Results and ROI
- 23% reduction in financial business partner time spent on re-work, saving £45,091 pa
- Reduction in cycle-time of 4 days, saving £13,000 pa
- 20% reduction in financial business partner time spent forecasting
- Streamlined processes with further waste reduction and time-saving for all involved.
Spectrum Housing Group (now merged with Sovereign) owned and managed 18,000 homes and maintained a further 45,000 across the south of England through Spectrum Property Care. Performance was good, yet Spectrum has always sought to improve. With a successful review of income processing complete, they wanted to review the ‘Financial Management Information and Forecasting’ approach.
As with many organisations, Spectrum were concerned about the accuracy and the timeliness of management information provided to both budget holders and their respective subsidiary Boards. It was felt that roles and responsibilities of those providing input data and those providing information reports were not clearly defined or understood. The purpose of the review was therefore to:
- Provide accurate and timely information for budget holders
- Clarify roles of budget holders and financial Business Partners
- Resolve sequencing issues and dependencies
- Give more time for budget holders to question what the information was showing rather than its accuracy.
A high level SIPOC (Supplier, input, Process, Output, Customer) analysis was done to identify the range and scope of teams involved in the processes, and then they were mapped in detail. The Finance Director had gathered information from customers to find out how well their needs were being met and this was included in developing a full picture. Process analysis showed fairly low levels of value-add activity and low levels of right-first-time work.
Further workshops with all key staff saw the processes redesigned, with a single and clear purpose, clear measures and a focus on minimising non-value-add activity. Critical success factors for redesign and implementation were agreed and these were validated by the wider stakeholder group.
The work provided:
- A single process that eliminates dependency issues
- Standard formats for reports across all parts of the business
- Standard agendas for meetings between financial business partners and budget holders
- A standard approach to what forecast is included in the Management Information pack and in what time period.
- Clarity of roles and responsibilities
- Increased time to review data and planned time to spend reviewing reports
- Fewer input error by introducing mandatory fields and rationalising budget codes
- Increased trust in the numbers and in relationships.
‘I have been extremely pleased with the outcomes from this initiative. The professionalism and communication throughout has been first class and addresses many of the concerns from front-line staff right through to feedback to the Board. The ability to dovetail with current value-for-money initiatives and on-going improvement activities was paramount to the success of this commission and Ad Esse have demonstrated that they can align with strategic goals of the organisation.’ Robert Rhoden, Director of Finance.