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corporate plans and budgets » Plan & Budget 2002/03 - Productivity, timeliness and service quality

‘we have increased our productivity and improved our timeliness’

introduction

6.1 The key feature of the current year has been that we have increased our productivity and improved our timeliness, despite the inevitable disruption caused by the introduction in June 2001 of our new unified case-handling system and the accompanying changes in our work processes needed for N2. For 2002/03 our focus will be on making further improvements to the quality and timeliness of our service.

key assumptions

  • increase in productivity An increase in productivity to 4.1 cases per case-handler each week. This represents an overall 25% increase in productivity over the three years 2000/01 to 2002/03 - from 3.3 cases per case-handler each week in 2000/01 to a planned 4.1 figure next year.
  • increase in closures Despite the reduction in the number of case-handlers, the improvement in productivity results in an increase in closures from 38,500 to 40,000.
  • improvements in timeliness An improvement in the timeliness targets for 2002/03 - 75% of cases should be completed within six months of the date when we formally accepted them as ‘cases’ - at present our target is 70% of cases. We will also aim to close 100% of cases within 12 months and will report to the board all cases which exceed this target. It is important to emphasise that the length of time it takes to close a case often depends on the speed with which customers and firms respond to our enquiries.
  • reduction in work in progress As part of the drive to improve quality, it is critical to reduce the amount of work in progress to a lower level. This allows us to improve timeliness and document management. The base budget assumes a ‘work in progress’ figure of 11,700 by March 2003. This represents a 2,500 fall on the estimated March 2002 figure of 14,200.
  • a step-up in internal service-quality standards The drive for increased productivity and the introduction of new processes has led to some inevitable ‘frayed edges’ in terms of internal quality benchmarks. From the beginning of the next financial year, we intend to introduce formal internal quality measurements, with audit checks on decisions and process.

alternative scenarios

6.2 In the two alternative scenarios, we have made the following assumptions:

  • higher growth in new complaints If new complaints rise by 10% to 41,500, our assumption is that case closures will be 43,500, compared with the base assumption of 40,000.
  • a reduction in new complaints If new complaints fall by 10% to 34,000, our assumption is - given the work in progress at the beginning of the year - that case closures will be 38,000.

summary forecasts

6.3 A summary of the three closure scenarios is set out in this and the following paragraph. Closure forecasts and productivity levels are as follows:

case closures
2000/01 Actual
2001/02 Forecast
2002/03 Nil Growth
2002/03 Increasing Complaints
2002/03 Falling Complaints
Insurance
7,138
7,400
7,900
8,600
7,500
Banking and loans
6,056
6,600
8,100
8,800
7,700
Investment
15,206
24,500
24,000
26,100
22,800
Total
28,400
38,500
40,000
43,500
38,000
Productivity*
3.3
3.7
4.1
4.1
4.1

*Productivity is defined as the number of cases closed per case-handler each week

6.4 The current and proposed timeliness targets for the three scenarios, together with the year-end levels of work in progress, are set out below.

2000/01 Actual
2001/02 Forecast
2002/03 Nil Growth
2002/03 Increasing Complaints
2002/03 Falling Complaints
Numbers of cases at year end
14,700
14,200
11,700
12,200
10,200
Cases at year end: number of weeks’ work
24
20
16
16
17
Closed within 6 months
65%*
73%
75%
75%
80%
Closed within 12 months
90%*
95%
100%
100%
100%

*Estimated

conclusion

6.5 Whether new complaints fall, rise or remain relatively static, we aim to increase productivity, improve timeliness and achieve a reduction in the level of work in progress. This will be accompanied by the introduction of formal quality control benchmarks for decisions and process.