Plasterboard Supply Position Update

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

David Thomas explains - what’s happening with GIB® plasterboard supply.

There has been a lot of commentary and speculation about GIB® plasterboard supply over recent weeks, and I would like to take this opportunity to explain the issues and proposed solutions, Winstone Wallboards has underway.

I want to start by saying it is as important to us, as anyone, that we keep the industry confident in the supply of plasterboard. Our two manufacturing sites are operating 24/7 and producing plasterboard at record levels.

In fact, we are actually despatching enough plasterboard for 1000 houses per week.  Which probably raises the question about why supply is constrained….so let me explain.

How did we get here?

Prior to last year’s August lockdown, we were producing enough plasterboard to meet demand. Since then, New Zealand has continued building at a record pace, resulting in increased demand for all building materials. This, combined with customers placing GIB® plasterboard orders further and further in advance, has resulted in Winstone Wallboards' forward orders and lead times continuing to climb over the past 6 months. 

To give you some context, the level of forward orders we have been receiving for GIB® plasterboard has resulted in daily orders being over double what they were back in July 2021.

So, despite operating our manufacturing plants 24/7 and producing record amounts of plasterboard, demand is quite simply outstripping production capacity.

With production at capacity, and limited availability for us to import plasterboard, we’ve had to find an alternative solution to managing supply.  After discussions with our merchants, we have decided the best short-term solution is to alter the order model, to an on-allocation system.

We believe this model will help better match supply with real-time demand and deliver an overall more consistent volume and equitable supply to the market. The on-allocation model will come into effect from July 2022.

The on-allocation model solution.

Our merchants work with the industry directly, meaning they have the greatest visibility of their customers’ projects. The on-allocation model will give them the ability to distribute the volume of board they have, across their customer base.

Key to this model working well is the industry keeping merchants abreast of their project timelines so merchants are able to co-ordinate and prioritise allocating GIB® plasterboard to projects when it is required for installation, rather than have it sitting in storage not being used.

We believe that this model will maximise the amount of plasterboard that goes to building sites when it is needed for installation. 

As we transition to the new process, all our services are fully booked until the end of June 2022 for GIB® plasterboard.  However, your merchant still has the ability to best utilise existing orders they currently have in the system and alter if required.

I encourage you to talk to them directly about your needs and specific job timeframes.

Longer term we are very much looking forward to bringing the new GIB® plasterboard plant in Tauranga online in June 2023.  Construction of the state-of-art facility is on track and will increase plasterboard production capacity in New Zealand well above current, and forecast, demand levels.

Be assured that we are fully focused on helping you get the plasterboard you need on site when you need it. If you have any questions, please get in touch.