By Karen Peattie

CPL Software, a Glasgow-based firm that produces software solutions for the property factor and block management sectors, has launched an industry first with a new app that allows factors and managers to communicate with contractors and get problems fixed easily and quickly.

The app, called Blockworx and a £150,000 investment for the company, connects contractors to property factors electronically, saving time and money. Brian Welsh, managing director of CPL, said: “This is the latest in a series of innovations that has seen us build innovative technologies to streamline and digitise a market that has been manually labour intensive.

“We kickstarted this in 2015 with the introduction of a client portal and app which allowed factors to communicate electronically with their clients, view invoices, make payments and so on. Blockworx closes the circle on digitising the sector.”

CPL was founded by Mr Welsh in 2010 following a management buyout. Its software technology arm, designed by its team based in Southampton, manages just over 320,000 properties via its strong client base. He said: “We were managing 20,000 in our first year,” he said. “Property factoring has undergone a huge transformation in digitisation and automation across the last decade with CPL Software being at the heart of this change.

“The property factoring industry is complex because businesses must carefully manage the needs of homeowners while working with contractors on a daily basis,” Mr Welsh added. “It’s a web of communication that needs smooth processes and procedures in place in order to be efficient and add value while complying with the regulations.

“Our success lies in the fact that we have developed our software over the last 10 years to help each of our clients be the best they can be by working with them to offer unique solutions which have often led to the development of other industry-leading solutions.”

Mr Welsh said there are about 650,000 units in Scotland factored by 400 companies. “I would estimate that to be around 350,000 units managed by private factors and 300,000 by housing associations and councils,” he added. “The majority of our work is with private factoring firms so we power about 90 per cent of that market.”

He said that his company’s service levels had been maintained during the coronavirus pandemic. “With Blockworx launching at the same time as the pandemic hit, it has shown just how important technology is in our sector,” said Mr Welsh. “We understand property factors and block managers are facing challenges now and will do so in the future – and we believe technology can be used to help businesses work better and smarter.”