The company offers gas and electrical safety inspections, services, products and advice, and specialises in the residential housing market. It has 18 regional franchises and 115 inspection franchises (most of which are run by engineers) that turn over a total of £10m.
“Self-employed people have to do their own invoicing and credit control; our people in our network don’t have to as we do it all for them," Davidson says. "It saves them a lot of time and that time goes towards them being more productive.”
But setting up the bureau wasn’t easy. “We employed an accounting firm to develop the software for it. It was fairly difficult to put together but now it works like clockwork,” Davidson notes.
Once a job is done, it’s noted on the system and the staff in the central office can then chase payment for it. Davidson adds: “The whole franchise is paid on a fortnightly basis.”
Other franchisors, he continues, have asked Gas-Elect how they can set up a similar system.
It’s not the only initiative Davidson has launched to improve productivity throughout the business. “Most engineers aren’t good at selling so we put in place a regional management structure. Those guys are the sales people who build the business through the regions.
“The engineers are franchisees and the regional managers are franchisees. Some of the engineers are outgoing and are happy chasing sales but in the main, we help do it for them.”
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