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Helping drive down costs for the Australian Bureau of Statistics

January 11, 2019 / Pacific

How Uber for Business helped the Australian Bureau of Statistics drive down ground transportation costs.

In February 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) became one of the first government agencies in Australia to establish a formal ride sharing policy after careful and extensive consultation with government, union and safety representatives. With the introduction of this policy, Uber for Business became an integral part of making significant cost and time savings for the ABS. Most importantly, it was done without compromising on quality and safety.

Richard Grigg, Assistant Director of Business Services for the ABS, oversaw the launch and implementation of Uber for Business within the organisation, and wanted to offer additional ground transportation options for the employees of the ABS.

From March 2018, when the ABS transitioned to the Uber for Business platform, work-related Uber trips have increased from 2% up to 12-15%.

Improving Accountability to drive cost savings

Richard discovered that a simple feature of Uber for Business – the ability to simply and clearly separate personal and business trips when using Uber – took pressure off employees and significantly reduced the possibility of making a mistake on the app. The result of this massive behavior shift is a projected saving of approximately 14% on the annual ABS ground transport spend.

“I think employees are more comfortable that they can use Uber because they’re getting the prompts to switch profiles when riding for work trips. And that gives them more confidence that they’re not going to make a mistake.”

With hands-on support from Uber account managers and the Uber for Business integration with expense management system, SAP Concur, Richard was able to notify staff of the new ride-sharing policy. As ABS employees started to ride with Uber for Business, the ABS Business Services Section was able to see employee tax invoices from Uber, most frequently travelled trips and expense reasons for the trips.

Employees embraced the opportunity to reduce costs and time spent queuing, particularly on high frequency trips such as the Canberra Airport to ABS House in Belconnen.

Embracing change to drive employee accountability and transparency

With safety being a priority in ground transportation, the ABS undertook a thorough risk assessment before introducing ridesharing for employees. For the Canberra office, this included, consulting with the ACT government, union representatives and the health and safety section of the organisation. The assessment gave confidence that the Uber app and Uber for Business platform gave staff sufficient information to make informed decisions on each trip.

“I didn’t base it on my own experience. I went through a lot of professionals: unions, work, health and safety representatives and they were all of the same opinion.

As ridesharing apps become increasingly popular in everyday life, Richard said there were likely to be increasing expectations that they become adopted for work.

“Our staff are increasingly using ridesharing services in their personal lives so there was already a level of familiarity with Uber for Business when we introduced it to the ABS.”

The Uber for Business platform allows the ABS to save time and money, and improve employee accountability and transparency.

“To anyone who’s actually serious about reducing travel spend, the question I’d ask is “Why aren’t you using Uber for Business?”