Case Study: CFMEU Boggabri Lodge

Case Study: CFMEU Boggabri Lodge

CFMEU Background

The CFMEU is a multi-faceted union with sections who specialise in fields of Construction, Forestry, Manufacturing, Maritime Services, Mining & Energy production. In the area of Mining & Energy, the union is divided into key districts around Australia which then service Lodges, which can be either a sub-branch for a single mine site or in the case of a third-party service provider a sub-branch for members employed by that company. The district also services members individually on sites where insufficient membership exists to form an official lodge.


Client Name: CFMEU NM&NED Boggabri Lodge
Market segment:  Union
Business size: Medium
Scope: Gunnedah Basin NSW

The Brief

CFMEU Boggabri Lodge services members who work on the Idemitsu Boggabri Coal Mine. As a part of cyclic purchasing, the lodge wished to release a new and updated lodge polo for members to show their pride and team spirit.

In order to minimise overspending and having too much surplus stock on hand, it was decided a pre-order arrangement for polos was to be employed. Additionally, a sublimation polo design was chosen over an embroidered polo as it allowed for more cost-effective small “on demand” production, allowing flexibility for production to easily scale as demand changed.

The lodge had their own dedicated app for smart devices which facilitated the rapid dissemination of information to members. One of the issues the lodge had identified was, a low uptake of users installing the app on their phone.

In an effort to bolster user numbers it was decided the only means of procuring a polo shirt, which every member was entitled to receive, was to download the app. That would give members the necessary instructions to place their order.

The app however, was only ever designed for one-way communication, thereby a means to communicate orders back to the management committee was required.

Our Solution

Since the Lodge didn’t want to go to the expense of having a new module written for their app, nor did they want someone to be fielding emails and having to collate data manually, a simple automated online solution was required.

Rather than going to the expense of creating a website to perform the task, which would have incurred a similar expense to the app development, Lifestyle was able to utilise our existing task management platform to accept incoming data.

A simple online form which included information on garment sizing, with data fields covering the important information on a person’s details was created. A URL link to the form was then transmitted as a part of a bulletin through the Lodge’s app, reminding members to place their order.

The form fed gathered information into a datasheet which could be accessed online in real-time by both Lifestyle Australia and the Lodge to monitor the responses and if necessary allow the Lodge to send additional reminders out to members when they could see there were far fewer orders placed than members on the books.

The Result

Over a period of several months, orders were collated into production batches. Data was downloaded and manipulated using some basic spreadsheet functionality to automatically count how many of what sizes needed to be manufactured.

The end result was the Lodge achieved what they had set out to do and only ordered what was required. They also added a small number of additional garments for new member sign-ups. An additional benefit of the process was the Lodge was able to construct a working model detailing the members sizes for future garment ordering where a long lead time may not be available.

As a result of the success this exercise brought, a number of other CFMEU Lodges in other districts have also employed this form of ordering to simplify the process and take the burden off the executive committee and freed them up for more important tasks.

At Lifestyle Australia, it’s not just about the end product. It’s also about the journey of development and using technology as a tool to craft solutions.