Wednesday, 20 November 2019

The Ballad Of Big

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We can all get stuck in our ways sometimes and get a bit used to some of the same solutions and usual suspects coming out of the woodwork. A change in the Social Housing sector, can be as good as a rest. Software As a Service (SaaS) is becoming less of a danger to ICT infrastructure teams and at last it’s improved security and ‘managed fully in the cloud’ benefits, making it genuinely attractive.

Some of our current software suppliers are on that journey, others nearly there, while challengers from outside of the sector, often always were deployed that way.

During a piece of work looking for a Contractor, scheduling and mobile solution, over the summer, I came across one such challenger, called ‘BigChange’. It’s a solution used by many maintenance contractors, distribution and service companies, which make up a large proportion of their approx. 1000 customers. Most of their customers are based within the British Isles however they also have multiple clients across the world.

I had seen BigChange in use at an independent contractor in the North West, who is involved with multi-Client Housing Associations and their reactive repair work. It was very interesting to see BigChange contrasted with who we might regard as the usual Social Housing sector suspects.

One key difference with BigChange, is that the Contractor Solution comes fully bundled with vehicle tracking capabilities, which they offer free of charge as standard. This overlays into the whole repairs journey and provides capabilities I hear being asked for a lot, but rarely see in the flesh. IE that parcel tracking experience we are all used to. Customisable SMS and/or email updates feed back live ETAs automatically to the resident. This reduces the level of no accesses and associated costs of failed visits.

A great by product of a fully integrated job management and tracking system is that timesheets are easier to reconcile due to the fact that their compilation is automated and therefore accurate.

Of course, the real benefit is in better management KPI & BI data, as tracker vs trade operative discrepancies can be easily highlighted. Most DLO’s I have worked with have third-party van tracking. However, it’s generally the traffic manager, not the schedulers or the depot manager, who regularly gets involved with it.

JobWatch also shares expected forecast weather for future scheduled jobs. A great feature for roofing and external work. 

Checkout the BigChange solutions at HOMES, London Excel - Stand H30

Spookily enough, BigChange staff including Sales, also use the application, to keep customers (and potential prospects as I found out first-hand), aware of visit ETAs and follow-ups. That did not gain them any more points in the evaluation, but I can fully respect any software house, confident enough to run their business, on their own solutions.

How many software suppliers with over 150 directly employed staff reading this, would be confident enough to try that 🤔 ?

The fully browser/Cloud delivered BigChange solution comes with scheduler, device agnostic native apps delivering mobile working, Forms for Risk Assessments and LGSR's etc, finance system integrations, imports, exports and open API capabilities, for connecting to housing solutions.

Materials and Van Stock are supported, plus a few features that set it apart from most of the pack. The extras include a rather snazzy CRM module and neat prospect management, for DLO's looking to work in a more commercial fashion. No wonder that Mid-Wales HA and Thirteen Housing Group (with over 100 users), have recently selected this SaaS solution.

JobWatch - Plan, Manage, Schedule
Apart from their JobWatch Mobile Workforce Management solution, BigChange strike me as a great fit with a sector which is always looking to add social value. Partnerships with Transaid and Brake (the road safety charity - ) ensures this software house gives back on a regular basis. Now that's a  ‘BigChange’ from the usual software suppliers

Kevin Keegan - BigChange Ambassador
They are disrupting the repairs sector, even getting ex England international Kevin Keegan on board as a brand ambassador.  Finally, BigChange is evolving their workplace too. Agile staff are migrating to a standard 4.5 day week, with a 4 day week coming soon, at their HQ in Leeds. With forward thinking like that there really is  the possibility of more than a BigChange in our sector, it could be more a revolution.

Checkout BigChange and JobWatch at HOMES, London Excel, stand H30, November 27th /28th   -

Related Post: 💕 Is Social Housing falling in love again with the DLO 💕?  


I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Genesis - The Ballad Of BigGenesis - The Ballad Of Big.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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