There are three ways that Assura provides cost reductions to its clients:
- Price breaks for engagements with a high volume of hours that span multiple fiscal years.
The cost reduction percentages of 5.25% for each year for high dollar-value task requirements involving repetitive tasks represent the types of discounts that Assura provides to clients that engage the firm for long-term projects.
- Developing deliverables that are reusable across multiple risk management and compliance requirements.
We save our clients money by developing deliverables that meet multiple risk management and compliance requirements. For instance, our Business Impact Analysis, which is used historically in the creation of Continuity of Operations and IT Contingency Plans is developed in such a way that it is also useful for the development of Risk Assessments and other Information Assurance-related artifacts required by the Department of the Navy (DON) DoD Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP). In fact, our firm was built on this convergence principle as evidenced by our implementation of the first of its kind Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program for the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV), the first state agency in the United States to implement ERM. Using the ERM that Assura developed, DOAV (an agency of 33 personnel) saves approximately $50,000 per year.
- Automation of processes
In the area of process automation, Assura is investing in the development of automated tools to collect, analyze, and report information. This initiative will provide our clients with tools that reduce level of effort and expenditure of resources necessary to maintain their Information Assurance and Continuity of Operations programs.
One of Assura’s primary means of driving down project costs is by minimizing travel expenses. We utilize collaboration technologies such as Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Lync, and Citrix GoToMeeting to limit travel while still providing an efficient and effective vehicle to deliver high quality products. All employees are issued computers equipped with web cams so that they can conduct video conferences with team mates in any geography.
The other primary means of driving down project costs is through continuous improvement of our own processes. Each time we develop a deliverable, we conduct After Action Reviews to identify opportunities for improvement of both efficiency of task execution and quality. On average, we are able to drive down cycle times for deliverables from 1%-5% using this method. Future efficiencies will be driven by automation, as discussed above.
Performance Base Contracting
Part of driving down costs and improving outcomes is through performance based contracting. Assura embraces this contract model because it helps us drive results based on measurable goals. We currently collect quality and performance metrics for our client engagements so taking on Task Orders based on performance work statements is very comfortable for us.