Taking cost out of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust Telecommunications
In common with the wider public sector, the NHS has challenging targets for driving cost savings from its Telecommunications services combined with an on-going and ambitious change programme.
Further challenges come from the contracts, tariffs, management and organisation complexities created during the development of the Telecommunications services. As a result there are 4 strategic supplier relationships and over 30 discrete contracts, employing a varied set of commercial models. This complex environment generates a range of challenges, including uncoordinated termination and exit provisions and poor alignment to the changing business needs.
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (SRFT) commissioned ASE to perform an initial high-level cost management review of their Telecommunications services including billing and contract agreements. ASE adopted a phased approach to the engagement:
• Phase 1: consisted of collecting information, base-lining the service, and identifying and recommending cost saving options. This was offered free of charge.
• Phase 2: was to implement the agreed saving options together with recommendations of improved practices to maximise efficiencies which ASE offer as a flexible ‘gain share’ package.
SRFT specified the following guidelines for cost saving opportunities identified within the review:
• Minimal impact to the service and end customer
• Absolute transparency
• Maximum of 12 months extension to any service
• Full consultation on any change
Our approach was to review, baseline, negotiate and deliver cost savings across SRFT Telecommunications services. This approach is encapsulated within the following ASE guiding principles for Cost Management:
It is the ASE marque to provide an independent view with the unique ability to develop and deliver ownership of “Cost Management ” techniques to the customer and also enhance the on-going service. ASE achieved immediate short term savings, including skills transfer, whilst creating a sustainable cost management framework for the future.
The key outcomes delivered included:
• A review and baseline of Voice Services identifying cost reductions, improved billing information and cost avoidance techniques
• A working partnership to deliver immediate and agreed savings totalling 33% of annual Telecommunications spend
• Minimal impact to the customer base (12-month vision, transparent changes wherever possible)
• Incorrect billing and overcharges identified and actioned
• Renegotiation of network services and tariffs delivering optimised and improved terms and conditions
• Shared cost management techniques and skills transfer.
• An optimised and sustainable service
• Gain share – effectively the exercise pays for itself
In addition to identifying savings directly, ASE also focused on supplier management in terms of improving and consolidating contract and billing information. This enabled us to develop a business partnership with the client’s key resources enabling skills transfer and to deliver a cost effective and sustainable service.
Danny Davies SRFT – Telecommunications and Procurement Services, quoted, “ASE developed a good working relationship with our Telecommunication team from the outset and very quickly completed a review of the service costs and identified significant saving opportunities. ASE demonstrated an in-depth understanding of the complex voice tariffs and knowledge of vendor service contracts. They managed the process as a business partner; providing an independent view and seeking agreement for key decisions while delivering significant savings with minimal disruption to the customer base. I can recommend the ASE Cost Management service especially in these financially challenging times”.