SECO & Golden "100" is a member owned not-for-profit purchasing cooperative that was founded in 1945 by a group of dairy farmers in Athens, Georgia. SECO moved its headquarters to DeLand, Florida in 1963 when it purchased the Golden "100" fruit drink concentrate business.
Today SECO and Golden "100" is comprised of 34 member companies, primarily agricultural cooperatives, representing over 220 processing plants many of which are engaged in the dairy industry. Over the past ten years the membership has grown outside of the dairy industry to include cooperatives and proprietary companies that are engaged in the food processing industry.
The primary purpose of SECO & Golden "100" is to combine and leverage the common purchasing requirements of its member companies. Working together, the members are able to generate cost saving discounts or rebates that could not be justified on the basis of their individual volume.
The programs available to the members have become more diverse as the membership has grown. Additionally the formation of a relationship with Quality Chekd Dairies in 2001 has provided new opportunities for program development.
SECO & Golden "100" is a member driven organization. Each member company designates a director representative to serve on the SECO board. The Board of Directors plays an active role in defining the direction, reviewing the progress and governing the activities of the organization.
In addition to addressing the performance of the business, the board acts on nominations and recommendations for new suppliers, new members and new programs.
The directors also serve as chairmen of standing committees that have been established to address issues and opportunities relative to various purchased requirements. The committees are assembled on the day prior to the board meeting to receive presentations, review programs or conduct other business. When the board convenes each chairman reports on the activities of their committee and requests consideration of any recommendations initiated by the committee that require board approval.
The selection of suppliers is a member function. Suppliers are nominated by the members based upon the supplier's ability to satisfy member needs and the potential value that they bring to member companies individually and collectively.
The process frequently begins with a proposal presented by a prospective supplier to one of the standing committees. If the prospective supplier's proposal is favorably received by the committee, a recommendation may be presented to the board to confer official recognition as an "Approved Supplier," a designation acknowledging the acceptance and benefit of a formal supply relationship that may be extended to all SECO members.
Members participate in programs "at will." If a member chooses not to participate in a particular program, sensitive information is not shared with that member. The benefits of working together are extended to all participants, but are not intended to serve as a "benchmark" for members that may choose not to participate.
Once a supplier or supplier's program has been accepted by the board, the SECO management and staff serve to manage the relationship, administer the program and keep the membership informed of any changes that have an economic impact or may influence a member's participation.
The operations of the co-op are funded in part by "patronage," a discount that is applicable to all member purchases. The monies received less the amount needed to fund the daily operation of the co-operative are allocated to each member's "patronage account" based upon their participation in the purchasing programs. At the end of the year, all monies remaining in the patronage account are remitted to the members in the form of cash and a revolving certificate.
Purchasing cooperatives are a valued tool for companies that recognize the advantage gained by leveraging volume. Working together, SECO & Golden "100" members have the resources at hand to explore new cost saving opportunities. The partnership with Quality Chekd Dairies has expanded the horizon for added savings in a mutually beneficial way by opening the door to new programs and providing for the combination of resources needed to engage new opportunities.
For more information call Ron Edmundson, President and CEO or Russ Sager, VP Development at 888/734-3906 or visit www.seco-golden100.com or www.golden100.com