Discover how Xpedition delivered an agile, modern finance solution in the cloud with Dynamics 365 Business Central and integrated into Inquilab’s existing Dynamics Customer Engagement application to achieve the complete Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution.
- Microsoft Business Central platform with industry specific customisation
- Innovative finance features to meet requirements for the housing sector
- Scope to develop further as business evolves
- Efficient, cost-effective approach
- Shared values in end customer service
- Complete synergy with existing Microsoft solutions – the complete Microsoft Dynamics 365 Solution
Inquilab Housing Association is a charitable social landlord administered by a board of management. Established in Southall, West London in 1986, it provides and manages affordable rented social housing and shared ownership homes.
The Inquilab team works closely with local authorities, residents, community groups and local contractors to improve quality of life in the communities it supports. ‘Inquilab’ means ‘revolution’ in Urdu, reflecting the organisation’s desire to challenge orthodoxy and pursue positive change.
Inquilab is strongly committed to delivering great customer service using efficient management processes and quality tools and services. It seeks to maintain high standards, provide excellent value to tenants and re-invest surplus income in further improving services and in building and acquiring more housing to provide affordable homes for more people.
Complete Microsoft Dynamics 365 Solution – streamlined financial processes and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement integration
Inquilab had already deployed a customised version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM) to automate core service processes. The organisation has established a clear strategy to use the Microsoft 365 platform because of its agility and cross-application synergy. As Inquilab moved on to consider improving the efficiency of its finance processes, the team assessed the suitability of several popular and sector-specific finance process automation systems.
The existing finance solution was capable of basic finance administration tasks – logging purchases, paying people and recording financial performance. Inquilab wanted to improve budget management, control and authorisation processes. They also identified that they could create substantial efficiencies by enabling business automation in two new aspects of financial and customer management: managing repairs, and rent charging and cash collection. It was therefore key that the finance solution could connect with the existing Dynamics 365 customer service platform.
The Complete Microsoft Dynamics 365 Solution
Programme Manager Rob Sproule explains the reasons for Inquilab’s choice: “Compared to specialist housing finance solutions, Microsoft Business Central provides much better data flows and true synchronisation of data between Business Central and CRM (Customer Engagement). We therefore looked for a partner on the finance side. The Microsoft ecosystem was a great advantage in this – through its online peer communities we spoke to several partners as well as customers who recommended Xpedition.”
A leading platform customised for housing sector performance
Inquilab discussed their needs with Xpedition several times by phone before meeting to agree the project in detail. The team’s cultural fit, including a customer-focused approach and flexibility, was particularly important to Inquilab, having already established a strong and productive working relationship with the CRM for housing solution provider, RedKite.
Rob Sproule confirms, “We look for open-minded, collaborative, client-focused organisations that are agile, taking on our ideas, and flexible to work in our way and share the risk. We were impressed that Xpedition was confidently able to offer us an accurate estimate, making a real commitment to deliver within the resources and timeframe. We talked to other Xpedition customers before signing the contract – they confirmed Xpedition’s track record in delivering with this approach.”
Tailor-made Dynamics 365 solution for the Housing sector
Working closely with Inquilab and RedKite, Xpedition scoped and carried out a clearly defined programme of work to integrate and customise Business Central. They developed a housing sector-specific function to check and record appropriate certifications within procurement, for example, gas installers having up-to-date Gas Safe status and IT providers having valid indemnity insurance. The solution also includes a custom feature that allows Inquilab to identify and charge fees for income from other streams, separating rent payments from rechargeable repairs and other services, so they can comply with sector regulations whilst maximising income to sustain and grow their work.
To further streamline procurement, Xpedition utilised an app to deliver an extra approval step to request manual authorisation automatically for expenditure over a pre- set threshold. Xpedition also used the standard Business Central to Customer Engagement connector to not only integrate the standard functionality, but also the Inquilab specific customisations.
Automated, integrated finance solution in the cloud with room to grow
“I just love this system, it looks great and it’s so easy to use.” Eric Nelson-Addy, Finance Director
Inquilab now has the extra finance functionality it needs on a scalable, agile, cloud-based platform that can grow with their needs to accommodate more users and future functional enhancements. In line with Inquilab’s lean and cost-effective management principles, this complete Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution helps them reduce fixed infrastructure and support costs, because these are embedded in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 licensing model.
Plans for the future
Looking to the future, Inquilab plans to develop its asset management, maintenance and compliance within the CRM system to connect with the asset register in Business Central. As well as ensuring strong and compliant processes, this will help Inquilab carry out its preventative maintenance programme, making sure that vital services and facilities for tenants, like communal lifts, are always in working order. The organisation is also planning to work with Xpedition on automating payments in procurement, speeding up approvals and freeing staff to focus on activities that directly benefit their customers.
“We’ve had excellent support from Xpedition. As promised, they delivered on time and on budget. A consultancy is only as good as its people: Xpedition’s team has superb knowledge of the Business Central product. They quickly got up to speed with housing sector needs and idiosyncrasies and knew how to modify the tools to meet them. For example, they built bespoke functionality to accommodate the HMRC Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) that some of our contractors use. Their expertise in integrating the CRM and Business Central system was really valuable. They shared our client-focused approach and worked collaboratively with us and our CRM partner RedKite.” Rob Sproule, Programme Manager, Inquilab
At Xpedition we guide your path to growth, through the implementation of intelligent cloud-based business applications. We help our clients to understand how technology can empower their business in real terms, and we deliver. Our market leading expertise and NfP industry knowledge of over 3 decades will help your organisation to reach its goals.
Discover the value of the Dynamics 365 solution today
For more information on Dynamics 365 Business Central, or to understand how your organisation can benefit from the complete Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution, contact one of our experts today.