Cost Containment and Productivity
Transforming Budget, Staffing, and Strategy with Benchmarking
Georgia Institute of Technology
Just before the pandemic hit, the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), a top 10 public research university with almost 14,000 employees, found itself experiencing a period of unprecedented growth. In order to ease “growing pains” and make the most of this extraordinary opportunity, Kelly Fox, Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance at the time, was charged with finding the right approach to strategic planning and shaping the substantial infrastructure needed to support the institution.
With explosive growth, new offerings, and a new budget model, GT needed support in looking at data across and outside the organization with a wider, fresh lens. Today, these insights are allowing the university to gain a high level perspective of its staffing and spending, guiding their budget reform efforts to manage growth more effectively. As a result, the university is now better equipped to make decisions on where to invest precious dollars and resources, ultimately leading to better alignment with both its mission and its reputation as a world-class STEM institution.
How GT Uses the Data
Leverage Benchmarking for Budget Reform
GT needed a way to debunk assumptions and misconceptions about how the institution was spending across departments. After analyzing the benchmarking data, initial insights re-enforced some existing perceptions, including that GT’s staffing budget was low, especially in the area of research administration—which was concerning given the huge jump in research grants over the last several years.
Moving to a Shared-Service Model to Reduce Cost
GT was overspending on user support - particularly in the IT sector. To make sure they were staffed appropriately to support their institutional growth, the university used the benchmarking data to strategically plan and move to a “shared services” model to reduce those costs.
Strategic Partners - Not Just Data Providers
HelioCampus’s Benchmarking Consortium has nurtured a space for true collaboration among higher education institutions regarding data sharing and analysis. With the Benchmarking insights, the university is now better equipped to make decisions on where to invest precious dollars and resources, ultimately leading to better alignment with both its mission and its reputation as a world-class STEM institution.