South Kensington Imperial

Delivering better, more effective staff and student services whilst continuing to improve operational efficiency through a modern and streamlined ERP system 

Overview

The College is aiming to transform its support services. At the heart of this work is the delivery of a streamlined ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning: the management of all the information and resources involved in our operations) system to enable the College to make the best possible use of the latest technology, including service management, RPA (Robotic Process Automation), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning.

The operational delivery of transactional processes takes place across a range of teams based within central, faculty and local departmental administration; all supported by the College’s current ERP platform known as ICIS.

In order to prepare for the future, the College has initiated an ERP Programme under the banner of the broader Professional Services Transformation (PST) agenda. KPMG has been engaged to support the College with this current phase of the Programme, which will culminate in a Business Case that will be submitted to the Provost’s Board in early 2022.

Why do we need to change?

Findings from the Pre-Discovery and Discovery phases highlighted service challenges and opportunities for efficiency gains that will enrich our staff and customer experience. In summary:

why do we need to change

Challenges

  • Recognised process and functional gaps, support services inconsistencies and insufficient reporting technology is resulting in inefficiencies that impact our customer experience, compensated through manual multi- or off-system work that increases risk of non-compliance and de-motivates staff
  • A complex multi-system landscape with over-customisation, varying integration approaches and reliance on off-system processes to fill functional gaps, impacting supportability and maintenance resulting in significant technology debt with increasing cost and risk

Improvement Opportunities

  • Adoption of leading practice process streamlining that minimises customisation and incentivises self-service, realising staff capacity to perform higher value-added activity to enable services that are responsive and that support future growth
  • Supported self-service visibility of quality single source of truth real-time data for accurate insights
  • An integrated and supported technology landscape that enables agility and regular updates and reduces maintenance, support costs and compliance risk
  • A standardised service model with automation controls across wider functional coverage and staff standardised roles and responsibilities that have clear lines of approval and accountability

Who is involved?

Senior stakeholder staff and subject matter experts from across ICT, HR, Finance, Research Administration and representatives from the Faculties and Departments including: Faculty Operations Officers (FOOs), Departmental Operations Managers (DOMs),  – plus members of the PST leadership team.

What will be the benefits of this change?

  • Improved Professional Services Effectiveness - ensure the new ERP solution offers the College’s Professional Services a more cohesive service with greater capabilities, with automation facilitating analysis and enabling staff to invest time in value-adding work elsewhere
  • Improved Data Quality and Consistency - standardise systems, unifying the College’s Finance and HR datasets, ensuring increased quality and quantity of data which is easier to validate and enables higher degree of compliance   
  • Increased Process Simplicity 
  • Increased Process Consistency and Standardisation 

The College has an ambitious growth plan in term of number of students and research. To support this growth we need to have effective operational processes and services.

How will we change?

Leveraging our change success stories and lessons learned, we will spend less time going forward customising technology and invest more time supporting consistency in ways of working.

  • We will use a process approach that is based on leading practice to redesign business functions, conferring the capability for continuous transformation into the future.
  • We will analyse where the College has genuinely unique needs for the new ERP.
  • We will prioritise adoption of process consistency ahead of organisation design change (but roles and responsibilities will be reviewed).

A set of principles will guide the design of the new operating model:

  • Processes will be designed with the end-user in mind; standardised, consistent and efficient
  • Clean trusted data leading towards a single source of truth
  • Automated collection of service performance data that supports decision-making
  • Accessible user-friendly interface and limited customisations as an enabler to upgrades and future development
  • Standardised roles and responsibilities with clear lines of approval and accountability
  • A focus on collective benefits with changes well governed and transparent

Next steps

The scope of this phase of work culminates in a Business Case to the Provost’s Board in early 2022 and encompasses:

  • The completion of a current state assessment of existing technology
  • Development of a short list of viable ERP solution options and recommendations
  • A Business Case with which to assess these options, including a Case for Change narrative
  • Programme set-up and Business Plan