With the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme well under way nationally, the pressure is on Disability Service Providers to focus on their business operations in order to remain competitive. DSP’s are not only experiencing operational pressure of meeting new NDIA requirements, such as increased account administration and transparency of services delivered, but also the threat of increased competition from new, smaller operators. With the power of choice firmly in the hands of the clients as to which service providers they choose and when, it is essential for DSP’s to take a more efficient approach in streamlining their operations, making their back-of-house as lean as possible, while delivering superior service to their clients.
Here are our top 5 tips for making your DSP business more competitive:
1. Think of your client first
Step back and take an objective look at your business from your client’s perspective. Are you, as a business, easy to deal with? That is the critical question. As service providers, it is essential you make your services as easy for your clients to access as possible. Is your website easy to understand? Can information be found easily? Is your phone number easy to find? When clients call the number, are the people answering friendly and helpful? Do your carers arrive on time? Do they deliver an enjoyable service experience to the client? Are you offering services that your clients actually want, at times that suit them?
These are some of the elements you can excel at to really set yourself above your competitors. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and think about what you would like to get from the experience if you were engaging your business’ services. Delivering a superior service will go a long way in setting you apart from your competition and building a happy, and loyal client base.
2. Reduce your manual administration
One of the biggest cash drains is inefficient administration processes. Do you use manual timesheets? Do your staff physically clock-on and clock-off at your premises at the beginning and end of their shift? Do you need to manually create rosters every fortnight or month, manually checking against staff availability and annual leave applications? Now is the time to review your current processes and identify areas for streamlining. Map out the current data your business records, how it is recorded, and in what way it is recorded, and then find links that can streamline this process. Can you implement mobile clock-on/clock-off systems, eliminating the need for all staff to assemble at the premises at the same time each morning? This could save hundreds of hours per year in wasted travel time and costs.
3. Automate vehicle logs
Manual recording of vehicle logs are a large cause of manual error, resulting in thousands of dollars lost in overpayments each year. There are many online apps and tools available to reduce the need for manual recording mileage. Consider utilising GPS technology for automatic recording of vehicle location and usage, then feed this back in to your system for reconciliation against expense claims.
4. Reduce double-handling of information
Think about where you store your information, and how it is used across your business. Are your Client Care Plans stored separately to your Rostering system? Does your rostering system automatically tell you who is on annual leave, eliminating them from being selected to perform services during that time? Consider implementing smart technology to reduce the amount of time it takes to manually match up these pieces of data and reduce the impact to your business when errors are made.
5. Upgrade your technology systems
There are technology solutions that will help you streamline your administration, reduce your manual entry errors, reduce the need for double- and triple-handling the same information, and improve the accuracy and efficiency of your entire business operation. Consider implementing a technology system such as CARETAG – the only truly integrated software management system, designed specifically for community service providers. CARETAG has automated cross-module communication built in, resulting in, for example, your Care Plan information synchronising with your Service Delivery module, automatically creating a schedule for service delivery and inviting clients to participate in. Then, this information automatically feeds into your Rostering module, checking the availability of all your staff, creating rosters for service delivery, in the most optimised way. Think of the manual administration hours this can reduce, and how this can rapidly reduce your operating expenditure. This is just one of the many ways CARETAG integrates data seamless across business functions.
CARETAG has been designed to provide a truly integrated system, improving data transfer, visibility and automation across functions. For more information on CARETAG’s features and benefits, please visit: www.caretag.com.au