Category: SDS News

New SDS Trainer

Welcome Rebecca Roberts

SDS trainer 

I am a Learning & Development Trainer with over 20 yrs experience. From aviation training, vocational accessing including training for apprenticeships, to customer service and systems training for FCA regulated financial companies including Deloitte. I have delivered comprehensive operational training programmes and coaching solutions including systems, e-learning, technical skills and intervention training. These have all been centred around improving customer service within the organisation.

I spend a lot of spare time at local stables, where they rescue horses who have been mistreated, and they nurse them back to health. I also love staying in and watching the latest dramas and movie releases. 

I wanted to work for SDS as soon as I spoke to Ben, Rob and Nicole when they explained about the ethos and history of SDS which was exactly what I was looking for. I am enjoying meeting everyone, starting to learn my way around the software and how the business works, it is a challenge but I am embracing it. I’m looking forward to the future!

residual land value

ProVal LS update v20.03.02

ProVal LS update v20.03.02

SDS trainer Katherine Chapman talks you through some of the new features in the latest ProVal update, including the exciting new Appraisal Wizard for creating quick appraisals.

We have taken the opportunity to include two major new features in this version:

  • There are now shortcuts to create a new appraisal from a template and for recently opened appraisals, which are accessible from the ProVal Home Screen.
  • There is a new Appraisal Wizard for creating quick appraisals. To make best use of this Wizard your Unit Defaults should contain an entry for each type of unit you develop, e.g. 1-bed flat, 2-bed house, etc. and for each tenure that you build.

If you don’t yet have ProVal and would like to see more please call us or book a demo now.

If you are a customer and would like to do the latest update click here.

new staff

Two new arrivals at SDS

Welcome Daniel Morton

Hi, I’m Daniel Morton

I am a software developer at SDS. I first jumped into a BTECH Computing course at Guildford College in 2012 and after 2 years of studying, I came within the top 3 of my class and moved on to the University of Portsmouth excited to try out for a degree. After 4 Years of exams and coursework, I finally obtained my Degree which I am immensely proud of.

My main subjects are database design and data security as most of my degree was spent on these subjects within computing. Within my degree, I chose to complete a placement year where I went to a company that provided support to the NHS systems and was one of a three-man team providing network support to surgeries and hospitals over Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire areas.

Welcome Jack Benniman

Hello, I’m Jack.

I’m the new digital Marketing Apprentice at Shelton Development Services where I will be undergoing a range of responsibilities from maintaining SDS social media sites to designing e-shots. Previously I had been working at Sainsbury’s deciding whether to take up University and study History or take up an apprenticeship. However after reading into Digital Marketing Apprenticeships, it seemed like it the more logical choice for me to take up.

Outside of work my hobbies mainly include running, which I hope to run the Brighton marathon for a second time come April next year. Alongside this I also have an interest in football and photography creating work either for other people or personal use.  

Here at SDS we look forward to witnessing their development within the company and have no doubt that they will provide a huge influence in the social housing sector.

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Jack Benniman

Jack Benniman

Jack Benniman is our Social Media Apprentice here at SDS and has been since the 1st of October, undertaking a range of responsibilities from designing e-shots to maintaining social media platforms. With the passion Jack has for digital marketing, he hopes to provide an eagerness and willingness to learn in an ever growing company in a digitally changing environment. Connect with him on LinkedIn or get in touch on his twitter @JBenniman.

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Value for money

Revised Value for Money Standard

Does it feel like you could be going in the right direction at last? As ever, the devil’s in the detail, as Mike Victory Rowe, SDS Asset consultancy, explains…

The Homes England consultation to strengthen the Value for Money (VfM) Standard ended on Wednesday 20 December 2017 and Homes England are currently analysing feedback and the new standard. The proposed Standard would move their regulatory approach away from the existing, primarily narrative, self-assessment to a more focused reporting approach.

Homes England continues to place value for money at the heart of the business, moving away from self-assessment to more outcome-based reporting on targets, including a suite of metrics and new associated Code of Practice.

Julian Ashby’s (Chair, HCA Regulation Committee) opening sentence at the Consultation on the Value for Money Standard was that providers needing to make the best use of every pound and every property is the key to delivering more new homes, improvements to the existing housing stock and better services to tenants without placing an additional burden on the taxpayer. The revised VfM standard strengthens the requirements for Board accountability and enhances transparency through a focused, outcome-based approach to measuring and reporting the value for money gains.

It will be essential to ensure that your Board has both understanding of and confidence in the data and business intelligence associated with your property portfolio performance, investment and appraisal decisions. The revised standard explores in more detail some of the factors that Boards should consider when undertaking a ‘rigorous appraisal’ of all potential options for improving performance and delivering their strategic objectives. Boards will need to consider how to make the best use of its assets in contributing to an organisation’s broad business objectives through retention in their existing use, conversion to another tenure, or outright disposal.

Providers will be expected to set targets to measure and evidence performance in achieving VfM to ensure the best value is derived from assets in the delivery of strategic asset management. One of the required outcomes for providers will be to demonstrate that you have a full understanding of the return generated from your assets compared to the costs of maintaining those assets. You will have to show how this return varies across your asset base, according to tenure, stock type or geographical location. There is a requirement in the proposed standard to invest in your existing homes but also evidence your decision to retain assets that don’t maximise their return for your business.

So, what next?

Revised value for money standard

“I don’t need to know everything; I just need to know where to find it when I need it.”

Albert Einstein

In terms of achieving the VfM standard,  knowing where to find your asset data is essential if we are to truly understand your asset performance and deliver VfM solutions. Accessible and relevant data on how your assets perform and the ability to complete rigorous appraisal is critical.

What if your data was meticulously cleansed to ensure it was accurate and accessible, giving you all the information and data needed at the touch of a button?

That would give your board the confidence in knowledge and evidence to set strategic goals that are right, both for now and in the longer term.

So, what can you do to address this?

What if every member of your team had access to the data they needed, when they needed it, across function and level in the organisation? Imagine the greater transparency if it was immediately available how much a property cost to maintain, what should happen to it in the future and what factors were causing it to perform as it does? Then you could model alternative options to either improve the worth of performing assets or realise its value by disposal to build new homes.

SDS StockProfiler can support this process enabling housing associations and local authorities to KNOW your stock, INVESTIGATE anomalies and ACT to deliver value to your organisation. Supporting the change required to improve your VfM strategy and make good strategic decisions regarding future investment, obsolescence, disposal and growth.

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Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

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YouTube

Introducing our SDS YouTube page

Find out the benefits of our updated YouTube page!

SDS YouTube page

Understanding the ins and outs of Social Housing can be hard. So here at SDS we are trying to make this easier with our SDS YouTube page! 

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our updated SDS YouTube page. This will help you understand who SDS are, what we do and how we can support local authorities and Housing Associations in solving the social housing crisis.   

We will be covering all areas of development from Land valuation (SDS LandVal) right through to asset management (SDS StockProfiler). You can see our software in action and how this maximises the development, sale and management of affordable housing in a cost-effective, user-friendly way.  Along with insights from current users discussing how our software has benefitted their firms. 

By subscribing to our YouTube page, we will be uploading highlights of a busy November and December such as what you can expect from our Best Practice Roadshows and a sneak peek at the StockProfiler User Group.

We will also be adding case study videos, featuring our customers. Such as Simon Theobald from Hackney Borough Council covering the benefits of using ProVal and Sequel. In this particular case study, Simon highlights how using this software has taken them to the next level and supporting their 2017-22 housing strategy. These will help you understand why our software is so highly rated in the sector and why ProVal is the leading financial viability tool used by around 250 social housing providers. 

To find out more follow the link to our YouTube page @https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzdWwayrWSYKGQaIiRAE7OA/featured

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Jack Benniman

Jack Benniman

Jack Benniman is our Social Media Apprentice here at SDS and has been since the 1st of October, undertaking a range of responsibilities from designing e-shots to maintaining social media platforms. With the passion Jack has for digital marketing, he hopes to provide an eagerness and willingness to learn in an ever growing company in a digitally changing environment. Connect with him on LinkedIn or get in touch on his twitter @JBenniman.

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Digital Marketplace

Digital Marketplace on the G-Cloud 11 framework agreement

Digital Market Place

SDS ProVal, Sequel and HomeMatch software is now also available via GOV.UK Digital Marketplace on the GCloud 11 framework agreement.

The GOV Digital marketplace is a government website that organisations can use to find cloud software and services.

Buying through this framework means you can save time and the associated costs of entry into individual procurement contracts. Many organisations can use the Digital Marketplace as an alternative to the tender process since there is a standardised set of information from each supplier provided on the portal. This information is what is typically requested in a tender for cloud-based software.

Digital Marketplace

One of the other benefits of using this service is that SDS will be able to work more closely with customers in the pre-sale process than would be possible using a traditional tender arrangement.

The G Cloud 11 framework is an agreement between the government and SDS where both agree to follow the terms of a formal procurement process as described in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). 

Three SDS products are available on the GOV.UK Digital Marketplace: SDS ProVal to appraise the feasibility of schemes; SDS Sequel to project manage the delivery of those schemes; and SDS HomeMatch to manage the conveyancing of the homes in those schemes. This means our customers have a simpler route to procure our brilliant software to develop more affordable homes.

“We are pleased to offer our software on the Gov.UK Digital Marketplace to enable more customers to manage their risk while helping to solve the housing crisis.” CEO Phil Shelton.

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Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

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SDS celebrates 25 years

Celebrating our 25th year

25th anniversary

Since we started we have moved to new offices and grown to 30 employees, and now have clients all over the UK, as well as Guernsey and Australia.

SDS specialises in providing the social housing sector with tools to help them deliver more affordable housing. This is achieved via the latest development software, created by our in-house team, and consultancy services with an emphasis on financial control and monitoring. SDS is best known in the UK for SDS ProVal, SDS Sequel and SDS Landval; the leading financial appraisal and project management packages used by over 300 housing associations, local authorities, private developers, and consultants. 

We are proud of our friendly, creative, problem-solving ethos that uses our housing expertise and in-depth market knowledge to provide high-quality software tools, excellent customer support, accredited training and professional services.

 The company has been part of the evolution of technology in our industry and pride ourselves on innovation, creativity and longevity. For example, the grant funding initiative for shared ownership in the early 2000’s allowed the profits made on the sales to fund more development of social rent units. This drove a significant change to ProVal; new models were required that not only assessed both tenures independently but that could also combine both tenures, so that the value of the cross-subsidy could be measured appropriately.

During this time, it became clear that there was a heavy reliance on Excel spreadsheets to manage development programmes, so SDS started working on a solution to this, which became SDS Sequel. We spent two years visiting clients to gather requirements and distil common best practice and feedback to include in the user interface, and Sequel was launched in 2005.

By 2008, when successive security patches from Microsoft were causing increasing compatibility issues with Excel, we began to discuss creating a stand-alone version of ProVal that would store the appraisals in a central database rather than as documents in a file system. Out of these challenges, ProVal LS was born.

Along the way, SDS Catalyst was modernised and changed from an Excel spreadsheet solution to an entirely online benchmarking club with real-time results.

As part of our R&D effort, we make time to build prototype apps in new technologies. This investment enables us to determine appropriate coding usage and how efficiently they work, and especially how fast they are to use. This has allowed us to ensure we keep up with the latest technology developments, and continue creating innovative software for the social housing sector.

A few words from CEO Phil Shelton

Phil Shelton

I find it hard to believe I have been part of SDS for over 16 years, the time has flown by! The sector is constantly faced with new challenges, regulations, tenures and government policies (not to mention housing ministers!), and it is a pleasure to work with people in the sector who continually rise to these challenges and exceed them. I love what we do and I know my Dad would be proud to see the business continuing to grow.

A few words from CFO Rob Shelton

Rob Shelton

As a relatively recent addition to the SDS team I have been continually impressed by the dedication of the team we have here, and their ability to adapt our product and service offerings as our customers’ needs change. The landscape in this market is continually evolving, but the core values of customer service, innovation, and integrity instilled by our father are more relevant than ever.

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Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

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Community Housing CYMRU

Community Housing CYMRU and SDS

Community Housing CYMRU

Did you know we are now a member of Community Housing CYMRU?

CHC represents all housing associations in Wales and our members provide traditional as well as specialist social housing for around 10% of the Welsh population. 

CHC’s long term vision for Housing Associations in Wales ‘Housing Horizons’ aspires to a future where good housing is a basic right for all. With the target of 75,000 new homes by 2036 CHC has identified that it cannot do this alone. The vision highlights the need to work in partnership and collaboration if we are to ensure the aspirations of Housing Horizons are to be achieved.  

SDS has been a Commercial member of Community Housing Cymru (CHC) for almost 2 years. Throughout that time the relationship has developed and grown to ensure that CHC’s members are fully aware of the wide range of services SDS can provide.  

CHC is looking forward to continuing this relationship in 2019-2020 and working with SDS to meet the needs of the Social Housing sector in Wales.

SDS Sheila Carroll interview with Community Housing Cymru

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Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

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SDS HACT partnership

SDS joins HACT the Data Standards

''HACT are thrilled to welcome SDS as Official Partners.''

SDS is helping numerous housing organisations have greater control and enjoy the benfits of digital transformation.

Andrew van Doorn - Chief Executive of HACT Tweet
SDS HACT partnership

“They are one of a number of software companies who are engaging with the UK Housing Data Standard and can see the evident benefits they bring to the social housing sector.”

“Our partnership with SDS is another way that data standards will become a reality for the UK housing sector, helping organisations to make informed decisions, avoid mistakes and meet audit and compliance guidelines. Those housing associations working with us on developing the standards are already benefitting from the partnerships we are developing with software specialists like SDS.”

“SDS are excited to be official partners of the HACT standard for our new software and eagerly await the data exchange and integration to other key housing systems it will bring,” said Rowley Maggs, Director of SDS. “Housing data is not where it should be. Housing providers across the country are struggling to truly benefit from the insights that the data they collect has the potential to offer. The HACT shared data standard is a solution to the current data chaos within the housing sector.”

“SDS help you maximise the development, sale and management of affordable homes. Our software is created by social housing experts who have been in your shoes. We want you to have greater control and visibility so you can make informed decisions and be the hero in your organisation.”

“Our robust software and in house experts are here to help you at every stage of the development, sale and asset management process. Including TAP certified trainers to make sure your teams use the software fully. Enjoy the benefits of digital transformation by avoiding mistakes, while meeting audit and compliance guidelines and software which integrates.”

SDS will be working alongside housing providers creating the Development Handover Data Standard sharing their expertise and experience in this space and helping to deliver a Standard that is industry relevant. There are still opportunities for software companies and housing associations to get involved in the development, implementation and promotion of the UK Housing Data Standards.

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Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

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