Client Spotlight

Nottingham City Council transform strategic asset management and property operations with MRI software

Nottingham City Council

Nottingham City Council (NCC) is a unitary authority providing all local government services for its 300,000-plus citizens. Among its many responsibilities, the council runs a considerable investment and operational property portfolio, managed by strategic asset and property teams. In total, it collects more than £26m annually in rental income and service charges.

Business Challenge

The ability to leverage data for fast, accurate and informed strategic business decision-making has never been more important for many organisations. For NCC, the need was further exacerbated by an asset rationalisation programme across its investment portfolio. In particular, the team wanted reliable information for estate rents and service charges in one single, centralised repository. Existing management systems were not suitable for the task and having asset data siloed in multiple sources resulted in inefficient property processes.


Recognising the need for a purpose-built solution, NCC searched for technology that could address its challenges, transform operations to create more effective workflows and enable data-driven business planning. The council ran a procurement process via the government’s G-Cloud framework, and MRI Software was one of several suppliers to respond.

Working in close partnership, the MRI team demonstrated their experience and expertise in the sector – and showcasing how a connected digital real estate platform can deliver more effective property portfolio management and help mitigate risk. Following a detailed evaluation, NCC selected MRI Horizon as its chosen property and asset management software together with MRI Engage for tenant self-service.

Our previous disparate systems created additional challenges for our teams, particularly with the move to hybrid working and we were frustrated by a lack of robustness. MRI brings everything into a single solution, putting us in a much better place to make informed decisions more efficiently.

Michelle Webster, Senior Estates Surveyor, Nottingham City Council

Business Impact

A single source of property data across the NCC portfolio means all stakeholders work from the same data sets, information is more readily accessible, and data quality can be continually improved and maintained. The open and connected infrastructure approach enables departments across the organisation to work more seamlessly.

Mitigating risk

The transformation of data management processes makes collaboration easier and more efficient, and supports compliance with various legislation, such as GDPR. Audit trails are maintained in a searchable and flexible digital format.

Enhanced strategic planning

A centralised solution, one with intuitive reporting options, enables NCC to identify and analyse trends and patterns to fuel effective decision-making. Data and insights drive strategic approaches, adding resilience to the entire property department.

Automated accounting

NCC required a solution capable of processing both rent and service charges, having previously managed more than £500,000 a year in services charges manually. They also wanted an account-based system, as opposed to invoice-based. MRI Horizon was the only option assessed that ticked every box. The software automatically sends triggers to notify users of key dates and events, for example lease renewals.

Tenant self-service

Alongside MRI Horizon, NCC opted to implement MRI Engage, a customer portal and self-service system for their commercial tenants. NCC’s objective was to add value to the property department and communicate with commercial tenants by providing a portal where they can view key lease information, check service charge information, and make online payments without the need to contact the property team directly. Michelle explains:

This was a complete change for us and really adds value for the property department. While we already offered online payments, MRI Engage gives us a one-stop shop where users can access account details and make payments, which not only adds value to customers but improves rental and service charge recovery processes too.

The challenge of ensuring user uptake was met head-on by the team at NCC, who worked with MRI’s other Engage users to gather information on best practice and the most effective methods of encouraging customer adoption of the portal.

Digital transformation

Looking further ahead, the implementation of the new property management solution at NCC forms part of a wider digital transformation initiative – one that places the council at the leading edge of its sector. Working with knowledgeable, established, and scalable technology partners such as MRI aligns with the overarching vision to adopt more streamlined and efficient working practices – ones that add value and support the provision of even better service to customers.

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