ASH Integrated Services from ‘Man in Van’ to £7 Million Business using BigChange

Leeds, 27 February 2024 – Entrepreneur Antony Grace, together with business partners Sean and Howard Jackson, have taken ASH Integrated Services from a standing start to a multi-million-pound business in less than 5 years with the help of workforce management software from BigChange. Established to address a gap in the market for an integrated mechanical and electrical contractor, ASH has gone from strength to strength and now has contracts with Lancashire County Council, Punch Pubs, and Staycity aparthotels. Working with Lovett Care Homes, ASH was also recently awarded overall winner at the 2023 Premises and Facilities Management Awards.

Combining Antony, Sean, and Howard’s skill sets, ASH offers a range of services under the mechanical and electrical contracting umbrella including routine maintenance and project work as well as facilities management and renewable schemes. Working across the UK, the company has expanded its workforce by more than 400 percent since it started, and is predicting a turnover of more than £7 million this financial year.

“We started the company because customers needed us,” commented Antony Grace, Director of ASH Integrated Services. “Although I had worked with Sean and Howard on an ad-hoc basis before, the process of multiple contractors and different invoices wasn’t what the market wanted. So, we came up with the idea of joining forces – one company, offering a range of services.

“And we haven’t looked back! Within a year we had landed a major contract with Lancashire County Council and we still look after more than 300 of their schools, care homes, and offices.”

It was at this point that ASH started looking for a job management system. Having reviewed several options ASH decided on BigChange which incorporates a mobile workforce app, customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, financial management, and business intelligence tools in one system. Unlike other systems on the market at that time, ASH describe BigChange as an ‘easy solution’ – the software is easy to use, easy to integrate, and didn’t require a huge upfront investment.

“We knew that to deliver on this massive contract, we needed a system to manage the detail – such as site addresses, contact information, and asset histories,” Grace continued. “Unlike other systems on the market we didn’t have to buy into BigChange, we simply paid for the number of licences we needed. The system delivered all the functionality we needed and as we have evolved it has evolved with us and as we have grown, we’ve simply upped our user numbers – almost ‘Pay as You Grow’”

Using BigChange, ASH now manages a team of more than 50 from its headquarters in Manchester with engineers operating from Liverpool to Livingstone and Newquay to Newcastle. The integrated CRM is used to record all customer information and communications, and advanced scheduling tools plan and allocate around 100 jobs a day. Using the BigChange app field staff are guided through a customised workflow to ensure compliance with all relevant health and safety regulations before accessing job specific worksheets and site histories. Whilst onsite additional information can be captured, including date, time, and location stamped photographs and customer signatures, and the engineer can record additional works or order required parts.

“With BigChange it isn’t about how much more we can achieve and how we are more efficient, it’s simply that without it we couldn’t operate at this scale,” concluded Grace. “BigChange gives us the ability and capacity to deliver on our promises and allows us to capture, record, and share auditable data to prove compliance and work completed.

“Without BigChange I estimate that we would need at least another 10 to 15 back-office staff just to maintain our current operation and, as we are predicting a 100 percent growth in the next five years, that resource is simply not sustainable.”

ASH Integrated Services provides a joined up electrical, plumbing, and heating solution, reducing stress for clients by offering one point of contact. A genuine integrated contractor means clients benefit from dedicated mechanical and electrical supervisors on each project. ASH brings the experience of large projects with the intimacy and personal touch of a small organisation and the three directors, Antony, Howard, and Sean, bring more than 100 years of industry expertise to the table. ASH Integrated Services works on schemes across the UK in sectors including education, hospitality, commercial property, housing, and manufacturing with works ranging from new developments to complex Grade II listed buildings.

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