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Bright & Duggan: Refining Your IT Strategy for Business Success

By Michele Clemens on 4/08/20 2:29 PM

Bright & Duggan is Australia's market leader and employer of choice in the strata and property industry. Established in 1977, they have experienced significant growth from just two employees and a home office to over 200 employees across multiple locations. They've spent 40 years developing and customising products and services to meet customers needs and have established a unique portfolio that now includes over 2,000 schemes ranging in size from two lots to estates with over 1,600 lots.

The Business Need

We needed to invigorate our thinking and see technology as a requirement for the success of our business.”

Bright & Duggan

Technology had not been front of mind for Bright & Duggan. IT was viewed as a business cost and the company used domestic grade equipment purchased from places like JB Hi-Fi rather than investing in Enterprise solutions. However, buying it cheap ended up producing more cost and risk to the business as it impacted productivity from downtime caused by server crashes. This led to 3–4 hours of downtime on each occasion and added lost hours for maintenance, with staff largely unable to work. With important data not being backed up, this posed a huge risk to the business.

Overall, there was a general lack of understanding about IT and the opportunity for positive impact at Bright & Duggan. Whilst they had three full-time team members dedicated to IT, their overall approach was simply not best practice. The lack of asset management meant there was no visibility or performance management of hardware and software infrastructure. The team at Bright & Duggan were running old software versions, which impacted performance and put the business at risk of not meeting data and security compliance.

Having to deal with different IT platforms, various software applications, and the lack of cloud solutions made it difficult to collaborate across multiple locations.

Bright & Duggan’s lack of IT investment impacted their overall performance, which limited them from meeting their growth demands. They had simply outgrown their current system which was time-consuming and led to costly infrastructure maintenance.

Key Challenges

Bright & Duggan needed to develop an overarching IT strategy to build a truly integrated property network for their group. This entailed documenting a group strategy, which included key stakeholders, business units, brands and operation managers. This can help bring people on the journey to enthusiastically support the strategy. They also needed to establish a clear direction for their IT strategy to increase profitability and market share and create a unique differentiation for Bright & Duggan as a brand.

Bright & Duggan had to consolidate technology into one platform to modernise it and keep it relevant. A tech audit was undertaken to create a diagram of the current infrastructure and solution and create recommendations. With the efficiencies of one platform, Bright & Duggan were able to remove the risk from outdated, non-compliant software and hardware and leverage best-of-breed technology for better competitive advantage.

Bright & Duggan were dedicated to offering a positive and consistent customer experience, which was unrivalled by competitors. To improve sales outcomes and streamline redundant processes, new opportunities needed to be captured and well-defined. Bright & Duggan had to modernise their comms capabilities for their customers and capture all communication and scheduling in one system, which then enabled them to respond to customers in a timely manner and minimise complaints for delayed response times. They wanted to capture customer satisfaction in real-time, measure and reward staff success and resolve issues before they escalated.

Employee Engagement was also another core focus for Bright & Duggan. They wanted to reclaim the work-life balance in their industry by providing their staff with a fully functioning mobile office so they could work on the go. Bright & Duggan also wanted to develop and attract a team of A Players and supply them with the necessary tools and connectivity to excel at their jobs. They also wanted to create a portfolio dashboard that would enable their team to manage their own capacity proactively and forecast customer demands and schedules to match team capacity.

Lastly, Bright & Duggan wanted to continue with their acquisition strategy to grow and diversify their national property network.

The Solution

Lanrex used its proven 4-stage Business Diagnostic approach with Bright & Duggan and ran Tech Workshops with stakeholders and team members to produce a technology vision, with findings and recommendations that were linked to Bright & Duggan’s business objectives.

Lanrex was able to consolidate all the multitude of IT components and requirements to connect them into common themes and business initiatives such as:

A Modern IT Platform

  • Business systems operating from the latest version.
  • Specialised software implemented to manage HR processes as well as customer relationship management processes.
  • Standardisation of technologies in each office including phone system, wireless access, network connectivity and end user devices.

Paperless Office

  • Centralised repository for documents and emails.
  • Annotation software for online documents.
  • Ability to capture electronic signatures.
  • Compatible hardware such as dual monitors, touch screens, etc.
  • Reliable and fast scanning facilities.
  • Replace paper communication with online communication e.g. emailing levy notices.
  • Streamlined workflows to support paperless work practices.

Collaborative Workspaces

  • Online Web conferencing software, to make it simple and cost-effective to collaborate online with colleagues and customers. Participants can view the same screen as the host or examine selected documents.
  • Online Video conferencing for boardrooms by taking advantage of the cameras that are now built into most office computers and nearly all mobile devices, and face-to-face video calls and group meetings without leaving the office for more effective collaboration. The technology can also be used for webinars, training and presentations.
  • Office/mobile phones, that enable team members to solidify relationships, coordinate schedules and privately discuss issues and concerns.
  • Microsoft Office 365.

Better Mobility

  • Anywhere Access - The combination of devices, software and management tools that provide the function and capability for employees to perform business functions from any location, at any time.

‘It sounds simple but it was when we were able to get email and access to other tools we needed on our mobile devices. It was a small change that had such a big impact on our work life balance. It meant we could respond quickly to customer issues without having to rush back into the office to sort it out’.

Key Results

As a result, Bright & Duggan’s teams can now work on the go, making collaboration much easier across multiple locations. They now have the scalability they need for acquisition growth and are enjoying greater efficiencies across the organisation from using just one IT platform.

Bright & Duggan reports that they now have consistency in the whole team experience with the same platform, making it easier for them to train their employees on the new system, so they can use it effectively. With Lanrex as their MSP, IT support was no longer reliant on one internal person and they now have access to a specialised IT team for support.

Lanrex helped Bright & Duggan create a disaster recovery plan and better control over their IT security, so that in the event of a disaster, they would have the capacity to manage the impact of any significant threat to the business.

Testimonial

Before our investment in IT and working with Lanrex, an occurrence like COVID-19 would have been severely detrimental to our business. Our business would have ground to a halt. Instead we were already remote working and able to operate as business as usual.

Fast forward to COVID-19, we were able to respond rapidly to deploy our entire business to remote working. With Lanrex as our outsourced IT Helpdesk we had the added comfort knowing they were ready and available to help our team directly with any issues.

Although you need to invest money to look after your IT properly, cost savings were achieved in our reduced downtime, and the reassurance of Business Continuity. We were losing business productivity of at least 15 business days a year in downtime due to IT issues. When you add up our staff salaries that’s more than a million dollars a year.” Bright & Duggan