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The Build Collective:
How working together has proved a success for four tradies

JANUARY 16, 2020









Improving productivity in the building industry needs to be a key focus, and a group of West Auckland tradies has launched a unique collective that’s streamlining the build process for them and their customers.

The four Mitre 10 MEGA New Lynn clients have teamed up under The Build Collective banner to offer: building, electrical, plumbing/gasfitting, and earthworks/drainage.

The collective was born after Campbell Plumbing & Gasfitting and Macreadie Builders started sharing an office near Mitre 10 MEGA in New Lynn. 

“I was working from home and had my company vans arriving every morning full of employees,” says Rowan Campbell. “I knew Joel (Macreadie) and asked to move into his shed in New Lynn.” Precision Earthworks and Drainage who had worked with the pair on jobs soon joined and KR Electrical rounded out the offering. 

The benefits of complementary trades under one roof soon became obvious.  “We sat around the table and discussed our client’s feedback and it all progressed from there,” says Roy Wykes of Precision Earthworks and Drainage.    

One of the key differences of The Build Collective’s approach is that all four companies can get together around the table from the concept stage. “We all go to that (first) meeting as representatives of the collective,” says Campbell. “We can pretty much give clients the answers they need on the spot.”

“It’s kind of a package deal,” says Campbell. “All of our trades are qualified and licensed and for our clients, the ease of having all main sub trades under one roof is priceless.” Usually only the builder would be involved at that stage and can’t necessarily identify potential plumbing, engineering and electrical issues.









The perfect example of the collective in action was a complete top to toe renovation carried out on an old farmhouse in Kumeu, north west of Auckland in 2019. The four would discuss the build back at base, which sped work up considerably. The job was finished five weeks ahead of schedule, which really showed the benefits of the collective approach, says Macreadie. 

All four businesses make it their priority to pitch in should emergencies arise on site. Macreadie says a recent example was when checking a job on a Saturday morning, a staff member realised a plumbing pipe needed to be sorted ASAP. Campbell Plumbing & Gasfitting did the work the very next morning and when a line was hit during digging, KR Electrical was on site within half an hour to assist.

Being all under one roof streamlines The Build Collective tradies’ already good relationships with their Mitre 10 Mega New Lynn Trade Account Manager Neal Ainsworth, who often pops in to visit the four businesses all at once. The collective’s members take clients to Mitre 10 MEGA New Lynn to choose kitchens, bathrooms, electrical fittings and all the other materials. “It’s like our showroom,” says Campbell. 

The proof that the concept is working is in the fact that the collective is finding more and better work than in the past. “Presenting a united front to the client has won us some very happy customers,” says Campbell. 

Derek Heard, General Manager Trade, Mitre 10 New Zealand concludes: “Improving productivity on and off the building site needs to be a key focus of our industry, and initiatives like The Build Collective tackle the challenges of sub-trade co-ordination really well. It’s great to see the positive outcomes for both the client and the business.”



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