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May. 20, 2013

MHN Interview: SyndicIT Services’ Lauryn Schimmel

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Exeter, N.H.—Associated Estates Realty Corporation of Richmond Heights, Ohio, recently deployed the DocumenIT document management system of SyndicIT Services. DocumenIT, a SaaS-based service, enables Associated Estates to capture, store and manage its paper and electronic documents via an enterprise-wide digital platform.

In the wake of the Associated Estates deployment, the largest to date for Exeter, N.H.-based SyndicIT Services, the company’s managing director Lauryn Schimmel took part in a wide-ranging interview with MHN.

MHN: What convinced your company to target this service to the multifamily industry?

Schimmel: The industry has offices in many different locations, has a high velocity of documents that are handled and managed every day and also works with documents that contain sensitive personal information, like resident lease files, employee evaluations, other employee forms, credit and background applications and reports received back from those applications. The goal is the ability to never lose or misplace documents, obtain them faster and ensure they are stored in a central location where they can be accessed from anywhere.

Now, property owners don’t have to do on-site lease file audits. It’s all digital; you can do an audit from anywhere and really reap a lot of cost savings that way.

MHN: How did your company evolve?

Schimmel: We started with a robust industrial-grade document management system that had been proven in health care, in legal, insurance companies and also in financial institutions.

We took this industrial-grade system that was pretty complicated to use and deploy, and built an add-on or a plug-in to the system, called Syndi. She is a desktop avatar tool that integrates with any existing property management system. Through integration with that system, we are able to populate that with all of your current resident information. What that achieves is a streamlining of the use of the document management system at the property level.

While the Associated Estates Realty Corp. deployment is the largest to date, we had previous experience with other local customers.

MHN: What benefits are derived from use of the system?

Schimmel: First, there is anytime, anywhere access to your information. The system also promotes green operations by going paperless. Our system uses bank-grade security encryption to protect information. Also, we see a proven record of improved efficiency on the part of staff, both locally and at the corporate level. We’re saving them a ton of time, freeing them to deliver high-quality resident service and work with new prospects.

The uniqueness of the cloud delivers two benefits. One is the ability to bring information from a wide variety of sources, from different line of business applications, and store it in a single repository in the cloud.

The second one is that the cloud allows you to connect all your fragmented systems to make administration more seamless and ever easier, and to provide more business insight or higher visibility into your business operations.

MHN: What’s ahead for SyndicIT?

Schimmel: We have been selected to partner with Hewlett Packard to produce a complete lifecycle solution for digital operations for the multifamily housing industry this year. We’re talking capture devices, and new content management technologies. That will result in ease of deployment and enhanced mobility access, allowing you to, for instance, take a photo of a maintenance receipt with your mobile device and upload that to your property library and send to accounts payable for processing.

MHN: Any closing thoughts?

Schimmel: We’re so excited. We are a company that has a strategy to make this transition easier for properties. We have a system that is proven, easy to use, requires no expensive IT investments or extensive IT overhaul.

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