True Shared Service case studies
Five Wessex colleges work together to share back-office services, including: finance, HR, exams, recruitment, student records and procurement. In these case studies, Robin Gadd speaks about: starting out, involving governors, competition between partners, communication strategy, legal structure, staffing and TUPE, and the lessons he and his colleagues have learned.
When trail-blazing Dick Palmer and his team decided to look at cutting costs and improving quality by sharing back-office services with other institutions, he didn’t think ‘which areas should we start with’, he just decided to go the whole hog straight away. So if you’re interested in removing all of the non-core, non-teaching distractions from your curriculum staff, read on.
The race is on for FE colleges to save money in the shadow of reducing funding. But for three GFE colleges and one sixth form college, the challenge seems to be more about improving quality than cutting back. Can four autonomous institutions really share their engine rooms of finance and management information, or is this really just merger by the back door?
Once you know what the issue is, you just have to find the solution. But can eight colleges work effectively together to find the way forward? Has their shared services mission been an easy journey so far? No. Are they on the right road? Yes. Read on to find out.
One of the salutary lessons from the many FE shared service projects has been that the more providers you include in your partnership, the more difficult it is to be successful. On paper, then, the SISSC project should have had a tough time in achieving its aims, which were to establish a remotely hosted, shared back-office system for eight Colleges.