The Cocos Islands Co-operative is a community-owned business at the heart of the Cocos Islands. Providing a supermarket, ferry service, motel, labour hire, airport services and stevedoring, the Co-op enables its staff, islanders and tourists to live, work and play well.
Despite five years of solid business performance, the Co-op’s weak cash position left it exposed. This was largely due to earning a high proportion of its profitable income through tenders. In 2010–11 it made a loss, mostly as a result of less stevedoring work. Its fortunes were also heavily reliant on one just person, the General Manager. Finally, changes in Australian legislation meant the Co-op’s corporate structure was set to fundamentally change.
Together, these challenges meant a clear strategic direction and a suitable new business structure were essential for the Co-op to flourish.
working with drg
DRG’s work with the Cocos Island Cooperative began with a period of intensive research. As well as reviewing a multitude of reports, DRG met with the Co-op’s staff, its board members on and off island, and its external stakeholders.
DRG then worked with the Co-op to devise a strong strategic plan based on the research findings. Its two planks were:
Rebuild solid foundations, including a change to a healthier corporate structure and
Secure profitability by measures such as staff development and performance management, and new corporate performance indices.
The strategy also provided an anatomy of the Co-op’s key target markets: who they were and what they wanted. Further, a tight and compelling story was outlined, one that would keep Co-op staff on track and excite stakeholders.
The Co-operative's Board was thrilled to have a simple, clear plan to guide them. The plan is already helping them in discussions with government and private stakeholders.
DRG continues to work with the Co-op, assisting them to put in place a constitution and a robust corporate governance system.