Clarence River Fishermen’s Cooperative Case Study

Company Profile
The Clarence River Fishermen’s Cooperative (CRFC) is based at the mouth of the Clarence River in Northern NSW, one of the healthiest river systems in NSW with entry to the Pacific Ocean between Iluka and Yamba. This provides CRFC with a productive natural resource of both estuarine and ocean species.

The CRFC incorporates two main business areas. The fishing division operates approximately 200 fishing vessels with receival facilities set up in Iluka and Maclean. These facilities handle, process, market, wholesale and retail live, fresh and frozen seafood and are registered export processing facilities. The core of the fish business operates on a product pooling and average pricing system (The Pool).

The marine services division incorporates two commercial boat harbours, ship chandlery and three fuelling outlets. Utilising Point of Sale and Stock Control Modules, weekly raising of standing invoices and fuel bowser electronic upload for invoicing.

Business Issues
In a growing organisation with divisions operating on disparate business information systems, the lack of integration and information sharing was becoming an issue for CRFC. They recognised a need to streamline and integrate their management systems if they were to run their operations efficiently and cost effectively. At the same time, they were keen to upgrade their processes to take advantage of the benefits available by implementing new integrated technologies such as eCommerce.

With very specific requirements in a very specialist industry, CRFC needed to find a vendor capable of understanding their requirements with the flexibility to respond to those exact needs now and into the future with seamlessly integrated, dependable and future-proof systems. Put simply, they were looking for a company who could offer them software to grow with…

The Solution
Following a thorough selection process, Ironbark were chosen to provide a single company-wide solution to replace CRFC’s incumbent legacy systems and manual processes. Based on the Ironbark Fresh Produce software system, extensive modifications were necessary to meet CRFC’s requirements.

With fully integrated modules covering all aspects of financial management, goods and material handling and exporting, CRFC are now in a position to share valuable information company-wide and through the entire supply chain.

CRFC can provide full traceability on every fish carton from the vessel right through to the markets.

They can access industry specific pooling calculations through a comprehensive system which allows for easy calculation of the pool price to be paid. Pool payments can be made with the ability to automatically offset members debtor amounts against the corresponding creditors’ outstanding account electronically. Complex member transactions are now possible and CRFC can carry out specialist reporting to its members using a suite of transactional and powerful user definable analysis tools.

The stock system, which incorporates bar coding with label printing, allows receivals to be classed as pooled, non-pooled or direct sale. The usage of PDAs has been introduced onto the sales floor as eCommerce functionality has also been incorporated into the system. CRFC now have the advantage of electronic integration with Sydney Fish Markets, one of their major customers.

It is crucial to Ironbark that CRFC are equipped with a system that completely accommodates the specific needs of their operation. This development, based on real life industry practice at CRFC, has resulted in the creation of the Ironbark Seafood software solution.

Why Choose Ironbark?
CRFC have identified their reasons for choosing Ironbark Software as:

  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Innovative Development
  • Consultative and Flexible Approach
  • Seamless Integration of Modules
  • Improved Efficiency
  • Effective Training


The Benefits
With the fully integrated Ironbark Seafood software solution operating across all business divisions, CRFC now have access to the information they require to run all aspects of the business effectively. They are able to use the resources previously employed in time wasting manual input and duplicated work more effectively saving time and lowering costs.

With their use of new technologies, CRFC are also provided with a competitive advantage. They are able to satisfy their customers’ increasing demands for additional services such as product traceability and eCommerce functionality.

What the Customer Says:
“Ironbark Seafood has provided us with a flexible system that is an enormous improvement on our prior systems. They ensured a thorough understanding of our business needs and growth plans right from the outset and have used that knowledge to design the best system for us. With complete integration across the business, information now flows smoothly and allows us to run all of our operations more effectively.”
David Hassett, Financial Controller, Clarence River Fisherman’s Co-Operative.

Download the PDF – Clarence River Fishermans CoOperative Case Study