The Fund uses an online monitoring tool for the effective management and maintenance of properties. The tool helps the Fund to register, schedule, manage and monitor standard inspections and mandatory inspections, as well as evacuation exercises, certifications and insurance policies. In effect, it acts as an early warning system for inspections, certifications and other health & safety procedures. The tool helps the Fund to reduce its strict liability and total costs of ownership. It can lead to savings of up to 15%, while minimising user costs, maintaining the quality and value of the properties and preventing unwanted vacancies.
Sustainable procurement and business partner selection
To promote and increase sustainable procurement, we launched a project with IVBN (Association of Institutional Property Investors in the Netherlands) and a number of fellow fund managers to engage and assess the Fund’s suppliers using a sustainability web tool. Current and future suppliers will be assessed on their sustainable commitments, policies and behaviour. Bouwinvest has Service Level Agreements with its property managers, who are assessed each quarter on topics related to administrative management, technical management (including sustainability), commercial management and tenant satisfaction.
Collaboration with PropTech start-ups and scale-ups
New technologies, such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain can improve the quality, productivity and efficiency of our operations. We devote a great deal of attention to new property technologies and start-ups and scale-ups that are developing solutions. At Bouwinvest, we foster a culture of innovation, to stay ahead of the ever-changing demands of our investors and tenants and to safeguard the value of our investments by helping to create future-proof cities. We are currently working on innovative solutions in various stages of development.
We currently have a portfolio of several PropTech innovations. For example, in 2018 we unveiled plans to set up a tenant portal. This will provide tenants with a digital channel for repair requests, complaints and all the information they need about their lease contracts, service charges and payments. The aim of this project is to increase the satisfaction of our tenants to reduce the chance of lease terminations. We launched a pilot in our Parkweide shopping centre in Ede in 2019 and the portfolio-wide project will go live in early 2020. In the Mosveld shopping centre in Amsterdam, we are currently working with another pilot called Chainels. Chainels offers a wide range of functionalities, including the promotion of mutual cooperation between retailers.
In addition, our Research department has developed a data integration solution to provide automatic data gathering and an advanced analytics platform. The solution includes a data warehouse, which is essentially a large collection of centrally-managed data from both internal and external sources. The solution supports decision making at operational, tactical and strategic levels and will be expanded over the coming years to unlock more value. In addition to the data integration solution we launched in 2019, we are currently looking for a partner who can help us develop a data gathering and analysis tool to measure the environmental impact of our portfolio in detail. This solution will help us to make our portfolio ‘Paris Proof’ in the long term.
Our ambition is to be part of the early majority by enhancing our involvement in technological development. We focus on three central innovation themes: Sustainability & circularity, Experience and How we work. Up until now, our focus has been on the launch of new products and the continued development of these products. Some have been scaled up and rolled out on a wider scale, while others have been shut down when it turned out they generated too little added value.