Australian residential property developer, Henley Homes, has implemented a range of Hyland’s Content Services management software solutions to help improve its cash flow and the control of millions of files related to more than 2,000 projects across Australia. The company initially subscribed to a limited roll-out of OnBase licences to help the Accounts Payable (AP) team organise, search and automate processes relating to invoicing but has systematically added Hyland services right across the company.
Henley Homes is a residential home builder based in Australia, with approximately 600 staff. The company has four offices across the eastern seaboard. The company was recently voted as Queensland and Victoria’s Most Professional Major Builder at the Housing Industry Association (HIA) awards for 2019.
Henley has been in operation for 30 years and has been responsible for more than 50,000 new home builds in Australia. The company is based in Victoria and operates through many parts of the state.
Henley constantly deals with a large volume of documents during day-to-day operations. The company was moving towards a position where existing file structures were not enough to allow workflows to scale out and made the decision to examine what options were available. Henley began to evaluate content and document management vendors in order to get greater control and scalability over the company’s files.
The evaluation process led CIO, Jeremy Bree, and his team to look at a number of content services platforms, and they identified Hyland’s OnBase platform as a front-runner based on the type of functions the platform provided and the number of features they would be able to call upon.
The company initially deployed OnBase as a pilot in the AP department to help gain better visibility and control over the sheer volume of invoices and associated documents generated by a busy property developer firm.
The Hyland Content Services Solution
“Accounts Payable was the original driver for content services, but we quickly realised that the benefits far outweighed that one department. We implemented it across all our job documentatio to put really strong structures around the way we classify and store docs,” said Jeremy Bree, CIO at Henley.
Henley came to use OnBase in almost every department in the company’s Victorian office. Within a few months of the initial roll-out, Bree and his team had added a number of AP processing workflows, moved the company’s entire production department onto OnBase for saving of all job documentation and extended it out to the company’s suppliers and trade base. Construction teams in the field also use it extensively for accessing and uploading documentation, digital images and plans.
“Our purpose was to utilise the power of OnBase to put documents in front of the right people, in the right systems, really effectively,” said Bree.
Behind the scenes, Henley is able to add key words to link documents to the people who really need them, in order to maximise workflow efficiencies and bring the most useful information to the right person in a timely fashion. The company established that the number of documents being sent by email was rising both internally and externally. These attached files would often have 50MB or more data, which were often slow to open and caused bottlenecks on the organisation’s networks. Using OnBase, emails now link users directly to the relevant file and all associated information within that workflow.
“Instead of leaving it up to the particular end user – who can interpret information how they like and often put it in wrong place – we now have a really defined set of keywords on documents, which makes workflows more efficient and means the right person accesses the information they require,” said Bree.
Further to that, internal construction teams now have the ability to put all relevant documents in front of stakeholders through Henley’s construction interface, which are then accessible by teams working in the field. This takes place without the need for major synchronisation and ensures that team members are always opening the latest version of any document or image.
These document and version-control benefits also flow on to the many trade suppliers that Henley works with.
On the technical side, Henley has found working with OnBase to be an intuitive and relatively easy experience.
“OnBase as a solution has a lot of benefits in the way that we can roll it out. We are able to use internal resources to build a number of workflows and solutions. When it becomes more technical, we can rely on Hyland to support us,” said Bree.
Henley has integrated OnBase with its proprietary construction app, which allows photos to be uploaded and indexed correctly straight into OnBase. Employees no longer take photos and email them – they are instead uploaded directly through the interface and straight into OnBase.
These images are used for warranties, as well as interfacing with customers on Henley’s client portal, which is a big part of the company’s drive for complete customer satisfaction. The same file has multiple uses but avoids duplication.
“This is an example of using API connections through to OnBase. When we started with APIs we did a lot of development work, which is part of the reason we chose OnBase. It allows us to adapt it to our needs and to really take ownership,” continues Bree.
Hyland’s Content Services solutions allow Henley to maintain a state of constant improvement through the workflow processing and integrations the company deploys through OnBase. This applies right across the company, working with different departments to improve processes and save employees time.
“We have seen cases where, for example, something that was previously taking half an hour has been reduced to three minutes,” said Bree. “In other cases, we see step improvements, so everyone who has to access something further down the process has better, faster processes and therefore saves them time. So in essence, there is less dead time spent on our processes.”
Cloud is the next big step for Henley. Over the next twelve months, the company will perform a full review and look to finalise a complete cloud strategy, so that all core systems will be cloud-based. Hyland’s new Foundation platform is “very appealing because of the continuous improvements happening under the hood,” according to Bree.
Up until now, Henley has been working on a two-year upgrade cycle, purchasing the latest iteration of OnBase every other year.
“Now will be able to take what we need,” explains Bree. “Moving to OnBase Foundation falls nicely in line with our planned move to the cloud. It will allow us to get more mature with our development and change management processes and adopt common development process across all core systems. It will also simplify things and provide an easier method for staff to work from anywhere. We have 28 display sites and three offices, so have a very open and flexible working environment. This will provide an efficient platform so people can work from wherever they need to be, accessing whatever information they require.”
Summing up, Bree states that Hyland’s content services platform will ultimately help simplify Henley’s architecture and networking.