According to a REUTERS’s report, construction industry will have to cope with stagnating business, after a promising start into 2020. Turnover is supposed to stay at previous year’s level of 135 million EUR, as the trade association HDB stated. Taken into account the development of prices, this equals a decrease of three percent. “Corona epidemic will leave its traces also in our industry”, HDB president Peter Hübner said. The number of staff however might be stable at the level of 870.000. Industry had started the year with a record orders cushion of 52 Billion EUR, expecting a growth of turnover of about 5.5 percent. At the moment, the decline of orders would be at a 30 percent level. “If it goes on like this, it will be dramatic”, Hübner said.
Melbourne Australia 11th May 2020
As I write this article, myself and 5,926,624 Victorian’s await our state premier to announce the first stage of easing the isolation restrictions imposed due to Covid-19. To say today is an exciting day after two months in isolation, would be an understatement!
A little bit about myself. I’m a commercial property developer who completes developments ranging from $6.0m to $15.0m in end value. The developments are all retail focussed, with tenants mainly being national and internationally branded petroleum and fast food retailers.
Back to Coronavirus and isolation. This imposed isolation from governments around the world, has posed enormous challenges for small, medium and large organisations across all industries. Business owners and employees have faced unprecedented hardship like nothing they’ve ever seen in our lifetime, and hopefully never will again. My heart beats faster when I think about some of my friends who have endured sleepless nights, anxiety and deep concern for the financial welfare of themselves and their families.
As I reflect on what has changed over the last 2 + months, I think about the positives that have come out of my community. I think we’ve all gone down to the local cafe to buy the odd coffee to support our local cafe operators, even though we may not have needed to. I personally have gotten to know my local neighbours much more than I ever did in the past. Whilst we’ve kept our distance from each other, in a way we’ve become closer. The sense of community spirit in my street alone has been heart warming. I’ve called friends in need, to share good news, shoulder their worries and help keep businesses and households positive.
But my experience is that this community spirit has spread on a much bigger geographical range during this crisis.
I’m left wondering, actually more like hoping, that when life returns to normal (whatever normal means), will our sense of community spirit continue to grow and remain?
Despite all of this, there have been numerous positives to come out of this crisis. Every organisation, no matter the size or number of employees, has been literally forced to rely on technology in order to survive and thrive. People are working from home, meaning less traffic congestion, less pollution, and a better quality of life for those who previously needed to travel to an office everyday. I know from my personal experience during this crisis, that it has been the single most productive period since I started this business with my partner 7 years ago. Smart retailers have increased their willingness to sign up for new sites, albeit at discounted rents, but hey good luck to them!
Retailers, small and large, have been forced to focus on producing sales through ecommerce channels. Technology and the internet have been the saviour to many businesses. Put simply, we would have been facing hardship like that of a depression, had we not been able to trade with technology. Again I’m left wondering whether we will maintain that focus on e-commerce, post world of isolation, or will we revert back to old practices? I certainly know I will be continuing to find ways to run a more productive business, driven by a sense of community spirit, that is underpinned by as much bandwidth as I can get my hands on!
Let’s broaden our networks, share our community spirit well beyond our own neighbourhoods, and really make sure that we take some of the positives out of this time in our lives that we will never forget.
Brett Tooley | Director, PPH Developments
We refer to ourselves as “The Specialists for Processing and Recycling”. Our product portfolio comprises crushing, sieving, piling and washing of natural stone and recycling material. New business ranges are wet processing and environmental technology.
As a dealer and consultant for single machines as well as for complete solutions, we concentrate solely on premium manufacturers and equipment and deliver professional service and excellent spare parts supply.
Of course, the Corona crisis influences our business. Not so much concerning the construction sector. Especially infrastructural projects often need to be continued, so there is always a demand for construction material.
Concerning industrial buildings however, we witness a serious downturn. On the contrary, there is a vivid development in the private construction sector. In bad times, not too many people want to keep their money in the bank.
We also see, that middle-sized customers with a workforce from four to about 40 people in their majority still have work, often of long-term nature. Smaller companies tend to postpone their purchase of crushers or screens. Large companies usually freeze their investments.
What helps us through this crisis? It still is the KÖLSCH delivery capability and flexibility. Rental requests are getting stronger thus we are expanding our rental park. Customer tend to emphasise more on safety, i.e. they want to make sure, that after-sales and service can be relied on. Reliability is vital for our success, now more than ever.
We are very aware of the problems our customers are facing. Working for just one, big client, quite often can lead to serious problems. At the moment, middle sized companies tend to be more stable, many of them still have orders dating to the year before, being engaged until this year’s late summer.
Bettina McCusker, Jürgen Kölsch GmbH
Berlin, April 27th – REUTERS signals the possible end of the long-time boom phase for the German construction industry. Corona crises is expected to slow down business to stagnation in 2020. Though sales were going strong in January and February, the total turnover will only reach the level of 2019, this is what the Central Federation of the German Construction Industry (HDB) issued last Friday, April 24th. “Facing the growing number of reports of order cancellations, fewer calls for tender and restrictions to the construction activities, a growth in turnover is becoming unrealistic”, says HDB Managing Director Dieter Babiel. In December, the industry still announced a 5.5% growth. “Almost 60% of our members questioned are subject to Corona-caused restrictions”, Babiel said.
Right now social distancing characterizes our business with new and used construction equipment. To stop the advance of the Corona virus, we widely dispense with personal sales and offer our Internet Services as shopping source for machines, modifications and accessories.
Possibilities are manifold: Customers may choose from a wide variety of used machines, they may check the value of used equipment, configure a new machine, order equipment, spare parts or services via mouse click and get them delivered right away.
This is essential, as most construction sites keep running for the time being. Zeppelin grants services and spare parts to be available as fast as possible. What construction sites operators need now, is a reliable, sturdily organized business partner.
The danger of getting infected can be minimized with common sense and by maintaining distance. Helpful is of course, that most construction activities take place outdoors.
Klaus Finzel, Communications Manager, Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH