Boardwalk is a Calgary-based company providing residential rental apartments across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. Founded in 1984 by brothers Sam and Van Kolias, we offer approximately 33,000 suites, totaling over 28 million net rentable square feet.
What started as an exercise in renovating old buildings, soon became a labor of love and commitment to providing a safe haven for every resident member to call home. Boardwalk puts its people first and we truly believe that our multi family communities are more than just a place to live; but rather a place where everyone feels an instant sense of belonging.
In 2018, our company rebranded our rental portfolio into three distinct brands: “Boardwalk Lifestyle” (high-end buildings), “Boardwalk Community” (mid-range) and “Boardwalk Living” (value) with the objective of offering a range of living spaces that would meet the needs of any type of resident member.
Our procurement department in Calgary standardizes all procedures within the group but also plays the role of intermediate between Boardwalk associates, suppliers and contractors. It ensures that operations are streamlined and well coordinated to provide the best quality of service to our communities all year round.
Our procurement department has a centralized team for the dispatch and scheduling of contractors. Roughly 200 technicians (external companies for the most part, with approximately 20% being internal Boardwalk employees) specializing in plumbing, electricity, HVAC, flooring, countertops, painting, among others, perform renovation tasks daily across all buildings, especially during resident turnovers.
Our main objective for seeking out field service software was due to lack of transparency and visibility throughout our operations. Also, we were doing the schedule the old way, using Excel spreadsheets. We had one for each contractor that displayed their availability. Knowing who was doing what, when, and where in the field was a daily challenge. We needed ‘live’ actionable data to be able to make decisions more quickly, increase our scheduling productivity and gain efficiency.
We looked at a few software solutions and Praxedo became the front-runner from the beginning. The solution was hands-on and easy to configure, they gave us several demos and always had a solution to suggest in order to meet our business’ requirements.
Praxedo has been integrated with our in-house system that sends work order requests directly to it.
Our scheduling team, located at our headquarters in Calgary, uses Praxedo to dispatch work orders. We have a comprehensive view of technicians’ schedules across all offices. We appreciate the ‘Advanced Search’ module in the software that enables to sort out and create views of real-time data easily.
Our rental offices in each city can check on the jobs being done for the entire building – Customer Care Managers (CCM), service representatives and maintenance associates have view-only access authorization to Praxedo.
At the other end of the process, our contractors find value in using the Praxedo mobile app. They punch in their activities, so we know in real time where they are and what they have completed. They can send pictures via the app to communicate damage assessment and request quick approval from the CCM to start working. In some other cases, they may just send a photo of the completed work.
The Praxedo Support team has been so helpful. Their assistance is priceless and has been critical for the success of our project. After just a few months of using the platform we have been able to observe numerous benefits.
We recently completed the roll-out of the solution with our renovation teams. We will continue the training and onboarding of contractors.
Our IT team is planning to create dashboards out of the field data collected by Praxedo.
Soon we will extend the use of Praxedo to our pest control team and maintenance contractors.
Efficiency and transparency.