How Boardwalk increased the effectiveness of their operational processes and improved their relationships with contractors
The Praxedo Support team has been so helpful: their effective assistance is priceless and has been critical for the success of our project.
Josie-Ann Osborne – Procurement Team Lead
Industry: Real Estate
Number of Praxedo users: 130 mobile users and 160 web users
Tell us briefly about your company and what you offer…
Boardwalk is a Calgary-based company founded in 1984 by brothers Sam and Van Kolias providing residential rental apartments in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. Our largest portfolio is in Edmonton. At the group level, Boardwalk provides approximately 33,000 suites, totaling over 28 million net rentable square feet.
What started as an exercise in renovating old buildings, soon became a labour of love and a steadfast commitment to providing a safe and loving place for every resident member to call home. Boardwalk puts its people first and believe that our multi family communities are more than just a place to live; rather a place where everyone can feel an instant sense of family, community and belonging.
In 2018, our company rebranded our rental portfolio into three distinct brands: Boardwalk Lifestyle” (high-end buildings), “Boardwalk Community” (mid-range) and “Boardwalk Living” (value) with the objective of offering a range of assets that would meet the needs of all types of our Resident Members .
Our Procurement department in Calgary has the mission to standardize all procurement procedures within the group but also plays the role of intermediate between Boardwalk associates, suppliers and contractors and ensures that operations are streamlined and well coordinated to provide in the end the best quality of service to our communities.
Why did you choose the Praxedo solution?
Our Procurement department has a centralized team for the dispatch and scheduling of contractors. About 200 technicians (external companies for the most part, with approximately 20% being internal Boardwalk employees) specializing in plumbing, electricity, HVAC, flooring, countertops, painting, etc. work daily in the buildings to perform renovation tasks, especially during resident turnovers.
Our main motivation to seek field service software was our lack of transparency and visibility throughout our operations. Also, we were doing the schedule the old way, by using Excel sheets, one for each contractor that showed their availability. As a result, knowing who was doing what, when and where in the field was a real daily challenge. We needed ‘live’ data to take action more quickly, increase our productivity at scheduling and make efficiency gains.
We looked at a few software solutions and Praxedo became the front runner from the beginning: the solution was hands-on and easy to configure; we have been able to have several demos with the Praxedo sales team and they always had a solution to suggest in order to meet our requirements.
Who uses the Praxedo solution and which features do they use?
Praxedo has been integrated to our in-house system that sends work order requests into Praxedo.
Our scheduling team, centralized at our headquarters in Calgary, uses Praxedo to dispatch work orders. We have a comprehensive view of the schedules for all offices. We appreciate the ‘Advanced Search’ module in Praxedo that enables to sort out and create views of live data easily.
Our rental offices in cities can check on the jobs being done for the entire building: Customer Care Managers (CCM), service representatives and maintenance associates have a view-only access authorization to Praxedo.
At the other end of the process, our contractors use the Praxedo mobile app: they punch their activities, so we know in real time where they are and what they have completed. They can send pictures via the app to communicate damage assessment and request quick approval from the CCM to start working. In some other cases, they may just send a photo of the completed work.
What are the main benefits of the Praxedo solution?
The Praxedo Support team has been so helpful: their effective assistance is priceless and has been critical for the success of our project. After just a few months of using Praxedo we have been able to observe numerous benefits.
- Scheduling is done more quickly and schedulers have 20% more time during the day.
- We optimized our office personnel and saved 15% labor cost.
- Now we are able to focus a lot more on our relationship with contractors: we give more attention to their estimates, spend more time at getting the best price for a same job by making comparisons. This benefit is significant for us, allowing us to focus on more value-added business activities resulting in team savings of more than $25,000 in the first 6 months of use.
- We are currently experiencing a 15% reduction in incoming phone calls since the Praxedo app allows a better real time communication.
- Praxedo allows us to have a better view of the workload balance of contractors and avoid under and overbooking, as well as a fair distribution of work for our contractors.
We have much better tracking of our internal teams
- We have much better tracking of our internal teams.
- The whole solution is cost-effective even at this stage considering that the roll out is not complete yet.
How do you envision the future of your partnership with Praxedo ?
We recently completed the roll out of Praxedo with our renovation teams. We will continue the training and onboarding of contractors.
Our IT team is planning to create dashboards out of the field data collected by Praxedo.
In the mid run we will extend the use of Praxedo to our pest control team and maintenance contractors.
If you had to summarize the Praxedo solution in 2 keywords, what would they be?
Efficiency and transparency.