Archives: August 22, 2022

ApnaComplex Gatekeeper is app-based visitor management system that tracks all guests

Worried About Robberies? Here’s What You can Do to Secure Your Society

Enhanced security is one of the biggest reasons people opt to pay premium prices for a home in a gated community. Yet, robberies can happen due to simple gaps in security or negligence. Despite management oversight, lapses can and do take place. Gated communities rely on a centralised multi-tiered security system to ensure that these gaps do not occur. However, such a system relies on efficient communication with residents on the one hand and round-the-clock surveillance at the gate on the other hand. 

Legacy systems have relied on intercoms and entry registers where the guests are required to enter their details. But this system has proven to be ineffectual due to multiple reasons apart from being labour and cost-intensive. An app-based visitor management system provides a more sustainable solution that is easy to implement and manage. Best of all, it provides a judicious use of our resources. 

What is an App-based Visitor Management System?

Visitor management is the process of tracking everyone who enters a gated community. It can include guests, delivery people, contractors, vendors, service providers, and household staff. Essentially, anyone who is not a resident or staff falls under the category of visitors. A visitor management system (VMS) is designed to record these callers, guests, and invitees. 

Gatekeeper by ApnaComplex is an app-based or digital VMS technology that leverages technology to track visitors, notifying residents in real-time. It even tracks your child’s school bus! It brings together all stakeholders, from the guards to the residents, at a common platform. It can upgrade any existing security process to strengthen the safety of a residential complex without any additional infrastructure investment. 

Why Legacy Systems do not Work?

To begin with, there are no standard systems. Some societies rely solely on register entries while some may follow this up with a call on the intercom. Others may have an additional layer of visitor passes. These systems suffer from some common challenges, including the difficulty of contacting a resident in time. Guards can make mistakes or the guests may give wrong information when registering caller details. 

From a security perspective, the biggest challenge is the tracking of visitors and retrieval of data. These systems are not designed to track the movement of guests and vehicles within the premises. Registers are the only record of data and these are prone to damage. They also act as a poor repository of information where it’s difficult, if not impossible, to recall data. For instance, you will find it difficult to trace data visitors to a particular flat if it is more than a few days old. It would be almost impossible if the timeline extended beyond a year. 

Switch to ApnaComplex Gatekeeper

What if you could handle all visitor management requirements while improving the overall security? ApnaComplex Gatekeeper is an innovative feature that addresses both of these issues. The app-based visitor management system records all data digitally, allowing for easy access and immediate communication. Some of the security features of the app include:

  • Known guests can be pre-approved by the residents. 
  • Ad-hoc visitors, including delivery people, have to file their information, including a photograph, at the point of entry. 
  • Residents receive real-time notifications when someone visits their home. They can choose to accept or reject a visitor. 
  • The digitally stored data can be retrieved at any time to check the details of the visitors.
  • Residents can view all approved and non-approved guests for any given date.
  • Residents can create a group to track school buses within the premises.
  • Residents can create a gatepass during the movement of goods or materials. The app will maintain a record of the material and moving out of the flat. 

Tracking guard movement: Gatekeeper includes an innovative feature to track guard movement in the premises. Under this feature, specific locations are assigned geo-tagged checkpoints. Patrolling guards have to check in at these locations using QR code, NFC card or any other security system. The supervisor can define patrol timings and get real-time alerts in case of violations. With this system not only do you get an accurate report on each guard’s route but also ensure that corrective action can be taken in time. 

Patrol guards have to check in at geo-tagged locations on their daily route, allowing for easy verification. This ensures diligent patrolling in less visible areas.

If you want to know more about app-based VMS, read our article here. Find out how you can leverage Gatekeeper for data management and operational efficiency here

In case you want to learn more about ApnaComplex Gatekeeper, get in touch with us at support@apnacomeplex. Our team will help you understand the various features you can use for improving the security in your community without any additional investment in enhancing the infrastructure.

Digital facility reservation improves access and efficiency

Facility Management: How Digitalisation Improves Access and Efficiency

Modern residential complexes today offer a slew of amenities and facilities that cater to almost every recreational requirement of the residents. High-end gated communities will typically include a swimming pool, banquet room, gym, and sports facilities like skating rink, and tennis or squash courts. 

Traditionally, most gated communities have managed facilities on an ad hoc basis, granting access on a first-come approach. However, this would result in chaos whenever there was heavy traffic. Being a fairly basic system, it was not designed to monitor usage patterns or handle facility and asset management. 

As a society management Enterprise Resource Planning solution, ApnaComplex resolves these challenges through a comprehensive digital facility reservation system. As part of its award-winning ERP platform, it facilitates process automation while providing us with invaluable data insight.  

What is a Digital Facility Reservation System?

A digital facility reservation system automates the process of reserving common facilities at a residential complex. Residents can reserve facilities for a certain time, date, and duration through the ApnaComplex app. However, its utility goes beyond simple record keeping to include improved efficiency and asset management.

As an automated digital system, it facilitates managerial overview through inventory and asset tracking, data collection and management, and access control. It can be leveraged to set up conditions for usage and generating invoices. By scheduling access, we can reduce any chances of duplicate booking or overcrowding. Unlike booking registers in most legacy systems, a digitalised system allows us to create additional functionalities, further improving operational efficiency.

Challenges in Managing Facilities in Gated Communities

The facilities in a residential complex include gym, swimming pool, event halls, and various sporting facilities. Managing these multiple facilities can include challenges like:

  • Scheduling bookings during peak hours
  • Controlling or blocking access during maintenance work or emergencies 
  • Tracking inventory to ensure accountability and availability
  • Asset management with timely maintenance
  • Communicating usage rules
  • Monetising and invoicing facilities 
  • Get data insight on bookings and usage patterns 

Digital Transformation with ApnaComplex

ApnaComplex facility management system integrates app-based reservation with invoicing, asset and inventory management. 

Seamless booking: Residents can book facilities at any time and anywhere through the app. These are automatically scheduled to ensure that there are no double bookings. 

Controlling access: The system can be configured to limit access as per time and the number of users. This can be particularly useful when we want to avoid overcrowding or close down the facilities for a short period. 

Predictive maintenance: ApnaComplex facility management system maintains the service history and details of all assets, allowing the management to keep a track of in-service equipment. You can further improve asset management by scheduling regular maintenance and setting up a notification system to ensure adherence. 

Inventory tracking: Keep track of purchases, consumption and stock level of each item in the inventory. The customisable tracker allows you to setup and organise inventory in an easy-to-follow manner.

Inventory optimisation: Advanced inventory reports can reveal purchase and consumption patterns. This information can be leveraged to optimise inventory, ensure stock availability, and cut down on over-consumption. It can also be critical in tracing unexplained or unplanned purchases. 

Optimal usage: To ensure proper usage of all equipment and assets, residents must be made aware of the relevant regulations. For instance, pool usage rules must be clearly communicated to all swimmers. These guidelines can be included in the reservation system to ensure that residents are kept aware. 

Automated invoicing: The system automatically generates invoices wherever applicable. The invoices are posted to the resident’s account. The automated system saves time and reduces any chance of errors.  

Data insight: You can get valuable data insight through comprehensive reports on booking, revenue and usage. This information can be used to tally consumption, monetise facilities, evaluate the performance of equipment, and take strategic decisions on improving sustainability. 

The digitalisation of the facility reservation system is undoubtedly one of the most efficient utilisation of ApnaComplex’s award-winning ERP. Apart from automating functions like scheduling and invoicing, it offers residents an easy-to-use format while allowing MCs to derive multiple functionalities. During emergencies like COVID, its ability to control access has been invaluable in reducing any chances of overcrowding in common areas while ensuring that normal operations could continue seamlessly. 

If you want to learn more about our facility reservation system, get in touch with us at support@apnacomeplex. Our team will help you understand the various features you can use for streamlining your reservation process while improving asset performance. 

What you should keep in mind about ensuring a smooth builder handover

Society Management: Checklist for a Smooth Builder Handover

A good beginning always sets the stage for an easier ride in the future. This is why it is important to ensure a smooth handover from the builder after a Management Committee (MC) or Resident Welfare Association (RWA) is formed. It ensures that the daily affairs of the community can be addressed by democratically elected representatives of property owners. 

A smooth handover is also important to ensure that the MC or RWA is well organised prior to taking over the challenging task of managing a residential complex. It is critical in ensuring that they have access to all relevant information and documentation. The preparation for the process should ideally start well before the main event so that committee members are well versed about the necessary documentation.

Checklist for the Builder Handover 

The management and maintenance of any apartment or residential complex and related amenities are initially handled by the builder. This arrangement continues till an apartment owners’ association or management committee is formed. The builder has to then hand over these responsibilities to this representative body. Other than important documents like Occupancy and NOC Certificate, this also includes leftover money from the corpus of funds to manage the premises. This has to be accompanied by audited accounts of the maintenance fund and interest earned. 

Document handover

One of the critical aspects of the handover process is the handing over of key documents. These include:

Occupancy certificate: An occupancy certificate is a proof that the builder has completed the project as per the approved plan and observed all relevant government compliances. The inability to furnish the occupancy certificate should be taken as a red flag as it may mean that the builder is violating building laws. 

NOC certificate: The builder has to submit a NOC or No Objection Certificate from pollution, fire safety, electricity, and water authorities to the MC or RWA. 

Building and car parking record: This refers to the approved building plan with details of block-wise and floor-wise layout and specifications on fire protection, drainage, sewage, and power. Car parking records should include allocation details. 

Other documents: These include original registration documents, audited accounts documents with all tax documents, conveyance of property, insurance papers, contracts with vendors, and all papers related to the handover of the corpus fund. The builder has to hand over invoices, warranties and Annual Maintenance Contracts on assets and equipment like transformers, generators, lifts, and gym equipment. The MC must also ensure that they have the clearance to operate elevators. In addition, get the list of amenities and services along with maintenance and staff schedule. Finally, get the architectural and structural drawings, such as wiring, and plumbing layout.

Transfer of Maintenance and Amenities

One of the contentious issues can be the transfer of maintenance and amenities from the builder to the committee. In many cases, maintenance charges are shrouded in mystery before the takeover as the quantum is disclosed only during the handover. The RWA can set its own schedule and rules for calculating maintenance charges. However, it’s always a good idea to know the builder’s terms for charging maintenance. 

Amenities can be another contentious topic, especially where the builders do not follow through with their commitments. Some builders may delay the construction or may fall short in terms of the project quality. All the documentation on the delivery of these projects should be collected and agreed upon at the time of the handover. 

Secure Records with ApnaComplex

Once the MC has these documents, their storage is equally important. Ready access to these documents is also critical in carrying out administrative tasks, formulating policies, and when settling disputes or disagreements. As a digital platform, ApnaComplex offers safe and easy access to these records and documents through its Community Wiki feature. 

The MC or the RWA can upload all or some of these records on the app, ensuring that every resident can view them when required. This transparency is further supplemented by ApnaComplex’s strong security framework. With ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification for Information Security Management system, the international standard validates that the platform uses acknowledged processes and best practices to manage the infrastructure that supports and delivers its services.

For more information on our data repository or security measures, get in touch with us at support@apnacomeplex. 

ApnaComplex is Now ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certified

ApnaComplex is Now ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certified: What it Means & Why it Matters

There is little doubt that technology has revolutionised the management of residential communities. Cloud-based computing and automation have paved the way for improved operational efficiency while ensuring tight control on finances. However, these essential tools are not without their drawbacks. Digitally recorded information can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches. 

For Management Committees (MCs) and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) data security is a prime concern when digitising their functions. MCs and RWAs often have to work with sensitive personal information, such as contact numbers and bank details. Hence, their prime concern lies in safeguarding the sanctity of their residents’ data. 

With a stellar record of zero data breaches, ApnaComplex has further enhanced its commitment in preserving data with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certification for Information Security Management systems. ApnaComplex has always stayed proactive in ensuring data security of its users. As partners in the digital transformation of gated communities, we are conscious of our responsibility to uphold the highest standards in information security to preserve users’ privacy, meet compliance requirements, and maintain control. 

What is data privacy?

Data privacy refers to the protection and proper handling of sensitive data including personal and financial information to meet regulatory requirements, protect the confidentiality, and ensure its immutability. Data privacy not only includes protection from internal and external threats, it is also concerned with its access. 

For an MC, it is critical that residents’ information is strongly protected against any breach or access from an unauthorised third party. Hence, ApnaComplex is hosted in a Top Tier Data Center that provides a secure server environment. To further protect the data from breaches, we use a 256-bit SSL certificate for every page. So, every piece of data is encrypted.

ApnaComplex NEVER sells or rents contact information, address, or any other personal information to any third party. Moreover, the platform supports role-based access. It means that only users with the appropriate role can see the information on a need-to-know basis.

What is ISO/IEC 27001:2013?

ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard for managing information security by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It validates that the platform uses acknowledged processes and best practices to manage the infrastructure that supports and delivers its services. It recognises that we have implemented the guidelines and general principles for initiating, implementing, maintaining, and improving the management of information security.

What does it mean for ApnaComplex communities?

Managing a residential complex can involve dealing with sensitive personal and financial information. Despite this, RWAs are not covered by strict compliance guidelines that are applicable to businesses. Yet, with residents directly involved in these management bodies, there is an acute awareness of the sanctity of data. 

A safe and secure platform is the first requirement when it comes to onboarding residents. It assures residents that their confidential information will remain private and protected from any breaches. This is likely to increase adoption and thus, improve the effectiveness of the app, further improving operational efficiency. 

However, the biggest challenge for RWAs and MCs lies in assessing the security protocols of their digital partner. With a high bar for the certification process, ISO/IEC 27001:2013 assures them that ApnaComplex has met the requirements for intensive documentation, detailed risk assessment, audits, training, managerial review, and other key documentation.

What does it mean for ApnaComplex?

For ApnaComplex ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification stands for an important milestone. It recognises our effort to follow best practices when handling and storing data. As a company that considers data protection as one of its core components, this international standard helps to position ourselves as an ideal digital partner with an organisation-wide dedication to security. It upholds our commitment to formulate, implement, and control trust in our data security protocols. 

The consistent effort required in acquiring an ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification also means that ApnaComplex has been successful in implementing best practices in ensuring cyber security with a well-established framework for continued training and audits for the long-term. It assures MCs and RWAs of the security of our platform. 

Finally, adherence to international standards in security and safety is a key part of establishing a digital ecosystem. These recognitions are held at a high bar and establish the standard that all digital companies strive for. The process of certification encourages companies to keep building on their security framework, invest in training, and ensure consistent control. Thus, ApnaComplex is proud to be acknowledged as one of the most secure apartment management software providers in the world.
Click here to know more about ApnaComplex data security and privacy policies.

Why Centralised Communication is Key to Apartment Management Efficiency

Communication is the bedrock of every community. In a housing society where people from different professions, backgrounds, and cultures co-exist, it is essential in smoothing over differences in opinions and perspectives. It is also an essential part of the administration. Every key function, from sending resident notices to activating security policies, depends on effective communication. 

One of the biggest strengths of ApnaComplex is its centralised communication module. Where Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and Management Committees (MCs) previously depended on flyers, text messages, and letters to disseminate important information, the digital platform consolidates every critical piece of data in one place, creating a central repository and distribution centre. This centralisation is not just important in sending out important notices, it also streamlines critical administrative tasks. 

How does a centralised communication platform function?

Under a legacy system, data was stored in silos and distributed in an ad hoc manner through multiple channels that included both online and offline modes. This created challenges in circulating and storing critical data. In addition, it was mostly one-way with very few options for residents to leave feedback. This system rarely leveraged the power of communication to improve administration.

As an Enterprise Resource Planning solution, ApnaComplex consolidates all communication on one platform. This ensures that each resident can view every single document or message at one place. It redefines community management by facilitating planning, organisation, coordination, collaboration, and supervision.  

Administrative Tool 

Smooth functioning of a residential complex depends on the ability of the management body to liaise with different parties, including the residents, office personnel, security workforce, and the housekeeping staff. ApnaComplex brings them all together on one platform to streamline different functions. 

Prioritising tasks: A centralised platform can be leveraged to schedule different tasks which is then informed to the staff on the ground. For instance, residents can register their complaints on the Online Society Helpdesk and mark it urgent. This allows the housekeeping and maintenance staff to prioritise their tasks.  

Complaint tracking: ApnaComplex Online Society Helpdesk enables residents to register and track complaints. Once the complaint is registered, the centralised platform allows the resident, the housekeeping or maintenance staff, their supervisor, and manager to view its status. If unresolved, the complaint is bumped to the next level in the command chain, ensuring that corrective action is taken on time. 

Streamlining tasks: As an online platform, ApnaComplex streamlines multiple tasks through simple and quick communication. For instance, move-in processes can be smoothened by uploading important documents like No Objection Certificates, No Dues Certificates, Address Proof Letters, and Move Out Letters on the online portal. Similarly, complaint tracking becomes effortless, reducing time and ensuring quick action.

Information repository: Efficient management depends on the easy access to critical data, such as contact information, audited statements, bye laws, contracts, forms, minutes of meetings, regulatory documents, and approved policies. This data can be critical for taking important decisions. ApnaComplex central data repository gives one instant access to this information, thus reducing the chances of errors.

Gathering feedback: Good administration also depends on a constant loop of feedback to address problems and issues before these blow up and create conflict. Legacy systems were largely one-way where residents had few options to communicate their opinions, requests, complaints, or dissatisfaction. With ApnaComplex, they have multiple avenues to leave feedback. The centralised platform also ensures that these messages can be gathered for actionable results. For instance, one can use it to carry out a poll or survey before implementing a policy. This minimises any chances for disagreements or conflict once the policy is rolled out.  

Visibility: A central communication platform offers real-time visibility to all stakeholders, lessening chances of miscommunication or loss of information. Moreover, as a data repository, ApnaComplex also ensures that critical messages are transmitted to everyone without a hitch. 

Managing crises: One of the biggest challenges for any MC or RWA is managing emergencies that can range from a fire to the outbreak of a global pandemic. Effective management relies on prompt transmission of messages on policies, corrective measures, and constant updation of information. ApnaComplex’s communication platform makes the process highly streamlined, swift, and efficient. 

A centralised communication platform facilitates the planning and execution of various activities that are critical in running a residential complex. Through a common digital platform, we can significantly reduce the time and effort required in ensuring wide dissemination of information. At the same time, real-time communication also lowers the chances of delays or misunderstandings, further improving overall efficiency. 

If you want to learn more about our Online Society Helpdesk or Communication module, get in touch with us at support@apnacomeplex. Our team will help you understand the various features you can use to improve overall efficiency!

Why you Need Automated Expense Tracking

With the budget of a mid-sized company, gated communities today go through a large volume of financial transactions. As self-regulated bodies, they are responsible for the general upkeep and maintenance of society premises and assets. This can involve high expenditures that must be managed within the society’s limited income streams. Hence, it is important that expenses be monitored closely. 

ApnaComplex’s award-winning ERP accounting and billing module tracks expenses to facilitate budgeting and transparency. The automated feature offers invaluable data insight that can be further leveraged to understand the pattern of expenditure and where excesses can be curtailed. 

Benefits of automated expense tracking

From a legal standpoint, a management committee is required to comply with annual state audits where they have to present their expenses among other financial reports like balance sheets, cashbooks, investments and lendings. They are also required to present these reports during the Annual General Meeting for the scrutiny of all members. 

Hence, an MC is legally required to prepare expense reports that must hold up to rigorous scrutiny. ApnaComplex’s automated expense tracker makes the process smoother, more convenient and efficient. Here are a few other reasons to switch to digital expense tracking:

Automated process: With an automated process, you don’t have to bother about tallying your payments. It also enables us to pull up expense reports for any given period instantly, saving both time and effort. Automation also reduces chances of omissions and human errors.  

Know your expenses: A digital accounting module allows us to pinpoint every expenditure. You can trace the exact spend under each category, whether it’s salaries or asset management. It tells you how much money was spent, what was purchased, and what was approved. 

Analyse expenditure: Expense reports are extremely handy tools for analysing expenditure patterns. You can identify areas of over expenditure and track root causes. For instance, inventory expense records can throw up data on items where you might be over-spending on equipment repair. You can use the data to take a call on whether to continue with the Annual Maintenance Contract or to upgrade to a newer model. 

Deciding budget allocation: The analysis of expenses is an important part of financial planning. Past data can tell you about expense patterns and ensure that your allocations for various projects and departments are on-point. The ApnaComplex accounting module also offers automated budget variance reports that show how far you may have deviated from budgetary outlays. Ultimately, these tools are designed to improve accuracy in budget allocation. 

Taking strategic decisions: Tracking expenses is integral to strategic decision making. It can help you take critical decisions on fund allocation for important projects, decide vendors, and plan policies to reduce expenditure.  

Audit-ready reports: With ApnaComplex’s automated accounting  you can get audit-ready reports at any time. The process ensures that the reports are updated with latest data and in line with the best accounting practices. 

Improving operational efficiency: ApnaComplex automation is key in improving operational efficiency in accounting, particularly in expense tracking. For instance, you can do a bulk upload of expenses from excel or CSV file in one go. Since the platform is integrated with bank and cash accounts, each expense is automatically recorded in the account statements. Apart from other benefits, this also eases the process of reconciliation of accounts. 

Consolidation of accounts: As an ERP, ApnaComplex consolidates all expenses on one platform, creating a comprehensive overview of expenditure. By tracking different capital and maintenance expenditures, it ensures that we are able to track every bill or invoice, whether it is related to inventory management or salaries. Since every expense has to be recorded at origin, there are minimal chances if explained entries. 

Expense tracking is a critical part of financial planning. Under a legacy system, the biggest challenge lay in consolidating different accounts. Tracking expenses would involve tallying different accounts, from salaries to maintenance. ApnaComplex creates an easy solution through an automated process that consolidates all expenses on one platform. This makes the process significantly more efficient, while removing unnecessary errors.