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GK Transformation undertook a review to compare the University’s costs with those of other Universities as well as other organisations in the Public and Commercial sectors. 

Our Transformation Team met with the Service Director and the individual members of the Estates and Facilities management team at LBSU in order to establish both the costs and the configuration of the services in question as well the levels of service provision.Comparisons were then made with other organisations whose services were similarly configured and where necessary adjustments were made in order to ensure that any comparisons were made on a like-for-like basis. The comparative analysis also took into account the location of organisations and differential pay rates (London weightings) as well as the impact of inflation and pay rises when considering data from different financial years.

When undertaking any comparative analysis or benchmarking exercise, it should be understood that no two organisations are identical and whilst our Transformation Team sought to adjust the data from comparator organisations in order to ensure that the comparisons were meaningful, it is likely that some of the cost differences shown were due to organisational differences, the more so as one considers organisations within different sectors.

Despite these difficulties with the analysis, the number of organisations considered provided a significant dataset, which enabled a number of conclusions to be reached in respect of the university’s Estates and Facilities services;

  • Grounds & Gardens
  • Waste
  • Utilities
  • Cleaning (following recent tender exercise)
  • Post
  • Portering (Customer Care Officers)
  • Security
  • Reception
  • Maintenance

In a number of the areas, the costs of the services appeared very competitive, i.e. they were below the average cost incurred by a number of similar organisations.  In a number of other areas, however, the analysis suggested that there may be opportunities for further cost reduction.

Following our review, the University reviewed each of these areas in more depth in order to identify whether the apparent cost improvement potential could indeed be realised.

In this respect the benchmarking analysis should be regarded as a starting point (asking questions) and not an end in itself (providing definitive answers).  The review suggested that exploring the areas where the University’s costs appear higher would more likely yield further savings than if one were to concentrate on the areas where the analysis suggested that the University has average or below average costs.

The review was welcomed by the University’s management team and provided the basis of a forward cost improvement programme for the following financial year.