A word from Richard - February 2012

26/02/2012

This is an 'interesting' time for the New Zealand building industry. Building consents are at a 46 year low and while a recovery is predicted the timing is difficult to forecast. Given this, people are surprised to find that at Jenkin we're talking about investment and growth.

 

We believe the reasons for investment in our business right now are as compelling as they have ever been. A recent BRANZ report shows that the weatherboard share of the wall cladding market in New Zealand grew from just 10% in 2002, to nearly 30% in 2010. Renewed interest in the weatherboard style is no doubt attributable to generations of proven performance from what is an exceptionally elegant natural and sustainable product. The leaky homes disaster has reignited an interest in solid timber exteriors. 

These trends are significant for us as manufacturers of timber cladding. The challenge for Jenkin has been (and continues to be) to respond to these trends in a way that gives us a sustainable competitive edge. That's meant investment in design innovation and process quality. 

Our investment in our A-lign, and A-lign Concealed Fix innovations was considerable. Our financial commitment to research and development is now being matched by investment in quality German machinery that will deliver the level of precision timber engineering we strive for. It was worth it. We've been pleased to see the very positive response to the system from some very demanding craft builders.

This year we'll launch rusticated Concealed Fix, and an A-lign fencing solution. We'll also introduce A-lign to the Australian market.

Quality has been our other big driver. Lean manufacturing has helped us get all our team committed to 'quality in, quality out.' It is was great to read the story in this issue about the new home built for Greg and Toni Charteris of  Timber Construction Solutions Ltd (TCS). Greg and Toni know timber, so Greg's comment that they chose Jenkin's A-lign for their new home because of the integrity of our timber preparation, was a huge boost for our team.

Innovation and quality isn't just about what we do at Jenkin. It's also about finding the best tools and technology - and being prepared to make the investment. That includes the best paint technology, in our next issue we will talk about our new partnership with Dulux. This will help us deliver an outstanding quality of protection to our A-lign product. 

So yes, these are challenging times. But for those of us who are passionate about New Zealand pine as a building material, there are plenty of reasons for optimism – and for Jenkin, that means plenty of reasons to continue our investment in innovation and quality.