Case Study - Unipol

Unipol Student Homes

Unipol is a unique charitable organisation helping students find the best housing they can, to drive up standards and to be a beacon of good practice for other housing suppliers. Unipol provides services throughout the country but their base is still centred in Leeds, having a special relationship with the Colleges, Universities and the Students' Unions (from whom their Trustees are drawn).

Housing Management System & CRM

Unipol were finding that their trusty old Microsoft Access system was becoming less user friendly and beginning to show its age, no longer fully meeting the needs and demands of their evolving business processes.

They clearly recognised that to meet the future needs of their business operations they needed to invest in a new Housing Management System, one which more efficiently managed many of their core business operations – Property Management, Contract Management, CRM and Repairs Management.

Unipol were introduced to Leeds Federated Housing, who demonstrated their own bespoke system and they immediately saw the potential of a bespoke system, not only to meet their immediate needs, but also as a basis for future developments. An off-the-shelf package was just not a viable option if they were to have a system with the functionality and integration they needed.

Our Approach

Unipol awarded Breeze IT with a contract to develop a bespoke Housing Management system, built using a similar Silverlight and SQL Server technology to the Leeds Federated approach.

Whilst the Unipol system requirements shared many of the same characteristics, their new system was an entirely bespoke development, designed around Unipol's specific (and quite complex) business processes.

The challenge was to migrate Unipol's existing Microsoft Access database into a single user-friendly, web based application enabling them to efficiently manage their property portfolio, contracts, repairs and customer relationships.

The Results

Following the launch of their new system, feedback from Unipol has been extremely positive.

Each of the application's functional areas have been fully integrated, providing a logical and intuitive user interface, to a degree which would have been impossible using an off-the-shelf package with the budget available.

Not only have we developed a new state-of-the-art central database for Property Management, Contract Management, CRM and Repairs Management, we found that during the life of the project development that we were able to help Unipol refine many of their businesses processes which quickly resulted in a number of significant efficiency gains.

A great result....and a solid, robust system to support the future work of Unipol.