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Support services transformation saves a university over $30 million a year

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Support services transformation saves a university over $30 million a year

Nous consultants are incredibly responsive and very good at turning a conversation into a really clear, spot-on brief. They are outcomes-focused and really understand our business.
chief operating officer, top-ranking Australian university

Nous partnered with a top-ranking Australian university to transform its support services in order to drive greater collaboration and improve efficiencies.

We worked with the university to position it for the future

As the higher education sector became more competitive and the university’s ambitions grew, the university needed to improve the efficiency of non-academic functions and drive greater collaboration between academic and professional staff. It sought to do this without the high costs, disruption and pain that other universities have faced in similar programs.

We supported 10 internal, multi-disciplinary teams to identify over $30 million in savings

Nous supported the vice-chancellor, chief operating officer and executive team over 18 months. We supported 10 project teams of academic and professional staff to identify and implement efficiency opportunities across all non-academic functions and gradually reduce headcount through attrition and increased staff mobility.

We provided:

  • strategic advice to the leadership team
  • project and change management guidance
  • business case and benefits realisation management
  • analytical frameworks and data analysis
  • facilitation support
  • ideas, advice and guidance on efficiency opportunities.

New reporting mechanisms were created to keep all streams accountable for achieving process improvements and workforce reductions.

The approach drove sustainable change and strong client ownership

Nous’ co-creation and collaborative approach was highly successful in creating strong client ownership of recommendations.

After 12 months the university achieved over $30 million in annual savings (net of project costs) since the transformation. These savings have been maintained. The university also reported demonstrable improvement in collaboration and whole-of-university perspective at the executive level.

What other organisations can learn from the university:

  • There is a better way to deliver dramatic improvements – it doesn’t have to be painful.
  • Broad involvement in a program increases accountability.
  • Collaboration between the business and corporate services is a crucial to identifying saving opportunities without disrupting core business.
  • Clear reporting and peer accountability mechanisms deliver results.

Key people in this project

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