The SUMS team can identify multi-million-pound cashable savings and help you lead the essential change needed to make sure your university is fit for the future.  We provide analysis, interpretation and the practical solutions to help you address your most complex challenges.

Use our modular efficiency and transformation framework to target specific challenges, or piece modules together for a broader programme of support.  Simply choose from the modules below to best meet your needs.

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Posts by SUMS experts


Diagnostic Analysis and Benchmarking: What Are Your Issues and How Do You Stack Up?

Get a bespoke, objective and confidential review of your university’s operating model.  SUMS’ dual-approach to benchmarking and analysis – using qualitative and quantitative methods – helps universities see where they are, and more importantly, see where they want to be.  We help clients understand what ‘good’ looks like and how to get there.  We will help you gain clarity around areas of potential recurrent cost savings – usually upwards of £5m.

Hear more about our approach to benchmarking from Principal Consultant Claire Taylor MBE.

Benchmarking video

Target Operating Model (TOM) and Organisational Design: What's the Right TOM for Your University?

We will work with you to create a future-proofed operating model that will allow your university to deliver better services, more cost-effectively.  Using sophisticated organisational design techniques, qualitative and quantitative analysis and best practice principles from the UK and overseas, we will help you understand what services your university should develop, what you should drop and how to decide between the two.  Universities come to SUMS to ensure they meet the needs of the next decade rather than the last one.  With our support, you can free up senior management time to focus on what’s really important. We will help you deliver transformative change with widespread buy-in, build your staff capabilities and evidence your decision-making across performance measures.

Hear more from Principal Consultant David Becker.

Efficiencies Video

Process Optimisation: How Do You Get Lean?

Improve your set-up and deploy your resources more efficiently. Process reviews challenge the status quo and help universities get out of the mindset of ‘we’ve always done it this way’Identifying and eliminating tasks that don’t add value can deliver up to a 20% saving on time and help improve your student and staff experience.  This means better use of resources on the activities your university deems most important.

Hear more from Principal Consultant Fola Ikpehai.

Process review video

Procurement Value Assessment: How Can You Squeeze More Out of Your Non-Pay Spend?

The Procurement Value Assessment (PVA) is your essential tool for driving savings in your non-pay spend. The PVA blends an unparalleled understanding of university procurement best practice with detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis of your university’s non-pay spend to create unique insights. Best estimates are that organisations suffer an average loss of 9.2% of their spend through poor processes. By using the PVA, we have helped universities deliver an average of £2m in potential savings.  Now more than ever, universities need to demonstrate a commitment to decreasing non-pay spend before looking at proposals for staff savings.

Change Maturity Assessment: How Can You Achieve Excellence in People Change Management?

‘People change’ is critical to the success of any organisational change project. It consists of tools that help individuals make successful transitions in the workplace. Our robust approach will assess your change function against the dimensions of leadership, people, process, focus and approach.  We will help you with the strategy and planning, through to implementation, embedding and sustainability.  Our assessment will also give you a benchmark against which you can demonstrate progress on your journey.  A strong change approach will help you achieve expected long-term benefits from your efficiency and transformation programmes.

Change and Organisation Design Capability Building: How Do You Align and Embed the Capabilities that Support Your Strategy?

This module is all about building your team to adapt to and deliver on necessary change.  We will help change agents across your institution increase their confidence and capability in engaging and working with staff whose roles and responsibilities may be changing.  Through our workshops and 1:1 activity, we offer practical recommendations that reduce resistance to change. We also promote awareness, acceptance and personal action planning.  We will help you embed changes in behaviour and attitude to support long-term success in efficiency and transformation programmes.


Executive Coaching and Facilitation: How Do You Become a More Effective Leader?

Our tried and tested approach helps sponsors and agents of change increase their confidence, effectiveness and resilience to be more effective managers and leaders.  Our 1:1 confidential executive coaching will help your change leader clarify roles and responsibilities, navigate barriers, and identify priorities and quick wins.  We provide a safe space and objective sounding board to help you lead through and beyond change.

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