A sum greater than its parts

Delivering shared services for the Department for Transport

Challenge

Arvato and the Department for Transport (DfT) have successfully transitioned the department’s family of executive agencies into a shared service centre, providing fully standardised back-office services for the first time in the department’s history.

Since 2013, the Arvato centre has been focused on transforming HR, payroll, finance and procurement services for the DfT, the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Highways England (HE), the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

In September 2017, the DVSA became the final DfT agency to migrate to the centre’s standardised platform, marking a successful 12 months for the Swansea-based centre.

The shared services offering balances flexibility with the cost savings and efficiency gains of a standardised backoffice. 22,500 civil servants are using the portals to self-serve their back-office administrative tasks, helping them spend more time on delivering vital public services.

"We have an open, honest and collaborative partnership with Arvato with the clear goal of using shared services to not just deliver cost savings, but to help our employees focus on delivering excellent services to the public. Arvato’s structured, process driven framework and clear direction has played a key role in the programme’s success and we look forward to delivering greater value to our customers in the years ahead."

Spokesperson from the Department for Transport (DFT)

Solution: a flexible enterprise platform focused on self-service

Arvato worked collaboratively with the DfT to develop a shared service centre that supports the department’s core business objectives:

  • Efficiency through self-serve
    Employees can handle all of their administrative tasks – from claiming expenses and booking annual leave to viewing their payslips and annual tax returns – through a single, online portal, accessible 24/7. For more complex cases, Arvato’s 180-strong team based in Swansea is on hand to provide personal support.
  • Informed decision making driven by improved management information
    Decision makers can access a holistic, single view of their organisation through real-time management information and reporting. The departments’ HR teams, for example, are using the system to identify skills gaps and allocate training programmes where improvements are needed.
  • Flexibility underpinned by expertise
    Arvato’s solution provides its client with the flexibility of two Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms, Unit4 Business World and SAP, which offer a standardised set of processes, supported by a robust and results driven transition plan. This is supported by Arvato’s ERP centre of excellence in Swansea which includes a group of expert ERP developers.

 

Providing a seamless transition for the DVSA

A well-structured, results driven transition plan and timeline has played a key role in ensuring the smooth migration for the DVSA – a key milestone in completing the organisation’s merger of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to create DVSA.

  • Phased over a 12-month period, specific timings for alignment, building and designing the solution, data migration, system integration testing, software testing, user acceptance testing and hypercare were mapped out with detailed reviews before each stage
  • Inputs, processes, specialist staff and expected outputs, supported by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), were outlined for each section along with the responsibilities for both Arvato and the client
  • A seven-step data migration process - from extraction to verification - ensured all information was in place prior to the system being trialled and has allowed updates to be made quickly following go-live

Ensuring a secure and resilient operation

The centre is accredited to the same high level of security as central government departments, with a significant focus on information assurance and IT defence.

  • All technology is penetration tested and reviewed twice a year by independent third parties
  • The building is secured through biometric access
  • The site and service is highly accredited, including IS027001, Cyber Essentials Plus, Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises (IASME) and as a Supplier of Cyber Security Services to the government
  • Cyber security is overseen by Arvato’s highly-skilled team of specialists who have more than 20 years’ experience delivering professional services and consultancy across the public and private sectors

A robust governance structure

Strong governance between Arvato and the DfT and its executive agencies has been key to delivering success over the past 12 months:

  • Strict Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) were established for payment processing, payroll, purchase order processing, order to cash, accounts payable and data maintenance
  • All KPIs and SLAs are reviewed in weekly and monthly progress meetings with each client alongside reporting documents, which include details on activity levels for each service
  • The shared service centre’s project board convenes weekly to monitor progress for each customer and each service, providing a platform to escalate any issues to ensure fast resolution

Successes: delivering value and digital transformation for the DfT

Delivering service improvements

  • 25,000 civil servants are using the portals to self-serve their back-office administrative tasks
  • The contact centre team has improved its rate of first time contact resolutions from 97% to 98.5%; as a result the
    customer service rating has improved by 2% to an all-time high of 98%
  • 100% of payroll for each client has been processed by the due date with 99% accuracy
  • 90% of purchase orders are processed within 24 hours and 80% of undisputed invoices are paid within five working days

An experienced, content team

  • Arvato’s experienced team of ERP developers has achieved the Unit4 ERP certification for Hire to Retire and Payroll
  • High levels of employee satisfaction has led to low attrition (1.09% in 2017) and absence (2.28% in 2017) rates
  • The team has grown by 14% over the past 12 months with a further 25 new roles expected to be recruited for in
    the next year
  • A new apprenticeship scheme launched in 2017 has seen six local apprentices join the team for training across HR,
    finance, procurement and payroll

A secure environment

Arvato's shared service centre for central government holds the following accreditations:

  • ISO27001 (international standard for information security management)
  • Cyber Essentials Plus, which is an independent test against the Government’s ‘Ten Steps of Cyber Security’ principles
  • Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises (IASME)
  • Supplier of Cyber Security Service to the government
  • PGA Accredited
  • ISO 20000
  • Assured PSN network connectivity
  • Customer Service Excellence

Services

  • HR
  • Payroll
  • Finance
  • Procurement

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