Home Invest Belgium (HIB) specialises in the acquisition, sale, development and management of residential real estate. One of the largest companies in this sector, HIB has been listed on Euronext Brussels since 1999. Last year alone, HIB’s market capitalisation amounted to € 381 million with over 2,000 rental properties in its portfolio.
As such a large company, HIB was no stranger to a complex meeting workflow that involved many people and required the printing of hundreds of pages daily. Secretaries were spending hours preparing the right documents for each meeting and then chasing directors to be certain that everyone was up to speed.
So, two years ago, HIB’s management decided they needed a way to simplify the organisation of their board meetings. Sven Janssens, CEO, and Ingrid Quinet, Chief Legal Officer, were kind enough to share their journey to more efficient board meetings and why iBabs were their preferred choice.
No way to stay in sync
Before implementing the iBabs board portal HIB was using emails with attachments. There was no way to confirm if everyone received all of the relevant information. This was especially a problem if there happened to be any last-minute changes.“Before, we did things by email with attachments. We didn’t always know if everyone had received the information and the last minute changes.”d
No way to keep track
Adding to the challenge, it was very difficult to keep track of previous meetings, decisions
and action points. Not to mention
following up on actions and monitoring progress.
HIB needed a single, secure and searchable location where they could archive all of the information regarding their board meetings, along with the attachments.
With their previous system, they were able to archive the meeting reports but
this wasn’t enough. When they needed to get some context from a previous
meeting, they only had a paper trail and that was very hard to trace.
After extensive research into the available solutions and thorough evaluation,
the team decided they needed a board portal. They chose the iBabs board portal because, for them, it balanced price, ease of use and the benefits of a cloud solution. At the same time, iBabs checked all boxes when it came to the technical aspects of HIB’s requirements.
“Everyone is very happy...”
Not only do HIB use the portal board meetings, but they have extended it to other types of meetings, too. And in their own words:“Everyone is very happy with this way of working.”
Among the features that the directors and secretaries enjoy the most are reduced use of paper and greater security.
In the past, HIB had to print documents for their board
meetings which added a lot of hours to meeting preparation. Fortunately, that’s not necessary anymore. The company’s leaders say that this has been one of the biggest improvements for them, considering that it saves the time of both secretaries and directors.
“We have a goal of preparing the documents for the directors one week in advance. They receive a notification when all the documents are ready. I find this very efficient.”
Another helpful aspect is the iBabs feature that allows them to take notes and minutes directly in the board portal. This is something that secretaries use very often because it helps them speed up minute taking while keeping a digital record of the meeting.
Hello, complete control
HIB is also making good use of iBabs’ advanced security
features, including encrypted cloud storage, online
and offline backups and privacy controls. One of the
functionalities that is often used is that comments and
notes can be kept private when necessary. Another
feature that Sven and Ingrid described as helpful is
the ability to make certain agenda items confidential.
This level of control was not possible with their previous
document management system and it is, again, helping
everyone save time. Now directors can collaborate and
comment online without worrying that their private
comments will be shown to others.
An efficient and easy-to-use solution
As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. HIB has been using iBabs for more than two years as their primary board meeting platform. Add to that that the people who use it are happy to work with it and you have a winning combination. But don’t take our word for it. This is what Sven and Ingrid told us when asked how the employees reacted to the introduction of iBabs.
“There has been no negative feedback. iBabs is really an efficient and easy-to-use solution.”
If you are looking for a solution like this, you can request a free demo of iBabs here.