The introduction of NDIA has revolutionised the way government funding is approved and distributed, shifting the balance of power from service providers into the hands of the clients. With this change has come increased competition among Disability Service Providers, as clients have the power (and direct access to the funds) to decide when, where and how they’d like to spend it.
For this reason, it is essential that DSP’s take a good look at their processes and cost distribution to ensure they remain profitable and in a cash flow positive state. This is a balance that can be quite tricky to achieve if not tackled proactively.
Here are some tips on how to meet NDIA’s requirements without your costs spiralling out of control:
1. Streamline your processes
Step back and take a look at the processes of every stage of your business. Are they efficient? Can they be streamlined to reduce internal touchpoints, reduce paperwork, reduce double-handling? It is all too easy for business owners and employees to get caught up in “busy” work, without being productive. Proactively reviewing how things are currently done versus what is necessary to deliver the best service for your clients is a very good way to ensure that the labour you are paying is being put to best use.
2. Keep your records up to date
With the NDIA’s new system requiring a lot more time and effort spent on invoicing, and the elimination of large cash injections directly to the DSP, it is essential that DSP’s submit their invoicing accurately, and on time. Cash flow is king, so ensure that you have systems in place to reconcile services delivered against NDIA’s funding codes, so that invoices can be submitted promptly and without error. Get this process right, and you will eliminate the majority of your cash flow issues, and ensure that you have enough reserves to pay your staff on time every time.
3. Integrate technology
The key to controlling costs in your DSP is having efficient systems, eliminating errors where possible, and streamlining highly manual administration tasks. By integrating purpose-built technology and software systems, you can significantly reduce the time taken to complete administration tasks such as rostering and invoicing, equipping your business with the tools needed to easily scale up when needed.
Investment in dedicated technology such as mobile devices with secure, automated back-to-base data transfer, GPS devices for automated recording and reporting for mileage claims, and easy tap-on / tap-off client approval of service delivery can help to remove manual-entry and double handling errors.
By implementing these three things, you can ensure that you are on track to keeping up with NDIA’s reporting requirements in the most efficient way, so that you control your costs and maximise profitability.