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CASE STUDY

Delivering Efficiencies in Transport Solutions

for

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Transporting elderly lady

Background

The Consultancy Company partnered with Agilisys, one of the UK’s most innovative IT and business services providers, to deliver key transformation projects for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF).

In conjunction with LBHF’s tri-borough partners, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) and Westminster City Council (WCC), The Consultancy Company was appointed to establish an effective and flexible solution for passenger transport for vulnerable residents.  The scope included regular school transport for children with special educational needs, ad-hoc transport for ‘looked after children’ and ‘children in need’ and transport for adults attending day centre and other community based activities.

The Consultancy Company’s specific expertise in local government, transport operations and outsourcing had led to their involvement.

The Challenge

The Consultancy Company was tasked with determining strategic requirements in order to develop an operating model and commercial arrangements, and to subsequently support the procurement of a tri-borough solution.

Key considerations included covering all passenger transport requirements for vulnerable residents across three boroughs, one single internal transport commissioning team, a mix of outsourced transport operators.  Providing an appropriate interface to linked services, such as travel training, walking escorts, blue badges and mobility scooters was also key.

Ultimately, the task was to develop a true tri-borough and multi-service solution in order to leverage operating synergies and the shared purchasing power of the tri-borough Councils.  Safeguarding the quality of the service and being able to meet the very specific needs of individual clients was paramount within developing the best value solution.

The decision to outsource and procure all passenger transport on a tri-borough basis presented a number of challenges to resolve:

  • Operating models – The Consultancy Company focused on rationalising operations to help the three Councils determine an optimum flexible tri-borough operating model that cost effectively responded to changing client needs.
  • IntegrationBuilding on previously agreed tri-borough protocols, The Consultancy Company supported the development of an Inter Authority Agreement. Existing contracts with incumbent suppliers across all three authorities were co-ordinated to an achievable completion date and cohesive procurement.
  • Procurement – Provided advice on the procurement process from OJEU notice through to the establishment of a Supplier Framework and final call-offs with providers being able to deliver a range of flexible transport solutions. Specific support was provided to develop Invitation to Tender and call-off documentation with appropriate data, pricing and evaluation mechanisms
  • Systems and processes – Again discrete processes across the boroughs required integration through shared processes along with specific support to establish an internal Transport Commissioning Team to oversee the steady state operations and to manage on-going call-and service provision.
  • Project management – The Consultancy Company provided support as internal project management resource was in short supply.

The Solution

The Consultancy Company analysed current operations to enable the councils to determine the optimum tri-borough model.

Introducing more control was a key strategic objective. This required evolving the prevailing culture where each authority and service unit owned its own processes for commissioning and procuring passenger transport. In some instances this was devolved to a broad range of officers, managers and various social care workers. Through extensive stakeholder engagement, The Consultancy Company was able to develop a tri-borough solution, underpinned by central control over commissioning and procurement.

Key features of the final solution included:

  • Engaging a range of transport operators – both SMEs and social enterprises to comprehensively cover regular group transport (SEN school runs, ASC Day Centre transport), ad-hoc activities, individual transport needs and community travel.

The Consultancy Company were a key part of the team when it came to developing a new tri-borough procurement.  Bringing valuable external experience, they helped to focus the team on creating an integrated and effective transport solution, managing key issues and delivering resolutions with client needs in mind. By presenting us with the most sustainable option, are delivering significant savings across all three boroughs via a truly innovative transport solution.”

Andrew Christie, Tri-Borough Executive Director of Children’s Services
  • Appointing a single supplier for each regular destination providing a consistent point of contact and enabling relationships with nominated drivers and escorts, regardless of the number of vehicle runs required.
  •  A cost per seat charging mechanism for group travel (e.g. SEN school minibuses and Day Centre activity) so that resources and costs could be flexed in line with volumes without the need to carry out new call-offs every time there is a change in profile.
  • Clients from across all three boroughs travelling to the same destination being transported together (out of some 100 SEN schools, around 40 took children from more than one Borough).
  • On-going transport operations are overseen by an internal Transport Commissioning Team who constantly monitor supplier performance as well as working with suppliers to constantly optimise the solution due to changing requirements – client numbers and destinations.
  • A tri-borough Strategic Client Group was also formed with visibility across all passenger transport requirements to ensure the best long-term value for money solution.

Building a culture of collaboration was also a key success measure. This was evident in Adult Social Care & Children’s Services Directorates retaining responsibility for determining eligibility for transport and for specifying each client’s individual needs.  The Transport Commissioning Team, working with the Transport Operators, then determining the most appropriate transport solution.

With this operational and commercial structure in place the three boroughs have more flexibility and control within the operating model, are able to respond quickly and effectively to changing client needs whilst minimising cost and removing the need to constantly re-tender.   This ensures sustainability of the best value solution.

The Benefits

Ultimately, providing an undiluted view of all tri-borough vulnerable passenger transport requirements resulted in the best value solution being achieved with processes in place for this to be maintained over the longer term.

Focusing on:

  • the integration of all vulnerable resident passenger transport
  • understanding supplier capability and commercial requirements
  • developing a flexible solution that can meet the very specific and changing needs of individual service users, and
  • establishing an internal team with total oversight of all transport

This has meant that Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster City Councils have a sustainable solution that provides excellent value. With the new solution implemented over Easter 2014, the tri-borough councils have achieved substantial immediate savings and potential savings approaching 30% on a previous spend in excess of £8million per annum.

 

For an in-depth discussion please contact:

Aidan Salter, Managing Director – 07801 039600,

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