Warmest greetings! On behalf of Building Materials Distributors Association of Malaysia, I would like to wish all of you with blessings of good health, happiness and success in all your business
As we are aware, we are currently under the government’s Movement Control Order (MCO) until 14th April 2020 to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no certainty that the MCO will not be extended further beyond 14th April as the decision by the government will depend on the effectiveness of the containment during the current MCO.
Due to this, our crucial role as distributors of building materials in the construction industry supply chain has been adversely impacted. Amidst this very challenging times, it’s timely that all of us in the association be it large corporations , family owned entities, SMEs as well as new entrants are rallied in the common agenda to safeguard our business interest. The market has been changing drastically for us the past few years with margin compressions and prolonged credit terms and the last straw that will break the camel’s back could well be the severe economic disruption as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This period of non-activity allows us the opportunity to reflect, think hard and question ourselves whether the industry ought to continue- especially after the MCO is lifted, with the current widespread practise of defending sales volume at the expense of profit margin while at the same time being overly generous on extension of credit terms to customers. There have been many instances before this where our own practices went beyond good business sense to the detriment of our own industry. The unprecedented crisis brought about by Covid-19 could well be the window of opportunity for us to recalibrate our business practices and bring it back to rationality especially in terms of healthier profit margins and decent credit terms.
Thus far, the government has not presented a stimulus that can directly aid businesses most severely impacted by the pandemic. It’s therefore upon us to take our own initiatives to help ourselves and ensure that our business environment does not deteriorate further post-MCO. Essentially as traders, a healthy cashflow is most important so we must ensure that the market does not take advantage of this crisis to further prolong or delay payments. We can do the best of our own ability be good business partners and assist customers with genuine cases of difficulties during this challenging period but such terms must never be unfair to our industry and its long-term sustainability.
The association will continue to represent your interest and cooperate closely with other trade associations and government bodies in order that our issues are clearly understood and addressed constructively to the benefit of all members.
President of BMDAM (2018 – 2020)