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From the Chair and the Managing Director

Chair Leonie Taylor and MD Stewart McGrowAAFCANS Chair Leonie Taylor and Managing Director Mr Stewart McGrowIn the second year of our current strategic plan, AAFCANS launched 2019 with the introduction of state-of-the-art technology including cloud-based servers, infrastructure as a service and a router replacement program which ensures we meet strengthened Government security standards.

Bepoz, our electronic point of sale system, and Employee Connect, a fully integrated human resource information system were rolled out. Employee Connect is fully operational and the Bepoz rollout will conclude in October 2019. Both systems enable management to make timely and effective decisions to developing our teams and our business.

Our investment in Bepoz realised some immediate results with the speed of customer service more than doubling. Positive feedback from our teams and our customers confirm the value of this upgrade. In tandem with the rollout, AAFCANS contracted with Tyro for the ‘tap & go’ payment system, further improving the speed of transactions.

AAFCANS continues to strongly focus on our purpose of providing convenient access for Defence members to quality retail food and beverage.

Our coffee business again grew year on year. As we look to the future, we plan to position ourselves as the chosen provider of coffee and associated products on base. Future innovations include flavoured filter coffee and associated iced drinks.

Four new kiosks were designed and opened in 2019: RAAF East Sale - Pilot Training Centre, RAAF Richmond – C-130 workshops, the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) lecture theatre and RAAF Amberley – Heritage Centre. which is open to the general public. The refurbishment of Gallipoli Barracks - Enoggera main canteen (stage1) commenced at the end of the 2019 financial year. Under stage 2 an extension to the existing facility will be built with all day dining and trading hours until late in the evening.

AAFCANS undertook trials of our new mobile food vehicles with fresh barista coffee; a 2WD van and a 4WD 6.5 tonne facility which includes a fully fitted kitchen. The 4WD vehicle is complemented by an all-terrain trailer enabling the ensemble to spend time on exercise supporting the troops. The trials will conclude mid-2020.

Our total capital spend since 2010 plus our intended expenditure to 2022 will be over $12m; of this spend $4m is a direct and much appreciated contribution from Army and Air Force in support of their people.

Our revenue for the year declined 6% which was partially expected as there were no directly operated facilities on exercises or deployments in 2019. Revenue was also impacted by the growth of base social club activity.

Importantly we were again able to hold our retail selling prices at low levels and achieve a trading surplus above expectation at $674,000, an increase of 12% on last year. This emphasises the importance of our investment in future strategies, continually trialing new product offers and seeking customer input. Unfortunately, some supply costs continue to increase.

Our strategic goal of ‘where you go - we go’ is evidenced by our new deployable kiosks and the 4WD vehicle that service our customers in the field. This initiative supports improving personnel morale, wellbeing and productivity of military members while on exercise. Since 30 June AAFCANS and 17 CSS Brigade worked together to provide support at the 2019 Talisman Sabre exercise as well as exercises in South East Queensland.

Giving back is a prime objective of the business, with returns from vending of $535,000, free coffees to the value of $436,000 and low retail selling prices underpinning our commitment to be recognised as a key contributor to Defence’s people capability.

Finally, we take this opportunity to acknowledge essential support from the following:

  • Defence, particularly the Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs of Army and Air Force,
    the Commanders and Heads of Resident Units;
  • our loyal customer base;
  • the AAFCANS teams across the country without whom nothing is possible, and
  • our fellow Directors.

We look forward to another successful year ahead.

Signatures of Chair and MD