Building Better Businesses

Registered Master Builders Association chief executive David Kelly

The Registered Master Builders Conference, held recently in Hamilton, featured a range of excellent speakers, both motivational and informative.

One that I was very interested in listening to was Mediaworks chief executive Mark Weldon,also the former chief executive of the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

But it was his lessons learned as owner of Terra Sancta Wines in Central Otago that struck a chord. He talked about a number of wineries in the regional that had failed. The owners loved their wines and were passionate about the wine-making process, but they were not so passionate about the running of their businesses.

There are obvious parallels for the building industry. Being a knowledgeable and skilful builder is a must, but on its own it is insufficient.

To be successful, our members also need a range of other skills and support around managing the business. This is an area the RMBA Board is focused on,and there were two initiatives announced at the Conference.


The first is the launch of a benchmarking service in conjunction with Ranqx, a company that specialises in this area.

The benchmarking will provide a confidential report to members who want to be involved in the scheme, showing how they are performing in comparison to similar-sized building businesses. It has been designed to be an easy process to Building Today provide the information and the areas of comparison that are relevant to their business.

Feedback at the Conference was that our members would find this ver y useful. The first 100 to register will be provided with a free three-month service. For any RMBA member keen to get involved, email Tracey Bree at, and she will be happy to provide more information.

We will be sending out more information shortly.

Member research

The second initiative is about researching how our members rate the current services we provide, and what other services we should be looking at. This is the first time in several years

that we have carried out a major survey such as this. The research will consist of three components over the next couple of months — a staff workshop to gather institutional knowledge that will help create the questionnaire that will go out to members, an online survey, and some selected in-depth phone interviews.

I encourage all our members to take the time to respond so that we can deliver what you need.

• RMBA president John Macdonald’s column returns next month

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