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Why Ctrl Hub Exists


Learn more about why we exist, from the daily risk of compliance headaches to the delivery of work.

Publish Date:
Nov 1, 2023
Read Time:
8 Minutes

Why does Ctrl Hub exist? The short answer is that it exists to make sure that our people make it safely home from work each day. It exists to take care of our daily risk and compliance headaches, allowing our businesses to deliver work, to earn money. And it exists to be a single source of real time information as to what is going on within our businesses.

Ctrl Hub was conceived by the shareholders of contracting companies operating in the utilities and construction sectors. Like most business owners, we have the utmost concern for the safety and wellbeing of our people. We take health and safety incredibly seriously.  

At the same time, we also have genuine frustration at the ever growing amount of ‘red tape’ and regulations to which we are subject. After all, we are in business to earn a living for ourselves and for our employees. The two positions of (a) wanting to take care of your people and (b) wanting to be able to earn money, are not mutually exclusive.

Technology has advanced immensely over the past couple of decades, but working methods in many traditional industries remained stuck in the past. We knew that technology was the key to addressing our inefficiencies and reducing our risk. 

The initial prototype system was developed by Colin Shaw, for his construction contracting business. As Colin explains “I’ve got 101 things I need to do or report each day from a regulatory and compliance point of view, before my lads even lay a brick and start earning money. I wanted to automate some of that pain and free up my time, and my team’s time, to get on with the job”.

People Management

The first use case scenario that the platform addressed was the monitoring of operative training records, and accessibility of certificates and other credentials while working out on site.  We had trained health and safety professionals sat at their desks updating and monitoring spreadsheets, performing administrative functions rather than actively managing risks out in the field.  

Administrative staff in the office were being constantly called upon to retrieve paper documents from filing cabinets and send copies out to clients, site managers or regulatory inspectors.

We automated the monitoring of each individual’s training record. The platform stored training dates and expiry dates, and gave renewal reminders in advance. It also stored electronic copies of each training certificate so that an operative was able to present evidence of training (as well as evidence of his or her personal identity) to any relevant person on site who had cause to request it.

It was logical to take that same principle and apply it to our vehicles and assets – automating monitoring and renewal of certificates for things like vehicle safety checks, LOLER certificate, even PAT tests.  

Data Capture

We were starting to reduce our risk exposure and eradicate some of the unproductive compliance time. By our reckoning at that time, we had cut unproductive office admin time by more than 50%. But we were still inundated with paperwork, and the high administrative burden that brings – constant chasing for forms, trying to read some highly questionable handwriting, backtracking through incomplete paper trails, and finally having to manually input data into our back office software or into an email to go to the client.

How could we address this? If we turned our paper forms into digital forms, then our operatives could complete those forms on a mobile phone or a tablet, and enter that data directly into the platform. We set about digitising our forms, ready for roll out with the field operatives. That was where the fun really started!

Trying to implement change among a workforce that has worked in the same way for such a long time was very challenging. But it gave us fantastic experience and insight that we have been able to pass on to numerous clients since then.

We listened to the feedback from our teams. We politely dismissed the non-constructive suggestions, and we set about addressing the constructive comments that were made. We kept a constant dialogue going with our staff. We ran sessions with them where we took them through each of the changes we had made at their request. We made small, simple changes wherever we could, such as making sure electronic forms looked visually similar to the previous paper forms.

They could see that we were trying to do the right thing – prioritising their safety, looking to ease their own administrative burden, and freeing up their time on site so they could deliver what they need to in order for them to be paid as individuals, and the company to earn money as their employer.

At first we had largely been looking at addressing issues in the office, giving us visibility and control there. Now we were implementing changes to benefit the field based workforce. The platform was evolving.

Project Governance

Operatives need access to a wide range of information in the field, in order to be able to do their jobs safely. This might include site drawings, utility drawings, health and safety policies and operating manuals.  The picture below shows a genuine example of a job pack which a team of operatives would carry with them.

Stack of documents on vehicle seat

We wanted to simplify this and make life easier for our operatives. It made sense that such information could be stored electronically and accessed on the same devices that they would use for capturing data in the field.  

There is certain key information that will be required on each job regardless of the location or the work type – for example policies and procedures, codes of practice etc. However, each job will also have its own very specific information requirements that only apply to that particular project or location – for example site drawings, traffic permits etc.  

We developed the platform further to build in the concept of projects, sites, tasks etc. Information could be stored against each individual project and accessed as and when needed by operatives assigned to that project.

This became our Project Governance module, which is now one of our most valuable features. It ties in compliance across multiple areas of a business’s operation, applying that to each specific site or project – highlighting the platform’s modular architecture.


We developed dashboards to give managers an overview across operations, and individuals instant access to their own projects, forms and alerts. 

“The driver behind the dashboard page was simple. As managing director of the company, a great deal of risk sits with me personally. I wanted to be able to have one simple access point where I could see compliance status across the company’s operations – people, assets, projects. Green means everything is fine. If I see a yellow or red flag in there, I can drill straight down and make sure the necessary action is taken to address it.”

Simon Maughan, Managing Director of M A Utilities

The Business Side

As we developed the platform further, we as founders really started to believe that we had something that would benefit other company owners. This was the point at which we started looking at the business side of things – turning the platform into a standalone company.  

More background on the brand and meaning behind Ctrl Hub can be found here.

In short, Ctrl stands for the control the platform gives over processes, operations, risk, safety and compliance; the keyboard shortcut Ctrl reflects the forward-thinking world we live in, as well as the fast, digital route to vital information that any business needs. The Hub is the central point where information is gathered, processed, viewed and utilised. 


As business founders, Ctrl Hub has been an incredible ride so far. There have been highs and lows, lots of mistakes made and lots of lessons learned – none of us had any experience of the tech sector when we set out. Nor did we have any real experience of sales and marketing.  

The reasons as to why we started developing the platform in 2015 still hold true today. We want our people to get home safely from work each day, and we want to remove as much inefficiency as possible.

The common theme throughout our journey is one of problem solving. The platform has evolved to solve the day to day problems that exist in our businesses, and by ours we mean the businesses of our clients as well.  It remains core to Ctrl Hub’s ethos. We find solutions, not problems.  

We would love to hear from you if any of the above resonates with you. We would also love to hear from you with regard to the challenges you are facing in your own business.  We might just be able to help you…!

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About the author

Mark Lisgo
Managing Director