In October I attended the UK Construction Expo in Birmingham, England. It is a HUGE, trade-only show focusing on everything you could imagine that someone in the construction game might be interested in. Like an innovation lolly shop for big kids.
Interestingly the common themes of what people were talking about were very similar to the construction issues we are facing in New Zealand. Things like:
- Home affordability, especially in the big cities and for the first home buyer
- Not enough houses are being built
- Lack of skilled labour
- We have been building houses the same basic way for 500 years – we need to find a better way
Honestly, you could have just plugged NZ into the sentences instead of UK and you would have been none the wiser…..except the 500 year thing. Replace that by 150. So I was interested to see what new ideas and materials were on show that will help increase the efficiency of the construction process, and if possible see how they may be used in NZ. I wasn’t overwhelmed with new ideas on every stand, but did see some pretty cool stuff:
- Screw piles to quickly establish foundations for decks and light structures
- Drones + software to make very accurate 3D models or as-buit plans for buildings or construction sites
- Panel systems to quickly build
- Software for tracking snag lists and liability period maintenance
- Solar panels incorporated into roof tiles
- and much more. It was so big, I may have missed a few stands
The question I came back with for NZ builders is, “what are you doing to explore and implement new technology or new ideas into your business to make it more efficient and more effective?” While the market is buoyant it is easy to be lazy. You can get by okay with the way you have always done it. I suggest you prepare for the leaner times now by finding ways to increase your competitive advantage in the marketplace. At worst you will improve your profits. At best you may revolutionise the way you conduct your business. Book a no obligation review session HERE to see where you might make a start on implementing an efficiency project on your business.