EastGroup Properties Inc., based in Ridgeland, Miss., is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in major Sunbelt markets throughout the United States with an emphasis on Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and North Carolina. The company’s strategy for growth is based on ownership of premier distribution facilities generally clustered near major transportation features in supply-constrained submarkets.
Multiple Financial Systems
Previously, EastGroup completed various aspects of property management and accounting, such as job costing, construction management, fixed assets and budgeting, on different systems and databases. “It became harder and harder to sync it all together for reporting,” recalled Brian Laird, Vice President of Information Technology for EastGroup. “We realized that having everything on one centralized platform would give real-time access and full drill-down capabilities to our entire staff.”
Seeking new efficiencies across its operations, EastGroup adopted Yardi Voyager commercial as its property management and accounting platform in 2009 and added solutions from the Yardi Commercial Suite to replace multiple disparate systems with a single connected solution.
Shorter Cycle Times, Paperless Processing
Consolidating multiple processes and systems into one platform helped EastGroup manage its business much more efficiently. “For example, we’ve been able to utilize Yardi to further automate our monthly and quarterly close processes and improve efficiencies in reporting, which has reduced the time required to report quarterly earnings. Our reporting is also easier because we have reduced the need to manually key in data, which is a major time saver,” Laird said.
EastGroup subsequently adopted other products that leverage Yardi Voyager’s data integrity, workflows and automation. One of them is CommercialCafe, an online customer self-service platform. “We send rental statements and other customer correspondence via email and online through CommercialCafe. Our customers have the convenience of making payments online instead of writing and mailing checks,” Laird said.
Another product, Yardi Advanced Budgeting & Forecasting, streamlined EastGroup’s budgeting process by automating projections based on existing customer lease data drawn from Yardi Voyager. EastGroup also gained additional efficiencies from Yardi PAYscan, an element of Yardi Procure to Pay whereby EastGroup scans invoices into electronic transactions and automates workflows across the approval process.
“We’ve started trying to eliminate paper-intensive processes in favor of paperless options. Yardi’s solutions are an integral part of that effort. I’m very pleased we made the change to Voyager,” Laird said.