Andrew Christie Consulting

App aces compliance & digital transformation at Andrew Christie Consulting 

A Zutak-powered App is the latest development in Andrew Christie Consulting’s list of service delivery modernisation programs. This flexible, multi-platform App is a real-time efficiency link between industry and government.

As a biosecurity facilitation specialist, Andrew Christie Consulting (ACC) advises the freight sector – traders, customs brokers, forwarders and approved premises – on cargo import/export compliance. ACC also consults on operational efficiency improvements and provides tailored Quarantine related training to clients.

The Challenge

The new App was to automatically populate compliance fields and to enable the real time receipt of accurate information for secure transparency and accountability. Its smart development would streamline the workplace for productivity gains for all private and public sector stakeholders.

The Solution

The ACC idea applies digital transformation affordably by CompNow and Zutak into a highly professional, function-rich reality. BIERS is a fully branded, cloud based App for use on any mobile device on any platform.

The Benefits
  • 100% industry fit and user friendly
  • Flexible, scalable
  • Upload accurate information and images in real time
  • Security for government compliance needs
  • CompNow as development partner: responsive, knowledgeable, affordable

Compnow has my best interests as their best interests. When I put to them my ‘pie in the sky’ they very quickly understood what I wanted the App to do. They came up with much better ways of making it work than I ever hoped.

Andrew Christie Managing Director,
Andrew Christie Consulting

The Challenge

“To ensure our clients meet the highest level of compliance, our consultancy is all about developing and implementing processes that give them ongoing assurance while also streamlining their operations,” says Andrew Christie, Managing Director of Andrew Christie Consulting.

Andrew recognised that what had been missing from international freight movement flows was efficiency in the compliance area for biosecurity fumigations. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment administers biosecurity and the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme. Andrew saw the potential for the design of an App to overcome the labour intensive, error prone and individually calculated reporting that precedes the clearance of containers by the Government Department.

A fumigator may process 100 containers per day. 27 fields had to be entered on paper, and then calculations made for temperatures and how much fumigant to use on each job. Fumigators had to return to the office to scan and lodge forms.

The idea for the BIERS (Biosecurity Import Export Reporting System) App was to “not only automate the existing process but add extra smarts,” he says.

BIERS needed to automatically populate compliance fields and to enable the real time receipt of accurate information. It was to shift the workplace to a transparent and accountable method that would cut the time containers spent sitting in depots waiting for cargo to be released to owners.

Behind the functionality, BIERS had to work across iOS and Android, on any mobile device. And security was essential for compliance assurances. Cloud capacity was also vital as the Department dictates documentation is kept for two years which has ramifications for storage and security costs. The App’s platform was to be scalable to eventually report on every completed biosecurity function.

The Solution

Andrew initially took his concept to a number of freelance App designers: “But I didn’t get any confidence from them and their prices were astronomical. I’m not tech savvy and was worried I’d be ripped off.”

Andrew contacted CompNow. At all stages of the development, and the App’s continuing evolution, Andrew says: “They have my best interests as their best interests. The response from the CompNow guys is always that nothing is a problem, they always take my calls, and they’re always looking for ways to make BIERS even better.”

The Zutak App features and flows were designed in conjunction with government and industry to ensure all functionality and user needs were met.

“I thought I knew what each screen’s content should be, and how the App should flow but the expertise that CompNow brought to the table has made it so much more appealing.

“And I wasn’t going to have a dashboard however CompNow showed me how it would improve the App’s effectiveness and persuaded me to add it in. That was a godsend,” he says.

As each fumigator takes up a job, the base data – such as details of the container, ownership, destination – is pre-populated. The volume and fumigant measurements can be calculated from within the App and recorded via the Zutak dashboard. With all the administrative information pre-loaded, all the fumigator needs to do is enter
the readings.

BIERS has been designed to fulfil all Departmental and industry requirements as they evolve. “We rolled out updates every fortnight in the initial months. And we’ll continue to develop the App to drive further industry productivity,” Andrew says.

The Benefits

This App is a first for freight forwarding and the transformation is extraordinary.

From existing paper based error rates for fumigation reporting of 5-30%, there was only a single input failure in the 9,000 digital jobs. That is 0.01% across the BIERS fumigations presented to the Department in the first six months after the app went live.

BIERS is creating gains for all players as it streamlines the chain. Fumigators can quickly invoice on the spot from their phones. As the Department has real time access to the App dashboard, it can see all fumigations from commencement to completion. It can now undertake desk rather than onsite audits which saves massive amounts of time. And traders are keeping their goods on the move. “Everyone is very happy,” Andrew says.

Because the App is producing government compliance data, platform security had to be assured. BIERS includes log in and out times of its licensed users to meet Departmental stipulations. In a major advance for the industry and vital for proof of claims, completion photos are also taken from within the App which links fumigator, site and container to the data. “This means reports can’t be faked or tampered with. Our Zutak App has 17 additional security assurances over the old paper system,” Andrew says.

The cloud environment is also contributing to affordability: the data is stored in cost effective low resolution format and BIERS is a user pays, per transaction App.


The Zutak App will continue to be refined to meet industry needs and workflows. The flexible, scalable platform will also cater for changes in biosecurity compliance.

BIERS operates under the Australian Methyl Bromide Methodology which has been adopted by a growing number of Australia’s trading partner nations. ACC has received expressions of interest from overseas governments which can be easily customised as all that is required to rollout the App is for it to be translated into the relevant language.

“Compliance is ACC’s business. We apply knowledge and experience to build strong partnerships with our industry. CompNow applies the same as it helps clients like me improve our businesses.

“This App idea had been in my head for five years. Then, in only a matter of months, CompNow made it real and it’s significantly better than I could ever have hoped,” Andrew Christie says.

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