Case Studies

Affinity Sutton Group

Part 1

In response to financial pressures facing the whole social housing sector ASG has to find ways to extract greater value from everything it does.

They decided to invest in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology as a platform for growth.   All the major business processes are being migrated into one system.   It is a chance for a fundamental review of those processes and how they can deliver greater value for money.

Our job was to calculate a Return on Investment (ROI) for the programme that reflected the full impact that new ways of working could have upon the business - and have the business commit to deliver that figure.

We acted as architects for the ROI approach and provided a foundation of Business Intelligence and analytics that helped the business to agree to deliver a substantial level of return on the investment in the programme.

Part 2

With the introduction of Universal Credit tenant arrears are expected to rise.   This in turn is expected to drive up rates of tenant eviction and abandonment.   Our second challenge was to develop a method for predicting which tenants would be at greatest risk of becoming homeless through eviction or abandonment in order for timely help to be provided.

With the right sort of intervention ways might be found to assist those concerned to get back onto their feet and to hopefully reduce the amount of money they owe.

We developed a pioneering approach to predicting which tenants, out of a total of over 40,000, within the coming weeks and months, are at greatest risk of homelessness.

The result was a shortlist of 20 people almost all of whom were confirmed by Field Officers on the ground to be those in most need of help.

The method employed allows scarce resources to be targeted towards just those people in greatest need of assistance.   It is therefore helping to reduce rates of homelessness and to reduce the level of arrears experienced by the landlord organisation.

It is now being developed further for use by others who provide similar housing services such as Local Government and Third Sector organisations.

De Montfort University

The need was for management teams across De Montfort University to understand the costs of all the university's key activities, and how those activities influence financial performance.

The focus centred upon Central Service costs.   A significant proportion of these costs was driven by factors that lay outside the ability of the Service Managers to control e.g. activities within Faculties that demanded Central Service input.   The ability to remain within Service budgets was therefore a hit and miss affair.

We built a model and a reporting framework that demonstrated to each part of the University the extent to which their activities were driving Central Service costs.

We also extended the cost allocation principles into budgeting and forecasting processes to encourage a greater degree of planning for those activities that influenced costs the most.

Whiteley Homes Trust

Whiteley Homes Trust serves a substantial community of elderly people with limited means.   It is a leader in the provision of care and support into peoples' homes, keeping Care and NHS costs to a minimum.

Growth lies at the heart of their strategy:  numbers of people in the community;  strength of the community ethos;   the ability for the community to do more for themselves;  the creation of world class care and support services into peoples' homes.

We assisted the development of the strategic plan with financial modelling that is helping to clarify options. E.g. the on-going viability of current services,  the timing and capacity of new services,  numbers of new homes,  the capacity of new care facilities,  the impact of risks, choice of funding options.

Network Housing Group

The Network Housing Group owns and manages approximately 20,000 properties across London and Herfordshire.   In the face of financial pressures that were common across the whole social housing sector it needed to manage costs down.

NHG's structure comprised five separate housing providers and a corporate centre.   Although a range of activities came under the spotlight the primary focus fell upon those that were duplicated across the group.

We built a comprehensive database of activity costs across the Group that identified all the activities of interest and the value to be gained from centralisation or outsourcing as well as from changes in levels of service.

We also applied the activity data to reviews of individual business processes to identify costs of failure.   This supported business cases for investment in more up-to-date business systems.