Professional property management

Acceleration of internal processes

The all-purpose weapon EASY DMS
at Becker & Döring GmbH Property Management

Video in german only

Becker & Döring GmbH Property Manage­ment was founded in 1982. Today, it includes twelve full-time and two part-time emplo­yees, as well as two trainees, and manages owned properties and rental properties in the greater Wuppertal area. The company’s quality management processes were certi­fied by TÜV Süddeutschland in accordance with ISO 9001 for the first time in 2006, and Becker & Döring have been undergoing vo­luntary annual TÜV reviews every year sin­ce. The test report from 12/11/2015 stated e.g.: “Company management continues to develop its QM system, integrating all emplo­yees. {…} The company‘s infrastructure and working environment ensure it can provide customer-oriented service {…}. Core proces­ses are described in process descriptions, accompanied by additional documentation, and are supported by appropriate software.”

When a 16-person team consulting for ho­meowners’ associations (HOAs) has to take responsibility for over 3.800 condominiums, one thing is indispensable: Efficiency. This is why Becker & Döring GmbH Property Manage­ment from Wuppertal has been managing its electronic archiving with solutions from EASY SOFTWARE for more than 15 years. The results are outstanding transparency and fast proces­ses – and, above all, first-class service for its most demanding customers: the homeowners.

Managing just one property is already a com­plex challenge. As every homeowner knows from their own ­experience: In principle, you are never finished working on your condo or your house. This is true for owners who live in their own homes, in a property in a single location. But what is the situation like for a service pro­vider?

Project information

What is it like to work as a professional pro­perty manager, who needs to reconcile the interests of multiple homeowners under the same roof, all while maintaining the value of someone else’s property? What is it like to be the main contact person for all the ques­tions owners and renters might have, and be ready to provide all the information they need – even retroactively about past ­years? If we also consider that property management companies not only handle a single homeow­ners’ association, but rather contract with multiple HOAs in multiple cities, it’s clear: Transparent, functional processes and secu­re archiving are indispensable.

Becker & Döring GmbH Property Management understood this principle early on. This is why they intro- duced electronic archiving with EASY around the turn of the century. Realtor Holger Döring remembers: “First, we looked for suitable providers. I was looking for a solution that offered document indexing, internal designations, and keywords, as well as a full-text index for all documents – as a lifeline, so that we could still find a document again if was accidentally “filed” incorrectly. Document management systems and archives from EASY impressed on both points.”

Becker & Döring GmbH decided to use early scanning and on-screen process handling. This means: An employee opens incoming mail, then scans it in immediately at their own EASY Capture work station. The company established a half-time position for this purpose in 2001. The employee scans and indexes a consi- derable stack of paper every day – around 11,000 letters and 12,000 invoices by the end of the year.

“Distributing the mail to our employees first and having them scan it in – that would be too insecure,” Döring says. “If and when a document was available in digital form would then depend on factors like absences or an employee‘s current workload. I didn’t want to risk that.”

Up to 2005, the system reliably recorded incoming and outgoing mail. Then, the company decided to make the move to EASY DMS (previously EASY Documents). The reason: Users were simply archiving too few documents manually in everyday business. This meant the SQL database continued to grow, at the expense of system speed. In addition, the company was facing new challenges posed by the increasing use of electronic communication media like e-mail or automatic fax connections. They began the migration that same year, which went off without a hitch. Döring’s ultimate assessment of the last 15 years is more than positive. “We have been excited about the system ever since. We were easily able to handle all the problems we faced at the beginning, and in the meantime, we have introduced additional workflows we could not have even dreamed of when we started with DMS.” The company uses a centralised DMS workflow in Wuppertal.

In practice, DMS has proven to be a kind of “all-purpose tool” for Becker & Döring GmbH Property Management. They don‘t just “feed” the system with scanned incoming mail, it also pulls all incoming documents from the fax server and from e-mail inboxes. At the same time, it makes communicating with the outside world much easier: Anyone who would like to write a letter only needs to select the recipient from an address database. DMS then automatically generates a letter in Word with a pre-filled address field, and offers text building blocks for standard letters, as well as letterhead templates in colour or black and white. The process number links the created docu- ments with other folders in the same process.

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holger-doering

No one is able to offer better transparency. With our services, implemented in collaboration with EASY, we have no competition.”

Realtor Holger Döring
Managing Partner

The company has also used EASY DMS to create an order and inquiry database. With the database, employees can immediately find information when an owner or tenant calls, for instance to find out the status of a repair order. The processor will have all the documents they need in just a few clicks. It even manages inspection reports created on a mobile dictation device.

EASY DMS also accelerates internal processes with its order and inquiry database. Döring states: “Here is a classic scenario: A member in the HOA calls to report a circumstance that requires action. Our employees only need to enter the property. DMS will show them the craftsmen associated with this property, including a variety of information, for instance on the reliability and quality of work they have provided in the past. All they need to do is select an order, and they will automatically have all the data and text building blocks they need in a single document. An order inquiry will be created in a flash and sent via fax or e-mail by DMS. At the same time, the message will be archived automatically in a document file, where the solution will later add all subsequent documents, such as a fax receipt con- firmation, through an automated process. Incoming and outgoing e-mails are automatically assigned to 90% of the object and process. We have done away with manual printing, faxing, and archiving.” The same is true for deadline management. Instead of a paper resubmission folder, DMS provides a digital resubmission folder to ensure no offer or completion deadlines are missed.

Holger Döring considers the external dimension to be at least as important as internal processes. The company‘s certification in accordance with the ISO 9001 Quality Standard is a good sign that good work, and a good reputation, are important to the business. This is a distinguishing feature from the local competition, as is the company‘s portal solution for customers, implemented with EASY. “From outside, it can be difficult to see what managers actually do,” Döring explains. “Many people believe the manager creates an HOA fee statement, hires a craftsman now and then, and maybe organises one homeowner‘s meeting a year, writes a report, and that‘s that. This is why it is important to help them understand what else can go on in the HOA, so our customers value our work.”

For this reason, the company established a portal page for members in the HOAs it advises. Each ow- ner has a log-in with which they can view, for instance, whether a problem has already been reported. They will be able to see what management has done so far to respond. Even resolutions passed by the general shareholders’ meeting are stored digitally. “Greater transparency would be impossible,” Döring proudly states. With this service, implemented in collaboration with EASY, we have no competition.”

In fact, the company’s team also benefits from the portal solu- tion. They receive calls from significantly fewer owners wanting to ask about the status of a job. Owners are happier to just check the system in the evening after work. In addition: If there are de- lays, owners can visit the profile to determine, for instance, that the delay was caused by a craftsman who failed to submit a bid. Ideally, they will also see that the administration has already sent the craftsman a reminder. “As part of our ISO certification, we re- gularly carry out customer satisfaction surveys,” says Döring.

“That‘s why we can say with confidence: Customers truly are very happy with Becker & Döring. This is why Döring would continue to choose EASY in the future too, especially because the system is flexi- ble enough to offer them the option of creation their own workflows. “DMS is very user friendly. I’ve learned how to use the solution my- self; it’s not difficult at all, really, you just have to work with it for some time.”

Photo credits: Becker & Döring GmbH 

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