How cooperatives manage digitalisation

  • Ein gemütliches Abendessen wird von einem iPhone fotografiert.

Sil­van Wy­ser | 21. Feb­ru­ary 2023 | 2 minutes read­ing time


Build­ing co­op­er­at­ives do not have it easy. Com­mu­nic­a­tion is im­port­ant, the pres­sure for di­git­al­isa­tion is in­creas­ing. But it needs to be well thought out.

The big chal­lenge is to meet the needs of the vari­ous groups - from mem­bers of the co­op­er­at­ive, board mem­bers and the me­dia to ex­tern­al part­ners and em­ploy­ees. Both con­tent and form are chal­len­ging, as is the choice of ap­pro­pri­ate com­mu­nic­a­tion tools. The right mix of ana­logue and di­git­al com­mu­nic­a­tion chan­nels must also be found. Now and for the fu­ture.

Di­git­al trans­form­a­tion is the most stom­ach-churn­ing is­sue for build­ing co­op­er­at­ives. Those who be­lieve that they will find the solu­tion by in­tro­du­cing an - usu­ally ex­pens­ive - app are mis­taken. Crafty pro­viders tout their apps as a pan­acea. But ex­per­i­en­ce shows that the goals which are set are of­ten not achieved due to the low user rates. Sowhy do such (large-scale) pro­jects fail? One reas­on is that the wrong pro­cesses are of­ten di­git­al­ised. In oth­er words, pro­cesses that are im­port­ant to the pro­vider but of­ten not to the user. Most of the time it is very simple things that of­fer ad­ded value to the ten­ant or co­op­er­at­ive mem­ber, e.g. re­serving park­ing spaces for vis­it­ors, the pos­sib­il­ity to re­port a ne­ces­sary re­pair on­line, or to re­quest a call­back. 

We re­com­mend our cli­ents to start the di­git­al jour­ney in small, clearly budget­able and meas­ur­able steps and thus gain valu­able ex­per­i­en­ce  in­cre­ment­ally. And be­fore in­vest­ing, ask the users to identi­fy the pain points and which solu­tions would gen­er­ate the greatest be­ne­fit for them. These in­sights gradu­ally in­crease the cour­age to ex­plore fur­ther op­por­tun­it­ies for  di­git­al trans­form­a­tion. Ul­ti­mately, di­git­al trans­form­a­tion is not a pro­ject, it rather shows the at­ti­tude to be agile and ad­apt­able to chan­ging cir­cum­stances and new tech­no­lo­gies.

In ded­ic­ated work­shops, we find out how the pos­sib­il­it­ies of ana­logue and di­git­al com­mu­nic­a­tion chan­nels can be used and how di­git­al­isa­tion can be im­ple­men­ted in sens­ible and ac­cept­able stages. To­geth­er with our cli­ents. For more in­form­a­tion on this - or for a con­crete of­fer - we are glad to re­spond. Let's talk!


Rel­ev­ant pro­ject:

Baugenossenschaft Frohheim