Hammondsdirect and Docucorp join at the HIP

Amanda Jarvis

March 13, 2006

From 1 June 2007, vendors of residential property will be legally obliged to supply all prospective buyers with a pack of detailed information, including a Home Condition Report, draft contract and local and Land Registry search reports. Hammondsdirect aims to provide outsourced production of these packs to mortgage lenders, estate agents
and other organisations offering a HIP preparation service direct to the public.

Achilleas Hatjiosif, business development director of Hammondsdirect, commented: “The delivery of HIPs on the scale and at the speed that will be required in the post 1st June 2007 market poses new challenges for volume legal businesses. Although we are known in the industry for our leading edge technology and high volume digital production processes, we still need to move forward with our systems to be able to meet the needs
of the massive distributors who we will be supplying with HIP content. In the HIP world, our technology must become leaner and even more focused on speed. At the same time it will need to be flexible enough to meet different and changing customer demands. This pull between speed of delivery and flexibility always poses a conundrum for IT development. We have chosen Docucorp's solution because it delivers the best possible
solution both from a development and operational perspective.”

Rapid turnaround is key with HIPs because, whilst marketing can begin with only basic information in place, after fourteen days the pack must be complete or, barring exceptional circumstances, the property must be withdrawn from the market.

To produce a HIP, information must be drawn together from numerous sources, such as local authorities, home condition inspectors, lawyers and utilities companies, creating a considerable technological challenge. The ability to collate this information efficiently is key.

Using Docucorp's solution, Hammondsdirect will be able to integrate data into a single document, irrespective of technological format, and then ensure speed of production through automation across the design, production, management and delivery process.

Whilst the new legislation tightly prescribes the content of HIPs, little is specified about their format or layout. There is therefore important scope for competitive differentiation on design. Docucorp's solution for Hammondsdirect will enable the firm to produce HIPs not only with their clients' branding but also with their appearance tailored to whatever suits a particular property.

Tracey Robinson, VP managing director of Docucorp EMEA, commented: “Importantly, this flexibility can be achieved within the context of full automation of document compilation and production and therefore without any loss of speed.”

Hammondsdirect staff, or indeed staff within client organisations, will be able to specify the design of HIPs simply by dragging icons across a screen, and then to view the templates they have produced via an online interface. The system will be able to reuse these templates according to whatever rules Hammondsdirect specifies (using that same “drag & drop” technology), creating the potential for continuous improvement of
both speed and efficiency in HIP production.

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