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LINQ system shows University of Otago could save 10,000 hours of time

By Jessie Chiang
Fri 3 Jun 2022

Imagine using up to five different systems in one department, using paper-based orders, and duplicating content from one system to another every single day.

That was the reality for New Zealand’s University of Otago, based at the bottom of the South Island.

Departments purchasing equipment and services had been using paper-based Purchase Orders (PO). Employees spent a significant proportion of their day copying and pasting or manually re-entering the content into different systems to create a consolidated view.

LINQ says the many systems also meant that communication with PO submitters was a manual process, with large numbers of emails being sent daily to multiple people.

The approval process was also manual and required even more emails to be sent and reconciled with the system used to raise the PO.

LINQ says this way of doing things made it hard not only to track the progress of procurement through the process, but also to generate data to help inform the business about the success of procuring from suppliers.

How did LINQ make a difference?

The University Business Process Management team first sat down with users to understand their frustrations around the university’s old systems and gathered how users wanted the process to be improved.

It also watched and timed users carrying out their tasks. The data was then input into LINQ, to record the frequency and duration of work being done.

The requirements from users were translated into a Future State model in LINQ, which alongside the knowledge of how the preferred system worked, reflected how the team would operate once the implementation was complete.

The Process Management team created a test system and used this to understand how long it would take to complete the necessary tasks. Finally, LINQ’s Compare tool was used to understand the impact the change would have - it was a significant and valuable difference. 

The modelling in LINQ showed that by consolidating to one procurement system, the university could reallocate 10,000 hours of time - the equivalent of six full-time staff - to tasks that deliver additional value.

"From one model, LINQ provides analysis from multiple angles that can be used to drive improvement decisions and calculate benefits," says Business Process Management Office senior business analyst Kirsty Irvine.

The company says stakeholders were concerned that optimisation in one area would shift the pain to another part of the process, but the model was able to show how each team involved in the process was impacted by the change and prove that this would not be the case.

"The one-page summary of the Compare function was fantastic for the business case," says Irvine.

"We used the data export to analyse impacted areas and prove that we were saving time across the board rather than shifting effort from one team to another."

The business case was approved, and the project has been funded. Implementation is underway, and with the knowledge of what success looks like, the project team will keep track of progress. 

LINQ says the University of Otago’s work with LINQ's Digital Twin of the Organisation is just one example of how it can make real change and give companies the data necessary to make informed decisions.

The company has also worked with the Ministry for the Environment, Victoria University, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Ministry of Health, Vector, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Transpower to enable digital transformation.

If you would like to see how LINQ can work for your business systems, check out its free 14-day trial with no credit card required for the signup. You can also talk to someone here or visit the LINQ website to find out more about how it can help you. 

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