Australian Retailers Association (ARA)

FCB HR Services

Industry Focus


Project Team:

HR outsourcing partnership with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).

The background

In 2009 the ARA entered into an outsourcing partnership with FCB. The partnership was the first of its kind in Australia, delivering a national service delivery model though telephone, web-based and consulting solutions. As part of this solution FCB provides approximately 650-850 telephone calls per month to ARA members.

Our approach

  • A dedicated telephone advisory line for 5,000 members to access employee relations specialists
  • An online retail specific HR system accessible for all members to assist in legislative compliance, hiring, employee management, termination and record keeping obligations
  • Expert employment consulting to handle the individual needs of retailers, representation and advocacy in industrial courts and tribunals on behalf of the ARA and its members
  • Tailored publications and member communications detailing the multiple ER updates and award information.

The outcome

  • Comprehensive and specialist advice provided online or by telephone
  • Improved and expanded member service offering assisting to enhance member retention and attract new members. These include monthly EDM employment law updates, webinars, monthly contributions to the ARA’s member magazine and industry-specific half day workshops for ARA members at heavily discounted rates, all created and administered by FCB in conjunction with the ARA
  • Significantly higher quality member service at a significantly lower cost to the Association
  • Significant increase in membership numbers
  • Increase in ARA brand value, reputation and competiveness against National Retailers Association.

‘FCB has partnered with ARA to deliver the Employment Relations service to our 5,000 members since 2009. Prior to this ARA ran an internal service which suffered, as many internal services do, from an inability to attract and retain high quality practitioners, poor response times due to a lack of resources and a substantial loss of intellectual property and goodwill when members of the team moved on.  Since our partnership began, the ARA Employment Relations service has continually improved, and we believe it is now at least the equal of any ER service in Australia.  The feedback we receive is that members can access advice when they need it, the advice is communicated in a clear and consistent way and the advisors really partner with them to generate other ways to think through a problem.  It is no coincidence that the success of the ARA in recent years in increasing its membership base and reaffirming its position as the leading voice for retailers in Australia has come since our partnership with FCB.’

Russell Zimmerman, CEO, Australian Retailers Association