A GROWING PRODUCT CATALOGUE
11 years. That’s how long exacto housing has existed as a product catalogue targeted at a specific industry. But it began with a single client and a single task.
“exacto housing did not begin as the wide-ranging catalogue we have today. It began as a specific task for a specific client. When we were finished with the implementation, we realised that this was a product which could make a difference for others, and we therefore launched HousingBudget as the first product tailored to housing associations”.
That is Tom Kortegaard, a partner at exacto and the chief architect behind exacto housing, who says:
“It began with a collaboration with Alboa, Almen Boligorganisation Aarhus, which runs and develops 80 housing estates with 7,200 residences in all in Aarhus and the Municipality of Skanderborg, which needed a solution for their budgeting. The work on the solution for Alboa revealed that, specifically for the housing organisations, there are some special considerations that must be taken into account”, explains Tom Kortegaard, and elaborates:
“Organisationally, in terms of regulation and in relation to where and how their data are generated and stored, there are some needs that set housing associations apart from most other organisations and businesses. It quickly became clear that this had to be thought into the design of the solution from the ground up”.
exacto housing grows continuously with our clients
Now, exacto housing is much more than just a product for budgeting. With a product catalogue that, in addition to HousingBudget, includes HousingAccounts, HousingBalance, HousingBI and HousingBuild, exacto housing has products that support the first strategic budgetary priorities, the ongoing management and the final accounts. According to Tom Kortegaard, this is a result of the close collaboration exacto has with the clients:
“All of our various products in exacto housing have been developed in collaboration with our clients. That is in keeping with the philosophy we have at exacto: We develop from the inside out; instead of from the outside in. That is our tool for optimal quality assurance and assessment of needs. We do not try to guess what a client’s needs are and use that to develop. We start with the specific and concrete needs and challenges the clients face. We have, of course, a solid base of experience among us to draw upon from our careers as professional consultants in budgeting and auditing, but ultimately it is through the client dialogue that we develop our services”.
According to Tom Kortegaard, this is also the explanation for the continuous expansion of the product catalogue in exacto housing:
“Throughout the 11 years we have worked with exacto housing, our collaboration with the housing associations has just gotten bigger and more wide-ranging. In this way, we have gotten a better and better knowledge of their work and insight into the various processes and needs in their industry, and that has resulted in the expansion of products in the catalogue”.
Developed in cooperation with the clients
Even though exacto housing is designed to integrate seamlessly with EG, which is one of Scandinavia’s largest suppliers of industry-specific software solutions, and which a large portion of the Danish housing associations use for a wide range of their administrative tasks and self-service options for their residents, it is important, however, for Tom Kortegaard to emphasise that exacto takes active and practical responsibility in connection with the implementation:
“Upon establishment of a client’s unique exacto housing database, we have a close dialogue with EG. It is with EG that many housing associations have their key and accounting figures stored, and it is therefore important that the format of the data we retrieve, the permissions and the way we do our data extraction are absolutely optimal. Due to our many years of collaboration with EG, we have, so to speak, a direct line in, and we know precisely what we need. As a supplier, we consider it our responsibility to engage in the technical dialogue, and this approach ultimately also ensures a faster, more efficient and successful process.”
Even though exacto housing is now a wide-ranging product catalogue, Tom anticipates that it will continue to grow:
“Partly there are new digital opportunities coming up all the time that we would like to give our clients access to, and then we will undoubtedly experience that there are clients who have some new needs that we can see also apply to the rest of the industry. In those cases, it will be quite obvious – based on solutions that have been developed and have demonstrated their value for a client – that we convert them to services that become part of our catalogue”.