Avant is one of the UK’s leading privately-owned house builders, operating in Scotland, the northeast of England, Yorkshire, and the Midlands. Avant currently has five regional offices, employing over 700 people and has ambitious growth plans for the future.
Avant Homes wanted to evolve its sales admin processes as previously data collection had been largely managed locally by its regional operations. It was also recognised that Avant’s use of technology and some of its non-digital processes were potentially preventing them from spending prime time on customer focused activities.
By digitalising their admin systems, Avant Homes would eradicate the risks and the time associated with any paper-based processes, which could otherwise be spent directly with customers.
During the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, paper-based and on-site data caused some difficulties as employees couldn’t always access the information they needed to allow them to work effectively from home. This problem was mostly prevalent during lockdown but also hindered the business before social distancing measures were in place. Avant also wanted to remove inconsistent, or time-intensive sales spreadsheets by incorporating this data into a new system.
Crimson implemented a cloud-based CRM system – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Marketing – to digitalise data and manage their sales process. As it was cloud-based, employees could access the information remotely, which is essential when working from home. The evaluating stage of the project was completed in 2019, and despite the pandemic, Avant wanted to seize the opportunity to improve their systems and processes, while also focusing on digital. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 procurement process then accelerated due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Attracted by Crimson’s demonstrable experience working with other homebuilders, Homebuilder Accelerator Solution (built on Dynamics 365) and integrating with the COINS ERP system, Avant has also been able to integrate their Dynamics 365 with enquiry portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove.
Crimson’s solution went live on schedule in early November 2020 and is starting to drive efficiency and productivity for the Avant Homes sales team. Following the successes of this phase, Avant Homes wants to continue to build a leading enterprise digital platform on Dynamics 365 throughout their customer journey. There are discussions for early new year future phases, which are likely to focus on reservation, completion, and care. A roadmap of engagements has been set up for the next 12-18 months, and the housebuilder’s future looks bright despite the current climate during COVID-19.
Following phase one, Avant Homes has been able to continue their sales despite COVID-19, while also reducing time spent on admin which has been better spent on sales.
“We are delighted that the project has successfully gone live on time and on budget. The Crimson team have been exceptional and have set an ‘above and beyond’ standard from the outset. Our Exec team and end-users are encouraged and excited by this first milestone phase and were looking forward to delivering a ‘best in class’ solution in the future phases, to help Avant Homes achieve its Business Growth objectives.” – Peter Adams, Chief Information Officer at Avant Homes.