Tourism Australia operates in sixteen markets where it hosts events and runs innovative campaigns to attract international visitors to Australia. We spoke to Schalk van der Westhuizen, Chief Financial Officer, on the back of the organisation’s recent Crocodile Dundee campaign about how technology helps its small team make a big impact.
Tourism Australia is famous for its campaigns, but what’s one thing we might not know about the organisation?
The nature of what we do means that Tourism Australia is well known, but we are actually a rather small organisation considering our geographical spread. We have a country manager in each market but all operational support is centralised in Sydney. So because of our size, we need to work smart and in an agile way.
How does DocuSign support you with that goal?
We’re constantly looking at how we can remove paper from the organisation and increase efficiency and a few years ago we digitised our processes for procurement and payment. Until recently though, we had a very manual contract management process sitting in between. All large contracts would need to be reviewed by myself and the legal team in Sydney and there was a lot of back and forth between head office and our country managers, partners and suppliers. It could take two weeks or more to finalise a contract and it would involve a lot of printing and scanning.
DocuSign has helped us digitise this process and close the loop on automation, from procurement to payment. People can sign contracts from wherever they are, whether it’s an airport lounge in Beijing or at home on their day off. As a result, we’re finding most contracts can now be finalised in 48 hours or less and the burden of paperwork has been lifted from our employees.
Was there a particular moment you knew the old process needed to change?
There were several drivers although there was one point where I returned from a business trip to find five contracts on my desk waiting to be signed. I was effectively slowing down business because I wasn’t there poised with a pen.
Another pain point was the impact of the process on our country managers. They would handle each contract an average of eight times. By using DocuSign, we’ve been able to reduce this down to three.
Did you experience any resistance to the change?
Some of our stakeholders were concerned about the legality of eSignatures and how the process would work but we worked with DocuSign to put those concerns to rest. DocuSign also offered the simplest and easiest user experience amongst the solutions we looked at which helped create buy-in to move forward.
What other benefits are you experiencing as a result of digitising workflow?
It has completely removed all of the paper pushing and chasing for signatures and people are able to focus on the tasks that will help them bring more visitors to Australia. Also, our country managers are no longer worrying about paperwork whilst up against campaign deadlines. They can use DocuSign to check the status of contracts and have confidence everything’s in order.
What’s next for Tourism Australia when it comes to going paperless?
The implementation of electronic signatures has been so effective that we have employees who want to do everything digitally. We’re already using DocuSign for employment contracts and looking at how we can drive efficiency in other manual processes. What’s great about DocuSign is it gives us a solution we can use right across the business.
If you would like to learn how DocuSign can assist your government agency to go digital, take our 30 day free trial today.