After-care specialist A&S Contractors has turned to the latest technology to improve the management of its nationwide workforce operation. The roll out of a 5 in 1 BigChange mobile resource management system, which sees 65 technicians equipped with rugged tablets, is boosting customer service and efficiencies on site with productivity gains of 20 percent.
Established just 7 years A&S Contractors has become a leading player in the fast-growing market for new build after-care. The company works with the major house builders, such as Taylor Wimpey, Countryside, Bellway, Vistry and McCarthy & Stone. A&S employ multi-skilled and specialist trade teams to work alongside the customer service and construction departments, carrying out NHBC remedial claims, assisting with high volume build programmes, remedial repairs and providing a technical report facility.
Providing a single cloud-platform for CRM, job scheduling, mobile app, vehicle tracking and customer portal, BigChange provides A&S with real-time 24/7 visibility of operations, improved control, customer service and productivity. BigChange, which replaces a previous workforce management system, also links seamlessly with Sage accounts.
“Delivering an exceptional service and best value is our mission and we need a system that would support that,” said Sean Coldrick, Managing Director, A&S Contractors. “More than anything we chose BigChange because the system was clearly backed up by real people; a team of professionals that have since proven to be invaluable in the roll-out of the system.”
A&S employs 65 mobile technicians able to deal with mechanical, electrical, gas, assisting their technicians covering all other building trades. The company sets itself apart in the market by being able to provide a turnkey operation.
With a head office near Chester, the company has expanded from the North West to the North East and to the Midlands, recently opening a new office and national training centre in Market Drayton. BigChange is having most impact on the mobile workforce and fleet operations, improving job scheduling, resource allocation, health and safety and productivity, as well as reducing mileage.
Using the BigChange mobile app, engineers manage all work on-site aided by on-screen workflows to ensure all the correct procedures are followed and information recorded. It is completely paperless and job cards are completed with accompanying on-site photographs, generating contra-charge reports at the click of a button. BigChange also has fully integrated vehicle tracking, providing time and location data, routing, customer ETA alerts and driver performance reporting.
A&S is very enthusiastic about the BigChange customer portal facility, that will allow its customers to book jobs and access all information on their jobs. The system is also being used to overhaul stock management, with real-time stock control and replenishment enabling increased stock on vans and the ordering of parts and materials by engineers via their tablets, again increasing on-site productivity.
“BigChange has allowed us to really streamline our mobile operations. Technicians are now much more self-sufficient; journeys to the depot are rare, first fix rates are improved and there are fewer wasted hours. We are already seeing workforce productivity up by around 20 percent,” says Coldrick. “We know we are at the forefront of the new build after-care industry and we see BigChange as an important partner. Like us they have a forward vision and ambition to grow; that fits very much with our own ambitions.”
Working alongside their customer base, A&S has developed technical innovations such as special glue bond procedures to resolve microcracking, and the bespoke on-site fabrication of retrofit cavity trays. The innovations not only improve remedial work but also provide long-term solutions to provide best value for clients and their customers. The implementation of the new mobile technology has been the obvious next step.