Combined Building Supplies Cooperative (CBS Co-op) is New Zealand’s first building supplies co-operative that is owned by a group of builders, business and finance leaders from the building industry.
The co-op was officially launched in Christchurch on 24th April with Housing and Urban Development Minister Hon. Phil Twyford in attendance.
Our latest Full Member of Cooperative Business NZ, CBS Co-op will enable small and medium-sized construction companies to have the same buying power as larger companies.
CBS Co-op is the brainchild of five Christchurch business people – Carl Taylor (LBP / company director / business owner), Ian Lamb (business strategist / company director), Mike Blackburn (business consultant), Simon White (chartered accountant), and Karen Overend (solicitor).
Together, they form the co-op board of directors, chaired by Carl.
New co-op’s buying power levels the playing field
In the residential construction sector, most houses are built by small home building companies and yet they don’t have the buying power that larger companies do.
The Combined Building Supplies Co-operative (CBS Co-op) levels the playing field, enabling small and medium-sized construction companies to be competitive and improve their limited margins.
Christchurch builder and Chairman of the Board, Carl Taylor, pictured, says “this is a game changer”.
Carl, who has run his own successful building company for more than 20 years, says the co-operative is already attracting co-op members with a combined building material spend of more than $100m, and a very strong group of suppliers.
Following its launch in late April, the number of signed-up co-op members has grown to over 100, mostly made up by those based in the Canterbury and Auckland regions.
“We have been inundated by calls and emails from people all over the country,” Carl says.
“There’s an excitement everywhere about the level playing field and improved purchasing power that we have already created with the co-operative.”
CBS Co-operative, for the first time, enables all members (anyone in the construction industry) access to the same low rates that until now, only high-volume group builders have had access to.
“This level of response has put a significant pressure on the timing of a national rollout,” says Carl.
“We had intended to be in Auckland by the end of this year but the inquiry level from the top half of the North Island has already brought that forward.”
PICTURED ABOVE: Hon. Phil Twyford addressed guests at the co-op’s launch and, right, congratulates CBS Co-op Chair Carl Taylor.
Carl says a co-operative is a proven, sustainable and successful model of business operation.
“It is used effectively in the plumbing, panel beating and, of course, farming sectors, to name three. The suppliers with whom CBS has agreements with recognise the value in the combined business from every builder who has already signed up with CBS. They can see the exciting potential of the co-operative and are well aware of how successfully other co-operatives work, Farmlands being a good example.
“As well as builders obtaining a better price when they purchase building materials or services, suppliers pay a rebate directly to the co-operative. This is used to cover operational and management expenses.
“Our business plan shows that CBS will make a profit after expenses – which will then be distributed each year to members (shareholders) based on the size of the business they have put through CBS suppliers.”
To join CBS Co-op requires a shareholding investment of $1,000. There are no other commitments, contingent liabilities nor annual fees or subscriptions.
“We’re very excited,” says Carl Taylor.
“To have a level playing field for all builders when it comes to the price of building supplies is long overdue.”
Cooperative Business NZ Chief Executive Craig Presland welcomes CBS Co-op as its latest Full Member.
“This is a highly impressive start-up co-operative,” Craig says.
“I know that Carl and his team have worked hard over the past two years or so in getting to launch date, and what a successful launch that was screening on prime-time TV news and with widespread traditional and social media coverage.
“Carl has been able to develop what I am sure will be a very successful buying group within NZ’s building and construction industry.
“CBS Co-op is a true co-operative – 100% owned and controlled by its members, open and voluntary membership, democratically managed and with member returns based on the volume of business transacted in a given year.
“Welcome to the NZ Co-op Family.”