My Plan Manager
Name: Richard HilliardTitle: Chief technology officerCompany: My Plan Manager GroupCommenced role: September 2020Reporting line: CEOMember of the executive team: YesTechnology Function: 26 staff, 6 direct reports
With the ongoing roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which will provide funding to 670,000 Australians with a disability within two years, and increasing popularity of plan management services, opportunities abound for My Plan Manager (MPM) Group.
To help the organisation capitalise on these trends to maintain its market position and continue to grow, chief technology officer Richard Hilliard has led a variety of initiatives in the past year.
“MPM Group continues its exceptional rise, growing over 70 per cent in the past year to support over 58,000 clients. We now process claims for over 16 per cent of the plan management sector,” Hilliard tells CIO Australia.
“Growth this year was driven by organic acquisition and the purchase of the sector’s third largest plan manager, NDSP.”
A test of core architectural principles
As outlined in his 2022 entry, Hilliard successfully delivered of MPM’s Transact2Pay program in FY22 to help it processes over 10,000 invoices daily.
However, to support the business case for the acquisition of NDSP, it was critical for Hilliard and his team to demonstrate that the platform could scale to support NDSP’s 16,000 clients and 5,000 daily invoices.
“It was the first real test of the core architectural principles that I established when I very first joined MPM in 2020,” he says.
The platform MPM inherited from NDSP had distinct similarities to MPM’s own previous system – it was built in-house and had reached the end of its useful life.
“There was significant technical debt, and knowledge of the platform resided in the heads of a few key resources with almost no documentation,” says Hilliard.
“Further, with no integration to the NDIS APIs or other technology platforms, we knew automation would be limited. We saw no evidence of the innovation available in MPM’s platform.”
Hilliard and his team then developed a new platform, dubbed NAPPA5, with NDSP customers and data transitioned onto MPM’s Salesforce platform.
“NAPPA5 is a shared platform with MPM, with tweaks to enable data segregation and the ability to represent the brands differently. For example, we have white-labelled our client portal to reflect the NDSP brand,” Hilliard says.
Crucially, Hilliard and his team applied the main lessons learned from the MPM migration the previous year, migrating clients in waves to ensure the change impact and training of staff is well managed.
“We are seeing benefits for migrated clients with significantly improved OCR reads, better reporting and the implementation of straight through processing for many invoices,” he says.
“We are confident when the program concludes, we will see similar productivity benefits that the MPM business has enjoyed over the past 12 months. The team is incredibly proud of the way we’ve demonstrated that we have a scalable platform to continue to deliver on our strategy.”
Work at MPM has also continued to drive further improvements with continued investment in robotic process automation (RPA) and OCR technology.
“Working hand-in-hand with the business we have adopted a continuous improvement ethos to drive further automation. This approach has exceeded our expectations significantly,” says Hilliard.
“In the space of less than a year we have managed to drive the level of straight through processing to nearly 80 per cent with more to come.”
Two other innovations delivered in the last year include a fraud detection model and a client segmentation model.
Hilliard says estimates suggest that anywhere between 10 to 20 per cent of NDIS funds may be “misused”.
“We have built and deployed a model seeking to better detect fraud at a faster rate, that could then be commercialised in the future.”
The client segmentation model meanwhile aims to enable MPM to drive more efficiency in cost-to-serve and better understand the drivers of churn.
Louis van Wyk