NEC3 Billing Process Improvement for a Local Authority

Reduced process lead times through process re-design

Improved collaboration among teams through workshops & process design

Proactive comms designed into process to mitigate risks

Improved data capture & analysis

Emma [CI Projects] has been brilliant. She has been able to spend the time with the team, something I don’t have the time to do at the moment.

Lisa Baugh, Project Sponsor

The team are mega-enthused about the next steps and can, finally, see a little bit of clarity within all the murk!

David Parrett

Define it

The Local Authority’s Property, Facilities Management & Health & Safety (PFMHS) team plays a crucial role in maintaining the Council’s infrastructure. A key aspect of their work involves managing service requests, some of which require external contractors and therefore fall under “billable contracts.” However, the existing NEC3 billing process for handling these requests was causing delays and frustration.

CI Projects were commissioned to undertake a Lean Six Sigma review. Upon initial review, we identified that the PFMHS team faced a surge in requests categorised as “billable works.” This created a backlog for generating quotations for NEC3 billing, leading to:

  • Slow lead times: Customers faced extended waiting periods before projects could begin due to delayed quotations.
  • Inefficient processes: The existing 156-step process, involving 11 teams, was cumbersome and prone to bottlenecks.
  • Communication silos: The siloed nature of the process hampered proactive communication, often resulting in reactive problem-solving.

Improve it

CI Projects partnered with the Council to optimise the NEC3 billing contracts process using Lean Six Sigma methodology:

  • Immersive process mapping: We spent four weeks embedded within the Council’s offices. This enabled in-depth observation of each team member’s role and interaction with the broader process.
  • Data-driven approach: Data was collected at each stage of the process to identify areas of waste and potential improvement opportunities. Value stream maps and swimlane visualisations were created to analyse workflow and identify bottlenecks.
  • Root Cause Analysis: Lean Six Sigma tools like Cause-and-Effect (C&E) diagrams were employed to pinpoint the underlying causes of inefficiencies within the process.
  • Solution development: We identified a number of “Quick wins” and longer term improvement opportunities that would have a significant impact.

Sustain it

CI Projects facilitated workshops with PFMHS team members and key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan. This plan focused on streamlining the process, improving communication channels, and ultimately, enhancing customer service. The proposed changes were met with enthusiasm from Local Authority stakeholders. CI Projects’ collaborative approach and Lean Six Sigma expertise empowered this Council to identify and eliminate inefficiencies, ultimately leading to improved efficiency, communication, and customer service.

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