Challenge

Our client needed help with consolidating contact spreadsheets in a more timely, accurate and efficient way. The Major Contracts List is a master file of a series of spreadsheets that capture key information relating to major contracts within the organisation. Our client was dealing with more than 50 separate spreadsheets maintained which are then manually consolidated into a master list to provide an organisational wide view. These excel spreadsheets are prone to error with many fields being free form text fields with no standardisation or consistency in format. Due to the manual effort involved, staff are only requested to update the major contracts list once per quarter so the data provided is not a real-time indicator. Callida needed to implement a system that enabled the spreadsheets to be easily accessible and freely used to create graphs, charts and dashboards within reports for the Executive Committees and other Commercial Information products.

Solution

Callida identified an existing web-based application already in-use by the Division. The application was a bespoke, inhouse application that could be extended to create a new module for a web-based Major Contracts List. The new list is more robust with built in data validations to improve data quality and reduce rework. The web-based module offers the advantages of:

1. Greater ease of controlled access

  • User defined roles were established to give permanent staff, contractors and executives more access to information that aligns with their roles
  • Users have access to the web-based application in real time – they no longer need to wait for a quarterly email advising their access is granted for a set period of time to the locked spreadsheet

2. Simplifies the process and increases automation through field standardisation

  • Some fields auto-populate based on underlying master data so that data is more accurate, consistent and end users no longer need to manually key-in that information. Support costs and admin overheads are lowered as the team who manages the Major Contracts List no longer need to manually consolidate approximately 50 templates into one spreadsheets.
  • The new system helps to ensure supplier reporting is consistent and repeatable by sharing major contract information with other Directorates, minimising the need for staff to be asked for the same information from multiple sources. Helps to align with the department’s strategic objectives of a ‘standardised and simplified procurement system’.

3. Offers real time reporting for users to self-serve 

  • Reports are pre-built so a simple click of the button produces reports and dashboards that previously took some time to manually develop.
  • Reports are also dynamic, offering drill through capability to provide more rich information to users to understand the underlying data sources used.

 

Outcome

The new system was only implemented in June 2018 so there’s no metrics yet. Anecdotally, staff are really impressed and excited by the reporting capability and the opportunities it presents to extend/further enhance business processes in the future. The data improvements ensure that the data is more accurate and complete to properly meet business and reporting needs.

The First Assistant Secretary of the Division has advised “This is a really great initiative and I’m impressed by the progress made to date. It will make a valuable contribution to our reforms”.

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