Housing associations save money by budgeting

This could just be the headline of an article in the Financial Times in 2017. And why is this startling news?

Negative recent history

In recent years there has been negative publicity about housing associations in the Netherlands. This has led, among other things, to increased government supervision and drastic administrative measures and financial measures. That’s very unfortunate, because the vast majority of the nearly 400 corporations do an incredible amount of good work. They manage 2.5 million rental units for a large group of people who enjoy living in these houses.

Budget deficits and financial issues

The aforementioned measures meant that housing associations have to work more efficiently, repay debts and therefore have to close their budgets with less money. In addition, the dismissal of people is not a solution, because it discards the intellectual capital of a corporation. What can help is to look at processes, systems and ICT and use this for budgetting.

Efficiency improvement in ICT can help

ICT has been praised for 25 years as the means of being able to work cheaper and smarter, but has that really been proven in practice? Everyone knows the stories of heavy and always budget-over-budget projects and systems that ultimately don’t do what’s promised or thought. However, with the arrival of solutions from software vendors that require little customization, a new period has arrived, the period of the SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions, which are mainly aimed at medium-sized organizations. Virtually all standard functionalities are offered for a low subscription price. This is similar to an internet connection at home!

An additional advantage is that the service is hosted at a remote location and offers lots of standard processes and services.

Also, the implementation times are short and therefore the total cost much lower. Budgeting is therefore a reality. SAP Business ByDesign offers many opportunities for managing budgets and year-to-date costs, which can better be directed on critical performance indicators.

The Egg of Columbus reinvented

Of course, SAP Business ByDesign alone is not a panacea for better budgeting, but it does provide quick and clear insight into the current status of investments and spending relative to the budget. Sap put a lot of effort into SAP Business ByDesign a few years ago, focusing on standard processes and a fixed subscription price per user. For housing associations the opportunity to reduce and control costs in the coming years and to achieve a very positive headline in the Financial Times!