The latest field service management software has helped ComLink Fire and Security to become one of the fastest growing companies in Wales. By equipping engineers with rugged mobile devices that synchronise in real time with back-office software, ComLink’s business has been transformed with completely paperless working. Since introducing the cloud-based technology from BigChange, ComLink has seen its field service fleet double in size. The company has also seen turnover triple without the need for additional office resources.
Based in Carmarthen, ComLink services mainly commercial customers within a one-hour catchment area in south and west Wales. Formed in 2017, the company specialises in the installation and service of fire alarms, security systems, HD CCTV and automatic gates. ComLink became the 22nd fastest growing company in Wales in 2021; a year earlier the company won the small business category at the West Wales Business Awards.
ComLink started looking at systems back in 2019 realising that automation was going to be crucial for growth. A number of systems were reviewed with BigChange selected; implementation began in early 2020. BigChange is a job management platform that incorporates customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, job finance and business intelligence in one simple to use and easy to integrate platform.
“BigChange has completely transformed our business having eliminated paperwork with a real-time system we can all access 24/7,” said Tom James, Director, ComLink Fire and Security. “BigChange provides the ultimate control with assurance that all work is being done - and done correctly as compliance is crucial in fire and security.”
“In looking at the systems available BigChange was a clear winner. However, crucially we felt the company was forward-thinking, attentive and ambitious; they shared our values and that was important for what we knew would be a key business partnership. The transition from paper to digital turned out much easier than we expected and customer support has been excellent - everything we have asked for has been delivered.” James added.
ComLink provides a 24/7 call out service and engineers are equipped with rugged tablets that replaced paper dockets with digital job reports. For engineers, the system is a big step up. As well as eliminating their paperwork it allows them to see what jobs are coming up and then access everything 24/7 which is particularly useful when on night call outs.
“As the business grew we were losing track; parts were being lost, job’s were not being invoiced and generally we didn’t have the control we needed. BigChange changed all that and put us back in control. The system has allowed us to significantly improve our efficiency, productivity, compliance and management. We’ve doubled jobs per day without needing to increase office administrative resource.
ComLink likes the fleet management capabilities offered via the BigChange app. The integrated telematics provides live ETA and an audit of arrival and departure time all linked to the particular job card. The app is also used for recording van inspections and with digital updates on defects and other issues, the system has improved fleet maintenance. The system also monitors driving behaviour to highlight poor driving such as excessive acceleration, braking and speeding.
According to James, the biggest impact of BigChange has ultimately been on customer service and business competitiveness. “BigChange gives us the capability to address the needs of any customer and with much better business retention and good referrals we have won larger, multi-site contracts that were beyond our reach before. The business has doubled in size in the 18 months since we went live with BigChange,” he explained. “And we’ve only really touched on the features offered by the system - our mission now is to catch up a bit with further automation of processes and take advantage of more features so we can underpin future expansion.”