Denplan appoints Aon for auto-enrolment of pensions

06 August 2015

Denplan has appointed Aon to provide it with an auto-enrolment pension scheme for its member dental practices. Many dental practices will soon be approaching their staging date, the date from which their automatic pension enrolment responsibilities come into effect. The move to partnering with Aon’s platform is based on the ease of simplicity across the board compliant solution.

Denplan was established in 1986 by two dentists who pioneered the concept of dental payment plans. Today, Denplan has a wide range of dental plans for adults and children, enabling patients to spread the cost of their private dental care through a fixed monthly fee. Denplan has 6,500 member dentists nationwide caring for approximately 1.7 million patients. Denplan is also one of the UK’s leading providers of corporate dental plans, with more than 1,900 schemes covering over 180,000 employees. Denplan supports regular attendance and preventive care, reducing the need for clinical intervention and helping patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.


Auto-enrolment of pensions
Employers in the UK are obligated to enrol their employees into a qualifying pension scheme at their staging date auto-enrolment. This can cost companies time, effort and expertise in making sure that they are, and continue to be, compliant with The Pensions Regulator.

Consulting firm Aon has developed a one stop solution for companies that provides a full auto-enrolment function as a platform, called Littleblue. The auto-enrolment solution provides particularly SME employers with an easy to use and intuitive framework that is compliant to government demands. Littleblue is partnered with Standard life as well as NOW:Pensions and Scottish widows to offer a qualifying pension scheme with a market-leading annual management charge (AMC). The platform further offers a number of tools through Aon’s Bigblue technology platform that creates a single interface through which employees can manage company specific pension’s needs.


Aon’s auto-enrolment solution Littleblue will be able to support Denplan practices with a step by step pension solution which can significantly ease the burden of complying with the new pension regulations. “We believe there are many dental practices that are not yet aware of how the law on workplace pensions has changed, or if they do know about the new regulations, they may not have started preparing for auto-enrolment yet. We are working closely with Aon to inform our members about the pension changes and how this could impact their practice,” explains Henry Clover, Deputy Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. “We believe Aon’s Littleblue auto-enrolment solution will save our members time and effort and help practices navigate smoothly through the process.”

Clare Abrahams, Head of Auto-enrolment at Aon Employee Benefits, adds: “Denplan, with its thousands of members across the country, is an example of a multi-employer organisation which is aiming to make the auto-enrolment process easier for its members by offering a preferred solution. We are very pleased to be working with them and look forward to rolling Littleblue out across its member dental practices.”



How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.