, comments:

“I spent years looking for a system to eliminate paperwork, streamline mobile workforce operations and improve communication with engineers at my security business. BigChange is amazing, it revolutionised how we run that business and I was so impressed with the system that I decided to set up a new company to make it more readily available to sectors such as building services, IT, hospitality and logistics in Cyprus and Greece.”

Rapid Maintenance Solutions (RMS), the Manchester-based provider of property maintenance services, has implemented the latest mobile working technology from BigChange.

The cloud-based system provides end-to-end paperless working with tradesmen and engineers equipped with rugged tablets running JobWatch, the 5 in 1 app from BigChange.

RMS are specialists in residential property maintenance, providing everything from plumbing, heating and electrical services through to repair, renovation and construction supervision. Formed in 2017, the company has seen a four-fold expansion since introducing BigChange.

Meir Halter, Director, RMS says:

“Having worked in the property market ourselves we were very aware that property landlords and agents continually struggled to get professional, reliable services for emergency work and small jobs. We realised there was an opportunity in the market to offer a better service and our mission from the outset was to make trades reliable,”

Previously RMS relied on paper to manage the business with mobile phones for communication. With JobWatch everything is now automated as part of a real-time digital system that has eliminated paperwork both in and out the office. The tablets are used for everything from job sheets and photographs on site, to health and safety procedure workflows and certifications.

Meir says:

“Our market is still served mainly by the independent handyman and plumber who still rely on their phones and paper records to run their businesses. This is the way we started but we were acutely aware of the shortcomings of our paper-based way of working. Just the fact that we had to call and disrupt our tradesmen to find out where they were and how they were getting on was frustrating enough,”

“BigChange is a game changer; from having very limited communication and desks piled high in paper we now have a seamless digital system. We now know where everyone is, how they are doing and when they’ll get to the next job. It’s all live and allows us to provide really professional customer service; way beyond the scope of our competitors. It’s also easy to use so we don’t really need to worry about training; it is largely apps based.”

The majority of RMS work involves plumbing and gas work. However, the team of multi-skilled staff – all with over ten years of experience – enable the company to deal with any property-related work for their clients that include property owners, letting agents and estate agents.

JobWatch handles all job scheduling and links to BigChange satellite trackers allowing customer services to see where tradesmen are and provide ETA’s to customers. With live reports and customer sign-off on job completion, the office can immediately deal with any issues on site and quotes for any additional work can be raised and agreed quickly.

Meir explains:

“With the system we have real time visibility and everything can be done much more quickly and efficiently. Invoices are raised within 24 hours and customers are kept up to date on the status of work – they are all very impressed with the reliability and professionalism of the service we provide and that is ultimately down to BigChange,”

RMS cover the Greater Manchester area and RMS has started picking up business from Manchester property owners and agents spread as far as London and Dubai.

Meir comments:

“One the biggest benefits of JobWatch is that it allows us to expand freely. We reckon we can run an operation with 40 to 50 vans with just 3 office staff. Our business – and certainly our ambitions business growth plan – is only viable because we have JobWatch,”

If you spot me out and about, whether walking down the street or on the train, chances are you might think I’m crazy.

I’ll be talking away to myself – or at least, that’s how it will seem. “He’s off his head”, you’ll think.

I have posted about my hearing impairment before https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lend-me-your-ears-how-i-made-business-despite-losing-my-martin-port/ but what most people don’t know is that my hearing aids have built-in Bluetooth technology. I also have a small microphone pinned to the inside of my shirt. Both are practically invisible, so when I get a call, answer and start chatting away, passers-by are understandably confused.

It’s been a real eye-opener, seeing the different reactions. Some are bad, but I have also been overwhelmed by the kindness of many people, who come over to check if I’m okay or need help.

The experience has reminded me of an important tenet in business (and in life): to never judge people, or make presumptions about them.

It was a lesson I learned early on, when I ran a bakery business. I would go out with a basket and encourage people to sample my freshly-baked bread. Some people would decide to buy, and some wouldn’t. But it was never obvious who would turn out to be a good prospect: you needed to give everyone a taste.

Last year, BigChange was exhibiting at a trade show. All our salespeople are friendly and engaging with everyone, regardless of whether they seem like a potential client or not. One guy came over. He was in casual dress, wearing a plain rucksack. No Rolex. Yet it turned out that he was the manager of a very successful business. He got chatting to my sales director and, recently, that chance meeting has resulted in a £500,000 order.

Appearances can be deceptive. I’m not doolally, I’m an entrepreneur and technophile with cutting edge hearing aids. When people take the time to ask, I always explain the situation. It would be a mistake to judge me, and I make it my policy – and BigChange’s – to treat others the same way. And it’s proved to be good for business too.


Martin Port
Founder & CEO

BigChange was privileged to host BBC Dragons Den Entrepreneur Jenny Campbell on July 1, 2019.

Campbell’s story and journey to overcoming adversity and achieving personal and professional success truly captivated the entire BigChange team and served as an inspiration to what one can accomplish when driven to meet your goals and fulfil your potential.

Jenny Campbell left school at 16 and eventually climbed the ranks to become one of the few senior female bankers in the UK (at the time). After 30 years in the banking industry, Ms Campbell launched a major restructure of Hanco ATM Systems which helped guide the organisation to regain financial viability and European market share. Campbell later bought out the business and became the majority shareholder in the newly rebranded YourCash Europe Ltd leading to its eventual sale for £50 million in 2016.

With a vast range of business experience at all levels of the process; from low-level clerk to high-level corporate executive, Jenny Campbell provided her inspiring reflections on a fascinating life in the business world to the BigChange team.

BigChange

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