After the invigorating experience of the AGM, and welcoming a fantastic team of new board members (you can check them out here if you haven’t done so already), ELGB 2.0 had its first official strategic planning meeting.
Last Saturday, members from the new and previous board of directors connected for an afternoon of strategic planning. It was an excellent meeting and helped get everyone up to date on where we are, also getting new input from board members regarding how Eat Local Grey Bruce can put our best foot forward as we get ready to relaunch the store.
During the meeting, we reviewed the history of the organization, how we got to a state of insolvency, and then reviewed all the work that’s been done since the store closure in December (it’s quite a lot when you put it all together!).
We finished the afternoon by breaking into subcommittees and identifying the immediate tasks that need to be addressed before reopening the store, as well as what tasks we want to address as soon as the store is open again.
As mentioned at the AGM, ELGB is shifting its governance structure to include 6 key subcommittees made up of volunteers, board members, and eventually staff that will help oversee the various facets of the co-op. Here’s what is being worked on right now:
- Reviewing all products listed in the store based on our current inventory as well as producer inventory so we’re up to date with stock and pricing.
- Working on an audit of the web store to find areas where we can improve new member registration and member shopping experience.
- Designing a new public website with clear messaging about who we are, how we operate, and how to become a member and order, integrating the shopping experience in a more seamless way.
- Reorganizing the layout in the warehouse to ensure that it’s optimized for receiving, packing, and shipping products with a special focus on cold chain improvements to ensure produce remains of optimal quality until it reaches your door .
- Restructuring our packing process to get more orders packed efficiently with minimal hands in the least amount of time possible.
- Planning and organizing the events from the fundraising campaign including community meals, a celebration party, farm tours, and workshops. It’s going to be a busy year!
- Re-evaluating our onboarding process with new members to ensure that they feel well connected to the ELGB community right out of the gate and are confident about how to best participate in ELGB.
- Exploring the idea of local ELGB community champions to help with ongoing member engagement and what might be involved in that role.
- Optimizing routes and schedules for delivery and aggregation across Grey and Bruce counties.
- Re-evaluating delivery fees with a focus on increasing the number and use of local pick up points over home delivery to ensure that we are covering the cost of delivering.
- Ensuring that we are tracking all logistics data so that we can continue to make changes to improve efficiency and offer the best possible service .
Human Resources Subcommittee
- Establishing what roles we will need to hire for before the store reopens.
- Onboarding new volunteers and ensuring that they feel empowered and welcome in the ELGB community.
- Ensuring that there are feedback mechanisms for all staff and volunteers to communicate with board members and subcommittees so the flow of information isn’t blocked.
Finance/Debt Restructuring Subcommittee
- Establishing an operational budget for relaunch including adjusted margins and lowered expenses.
- Working with mentors (we’re lucky to have two!) experienced in the grocery industry to help provide guidance and feedback on how we implement that operational budget.
- Developing a full business plan to inform ongoing operations to ensure profitability.
- Evaluating the best path forward to pay back producers based on that business plan and operational budget ensuring that the long term viability of the co-op remains intact.
Planning our Reopening
Thanks to everyone who has reached out eager to start placing orders again! We’re really excited to reopen the store, but we want to make sure that everything is well in place before we take the next steps. As you can see from the lists above, there’s a lot of work being done!
When will we be ready? Well, we’re not quite ready to commit to a date just yet but we’re hoping it will be soon. You can stay in touch through the newsletter and our social media accounts to make sure you’ll know as soon as we’re back up and running.