Squared recently signed a 5-year contract with Castleton Technology which will see a complete re-fit of their existing systems to a fully hosted, integrated set of solutions.
Castleton Community was first launched in 2019 and is a direct response to smaller social housing providers struggling to find software products that fully cater to their size and budget. Community is a cloud-based housing management system, ideal for HAs under 1,000 properties. It delivers ‘out-of-the-box’ modules from three core solutions: Castleton’s Housing Management with full reporting capability, Agile for staff mobile working and Castleton EDRM. The re-design of these solutions into a ‘lighter’ set of essential modules will help drive business efficiency and workforce mobility for the Luton based housing provider.
The organisation’s current software portfolio is made-up of several systems that have been acquired over time. Paul McCalvey, Head of New Business at Castleton commented
“We have come across this a number of times particularly amongst smaller HAs – separate systems being purchased by different department heads over time and therefore operating in silos. It is hard to walk-away from these systems because of the investment and sometimes the reluctancy for change. Talking to the team at Squared, there is a real sense of commitment from all areas of the business to use better technology solutions to drive change for the better – and this is half the battle”.
Squared need to overcome back-office inefficiency issues across the organisation so they can better serve their customers. One of the challenges has been the repetition of data entry across the organisation which has caused inconsistencies. It is a time-consuming manual process for staff to process data, which is a major distraction from service delivery. Squared therefore require instant access to the right data, to avoid having to go through two or three people within the organisation to get a query resolved.
Rob Robinson, Commercial and IT Manager at Squared, was asked to review the marketplace for a suitable integrated solution that could support their budgets as well as being scalable to support the future growth of the organisation. Rob first came across Castleton at a Digital Breakfast Briefing hosted by Grand Union. Rob was impressed by Castleton’s complete solution – one software package with minimal external integration and manual integrations between several packages. Rob commented
“The bonus for us is that Castleton Community is a) cloud based and b) obviously written for housing associations. Castleton talk the language of housing associations which was missing from other generic solutions. We need to ensure that our IT can support the future growth of Squared and for us, the software must be cloud-based. This subsequently places less pressure on our small IT team.”
When reviewing other software packages including low code app-based solutions, it became apparent to Rob and his team that because they were more generic, they were aimed at large organisations and therefore the investment required for small to medium housing associations were not realistic. Rob continued
“When looking at the total cost of all our existing standalone packages against Castleton’s offering, including the project delivery cost and time-savings we can expect to achieve; the investment makes a lot of sense and the costs are within the reach of organisations such as Squared.”
In addition to Castleton Community, Squared will kick off the project with a data cleanse, to ensure only up-to-date and accurate data is being migrated onto the new systems. This is being supported by Castleton’s data partners Sagacity Solutions. The housing provider has also chosen Castleton Financials to complete the overhaul of improved back-office solutions.
Enhancing digital engagement with customers is not being overlooked either, as Squared plan to use a tenant portal platform (Castleton.Digital) and SMS technology (Communications Manager) to drive instant, real-time customer communications.