Francis Hampden, owner.
Francis Hampden (The 7th Viscount Hampden) is one of the new generation peers who grew up alongside IT and as an MBA graduate of Cranfield University he is never far from his computer. His home is Glynde Place, an Elizabethan Manor House built by his forebears in 1569 located in the heart of the South Downs, near Lewes.
The estate comprises a mixed enterprise portfolio of let property and a growing events business. Landmark's KEY software was purchased in 2002 to update a DOS based system that was limited in its application for what was required. In August 2011 Glynde Estates were one of the first to upgrade to KEYPrime.
Francis and his management team recognised some of the significant advantages to benefit them through use of the new programs - for example great navigation speed, sophisticated grouping of analysis codes, the ability to have a 5th April year end and the superior drill down facilities.
The entire data was migrated across from the original KEY32 format by the Landmark team: "We started with a clean slate in both accounts and property management programs whilst retaining full integration which has always been a big plus for us
at Glynde. KEY is the main focus of data here, we could be running any number of competitor accounts programs, but the success of Landmark software at Glynde hangs from the management control that KEYPrime Property gives us," says Francis.
The detailed enterprise aspect of the KEYPrime programs enables the team to check on performance within a cost centre in financial and physical terms. "I can easily pull in costs which relate for example to 'The Gardens' itemising nominally anything from wages to seeds," Francis continues.
Nick Jones was appointed to the role of Agent at Glynde in March 2012 and was interested in the commitment and focus of the estate to use the latest technology as part of its strategy to accurately code and centralise the management of the various cost centres and enterprises. Nick needed to get up to speed in his new role and access to information was crucial.
He says: "I had not used KEYPrime before but I am impressed with its dedication to simple design, its flexibility, linking capacity and management function beyond standard accounting. I am very aware that there are many more areas where we could be embracing the power of this software for the benefit of wider estate management. Over and above the accounting function it will play an increasingly crucial part in storing data and helping us manage cyclical events. Month on month we are making more use of it and ultimately it will help us to run more efficiently from one centralised database".
Denise Garrett-West is the Estates Accountant. "I picked up the advantages to KEYPrime quickly, she says: "The improved drill down all the way to edit mode is the biggest single benefit for me, you don't have to come out of a screen to find a transaction. Similarly from the property program you might be in tenancies and can use the accounts tab to switch back into accounts to check anything, like the water or insurance charge for a particular tenant. The What to Pay function is vital for our purchase invoice payments, the ability to produce a schedule of those due, process the payments and email remittance advices all in one action is a real time saver. It is definitely quicker and I am looking forward to making better use of the program which is where we are focusing resource at the moment".
"The first few weeks of change are always a bit 'hairy' but you don't feel on your own with Landmark. James Lutener is our local training manager and he helped us to understand the program and to get the most out of it on-site, for example he set up the customised invoice layouts with the Glynde logo and specific BACS details". There is also a value to be put on the standard of telephone support which Denise find hard to fault, she really appreciates the 'extra mile' which the team go to at Landmark. "They never leave unfinished business. I appreciate this as the main user at the sharp end, operating the programs on a day to day basis".