Custom Development of Property Management Software for an NPO
The Customer is a Canadian non-profit organization of 30 employees that provides education, housing, social development, and other programs.
The Customer provides housing services for 5,000 members of a local community. The challenge the organization wanted to resolve was manual property maintenance management, which wasn’t efficient enough. The Customer decided to streamline maintenance activities through automation with the help of a tailored property management solution.
Knowing ScienceSoft as a mature software development company with a 33-year background, the Customer turned to us for designing and implementing a property management solution.
ScienceSoft started by analyzing the Customer’s property management needs and creating an optimal feature list. The system was supposed to deal with household, inventory, maintenance, and rent management.
No off-the-shelf product offered the required functionality, so we agreed with the Customer to develop the solution from scratch. For the project, ScienceSoft assigned a team comprising a business analyst, two developers (a front-end developer and a back-end developer), a QA engineer, and a DevOps engineer.
ScienceSoft’s team helped the Customer select the technology stack that included AWS and OroPlatform to meet the functional goals, ensure the future solution's flexibility, and optimize development costs. OroPlatform, an open-source platform, enables the use of universal components, which optimizes development and simplifies further solution support. So, we recommended using this platform as a basis for a future solution.
We cooperated with the Customer for 2 years, and the project included the following phases:
Duration: 5 months (April – September 2021).
Activities: Discovery and MVP development.
This discovery phase covered creating a high-level feature list, building wireframes, planning UX, creating the solution’s architecture, and a project implementation plan.
During the MVP development stage, our team created a working prototype of a property management system that enabled member profile management, property management, and accounting.
Duration: 6 months (February – August 2022).
Activities: Development of a full-featured web solution.
ScienceSoft’s team delivered the solution that consisted of the following functional blocks:
- Household management – storing and tracking information about addresses, house IDs, number of rooms, rent due, and more.
- Member profile management – storing data like names, birth dates, and addresses of the community members. The solution enables establishing relationships between the tenants and their dependents (e.g., spouses and children), which helps define the most suitable houses for them.
- Inventory management – linking inventory items (e.g., lawnmowers, drills, perforators) to households, tracking serial numbers for each item, and generating automated notifications about upcoming maintenance works.
- Property maintenance management – for residents: guided creation of maintenance tickets via a customer portal, attaching pictures (e.g., damaged stairs, leaks, wall cracks, peeling paint, mold growth); for maintenance workers: confirming and tracking tickets, scheduling maintenance activities, etc.
- Rent management – automated rent calculation and notifying the residents about due dates.
Apart from the development of the property management system, our team provided the Customer with:
- Testing. To verify the proper operation of the solution, we performed functional testing, including regression, and provided detailed reports on the testing results.
- Deployment to the cloud. Our DevOps engineer configured the solution on AWS and set up a continuous deployment pipeline to introduce updates to the production environment without causing downtime.
- Training. To ensure high user adoption of the new solution, ScienceSoft’s team created user guides and video tutorials for the Customer’s staff and the community members.
The Customer received a tailored, cost-efficient property management solution that helped streamline inventory, property maintenance, and rent management activities. It improved the productivity of the Customer’s maintenance staff and increased the residents’ satisfaction. Currently, the solution serves 30 employees and 5,000 members of the local community, but it is scalable and can be adjusted to the property management needs of other communities.
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