ARL News

Jun 29, 2011

Churchill Forge Properties

"The implementation was incredibly smooth. We were able to implement a system that has saved the company a lot of time and made many everyday tasks much easier."
Category: Testimonials
Posted by: dave

The Yardi Implementation at Churchill Forge Sails Smoothly With a Common Goal and a Stellar Team

Churchill Forge Properties, a Boston-based property management firm, decided to implement its Yardi Enterprise system by hiring a consulting firm to make the process as smooth as possible. Myriad Consulting Services, Inc. was chosen to be the project lead and provide expert Information Technology services, which included installing servers, integrating the network, setting up email, and providing initial training and ongoing support. Myriad Consulting brought in another firm, Real Solutions Group, to handle the accounting system conversion and some additional implementation planning and training. The team that was assembled, which included Jerry Tilden, from Yardi's implementation staff, proved to be a perfect combination of talent and expertise.

Churchill Forge Properties, a privately-held property acquisition and management firm, owns and operates more than 10,000 garden apartments in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Texas. The regional offices develop local market knowledge and work with an established network of real estate owners, brokers and lender to boost Churchill Forge's acquisition efforts. The 50 remote offices all share a central database now, so they can obtain real-time information and easily run reports. Before the installation of Yardi Enterprise and Citrix for remote processing, the offices conducted business with stand-alone workstations. There are now nearly 100 workstations, including the main office in Boston.

When Churchill Forge Properties decided to migrate from its AS 400 system to Yardi Enterprise, the company's executives wanted a smooth installation that would bring on board all of the employees in a way that would enhance operations and morale. This required moving the project forward in phases, starting with data conversion and then full implementation in the main offices, which took about seven months. Myriad Consulting Services, an IT firm that has successfully brought more than thirty companies up to a high level of operational efficiency with their Yardi systems, oversaw the hardware, network integration, and support.

The Real Solutions Group provided controller services, and was responsible for reconciling the AS 400 books with the new Yardi accounting system. They also developed the plan for implementing Yardi in the remote offices.

The clear delineation of roles performed by the consultants, company personnel, and Yardi support staff was crucial to the project's success. The team also decided that achieving long-term goals and pursuing the best possible solutions to challenges was important, even if it took a little extra work in the short term. "The implementation was incredibly smooth," says Chris Wyett, Senior Vice President for Churchill Forge Properties. "We were able to implement a system that has saved the company a lot of time and made many everyday tasks much easier." One case in point is the ability to do check reconciliation through Yardi and directly transmit the information to their bank. Chris Wyett, Senior Vice President at Churchill Forge Properties, estimates that this feature has saved nearly 40 hours of staff time per month.

The implementation team for Churchill Forge Properties developed a policies and procedures manual that was given to employees as part of their introduction to and training for the Yardi system. It was created to work seamlessly with the way the company conducts business. It is task-oriented, so users can easily look up the information they need and benefit fully from the system. The company benefits even further from the use of custom reports that were created during the implementation. These reports provide more complete solutions for Churchill Forge than standard reports. The Real Solutions Group created many of the reports using Yardi's Ad Hoc module.

The Churchill Forge Properties implementation serves as an example of superior project planning and management with intercompany cooperation. For Churchill Forge, working with knowledgeable consultants and having such a great team saved them time and money in the long run.