Creating Efficiencies - Resource Sharing
A very enthusiastic discussion took place at the last GM Network meeting on 23rd January 2015 about how General Managers from across the region could work together and derive benefits from closer cooperation.
One of the ideas debated was the sharing of personnel resources. As you all know, South Australia has 68 Councils of varying sizes, all of which have a significant number of internal and external services / functions to perform no matter the size of the council. These services frequently require individuals with specialised skills or experience but may not necessarily represent a full time resource for a particular council.
In these circumstances GM’s need to decide:-
• whether to undertake the work by using an employee who has a different role and therefore may not be fully skilled / experienced in the given field
• appoint a specialist / experienced member of staff and underutilise them or ask them to undertake other work for which they may not be fully experienced or qualified
• appoint external consultants
• make do / not undertake the service or function
I imagine all Councils are under cost pressures and are seeking ways to achieve efficiencies. Resource sharing would provide significant opportunities to reduce overall costs yet result in higher quality outputs.
Whether you work for a larger council and already have someone appointed in a particular position who is not 100% utilised or you are in a smaller council with a requirement for say 30% to 50% of a particular skill set there are benefits to resource sharing.
Sharing a resource is likely to lead to:-
• better utilisation of specialised members of staff
• appoint of higher skilled (more expensive) specialists to obtain better advice and services
• cost savings by utilising current staff 100% between two or more councils
• cost savings by utilising employed staff as opposed to external consultants
• retaining valued knowledge and skills within councils by using employed staff not consultants
The above would apply to individual employee appointments but could equally apply to specific back office services eg payroll. I consider this is a real opportunity for many of us and the solution could be fairly simple by registering an area where particular skills or resources are required and matching the requirement with another council who has spare capacity or who also has a similar requirement.
I would be grateful to hear from any of you who consider there could be a benefit in this collaboration and would like to discuss this further. From the response I can judge what interest there is among other GM’s and will be able to evaluate how we might take this forward in a more formal manner.
Please let me know your interest by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling me on 0447 026 098.
General Manager Corporate Services
Rural City of Murray Bridge
On behalf of the General Managers Network