Strettons is a leading firm of commercial property agents based in London and the South East with a busy UK wide property management business that manages a portfolio of more than 4000 properties. The complex nature of the business involves keeping track of thousands of documents and files relating to clients, properties, tenants, services and other ad-hoc instructions. The 100-strong team works closely with clients to identify and manage opportunities and see them through to completion.
A reliance on manual processes meant that it was a daily uphill struggle to keep all the hard files up-to-date and sometimes, items were filed incorrectly or not filed at all, says Jeremy Feingold, Associate Director, Strettons Chartered Surveyors. “The sheer volume of emails received each day and the process of printing each one off so that a copy could be kept on a hard file, was causing real issues,” he comments.
“We chose Virtual Cabinet because it is so flexible and all the files interact with each other. Since its implementation, it has revolutionised our filing methods and it provides us with a fantastic way of tracking all the variables and keeping them in one place.”
For Strettons, the catalyst for change came when the organisation realised that the banks of filing cabinets were taking up more and more space and it was proving difficult to house new members of staff.
Also, with thousands of emails arriving in different employees’ inboxes every day, effective email management presented a growing challenge. The business needed a solution that would ensure copies of all relevant emails were being captured securely and stored in one location, and saved against the relevant project or client.
The decision was made to deploy an electronic document management (EDM) system to automate what had become an onerous and time-consuming business operation and to save space.
EDM helps businesses like Strettons to reduce the time spent on administrative duties and to create an environment where there can be complete confidence that every file is stored securely and it is possible to locate any document within seconds.
Following a review of the market, Virtual Cabinet was selected on the strength of its reputation in the professional sector and its ability to integrate with the market leading property management software, TRAMPS, used by Strettons.
“We chose Virtual Cabinet because it is so flexible and all the files interact with each other. Since its implementation, it has revolutionised our filing methods and it provides us with a fantastic way of tracking all the variables and keeping them in one place,” comments Jeremy Feingold.
The implementation team offered guidance on the best way to set up the system and established a filing configuration that ‘mimicked’ the pre-existing hard file structure. Jeremy says the filing process for emails could not be easier. “There is a side bar in Outlook and all we need to do is to select the property or tenant and file against it.”
Searching for a file is just as straight forward. He continues: “You can search by client, by property and also ask the system to show you everything for a particular client. Now the team is familiar with how to search, they can instantly call up any file in seconds. Virtual Cabinet has revolutionised our filing methods.”
Tight integration with the market leading property management solution for managing agents, TRAMPS, brings added benefits as Virtual Cabinet can read and access all information in real-time and searches can be initiated directly from within TRAMPS while viewing the client record. Client related documents generated by the property management solution are automatically captured, imaged and stored directly into Virtual Cabinet.
“If you are facing the same difficulties as us with a number of various factors affecting the business, Virtual Cabinet is a fantastic way of tracking all the variables and keeping them all in one place.”
This forward thinking electronic document management system is helping property management companies solve the business critical challenge of secure document and email management by aiding compliance, driving productivity and output and delivering strategic strength to the organisation. In addition, users of Virtual Cabinet have the option to deploy integrated document portals that act as a mechanism for secure document storage, sharing, distribution and workflow.
“If you are facing the same difficulties as us with a number of various factors affecting the business, Virtual Cabinet is a fantastic way of tracking all the variables and keeping them all in one place,” Jeremy adds. “The team is very impressed with how it is helping us to manage our business.”
Virtual Cabinet supports the transformation and growth of successful companies like Strettons that require a new level of agility to deal with a roller coaster of business challenges.