Case Study

How Midlands-based property consultancy Pennycuick Collins advanced their use of Qube PM to enhance operations

Pennycuick Collins is a leading independent property consultancy, dealing with residential and commercial service charge management, and lettings asset management for their portfolio of over 11,000 units across Birmingham and the Midlands.

Business Challenge

As a fast-growing company, Pennycuick Collins needed a robust internal system to keep on top of all aspects of their property management, from invoices and purchase orders to tenant communications and asset management.

The system needed to support a high volume of reports and invoice processing, streamlining time-consuming activities wherever possible to reduce administrative strain.

Pennycuick Collins also wanted to ensure that they were at the forefront of technological developments to push their business forwards, taking advantage of new innovations with the potential to improve performance and deliver a better experience for clients and tenants.

Solution

Pennycuick Collins originally purchased MRI Qube Property Management in 2015, and in 2019 migrated all their properties, along with all associated historical data, into the system.

With Qube PM now firmly at the centre of their business, Alex Mezzone, Head of Client Accounting, engaged with the MRI team for support in driving increased efficiencies from the system.

“We started on the server-based version of Qube PM, and although we’d discussed moving to a cloud implementation, we never committed,” explains Alex. “Through COVID we were logging in remotely to our server through a VPN, and running reports could take 45 minutes, so we took the plunge at the end of August 2020 to move to MRI’s Qube PM Advance package.”

Faster reporting

Alex and the Pennycuick Collins team worked closely with MRI to migrate their server-based implementation of Qube PM to the cloud-based Advance package, and successfully launched the new system in the latter stages of 2020.

“All but for some minor issues, it was a smooth transfer”, Alex explains. “You’re always apprehensive with systems upgrades, because while you can plan for every eventuality you never know what’s going to happen. The support from the MRI team was fantastic, we had regular meetings to push it along and it worked out really well.”

With the new SaaS platform live, Pennycuick Collins saw immediate performance benefits.

“It’s just smarter and quicker – a report that took 20 minutes in the office, or 45 minutes remotely, now takes 1 and a half minutes to run. We’re now approving invoices in 30 seconds compared to 2-3 minutes. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re processing 1000 invoices a week it’s a massive win.”

Streamlining processes

As well as being able to pull off day-to-day reports much faster than before, Pennycuick Collins have noticed further time-saving benefits since upgrading to MRI’s Qube PM Advance.

“One big advantage is that we don’t need to interrupt people’s workflows to expand Qube PM – we used to have to schedule updates and log everybody out, but with the SaaS version we don’t need to do this”, explains Alex.

“Another massive benefit is the support. Previously when we needed support, the MRI team had to login to our server via one of our computers, and that person’s computer was out of action until they were done. Now, support can look at our system without needing to take ownership of our computers, which is much better for productivity.”

Having Advance gives Pennycuick Collins not only the option for team members to work remotely when required, but also provides a raft of measures to automate and streamline their processes for the long term.

“We’re a rapidly growing business and want to have Qube PM as a facility that can take pressure off our existing staff as we expand, allowing us to automate and drive the business forward efficiently.”

Engaging tenants

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused some minor delays, Pennycuick Collins has also implemented MRI Qube PM tenant portal to handle inspections and check-outs, and see this as a key priority for the business.

“The tenant portal is a definite factor in helping us win new instructions, and as we expand into the market for more city centre-based and larger developments this is increasingly seen as a must-have. People want quick access to their documents and don’t want to use the phone, so we want this to be a real hub for the business”, explains Alex.

Driving forward

With a raft of improvements already in place, Pennycuick Collins have a laundry list of future developments for their Qube PM system, including plans to explore the potential of the Manager Hub, which comes as standard in the Advance package.

“We’ve still got a wish list of things we want to work on and it’s early days, but so far it’s been very positive and we want to continue to engage with Qube PM and push the roadmap forward,” says Alex.

“Would I recommend MRI Qube PM Advance? Without a shadow of a doubt. The package is sleek, fast and user friendly, and the support team have done a great job in leading us forward. We’re proud to be partnered with MRI Software.”

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