042 GGP 1214

GGP December 2014

It’s been a busy year, and a profitable one for many, but is 2015 going to be as strong? Rehau looks at what can be done to prepare for the opportunities ahead. “You need to be certain that you have the 42 December 2014 There are still challenges ahead After a busy year packed with optimism and opportunity, much of the talk in the industry at the moment is of whether the recovery can be sustained and what might be the constraining factors next year. Of course, with the Christmas and New Year break looming for most of us, now is the perfect time for fabricators and installers to take some time to consider the year ahead and to think about how to face the next set of challenges. Those businesses which do best in the ongoing recovery will certainly be those who have prepared best for the opportunities ahead. This means addressing those areas which could potentially limit future growth and anticipating new areas for expansion. In terms of constraining growth, then one of the key areas which is causing concern is the shortage of skills. Whilst this obviously can’t be overcome instantly, there are some steps which every employer can take to make things easier. High profile trade and local advertising, PR and, of course, social media can all serve to make your business more attractive to potential recruits, and the right training programmes and established paths for career progression can enhance the quality of applicants. We hear a lot of talk about the need for more apprenticeships and, with lots of local and government backing now available, it’s possible to establish a programme of your own regardless of the size of your business. It is also worth spending time trying to establish a relationship with local and specialist recruitment agencies, since this can give your business a head start in a competitive recruitment market. There is also still the persistent issue of the availability of finance. We still hear reports of businesses who want to invest – whether that’s in new premises or new machinery – and simply can’t get the backing they need. Like the skills shortage, there’s no easy answer other than to try to research and build relationships with potential new finance partners and look at alternative routes such as leasing. If you are in a position to invest though, then it’s still important to do some careful planning. If you’re looking to source new machinery, be aware that lots of machinery is now on a three month lead time. Whereas previously some machinery suppliers even had machines in stock, now demand is at such a level that it could be as much as three to six months before they can fulfil an order. Similarly, if you see opportunities in a new market sector, then start talking early to potential suppliers. You need to be certain that you have the right partner in place who understands your plans and will be able to accommodate your additional demands. With the market booming in some areas, it’s vital to find a supplier who has the expertise, capacity and resources required. The Christmas and New Year break is always a great time to recharge the batteries and to take stock of the year which has just passed. It can also be a time for inspirational thinking and great strategic planning. At this critical time for the economy and for this industry, there can be little doubt that this year the break needs to be much more about looking forward, rather than looking back. right partner in place”


GGP December 2014
To see the actual publication please follow the link above