Crocodiles and easing regulatory compliance

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Blog, Case Study | 0 comments


What do crocodiles, high fashion in Paris and the wild Australian Northern Territory have in common?  But more interestingly, why is Mick Burns, CEO of Porosus one of my most interesting clients to work with, and why would they need field based IT systems?  Read on to find out about a world you never new existed.

Close your eyes and imagine a chopper is setting you down in waist deep water.  It’s termed black water because the tannin from the trees have stained it so dark you can’t see into it.  Your job is to wade eighty meters to a salt water crocodile nest, and collect the eggs.  You know mum or dad, who can be up to seven meters long and two tons in weight, could be near by, so things are serious.  Lucky for you you have a spotter who’s got a gun trained on your position, and for good measure the chopper pilot is armed too.  Once you’ve collected the eggs, you make the trek back to the safety of the chopper, and get ready to do it again.

OK, you can open your eyes again.  While that introduction gives you a feel for the extreme nature of crocodile egg harvesting, anyone involved in field operations understands that the field component is only one piece of a much larger puzzle.  Behind the scenes, state and federal compliance of strictly controlled quotas needs to be managed.  Payment needs to be made to station and traditional land owners where eggs were harvested from.  Helicopter fuel caches need to be stocked and monitored.  If these critical functions aren’t taken care of, the egg harvesting itself is for naught.

While I have worked with Mick over many years, primarily dealing with systems inside the choppers to record nest details such as location and egg numbers, the back office functions had largely remained a manual process.

The requirement for monthly reporting, to satisfy government monitoring requirements, traditionally required a manual process involving three farm managers and owners several days of sitting together to reconcile and compile the relevant information.  This certainly represented large dollars in man effort.  Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, due to the nature of the manual process, they did not have the confidence they required in the reports they were providing to the government agencies.

To rectify this, a cloud based egg harvesting management system was developed.  The goals were to remove as many manual steps as possible, and automate all reporting requirements.  The following processes were implemented to achieve the result:

  • To start off, a seamless one click synchronisation of the field data was implemented, to remove any potential errors in transposing from one system to another.  It also meant that what they saw in the choppers, was the same data as was seen in the office, and vice versa.
  • Cloud based web management tools were provided, so that as eggs changed status whilst in incubation, across multiple sites, details could be updated from any computer, and were able to be reviewed immediately from anywhere in the world.
  • Egg distributions, along with monthly reporting became a one click affair, from what used to take days.
  • Once nests were recorded as part of a report, they were locked, to ensure no further editing took place, ensuring total integrity of the data.

The end result?  A system which not only saves many thousands of dollars in time, but boosts confidence in core data  and reports.  Additionally, being able to demonstrate the new egg harvesting management system to the department, the government now has confidence in their ability to accurately record and report their activities, which in a highly regulated industry, equates to nothing less than commercial survival.

Porosus can now spend their efforts on managing crocodiles, rather than data.

“Lance has spent the time to understand what we need and shown time and again that he can deliver the outcomes we demand.”

Mick Burns, CEO Porosus

To find out how I can help you reduce the burden of regulatory compliance in your organisation, get in tough, I’d love to work with you.


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