This quarterly business update is designed for our clients and partners within our Swansea operation. It covers latest partnership developments and wider Arvato news.
On time, as designed, and on budget – DVSA and Arvato celebrate go-live
On Monday, 4th September, DVSA successfully went live on the new SAP-based shared services platform. The teams completed the migration following months of planning, preparation and testing – which led to the last member of the DfT family joining the shared services platform on time, as planned and on budget.Key to this success has been a trustful relationship between the Arvato and DVSA project teams, a sound and transparent governance and commitment from both sides to progress as planned.
The teams delivered the following milestones along the journey:
- Agreed a design of the service with DVSA and DfT;
- Configured SAP to support the requirements of DVSA;
- Completed three separate test phases to ensure the technology and services work as expected;
- Migrated DVSA data onto our systems;
- Completed a series of parallel payroll runs to ensure we pay our client’s customers accurately from day one.
Gareth Llewellyn, Chief Executive, DVSA, said: “Our transition into the Swansea centre has run smoothly over the last 12 months. The collaboration between DVSA and Arvato has been exemplary and central to the success of this transition. We look forward to reaping the benefits of this new way of working.”
Mathew Copp, Operations Director Central Government, Arvato, said: “We’re very proud of the hard work our teams have delivered to make this migration a success; and I’d like to thank our clients for their support, commitment and resources during this process, which was a key success factor in making this a smooth and successful go-live.”
Top seven tips for making shared services work
It’s widely accepted that sharing services can lead to efficiencies, foster standardisation, generate business insights – in short, it makes complete sense if done properly.Learning from our experience of providing shared services to central government and other UK public and private sector organisations, as well as complex programmes we deliver for global brands, we’ve pulled together a number of lessons that organisations embarking on a shared services journey must consider to make these major transformation projects work:
- Ensure strategic buy-in from all participants – organisations will often focus on their own business objectives and need to see the bigger picture to commit fully. A central leadership must be set up to understand each organisation’s objectives and provide transparent analysis that shows how they and wider public sector will benefit from the programme.
- Early investment in change programme – too often organisations focus on the infrastructure or technology rather than the user. Organisations must invest up front to get buy-in from all stakeholders into the new ways of working and train employees on new systems.
- Inability to veto – participants need to be prevented from vetoing involvement. Economies of scale and pricing is undermined when organisations withdraw which can have a knock-on effect on the rest of the programme.
- Process standardisation – shared services require standardisation to work. Processes for each discipline must be identified and mapped out by experts in each separate profession, whether that be payroll, HR or procurement.
- Clear governance and accountability – the central leadership must to be able to step in to resolve problems between the participants and suppliers; equally, participants must have a process which makes them feel they have sufficient opportunities to express concerns with a programme to prevent disruption at a later date.
- Single business case/single budget – Developing a strong, clear, compelling single business case is crucial to securing collaborative buy-in from participating organisations. They will be focused on their own business objectives and will often need to see a bigger picture to commit fully. Equally a single business case will assist the higher authority to better monitor the benefits that are accrued from the programme once in place.
- Realistic time-frame and deadlines – Business priorities often lead to pressure on suppliers and participants to sign-up to deadlines that are not viable. Programme leaders should take into account the experience of suppliers in terms of the time needed to make an effective transition to a shared services platform, including sufficient time built in for testing and training.
Swansea site achieves “Unqualified Audit Report”
Every year, Arvato’s Swansea site works with an independent auditor to review the business processes and controls we manage on behalf of our clients. We are required to comply with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements number 3402 (ISAE 3402) to assure our clients that our service organisation has a well-established internal control framework that is operating effectively.
We tasked KPMG with reviewing our organisation and the services we provide against that standard, and after a period of fieldwork at our site in Swansea, we achieved an ‘unqualified audit’ which provides an independent assessment that the controls and processes in operation in Swansea are suitably designed and operating effectively.
Mathew Copp, Director of Operations Central Government, said “This is an important event in our operational calendar as we recognise that we hold sensitive data on behalf our clients and need to provide formal assurance that we manage it effectively. Achieving an unqualified report is something my entire team is proud of and demonstrates to our clients the quality and control we are providing to them.”
Arvato has since provided copies of the ISAE 3402 to its clients and to the Government Internal Audit Agency.
Swansea successfully achieves Customer Service Excellence (CSE) standard
Arvato’s Swansea site has successfully obtained a Customer Service Excellence (CSE) accreditation.The CSE standard confirms that the services provided by an organisation are efficient, effective, excellent, equitable and empowering – and designed around the customers’ needs.
In order to achieve the accreditation, the Swansea team had to demonstrate that Arvato met the standards, evidencing the business processes against five criteria:
- Customer Insight
- The Culture of the Organisation
- Information and Access
- Timeliness and Quality of Service
Matthew Copp, Operations Director, Central Government, said: “Achieving this accreditation confirms the dedication and professionalism of our Customer Contact & Support Services team and also our commitment to providing ongoing quality customer service and improvement.”
Arvato also holds the coveted CSE for our local government partnerships in Chesterfield and Sefton for successfully serving local residents.
In order to support Arvato’s customer centric culture, the Customer Service and Service and Support Desk team in Swansea recently attended a professional development programme delivered by Gower College Swansea, which awarded them a Level 2 Award in Principles of Customer Service.
The qualification confirms that the team has the essential knowledge and skills required for delivering an excellent customer service; in particular
- the importance of excellent customer service
- how to communicate more effectively and efficiently with customers
- how to demonstrate attentiveness to customer needs
Mathew continued: “While the team was already adept at delivering a great experience to our clients’ customers, this qualification formally recognises their skills and demonstrates Arvato’s investment in people development and market-leading customer service.”
Swansea site retains Cyber Essentials PLUS badge for excellent cyber defence
In light of recent cyber-attacks, our Swansea site continues to invest in its cyber security and resilience.
The team were recently confirmed the UK government’s Cyber Essentials PLUS badge as audited by an external assessor. The accreditation assesses against the basic security controls linked with many common cyber-attacks on public sector organisations, including secure configuration, malware protection, patch management, access control, boundary firewalls and internet gateways.
Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner, of the UK Government’s Information Commissioner’s Office, said: “Protecting personal data depends on good cyber security, and the threats and challenges are getting ever more sophisticated. Cyber Essentials enables businesses to demonstrate that they are taking action to control the risks.”
Holding the Cyber Essentials badge is mandatory for suppliers of Government contracts which involve handling personal information and providing some ICT products and services.
We are pleased to report that none of the recent cyber attacks aimed at government and the NHS were able to gain any traction on our or our clients’ ICT estates.
Swansea employees get moving to support good causes
Arvato’s employees from Swansea geared up for two sporting challenges to raise money for national and local charities.Nine colleagues raced in the Swansea Half Marathon on 25th June to fundraise for the British Red Cross in memory of a late colleague, Phil Hinkin. It was the fourth consecutive year an Arvato team took part in what’s been voted the UK’s best half-marathon thanks to the scenery, support from the public and flat, fast course. Together they’ve raised over £800 so far both online and at the Swansea site – you can still donate here.
In an unusual sporting event, Arvato’s Swansea team helped Mumbles’ Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) to raise more than £11,000 to save more lives at sea by participating in its annual Mumbles Raft Race on 31st July.
Entering the race for the third time with their own raft built from scratch, the crew was hoping to improve on their previous results (37th in 2014 and 12th in 2015); however the stormy Welsh weather meant the race was stopped early due to unsafe conditions.
Did you know?
Arvato has successfully delivered 11,664 changes to its technology in Swansea to ensure a secure, resilient and high performing service to its clients
Arvato’s global revenues rose by 1.4% to €3.8 billion in 2016
Number of young people who directly benefited from Arvato’s support of The Prince’s Trust in 2016
Arvato UK & Ireland and Bertelsmann news
Arvato commits to paying the Living Wage
We have committed to paying the Living Wage across our CRM business in the UK as part of a drive to ensure our excellent, hard-working teams can meet the growing cost of living.
Could a robot run your public services? Arvato facilitates dialogue about robotic process automation (RPA) in the public sector
Ever since successfully implementing RPA for its client Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council in 2016, Arvato has been at the forefront of promoting the benefits of the technology for the public sector.
Arvato named as a “clear leader” by top analyst firm Everest Group
Arvato has been named as a Leader in Everest Group’s Contact Center Outsourcing (CCO) – Service Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix™ Assessment 2017. Arvato was assessed as a Leader based on its market success and its ability to deliver services to clients.