A case study focused on the vacancy app solution provided by GTconsult to Growthpoint Properties
Name: Growthpoint properties
Location: South Africa
Industry: Real Estate
Size: A JSE listed REIT managing a portfolio of assets more than R130B. They employ around 650 staff.
https://growthpoint.co.za/ - Growthpoint Properties, the largest South African primary REIT listed on the JSE, is an international property company with assets in South Africa, Eastern Europe, Australia and the UK. We own and manage properties in the retail, office and industrial sectors, while our Trading & Development team have delivered several iconic, sustainable buildings to the market. Growthpoint owns a 50% stake in the V&A Waterfront and a majority stake in the country’s first healthcare property fund.
What problem was the customer facing?
Listing information about space to rent was managed differently across business units and regions. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that this information needed to be prepared for different channels such as their website, schedules to brokers and other listing services. They needed a single source to capture listing, easy to access for a hybrid workforce, and easy to use.
What was done to resolve the issue?
Different teams would continuously prepare and update listing information relevant to their portfolios in Excel, and send them on request to service providers by email.
What other products/services were using at the time?
Excel and email. The platform that was replaced was not adopted.
How did they find GTconsult?
Growthpoint had already worked with GTconsult on previous project.
“We already worked with GT Consult as they managed our on-premise SharePoint infrastructure before.” JJ, Business Solutions Architect
Why did they go with GTconsult?
“GTconsult offered a low cost, easy to customize and deploy solution on a well adopted framework – Sharepoint Online. They have excellent understanding of the technology and can offer great advice for a good outcome. They ran the project with good governance to ensure we meet the deadlines.” JJ, Business Solutions Architect
Enabled by GTconsult
GTconsult extended the functionality of their existing workbench solutions to build ‘The Vacancy Workbench’.
A third requirement emerged later on relating to building excel spreadsheets that could display data specific to particular suburbs. GT consult used Power Automate to query the data from SharePoint and Office Scripts to dynamically generate data in a second solution known as ‘The Vacancy Schedule’.
The solution offers the following features:
· Integration with Growthpoint existing database of property records.
· Quick and easy creation of new Properties and their associated Vacancies.
· Advanced filtering and searching of property data.
· Modification of Property and Vacancy Data.
· Permission management of features that are restricted to managers.
· Management of one to many relationships including:
o Property attributes and features
o Property incentives
o Property documents and images
A-Team Development & Support
Most of the technical issues occurred in the development of the Vacancy Schedule – more specifically Office Scripts. The error handling is quite poor meaning that debugging requires a lot of testing to confirm issues. The fact that this is a new technology that has not been widely adopted means that finding information about the technology tricky. Office Scripts also has some major performance problems that have caused us to start looking for other technologies to achieve the same requirements.
Return on Investment:
The business solutions put together have had a good return. The most recent vacancy workbench serves it’s need well. It removes duplication and duplicated effort in the business.
The automation solutions that GT put in place that obviously have saved Growthpoint both time and administration. There is one place to get and update information. A lot of time saved as staff do not need to prepare information and documents.
Thoughts on GT:
“What comes to mind is availability- GT is always available. There's not been a case where, if we found that we were in trouble that they wouldn't be very eager to assist. I think it speaks a bit of the culture there that we've seen. Even with staff changes, I think they've managed to keep consistent. There is a sense of commitment to solve the problem. They are a greatly skilled team that is passionate about their customers’ success.” JJ, Business Solutions Architect
Thoughts on the solution:
“There is one place to get and update information. A lot of time saved as staff do not need to prepare information and documents.” JJ, Business Solutions Architect
GTconsult team Quotes:
“The Growthpoint team is highly technical which allow us to really dive into discussions about the solutions we deliver. They offer us an enjoyable set of challenges that require us to think outside the box.” Jarad Humphry, SharePoint Developer