You Need an Efficient Process to meet the NZ Client
To buy a house in a subdivision in Australia, for the most part you can only select from a specific list of options offered, and in some cases developers have already determined which option goes on a particular site.
- Ask to have the width of a room or garage length changed and they simply tell you to go away. They are not interested in changing anything in the basic house design to suit an individual client’s need. They have the population and the demand to set those terms.
- Ask most New Zealand residential builders if they are willing to alter the basic design of a house to suit an individual client’s needs and almost all of them will say “Yes, of course.”
- Ask those same builders how many have made reasonably significant changes to the basic house design while construction was underway, again to meet a client's request, and we are sure there will be a significant percentage if not all of you answering ‘yes’.
So, in simple terms is a major factor in New Zealand’s construction productivity problem in the residential market that we are ‘too nice’ to our clients?
A lot of builders fail to run efficient projects based on an accurate costing system or fail to effectively project manage their operations. Couple that with the requirement to make changes at various stages to suit the client, with little or no documented system to manage such issues, and the only result can be poor productivity.
How the industry addresses this depends on several factors but a major influence, not readily identifiable in the rhetoric to date, will be the inevitable driver: supply and demand.