Blackpool Housing Company Ltd (BHC) is a unique and dynamic regeneration company, established and wholly owned by Blackpool Council.

Formed in the Autumn of 2015, Blackpool Housing Company has set itself the ambitious task of making a critical intervention in the private rented market across the inner areas of the town. Their core aim is to acquire poor quality existing homes and redundant or derelict buildings and to make significant investment in remodelling and renovating them into desirable yet affordable homes for rent.

The Need

BHC originally used spreadsheets to manage their strategic financial forecasting which, at the best of times, was adequate, and at the worst of times, complicated and error prone. This created an undue amount of wasted time, as there were a number of bad formulas, which were skewing the forecasts. With spreadsheets, these errors are hard to reconcile, as there’s a high probability that if one formula is adjusted, it immediately impacts other cells.  Spreadsheets are static and have no concept of time, so while used by many Housing Companies, are not ideal for thirty year rolling forecasts. Led by Paul Whitehead, Head of Finance and Resources at BHC, Castleton’s HousingBrixx solution was quickly adopted to alleviate these serious forecasting problems. However, BHC wanted the further assurances that their solution remains secure, always available and accessible from any location.

The Solution

BHC invested in a Solution as a Service (SaaS), so no longer needing to worry about the solutions maintenance. All installation, release updates and Windows updates are taken care of by Castleton, with no disruption to the finance or IT teams. A hosted platform with Castleton means BHC can access HousingBrixx from their browser anywhere and anytime, with the solution fully backed-up and secured in Castleton’s private Cloud. Peak performance is guaranteed at all times thanks to a fully tested and dedicated resource.

The hosted solution is fairly-priced and is based on the size of the plans in HousingBrixx. In BHC’s case, the small-package with one connection was the right fit.

The Result 

BHC have acquired a robust time-based modelling solution in HousingBrixx. It lets BHC create an intimate understanding of how each decision can impact an organisation, immediately and over time.  It is highly configurable with audit trails and is accessible through the web, so changes are easy to make from any location. A key benefit of switching their solution to a hosted platform.

Paul Whitehead, Head of Finance and Resources, BHC comments

Using spreadsheets is complex and error prone, and we had little confidence in presenting the forecasts to the Board.  Now, it’s a different story – and furthermore on a hosted platform, HousingBrixx is easy to use with all updates taken care of for us through the service provided by Castleton.

BHC use HousingBrixx as a business-critical application, hence the switch to hosted provides the assurance that the solution is always available, secure and simple.