In the first of our spotlight series, we spoke to Gail Teasdale Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services at the Accent Group to discuss the sector challenges and how the PI club benefits her.

What do you think are the key challenges for the sector?

There is a housing crisis and HAs need to demonstrate that we are part of the solution, not the problem. We will do this by building the homes people need in the places they need them. A significant contribution to this agenda will be delivering ever greater value for money something our regulator, the HCA, rightly reminds us of.

What was the main driver for you joining Performance Improvement Club?

At Accent we wanted Key Performance Indicators that were relevant and just as important, timely as the world changes ever faster. We also wanted a forum that wasn’t anonymous so we could exchange ideas and learn from each other.

Having the opportunity to influence the agenda was also a huge draw for us. We are able to influence the group’s activities which ensures they remain relevant responding to our changing demands.

The financial comparison tool that forms part of the club, Global Accounts Plus, is bespoke – you own the data – so you can slice and dice KPIs according to your needs.  We can hand pick the organisations we want to measure ourselves against, and run our own analysis within minutes.

What has been your biggest learning or lightbulb moment since joining the PI Club?

Being able to shape the direction of studies and research has been revolutionary. At a recent meeting, one director mused how it would be helpful to review development costs/assumptions to see how we measure up against each other. The group decided to launch a development costs survey amongst the members, and two weeks later we had the results. The speed of delivery from original question to having actual data in our hands was fantastic. It is this fluidity and the ability to respond to changing needs that makes a difference.

What would your advice be to someone thinking of joining the PI Club?

My advice would be to test it out for yourself. The club is different from a benchmarking solution – it is complementary rather than a replacement for other services. It works well with the sector scorecard and HCA approach. It has many practical applications and is excellent value for money.