Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting Transformation at KOS
Increasing standards and driving performance through the unification of strategic, financial, and operational data
Leading Italian healthcare provider KOS Group implemented the Board Intelligent Planning platform to consolidate fragmented data from various business units into a single point of truth. The result is increased data accuracy and a consistent, shared structure that has accelerated reporting and financial budgeting, planning, and forecasting processes across the business, delivered greater visibility of performance, and helped to increase customer service standards through more-informed decision-making.
- Industry: Pharmaceutical & Healthcare
- Department: All
- Revenue: €450 million
- Founded: 2002
- Employees: 5,000
Established in 2002, KOS has grown to become a leader in healthcare provision and Italy’s number-one private nursing home operator. The company offers social health and residential care for chronic illnesses, rehabilitation and mental health services, advanced technology applied to medicine, and acute care medicine through three dedicated brands:
- Anni Azzurri, which is involved in the treatment and care of elderly patients through a multi-regional network of high-quality residential services
- Santo Stefano, which is dedicated to functional rehabilitation for problems stemming from various diseases, including severe post-coma brain injuries
- Medipass, which offers integrated, high-tech healthcare services including diagnosis and therapy, comprehensive management of technology parks, and outsourcing of outpatient diagnosis
With a turnover in excess of €595 million, KOS employs over 13,700 people in Italy, Germany, the UK, and India, who help to manage more than 12,800 beds across 193 facilities. These include 101 care homes, two hospitals, 25 outpatient centers, and 29 service outlets for technological solutions that innovate and optimize health systems.
The Challenge: Disparate reporting processes and a lack of autonomy and flexibility
Operating from numerous production sites distributed throughout many different geographic areas, KOS is a business with a very fragmented structure. The company's growth is partly built on the acquisition of facilities that the management has had to integrate gradually into the group. Consequently, there is a need to ensure stringent control of all processes for each facility to maintain long-term compliance with the fundamental principles of the group: efficiency, quality, the fulfillment of customer needs, and ethical principles.
Traditionally, each production site was tied to its own reporting and management commentary system. These were built on Excel spreadsheets, with individual logic, supported by databases and management software (ERP and HR solutions) that were not linked. To more effectively guide value creation inside and outside the group, and ensure the increasing quality of services, the management team needed to make decisions with greater awareness and speed, based on reliable, validated information supplied in a timely manner.
Planning and management control had proven to play a key role in supporting the managers and directors in their strategic choices. As a result, there was a need to collect fragmented data from different sources within a single structured environment to deliver deeper insights and enable continuous benchmarking (both generally and for each production site) that would steer the group's decision-making processes towards growth and efficiency.
The choice of the Board Intelligent Planning platform, which helps plan smarter in a self-service, code-free environment, was the logical solution to the KOS' business needs.
"In particular," says Giuseppe Motta, Director of Planning & Management Control, "the two main characteristics that led KOS to opt for Board were the autonomy that the software would offer us, especially regarding the planning and control department, together with the solution’s tremendous flexibility. In fact, with regard to autonomy, the planning and management control staff were able to define the reporting structures in detail, aligning them across the entire group. In particular, Board's flexibility has enabled KOS to design tailored reports and workflows based precisely on the ideas of the management and directors, without needing to know specific programming languages."
The Solution: An Intelligent Platform with a single set of logic
In a cooperative project delivered by Board Italia and partner Bios Management, the implementation of the Board platform began with the support of KOS' internal IT department. The project initially focused on balancing and aligning the methods of the various people involved to ensure their compliance with predefined objectives and in turn delivering quick wins for the business. The scalability of Board has enabled the solution to be extended easily over time, increasing the number of users from the initial 10 to over 130. Giuseppe explains:
We started by evaluating the state of existing reporting activities. We then began to use Board in management and operational reports, gradually extending it to other reporting areas until it eventually covered all our reporting needs. We then moved on to building applications for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, all on the same platform. Finally, we were able to leverage Board's vast potential in simulating different scenarios.
The solution has supported KOS throughout a period of growth that is still ongoing, fundamentally improving the activities of the Planning & Control department, as well as other critical business areas. We started out with a very diverse, fragmented situation consisting of facilities that were distant from one another, both geographically and in terms of the logic they used. Board has made everything much more orderly because it has allowed us to carry out analysis, planning, and simulations within a single environment that has a single consistent logic. This lets us manage and compare data in the same way for the whole group. The weekly or monthly report that ends up on the Managing Director’s desk is formulated with the same method as the report used by the director of each health facility or hospital.
Collaborating with Board Italia and Bios Management has been fundamental to KOS' success, not only during the initial deployment but also in subsequent upgrade projects.
"The key factor for the success of the projects was predominantly the tailor-made development characteristic, in other words, the notion of tailored applications," highlights Giuseppe. "I would definitely recommend Board to other companies and organizations. What’s more, other organizations have visited us to closely understand our experience with Board. If an organization has clear ideas about what it wants to do, where it’s going, and in what time frame, then deploying it will certainly be a success."
The Benefits: Full awareness and shared information assets
"Before using Board, we worked directly on various operating systems and then aligned the information using Access and Excel. This procedure and other limitations made it increasingly difficult for us to integrate newly acquired facilities. With Board, however, we were able to take the complete set of reports that we had already defined for the group and apply it to the new acquisitions," says Giuseppe.
This means better accessibility of information, which is certified and structured in a consistent way, and the ability to share information assets with the relevant people, from the operational heads of the facilities, to departmental managers, and right up to the Managing Director.
"The deployment of Board has given all levels of the organization a better and more thorough knowledge of the market and the sectors in which we operate. The group’s information assets have actually increased, becoming a valuable resource for everyone, including in terms of awareness of the business itself," Giuseppe continues.
KOS currently has around 130 users working on Board, including around 50 in the areas of administration, finance, and control, and the remainder in various departments, including marketing and internal auditing. In addition, budgeting is not limited to economic aspects, but also encompasses property and financial elements too.
"It’s an end-to-end budget that is also more versatile thanks to Board's complete integration with the Microsoft Office environment (especially Excel)," adds Giuseppe. "In addition to formulating reports based on homogeneous workflows, the use of Board at full capacity has allowed us to benefit from increasingly advanced analytics, multi-scenario simulations, and continuous cost benchmarking, giving us full control of both the big picture and each individual facility within the group."
Another application of Board that has brought great benefits and improvements to KOS is the Balanced Scorecard, which combines data from different management systems such as budgetary data for economic and financial tasks and personnel management data from the human resources department.
"Being a group with a workforce in excess of 5,000 employees, it is vital for us to make decisions based on human resource KPIs. Thanks to Board, we are equipped with a screen that includes various dashboards displaying around a dozen indicators, which are designed to monitor and guide the objectives of the individual directors and the operational units scattered throughout the territory," says Giuseppe.
By generating benefits within the group, Board has created added value for customers and partners of KOS. It provides reliable, validated data in a timely manner, allowing the management team to make informed decisions that improve the quality and standard of services provided.
"Thanks to Board, we have, for example, introduced benchmarks to constantly measure and compare a number of processes in our various rehabilitation centers and nursing homes, in order to derive a summary of best practices and disseminate them to all of the group’s facilities," concludes Giuseppe.
00:00:10I am Giuseppe Motta, the Director of Planning & Management Control at KOS Group. KOS operates in the health and personal care sector and aims to be a leading innovator and provider of personalized, high-quality services, working in tandem with public health authorities. Established in 2002, KOS has a turnover in excess of €450 million and operates through dedicated brands. The Italian Anni Azzurri brand is a leader in the treatment and care of elderly patients through a multi-regional network of high-quality residential services and manages around 5,000 beds. The Santo Stefano brand – one of the key Italian players in the rehabilitation industry - is dedicated to functional rehabilitation for problems stemming from various diseases including severe post-coma brain injuries. Medipass is the brand through which the KOS Group offers integrated, high-tech healthcare services (both in private and public hospitals), including diagnosis and therapy, comprehensive management of technology facilities and outsourcing of outpatient diagnosis.
00:01:22How do you use Board? We began to use Board in management and operational reports, gradually extending it to other reporting areas until it eventually covered all our reporting needs. We then moved on to building applications for budgeting, planning, and forecasting processes. Board has supported KOS throughout a period of growth that is still ongoing.
KOS currently has around 120-130 users working on Board, including around 50 in the areas of administration, finance and control. With its workflow management capability, Board has accelerated our reporting creation and analysis processes.
Another application of Board that has brought great improvements to KOS is the Balanced Scorecard, which combines data from different management systems, from budgetary data for economic and financial tasks to personnel management data for the human resources department. Being a group with a workforce in excess of 5,000 employees it is vital for us to make decisions based on human resource KPIs. Thanks to Board we can leverage our data within a unified environment, with a consistent and shared logical structure. We are now equipped with a screen that includes various dashboards displaying around a dozen indicators, which are designed to monitor and guide the objectives of the individual directors and the operational units scattered throughout the territories.
00:03:10Why was there a need for a new software solution? Since we are distributed throughout many different geographic areas and have acquired several facilities, it was necessary to combine sets of fragmented data from different sources and databases into a single structured and logically ordered environment.
00:03:33Which main Board features stood out to you? The main characteristic that led KOS to opt for Board was the autonomy, especially with regard to the planning and control department, through which the management staff were able to drive the project implementation, and the solution’s flexibility which allowed us to easily design tailored reports and workflows based precisely on the ideas of the management and directors, without needing to know specific programming languages.
00:04:11Can you describe the benefits Board has brought to your organization? Board has made everything much more orderly. Now we can focus a lot more on analysis and simulation and have introduced a continuous benchmarking process, creating value for the entire organization. The group’s information assets have actually increased because all the reports are managed within a single interactive environment, avoiding the issues of spreadsheet proliferation.
Board has allowed us to carry out analysis, planning and simulations within a single environment that has a single consistent logic, based on common algorithms. This allows us to manage and compare data in the same way for the whole group. The weekly or monthly report that ends up on the Managing Director’s desk is formulated using the same methods as the report used by the director of each health facility or hospital.
Taking advantage of reliable, validated data in a timely manner, the management of KOS can make informed decisions that create added value for customers and partners.