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Digital Transformation in Real-Estate

From 20 years of customisation to a modern cloud architecture

Driven by the need to modernise and digitise, Group De Keyser (RDK) turned to Deloitte for support on its digital transformation journey. With its new modern cloud environment, RDK is ready to take on any challenges it may face and achieve its growth ambitions.

Group De Keyser

Group De Keyser (RDK) is a family business from Rijkevorsel, founded in 1971. RDK is active in the construction sector and includes construction company Rik De Keyser, IMMO RDK and raamSELECT.The construction company specialises in the development and construction of new construction projects in the region.  raamSELECT is an independent joinery that produces, supplies and installs windows, doors and conservatories for its own projects as well as for external customers.

What was your biggest challenge when you contacted Deloitte?

We got stuck in managing and monitoring the entire project process. That is why we started looking for a partner who could help us find and select a 'Construction ERP'. 

Over the past 20 years, we had invested in developing on-premise infrastructure and a custom application to support our financial (including accounting) and administrative processes. The application contained functionalities such as customer and contact management, site follow-up, shift planning, service management, invoicing and inventory that was developed to suit our organisation. 
For employees who had grown up with the application, this was a powerful tool, but new employees needed more time to get used to it. In addition, both the technological future and the continuity (dependence on an external consultant) could be questioned.

Our organisation has evolved considerably in the past 20 years and the demand for modernisation and digitisation arose on the one hand from a strong digital ambition driven by growth, and on the other hand from a strategic focus on in-house project development.

Despite having invested intensively in this customisation, it dawned on us that we had actually created a “black box”. By taking the step toward digitisation, we have created momentum to reinvent processes and the way we work. The fact that customer experience and service were central to our operational and commercial strategy, but not to our digital approach, was a revelation. In our renewed digital approach, the customer therefore had to be central.

The new technological landscape should centralise all business data and make us more digitally agile to weather today's challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

How did the digital transformation go?

Everything started with the development of a vision for the future and a plan in which we identified and analysed our bottlenecks and improvement opportunities. Then we scrutinised and reinvented our business processes using Deloitte as a sounding board.

Once we had a clear view of where we wanted to go as an organisation in terms of IT architecture, we mapped out a roadmap for our digital transformation. The implementation of the new technology landscape took place in three phases with a focus on three major building blocks: Salesforce Real Estate Accelerator, construction planning & project management and accounting system.

In the first phase, we focused on centralising customer information and supplier data. We laid the foundations for project and sales follow-up by setting up a project and site structure. After a few months, the sales department and administration already started working in Salesforce.

In the second phase, the emphasis was placed on the planning of our construction projects and joinery. In addition to automatically scheduling the teams for a new construction project, there was a need for strong visual planning, so that the automatic planning could easily be adjusted by the project planner where necessary.

The third phase was all about replacing the old accounting system. During the summer of 2021, we teamed up with Deloitte to find the best fit between our business needs and a new accounting package. After an independent analysis, the choice fell on Exact Online. Our condition was an optimal user experience for our finance department. This became possible thanks to automation and an integration between Salesforce and Exact Online. Deloitte took care of the design of the new accounting package, with the project team managing the implementation and ensuring the necessary integration between both systems. This included master data, analytical data, billing, and intra-group transactions. Through feedback, we have also enriched the 360° view of the customer in the CRM with financial data. Incoming invoices are today processed digitally via OCR scanning and a digital approval process, using the wider Exact ecosystem. Trays with paper invoices have now completely disappeared from our desks.

How would you describe the solution and what makes it unique?

Our customer is now also digitally central during the entire customer journey. From the first customer contact to the final project delivery, everything is digitised. This has been reinforced by combining the typical RDK approach with the best practice processes provided by Deloitte.

We have been able to digitise them through a mix of cloud platforms. The main ones we have chosen for this are Exact Online, MS Office 365 and Salesforce. They are designed to our needs and are easy to use. The fact that we can make adjustments ourselves (create fields, create reports, ...) gives us the necessary flexibility.

Our data quality has improved and our processes have been optimised. As a result, we have been able to better coordinate our sales and construction processes (optimisation of cash flow), there is a better overall overview, and our planning has been automated.

In short, we have transferred 20 years of customisation step by step and in a controlled manner to a modern cloud environment. We are ready for the next 20 years.

"We have achieved our goals together through the intersection of knowledge and hard work."

Michaël MintenManaging Director

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