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REM use Trace workflow tools to smooth complex procedures

Posted 27th November 2017

Real Estate Management (UK) Ltd provides property development and asset management services to real estate investors in London. The company manages an investment portfolio that comprises 2.5 million sq ft of premium lettable space, and a £450 million development pipeline.

REM’s assets under management include Western Europe’s tallest building The Shard, including Western Europe’s highest viewing gallery which attracts around a million visitors every year.

From REM’s inception, Trace’s BlueBox property management software for owners and investors was used to support and manage a multi-layered offline system of order and invoice approvals. In 2015, the corporate accounting function was also transferred into Bluebox.

As the business evolved, however, it became apparent that efficiencies could be made to support the finance department. Trace Business Consultants where asked to create a workflow using the Bluebox Purchase Order Management system, to automatically manage the end to end purchase order and invoice settlement process.

Lee Middleburgh, Head of Business Support of REM, and asset manager for The Shard, said “The REM workflows were complicated, but the Trace team demonstrated absolute commitment to delivering a workable solution”.

Trace Project Manager, David Bryan, said “We had workshops and drew flow charts to understand the issues, but ultimately it took really close collaboration with REM’s Finance Department to transform a complex workflow into an accessible and efficient workflow.”

One of the challenges was to create a system that would be shared with multiple departments within REM: people unfamiliar with the Bluebox system. Workflows had to be logical and accessible to all.

“The project has been a great success”, says Lee. “We have significantly reduced supplier errors, increased transparency and it’s facilitated innovative financial discipline and efficiencies throughout the business.

“The Trace team really got what we wanted, and they’ve created a system that provides us with exceptional standards of control and accountability.”