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Australian Unity SDA Fund Improves Cost Management

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This Mastt project was selected as a finalist for the 2023 Urban Developer Awards for Industry Excellence, Best New Proptech.

Managing Construction Program Costs is Complex

Managing Construction Programs can be a complex task, requiring collaboration with various stakeholders. To effectively monitor key metrics such as capex, budgets, schedules, risks, and progress, portfolio and program managers need accurate and comprehensive reports. However, the process of collating these reports for regular meetings can be time-consuming, and the lack of consistency in format and quality across different projects can hinder transparency and delay crucial decisions by boards and executives.

Australian Unity, a member-owned and one of Australia’s oldest companies, manages several capital infrastructure programs with the aim of benefitting the Australian population. One such program is the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Fund, which focuses on acquiring and developing high-quality SDAs in attractive locations to support individuals with disabilities. However, the control and costs associated with scaled construction of the SDA program were becoming unwieldy, requiring a solution for executives to manage it better.

Mastt support team reviewing construction project dashboards

Before implementing Mastt, Australian Unity relied on manual spreadsheet-based reporting processes with development managers which led to delays in data transmission and extended clarifications prior to finalisation. This was an inefficient system and prone to inaccuracy.

Australian Unity's SDA Fund Manager, Jacob Edwards, recognised the need for change and explored various software solutions. He was conscious that Implementing new software can be challenging with costs and time associated with onboarding and training, and the internal change management of processes required for successful adoption and results. However, he eventually found Mastt.

Since moving to Mastt, our reporting regime has become a lot simpler. We are able to report in real time so there's no delay in financial data being updated. The time it takes is a lot quicker, making the fund a lot more efficient for investors.

Solution: Mastt Cost Management Tool

Mastt's software has provided a solution to the complex construction cost management challenges faced by the Australian Unity SDA Fund. The software provides a centralised point of truth that streamlines the costs and standardises the format and quality of reports across all construction projects, programs and the portfolio. Jacob, realising the potential benefits, decided to solve the Australian Unity SDA fund problems by progressively migrating the capex of projects valued at $60m AUD onto the Mastt platform.

Details of the SDA Fund Portfolio

- The total value of the SDA Fund portfolio expected to be on Mastt is $60m AUD depending on future growth.

- The Fund currently has 25 separate construction projects at various stages which includes specialist fit-out and assistive technology to support residents with disabilities.

- Each property is valued at approximately $1.6m in construction costs.

- The SDA Fund Manager, SDA Assistant AssetManager, SDA Analysts, SDA Development Partners, and Project Managers use Mastt to manage the costs for the entire portfolio.

- The portfolio includes 6 programs, each run by their Development Partners.

Migration of Construction Project Information

The first migration of project information consisted of 16 projects in three programs with a budget of approximately $30m. Jacob and the SDA Fund's Assistant Asset Manager, Sarah, were able to set up their Mastt account with the help of the Mastt Support Team. From the beginning, they were impressed with the team's knowledge and friendly approach. The support team, being experienced project managers, guided Jacob, and Sarah to quickly learn and utilise Mastt for all the SDA Funds' cost reporting needs.

Australian Unity SDA Fund discusses construction project reporting with Mastt

Within 6 months of the project's migration, it became clear that the SDA Fund managers were gaining better visibility of project status, cost to date, and cost to complete. Mastt’s unique ability to view the costs at a portfolio level and then drill down to a program and project level was key to gaining the control they needed.

The funds’ Assistant Asset Manager, Sarah, had never had the luxury of viewing the granular project information she needed, such as a breakdown of the construction costs and high-level portfolio costs from within the same software. This alone saved her time and provided a better understanding of how costs were accumulating at the portfolio level.

The aggregated view of the projects, programs, and portfolio allowed the Australian Unity SDA Fund to overcome its reporting scale challenges and gain greater visibility into the SDA Fund portfolio costs. Using a centralised platform meant the necessary data was added to one place of truth, eliminating the need for multiple spreadsheets, reducing the risk of data errors, and updating costs instantly across each level of the portfolio. This resulted in timely and accurate reports that empowered Jacob and Sarah to make informed decisions based on up-to-date information.

Australian Unity SDA Fund Mastt Construction Cost Reporting

The second migration of SDA projects is currently in progress. With the increase in efficiency of the first projects, the Australian Unity SDA Fund team is confident they will meet the following KPIs:

- Time saved finding granular project information.

- Time saved with automatic updates of costs at a project, program, and portfolio level.

- Time saved creating reports at the project, program, and portfolio level.

- Ability to make faster, more informed decisions on costs.

Mastt creates Cost Management efficiencies

In summary, Mastt's software has centralised and standardised the cost management and reporting process of the Australian Unity SDA Fund, providing real-time monitoring of key metrics, greater transparency, and the power to make better-informed decisions, saving time and costs at a project, program, and portfolio level. 

If you would like to learn if Mastt is a fit for your construction program. Book a Demo.

Project Info

Mastt Customer:
Australian Unity SDA Fund
Asset Owner
Program Value:
AUD $60 Million
Program Owner:
Australian Unity SDA Fund
Agreement Type:
Portfolio Agreement
Project Background:
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Portfolio Masterplan Insight:
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