Erickson Living — one of the nation’s leaders in building and operating continuing care retirement communities — came to Rainmaker for help in overhauling their inventory management process with Salesforce. In an effort to create a more collaborative, audit-able, and streamlined process for calculating apartment pricing and entrance deposits, this process would also help drive better intelligence. Previously, this was managed in a set of decade-old spreadsheets that required ongoing maintenance by Erickson Living’s team of three Marketing Intelligence staff, and the process was fraught with the potential for human error, as well as being time consuming.
Erickson Living’s Outdated Inventory Management Spreadsheet
Each year, approximately 10% of Erickson Living’s 20,000 apartments (totaling $8B in inventory) changes hands and needs to be repriced by the Marketing Intelligence team so that they can be sold to prospective residents. When a prospect rents an apartment, they are assessed a deposit of up to 10% the value of the apartment. This makes up a significant source of revenue for Erickson Living, so ensuring that the process is accurate, historically audit-able, and efficient is of critical importance.
This laborious, manual process was fraught with the potential for human error and could sometimes require up to three weeks of concentrated effort, involving:
- Updating any or all of the twenty community spreadsheets to account for new features and pricing logic for the upcoming year
- Manually updating the details of thousands of apartments
- Uploading the resultant apartment prices into Salesforce, the keeper of the inventory
Rainmaker led Erickson Living through a process of collaborative design and development workshops and exercises to build a calculator that takes into account all of the variables that drive pricing, but does so in a way that provides much greater flexibility, price control, team collaboration, and data intelligence.
- InnovationLabs: Through collaborative design workshops Rainmaker’s team got to the heart of the challenges Erickson Living faced and helped them envision a solution
- Lightning Web Components: Leveraging the power of Lightning experience, we created web components that enabled a spreadsheet-like user experience (UX) to help the Financial Operations team work efficiently and to adopt the solution quickly, cutting down on training time
- Component-Driven Pricing Logic: We created a flexible, modular pricing approach in Apex that assigns value to an apartment based on the structural features of the apartment and other factors that drive pricing
Pricing Feature Set In Lightning Web Components
Now that these apartment attribution tasks are fully automated, community administrators with Erickson Living can now help their Marketing Intelligence team update and maintain these valuations with minimal training and risk for human error. These tedious reevaluation tasks typically reserved for a time consuming end-of-year, multiple week project are now able to be done at or around the time the apartment(s) turn over in minutes with the help of these attributed calculations and template changes in Salesforce. This both reduces the time needed to add or subtract attributes — a task that could take upwards of a whole business day — to mere minutes, while reducing the number of units that needed to be reevaluated at end-of-year.
- A Flexible but Structured Approach to Pricing: The app ensures that pricing features are applied the same across communities and apartments, and that as apartments are enhanced, their value can be easily and consistently updated, in real time
- Team Collaboration & Efficiency: Enabled the team to work together, communicate more efficiently
- Native Salesforce App: Gives team members the ability to define attributes for an apartment unit based on a pricing formula that would be used to determine the value of the unit based on these factors. All within Salesforce! No clunky spreadsheet needed
- Determine Value: An apartment unit’s value can now be approximated by setting attributes per unit based on inventory records, potential upgrades to determine what was needed to meet projected revenue goals
- Streamlined Process: This native Salesforce app now allows for communication, pricing models, inventory management, and much more to happen seamlessly in one platform.
Pricing Feature Set & Pricing Adjustment
Pricing Feature Set With “Playground Apartment” Feature