BigChange app boosts productivity of social housing tradespeople

Multi-Trade property service company The McDougall Group has boosted productivity with the introduction of a BigChange service management system, which can help mobile workers within the social housing sector.

The web-based system can be used by building and housing maintenance teams, and connects in-house teams with contractors thanks to being accessed on computers, phones or tablets – basically, BigChange offers a single platform for easier management.    

McDougall has equipped its tradespeople and engineers with smartphones and tablets running JobWatch, part of the all-in-one solution from BigChange.

BigChange is being used by McDougall tradespeople

McDougall services predominantly social housing landlords across central Scotland, with a fleet of 30 vans and 4x4’s operating from offices in Grangemouth and Glasgow. The entire mobile operation is managed using BigChange, with the cloud-based system handling all work planning, CRM, scheduling and reporting via Samsung tablets and phones. Integrated vehicle tracking and navigation provides live information for customer service with recorded data for billing, timesheets and driver duty of care.

“The introduction of BigChange has had a fundamental impact on the way we operate,” says David Robbie, Managing Director of The McDougall Group. “By automating job scheduling and routing, and cutting paperwork we have increased the number of jobs we can do with the same resources. Productivity has been boosted by 17% and mileage has been cut.

“It’s a move to real-time working which has allowed us to extend the working day. Our tradespeople no longer need to come in to get their jobs and are now on site an hour earlier. Gas Landlord and Electrical Certificates are delivered to clients electronically, as soon as the job is complete. Tenants receive an appointment for every repair and text updates at every stage of the process. Customer satisfaction is completed electronically for every job completed.”

McDougall provides a very wide range of services backed by a team of multi-skilled tradespeople and workshop facilities. Jobs can involve anything from kitchen unit repairs to fixed leaking taps and boiler servicing, installation and repair and this adds a lot of complexity to subsequent billing. Records, therefore, need to be good. With a move away from paper-based systems, BigChange provides more accurate and up to date data which is vital for providing proof of service and dispute-free invoicing.

“BigChange provides valuable management information for tighter control over operations,” continues David. “Introducing new technology to manage work is a one-off opportunity to re-engineer the business. It basically puts the onus on our tradespeople to adhere to good working practices and proper procedures and that ultimately means a more professional, more efficient and better-organised business and taking a mandatory photograph of completed works introduces an element of self-auditing ensuring the standard of work left is always high.”

“We chose BigChange because we were looking for a fully integrated system between vehicle management and job scheduling, with the ability to invoice and ultimately track orders all the way through from start to finish. With previous systems there was always paper involved somewhere so we were looking for one system that was completely paperless, giving us real control and providing a proactive experience for the end customer,” adds Robbie.

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