Pennyfarthing Homes is a successful developer in the New Forest and surrounding areas of Hampshire and Dorset. The Pennyfarthing name has become recognised as a mark of quality not only for their new homes but is often quoted in sales particulars when their homes are re-sold. Throughout their 40 year history, Pennyfarthing Homes have built homes mainly in the middle to upper price ranges to exacting standards and with innovative styles. Some of their achievements include winning the HBF Housing Innovation Award for Best Customer Satisfaction Initiative which aims to provide each customer with a defect-free home.
Before using Eque2 Housebuilding Pennyfarthing Homes, like many regional housebuilders, was providing management information through a myriad of Excel spreadsheets on different computers. Quinton Hurdidge, Commercial and Procurement Manager at Pennyfarthing, takes up the story; “We have long been proud of the quality of our homes and our staff who deliver them to our clients. However internally we were lacking in areas of business information needed to support the growth and continued success of the company.”
Quinton Hurdidge continues, “After considering the other major systems available we selected Eque2 Housebuilding because of their experience and dedication to the housebuilding industry. Throughout the software implementation we continued to be impressed with the knowledge and support provided by their experienced team. The comprehensive operational controls that Housebuilding provides are proving to be hugely beneficial in bringing together the information to manage our budgeting and cost management processes. As an example we can now easily ensure that our costs-to-complete for each project include all the up-to-date land and planning costs not just build. Previously the data was not available in a form we could easily use.”
Quinton also comments, “We now get easy access to all the underpinnings for our Cost/Value reporting. The information we get is consistent and continuous. Previously we had to rely only on data from our accounts system which was more dated. Budgets and forecasts can now be re-cast much more quickly to provide earlier warnings of any impending problems or to react to changing market conditions.” Quinton concludes “We are probably still only using 80% of the systems capability and the real benefits will come in the future when we start to consolidate our cash forecasts from site to company level with the sales forecasts being automatically incorporated.”
Support for sales
Quinton goes on to say, “We like the fact that the Housebuilding system supports our sales-driven operation; the key to this has been organising a proper sales database which has become more valuable than ever in the downturn. Our website is driven from Housebuilding and all our web leads are now more efficiently analysed and followed up. Everything is held consistently in one place and not in different systems as before. This has provided us with better staff liaison, more data sharing and greater trust in each others data. Closer working and cooperation also means that each member of staff is more conscious of costs from an overall business point of view which is vital in this difficult market.”
Reflecting on their commitment to Housebuilding Quinton concludes, “Although this investment would be a much tougher decision to make now we are very pleased indeed with the system and have no regrets. It is helping us to build on our existing success with the quality of our homes and customer satisfaction.”