Shared and merged services
One way to make significant savings is to consider sharing and merging services – either within a council or across several authorities. Projects have often failed to deliver in the past because of the ambition level and complexity involved, and the difficulty in reaching agreement across different organisations. But the scale of savings targets now creates a new imperative for these projects to succeed.
- Business case for Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham parking back office
- Shared service design principles for customer services, IT, HR, revenues & benefits, and finance for East Lindsey and South Holland district councils, with a detailed process and organisation design for HR
RedQuadrant and our consultants have extensive experience providing strategic consultancy and advisory services to the highest levels of organisations around shared and merged services. We also have broad experience of implementing shared services across a number of sectors, within UK local government, the private sector, and on a global scale.
For more detail on the shared services projects we have delivered, go to our clients page.
Our team, led by Paul Bettle and Ben Taylor, provide a wide range of shared services expertise including:
Real innovation in registration services – customer focus, shared service delivery and entrepreneurial market leadership
An example of one council area that presents great opportunities for effective shared working is registration services. There are some distinct changes on the horizon for registration services that, together with the pressure to increase revenue and cut costs, we believe can profoundly change the nature of those services in local authorities.
Firstly, shared services will happen. Much talked about and often put on the back burner because of legal difficulties, currently there are some real models for shared services, which are challenging the boundaries of what in the past seemed legally and practically feasible. For example;
- London Boroughs of Sutton and Merton: we have been working with these authorities to determine the feasibility and the models for shared registration services and have worked together with the General Registrar Office (GRO) to define and clarify these.
- Kent County Council and London Borough of Bexley: for several years these two local authorities have been exploring the potential for a fully integrated shared registration service. This model finally received legal approval in March 2012 and is now firmly set to go ahead.
Secondly, ceremonial services will become real entrepreneurial ‘business’. This will be facilitated and prompted by changes including the Protection of Freedoms Bill (about to receive Royal Assent), which includes the removal of time restrictions for marriages and civil partnerships (these currently can only take place after 8am and before 6pm), and is planned to be effective from approximately July/August 2012 for voluntary implementation by councils.
The impacts on revenue generation for authorities who want to take advantage of this are significant. Without expanding their service infrastructure, they will be able to attract and run more (profitable) evening weddings. Some might even run midnight services!
Taking advantage of these two changes is important for all councils to reduce costs and increase revenue, but especially for London councils. The reason for this is the substantial and on-going increase in births and the legal requirement for their registration. Even though a recent increase in statutory charges has just taken effect, the costs of those statutory services for local authorities are always likely to remain higher than the income they generate. In the light of this, councils (especially those councils with hospital maternity units within their boundaries, and with no increase in budget), will need to find alternative solutions – and that is where we firmly believe an imaginative and customer-centric approach to service provision has an exciting role to play.
For more information, or to have a conversation on how we can help your shared services, please contact:
079 3131 7230