Buildex Highlights

By on Oct 15, 2021 in Events, News

The Buildex Amplified conference took place recently as a combined live and online event. A Yardi-hosted session, “Mastering Procurement Through the Power of Technology,” moderated by Heather Brady, national sales director for Yardi Canada Ltd., addressed software solutions used to automate invoice processing and manage vendor relations.

The panel featured leaders from QuadReal Property Group, Ronmor Holdings Inc. and Wesgroup Properties LP. The session made clear to more than 100 virtual attendees, most of whom were vendors, that procurement technology is a crucial topic for the industry.

Here are some highlights from the session:

Changes in vendor management

Wesgroup and Quadreal shared with the audience that they replaced paper cheques, invoices and work orders with an online portal, which improved vendor communication and enabled their teams to resolve disputes more efficiently.

Sandeep Manak, Wesgroup’s CFO, said, “You’ve never heard of a vendor that doesn’t want to get paid quickly.” By generating better spend visibility and standardizing forms and processes  Yardi Procure to Pay “improved our vendor relationships. We are seeing their expectations change because of this.”

Increasing organizational efficiency

Panel participants reported that with fewer people doing more tasks in more locations, they needed a flexible platform that was accessible from remote locations.

Christine Williams, vice president national operations and administration, residential, QuadReal Property Group, said, “Any technology we adopt must comply with our Single Sign On mandate and integrate with other solutions we use. Our IT group first evaluates technology we are considering ensuring it meets our security and functionality standards.” In addition, she noted, “we wanted to lower the number of touchpoints in our RFP process.”

Shifts in vendor payments

Wesgroup now executes up to 95% of its payments by EFT. “When the pandemic happened, our vendors were forced to switch [from paper cheques] and they adapted. The scalability is very easy with the right procurement technology,” Manak said.

The remaining panelists anticipate more real estate businesses will turn to online portals and mobile apps due to their ease of use, transparency and level of security. Brady suggested that “to prepare for the future of procurement, vendors should take the time to familiarize themselves with what tools are being used in the market.”

Advice to others considering automating procurement

Manak suggested to always focused on the problem you’re trying to solve and avoid scope creep; being honest about your ability to change; and committing wholeheartedly to the new system.

The panelists agreed that integrated software systems can resolve many problems under a simple principle: documents only need to be touched once before being distributed to those who need them.

Williams said, “Understand what your end-to-end process is today. Find a software solution that can digitize as much of the process as possible. Ensure you can get the reporting out of your new system. Train and communicate with the system’s users and celebrate your successes.”

The discussion ended in high spirits, with the perception that the Canadian real estate industry can flourish if organizations assess their needs, communicate their expectations and collaborate with industry experts to implement their goals.

To learn more about Yardi Procure to Pay and your technology options, join a webinar.