The building and construction industry in Australia is indeed a competitive one. High labour costs and a saturated market are some of the key factors that can make it a challenging market to compete in for local businesses. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to declines in recent building activity. But there is good news. Global construction trends are ever-growing and there are increasing opportunities for local businesses to go global.
Why should you go global?
Australia has got a good reputation overseas for high building standards, highly educated population and innovative product development giving it a comparative advantage in the field. Surprisingly not many construction businesses here in Australia export overseas. With the construction industry undergoing unprecedented change, there is no better time to take your business global than now.
Below our experts have provided some key indicators to become a successful exporter in the construction industry.
Stay on top of global market trends: Right not it’s all about green construction. This sector is expected to grow by over 14 percent over the next 5 years. Green construction is all about developing eco-friendly infrastructure that reduce pollution, combat climate change and build sustainable communities. One building material that ticks all the green credentials boxes is timber. In Australia, there has been a dramatic expansion of supply options for timber products. Not only are we good at good at producing timber, but Australia also has some sleek timber design buildings. We will likely see timber being an increasingly popular choice in interior design. Australian design expertise can offer real value to drive the green construction trend around the world.
Business expertise and ability to adapt operations to market demand: Here we are talking about the ability to quickly alter labour force to match cyclical market demand. In order to do this firms, require experienced and productive workers. As for expertise, residential construction will continue to be the most popular but there are also increasing demand for engineers, consultants and project managers. Australia has a comparative advantage for its services in project design as well as environmental studies in construction.
Adapting new technology: With COVID-19, virtual collaboration tools have been increasingly adopted by the industry throughout the pandemic – from video-call site meetings to filing in digital orders. CRM applications have allowed builders to seamlessly communicate with customers and manage project deadlines. No doubt adopting these news tools will help build a competitive exporting business. We believe that virtual collaboration tools are here to stay.
Targeting the right markets: Regions such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa that are experiencing rapid urbanisation are likely going to see the largest demand in construction work. United Arab Emirates is a good country to target for this. Singapore is a good country to target for green construction. It’s also a country with low barriers of entry for foreign companies. Meanwhile Australian architects are highly demanded in China as it undergoes rapid urban transformation and carries out major infrastructure projects. Other countries like the USA are also looking to build their military aerospace technology as well as marine defense. So there are opportunities there as well.
Having contacts within key markets: All operators must establish contacts in key markets. Construction services firms must form strategic alliances and relationships with building and construction companies in specific geographic and niche markets. Here we aren’t just speaking of overseas contact but local exporters too. If you’re a construction materials provider, having connections with local architectural firms that operate certainly has advantages. Australian firms working together can sometimes be easier. This method called ‘piggybacking’ is essentially using local connections to partake in their international projects. This will help new exporters increase their international exposure.
If you’re looking for ways to break into the international market Smart Mango can help.
Smart Mango is a Sydney based agency specialising in export marketing development for the construction industry.
Our team of specialists can offer you with market research, distributor search and local representation to help your exporting business succeed in the Australian market.
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