Founded in East Sussex in 2004, Ashdown Phillips has expanded its commercial property management services from London and the Southeast to build a portfolio across the UK, with a focus on raising the bar for customer service in the industry. Ashdown Phillips manages a diverse range of asset classes from commercial offices to shopping centres and flexible workspaces.
As the team expanded operations, they identified the need for a better service to clients, particularly around data sharing and being able to drive the sustainability agenda forward.
“We need a system that aligns with our goals and ethos. Our clients want access to more information and, as our company has grown, we have experienced several limitations with our existing software. Improve the quality and presentation of data we hold and the breadth of reporting services that we can offer to our clients,” says Andrew Wraight, Managing Director.
Partnering with MRI represents for us an opportunity to future-proof our property management software,
– Andrew Wraight, Managing Director.
Ashdown Phillips engaged a third-party consultant to carry out a discovery and research process and recommend suitable options. After a thorough exploration of the market, the team selected multiple solutions from MRI Software, including MRI Horizon, the Engage Tenant Portal, as well as MRI Contract Intelligence for AI lease abstraction.
“We were working with an IT consultant, who researched and found products that were suitable for us,” explained Emma Page, Associate Director at Ashdown Phillips.
“And to help us meet the high expectations of our clients. The solution is tailored to our specific needs.”
Ultimately, we chose MRI Horizon as the core platform for our business. We clearly saw how the range of management tools were just what we needed to operate most effectively
– Emma Page, Associate Director at Ashdown Phillips.
“While functionality was naturally a crucial part of the decision-making, for us, it’s also about who we’re working with. Everyone we came across at MRI was so enthusiastic and the combination of the solutions and the people really differentiated them from others. They really couldn’t do enough for us and responded very quickly, which was one of the key factors in our decision.”
Streamlining client reporting
“We want a platform that can deliver tailor-made solutions and give clients instant access to their data,”
Streamlining the company’s reporting processes was a high priority for Ashdown Phillips in choosing a new software solution. “Property owners need the ability to make decisions and act quickly. Our clients don’t want to be asking for reports all the time, they just want them there. That’s the climate we’re in.”
With MRI’s Engage Tenant Portal, Ashdown Phillips’ clients can access important data on a self-serve basis, reducing wait times and increasing customer satisfaction. MRI Horizon’s powerful reporting features also allow the team to build tailored reports for clients, ensuring that property owners are kept up to date with the information they need to make vital strategic decisions.
Managing lease data with AI
With MRI Contract Intelligence, Ashdown Phillips is introducing machine learning technology to manage their lease information, reducing the need for the team to manually audit individual lease documents by extracting data from documents into a consistent format.
“Initially there were some mixed reactions on the AI,” explained MD, Andrew Wraight. “Everyone’s eyebrows went up, everyone was interested. Some thought ‘what a great way to save time’ while others thought it sounded too good to be true. MRI explained that while this solution is established and the best in the market, the use of AI for contract abstraction is certainly no silver bullet. We understand the need to apply checks and balances over and above what AI can deliver, and we’re excited by the time and efficiency savings the product is deemed to offer.”
Integration with existing systems
During initial conversations with MRI to discuss needs, Ashdown Phillips advised that the business uses a well-established compliance system, known as Riskwise, which the team is keen to keep. The ideal solution is to create integration between MRI Horizon and the incumbent system. MRI’s open and connected software ethos is expected to provide Ashdown Phillips with the flexibility they want and the freedom to experience a ‘best of breed’ approach.
Future planning is increasingly important for any business and Ashdown Phillips is continually focused on anticipating and meeting client needs, working to identify where they can have the greatest impact.
In addition to the new core platform, they are considering adding more MRI solutions, including looking at how MRI eSight can help the business achieve its sustainability goals. By tracking energy consumption and gaining actionable insights, Ashdown Phillips is looking at ways to help clients control energy use and reduce costs across the managed portfolio.
“MRI offers us lots of flexibility to handle increasing service requirements and maximise our efficiency”, said Senior Associate Director, Nikki Gibson. “I’m really excited about implementing these solutions and working closely with the team at MRI to develop our growing flex space offer.”
Malcolm Payton, New Business Manager at MRI, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Ashdown Phillips to MRI. The team had a clear technology vision, and everyone involved has been incredibly thorough during the decision-making process to ensure the right solutions are implemented.”
“From the outset, it was clear the business was not only looking for a new software solution; they wanted a technology partner to develop a long-term relationship with. We’re very pleased to be working with the team, and continue to offer guidance, support and future technology recommendations to support the business’ growth.”