At a glance

Organisation

Lifestyle Solutions

Industry

PA Product

Function

Operations

Location

33 Fern Street, Islington NSW 2296

Key Points

  • Lifestyle Solutions is a national not-for-profit organisation offering tailored support and services to people with disability, children, and young people in out-of-home care.
  • Each day, over 2000 dedicated staff in 180 locations across Australia provide quality support to more than 1500 people to develop their interests, independence, and community engagement. From its humble beginnings in Newcastle over 15 years ago, Lifestyle Solutions has grown to manage over $135 million annually in revenue and funding.
  • A registered NDIS provider since 2013, Lifestyle Solutions’ purpose is to provide all people with equal recognition, equal treatment, and equal opportunity.

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Challenge

Microsoft Excel was deeply ingrained within Lifestyle Solutions' reporting processes, and the management reporting was a complex power pivot table.

As with other organisations in the not-for-profit sector, the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has placed new demands on Lifestyle Solutions. Lifestyle Solutions has been responsive and proactive in adapting its operations and activities to meet and address these changes, including the way it produces reports.

Solution

Professional Advantage was engaged to digitise Lifestyle Solutions’ reporting, with a focus on improving scalability and flexibility. Our consultants recommended BOARD for Lifestyle Solutions based on its advanced reporting capabilities whilst being simple to use for non-technical employees. BOARD is also used with great success at many of Professional Advantage’s clients in both the not-for-profit and private sectors: https://www.pa.com.au/case-studies/?product=board-software

Professional Advantage's BOARD implementation methodology commenced by documenting requirements, and then configuring the solution section by section. Professional Advantage hosted design clarification sessions with Lifestyle Solutions to demonstrate progress and validate the emerging product, and led user acceptance testing prior to launch.

The following modules and capabilities were established:

  • Cost modelling: The solution enables costing to be modelled down to individual shift rosters. The planning model caters for multiple budget or forecast versions and even development of quotes using the costing methodology. This costing model replaces and standardises numerous Excel templates, which were often contradictory.
  • Acquittals modelling: BOARD calculates acquittals provisions for the finance team. In doing so, it has automated what was once a time-consuming monthly process.
  • Financial and performance reports: BOARD provides for Lifestyle’s many, sometimes complex, financial and performance reporting needs, which included detailed reporting capabilities down to the job level for each individual client.

Results

As a result of Professional Advantage’s BOARD implementation, Lifestyle Solutions has experienced the following benefits:

A positive shift towards self-service reporting: Program managers at Lifestyle Solutions are now self-service aware. They know that they can access a wider range of data within BOARD with greater ease than if they were to navigate complex Excel spreadsheets. Eventually, Lifestyle Solutions hopes to up-skill program managers and other key users to generate their own reports in BOARD without additional assistance.

Improved ability to meet NDIS reporting obligations: By digitising Lifestyle Solutions’ reporting, Professional Advantage has supported the organisation’s ability to drill down into data to identify trends, opportunities and strengths.

Freeing up staff for value-adding activities: BOARD enables Lifestyle Solutions staff to spend more time making data-driven decisions, rather than being bogged down in spreadsheets.

Faster monthly reporting: With BOARD, monthly reporting is delivered by day five – not two or three weeks as was previously the case. BOARD has assisted management to achieve its target for reporting timeframes.

Greater productivity: Moving from spreadsheet to BOARD-based budgeting has reduced the time taken to prepare budgets from three months down to six weeks. There is no longer a requirement to consolidate hundreds of spreadsheets before insights can be realised.

Improved data accuracy: With a single source of truth, Lifestyle Solutions has greater confidence in the consistency and accuracy of its data.  

“BOARD has assisted in providing information within a timely basis. When we get requests for analysis we can respond faster, and quickly slice and dice information. It’s really simple.” – Kylie Neary, Head of Shared Services, Lifestyle Solutions.