The simplest definition of plan management refers to a third-party agency that acts as an intermediary between a client and suppliers. At its most basic level, plan management is simply about having someone on your payroll responsible for passing your requests on to different service providers. At worst, a planning agent is expected to receive and pass on bills, both from service providers and passed on to you. However, several more sophisticated and intricate duties are entrusted to the professional plan manager. These are some of the duties most commonly found in the procurement department of large organisations.
The primary duty of the NDIS plan management service is to ensure that proper time is allowed for allocating and managing expenses. It includes passing on request details to vendors and suppliers for the preparation of invoice numbers. In addition to this, an invoicing specialist is also expected to prepare and pass on budgets and other necessary documents and even assist with writing policies and procedures. In short, a good PM will be instrumental in ensuring that a large part of your financial activity is adequately managed through efficient, reliable and accurate billing and budgeting.
Another duty of a plan management service is to work closely with the suppliers and participants and ensure they remain highly active in the scheme. Invoicing specialists will be required to follow up with both providers and participants, ensure that their needs are being met, and ensure that the service provided meets the needs of all involved. For example, suppose a service provider is experiencing trouble meeting its minimum performance targets. In that case, it is the responsibility of the PM to report this and consider any changes that may be required. It is particularly important where large amounts of money are at stake because failure to act on such information could result in providers refusing to continue with the scheme or putting processes and workers at risk.
The third duty of a plan management service is to check the paperwork provided by suppliers and participants to ensure that the information provided is correct and up-to-date. This paperwork often includes spending money, who has supplied what items, and other important information. A good PMO should be prepared to contact suppliers regularly and support them during any claims. In this way, both participants and suppliers are treated equally, and errors and omissions are minimised.
An additional duty of a good PMO is to provide support to participants. It means that if a particular action cannot be taken due to a plan management review, the PMO will make recommendations. For example, if a supplier is not meeting all its delivery deadlines, the PMO will refer the company to an external company that can meet the demands. The PMO will also ensure that adequate documentation and support is provided to the company when it is required.
Another duty of a plan management service is to ensure that all the necessary documentation supports are in place and are updated as required. For example, suppose the participant company does not have sufficient funds for a project. In that case, the PMO will recommend ways to source more funds and refer the company to external funding companies where appropriate. In addition, if funding is requested but not received promptly, the PMO should refer the participant to a fund manager or procurement organisation for assistance. Finally, if a company requires an advance payment, it is the responsibility of the PMO to refer the company to the appropriate lender for support.