Tabcorp wins gamble with shared services

Four year project to consolidate and standardize IT platforms.

Tabcorp has increase staff productivity and consolidated and standardised IT platforms by migrating its finance, HR and procurement to shared services model.

The gambling and entertainment company manages four casinos and hotels across Queensland and New South Wales including Star City and Jupiters, and operates the TAB, Tabaret and Keno. Tabcorp generated $3882 million in the 12 months to June 30 last year.

Group general manager for business services, Russell Flack, said the company began its migration to shared services in 2006, following a successful Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) installation the previous year.

"While [Oracle] was delivered successfully on time and on budget, a subsequent benchmarking study and review of processes highlighted greater efficiencies through a shared services model," Flack said.

"Benefits [are in] the reduction of operational and financial risk, continuous improvement in creating second order efficiencies, and re-focusing business-facing finance and HR team members on higher value activities and freeing up their time to engage with the business. "The creation of business services means Tabcorp is well placed to move to a second phase [of shared services] using its own in-house expertise and resources. The project is already showing a solid ROI and provides great back-office infrastructure."

The project business case was driven by a spate of acquisitions which made Tabcorp's IT platforms more complex. More than 13 services were included in the migration including purchasing, accounts payable and receivable, fixed assets, payroll, general accounting, recruitment and performance management.

Tabcorp has standardised and consolidated its core processes, including its HR team which reduced the number internal forms from 145 to 72 and migrated them to a Web-based platform.

Flack said shared services can trap businesses that overlook its incremental, long-term benefits such as risks and error reduction, second-order efficiencies in procurement, accounting and administration; and freeing up finance and HR functions. The second phase of the project will drive further consolidation, standardisation, and process efficiency over the next two years. IBM Global Services was recruited to help Tabcorp migrate to shared services.

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