Builder, entrepreneur and co-founder of one-year-old building supplies start-up CBS Co-operative, Carl Taylor (left) has been recognised as the country’s Co-operative Leader of the Year. The Cantabrian is pictured receiving his award from Alastair Hercus, a member of this year’s independent judging panel.
Cooperative Business NZ CEO Craig Presland said the award is presented to an individual who has shown significant co-operative leadership, together with vision and courage for the co-operative model and its seven principles. This includes driving successful initiatives that have benefited their co-operative and/or the co-operative sector.
“Carl acted upon a frustration to solve a major problem for SME Builders throughout NZ by co-founding the Combined Building Supplies Co-operative in April 2018.
“With a clear vision, he has led the building industry and small businesses forward, enabling them to become more competitive and more profitable through establishing an effective buying group. This included gaining appropriate discounts and annual rebates from building materials suppliers.”
To date, they have brought together more than 160 small-to-medium-sized (SME) trade businesses so that their combined spending means bigger discounts for CBS Co-op’s members.
“Carl faced setbacks and closed doors initially but, with courage, he persevered until successfully engaging with a host of suppliers who understood the win/win opportunity,” Craig Presland said.
“Together, they have made it possible to build entire houses with the same discounts as the bigger players, all for a one-off cost of $1,000 which could be recovered through the savings to be gained on the purchase of a single garage door.
“I know that Carl and his team spent over two years planning for the new co-operative and were determined to design and structure the business optimally from the outset. They wanted to ensure member (shareholder) ownership, including an initial financial investment from members, and with annual rebates being paid back to them.
“The co-op business model stood out. Carl and his team have never looked back over the past 16 months and have gone from strength to strength nationally and in terms of buying power,” said Craig.
- CBS Co-op was launched publicly on prime time TV1 news in April 2018 and has received good publicity since. WATCH THE VIDEO
Craig Presland says Carl is a strong advocate of the co-op business model using both traditional and social media.
“He proudly promotes his new business as a co-operative, including adding Cooperative Business NZ’s logo to his email footer, CBS website, Facebook and LinkedIn postings.”
Like CBS Co-op, Craig believes New Zealand needs a game-changer to solve the country’s housing crisis with a co-operative solution being a viable option. READ MORE
The other finalist in this category was Ruralco CEO, Rob Sharkie.