Looking ahead to a post Covid-19 Building Industry

One of our founding Directors, Mike Fox, has rejoined Building Today as a monthly columnist.

For his first column, Mike provided his take on what the building industry will look like post Covid-19.

Here we go again, I hear myself say — entering the fourth industry downturn across my 40 years in building.

Like clockwork they come around every 8 to 10 years. And they can happen suddenly, as has been witnessed with the virus we’re dealing with now.

There’s a certain pattern to these events and their aftermath that shouldn’t be ignored, and recognising and acting on this now will help put our industry in the best position to succeed over the coming months and years,” says Mike.

Mike’s article goes on to discuss who’ll be more likely to weather the storm, and importantly, why there’s never a better time to build than during an industry downturn.

He continues, “The irony of it all is that the best time to do a project is in a downturn. Why is that? Typically, we’ll see the following happen:

  • Service levels increase because competition is stronger.
  • Local authorities are under less pressure.
  • Work-hungry subtrades suddenly discover, or in some cases, remember, that fair pricing, loyalty and service results in repeat business.
  • Manufacturers will need to revise their distribution and less than transparent regional pricing practices, and suppliers will look for economies within their businesses, instead of cranking pricing up.
  • This all means the builder can better control his production, budgets and delivery.

So, for clients out there thinking about a project, take my advice — you will get better value and better delivery by building counter-cyclical.”

Mike also sees this post Covid-19 period as an opportunity for New Zealand to make headway into providing affordable housing once and for all – with the added benefit that this will also help to create jobs nationwide and stimulate the economy.

Check out Mike’s full article here.

Building Today is the official magazine of the Registered Master Builders Association that aims to present relevant, insightful and topical news, views and information on the New Zealand construction industry to an influential New Zealand construction industry readership.

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