European Real Estate Company, Atrium, chooses Yavica's asset and property management software to improve data-driven decisions.
The benefits of having Yavica as a vendor stand in line, says Joost Bromelow from Atrium. “Everything from handling invoices in different currencies, gathering all data in one system to testing and solving errors have been drastically improved”.
In 2020, Atrium, a Central European real estate company, converted to Yavica’s Microsoft Dynamics platform and FlexProperty software running on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform to achieve efficiency and improve its value proposition.
Today, the Head of IT at Atrium Group Services, Joost Bromelow, has no doubt that teaming up with Danish Yavica as the company’s new real estate software vendor has proved extremely valuable.
– Signing Yavica has made life easier in several ways. In the beginning, one of the things that struck me was the massive improvement of our invoicing and the handling of accounts receivable. Because we are an international real estate company, we have leases paid for in Polish zloty, Czech crowns, and euros. However, what used to be a huge challenge for us, soon became automatized and accelerated. Today we have enormous flexibility in this regard, which gives us the chance to quickly apply changes when invoicing.
– Another example is the implementation and testing of new features that take place three or four times a year. It has drastically improved and saved us valuable time. Prior to our collaboration with Yavica, we would have 100 different issues that we needed to solve during an implementation, putting huge pressure on our employees. If you look at our last implementation of Microsoft’s Dynamics and Yavica’s FlexProperty software, the number of mishaps has been reduced by 90 percent, says Joost Bromelow.
Operating 26 shopping centers with 200 million visitors
Running omni-channel shopping centers in cities such as Warsaw, Prague, Torun, and across Central Europe, and carrying more than 200 million annual visitors, Atrium Real Estate Group is the leading retail owner in the region. The aim is to “design and develop locally dominant shopping centers that reflect the lifestyle and consumer needs” in Poland and the Czech Republic.
In terms of software Atrium’s primary need derives from the many touchpoints and the handling of over 3,000 leases across the region – a job that used to be more than hard to handle for the company’s employees because the company experienced an abundance of IT-systemic problems. On top of that followed legislative issues were further complicated by different legal requirements in four countries.
“When you have such many variables you need a system to systematize data and give you structure. Microsoft Dynamics365 Finance makes it possible to operate in a multi-currency field, and FlexProperty provides real estate domain functionality and bridges legislative issues. These features we did not have before”
– For instance, in our software, there was no possibility to check that the lease started before it ended, or that the deposit had a fitting expiry date or was issued in the right local currency, which again prompted irregularities. One person was working full-time solving data integrity issues. Every day she had almost 100 different data reports that she had to run and follow up with a call to the local teams. In short, we were stuck with an old product that was not properly implemented, not properly used, and not fulfilling the requirements of our business, Dutch Joost Bromelow explains.
Center management relied on Excel files
Atrium’s prior software could not gather all relevant data in one system. Little by little, the shopping center staff lost “faith in the system”, and consequently, Atrium’s system was essentially not used in the shopping centers. The center management became fully relying on excel files in which they were trying to maintain in a parallel data universe.
When the employees finally uploaded data into different formats, this led to errors and inaccuracies that would take months to correct – and make it even more difficult to build trustworthy data.
Data-driven decisions become strategically more important
So, endless flawed data resulted in a range of inefficiencies, however, there was another reason why Atrium decided to hire Yavica: The growing need for quality data for strategic purposes.
According to Joost Bromelow, the ever-growing digitization emphasizes the need for correct data, and hence Atrium’s need to make data-driven decisions. With precise data, Atrium and its customers will create more value. As opposed to decisions made on experience and a sheer “gut feeling” that might lead to inefficient and even costly decisions.
Yavica has fundamentally helped realize this goal, the IT director explains.
“For proper analysis you need proper data. Converting to Microsoft Dynamics365 and Yavica FlexProperty has unequivocally improved our data flow, the quality of the data and, hence, given us the opportunity to incline data-driven decisions. In general, the trust in the system and acceptance of the solutions have improved significantly, in the company and among our customers”
“They understand Real Estate”
Another important quality, according to Joost Bromelow, is that Yavica’s professional backbone outsprings from the real estate business.
– Yavica’s advisors have a real estate background. As senior consultants, they’ve been in the game for many, many years. This means that they know all the insane ins and outs of the business – they understand real estate. And whenever you present a new business scenario, they will always have a trustworthy answer, which is valuable when you are making big-scale strategic and operational decisions, Joost Bromelow elaborates.
Professional and attentive support
You have provided several examples of Yavica’s value proposition, is there anything that we have left out?
– Apart from the fact that the people at Yavica are pleasant, professional, and super easy to work with, one thing that I need to highlight is our cooperation and the professional support that we benefit from, daily. They work together wonderfully, and this is a first for us.
“Yavica’s consistent team delivers on its promise; they work together wonderfully and deadlines are always met.”
– In the past, the implementation of new software has mostly been carried out by huge organizations. This is a completely different animal, and every time you knock on the door you will be referred to a new person and you must start all over. Now we have a consistent team that delivers on its promise. Deadlines are met and if you ask for change requests, they will make sure that new features work nine times out of ten before being implemented. It used to be the other way around – that things did not work nine times out of 10, Joost Bromelow concludes.