Industry Digital Strategy
Digital transformation of the western rock lobster industry will improve member experiences, fishing operation efficiencies, supply chain logistics and opportunities to grow GVP and maintain market competitiveness.
Delivering industry and member benefits through the digitisation of the western rock lobster industry has been a consistent and comprehensively communicated strategic objective for WRL.
In 2017, the WRL Industry Partnership Agreement Project “2017-140 Digitisation of the western rock lobster industry” (the Digitisation program) was approved and supported by subsequent WRL Boards. Late in 2020, WRL appointed a Program Officer dedicated to managing and delivering WRL’s IPA with FRDC. This new resourcing enabled immediate progression of the Digitisation program, WRL’s highest IPA priority.
The first Digitisation program deliverable was an Industry Digital Strategy (IDS), developed in partnership between industry and Journey One, an expert digital transformation company based in Perth. The digital strategy was an important first step that identifies industry challenges and opportunities that can be overcome or realised through digital technology. WRL’s IDS uniquely maps western rock lobster industry systems from catch to plate and from fisher to processor to government. The digital strategy also provides an important guide and control for digital investment costs over time as it becomes the basis for a stakeholder partnership to work through implementing the IDS by resolving how each industry need will be best met by the latest and least cost digital technology solution.
Partnering with FRDC, DPIRD and Journey One, WRL has commenced facilitating collaborations across the innovation ecosystem and with federal initiatives to
deliver new, interoperable modularised digital technologies and systems with real time data connecting fishers to processors to government and all stakeholders from catch to plate.
These increases in efficiencies and connectivity will create benefits across the industry, including resource management, fishing operations, supply chain logistics, member engagement, research, and community connection.
The IDS for the western rock lobster industry has received support from the Honourable Don Punch, MLA, Minister for Fisheries who is also Minister for Innovation and ICT. You can read the Minister’s support letter here.
Additionally, the comprehensive and professional nature of WRL’s IDS has inspired the inclusion of our industry as a case study for at least two digital programs of strategic national importance that will attract significant new leveraged funding and technology partners to assist with the delivery of our IDS.
Recent approval has been received by the FRDC for the program of work required to roll-out the first two years of the IDS to be funded through the Industry Partnership Agreement. The first IDS project, to create an online ordering and payment system for back-of-boat lobster sales, has already commenced. It will improve our members’ experience by making back of boat ordering and sales easier and allow fishers to spend more of their contact time with consumers building a relationship by talking about their story and our industry rather than discussing the transaction. It will also reduce the amount of time our members spend with ordering and payment which should encourage more fishers to participate and build community connection for our industry.