Embracing innovation and top-notch design is how the Australian carpentry and joinery timber manufacturing industry will be as strong as hardwood into the future.
The Australian industry generates about $3 billion a year, according to the September 2017 report of industry-based research company, IBIS World. There are 2,180 businesses.
Some 12,470 people are employed in carpentry and joinery timber manufacturing and eight out of ten of them are based in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. Typically, businesses service small local markets. That’s much like us, Acacia Joinery. We’re a Wollongong-based business and we support architects, builders and projects throughout the greater Sydney area, ACT and across NSW. Our business has been operating for about 70 years under a succession of names, so have seen peaks and troughs over the decades.
Currently, however, the carpentry and joinery manufacturing industry is expected to decline 2.4% this financial year. That means on average the industry has shrunk 0.7% over the past five years.
So, why is our industry shrinking?
The IBIS World report points to increased product substitution as causing businesses to leave the industry. Other issues are higher domestic timber prices and builders using less stylish materials rather than wooden window systems.
To deal with the issues, five industry associations have been working together since 2011 acting as a peak body. That body, since incorporating as a legal entity in early 2014, is the Furniture Cabinets Joinery Alliance Ltd (FCJA). It’s working to ensure the “future viability of locally manufactured FCJ products”.
In its 2011 strategic plan, the FCJA says: “The industry is currently under considerable restructuring pressure, competing against low cost imports in a high cost environment. This is further compounded by the [then] high Australian dollar coupled with contracting market demand as both, new house starts and renovation activity (traditionally key drivers for the industry), continue to decline.”
Design and innovation on the agenda
Continuing review of the plan has put one thing on the top of the agenda – design and innovation. That’s right: the peak body for our industry is pushing for businesses to “embrace design and innovation as a core characteristic for future growth”.
“For Australian businesses to be sustainable long-term … they need to differentiate their product as a premium offering based on superior quality, design and innovation,” says the FCJA.
This covers the whole operational process – from enhanced design, production, packaging, marketing, customer service, in fact the overall business model. And it’s actually how Acacia Joinery does business. We’ll help you design better, faster and together with us to finesse your vision for a quality design into a bespoke window or timber solution for your project.
You can see our approach in our work with award-winning architects such as Peter Stutchbury Architecture, Ross Feller and Alexander Symes. Check out their projects with us on our gallery.
There’s also more details on the work we’ve done with Peter Stutchbury Architecture on the multi-award winning ‘Edge House’ here. Our Blackbutt timber windows and doors for the project were finished in a clear coat to highlight the characteristics of this popular native Australian hardwood. We also crafted the timber single-lite sliding doors between the sitting and dining rooms and a spacious outdoor entertaining area.
Like our work?
If you see something in our gallery that ticks the box for you with regard to innovation in design, let’s talk. Acacia Joinery – design better, faster and together. Innovative and bespoke design is our way forward.