Celebrating 40 years in business in 2022, Castle Point Gas and Heating was founded in Essex in 1982 to offer high quality gas heating services in the local community, and to offer training and work opportunities for local people in the South East of England.
Still under the leadership of founder Dave Wells, the majority of Castle Point’s team of 50+ engineers are local, and originally started with the company as apprentices. They offer domestic gas, heating and electrical services and work with social landlords east providing quality heating systems, as well as for commercial premises including restaurants and residential homes.
“We were using old Sharepoint software to manage our services, phoning each job through to engineers. When a tenant called in, we couldn’t easily find their property and job information, but had to manually trawl through records to find it, which took quite some time.
“We were also experiencing various paperwork-related problems – from documents going missing, to being damaged during jobs. We have to produce document packs for our Housing Association clients, containing Risk Assessment’, CP12s, Boiler Commissioning Checklists and suchlike, and send them off within 7 days. Missing those deadlines due to lost or damaged paperwork meant turning a 60-day payment into 90-days which was then impacted on our cashflow.”
On top of those problems, the company was also experiencing issues with Housing Association tenants complaining that engineers hadn’t turned up, when in fact they had.
As Castle Point continued to expand, the issues became unmanageable so Chris set about trying to find a solution. In early 2016, after testing various off-the-shelf job management solutions without finding one that really met their needs, he began to look at bespoke solutions.
“We had been on the lookout for a new system for about two years. Off the shelf systems couldn’t do everything that we needed them to, and bespoke systems were prohibitively expensive as well as taking up a huge amount of our own time to create. But that’s when we found Propeller.”
Having found Propeller via an online search for “gas apps”, Chris was relieved to find a system that could deliver all that Castle Point needed and more.
Propeller has provided Castle Point with a full job management and CRM system with which to manage and record all customer and property information, jobs and engineers.
“Now when a customer calls in, we can just ask for their postcode and with one click we can see their entire history,” explains Chris, “including photos, proof of attendance and the details of the job undertaken.
“By going digital and cutting out paper-based job management, using Propeller we can create document packs really quickly and easily for our Housing Association clients within a 7-day timeframe, meaning no more missed deadlines and no more late payments.”
Photographs taken on site can be uploaded to Propeller by engineers with a time and date stamp, not only resolving the issue of tenant complaints about non-attendance, but also building a fuller picture of any problems. This in turn has allowed Castle Point’s call centre team to offer advice over the phone, resolving some issues without the need for a callout.
Initial concerns about wider adoption of the digital drive by customers and Castle Point’s engineers were quickly allayed. “Our clients have totally embraced the new system and are all completely on board. We had some resistance from engineers at first,” says Chris “but now they won’t be without it! Surprisingly, the older ones who we thought would struggle most with it have almost taken to it better than anyone!”
In addition to significant financial improvement due to prompter delivery of document packs, Castle Point have identified massive efficiencies in time spent by their staff.
The Castle Point team have 63 users on the system and have estimated that by implementing Propeller Field Management Software, both engineers AND administrators have saved on average two hours EACH, every day.
Return on Investment of:
5,900% for Engineers and 1,900% for Administrators