South Ayrshire Council’s (SAC) existing Oracle EBS system was put in place in 2005 and consequently was outdated and restrictive in terms of processes, features, and functionality and even more crucially, moving quickly towards becoming unsupported.

In 2020, South Ayrshire went through the process to procure a new Oracle Fusion Cloud system – one of the first councils in Scotland to do this. In 2021, the programme of implementation for the new system began with Socitm Advisory appointed as change partner to deliver the project.

Biggest challenge

SAC is a relatively small authority in terms of head count and internal resources, so there were limitations with few senior leads. This required a much more hands-on and integrated approach from our team across every aspect of the implementation programme.

This requirement for a greater integrated approach was made harder by another big challenge, which was SAC staff working remotely since the pandemic, making face-to-face meetings and interactions impossible.

Outcome and benefits

Illustrative icon - cogs

The successful delivery of the new system has digitised most of South Ayrshire Council’s internal processes, and many external ones too

illustrative icon - data

Business intelligence and data for analytics are now provided by a single source, enable better-informed decision-making

Illustrative icon - fixing blocks together

This has given huge amounts of administration time back to South Ayrshire employees that they can now use to do higher value tasks

illustrative icon - successful collaboration

The new system’s futureproofed nature with quarterly updates and its flexibility to evolve and develop will deliver future long-term cost-savings

illustrative icon - people processes

All stakeholders now have better access to information through automation and self-service

Our brief and the project goals

To manage… the successful implementation and delivery of the new system through communication, engagement and training with all key stakeholders, both internally and externally.

To lead and oversee… the required:

  • Organisation change,
  • People change,
  • External stakeholder change,
  • Process change,
  • Data and analytics change, and
  • Benefits delivery, including: introduction of self-service; saving money; becoming more agile; and using the new system’s tools to their optimum level of performance.

“Socitm Advisory gave us high levels of knowledge, skill, and experience, we simply don’t have in-house. That said, such was the understanding, rapport and trust we shared, it felt like the Socitm Advisory team were our in-house team!”

Stewart McCall, South Ayrshire Council

Our approach

We deployed functional project managers across the key areas of Finance, Payroll, Procurement, HR, and Data and Technical Support. This enabled us to identify and understand the impacts the new system would have on key areas and put in place initiatives to support the impacts, including: clear communications; training schedules; stakeholder management; and business readiness groups.

Notable learnings

With face-to-face interactions and meetings not possible, we agreed a project communication strategy that enabled rapport, understanding and togetherness to develop and thrive between Socitm Advisory and South Ayrshire Council.

Specialists from our PMO team were able to support members of the South Ayrshire team at a time when they were also delivering other projects in the Council.