Placemakers Dunedin: Meeting the changing demands of the construction industry


Over the last ten years there have been three major legislation changes to the building code. Mr Macready says responding to these changes is integral to PlaceMakers keeping pace with industry needs. He says the biggest change came in 2012 when builders had to become Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP).

“It was massive. We held six clinics and helped over 300 Dunedin based tradies with the paperwork required for their registration. Some had been working in the industry for more than 40 years and had no idea where their original qualification record was or what they needed to do to get registered.

“Since then we have introduced regular training seminars to keep our trade customers up to speed with legislation changes to the building code and with the latest changes in the industry. To date we have had a total of 1000 attendees. We are pretty proud of that.”

“Once a year we hold an annual ‘apprentice- only’ event that helps the apprentices feel they are part of the industry.  I am passionate about promoting working in the trades as a worthwhile and full-time career.”

“As a trades-focussed business, we are recognised as having a very good core building product range within a wide range of categories but we also focus on:

·         Tools

·         Kitchen

·         Bathroom

·         Landscaping

·         Doors and door hardware

·         Paint

·         Fastenings

“We have the delivery capability, can supply frame and truss, we have estimation specialists and our trade associate team who can organise the right product to be delivered at the right time to keep the job flowing for the builder on site.

“We continue to fully implement improvements in our service level to our customers. In the last five years we have invested hugely in technology and we are now beginning to see the results of that at the coalface for both our team and our customers. For example, up to two years ago we used manual carbon copy docket books. Now all transactions are done on electronic devices. These same devices also run our inventory stock taking, customer order make-up and customer collect/or delivery schedule. By next year this will be fully integrated into a customer app. Ten years ago you could not have dreamed of that! The point we are at right now is very exciting and it’s all focussed on delivering efficiency to the customer.”

Forman Commercial Team members Stephen Bithell and Paul Henderson.
Forman Commercial Team members Stephen Bithell and Paul Henderson.
Showroom team leader Alana Grant.
Showroom team leader Alana Grant.

Our Promise

PlaceMakers Dunedin was a pioneer in researching what trade customers needed in order to be efficient. The seven key areas that the company helped to identify have now become recognised as the cornerstones of PlaceMakers ‘Service Promise’ and this has been adopted by all PlaceMakers stores nationwide.

·         500 core trade items always in stock

·         Over 100,000 products available

·         1hour order & pick up service

·         To answer your call within 30 seconds or we’ll call you back within the hour

·         Accurate invoicing- no surprises

·         To deliver to site in full & on time or we refund the delivery fee

·         To deliver your frame and truss order within the agreed time or we pay you $200 per day

Justin Macready says, ‘We measure these seven key areas every day, reporting on how we are measuring up in each area. Our Service Promise is our point of difference.  It’s our personal guarantee.”

Investment in the region

From the get go Mr Macready has always looked for opportunities to meet customer needs and deliver solutions for them. This has translated into major investment in the region.

“Four years ago, based on our customer feedback, we invested heavily in the region with three major initiatives.” 

Frame and Trust Plant

“We opened the largest frame and truss plant south of Christchurch. Frame and truss is prefabricated housing. We had a small facility in town with ten staff but when we opened the new plant in Mosgiel we grew the workforce to 40. PlaceMakers are the biggest producer of Frame and Truss in New Zealand, with a national network of eight plants we have the flexibility to meet demand.”

Mosgiel Trade Store

“In November 2015 we opened our Mosgiel trade store at 23 Carncross Road just off Dukes Rd north. We saw the need for tradies on the Taieri to have access to a store more conveniently located, cutting down on their travel time.”

Commercial Building Products and Systems added to our product range.

An opportunity arose for us to integrate our business with Forman Building Systems. The latter are specialist distributers of commercial building products and systems. This has enabled us to service our existing clients with a wider and more specialised offering for large scale commercial projects.  These include suspended ceilings, interior wall systems, commercial steel infrastructure, thermal and acoustic insulation, and passive fire protection products.

Check out other related stories:
Celebrating 10 Years
Investing in Staff

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