Strong support for national building products catalogue

Thursday 4 August 2022

Today’s Commerce Commission findings included a strong recommendation for the establishment of a centralised digital national key products registry to increase trust and confidence in residential building supplies. Research conducted by GS1 New Zealand in 2020, funded by the Building Levy via the Building Research Association of NZ (BRANZ), made this recommendation and the linkage to increased productivity across the building sector supply chains.

Earlier BRANZ research found that a lack of trusted digital product assurance data was a factor contributing to the use of nonconforming products in construction projects with costs of approximately $232 million per year arising from product failures. The research estimated that only a 6% reduction in the use of non-compliant products through making better product assurance information widely available would cover the investment required.

What the Commerce Commission is recommending is commonplace in other sectors including food & grocery and healthcare where products are globally and uniquely identified and structured data about these products is shared between trading partners and to regulators. (In fact, there are more than 100,000 products in GS1 NZ’s National Product Catalogue supporting the DIY/ hardware/ construction sector already.) Soon to be published research indicates that 94% of building sector participants do not have the product data in a format that meets their purposes and the majority support any registry to be a joint public-private partnership.

“The industry strongly supports both the Commerce Commission’s and the earlier BRANZ research findings to establish a centralised national product catalogue to facilitate innovation, improve, trust, reliability and productivity across the wider building sector” says Julien Leys, CEO of the Building Industry Federation.

Commerce Commission’s relevant findings (Section 9.73 – 9.77). See full report.

BRANZ 2020 - Digital Product Data for Lifting Productivity. See full report.