Business Continuum

Taronga Conservation Society + Concur for Expense

Saving trees and freeing up expertise

Taronga Conservation Society Australia employs around 1,000 people across two sites: Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. The organisation is a world leader in conservation and is dedicated to aligning its processes with its environmental values. Its recent shift from a paper-based to an entirely digital expense management system is part of this vision.

The challenge

Taronga Conservation Society recently approached Business Continuum to help them replace a time-consuming, labour-intensive process of expensing goods and services with a simple and streamlined digital solution.

The old paper-based system in place was built around strict compliance, with purchase orders being manually signed off, and manually recorded in the system.

“It was cumbersome, lengthy and inefficient,” says Bruno Da Silva, Procurement Manager of Corporate Services and Governance.

What’s more, with so much paper and printer ink involved in each purchase order, the system was at odds with the conservation society’s mission to protect the environment.

“We are an organisation that hopes to walk the talk, and we have a responsibility to help promote better outcomes around sustainability. So when our processes waste so much paper, we’re not doing what we know we have to,” Bruno says.

The solution: Concur

Taronga was already embarking on a big piece of work using SAP business applications so it made sense to choose Concur (a SAP product) as the organisation’s expense management software. Concur’s simple intuitive user interface combined with powerful functionality quickly won Bruno and his team over.

The new system revolves around P-Cards (credit cards for purchasing), which allow a team member’s purchases to be approved instantly via an iPhone and Android app.

Not only does this eliminate unnecessary paper, but Bruno anticipates that the new process will free up significant amounts of time for members of the purchasing team.

“They (the purchasing team) can take a closer look at our data, and examine what we (staff) are buying and why we are doing things, then feed that information back to buying managers. We are hoping for better visibility over the organisation as a whole,” Bruno says.


Working with Business Continuum

There are plenty of Concur ‘how to’ videos online, but Bruno wanted to ensure staff were perfectly comfortable with the new software. He says Business Continuum’s support through the roll out ensured staff were positive about the changes.

Business Continuum assisted with change management by creating customised Concur training sessions, cheat sheets and user guides, using language that was relevant to the department and team member using it.

Taronga soft-launched the new system just before Christmas 2018, and is continuing to gradually roll out the P-Cards over the first few months of 2019.

“Business Continuum came highly recommended by Concur, and [they] use Concur themselves, which is a great vote of confidence. The team was always very professional and a pleasure to work with.”

Taronga Conservation Society’s advice

Bruno says the Concur roll-out was made easy by doing plenty of research early on.

“Before introducing technology, you need to make sure you really understand what the problem is and what the system needs to solve.”

Business Continuum found the Taronga team to be confident driving the project, and their commitment to positive change rippled through the organisation

Rikki Phillips, Client Manager at Business Continuum who worked with Taronga says, “It was great to see the Taronga staff’s enthusiasm in using Concur as they could appreciate the time they’ll be saving on preparing and approving their Expense claims. The staff loved the ability to be able to take a photo of their receipt as soon as it was incurred and then be able to throw it away.”

In evaluating its purchasing systems, Taronga was able to differentiate between process-related issues that could be addressed internally, and those that needed to be solved by software. Bringing in a third party to help with change management and training was the final step in ensuring the new system rollout was as successful as it possibly could be, Bruno says.

“Business Continuum came highly recommended by Concur, and [they] use Concur themselves, which is a great vote of confidence. The team was always very professional and a pleasure to work with.”


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