Integra helps cut expenditure and increase efficiency at Lewisham Homes
Saved £50,000 per annum in licence fees
Enabling ‘paperless office’ strategy
Increased visibility for management teams
Integrated Business Software and Solutions (IBSS) has provided Lewisham Homes with a fully integrated enterprise-wide financial software system. Integra has helped streamline operations, automate transaction processes and establish across-the-board commitment accounting. The solution has already saved £50,000 per annum in licensing costs and has helped meet the requirement for a paperless office. With Integra, Lewisham Homes has invested in a powerful, flexible and all encompassing system that delivers a long term platform for growth.
In January 2007, Lewisham Homes took over the running of some of Lewisham Council’s homes. It is one of a number of solutions Lewisham Council has chosen to improve housing services and deliver the Decent Homes Standard (DHS). Lewisham Homes is a notfor-profit organisation, the Board of Management consists of Councillors, tenants, leaseholders and independents; the Council is the sole member.
In order to manage its accounting requirements, Lewisham Homes had an SLA with Lewisham Council to run its finances using the Council’s corporate general ledger system. Adrian Gilham, Head of Strategic Finance, explains, “The Council’s system was expensive to run and we felt it wasn’t giving us what we really needed. In addition, any requests for changes meant that we had to go through a procedure of form-filling. This process could be time consuming and provided further justification in seeking a new system. Furthermore, we realised that finding a new in-house system would not only save money, give us control of the general ledger, but would also streamline and automate our accounting processes.”
Lewisham Homes also felt that budget holders should be empowered to use any new system and take responsibility of their own purchase orders; therefore commitment accounting was crucial. The specified key objectives included: a fully integrated finance system that would facilitate a reduction in Lewisham Homes’ annual software licencing costs; a purchase order system that facilitated the automatic processing of payments, when matched to the original order; and finally, the organisation wanted easy access to a reporting system that would streamline month-end reporting and allow users to automate monthly forecast input.
Lewisham Homes has implemented IBSS’s Integra modules for General Ledger, Purchase Ordering, Debtors and Fixed Assets. Adrian Gilham comments, “We needed a fast implementation for our 150 users. IBSS’s consultants rose to the challenge and delivered our requirements, without any teething problems. During and after the implementation they were also on-hand to handle any queries and help us take control.” Through Integra, Lewisham Homes was able to satisfy the need for simplified reporting and allow their senior management to make informed decisions based on accurate, up-to-date data. The software has not only resulted in cost savings, but also helped to improve workforce efficiency. Adrian Gilham explains, “With Integra now installed we have complete control of our accounting and reporting processes and we have saved £50,000 per annum in licence fees alone. Management find the system very easy, with more visibility and they really like the ability to drill-down to transaction level on invoices and purchase orders. In addition, we not only receive far fewer calls from suppliers but we are also saving storage space, meaning we are adapting to our strategy of a paperless office.”
According to Adrian Gilham it was a simple decision: “IBSS provided a product that ticked all the right boxes at a competitive price. In addition, the IBSS staff gave us confidence, with a smooth demonstration and a firm belief in the Integra product. The company is also a good prospect for future-proofing as IBSS and Integra are well established and able to cater for larger organisations. This will ensure we are well-placed to handle our own growth and potential need to process a larger number of transactions.