Defence Housing Australia Gets Property Vacancy Rates to a Record 2% Low and Responds to Valuation Requests 15% Faster
 
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Defence Housing Australia Gets Property Vacancy Rates to a Record 2% Low and Responds to Valuation Requests 15% Faster

Defence Housing Australia provides housing for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and their families across Australia. A government business enterprise, Defence Housing Australia is responsible for supplying, managing, and maintaining a US$9.8 billion portfolio consisting of 18,000 properties across the country. It is entirely self-funded, thanks to its sale and leaseback operations, which involve marketing housing to property investors and managing those properties. Working in conjunction with the ADF, Defence Housing Australia is also required to develop 10-year forecast models to meet housing demand.

Defence Housing Australia chose Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus to improve visibility into its business and property assets. The organization has fast access to up-to-date property information, which has helped to cut vacancy rates to a record low of 2% and increase revenue. Defence Housing Australia was also able to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for monitoring the efficiency of external property valuers. Response times to valuation requests have improved by up to 15%.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Defence Housing Australia

  • “More and more staff are suddenly asking for reports because they see the value that Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus offers. Since the application was delivered to the business, we’ve reduced our vacancy rates to a record low of 2% and improved response times to valuation requests by up to 15%. How we do things today, compared to how they were done 12 months ago, is chalk and cheese.” – Shane Nielsen, Chief Information Officer, Defence Housing Australia

  • Improve data visibility of 18,000 residential properties across Australia
  • Develop and formalize KPIs, targeting key pain points, such as vacancy rates, valuations, and maintenance
  • Allow the business to identify and quickly respond to issues, such as properties that have been untenanted for a long time
  • Facilitate better decision-making by making dashboards and other analysis tools more readily available to staff throughout the country
  • Access up-to-date property vacancy data to help lower vacancy rates and increase revenue
  • Better serve the needs of the 10,500 property investors involved in the sale and leaseback program
  • Efficiently manage maintenance and repair costs throughout property lifecycles

Solutions

  • Enhanced visibility of residential property portfolio data, such as property numbers, tenancy statuses, vacancy rates, and refurbishment and maintenance costs
  • Increased revenue by reducing vacancy rates to a record low of 2%
  • Improved efficiency by completing 92% of routine maintenance jobs handled on behalf of property investors within 28 days, an increase of 10 percentage points, compared to previously
  • Enhanced decision-making by allowing staff to analyze property data, based on the previous day’s figures, rather than information that was previously up to a week old
  • Created dashboards, based on the previous day’s data to track KPIs, such as vacancy rates and maintenance, instead of taking a day to manually compile this information
  • Improved response times by up to 15% and enabled the business to adjust rents to match the valuations by empowering the valuation team to create KPIs, based on response times to valuation requests sent to external valuers

Why Oracle

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus was a natural fit for Defence Housing Australia, which was already running Oracle Database, Enterprise Edition 11g. According to Mike Hehir, system support manager, Defence Housing Australia, Oracle’s perpetual licensing option made Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus a good fit for the business.

“The licensing models of some of Oracle’s competitors meant we almost would have had to repurchase the tool every time we did an upgrade,” said Hehir. “With Oracle, we have a perpetual license, so we buy it once and get the upgrades as we go along. This gives the business surety with our planning.

“Our engagement with the local Oracle office during the evaluation phase was also an important contributing factor in choosing Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus,” he added. “They were very willing to work with us and demonstrate different aspects of it. That engagement has continued as part of our implementation, ensuring that we get the most out of our investment.”

Implementation Process

Defence Housing Australia began implementing Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus in May 2011. The application went live in February 2012.

The implementation involved building a number of dashboards and incorporating the existing legacy reporting system within Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus. The first stage of the implementation was developing dashboards on vacancy and valuation, followed by stock portfolio and tenancy.

“Rather than rush, we took our time to understand what we wanted to achieve with these new Oracle tools and develop a strategy,” said Shane Nielsen, chief information officer, Defence Housing Australia.

“As we spent time with Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus, it became clear that it would enable us to change the culture of the organization. We wanted to give our people intelligence, rather than simply data. Highlighting KPIs has been crucial to the success of business intelligence at Defence Housing Australia.

“It’s difficult to measure the cultural change that Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus has had on Defence Housing Australia,” said Nielsen. “However, it’s telling that more and more staff, who had never previously asked for reports, are suddenly asking for them because they see the value the Oracle tools offer. The application has reduced our vacancy rates to a record low of 2%. How things are done today, compared to how they were done 12 months ago, is chalk and cheese.”