SUPPORT & INFRASTRUCTURE

ENABLING SERVICES

In order to facilitate our work assisting people experiencing poverty and disadvantage, our enabling services play a pivotal role in realising the ‘One Society’ approach and many objectives of the Strategic Plan 2020-2022. As a result of the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, the work of our enabling services proved invaluable in ensuring an effective transition to working from home arrangements during the latter part of the financial year.

TECHNICAL SERVICES

During 2019/20 the Society made a significant investment in the uplift of both digital literacy and basic technology infrastructure, especially in regional areas. This included the rollout of training to 568 users, new PCs and laptops in the regions, with the adoption of Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and a new SharePoint intranet. This investment demonstrated its value when staff were able to smoothly transition to working from home with the advent of COVID-19.

As a result of the increased demand for assistance brought on by working from home arrangements, the capacity of the service desk was expanded to help priorities requests based on severity and urgency. Calls for assistance were differentiated using the criteria of Issues (pre-existing technology and software) and Requests (technology and software users previously hadn’t accessed).

Significant support was also provided to staff, members and volunteers in using One Drive and Microsoft Teams – tools which became essential to the Society’s productivity during the final third of the financial year. Foundational and focussed training sessions were delivered regularly to inform attendees on the functionality of cloud computing, accessing and storing files, and engaging with colleagues during meetings.

This uplift in infrastructure was accompanied by a series of projects which improved the Society’s cyber-security posture substantially. Significant efficiencies in technology, reducing licencing, cloud subscription and telephony costs helped to achieve a reduction of over $1 million annually whilst achieving higher levels of service for users.

In addition, a number of the Society’s software systems were improved and upgraded, including the Society Client Information System (SCIS), NDIS and Great Plains finance systems, ensuring the Society’s systems continued to support our ever improving business processes and remaining in line with system standards throughout the social service sector.

PROPERTY

We have undertaken a number of projects to enhance the facilities at our service sites and Vinnies Shops. This is a key part of the property strategy to support the people the Society assists by managing our assets effectively and providing a fit for purpose environment that contributes to the financial sustainability of the organisation.

As part of the transformation to a state-wide, centre led structure, we have worked towards increasing the quality and efficiency of our work by simplifying, standardising and automating functions within the property portfolio.

Throughout the year a ‘dividend / return’ protocol was devised for the property portfolio, while a formal asset review of each of the Society’s properties was undertaken as part of a value enhancement and co-creation approach.

We also continued our sustainability work by focusing on cost effectiveness and the use of environmentally friendly energy sources. This resulted in the continued roll out of LED lighting to our Vinnies Shops and solar panels at suitable freehold properties across our portfolio.

PROCUREMENT

This year Procurement focused on driving cost effectiveness, sustainability and alignment to our vision and values in our activities.

In November 2019 we released a new procurement policy that ensures greater governance and less risk, opportunities for partnering with Indigenous suppliers in accordance with our Reconciliation Action Plan, and compliance with new legislation.

We continue to work collaboratively with the Society in other states and territories, identifying opportunities to negotiate deals with suppliers together. Meanwhile, the procurement team worked closely with our fundraising and corporate partnerships team, resulting in sponsorship and procurement opportunities with our existing suppliers.