Thetford International has deployed a mobile system equipping field service engineers with tablets and vehicle trackers connected in real-time to central management systems. The cloud-based system from BigChange has allowed the Norfolk-based manufacturer of waste compactors to switch to paperless working to improve efficiency, productivity and customer service.
Established for 50 years, Thetford International designs and manufactures of all types of compaction equipment, supplying to a diversity of sectors, from the print industry and supermarkets to industrial complexes, recycling centres and refuse transfer stations.
Thetford uses JobWatch, the BigChange solution for managing mobile service operations using live-connected mobile devices running a multi-functional app to replace all paperwork, integrated with vehicle tracking to monitor the fleet and drivers. As well as replacing carbon-copy installation and service forms, the JobWatch 5 in 1 app is also used for engineer time sheets, risk assessments, driver vehicle checks and the management of parts.
Thetford carries out routine maintenance of compactors but the majority of work is reactive and requires a fast response due to the safety concerns of potentially dangerous equipment. Job details are sent to the assigned engineer to complete with JobWatch managing the entire process from start to job completion.
“We had been on the lookout for a suitable system for a numbers of years but nothing seemed to exist that really combined the tracking and field service reporting needs,” says Andrew Goddard, Service Manager, Thetford International. “The BigChange solution is very flexible and adaptable and we were able to tailor it to meet our needs.”
Thetford’s engineers cover the UK working from their homes and with vehicle tracking fitted to the fleet of vans, BigChange provides an automated ‘clocking in and clocking out’ system. JobWatch has also been developed to manage Thetford’s stock control with engineers using their tablets to record parts used. With around 400 individual parts, the system automatically replenishes stocks with deliveries to engineer collection points.
According to Thetford the biggest benefits of the system are financial and in particular with regard to invoicing. “Previously it could take up to 3 weeks to raise an invoice. Now we do it next day and potentially we could do it the same day,” explains Goddard. “JobWatch ensures invoices are accurate and are in line with what the customer is expecting and as they are received soon after the job, there are many fewer queries and payment is always quicker.”