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News | Solid foundations get us through a topsy-turvy year

Like for most businesses, 2020 has been interesting, to say the very least. We've had our challenges – especially around logistics and depleted stocks – but it's also come with a lot of positives. Demand remains incredibly strong and a new kind of working partnership has emerged in the industry, which means customers continue to get the support they need.

While local manufactures had to pause as the country got COVID-19 under control, our diverse supply relationships in Brazil, Chile, Australia and Papua New Guinea meant we could keep importing. This also helped cover for local shortages. When international supply became tricker, the locals stepped in to help us. It's been truly collaborative, with everyone working towards a bigger goal: keeping our clients and the building industry in good health.

Bracing for cost increases

Pre-COVID, New Zealand had the benefit of very low-cost shipping – our supplies could be backloaded on to ships that would have been otherwise empty. Now that shipping routes have changed and fewer vessels are sailing, we can expect to see prices increase significantly next year.

Strong team battens down against the COVID-19 storm

When our nationwide lockdown hit, it was difficult to predict what would come next. One thing was sure – our strength is in our team, and we would do whatever it took to keep everyone. That was the instinct at the head of our business, but our whole team felt the same. As a group and on their own, they decided that they'd do whatever it took to keep everyone employed, even if that meant sharing the pain around with reduced hours or temporary pay cuts. I was so proud of that. It's a testament to the genuine team spirit we have here – and means we're ending the year on a high.

Happy holidays!

Bill

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