Customer stories

NHBC

NHBC builds streamlined analytics and report portal with OpenText. OpenText Analytics provides cost effective, self-service report portal for UK house builders

Challenges

  • Lengthy report production cycles, leading to out of date reports
  • Cost of printing and distribution of paper reports to customers
  • Lack of self-service and report manipulation capabilities

Results

  • Embedded analytics and reports make data readily accessible through online portal

  • Reduced manual production time by 18 man weeks per year

  • £20,000 saved in printing costs

Story

Headquartered in Milton Keynes, England, NHBC works with the house-building industry to raise the standards of new homes and to provide consumer protection for homebuyers. It is an independent, non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee. In 2014/15, it carried out 750,000 inspections, identified 337,000 items to be corrected by builders, undertook 80,000 building control inspections, completed 8,000 Health and Safety inspections and paid claims for the benefit of homeowners totaling over £87m.

A couple walking in front of home.

The initial rollout of OpenText Analytics saw about 900 users regularly accessing the portal. This has risen now to more than 1,400 regular users across more than 400 organizations. Being able to quickly and easily access high quality, online management information via an intuitive dashboard is a unique selling point for NHBC. No other provider has this capability to provide this level of BI to so many organizations.

Jiten Prajapati
Strategic Development Manager, NHBC

Part of the service that NHBC provides to house builders across the UK is quarterly reports on their performance. The reports detail the building inspection defects that were found and actions that need to be taken to resolve them. Prior to implementing OpenTextTM Analytics, NHBC used a variety of reporting tools and a snapshot of data was produced each month, taking two to three days to complete. The data was then ‘sliced and diced’ to create the final report, manipulated with a combination of Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheets and Adobe® PDF documents. Once complete, reports for the top 50 builders were printed, emailed and dispatched. NHBC’s regional directors then booked meetings with the builders to review and discuss. This process was time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Jiten Prajapati, strategic development manager at NHBC, explains the company’s goals for a new, web-based, self-service portal, “We wanted to be more business intelligence (BI) focused, with standardization across all builders, regardless of their size. Our aim is to provide a ‘My Reports’ portal, where builders can access not only standard reports, but also where they create their own views on the data available to them and run ad-hoc reports too.” NHBC set about identifying a solution to meet their needs.

Analytics: easily embeddable analytics and the perfect fit for NHBC’s reporting platform

NHBC had some experience with Analytics, having used it for some of its internal reporting needs. Having looked at a number of possible solutions, NHBC decided to evaluate the latest version.

“We looked at solutions from Oracle, Informatica and others. However, as we had experience of the ease with which we can embed OpenText Analytics into applications, we decided to build a proof of concept using the latest version. We were delighted with the results, and decided to push ahead with OpenText Analytics as our solution, which is a perfect fit for our IT architecture,” said Prajapati.

The implementation began by engaging with the Professional Services team at OpenText. On-site meetings were held to jointly scope the implementation, design the solution architecture and provide training and knowledge transfer.

“Working with OpenText Professional Services meant that we could kick-start the project and accelerate the implementation, benefitting from their experience and knowledge of OpenText Analytics. Everything was documented and we worked closely to configure the solution to our specific needs. With the knowledge we’ve gained, we’re now self-sufficient and able to install into other environments, make changes, and support our customers,” said Prajapati.

Having involved all internal stakeholders throughout the POC and design stages, once live, the solution was universally accepted, with positive feedback.

Printing costs alone have been reduced by around £20,000. Having features of interactive viewers and online help text has also reduced report support calls and ad-hoc report requests.

Jiten Prajapati
Strategic Development Manager, NHBC

‘My Reports’ portal—fast, accurate, up-to-date, self-service reporting

The rollout of the newly created, of the newly created My Reports portal, as NHBC have named it, was to the top 50 house builders in the UK. The biggest names in construction, including Persimmon, Bovis and Barratt are now able to self-service their reporting needs.

Rather than waiting for a printed or emailed copy of the quarterly report, builders can now login to the portal at any time, and many do so daily, and many do on a daily basis. They can view up-to-date status reports on defects and outstanding claims and can also assess building site performance. They are able to compare their performance to that of their peers in the industry too, helping to further raise quality standards. They can also “slice and dice” the data, perhaps to drill down or visualize in a different way.

“The initial rollout of OpenText Analytics saw about 900 users regularly accessing the portal. This has risen now to more than 1,400 regular users across more than 400 organizations. Being able to quickly and easily access high quality, online management information via an intuitive dashboard is a unique selling point for NHBC. No other provider has this capability to provide this level of BI to so many organizations,” said Prajapati.

NHBC is also benefitting with less work and cost involved in producing and distributing the reports. Whereas it used to take many days of effort to gather and analyze data, format and distribute reports, this is now largely an automated process.

“We no longer produce paper reports, saving us time—around 18 man weeks per year. Printing costs alone have been reduced by around £20,000. Having features of interactive viewers and online help text has also reduced report support calls and ad-hoc report requests. Overall, the effort of producing these reports has been cut by 50 to 60 percent,” said Prajapati.

Success leads to success—plans for expansion

The success of the phase one deployment of Analytics has helped embed the use of NHBC data by builders to help drive up construction quality.

“We’re now pressing ahead with the second phase of the ‘My Reports’ portal, which will allow NHBC support team to create bespoke/custom reports for our builder customers. Amongst other improvements, this will further increase the value to them, and increase our effectiveness and efficiency. In the past, ad-hoc Excel based reports could take up to four days on average to complete. In future, the builders will be self-sufficient,” said Prajapati.

Having learned a great deal about the capabilities of Analytics, NHBC is also planning to use the solution for internal reporting.

About NHBC

Established in 1936, NHBC is the UK’s leading standard-setting body and provider of warranty and insurance for new homes. It currently insures more than 1.6 million homes, a market share of approximately 80 percent. Over the last 80 years, it has provided warranties for around 30 percent of the total existing housing stock in the UK, more than seven million homes.