“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.