As you will be aware, the building industry is facing a number of significant challenges, including supply of some timber products.
While initially a downturn in the general economy and the homebuilding industry was predicted as a result of COVID-19 and other external factors, this has not eventuated. In fact, the opposite occurred with building and renovation activity escalating.
The HomeBuilder program and other government stimulus has amplified this, putting significant pressure on supply. This activity is reflected globally meaning we have seen serious constraints on timber imports due to international demand and shipping challenges.
This uplift in global and local demand has resulted in and is leading to increases to the cost of timber.
The recent announcement regarding HomeBuilder including the extension of time to start construction will help ease some pressure but will not resolve all challenges at a local and national level.
Unfortunately, there is no simple solution, but we are working really hard to ensure the best achievable outcomes. We wanted to keep you up to date on the steps we are taking to manage the situation as best as we can.
Our merchandise team is working closely with our suppliers on a daily basis to source product. The availability of product on a day-to-day basis is uncertain as our suppliers are working on a just in time basis, with limited inventory, making forecasting very challenging.
The breadth of our store and Trade Centre network means we are able to accept and move any available stock around to best service customers at the right location at the right time. Please know we are prioritising our current customers to try to meet this demand.
It does sometimes mean we might not have the exact size or quantity you need every time. In these cases we will try to find a substitute, and we will always make sure we discuss these options with you before fulfilling an order as soon as we become aware. It is important to note that our team may not have advanced visibility of stock availability and likely scheduling. As soon as we know we will communicate this to you.
While the most common challenges today are in relation to timber, other categories are being impacted by demand, manufacturing and logistics issues. We will continue to update you and work to minimise the impact on your operations.
Most importantly, we want to work closely together with you. The more notice and planning you can provide to us of your needs, the better.
We thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we work to ensure timely supply. Please contact your Trade Specialist or Account Manager to discuss planning or to ask any questions.
Duncan Bryce – Head of Builders Solutions
Adam Morton – Category Manager – Timber