The challenge

Yugo, a Global Student accommodation provider (PBSA) required a detailed review of its current operating model across European and US operations at pace, to identify further improvement opportunities to continue to drive Strong Consistent Service, Efficiency and Cost Leadership.

How we helped

Velresco and its partners delivered a phased, data led approach utilising innovative software to evidence and quantify the underlying chronic global challenges that were not being directly addressed, which were inhibiting operational and financial performance. This was delivered through:

  • Inducting and training a hybrid Velresco/Yugo team (1:6) to design and collect operational data on core processes and critical roles utilising Velresco's proprietary software vFlow®. Highly informative data was collected in just 13 weeks of effort in 22 residences, across 4 European countries and 6 states in the USA. This provided evidence for the extent of global operating variances and associated improvement opportunities.
  • Designing and building a bespoke MyTeamRadar® online questionnaire to review Global team wellbeing, behaviour, and climate of the organisation. The data quantified the amount of risk to operational stability and ongoing performance.
  • Collecting and analysing of the total procurement spend across EU operations utilising Maistro® software. This delivered a logical categorisation of spend and the development of a procurement improvement calendar, with a validated addressable savings potential of more than £750k per annum.
  • Conducting a specialist review across EU operations into Health and Safety and Facilities management practices, to evidence the current maturity and improvement potential.

How we delivered the benefits

Velresco led the development of a phased Operational Performance Improvement plan, kick-started with a 90-day sprint project that delivered:

  • Revised risk registers aligned to current legislation per European market, whilst standardising core compliance policies/risk assessments with associated management plans, in order to build the foundations for Yugo to shift its Health and Safety maturity.
  • A self-service Supplier Relationship Management & eSourcing technology platform. Internal procurement professionals were trained in the use of the technology, whilst onboarding a vetted supplier base. A team of external procurement specialists were embedded to accelerate targeted savings through an initial portfolio of 5 projects. This immediately realised a supplier reduction from 85 to 5 suppliers, with increased operational performance and spend control.
  • An aligned and clear way of working in Facilities management between the group PropCo and ManCo entities, supported by global standardisation of FM policies and control systems, to start the transition to a fit for purpose Global FM Operating model.
  • Consolidated and revised H&S and FM global policies, processes, and procedures to remove ambiguity and define the Yugo operating standards, leaving a structure for ongoing review, renewal, and addition.

"Facing the challenge of working on three important work streams at the same time, the support and insight provided by the Velresco team was invaluable. They ensured we maintained focus and delivered all the pre-project outcomes"

Simon Griffiths - Regional Director - UK & Ireland

The Leadership Development Programme

As part of our intervention we also delivered a major Leadership Development Programme with our partner Glowinkowski International. Here's what Yugo's Global People and Culture Director, Michelle Hopkins-Jones had to say about it.

Starting with our Global Senior Leadership team, we deployed the tools so that each had a full data-set; not only about themselves, but about the climate (overall) and of their own part of the organisation.

The vast majority of our Senior Team members have 'been around the block' experiencing a range of leadership development over the years, and they have found real value in attending the Blue4 Leadership Programme. But it has by no means been a walk in the park!

The journey has been described as going through the following stages:

  1. "Intense", initially - followed by some
  2. "scepticism", which after reflection has been described as
  3. Self-awareness and "Ok, let's do this"

The impacts?
Following our Global Senior Team session in Denver, I've seen big impacts on how we work together. We are respectfully challenging each other. We're more effective in our meetings; more focused on driving performance… the level of trust has developed to allow us to be much more candid. The diagnostics have really helped us to understand our own and our colleagues' predispositions - which has opened up better, more effective communication. All parties are adjusting their behaviours to better match other's needs.

And, as we embark on the programme rollout, via our 'Blue4 Leadership' accredited (internal Train the Trainer team), for our Functional and Regional Leads, I am seeing the same journey - initially “people are very tender” following their feedback, before embracing things… but I firmly believe that, as we continue on this journey, it will open up a better, more effective dialogue between all leaders at Yugo which will be better for all our teams. I really think it will be a game-changer for Yugo whose Leaders may not yet have been exposed to any significant Leadership Development. It's a privilege for many to experience this so early in their careers.

"What I love about the programme is that you don't see people going on those personal journeys if it's not impactful"

Michelle Hopkins-Jones - Global People and Culture Director