Cambridge Risk Solutions Ltd and Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services

When Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services needed a fresh, external perspective to help them develop a new, more effective strategy, business consultancy Cambridge Risk Solutions stepped in to help.

Through ProHelp, Cambridge Risk Solutions provided strategic and financial analysis for Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services (PCVS) over a six-month period in 2013, as part of an overall strategic review of the organisation.  The project was delivered personally by one of the directors of Cambridge Risk Solutions, who spent 30 hours on the project.

The first stage of the project was an analysis of the “industry sector" in which PCVS operates and the competitive environment that it faces.  This revealed that, whilst the voluntary sector is growing rapidly, it faces increasing competition from a number of sources, such as local authorities, universities and private-sector consultancies.  The analysis also identified a number of key success factors for organisations operating in this environment.

Focusing on one of these factors, the project then moved into its second phase, which involved benchmarking the financial performance of PCVS against 25 peer organisations.  By looking at the factors of growth, variability in income, and level of reserves held, Cambridge Risk solutions identified a number of examples of high-performing organisations in the sector.  This gave PCVS a starting point from which they could look in detail at these organisations to understand why they were successful.

The input from Cambridge Risk Solutions gave PCVS a fresh, external perspective on their organisation which helped it to develop a new strategy to succeed in a difficult and rapidly changing environment.  In return, Cambridge Risk Solutions benefited from the challenge of applying its core consultancy and analysis skills in a novel context.

"It was fascinating to get a better understanding of the varied and important work undertaken by voluntary sector organisations.” Patrick Roberts, Director, Cambridge Risk Solutions Ltd.