Leeds, 29 August 2019 – AGS, provider of facilities management services to Transport for London (TfL), has completed the implementation of a mobile workforce system from BigChange. The system, which sees field technicians equipped with tablets connected in real time to a control centre, has been rolled out initially across the company’s fast-expanding Pest Control division.
AGS provide a range of services for the upkeep of public transport facilities across London, including the Underground, rail lines, tunnels, rail and bus stations. As a contractor to TfL, AGS provide everything from cleaning, maintenance, painting and specialist coatings. The Group’s pest control division was formed two years ago as part of a strategic move to expand the AGS business nationally.
“The UK pest control market has undergone some major changes in recent years and we have identified a need for small, specialist and highly mobile teams to deliver fast-response services,” says David McMillan, General Manager, AGS Pest Control. “BigChange provides a highly agile and accessible platform that will underpin this expansion and allow us to easily collaborate with like-minded companies nationally.”
AGS Pest Control are using JobWatch, the 5 in 1 mobile app from BigChange linked in real time to BigChange back office CRM and work scheduling. JobWatch replaces a series of separate systems to provide a fully integrated IT solution for paperless working throughout the company.
“We have previously equipped our technicians with tablets but they were simply used to take pictures and send emails. It was not a connected system so it required a lot of laborious data entry and frankly wasted time for both our field technicians and office administrators,” says McMillan “We wanted a system that would do everything and BigChange offered the best solution.”
With their TfL contract AGS face challenging working conditions. often underground or trackside and are bound by stringent safety and security procedures. The array of paperwork has been eliminated with the introduction of JobWatch that provides on-screen workflows and fully digital working.
In London, AGS technicians are not patch based but get allocated jobs across London. The system helps to ensure the right technicians are assigned to the right jobs based on their skills and certifications. With parking difficult in London travel by van is minimised and BigChange scheduling software assigns the best daily working schedule for each technician based on jobs location.
The TfL work is fault based and service requests are via the TfL system that will soon be integrated with the BigChange system to provide a seamless digital workflow from start to completion. With a pool of over 60 mobile operatives the pest control specialists are sometimes supported by crews to undertake supporting work such as clearing vegetation and removing litter.
“BigChange provides us with an overview of everything that is happening in real time. With colour coded status reports I can instantly see how we are doing and deal quickly with any outstanding issues. It’s a brilliant management tool,” says McMillan. The other thing we really like is that it is a fully integrated system that does everything we need; it joins up all the dots.”
AGS operate 24/7 with night and day shifts. Work is usually scheduled the day before deployment with technicians receiving jobs on their tablets. The devices are then used for all tasks onsite such as risk assessments, certifications, job sheets and customer sign off on glass. On completion the job details a sent directly to the client with the AGS Control Centre dealing with any issues and additional service needs, with quoting and invoicing as required.
AGS has ambitious plans for expansion nationally and BigChange provides a platform that will underpin this growth. “Being a cloud solution we can expand without any IT infrastructure restraints and we really like the flexibility of the system. In our business there are numerous types of reports and different clients have different requirements; it can get very complicated. With JobWatch we can simply configure report templates to meet any requirement. This is important as we plan expansion nationwide,” comments McMillan.
AGS also see a future in collaboration. “With the pest control market opening up in recent years we believe there is void to be filled by specialists around the country. With JobWatch we can easily share work by giving contractors access to the JobWatch app or by collaborating with other companies who are part of the fast-growing BigChange network,” McMillan explains.
Smaller operators can compete not only by sharing resources and intelligence but by using JobWatch there is a professional system in place that provides all the functionality and credentials needed to deliver big company services but with more reactive and better value services.”
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