Australia should be looking to New Zealand when it comes to the electronic traceability of construction products writes Jeff Patchell.
The Australian construction industry is a dinosaur when it comes to the digital world and should be taking a leaf out of other industry sectors, such as grocery and pharmaceutical, which have introduced electronic traceability systems.
These traceability systems are used worldwide to reduce product substitution and the potential use of non-conforming products, whether inadvertently or deliberately.
However, there has been little appetite shown by the Australian construction industry to wholly participate in developing a national product database or traceability system that is open to all parties throughout the supply chain.
Although it wouldn’t eradicate non-conforming product, a database would provide a single electronic point for detailed product traceability and add significant structure to the way products are be purchased and authenticated.
BRANZ, an independent New Zealand research, testing and consulting organisation, recently released a comprehensive industry study that looks at the benefit of an electronic traceability system and how it might work in New Zealand.
The study, which was funded from the New Zealand Building Research Levy, provides a blueprint for the Australian construction industry to also consider an electronic traceability scheme.
Wouldn’t it make sense to start some collaboration between both sides of the Tasman?
You can view the BRANZ study here.