SMS provides administration services for medical aid schemes such as Sizwe, including a call centre, pre-authorisation, case management, clinical audit, billing, assessing, pharmacy, disease risk management and membership plus a sales team.

The CEO, was looking for a partner to design and implement a highly efficient operating model, which he knew would entail difficult decisions and which he wanted implemented in a very structured and controlled way, thereby reducing the risks and enhancing the chances of success as the very tight SLAs which the medical scheme imposes, would not be relaxed during the change process.

A four week Preliminary Survey identified significant opportunities to increase productivity and a 26-week programme designed to implement the changes in conjunction with a huge overhaul of the management control systems; with all systems being analysed and critiqued together with the management and new systems designed, agreed and installed including new planning systems, the setting of new challenging daily targets, daily review meetings and a focus on increasing accountability and performance management. This included a new productivity measurement system which meant a sharp daily focus on individual and departmental productivity levels against planned levels.

These changes were supported by a large scale training and skills upgrade programme for the management and supervision, which has led to a radically new culture within Sechaba, with managers developing far more ‘active’ management styles, pre-empting problems, planning performance levels and quickly identifying and addressing shortfalls.

The Programme is now at an end and the results have been spectacular with productivity gains averaging 40% in the affected areas and with all SLAs being maintained. The CEO said:

Knox D' Arcy worked seamlessly with the organisation and implemented a transformation process improving the levels of productivity and our cost base at Sechaba Medical Solutions. Their strength is their methodology, which has led to better outcomes and an understanding by our team of what it means to have a performance-led culture. The process although difficult was made so much easier and more effective by their input and expertise. Their intervention has been a real asset to our organisation.