SYDNEY: The National Disability Service Providers Benchmarking Survey giving disability service providers access to vital market intelligence is back! The independent survey administered by AbleInsight is free to participate and an essential resource in supporting more successful transitions to the new NDIS arrangements.
2018 survey submissions are open to all NDIS-registered providers until the 20th May. Register now at the AbleInsight Survey website. AbleInsight has been appointed by the National Disability Insurance Agency to independently manage the National Disability Service Providers Benchmarking Survey. The Survey is supported by the NDIA, National Disability Services and Mental Health Australia.
The annual benchmarking survey, which began last year, collects important financial and operational data across the disability services industry. Service providers that take part receive valuable benchmarking results against other participants.
The results of the 2017 survey saw many organisations reap the benefits of expert data analysis and reporting. With many seeing direct change as a result of individual benchmarking data.
CEO of NDIS-registered Hills Community Options in South Australia, Sue Horsnell, took part in last year’s survey and saw an immediate correlation between the benchmarking report and positive changes for her organisation.
“The results highlighted we were out of synch with our overhead percentages in relation to our peer group. As a result we were able to critically analyse our underpinning assumptions and achieve an immediate improvement” she said.
Although AbleInsight has been appointed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), it is important to note that the organisation operates with complete independence. Survey data is held securely by AbleInsight for the purposes of the benchmarking reports. It is not, at any stage, provided to any other party including government agencies such as NDIA.
NDIS Transition Lead Consultant, Brendon Grail, worked with many providers who took part in the 2017 survey. He saw firsthand the value the benchmarking data provided his clients and is encouraging more providers to be involved this year.
“The survey results provide valuable data to help organisations prioritise areas to address, influence stakeholders and inform decision making,” he says.
“When I worked in the corporate world, we would pay $30,000 to $40,000 for benchmarking surveys like this. 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. The ease at which you can have your numbers crunched is priceless”.
In addition to helping providers understand their performance compared with peer organisations, the report provides highly accurate data about financial health, market capacity and operating efficiencies. This data is critical in helping disability service providers build more strategic and financially sustainable businesses.
Last year approximately 50 organisations took part in the survey – this year AbleInsight is expecting to attract more than 200.
“The more providers that participate in the Survey, the more robust and useful the data will be,” says AbleInsight Managing Director Joe Scuteri.
“Above all else, we are excited to provide a service where providers can compare their costs with those of other similar services. This nurtures participants to operate as part of a vibrant and responsive market for disability support, shaped by choice and control by participants,” he says.
And, while the survey does require resourcing and time commitment from participants, Ms Horsnell believes involvement is critical for her organisation and others.
“Collecting the information required for the survey does take some time. However, I think it’s a critical investment now that will have a myriad of longer term benefits. I do see this survey as a key step for us being financially sustainable in this new environment” she says.
For providers unsure about the value the survey can bring, Ms Horsnell has a message:
Across the industry, there are so many of us striving to adapt to the new NDIS market-driven business model while keeping our mission at the heart of what we do”.
“The benchmarking results helped us gain real clarity around our finances. For example, we discovered we had some in issues with our underpinning assumptions in our overhead calculations and we were able to fix this straight away. This improvement was a direct result of the survey,” she said.
The 2018 survey is now open. More information at www.surveymanager.ableinsight.com.au