22 Mar 2020

Builders, suppliers told to prepare for Covid-19 disruptions

7:21 am on 22 March 2020

Builders and their suppliers are being urged to go on the front foot to cope with Covid-19 coronavirus disruption.

workers with power tools on the building site

Photo: 123rf

The Construction Industry Council said it was seeing "a fair bit of fear" in the sector.

However, chairperson Graham Burke said many major building companies had swung their standard crisis responses into place already.

Others, particularly smaller firms, were still trying to gauge the impacts.

"It's really important we handle these things proactively rather than waiting for the situation to get on top of us," Burke said.

The Building Industry Federation - which represents a swathe of product suppliers - urged its members to quickly get to grips with disruption to supply chains.

"They need to understand their suppliers' supply," chief executive Julien Leys said.

Huge amounts of product came out of China, but the long and complex supply chains there were often hidden from view.

"We need to understand it because a one-week delay in a manufacturing plant in China might well end up being a two-month delay on the supply side."

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