Friday 20 February 2015

Staffing Levels At QVM

Some traders have noticed a recent influx of staff, consultants, and advisers at QVM and have raised questions of how many people we need to run our market so it might be appropriate to look more closely at the issue.

As an example, the following comment was received on the Have Your Say facility on this website during the week -
“Is there anyone else in the market that finds it strange, that while the amount of permanent stall holders are on a serious decline and more empty stalls are popping up especially during the week, that the quantity of people in Q.V.M management has been steadily increasing. Are they getting ready for something we don't know about? I am not really 100% certain, however with a business turning over roughly $20-$25 million a year. isn't it a little over managed?”

We are wondering whether this trader is confusing QVM Renewal staff with QVM Management staff and we suspect that the involvement of those two groups will become a little blurred at times. We have of course commenced a $250m market renewal which will be the subject of a Master Plan with a first draft due next month. That Master Plan will set the agenda for QVM possibly for the next 100 years, and will involve consultation with all groups connected with our market and the evaluation of some pretty serious projects.

By way of explanation, it is a little bit like making a decision as a trader to go online with a website. If you have significant technical expertise you may decide to do it yourself but you are more likely to engage outside experts to assist. That is what is happening here. A renewal project goes way beyond day to day running of a market. It will include significant architectural and planning components. Much of that work would be expected to be done by the owners, City of Melbourne, but with this renewal there has been a deliberate attempt to bring more work and therefore more people closer to QVM. That is why the project office is located on Queen St. For traders that has to be a good thing. The closer we are to planning and decision making through bodies like the QVMAC, the better informed we become.

It may be useful to draw a comparison between QVM and some of the other City of Melbourne operations. Staff numbers are not normally published and we don’t know exactly how many people work at QVM but we are led to believe that it numbers around 60. We understand that the staffing numbers for the State Government's Federation Square, for instance, exceeds 80. Which of those two entities is likely to be more complex to manage?

It is right for traders to question the operation of our market. After all, we earn our living from it. But let’s not lose sight of the real issue here which is making our market better and more profitable for traders in the longer term. Market renewal will be a key component. Engaging experts to assist in that process, and making sure it is done properly, would seem to be a smart thing to do.

23/02/2015 15:57:09 QVM staff levels "It would be interesting to compare staffing numbers against that of the previous Management (renewal staff excluded ).Considering many people believe all the energy is going towards the renewal program and that the day to day Market & business hasn't changed much."