9-11 May 2023
ICC Sydney

Market Timbers and Utecture Australia showcasing what’s new at DesignBUILD 2022

Feb 22, 2022 DesignBUILD News

Running from the 10th to the 12th of May 2022 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, DesignBUILD will reunite Australia’s architecture, building, construction and design communities in one essential event.

New to the event in 2022, DesignBUILD will be co-locating with the nation’s leading event for the Facilities Management industry Total Facilities (TFX), and the Be Summit, a one-day conference featuring Government and market experts discussing the future of our built environments. The event has been reimagined with a renewed focus on showcasing the best of quality Australian brands, products and sustainable solutions, giving industry professionals an exclusive chance to discover new markets, create new opportunities and build connections across the entire building life cycle.

Flooring Magazine recently sat down with two of this year’s exhibitors, Utecture Australia an exciting new digital building cloud-based platform and Market Timbers who specialise in flooring and timber supplies,  and asked them to give their perspective on how they have seen the industry and their business change over the last few years.

Given the events of the last 12-18 months, how have you seen the building and construction industry change and adapt?

Scott Palmer, Utecture Australia: The last 12-18 months have been some of the most challenging in the construction industries history.  As countries across the globe introduced lockdowns and other restrictions, the pace of change for all participants across the value chain from designers, consent authorities, contractors and suppliers, has been extreme, with many having to change working environments and policy overnight.

The industry has had to complete existing projects while at the same time protect staff, comply with changing government regulations and travel restrictions, as well as manage supply chain interruptions and project suspensions.  Thankfully, the construction industry is very good at adapting quickly and implementing various continuity strategies which has placed construction companies in good stead during the pandemic, and will remain vital in as we continue to stabilise through continued volatility and prolonged supply chain disruption in the future.

Utecture Australia 3D House

One area of permanent change is that the pandemic has made the industry think hard about how technology can be used to enable employees and maintain predictability and reduce risk.   Whilst technology, and its application in construction, has been a conversation and debate, we now see this is at the forefront of company’s innovation strategies, as well as BAU operations.

Gary Vogel, Market Timbers: Initial talks of lockdowns were of great concern. However, construction was deemed an essential service and we were allowed to continue trading albeit with some restrictions. As architects, builders, and the public were unable to visit our showroom many decisions about product choice were delayed. However, the use of online Zoom and Skype meetings increased.

As a consequence of both Jobkeeper and Cash flow Boost, many businesses and households ended up with substantial savings with      which they indulged in online shopping.

What do you think the path of recovery looks like moving forward for the wider industry and businesses? How can we expect the industry to bounce back? 

Gary: We are already experiencing a substantial recovery, on the back of lower interest rates – meaning greater savings, which we expect should hold at least into the first six to nine months of 2022.

concrete urban grey - market timbers

How has your business adapted to the change we are seeing, especially given the growing popularity of digital technologies within the sector in Australia?

Scott: Here are few areas where change and adaption have occurred and how we are, and expect to, see the industry responding.

Resilience and collaboration

In the last 12-18 months the industry has seen much stronger collaboration through the value chain, including with unions, suppliers, and government bodies. There is a stronger sense of unity and less adversity.  The acknowledgment of a shared environmental problem has resulted in a broader understanding of the common objective of delivering projects and keeping building sites open.

The pandemic amplified inefficiencies in the traditional approach to risk – where risks are passed down the supply chain – and has accelerated a movement toward strategic partnerships in the supply chain where risk is shared in exchange for predictability and certainty.

Technology platforms, like Utecture, are enabling these types of ‘horizontal’ collaboration where data and information can be shared, and participants are collaborating live in a single cloud ecosystem

Balance sheet and liquidity

Liquidity and estimating accuracy have been vital.  So, maintaining efficiency through sales, unambiguous contracts, accurate and reliable cost estimates, are all critical to maintaining margins.

Balance sheet innovation has been and will continue to be an area of focus for the construction industry.  This will include traditional area of focus, such as cost budget accuracy, but also in using assembling balance sheets to pre purchase inventory, reduce supply chain risk, reduce cost of sales, add strategic partnerships and investment in technology.

utecture planning

Innovation and Security

An amplified focus on environmental, social, and corporate governance for the industry, will continue to drive innovation agendas.  For most, technology and digitisation will be a key strategic pillar for many contractors.

In the last 18 months, contractors have had to devise alternative ways to work and remain productive.  However, the widespread surge in remote working and sales induced by the pandemic has created various security implications for contractors. These include protecting new connectivity options, considering the security of devices outside the safety of protected office environments, and better managing device policies.  New ways of working have resulted in an increased reliance on collaboration tools, and cloud technology.

These adjustments have rapidly altered contractors’ security architecture, with many companies accelerating their digital processes adopting new technology in the space of months that would have normally taken years.

Gary: We are looking to invest more heavily in digital marketing, and social media.

essence naturals cork - market timbers

What exactly are buyers now looking for in their purchase decisions? Are there new trends we can expect for 2022?

Scott: Purchasers expect the same level of independent decision making and transparency as they have been able to achieve in other transactions in their life.

The rise of the educated customer in many other industries means that customers are well informed and researched before they make a purchasing decision.  In home building, this means that purchasers want to trust the information being provided, access additional information remotely at times that are convenient, and real time, be able to visualise and understand what is being offered, and have engaged or disengaged with human consultants at their discretion.

Platform technology has offered complete transparency and optionality, and on-line purchasing and sales in many other industries with the pandemic only accelerating this desire and need.

3d house plan utecture

Gary: The major trend has been towards the use of sustainable products including our carbon negative cork flooring, wall linings, and cladding.

What do you expect to see at DesignBUILD in 2022, can you give us a sneak peek into what visitors can expect to see from you?

Scott: We will be showing the very latest in residential design, price and visualise technology developed over 6 years to enable the real-time design and pricing of residential housing straight from the cloud. The Utecture platform enables residential building companies to rapidly change and price plans (with updated, real-time 3D renders) resulting in a significant reduction in the time required to close sales.

Gary: Our focus will be on our ‘Green’ cork products.

Both Utecture Australia, Stand H41 and Market Timbers, Stand G8 will be exhibiting at DesignBUILD. Meet the teams and check out their full range of products this May by registering FREE online here.

 

Article by Michelle Cammiade

Editor Flooring Magazine

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