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Simplify Business Processes – Local Government
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Simplify Business Processes – Local Government

The client

The procurement function of a large London local authority, as with many public sector organisations, found the length of time from the request for a new supplier contract to the supplier signing the contract included unacceptable waiting period for all the parties involved.

 

The challenge

Council employees described their instructions for a new supplier contract to ‘disappearing into a black hole’ until they were chased. Common end-to-end times experienced were over 3 months, delaying projects and new service deliveries as suppliers were still not given the go-ahead until all legal work had been completed.

To understand the end-to-end process, it was first necessary for Reinvigoration to map and analyse all the current processes from when a client in the council requests a new contract to the supplier having the go-ahead to be placed onto the financial database. This was done in conjunction with the Senior Contracts Lawyer to ensure buy-in and knowledge transfer of the techniques used. Some of the key findings of this activity included:

  • High waiting periods between processes due to no FIFO (first in first out) and high levels of batching at various stages of the process
  • 20% of the lawyer’s time was engaged in work which could be carried out by non-legally trained resource
  • 99% of the original client notification forms included errors, causing extensive chasing for information from the lawyers
  • 4 forms in total had to be completed internally as each case progressed through the process
  • High levels of walking took place between process with each case being walked over 1 mile even though all the offices were on the same floor

 

The solution

Reinvigoration implemented a range of actions including –

  • Combining the 4 forms into one as much of the information was duplicated and some was not even required
  • Administration support was integrated into the contracts lawyer’s team to encourage one-piece flow and allow only minimal transportation of files between offices
  • A visual system to ensure FIFO policy of all paperwork was achieved
  • Elimination of 25% of process steps (non-value added)
  • Visual control of all contracts in progress displaying the status of each contract (Red, Amber, Green) and actions against each

 

The results

The positive results of the project were significant with:

  • The creation of an extra 30% capacity in lawyer resource for realisation or redeployment
  • End-to-end times of contract creation down to 5 weeks from 13 weeks
  • A significant improvement in satisfaction scores from legal services clients
  • Only 5% errors in forms occurred meaning significant reduction in chase calls
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