Benchmarking Partnerships

Business Improvement STUDY TOUR of very Good Practice organisations
21-25 March, 2010

learn firsthand how you can do it and the business benefits

You will tour and meet with senior leaders/CEO’s/ process owners across 11 leading and award winning organisations. For the total customer experience, ‘all inclusive’ participants will be travelling by luxury coach and staying at the Menzies and Windsor Hotels.

Briefing – Sunday 21st March, Sydney. The Menzies Hotel

Participants flight details TBA. Participants will meet at The Menzies Hotel, 14 Carrington Street,  Sydney at 4PM for a 2hr participant briefing after booking participants in. The briefing will include: program structure, logistics, event management, relief activities and focused facilitation and discussion of expectations and learning needs from participants, if not already submitted. Manuals and name badges will be handed out, before closing for an informal restaurant meal shared together.

DAY 1 – Monday 22nd March, Sydney
7.00am Breakfast, then Luxury Coach transport from The Menzies Hotel to SummitCare.

Luxury Coach transport from The Menzies Hotel to SummitCare, 57 Saddington Street, St Marys.

SummitCare (Australia) business excellence winner (silver, 2009).

SummitCare (Australia) has provided quality residential aged care in Sydney for more than 40 years.

With a model that strives beyond regulatory mandates, SummitCare’s dedication to delivering superior facilities and service has seen each of its homes fully accredited and externally verified as living the essence of ‘continuous improvement’.

Its Quality Management Framework embraces and prioritises feedback from residents and relatives which is regularly canvassed through reviews, satisfaction surveys and complaints.

SummitCare plans for business excellence.  Its strategies link effectively to key objectives and deliver on current and future stakeholder demands.  Aligned to overall strategy, local plans undergo regular monitoring against performance measures while external benchmarking is used to form an objective view of the organisation.

SummitCare is characterised by principled leadership, a keen focus on residents and their families and a desire to construct an open, collaborative and continuous improvement culture.
Employees display passion, professionalism, and an understanding of their contribution to SummitCare’s goals.  The building of capability is supported by formal and informal education programs and achievement of qualifications is routinely recognised.  

Environmental considerations are reflected in monitoring of energy and water use and in major upgrades of facilities and development of new sites.

SummitCare is proactive in its efforts to positively influence the direction of aged care at federal and state government levels while management and staff actively share knowledge and experiences via participation in industry and professional forums.

Arrival at SummitCare. Thankyou to Summitcare, identification of Day 1 learning needs, facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.


Official welcome and Introduction to SummitCare Cynthia Payne, Chief Executive Officer.

Cynthia will share with you the journey that we as an organisation have been on over the past five years. How the Business Excellence Framework became our core operating environment and our strategic direction. We will share with you our success stories and how SummitCare has achieved these using the Business Excellence Framework. An overview of our demonstrated Leadership throughout the organization and how the staff live the Culture which has given us the opportunity to be the only Aged Care provider to obtain a Silver award.

10.40am Morning tea.

Leadership Team – Sonya Darwich, Sadie Burling and Judith Leacock.

The leadership team will share with you the development of the Performance Measures Matrix, our Continuous Improvement Framework and the Summit Star program – why SummitCare is a great place to work.  We will provide an overview of the development opportunities and training within the organization and our achievements with our customers. Our Vision –Working together to provide peace of mind. Our Credo -“We are people providing care and service to people.” And achieving Our Purpose – To provide, all day every day, exceptional and sensitive care and service to people requiring residential aged care.


Site Visit – St Mary’s Gardens Aged Care.

This very brief walk/talk site visit will give you the opportunity to view the facility and interact with staff. Staff will   have the opportunity to share with you the extremely important role they play within the organization and how SummitCare recognizes their contribution to our strategic direction.

12 noon

Thankyou SummitCare by Benchmarking Partnerships, and depart via coach to 3M Australia. Feedback & reflections of learnings to continue on the coach out to 3M Australia. 3M Australian Headquarters, 950 Pacific Hwy, Pymble.

3M Australia    international innovation leader

3M is a global technology company delivering innovative solutions to life's everyday needs We produce thousands of imaginative products, and we're a leader in scores of markets - from health care and highway safety to office products and abrasives and adhesives. Our success begins with our ability to apply our technologies - often in combination - to an endless array of real-world customer needs. Of course, all of this is made possible by the people of 3M and their singular commitment to make life easier and better for people around the world.

3M is an organisation of more than 35 business units, organised into six businesses: Consumer and Office; Display and Graphics; Electro and Communications; Health Care; Industrial and Transportation; and Safety, Security and Protection Services.

12.30pm Arrival at 3M Australia. Lunch and networking upon arrival.

Presentation on 3M innovation. Peter Gray, Technical Manager, 3M Australia. Presentation and sharing by Peter to include an overview presentation including international businesses and the role of the 3M Australian operation, Australian sites, local R&D and the function of the labs.


Site Tour of labs. The site tour of laboratories will include:

  • Discussion with senior technical staff from Security Systems & Library on their product development / modification experience
  • Discussion with senior technical staff from OH&ES Division on their product development / modification experience

2.40pm Regroup for discussion/questions.

Afternoon tea.

Hunter New England Health    NSW Premiers public  sector awards 2009, succeeding through innovation - winner.

Postcards Reduce Repeat suicide Attempts.

NSW Health, Hunter New England Area Health Service and Calvary Mater Newcastle

Attempted suicide by deliberate self poisoning is common and is the cause of more than 20 per cent of completed suicides (deaths). 15 per cent of those who attempt suicide will make another attempt within the next 12 months. The more attempts, the more likely the person will die and for each attempt more healthcare resources will be needed. In a study of 772 patients with deliberate self poisoning (attempted suicide), eight postcards over 12 months were compared with usual treatment. The number of repeat attempts at suicide was halved and the effect was sustained for at least five years. Postcards are a simple, cheap (less than $15 per patient) and effective intervention that has been shown to reduce attempted suicide and save hospital bed-days.


Professor Ian Whyte, Senior Staff Specialist and Director of the Department of Clinical Toxicology and Pharmacology at the Calvary Mater Newcastle, Hunter New England Area Health Service.

Professor Whyte will share how this innovative intervention 'Postcards' has been effective in significantly reducing repeat suicide attempts and has also saved many bed days in both the general hospital and the psychiatric hospital.


Workshopping Handy Hints – facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

Workshop Groups of participants & speakers address:

  • what are the key messages and ideas from the visits and the presentations today?
  • what ideas are coming from the other workshop participants?
  • what are the opportunities for you to take action?
5.00pm Thankyou to our host and presenters by Benchmarking Partnerships, and depart via return coach to our Sydney hotel. Reflection and learning will continue on the coach hotel return.
5.30pm Arrive hotel and a possible ‘walk in the park’ relief session and fun activity, before refreshments/drinks back at the hotel.
6.30pm Meet in the hotel foyer for a restaurant meal, informal networking, getting to know each other.
DAY 2 – Tuesday 23rd March, Sydney

Breakfast by participants. Check out accounts with the hotel for all participants.

Host – The Menzies Hotel, Sydney CBD


The Menzies Hotel, Canberra Suite, Identification of Day 1 learning needs, facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

AMP   innovation leader

AMP is a leading wealth management company with more than 3.4 million customers and 4,100 employees in Australia and New Zealand. AMP is Australia's largest retail and corporate superannuation provider, and one of the region's most significant investment managers with more than A$117 billion in assets under management (as at 30 June 2008). We have a market-leading distribution capability with a network of more than 2,000 qualified financial planners. One in six Australians are AMP customers, meaning that almost every Australian barbeque function includes an AMP policy-holder.


Innovation at AMP, Annalie Killian, IT Director, Innovation, Collaboration & Communication.

Annalie Killian is AMP's Catalyst for Magic. Working as a Director in IT reporting to the group CI, she has functional responsibility for Intranet & Communication, Collaboration and Innovation- a role she has held since 2000 and which continuously evolves as the business, socio-economic and technology landscape evolves.

Annalie will share a few specific examples of initiatives in AMP that advances the Innovation agenda, both at a process as well as cultural level, and welcomes questions and conversations from participants around these, so that the learning arises out of the sharing of stories rather than a one-directional presentation.

The conversation opportunities would be around:

  • Social Media tools to drive an "open innovation" culture and mass-collaboration
    Creativity Bootcamp
  • AMPLIFY- the bi-annual AMP Innovation & Thought Leadership Festival
    Infobites- Monthly Thought Leadership
  • Ideas Playground- a time-boxed campaign-based ideation process around specific growth challenges
  • Innov8- a continuous improvement idea management process

Morning tea.

NSW Dep’t of Planning, Special Projects – Assessment Systems General Counsel Division   NSW Premiers public  sector awards 2009, succeeding through innovation – runner up.

Ten day Approvals for Home & Small Business Proposals.

The NSW Housing Code and the NSW Commercial and Industrial Code are significant policy initiatives which cut red tape and streamline the planning and construction approval system. Home owners and businesses can now use a‘checklist-style’ Code, instead of lodging a Development Application.

The NSW Housing Code allows for a new dwelling house or renovations to be approved in ten days. An average family home in an average surburban street no longer needs to have expensive consultant reports prepared to justify its being built.

Similarly, the NSW Commercial and Industrial Code allows for minor works to a commercial premises to be approved in ten days. It applies to works such as installing awnings and signage, and changing the use of existing retail, commercial office and industrial facilities.

Local chambers of commerce, the NSW Business Chamber, and the Property Council of Australia have all declared the Commercial and Industrial Code a winner.

10.45am NSW Dep’t of Planning, Special Projects – Assessment Systems general Counsel Division, Mr Andrew Abbey, Director, Special Projects.
11.30am Reflection/ discussion.
12 noon

Thankyou host and presenters by Benchmarking Partnerships, and depart via coach to Schindler Lifts Australia Pty Ltd, 36-38 Lord Street, Botany. Feedback & reflections of learnings to continue on the coach out to Schindler lifts.

Schindler Lifts Australia Pty Ltd   business excellence winner (bronze, 2009).

Schindler Lifts Australia is one of the country’s largest suppliers of escalators and elevators.  With 600 employees and operations throughout the country, Schindler designs, installs, services and modernises building transport systems.
Propelled by a robust planning and measurement system, Schindler Lifts is progressing determinedly towards its goal of market leadership.

Strategic intent is effectively communicated across the organisation while individual departments’ business plans link to the company storyboard and current imperatives.  Accountability for execution of strategy is a driving factor of the organisation.

A greater understanding of its market has been achieved through improved customer engagement, networking and the commissioning of market research.  This has resulted in new markets, sales and revenue growth and decreased churn rate.

The Schindler work environment encourages a strong performance ethic through inclusiveness, diversity and fairness.  All customer facing staff operate under a performance reward system and have clear guidelines for client interaction. 

With its global head office in Switzerland, the company has worldwide resources to draw upon to plan for mitigating market risks and for deploying systems to support organisational effectiveness and sustainability.

Achieving sustainability is a key factor in Schindler’s planning.  Driven by an acute appreciation of workforce issues, in particular engineering and trades skills shortages, the company has strategies to address future business needs such as an ageing skilled workforce, leadership career development and apprenticeship programs.

1.10pm Arrival and welcome at Schindler Lifts. Short Site Tour.
1.20pm Lunch and Networking.

Official welcome  and  Schindler Lifts Australia(SLA) – Business Excellence Journey presentation by Fernando Xavier, Managing Director, Schindler Lifts Australia.

Fernando will share SLA’s:

  • Leadership Vision, Values & Strategy
  • Planning & Deployment (Balanced Scorecard)
  • Excellence in Execution
  • Learning & Continuous Improvement

Effective Management of Customer Relationships, presentation by Damian Richards, Marketing, Key Accounts & Portfolio Management.

Damian will discuss and share how SLA build customer relationships, ensuring a positive customer experience. Damian will also share SLA’s listening/feedback systems.

3.30pm Tea break & networking.

SLA – A Great Place to Work, presentation by Andrew Thackray, GM,  Human Resources.

Andrew will outline the underpinning and enabling culture at SLA that creates the environment for people to be valued and to perform, building organisational capability.


Workshopping Handy Hints – facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

Workshop Groups of participants & speakers address:

  • what are the key messages and ideas from the visits and the presentations?
  • what ideas are coming from the other workshop participants?
  • what are the opportunities for you to take action?
5.00pm Thankyou Schindler Lifts Australia by Benchmarking Partnerships, and depart via coach to Sydney domestic airport for our flight to Melbourne. Flight details TBA. Arrival in Melbourne will be via coach pick up and transport to The Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring Street,  Melbourne CBD.
7.00pm Hotel arrival, refresh and restaurant dinner and drinks nearby including lighter reflections of the Sydney tour days.  
DAY 3 – Wednesday 24th March, Melbourne.

Breakfast, then 7.45AM Luxury Coach departure transport from The Hotel Windsor to day 3 host, South East Water Limited, 20 Corporate Drive, Heatherton.

South East Water Ltd   a previous business excellence Gold award winner.

South East Water is a provider of water, sewerage, trade waste and water-saving services for residents and businesses in an area ranging from the South East of Melbourne to South Gippsland.

We are one of Melbourne’s three water retailers owned by the Victorian Government.

Our role is to bring water to you and adapt it to meet your needs. That means providing a reliable supply of quality water for home and business. It means fixing problems quickly. It means providing efficient and reliable sewerage and trade waste services. It means innovating in areas such as recycling and in the ways that we can solve your water and sewerage related needs.

In a world of uncertainty, our role is also to help you make the right choicesabout your water and adapt to the new reality of limited water supply.

South East Water is a previous Australian Business Excellence Award Gold Winner.


Arrival at South East Water Limited.

9.10am Official welcome at South East Water. Shaun Cox- Managing Director.
9.30am Thanks to South East Water, agenda for the day, housekeeping and facilitate participant learning needs- Benchmarking Partnerships.

Innovation in Action ‘ Brain Waves’, Kate O’Keeffe, Innovation Manager.

Innovation is important for South East Water to create solutions to the numerous challenges facing its industry. Started at the end of 2004, ‘Brain Waves’ is the vehicle through which South East Water supports and develops innovation across the company. As part of a broader cultural change program, Brain Waves really started to gain traction in mid-2005 and has now had significant successes throughout South East Water.

In this session Kate will describe how Brain Waves used internal communications and innovation events to win over senior, middle and ground level support. She will also discuss how employees were encouraged to take responsibility for incremental innovation and then to start focusing on more substantial initiatives. Successes, challenges and roadblocks will be shared, as will ‘Brain Waves’ future aspirations.

10.30am Morning tea

Using strategic frameworks to drive business performance through change, Dr Hamish Reid, GM Corporate Strategy.  

This presentation would cover South East Water’s work on implementing their strategic framework to implement the new corporate plan and also their program to embed sustainability into their business.

11.45am Walk and talk site tour. The site tour will include a visit to the South East Water high performing Call Centre where you will hear and meet with management and staff sharing also their benchmarking success, improvement programs etc. Also there will be an opportunity to visit the Innovation ’Brain Waves’ training rooms and other facilities on site.

Lunch, meet and greet with South East Water Executives.

Hobart City Council  2008 business excellence Gold award & excellence medal winner.

The Mission of Hobart City Council is to ensure good governance of the Capital City of Tasmania ie Hobart. The 2025 Vision aims to offer opportunities for all ages and a city of life, a City that is recognised for its natural beauty and quality of environment, is well governed at a regional and community level, achieves good quality development and urban management, is highly accessible through efficient transport options, builds strong and healthy communities through diversity, participation and empathy and is dynamic, vibrant and culturally expressive.


Success and Sustainability, Warren Nichols, Quality Improvement Manager, Hobart City Council.

Warren, will share the Hobart City council quest and approach for continual improvement, the application and integration of business excellence, results, improvement planning and business performance growth including the desire and discovery for applied learning stretching to ongoing success and sustainability. This presentation will also include the linkage and alignment of business excellence and improvement results through incorporating improvement strategies within daily activities


Afternoon tea.

Department of Human Services - Victorian Bushfire Case Management Service  innovation in service delivery, finalist.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to enhancing and protecting the well being of all Victorians, emphasising vulnerable groups and those most in need.

The Department of Human Services covers the responsibilities of the Ministers for Community Services and Housing.

We plan, fund and deliver community and housing services in line with the government's vision for making Victoria a stronger, more caring and innovative state.

The Victorian Bushfire Case Management Service is providing all Victorians affected by the bushfires with the support they need to access assistance with matters including accommodation, finance, personal assistance, employment, education, counselling, health and legal services during this difficult time. The case manager will work with individuals and families to determine their needs, prioritise the work that will be conducted, follow up on the agreed actions and report back to families. They will help Victorians to locate and access the services they need to get back on track, and will act as the primary contact for the family or individual accessing services. Every family will have a case manager whose job it is to help them as they sort through what are very difficult issues


Colleen Clark Assistant Director, Victorian Bushfire Case Management Service.

On the 7 February 2009 the bushfires that ravaged Victoria resulted in the most catastrophic loss of life in Australia’s peacetime history. In response to this devastation the Commonwealth and Victorian state government jointly announced on the 10 February that “each affected family will be given a name and phone number of a person they can call who can give them the help they need to get their lives back on track” - this was the genesis of the establishment of the Victorian Bushfire Case Management Service (VBCMS).

To date the service has provided case management to over 5500 households.

The VBCMS model of service delivery has a number of innovative features that have been found to be highly effective in meeting community needs. Assistant Director of the VBCMS, Colleen Clark, will discuss key aspects of this service, including:

  • Collaborative relationships between all three levels of government to deliver the service
  • Continuous service delivery improvements
  • A more collaborative and transparent relationship between government and service  delivery agencies; and
  • Real time information and problem solving.

Irene Grant, Regional Coordinator Hume Region and Sally Alsop, Regional Coordinator Gippsland Region from the VBCMS will assist with the presentation and contribute to discussion.


Workshopping Handy Hints – facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

Workshop Groups of participants & speakers address:

  • what are the key messages and ideas from the visits and the presentations?
  • what ideas are coming from the other workshop participants?
  • what are the opportunities for you to take action?
4.30pm Thankyou to our host and presenters by Benchmarking Partnerships, and depart via return coach to The Windsor Hotel. Reflection and learning will continue on the coach hotel return.
5.15pm Arrive hotel and arrange an outdoors relief session (weather permitting) and fun activity.
7.00pm Meet in the hotel foyer for a restaurant meal/ drinks, and informal networking.
DAY 4 – Thursday 25th March, Melbourne
7.15am Breakfast by participants. Check out accounts with The Windsor Hotel for all participants.

Depart luxury Coach transport from Hotel to day 4 morning host Computershare, 452 Johnston Street, Abbotsford.

Computershare Limited business excellence winner (silver, 2009).

Computershare is a global leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, proxy solicitation and other specialised financial, governance and communication services.

Founded in Melbourne in 1978, it now has over 11,500 employees providing services in 17 countries to more than 14,000 clients and a market capitalisation of over $6 billion.

Located at Yarra Falls in Abbotsford Victoria, the Operations Group of Computershare is a discrete business unit servicing Australian clients.  It was established in 2002 to consolidate and centralise service delivery and has since achieved close to 150 per cent improvement in productivity.  Over recent years it has maintained a 90 percent customer satisfaction rating.

The high performing company leverages technology to achieve consistently high standards and has developed the capacity to respond quickly to external influences on strategic direction.  Areas for improved customer relations and service are measured through sophisticated reporting processes and an independent monthly telephone survey.

‘Creating a great place to work’ has resulted in reduced staff turnover, and increased retention and promotion.  Feedback and development opportunities are opened up through surveys, focus groups, secondment, job rotation and choice of some 200 training programs.

A comprehensive leadership framework is supported by monthly coaching of performance and behavioural expectations and motivated managers drive continuous improvement. 

Operations' core values and strategic intent are evident in all aspects of the business and align with core business activities and performance.


Arrival at Computershare. Coffee on arrival and housekeeping, Benchmarking Partnerships.


Official welcome & Our Business Excellence journey so farGraham Giannini, Director of Operations – Asia Pacific.

Graham will share a summary of:

  • Where we were to where we are now
  • Highlights of the journey and major achievements
  • Overview of the components of the change programme
  • High level view of lessons learnt and identification of critical success factors

Graham will then outline the approach for the rest of the morning.

Computershare Operations – what we did, what we are doing, where we are heading.

Tony Canterbury – Senior Manager – Planning, People & Performance Group
Christian Boyd – Manager Planning & Information - Planning, People & Performance Group
Judy Eeles - Organisational Development Manager - Planning, People & Performance Group
Anna Papile – Senior Manager – Business Transformation Team
Brad Jordon – Senior Manager – Transaction Services Group

The Computershare team will share their business excellence journey – their approach and their learnings, through a series of presentations, case studies and interactive “on the floor” discussions (Computershare in their “live” environment) focusing on:

  • strategy & planning and how this has shaped their change agenda
  • information & knowledge and the value that can be derived from turning data into meaningful business insight for stakeholders
  • their philosophies and approach to staff engagement, alignment and capability development
  • their approach to process improvement, management and information and how they identify, manage and control their processes generally

and how the integration and alignment of each of these elements is key to providing excellence in operational service delivery, quality and certainty to their clients and customers.   

11.20am Morning Tea.
11.40am Computershare Operations – what we did, what we are doing, where we are heading  continued.
1.00pm Lunch and networking.

Computershare Operations – what we did, what we are doing, where we are heading continued.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission   business improvement at ASIC.

ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.

We contribute to Australia’s economic reputation and wellbeing by ensuring that Australia’s financial markets are fair and transparent, supported by confident and informed investors and consumers.

We are an independent Commonwealth Government body. We are set up under and administer the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act (ASIC Act), and we carry out most of our work under the Corporations Act.


ASIC. Steven Scott, Manager Client Contact centre.

Steven will share ASIC’s business improvement journey, how this is informed and driven from strategy/stakeholders. Steven will outline the Client Contact Centre and how to manage change, and apply business improvement tools for performance improvement.

Steven will also share how ASIC is answering calls and responding to emails 50% quicker:

  • with improved Quality
  • with fewer service complaints
  • without dedicated business improvement FTE

Workshopping Handy Hints and Action Planning from best practices learnt during the tour – facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

Workshop Groups of participants & speakers address:

  • what are the key messages and ideas from the visits and the presentations?
  • what ideas are coming from the other workshop participants?
  • what are the opportunities for you to take action?
  • facilitated action planning for EACH participant, your next steps, what else do you need to know
4.30pm Wrap-up summary of Tour by Benchmarking Partnerships. Thankyou to host and speakers.  Soft drinks/wine, cheese and networking.
5.00pm Depart via luxury coach to Melbourne airport, for interstate participants.

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