Mambourin Enterprises CEO Rohan Braddy is one of the world’s leading advocate of the movement on recognising universal access to disability services as a human right. As a member of the National Disability Services Victoria Committee, the National Board of National Disability Services, Mr. Braddy continues to use his experience and qualifications in his professional campaign for an outcome-based approach in service delivery planning and implementation.
In his presentation at the 2014 National Disability Summit, Rohan Braddy offers six insightful ideas and suggestions on how better to approach and handle the transition.
- Preparation: Establishing the Groundwork
With the scheme being on the trial phase, there are a whole lot of possibilities for change. Mambourin has been working hard over the NDIS prices and have started mapping them on the supports that they provide.
The enterprise has helped reverse-engineer the pricing architecture from the NDIA’s paper and has made assumptions on what is part of the corporate overhead and what’ is not. This early on the scheme’s development process is the best time to start on modelling and planning and stating one’s options. The different systems and processes on human resources, financial, IT, quality, quoting and invoicing, marketing and communications, debt collection, sales and so forth should be properly laid out by now.
The preparation phase should also include the groundwork for establishing an efficient ISP management system that will include support hours, funding, participant and staff details, expenses, rostering, finance system, and the payroll system, among others.
- Planning: Identifying Personnel Responsibilities
At this stage the formulation of organisational plans including business and strategic plans is recommended to clearly identify the personnel and their respective responsibilities in the process such that everyone is well aware about “who is going to do what by when?”
Here, it is essential to have the participants involved in the process. Make sure to sit down with them and find out the details why they purchase their supports from you and what supports they might need you to provide in the future.
According to the Strategic Plan, the NDIS will dramatically change the disability support. As such, Rohan explains that “not only does the NDIS get its own key focus area but all other key focus areas in the strategic plan are written with it clearly in mind. If the implementation at Mambourin is not planned carefully and implemented well, it could affect our organisation’s very existence.”
- Pricing: Determining the Costs
Businesses need to get started on a detailed analysis of their current prices. The following costs and prices should be determined:
- how much each of the supports you provide cost
- how much you charge to cover the cost and produce a surplus
- how much NDIA is paying for these supports
“We are working toward modifying our business models and practices to cover the shortfall that we expect, including running mini NDIS trials across the organisation, which has included appointing a trial site manager at a site and trying to get away from traditional funding silos and trying to think about a one-stop shop or a wraparound service,” said Rohan.
As a one-stop shop, NDIS will allow participants to simply get to them and avail of all the information they would need and even get some referrals if need be. Make sure to have automated systems in place that will keep track of your cash flow on a regular basis and provide this and other relevant information accurately.
It can’t be emphasised enough that a working capital is prerequisite not only to survive the transition but also to thrive in the new market.
- Systems and Processes: Choosing the Right Support Systems
Ensure that the systems put in place provides a comprehensive support infrastructure is critical before eventually going forward. Over the years of its operation, Mambourin has earned a reputation for employing highly qualified and experienced staff that provide top-quality supports to adults with intellectual disability. Traditionally, people with ABI have not been considered part of the Mambourin target market primarily because they have always been funded through health or through the Transport Accident Commission.
Rohan Braddy also stresses the critical need to find an IT system that will basically aim to enhance operational management and deliver quality services to participants without breaking the bank.
The Mambourin executive enumerated the following characteristics that your organisation must look for when shopping around for the ideal IT solutions. Other than the ones on the list, Mr. Braddy recommended picking a system that could not only meet the financial requirements of the NDIA but must be able to track and support the needs of participants.
The ideal IT system for your organisation should have the following characteristics and properties:
- Enable you to enter data only once
- Provide you with updated information that’s visible across the organisation and through cross-platform devices
- Be compliant with AAS and use the NFP Chart of Accounts
- Accommodate multiple Australian employment
- Be able to automatically allocate costs to individual participants
- Make use of a rostering system that offers organisation-wide transparency of service delivery and ensure an automated record-keeping system that is always up to date.
- Automate detailed payroll timesheets to allow costing of labour to every individual activity or for every individual participant
- Automate the asset register to allocate depreciation costs to various activity or cost centres at an individual asset level, e.g. depreciation of vehicles and plant & equipment
- Capture data and create appropriate output to comply with reporting requirements
- Capture, track, and report on participant notes, goals, outcomes, and incident reporting
- Report at the board, organisation, cost centre, account, activity, and individual transaction level
- Track service delivery to individual program and participant level
- Capable of enhanced reporting with drill-through capacity
- Be ready for the NDIS and LOW COST
- Incorporating an Enterprise Resource Planning System
It is important to integrate an enterprise resource planning system, more commonly referred to as ERP, which allows an organisation to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources. Ideally, ERP software integrates all facets of an operation.
ERP system requirements include:
- Streamlining admin processes and considerably saves time
- Coming with easy-to-follow guidelines that staff members will find it fairly easy to use
- Encourages better participant outcomes
- It is compliant with existing rules and regulations and is NDIS ready
- It offers better communication and transparency
- It provides post-implementation support
Rohan suggested the following tips on how to go about evaluating the most appropriate systems and processes that will work for your organisation:
- Process Review and Analysis. Start by clearly defining and document all current business procedures, strengths, and pain points. The analysis should include your objective ideas on how your processes should adjust in the future and the corresponding business requirements.
- Evaluation of System Suitability in Terms of Technicality. It is crucial to understand how the potential software solution will align with your current infrastructure.
- Understanding of Overall Cost. Ownership of the ERP will entail additional cost to your organisation, and software sales representatives are always looking for ways to downplay the costs and risks associated with purchasing their software. It is therefore important to identify all potential costs prior to committing to a particular solution to guarantee easy planning and management of such.
- Development of a Realistic Implementation Plan. Hold your vendor to their commitments in the development of their implementation plans. Also, make sure to come up with a comprehensive project plan that includes all the activities required to install the software and the ones required to check that the software is fully functional, tested, and accepted by end users. Don’t forget to familiarise your staff with the new system you’re bringing in (by helping improve their IT skills prior to the implementation) because they too have ownership of the system.
- Potential Business Benefits Tracking. The saying “if you don’t measure it, you likely won’t achieve it” also holds true for ERP projects. To realise the full potential of your organisation’s ERP, make sure to have the means to estimate and measure the benefits against a set of metrics such as cost reduction, growth scale, revenue increase, etc.
- Acknowledgment of Other Options and Resources. When choosing an ERP package for your organisation, make sure to put into consideration all the factors that will influence your processes and ensure that your chosen platform will best meet the requirements of the business and give it a competitive edge in the market.
- Solicitation for Independent and Objective Recommendations. The process of choosing and implementing a system that will enable your organisation to competitively deliver individualised disability services is a significant undertaking. The financial factor is a significant aspect that needs to be carefully examined as it supports several activities in your business including infrastructure, documentation, software training, software training, and software implementation to mention a few. Ask around for recommendations from friends, relatives, and colleagues who may have had a good experience with an ERP provider. You may conduct your own research on the internet or personally verify recommendations from sales representatives. Some providers/consultants provide comprehensive trial periods while giving out pro bono maintenance and management services after final purchase.
- Performance and Partnerships: Achieving Goals and Meeting Expectations
In closing his presentation at the National Disability Summit, Rohan left an inspiring message for his audience: “Looking at performance, as I said before, you manage what you measure. Work out what’s important for your business and your participants and set measures to monitor how you are going. There are lots of opportunities to share back office, offer complementary services, share in overheads like training and quality systems, find like-minded partners and get on with finding opportunities to save money, drive efficiencies, and improve outcomes.”