A key part of our totally integrated delivery model
SITS Indian operation is a key element of our integrated delivery model, providing high quality and innovative offshore services for UK and European PLCs for more than 15 years.
Offshoring is no longer just about cheaper and faster delivery – for companies, it’s about becoming more competitive, more efficient and increasing shareholder value; for public sector organisations seeking more efficiency in citizen-centric service delivery, it can help to make savings for the taxpayer by offering efficient e-government services at better value.
Delivering service excellence
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ in offshoring – we have accounts that are delivered fully onshore, fully offshore, and all permutations in between, supported by common tools and processes. It’s all about finding the right balance for each client and flexing this mix as priorities and needs change.
Tapping in to SITS India’s unique wealth of talent is key to realising this balance. Our 4,500 permanent members of India staff are educated to extremely high standards and have excellent language, business and technical skills, and they understand the way to exploit technology to best drive efficiencies and improve effectiveness. They operate from centres in Noida, Chennai and Pune, delivering services offshore such as:
- Operations: Applications Management, Business Process Services, Data Management, Testing and Quality
- Transformation: Process and IT Transformation, Applications Development, ERP Oracle, ERP SAP, Business Intelligence
- Infrastructure Management: Desktop Services, Remote Infrastructure Management, Data Centre Management, Network Services, Service Desk, Project Services, Request Management, IT Security, Identity & Access Management
Almost all of our private sector clients make use of our offshore talent, and have done so since 1997. Unusually, SITS India is one of the few offshore players trusted and accredited to deliver critical business services for its public sector clients, at scale.
Our teams, often co-located across the Indian delivery centres or across the world as part of an extended UK-based client organisation, make it their personal ambition to deliver service excellence; in this competitive age, they know that if they don’t, there are plenty of organisations that will!
Delivering industry good practice
SITS has developed a Business Management System (BMS) which is aligned to industry good practice such as CMMI, TickITplus, Prince 2 and ITIL v3 and helps to ensure compliance with legislative requirements enabling SITS to respond to market expectations and individual client requirements. SITS uses major international certification standards, including
- CMMI for applications development and Business Process Services
- CMMI Services for applications maintenance
- TMMi Level 3 for testing
- ITIL v3 for infrastructure management
In 2012, our Indian operation obtained CMMI level 5 – the highest level of CMMI certification for applications development – and became the first IT Services organisation in India to conduct TMMi eSurveys. We were also the first organisation in India to achieve transition to the latest TickITplus certification for Systems and Software development and support and for Service Management.
Additionally SITS is certified across India to ISO 9001 for Quality Management, ISO 14001 for Environmental Management, ISO 20000 for Service Management and ISO 27001 for Information Security Management and is externally assessed to meet these requirements every six months.
- CMMi – Capability Maturity Model integration methodology
- TMMi – Test Maturity Model integration methodology
- ITIL – (formally known as Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is the approach to IT service management most widely accepted across the world
- Morrison Utility Services
- Royal Mail Group
- NHS Shared Business Service
Morrison Utility Services
Delivering an innovative offshore BPO service – a UK first – demonstrating considerable scope to expand offshoring from the more traditionally undertaken F&A, HRO and Customer Service BPO contracts.
Morrison Utility Services (MUS) is the UK’s leading utility services provider. It works with blue chip utility companies across the electricity, gas, rail, telecoms and water sectors on the upgrade and maintenance of their infrastructure and networks, including electricity substations, water and gas pipes, electricity and telecoms cables and metering.
In a 10-year strategic partnership SITS is delivering key aspects of the administrative work from its offshore delivery centre in Noida.
- Provision of key underground asset information, supporting a safety focused industry
- Consistently high quality delivery targeting zero job aborts, reducing regulatory penalties
- Optimised ‘take on’ activities, reducing the time to deliver an effective service to 4 weeks
- Effective cross-skilling, enabling rapid deployment to meet demand peaks
- Geographically centric Utility Matrix, supports rapid identification of utility companies
Having risen to the initial challenge of learning new processes in a regulated market, SITS set about delivering more for less from day one. The team explored how to cost-effectively deliver an increasing volume of transactional processing activities into a growing number of MUS customers with resource flexibility and a right-first-time approach.
Stakeholders from both SITS and MUS worked hard to agree the strategy and prioritise key service requirements, which freed up MUS management to focus on core engineering support activities. Our Noida team identified, and delivered, the primary strategic priority of providing accurate and timely documentation (Safe Dig Packs) to meet HS&E requirements, whilst reducing the associated back office costs.
How we worked together
SITS and MUS understand the value of meeting or exceeding delivery SLAs. They share goals, activities and investment, with regular service review and governance calls driving innovation ideas and jointly agreed improvements.
Together we can evidence the cost and quality benefits of successful BPO. Having witnessed SITS performance – a measured quality of 99.9% – producing a water company’s Safe Dig Packs, a leading telecoms organisation moved numerous key processes offshore, allowing MUS to take on additional client work without increasing back-office headcount.
Results and benefits
Offshore delivery has enabled MUS to expand the breadth of services it provides for a growing number of UK customers, without additional onshore headcount.
The major scope of the work is the provision of Safe Dig Packs, including the collation of drawings to show the location of any underground services, such as electricity cables, gas or water pipes, and telecoms cables/ducts. If a field operative does not have the relevant information on arrival at a work site, they cannot continue – with MUS incurring avoidable costs and potential penalties for every aborted job. Since taking over this work and introducing a one-step solution with quality reviews, SITS is now into the third year of the contract and proud that no jobs have been aborted. With MUS’s operations equating to over one million streetworks excavations a year, the cost saving implications are significant.
Other benefits being delivered include:
- Quality performance at 99.9% – zero job aborts leads to near zero rework and zero penalties
- Bringing together similar activities across different contracts increases the agility and responsiveness of the offshore team
- Cross-skilling of 75% of offshore resources enables the rapid redeployment onto any account to meet peaks in demand and on-boarding of services for new customers without any time lag
- 100% achievement of turnaround time for emergency works, reducing repeat contacts
- A robust management information system and analytics support informed decision making
- Reduction in the amount of work handed off for completion to MU reduces management bandwidth reduced from 13% to 8% for one water utility.
The quality and accuracy of documentation is an important business enabler for MUS, whose Director for Business Process Improvement Andy Carter said: “It’s really great to see the packs being produced quickly with quality consistently at 100%.”
Best practice and governance
SITS formal governance approach and demonstration of best practice ensured quality standards exceeded the MUS quality benchmark. Tools and approaches that help to maintain best practice delivery, include:
- A new tailored process for onsite and offshore delivery teams to capture new requirements resulting in optimised client engagement time
- SITS data management provides robust and evolving management reports meeting the requirement of MUS stakeholders for each respective service
Innovation is firmly embedded in the realisation of service and organisational improvement. The Spigit innovation platform, is used to register and vet process improvement and innovation ideas, with employees rewarded for “accepted and implemented” ideas.
High level innovations and performance improvements include:
- Utility Matrix: a one-step unique solution for creating Safe Dig Packs that provides details of the utilities and utility companies in a specific geography has reduced search times from three minutes to just 30 seconds
- Reduced contract stabilisation period – from 8 weeks to 4 weeks – using SITS Efficient Operations tool to capture, manage and track productivity and priorities
“As well as undertaking the processing at lower cost, SITS is flexible enough to accommodate the differences in our processes resulting from our client focused approach.”
Head of Business Process Improvement, MUS
“When you consider that, no matter what we tried previously, it proved impossible to remove the backlog of jobs requiring a Safe Dig Pack to anything like an acceptable level, the performance of SITS is quite outstanding… this has been a huge success.”
UK utilities company contract manager
Royal Mail Group
Managing applications to support business and regulatory change in a competitive marketplace.
Royal Mail Group (RMG), which included Post Office Limited until 2013, is the leading carrier of letters and parcels in the UK. Under the Universal Service Obligation RMG is required to deliver to all UK addresses, six days a week, for the same price and quality of service. This requires RMG to ensure its operations are managed as effectively as possible necessitating effiencies in back office operations and systems.
In 2003, the Royal Mail Group embarked on a programme of change to achieve costs savings that would enable RMG to turn fixed costs into variable costs. This resulted in the outsourcing of most IT services to the Prism Alliance, a group of IT organisations that included SITS. SITS was key to the success of this programme, taking on the application management and projects for some of the most critical systems especially those in the back-office SAP arena.
- Flexible and dynamic working supported the rapidly changing business requirements enabling effective responses to regulation and strategic developments
- Providing applications management for a third of the Royal Mail’s IT estate representing most of RMG’s back office functionality based on SAP
- Long term partnership providing a stable environment for RMG to focus on delivering change
The 12-year outsourcing contract with SITS provided a bedrock of stability to enable RMG to focus on the services it delivers to the public, especially in the context of the Universal Service Obligation.
SITS worked as part of a broad IT outsourcing arrangement that covered all elements of IT, undertaking the management of around a third of RMG’s application estate and the associated staff. These applications provide most of RMG’s critical back office functionality with a core technology based on SAP. SITS provided application development services that allowed continuous modifcations to be made to these systems throughout the RMG change journey.
During the 12-year contract relationships, goals and objectives changed significantly and in 2010 a change of senior leadership in RMG embarked on the drive towards
an IPO, which culminated in 2013 with the Group moving from Government to private ownership. This changed the business focus from simply driving down costs to a
journey of strategic change, including the separation of Post Office Ltd from RMG. This has required an increase in dynamism, and a greater pace of change.
How we worked together
SITS worked in close partnership with RMG and other service suppliers to
drive quality and efficiency. This included the use of our integrated on- and off-shore
model, making use of the SITS locations in Noida and Chennai. At the start of
this relationship we worked closely with RMG to manage the crucial transition phase
of staff from RMG to SITS. Our commitment to this partnership approach has
remained at the centre of the successful service delivery throughout the years. To
assure itself of SITS ability to meet its strict criteria, the RMG management
team regularly visited sites in the UK and in India.
Results and benefits
SITS has delivered value for money across a range of services. Our attention
to service delivery has provided incident and availability services throughout the
12 years, never resulting in any service credits; a level of reliability and consistency
that is envied by many and matched by few. In addition SITS has been able to
bring resources from its Indian operations and leverage our wider European business
specialisms to contribute to these successful activities, supplementing the existing
teams and provide business benefit to RMG.
“The project/change work has been of high quality against a backdrop of business and regulatory change of all scales, in a business that is constantly changing in an ever increasingly competitive market.”
Phil Morris, IT Director – Strategy, Architecture, Security and Service Transformation, RMG
NHS Shared Business Service
Saving the NHS millions: achieving huge economies of scale while demonstrating both innovation and best practice in business efficiency.
As the world’s largest publicly-funded health service the NHS offers a comprehensive system of healthcare for all UK residents. It employs over 1.7 million people and deals with around 1 million patients every 36 hours. Understandably, operational efficiency is a priority for all NHS organisations – yet the savings must be achieved without undermining the delivery of a world class health service.
In 2005, the Department of Health chose to meet this challenge by forging a unique joint venture commercial partnership with SITS (now SITS). NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) was set up to deliver back office functions in a shared services model that would bring economies of scale, cost savings and best practice business processes to participating NHS trusts.
- Delivered £224m savings to the NHS in 2014, 12 months’ ahead of the 10-year target
- Targeting £1 billion of cost and efficiency savings for the NHS by 2020
- Provides finance and accounting for 100% of all NHS Commissioning organisations and a range of services to around 30% of NHS Provider Trusts.
- Enabling NHS trusts to focus on strategic decision-making and business improvement activities
- High performing shared service delivering economies of scale, cost savings and best practice processes
- Significant savings for NHS trusts – on average achieving 30% savings on back office costs
- Fully integrated UK and India service delivery, providing strength in process industrialisation and service innovation
- Consistent 99% or higher accuracy across all payroll and employee benefits services
Initially providing finance and accounting back office processing, NHS SBS now provides its clients with a wide range of value-added services. These award-winning services enable NHS trusts to focus on strategic decision making, business improvement activities and release funds which can be reallocated to frontline care.
The services embrace the more usual back office processes on top of F&A, such as payroll and pensions and operational procurement, as well as specialist finance services including VAT support, capital purchasing and project management expertise.
How we worked together
A culture of innovation and customer focus rapidly brings new services into play. For example, when the UK Treasury announced the VAT rate change, adjustments were made so trusts could move seamlessly to the new rate.
Similarly, when NHS Trusts needed to introduce auto enrolment of work pensions, NHS SBS became the ‘go-to’ expert and supported clients by handling multiple auto-enrolment staging delivery.
A focus on operational excellence and continuous improvement is a business strategy for which there is a robust programme of activity. This has included investment in systems and the development of added-value services. For instance, NHS SBS partnered with Tradeshift to introduce an innovative e-invoicing platform that would speed up payments and support the drive towards making the NHS paperless. Other new services include ePay, a web-based solution for effective claims management and the range of Commissioner Support Services, designed to meet the needs of Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Service excellence is paramount and by operating a shared services delivery model, NHS SBS is able to deliver economies of scale. For example, NHS SBS is the largest Oracle shared platform user in the UK, enabling clients to share data across the business without the cost of numerous Oracle licences. This capability was reinforced with the award of a contract to provide the Integrated Single Financial Environment (ISFE) to NHS England as part of a strategy to replace a legacy of systems with one robust accounting platform across the whole commissioning landscape.
Since April 2013, NHS SBS’s ISFE has been providing finance and accounting services for 211 clinical commissioning groups and 23 commissioning support units. By the first year-end over three million invoices had been processed and, for the first time since the inception of the NHS, there was a consistent set of accounts.
The automation and standardisation of labour-intensive transactional processes, along with an integrated onshore-offshore delivery approach are other key elements of the business model. NHS SBS uses its strength in Business Process Outsourcing industrialisation to develop new ways of working to transform and modernise the NHS.
Results and benefits
NHS SBS clients benefit from the efficiency and cost savings made through innovation and sharing of best practice. Access to accurate and timely management information improves financial controls and helps meet the demand for accountability. Highlights include:
- Finance and accounting team process over £170 billion of NHS payments annually
- Largest provider of payroll and pension services to the NHS – paying 300,000 NHS employees and processing over 2.5 million payroll transactions per annum
- Procurement– savings opportunities of £350 million in procurement costs identified
“I am a convert to shared services. In my early days as a finance director I wanted to control payroll, accounts payable etcetera so they were kept in-house, but now I don’t see that as my core business. The business of a health care provider is providing healthcare, not managing the complexity of payroll or the accounts function. Things like that are better done at scale. I challenge any organisation to provide the same services cheaper in house.” Jonathan Tringham, Director of Finance, Staffordshire Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust