Home > Success Stories > Giles-Flythe HOA Reserve Study Add-In

Giles-Flythe had an existing process for creating property management reserve studies, but it was a tedious manual process to produce client-understandable charts and reports. They desired a way to automate the process while still allowing engineers to edit the final output.

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Goals

  • Produce high-quality, professional reports and charts for clients
  • Simplify data entry of repetitive numbers
  • Ability to make just-in-time modifications before printing

Approach

  • Leverage the existing office experience in using Microsoft Excel
  • Create a custom Excel Add-in to perform complex calculations and formatting
  • Allow engineers to try “what-if” scenarios in a simple iterative manner

Technology

  • Microsoft Excel Plug-in written in JavaScript
  • Custom Excel template used for questionnaire and basis report
  • Add-in, template, and support documents housed on corporate web server

Results

100+ Client reports produced in the first 6 months of operation

Several cycles of improvements made based upon direct user feedback

Single page manual and no training required of new engineers

Designing for skilled users

Giles-Flythe is an engineering firm and, as such, was already very skilled in the use of Microsoft Excel.  Through our initial consultations and discovery, we jointly decided to leverage that skill set, and build an Excel add-in, rather than develop a full application from scratch. The Excel add-in increases the engineers’ capabilities dramatically, without requiring extensive training or support.

Iterative improvement process

Since its initial release, Giles-Flythe and Digital Mettle have gone through several cycles of incremental improvements on the tool.  Giles-Flythe maintains a running list of requested features and enhancement requests.  Several times each year, we revisit the list together to prioritize and scope the improvements that have the ‘biggest bang for the buck.’

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Gyles-Flythe case Study

“We prepare over 200 reserve studies each year for homeowner association clients. As part of the reserve study process we estimate repair expenses for our clients’ buildings over a 20-year period and then complete a financial analysis. We needed a way to easily set up cost estimates and financial models for each project. We also needed to be able to provide the tables, charts and graphs in a clean presentable report format for our clients. We interviewed several software consultancies during the process. We chose Digital Mettle because they presented the most logical and user friendly solution to our needs through custom add-ins for MS Excel.”

– Kevin Giles, Director of Operations, Giles Flythe Engineers