The Challenge: Mindil Beach Sunset Market is one of the Northern Territory’s largest tourism attractions and community assets, contributing around $1m per week to the NT economy and providing jobs for more than 1,000 people. In 2004 the Association was on the brink of de-registration and Cathryn was approached by the Board to help resolve this and several other long-standing issues.
The Association is a not-for-profit organisation which is membership based. All 300+ stall holders are members with equal voting rights, from diverse cultural and social backgrounds, and often with different competing agendas and interests.
The Outcome: Over a period of 12 months Cathryn worked with the board, stall-holders, and external stakeholders to implement numerous innovative initiatives to improve customer and stakeholder satisfaction and organizational effectiveness. These include:
- Conducted a customer satisfaction survey and other research to determine priority areas to target for improving services
- Improved partner relationships with key external stakeholders including the Northern Territory Government, Tourism Commission and Darwin City Council;
- Reduced waste management costs by over 50% (from $84,000 to $30,000 pa) whilst also implementing better and safer waste management practices for stallholders and the public
- Secured significant funding to provide much needed additional infrastructure and facilities
- Improved access to the Market by securing additional carparking, public transport, and a regular “market bus” service.
- Introduced on-site ATM machines which injected an additional $40,000 per week into the Market and Territory economy;
- Introduced a completely new “Conventions and Groups” service line including a range a different packages and products;
- Introduced a branded range of “Mindil Merchandise”;
- Increased revenue to the Market Association by approx 20 percent over the six month operating period.
Cathryn also developed and implemented a range of business improvement processes and procedures. These included:
- a Human Resources recruitment and management framework based on contemporary best-practices
- a purchasing framework that included competitive tendering for services and provided better accountability and decision-making
- a records management system providing for better record-keeping, reporting, and accountability
- a policy framework for providing a consistently positive customer experience, ranging from OH&S policies through to dispute resolution.
- a governance system based on best practice standards that align with state and federal legislative requirements
At the end of Cathryn’s contract a new General Manager was appointed, and held that position for the following five years (where the Association had been through 15 General Managers in the previous 10 years).