Arabian Centres Company Ltd (ACCL) became Saudi Arabia’s largest developer, owner and operator of retail malls by offering international-standard quality shopping and entertainment. In formulating a strategy to build on that success, ACCL’s executive team came to realize that expanding its portfolio across the Kingdom depends as much on harnessing new technology as on providing high-quality retail and leisure offerings. The task of keeping ACCL’s property management software in tune with the company’s strategy lies principally with Rashed AlOthman, ACCL’s chief information officer.
“A desire to take on new challenges and drive improvements and achievements for the business is my primary motivation,” AlOthman said.
ACCL, a subsidiary of Fawaz Al Hokair Group, has grown to encompass 19 shopping centers in 10 cities since its founding in 2001. Its more than 1 million square meters of total gross leasable area (GLA) represent a quarter of all organized GLA in the Kingdom. ACCL transformed the Kingdom’s retail sector with a commitment to create unparalleled destinations for shoppers, leisure seekers and retailers.
ACCL has embraced an aggressive strategy designed to reinforce its position as the Kingdom’s premier mall operator. Eight developments in the pipeline will nearly double its portfolio to approximately 2 million square meters of GLA. The growth plans are part of a larger goal. “We seek to advance beyond developing mere functional properties. We aspire to create living, vibrant and integrated communities and enhance the quality of life for tenants and customers alike,” AlOthman said.
To achieve that goal and make sure ACCL properties remain the destination of choice for 132 million annual visitors and 3,600 retail outlets, AlOthman is spearheading a digital transformation program. The initiative emphasizes expanding technology capability and utilization in such areas as business-to-business communication, social media and numerous operational procedures. “We are increasingly focusing on further improving the customer experience in the Middle East’s best retail destinations with investments in customer lifecycle management,” AlOthman said.
A key component of ACCL’s digital transformation is Yardi Voyager, ACCL’s new, cloud-based property management and accounting platform. “Voyager gives us a fully integrated real estate management platform that scales to all our requirements and provides the convenience and security only available from a cloud solution,” AlOthman said.
One product built into the core property management and accounting system strengthens ACCL’s forecasting abilities with automated budgeting, valuations and modeling. Another integrated module lets ACCL schedule, track and manage property maintenance and inspections from desktops or mobile devices, allowing faster responses to tenants’ maintenance requests. Leasing agents and asset managers also have mobile access to real-time prospect, tenant and property information, enabling faster completion of new leases and renewals.
Meanwhile, paperless invoice processing and automated online approval workflows reduce ACCL’s per-invoice costs while eliminating errors and lost invoices.
A business intelligence solution draws data from Yardi Voyager to give ACCL a portfolio-wide view of occupancy, vacancy, accounts receivable status, actual revenues vs. budget and other key leasing, asset management and accounting performance indicators. Configurable dashboards and mobile access strengthen ACCL leaders’ ability to measure performance, monitor trends and act decisively.
“Running our business on a single connected software platform drives better business decisions by making full insight into our leasing, budgeting and property management activities instantly available. It also supports our goal of setting new standards in customer service with improved maintenance execution and other tenant services. The capabilities available from our new software platform will help us continue changing the shopping and leisure experience with sustainable value and service excellence,” AlOthman said.