Archives: September 6, 2022

Building Community Engagement With ApnaComplex

Community Engagement: Building a Sense of Belonging

What makes a community? By definition, it is a social group with a shared characteristic, such as location, religion, custom, or identity. It is where we feel a sense of belonging and camaraderie. For gated communities inculcating the ‘community’ part of their nomenclature is often easier said than done. While we can get the ‘gated’ part easily enough, creating a spirit of community and belongingness can take a longer and more sustained effort.

ApnaComplex apartment management solutions offer multiple avenues for residents to connect and interact with each other. Apart from dispensing critical information, these communication channels help Management Committees (MCs) and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) to engage with residents, thereby creating a community.

What is community engagement?

People engagement or the attempt to bring together different individuals and families living in a residential area plays an important role in developing a community. Long-term engagement helps residents to find like-minded people within their community. Over time, they form deep interpersonal relationships that further develop their sense of belonging. 

Most communities grow organically, bound by a common factor that can be driven by their heritage, race, or common interests. In a gated community, this can be hard to come by as it comprises people from different backgrounds and interests. In such cases, an MC or RWA has the onus of finding the common ground between people.

Why do we need Community Engagement?

Community engagement is one of the most important aspects of involving every individual in the activities and governance of a residential complex. It creates a harmonious social environment that is critical to a positive living experience. Involving residents in social and non-social activities also helps in gaining their trust. 

An engaged community can also make a crucial difference in the governance of the complex. New policies have a better chance of being accepted if we can build consensus among people. Wider acceptance can also make a significant difference to the chances of people adhering to new policies or developments. This is only possible through sustained, multi-layered engagement. 

How to Drive Community Engagement with ApnaComplex

As an apartment management solution, ApnaComplex offers MCs an ideal platform to lead community engagement activities. Different features can be leveraged to reach out to and involve the residents of the complex:

Information repository: Access to information can go a long way in instilling trust in the MC and its functioning. Members can post important documents such as rules and regulations, Annual General Meeting reports, audited financial statements, bye laws, regulatory documents, old and new policies. These documents also form the basis of various decisions or in execution of social activities. 

Communication platform: ApnaComplex communication module brings together all residents on one platform. In larger societies, this module resolves the member limitations usually found on other chat platforms. Consequently, we can include all the residents on a single communication channel. It can then be leveraged to dispense important messages or in coordinating social activities, such as organising festivals or carnivals. 

Announcement: On ApnaComplex the MC can post notices to inform people about important events or activities. Unlike physical notice boards, the in-app announcements are visible to all members for a specified period of time. Higher visibility ensures that residents are well informed about various events and occurrences in the premises. 

Suggestions & feedback: One of the best ways to involve residents in society governance is by asking for their suggestions and feedback. ApnaComplex Online Society Helpdesk allows residents to leave their suggestions and requests. They can also track progress of their requests on the app. 

Democratic governance: With ApnaComplex you can hold surveys and polls to gauge residents’ opinion on key measures. This process allows the residents a say in the management of the society, thereby boosting their overall involvement. 

ApnaComplex is an apartment management software that aims to build communities by leveraging technology. Our modules are designed to help MCs ensure a wider involvement of the residents in community governance, build trust, and help garner support for their policies and decisions. 

Enabling Data insight for smart living

Leveraging Data to Improve Lives in Gated Communities

Big Data is now widely recognised as one of the most powerful assets in the Corporate world. Yet, its importance in gated communities like apartment complexes has been largely ignored. Part of the reason lies in the fact that management committees and resident welfare associations had few means to collect data. Information analysis posed another challenge as few, if any, MC members or admins have the required proficiency.

ApnaComplex is an integrated platform with in-built data gathering tools that are immediately accessible and easy to understand. It offers MC and RWAs the opportunity to collate and interpret data without any additional infrastructure investment. With incisive data insight, they have the golden opportunity to empower decision-making, improve operational efficiency, and deliver a higher standard of living for residents. 

Gated Communities and Big Data

With thousands of residents, gated communities generate a sizable amount of data. This includes sensitive information, such as personal contact details, rent agreements, and more. This information is vital to the execution of key functions like validating new residents and collecting maintenance dues. Large residential complexes generate other data as a result of their daily operations. This can include information about visitors or patterns of utility consumption. 

As a community, MCs can also gather vital information like asking for residents’ suggestions or holding surveys and polls to collect consensus. Typically, this information is kept in silos and rarely taken beyond its original intent. With ApnaComplex, this information can be a powerful tool in improving efficiency and delivering a higher standard of living for residents.

How ApnaComplex enables Data Insight

ApnaComplex offers multiple avenues for data collection which are further strengthened by analytical tools. Information is collected automatically and can be easily accessed. More importantly, in-built analytical tools allow data insight that facilitates decision-making. Some of the areas where data can make a significant difference are:

Asset performance:The facility management module tracks asset performance. It offers us a comprehensive view of each asset, including individual attributes and servicing history. One can also input a regular maintenance schedule with timely notifications. Data like servicing and maintenance history is vital in assessing the performance of an asset. It can be leveraged to take decisions on future purchase orders, maintenance budget allocations, and determine the overall state of the society’s amenities and facilities.  

Budget allocation:The automated billing and accounting module is an extremely useful tool when collecting financial data on society expenditures. Features like Expense Tracking provide an accurate picture of spending under every category. The Budget Variance Report tracks any variance in planned spending, thereby throwing light on shortcoming of the current budget outlay. This data can then be leveraged to identify areas of overspending and where the allocation may be falling short. 

Instilling accountability: The honest and accountable use of maintenance funds is critical to ensure that the entire corpus is used for its intended purpose. Accountability at every step ensures that there are no diversions of funds and you have sufficient funds for various development or upkeep activities.

ApnaComplex data collation has in-built mechanisms to ensure traceability of data. This includes time stamps and user credentials every time the admin makes an addition. The ability to trace this data creates a tamper-proof framework where fund allocations can be easily traced. It enforces accountability, ensuring that every expenditure can be justified. 

Increasing productivity :For the management committee to effectively execute its policies, the staff must discharge its responsibilities efficiently. Legacy systems rarely have any system to track employee efficiency other than gathering direct feedback from residents. It can be difficult to carry out regular feedback for each employee. There is also no system for data recall.

With ApnaComplex you can track the performance of the housekeeping and maintenance staff through various modules. You can assign tasks and track its progress. The ERP gives you a clear data overview at one glance of all pending functions. It even sets up reminders so that key tasks are executed on time. 

Other productivity tools include the complaint module where an escalation ensures that unresolved issues are addressed in time. Similarly, attendance tracking ensures that the staff logs in their entry. Other than processing payrolls, this data is useful in performance review.

Resident satisfaction:One of the measurements of a high standard of living is the level of satisfaction among residents. Legacy systems have almost no established system of gathering residents’ feedback, suggestions, and opinions. In such cases, society governance can seem completely one-sided where the planning, execution, and enforcement of various policies lies solely with the management committee.

ApnaComplex Online Society Helpdesk module addresses this gap by creating a centralised data-gathering platform to collect complaints, suggestions and requests from every resident. Polls and surveys can be carried out to gather opinion on a proposed initiative. This empowers residents to initiate a task, enforce follow-up, and leave feedback. Data transparency is also critical in gaining the confidence and trust of the residents. 

Ensuring Data Privacy

The flipside of data empowerment lies in ensuring its security. With a stellar record of zero data breaches, ApnaComplex offers the most secure apartment management solution. Our ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certification for Information Security Management systems is a testament to our continued commitment towards upholding the highest standards in preserving users’ privacy, meeting compliance requirements, and maintaining control. 

Click here to know more about ApnaComplex data security and privacy policies. To know why ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certification is critical for us and our users, read our article here.

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.

Digital Visitor Management System: Taking Data Beyond Gate Management

A mid-sized gated community can see visitors numbering hundreds in a day. A large housing complex can see a higher influx with visitors ranging from household workers to family members. Managing these guests is one of the top priorities for the society guards. With security being the prime concerns for most gated communities, only approved guests can be allowed.

Legacy systems ran visitor entry through registers to record details and intercom to communicate with residents. This system had several drawbacks, including the challenge of maintaining years of visitor registers. The legacy systems were replaced by digital visitor management systems (VMS) that created end-to-end solutions to make the process efficient, reducing both time and effort. 

However, the deployment of a digital VMS has many benefits that go beyond recording visitor data. Gatekeeper by ApnaComplex is an integrated VMS that includes multiple value-added services, helping in creating greater efficiency for Resident Welfare Associations / Management Committees and residents.

What is a digital visitor management system? 

At its simplest, a visitor management system is designed to record the details of guests, staff, delivery personnel, other people and vehicles that enter a gated community. Digital VMS like Gatekeeper leverage a digital platform to record and store all information. Under the system, guards use the Gatekeeper app to communicate with residents, seeking approval and notifying them of the entry and exit of any visitor. 

The app is also used to take down all visitor details, including their name, photograph, and address. The information is neatly segmented for different categories of visitors, such as daily help, delivery personnel, and staff. Backed by ApnaComplex’s award-winning ERP, it creates an end-to-end VMS with multiple usages. 

How does Gatekeeper improve efficiency for residents and MCs? 

Gatekeeper offers many benefits that go beyond safeguarding your society. The digitisation and automation of VMS can have unexpected benefits for residents and the management committee, including:  

Pre-approving guests: What happens when you anticipate a visitor, but may not be home to approve by phone? Or when you want the guest to simply walk in? Gatekeeper offers residents the option to pre-authorise guests. The process also frees residents and guards from the on-gate approval process, creating a smooth entry for approved visitors. 

Smoothen deliveries: Today, many residents expect multiple deliveries in a day. This can be challenging for working people who may not be home to receive their package. With Gatekeeper, you can pre-authorise all deliveries to be dropped off at your doorstep. 

Tracking guards: It is not always possible to check if every guard is taking the correct patrol route. CCTV supervision has blind spots and individual supervision can mean wastage of resources. Gatekeeper has a feature for Guard Patrol Tracking where the security personnel has to scan QR codes at blind spots. It creates an efficient system where the guard’s route can be tracked at any later date.

Tracking staff attendance: Gatekeeper is designed to notify residents every time their domestic staff enters or leaves the premises. The automation of data helps residents to keep track of their domestic help, including their attendance. 

Facilitating payroll: Gatekeeper automatically records the attendance of society administrative staff and other personnel. With an automated digital system, any chances of omission are negligible. This attendance record can be later accessed by the financial committee when processing payrolls. 

Checking school bus route: The app allows parents to trace the specific routes as school buses move through the society premises. They can connect with other parents and get real-time notifications whenever the bus reaches the society gates. 

Central database: Finally, one of the biggest advantages of a digital VMS is the centralisation of data. It brings all users on one platform, from guards to residents and the admin staff. The platform stores a database for members and staff. This data can be used for different purposes, including payroll and assessing footfall at different times of the day.

When harnessed properly, Gatekeeper automates many of the society’s operations, creating a more efficient process of data collection and retrieval which can then be leveraged to create further value for residents and the management committee. 

What is QR Code-Based Asset Management & How it Reduces Operational costs

Asset management is a critical part of the governance of a housing complex or gated community. It is concerned with the maintenance and upkeep of society assets like electrical fittings, elevators, or office equipment. Effective asset management can lower operational costs, improve performance, and increase efficiency. However, it can be a complex process involving asset tracking, performance monitoring, scheduling regular maintenance, and keeping an eye on the costs involved. 

ApnaComplex offers a comprehensive module for asset management including QR code- based asset tracking. The solutions are designed to give property managers holistic information about each asset on the premises through a simple QR code scan. This can facilitate timely servicing which is not just important for optimal asset performance, but may also play a crucial role in maximising its lifespan. 

What is QR-code based asset management?

Developed by a Japanese company in 1994, QR code is a matrix barcode that can hold a host of information, including valuable data, identifier or tracker towards a website or application. In asset management QR codes hold a clear edge over other alternatives like RFID or GPS tags because of two main reasons. Firstly, QR codes, especially dynamic QR codes, offer a very high degree of usage and customisation. Secondly and most importantly, they can be scanned by a smartphone. 

ApnaComplex leverages the QR code technology to facilitate both asset tracking and its complaint system. QR codes contain valuable information such as maintenance dues, AMCs, and much more.

Reducing Operational costs

The question now is how QR code-based asset management helps in reducing operational costs? The answer lies in its ability to streamline and automate asset management. 

No need for special equipment: Since QR codes can be scanned by a smartphone, we don’t need any special equipment for their deployment. The ease of scanning means that anyone can use it whenever required. In practice, it allows the manager or a service staff to quickly access all equipment data at a moment’s notice. Since the smartphone works as the scanning device, it also removes the need to invest in any additional equipment. 

Speedy asset identification: With a QR code, we don’t have to look up a database to identify the asset and gather all details regarding its service history. This saves time that would otherwise be spent in tracing relevant spreadsheets and invoices. In housing societies that have to manage a large scale of assets and equipment, this can be a valuable resource. 

Reduce asset downtime: Proactive maintenance can be carried out by carefully planning servicing schedules. Ready access to service history or maintenance records can give the data we need to create a schedule that reduces any operational disruptions. 

Improving performance: Data can be key in reducing the operational costs associated with repair and maintenance of assets. This is because data can be leveraged via technology to automate maintenance schedules or to call for repairs on time. By accessing service history, we can schedule timely service, thereby improving performance. 

Ensuring longevity: Ultimately, asset management aims at ensuring longevity of the asset through timely maintenance and repair. Well-maintained machinery where performance has been carefully planned for optimsation is likely to outperform its depreciation rate and last longer than expected. 

What makes ApnaComplex QR code-based asset management so efficient?

With ApnaComplex, QR code technology is backed with an ERP that can further automate key functions. The dynamic QR code allows the viewer to pull up all relevant information about the equipment or property. We can automate maintenance schedules so that all support functions can be carried out smoothly and without any delays. We can also set up an alert system to further ensure adherence to a service timetable. 

ApnaComplex also offers a QR code-based complaint system. This innovative feature allows residents and service staff to register a complaint on the ApnaComplex app by simply scanning the QR code. This further cuts down on time taken to identify problems, thus improving asset performance. In the long run, it can reduce asset depreciation, prolonging its lifespan. 

As an information repository, the QR code technology holds a clear edge over any other asset management tool. It provides us with instant access to information that is updated regularly. Backed up with ApnaComplex ERP solutions, QR code is one of the most important tools in asset management today, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.