Four reasons why the disability service benchmarking survey is crucial to success for NDIS registered providers

The last two years have seen major structural changes within the disability services sector. The national roll-out of the NDIS and accompanying changes to funding arrangements have created challenges for disability support service providers transitioning their services to the new market environment.

If you’re an NDIS registered provider it’s critical to understand how your organisation stacks up in the industry. To thrive in this new environment you need to know and understand your financial and operational data.

That’s where the AbleInsight’s disability support service providers’ benchmarking survey comes in. This independent annual survey, which began last year, is surveying NDIS registered providers on their key financial and operational measures. Those that take part, receive invaluable benchmarking results against other survey participants.

The 2018 survey has just opened and all providers are encouraged to take part. Yet, with resources scarce, you may be wondering if the survey is worth your time.

Here are four reasons why you can’t afford to miss this opportunity.

1. Gain vital market intelligence

Do you know where you stack up against your competitors?

After participating in the survey you receive benchmarking results against other industry participants. In other words, you receive real, qualified data that is key to understanding your current position, against your competitors, and informing your future business decisions.

NDIS Transition Lead Consultant, Brendon Grail, has worked with many providers who took part in the 2017 first survey. He has seen firsthand the value the survey provided his clients.

“The survey results provide valuable data to help organisations prioritise areas to address, influence stakeholders and inform decision making. All providers will have a list of things they want to improve and update but it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why this survey is so important – it helps providers prioritise what they are going to do, where they will spend, where they will cut costs, etc.” he says.

2. Learn key financial data to inform your pricing structure

There is no doubt that trying to restructure operating costs to meet the NDIS pricing model while maintaining quality services is challenging.

For many providers, financial models weren’t set up to manage under the new pricing structure.  And, as a result, many changes that are being made, drain your balance sheets. But this isn’t sustainable and many providers are likely to face real financial difficulties if significant changes aren’t implemented.

The AbleInsight survey forces you to look at your financial data and highlights where you stack up financially.

CEO of NDIS-registered Hills Community Options, Sue Horsnell, was involved in the inaugural AbleInsight survey. She has already seen a direct correlation between financial data in the report and positive changes for her organisation.

“The results highlighted we were miscalculating our overheads. We were able to reduce our overheads straight away. This is just one positive impact that occurred as a direct result of the survey,” she says.

3. It’s completely free of charge

The AbleInsight benchmarking reports are made available at no cost to participating providers.

NDIS Transition Lead Consultant, Brendon Grail, has a background in corporate finance and is also a former CEO from the disability services sector.

“When I worked in the corporate world, we would pay $30,000 to $40,000 for benchmarking surveys like this. And you didn’t get as much data.”

“If I was still a CEO in this industry, I would feel as though I was failing my Board if I didn’t take part in this survey. It costs nothing for providers to take part in the AbleInsight benchmarking survey but the value of the customised report for NDIS Providers is priceless,” he says.

4. Contributing to the whole industry

Hills Community Options CEO Sue Horsnell also believes that benchmarking surveys like this are about more than just individual organisation success – it’s about the growth and sustainability of the entire industry.

“Providers across the industry are struggling to adapt to a new market-driven model while keeping our missions at heart,” she says.

“Surveys like this not only help us as individual organisations, they help us set a new standard for more sustainable business models. Gathering this data is vital to helping us not only adapt, but thrive, in the new landscape.”

The 2018 Benchmarking Survey is now open and accepting expressions of interest until 21st May 2018.

AbleInsight has been appointed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to independently manage the National Disability Service Providers Benchmarking Survey.

When you take part your data is held securely by AbleInsight for the purposes of analysing it to produce the provider level and sector summary level benchmarking reports. It is not, at any stage, provided to any other party including government agencies such as NDIA.

The 2018 survey is now open – find out more and take part here.