Tasmania\u2019s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by using technology to upgrade its enterprise software in-house rather than spend vital funds engaging costly external IT consultants.\nIn the 2011\/2012 financial year DHHS \u2013 Tasmania\u2019s largest government agency which delivers services through 300 health-related facilities \u2013needed to achieve $100 million in savings within a $1.8 billion budget.\nIt also needed to decentralise its operations by establishing three regional statutory authorities called Tasmanian Health Organisations as part of the National Health Reform agreement.\nThe DHHS investigated numerous ways it could cut costs by using a range of additional software modules that were available for its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, to complete work that was previously outsourced.\nThe department has used the TechnologyOne ERP suite since 1995 and simply added new tools as required.\nHowever, the recent signing of an enterprise licence agreement for modules such as customer relationship management, contracts and grant management, has enabled the department to complete upgrades and change configurations without needing to employ a third-party.\nThe DHHS achieved significant savings in several areas. During its cost cutting audit, the department realised it could import data from its external payroll system \u2013 used to process 13,000 payslips \u2013 into the TechnologyOne Financials system, format this data into PDFs and send them out.\n\u201cThis cost us nothing but time and effort and it immediately saved us $100,000 a year,\u201d said Jim Waugh, manager, business systems at DHHS.\nThe department has used software to create its own contracts repository, which is expected to save a further $50,000 to $100,000 per year. It also developed a grants system to manage funds it allocates to non-government organisations that provide services to the community.\n\u201cWe had documents sitting in drawers and on desks, but now we can track them all electronically,\u201d said Waugh. \u201cSoon we will be able to administer grants for a wide range of services within the private and non-government sectors in a full and auditable process, and offer online access for recipients and agency employees.\n\u201cInstead of going through a whole business requirements specification process with costly external advice for the contracts repository, we mapped it out internally and brought a consultant in at the end to make sure we had covered everything.\u201d\nWaugh said that the department had met its savings targets by \u201ctaking things as far as we could in-house before hiring consultants.\u201d\nFor example, the department\u2019s business systems team had only a couple of weeks to upgrade and rewrite large parts of its financial system while managing the end of its 2011\/12 financial year.\nThe change required multiple new ledgers and charts to facilitate activity-based funding requirements, daily reconciliation and transfers between different bank accounts. Stationery generated by the system had to be updated, multiple interfaces altered and purchasing redesigned.\nThe team managed this complex transition at the busiest time of the year with just one external consultant, who was used for 20 days.\nPlan to create shared services\nEvery government agency in Tasmania uses the TechnologyOne platform under a whole of government agreement.\nAccording to Waugh, the DHHS often receives calls from other department to provide assistance around various aspects of the software, although agencies \u201ctend to do their own thing.\u201d\nHe added that there are now opportunities for DHHS to move to a shared services arrangement for enterprise software for its local hospitals.\n\u201cI\u2019d like to extend that out across the other agencies as well seeing as we are all using the same software,\u201d he said.\nThese agencies include the Department of Education Tasmania, the Department of Infrastructure Energy and Resources.\n\u201cThere are about seven or eight [departments],\u201d he said. \u201cTechnologyOne is also used by the majority of local councils across Tasmania \u2013 they have a different need to us but we do have calls come in from different councils to look at the way we are using our asset system.\u201d\n\u201cThe University of Tasmania use the software differently but there are a lot of things we can leverage off,\u201d he said.