SHOWING THE BENEFITS: A Capricorn Cooperative representative explains the benefits to a new member.
SHOWING THE BENEFITS: A Capricorn Cooperative representative explains the benefits to a new member. Ryan Ammon

Co-op is finding plenty of fans in trucking

CAPRICORN Co-operative has been around for more than 40 years, started by a group of 12 independent automotive repairers who came together to leverage their collective buying power for better deals on parts and other essential supplies.

Today Capricorn boasts a 21,000-strong membership that annually makes more than $2 billion in purchases, giving it some serious muscle in the automotive repair industry.

Four years ago the Perth-based co-operative turned its attention to the road transport industry, starting a pilot program in Queensland with the idea of bringing the same benefits and Capricorn national strategic sales and support manager Kelsey Ferguson said it had been impressively successful.

The scheme has since rolled out across Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, with the other states set to follow.

Already it has almost 1500 standalone commercial members, gaining 400 new members in the 2018-19 financial year alone.

Capricorn's unique approach lets members better manage their businesses by encouraging them to buy from the co-operative's "preferred supplier” network, saving them time and money.

Buying decisions are made easier by giving members access to instant trade credit, simplified billing, equipment finance, fuel cards, risk protection and insurance, travel services and one of Australasia's most generous reward programs, which effectively lets members discount their purchases.

Members also get instant trade credit through more than 2000 suppliers who are part of Capricorn's extensive network, at the same time consolidating their bills into a single invoice.

Importantly, they also have access to a range of essential business services that can help run and grow their businesses.

"Capricorn is a very unique co-operative model that has grown organically and heavy vehicles have been on our radar for years,” Mr Ferguson said.

The more members use their accounts, the greater the rewards, a real benefit for those working in trucking and transport, especially with the trade account covering everything from air brakes to windscreens.

The Capricorn Trade Account also makes buying easy, with members needing only to quote their membership number when ordering.

Because of the way it is structured, businesses only run one account instead of dozens, helpful when buying from a range of suppliers.

All suppliers are listed on the one bill, saving stress at the end of each month.

Mr Ferguson said that, because Capricorn was a co-operative, it operated to benefit its members. With no third-party shareholders, all rebates and dividends were paid to the membership.

"The more that is spent, the more the members make in return,” he said.

"Last year we paid an 11per cent fully franked dividend on all member shares along with another $5million trade rebate.”

To find out more email join@capricorn.coop to arrange a visit from a Capricorn representative, visit www.capricorn.coop or phone 1800 327 427 to discover the full range of membership benefits.

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