Australian Agency Speeds Agility with 6X Increase in Workflow Flexibility

Streamlined procurement workflows accelerate processes by 20% while reducing costs by 35%

If you think that automating workflow is enough to optimize the costs of business processes and gain visibility into those processes, think again. Or ask Paul Atkins. Atkins is Director of Procurement and Contracts for Perth, Australia’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, which oversees hundreds of active contracts worth about AU$500 million a year.

Getting MRA authorized staff to approve a contract can take up to 100 steps, depending on the contract’s size and complexity. Atkins and his staff need to know where each contract sits in the workflow at any given time, so they can address bottlenecks and keep the process humming. They also need the agility to implement workflow changes quickly and cost effectively, to meet new requirements and mitigate new risks.

In 2013, MRA automated its contract approval workflow with Microsoft SharePoint, replacing an Access database.

“We’re a small team in Procurement and Contracts,” says Atkins. “Making changes to workflows was a time-consuming and fraught task. Email notifications weren’t as intuitive and successful as we needed. Maintaining workflow history for auditors was difficult. And we still lacked visibility into the process.”

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MRA is the urban renewal arm of the Perth, Australia government’s planning department. With a unique combination of legislative powers and strong partnerships with local government, private developers and industry stakeholders, MRA creates spaces across metropolitan Perth where people want to work, visit and live.

Business Situation

MRA lacked visibility into its contract approval process, making it tough and costly to identify and address bottlenecks.

Solution

Connected Systems developed a Nintex workflow solution for MRA that streamlines a 100-step contract management process involving multiple levels of approvals – with up to 10 approvers for each contract. Employees benefit from automated workflows, while delegated authorities appreciate real-time e-mail approval notifications.

The benefits come alive: greater speed and agility— for less cost

MRA implemented Nintex Workflow, with the aid of Nintex partner Connected Systems. The solution notifies executives of required actions on contracts via emails. MRA easily customizes these emails with intuitive text and graphics, resulting in understandable status information and requests for action by authorized approvers.

With Nintex Workflow, MRA also gains the faster, less expensive, and more agile development and update processes that it sought. Connected Systems estimates the time and cost of implementing Nintex over four months was 35% less than the corresponding time and cost of more complex, custom workflow development. Updating workflows to align with evolving business processes is so fast and simple that MRA can handle it internally and update processes more frequently. MRA now updates monthly, not twice yearly, as before, which is 6X more frequently.

“With Nintex, we know how many requests we receive and approve in a given month, and can put our work in the context of the agency’s overall mission and needs,” says Atkins. “We can show how we’re providing strategic sourcing and supply chain management. Before Nintex, that was always harder to do than we wanted.”

Benefits

SPEEDS CHANGE REQUEST PROCESS FROM THREE MONTHS TO FOUR DAYS
Speeds change request process from three months to four days
REDUCES TIME SPENT ON PAPERWORK BY 80%
Reduces time spent on paperwork by 80%
REDUCES TIME TO SET UP A NEW PROJECT BY 67%
Reduces time to set up a new project by 67%
We have confidence now that contracts are moving forward through the system and, when they’re not, we see that and take action.

We have confidence now that contracts are moving forward through the system and, when they’re not, we see that and take action. That wasn’t the case before we adopted Nintex.

Paul Atkins, Director of Procurement and Contracts, Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency, Perth, Australia

Streamlined procurement workflows accelerate processes by 20% while reducing costs by 35%