The Organisational Director of Greenpeace UK invited us to help them with a review of their support services, including HR, Finance, IT and facilities management. Greenpeace was looking across the whole organisation for opportunities to reduce costs with minimum impact on operations, by improving efficiency or discontinuing work that was no longer necessary.
Sayer Vincent used their model to analyse the activities of each of the support functions in terms of the four areas of transaction processing, reporting, control and decision support. We also considered the opportunities for outsourcing elements of the activities and compared costs and benefits of doing so. All members of the support teams were interviewed as well as some of the managers and staff in other departments. This developed an all-round understanding of the ways in which support functions could add value now and in the future.
The findings were shared with the support services teams so that they could feedback and respond. In addition, the findings were shared with the senior management team as there were also matters for them to consider in terms of setting the context for the development of support services.
As an outcome of the review, some clear targets for change were set, with an overall shift away from time-consuming but low-value adding tasks to more strategic input into the organisation and major contributions to the achievement of the overall strategy.
“Sayer Vincent’s real strength is their people skills and approachability. People who were interviewed for the review actually enjoyed the experience, even when they weren't expecting to! We have also been able to make significant changes to our management of some of the functions as a result of their report.”
Matthew Pollitt, Organisational Director, Greenpeace UK