Steps to become NDIS Business Ready

August 22, 2017

Key steps to becoming NDIS Business Ready

Registering to become a provider is one aspect of the transition to the NDIS. Organisations need to make sure they can deliver services and sustain their operation sufficiently. In its current state the NDIS environment has put providers on an uncertain path about their future and ability to provide quality services under this new system. We’ve outlined some key recommendations for providers to overcome the challenges of the NDIS.

Evaluation

The NDIS is complex system requiring business to adapt their grant fund model to a ‘for profit’ business model. Those responsible for the NDIS transition in their organisation should consider involving all departments (HR, marketing, finance, operations etc.) and communicate the road ahead (the business plan) to all staff.

Given time and complexity, consider seeking expertise from a consultant who can help your organisation evaluate your business and services. Seeking expert help will help you devise a business strategy and marketing plan for growth under the NDIS.

Service Delivery and Processes

Under the NDIS, participants you will contact providers after formalising their plan inquiring about services. As clients continue to seek your services, you need a system to can help your staff schedule time and dates, effectively manage cases, contacts, leads and campaigns. Organisations should evaluate their current process of managing clients and whether they need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or upgrade their current system.

Managing Cost of Delivery

The shift in the pricing model means providers needs to understand cost of each services they delivery, their profit margin and strategies to manage payments in arrears. As organisations will essentially have to operate as a business, efficiency in business reporting is key. Evaluate your current finance and account management system whether it has the reporting and measurement capabilities to provide insights and key reports on how your organisation is performing against budgets, resources, utilisation and services.

Cloud Technology

For many businesses and organisations, work revolves around endless printed documents and notes. Cloud technology has enabled us to reduce infrastructure costs and facilitate easier collaboration and central access to information. Cloud solutions are being adopted across industries, in all forms such as security, accounting, data storage and more. Cloud solutions may not be suitable for all businesses and organisations, especially those who don’t have a reliable internet connection. It’s best to consult an expert as to what is best for your organisation to maximise productivity.

Marketing

Under the NDIS, once a participant receives their plan, their next step is to figure what services and products can best support their lifestyle and achieve their goals. While some may stick with their existing providers, as the market changes and becomes more competitive, participants will be scoping what other providers can do for them. That’s why it is crucial for providers to have an effective online presence.

Many organisations have the data available to evaluate their marketing and engagement strategy and identify areas that can be improved. In a nutshell, your strategy needs to focus on showcasing how your services and products can help participants achieve their goals better than other providers? That’s easier said than done.

Some key areas to focus on include:

  • How accessible is your information?
  • Do you provide clear and relevant information about how your products and services can help participants?
  • Do provide information on the process participants will go through to obtain services from you under the NDIS?
  • Does our website and digital channels provide consistent message about our organisation’s ‘uniqueness’ over others?
  • How does our current clients view us, our services and how can we improve organic advocacy from our existing clients?
  • How well is our website supporting our marketing efforts?

The NDIS environment in its current state, is quite uncertain for providers. Organisations and businesses are already finding themselves struggling with uncertain cash flow, from ICT issues holding up payment requests and providing services to participants waiting for plans.  The result of this may put participants at risk of not receiving the support they need to continue and improve their quality of life. Many pain points have been identified and are slowly being addressed. In the meantime, providers need to become more agile, efficient to act swiftly. The transition to the NDIS environment was always going to be challenging, however recognising on the outset that change is needed, will help ensure your organisation can thrive under the NDIS.