PEOPLE MEETING COMMON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL NEEDS TOGETHER

Purchasing and Supply Services

Purchasing and supply service co-operatives

Facilitate independent business owners to benefit from economies of scale

Purchasing and supply service co-operatives are able to benefit from economies of scale in procurement and throughout their supply chain which enables them to operate in sophisticated, crowded markets whilst simultaneously maintaining their focus on their locality.

Support and encourage entrepreneurship

The existence of co-operative business consortia enable independent business owners to run and operate businesses in competitive marketplaces where they would otherwise be squeezed out by pressure from large listed firms. They help to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship in a marketplace where such zeal could otherwise be pushed out.

Lower input costs: improve business productivity and efficiency

Shared procurement and operating costs help to improve the productivity and efficiency of businesses which benefit regional Australians without creating a monolithic enterprise which can leave people overcharged and underserved.

Lower production costs: pass on better value to consumers

Economies of scale enable co-operative enterprise consortia to help lower the costs of production which helps drive value for the consumer.

Consortia provide access to finance for small business

The co-operative enterprise consortia model is extremely successful at producing access to finance for smaller, regional businesses who would otherwise struggle to compete in developed markets.

Profit sharing spreads the benefits of business: wealth is distributed more widely

Co-operative business consortia facilitate profit sharing which means that wealth is more widely spread amongst Australians. In a co-operative, ownership and the ensuing benefits are spread more widely than is typically the case for listed businesses.

Examples

bHive

Bhive Co-operative

bHive is based in Bendigo, Victoria. Local Bendigo residents will build, operate and own the platform that will build over time to provide skill sharing, car sharing, lifts, food sharing, logistics, house sharing, crowdfunding, insurance and lots more.

Year established: 2016

Type: Customer Owned, Platform Co-operative

Industry: Purchasing and Supply Services, Retail and Marketing

Bus Vic

Bus Association Victoria

BusVic is a social enterprise and part of the Victorian bus and coach industry’s social capital. Since the 1940s, BusVic has played a central role as carriers and promoters of desired government practices, values and organising principles.

Year established: 1944

Type: Association

Industry: Purchasing and Supply Services

Capricorn

Capricorn Society

Capricorn began in 1970 when 12 West Australian service station owners combined their purchasing power to attempt to level the playing field with the big multinational oil companies. With pooled resources, they were able to buy competitively priced goods and service benefits. Today, Capricorn is Australasia’s largest co-operative in the automotive parts buying industry, with 17,000 purchasing members across Australia and New Zealand, 2,000 of which supply goods and services to other members. Its member-focussed integrated business support includes equipment finance, travel services and business protection.

Year established: 1974

Type: Producer Owned

Industry: Purchasing and Supply Services

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