10 NEWS CAB ends the year on a high www.ggp.com January 2015 Letter to the editor Dear Luke, The debate Roy and I started in the media about Syscos approved installer schemes got a number of Syscos hot and bothered. We clearly struck a nerve! Our point is that systems companies are not fabricators, and shouldn’t try to behave like fabricators. They are further from the front line. Syscos often come unstuck when they start ‘approving’ and dictating how their fabricators’ installer customers ‘should’ do things. In response, some Syscos tried to deflect criticism by clouding the issue, implying that we are against fabricator schemes too. Just to be clear, we’re not. So at the risk of rubbing a little salt in their wounds, I will repeat our main points… • It is arrogant and condescending of systems companies to bestow approval on installers, and it adds little or no value to the consumer. • Most Syscos have no experience of selling on the front line. They are too far away from the action to know what goes on or advise how it should be done. Uniquely among Syscos, our MD, Roy Frost, does have experience of selling to the consumer. That gives us the knowledge to help Deceuninck fabricators help their installers sell. • FENSA and other independent controlling organisations now audit installer standards. And there are resources such as Trust Pilot to cover those who do their research online. These are the new benchmarks, not a Sysco’s arms-length meaningless ‘approval’ or stamp on your brochure. • We fully support fabricators’ own schemes. Fabricators are closer to the action – installers are their customers! Which gives them a clear understanding of consumers and their needs. So when a fabricator gives a badge of approval, it really has some clout. Rob McGlennon, sales director, Deceuninck The Council for Aluminium in Building (CAB) ventured north in October last year, to see the penguins and the sharks at Hull’s aquarium, The Deep, for the final regional members’ meeting of 2014. The Humberside venue attracted over 100 members and their guests. The event, which summarised the latest technical activity involving standards and regulations, also saw the launch of the CAB State of the Market survey figures for Q3, 2014. These highlighted the strength of the aluminium in building sector and to a certain extent, the economy in general. A rise in third quarter sales was reported by 80% net balance of members compared with the previous quarter and 87% net balance reported a rise in sales compared with 12 months ago. CAB CEO, Justin Ratcliffe, said the survey showed ‘very clear signs’ that the recovery in the sector had become more sustainable and this was highlighted by further confidence of rising sales in both the final quarter of 2014 (60% net balance) and especially the year ahead (93% net balance). Not an option The CAB mini-conference was opened by David Saxby, the cofounder of Architectural 00, a young practice building a national and international reputation. David highlighted the use of aluminium in modern day architecture including his own RIBA award winning Manor Works, which won the prize for the Best Building in Yorkshire for 2014. Peter Foster, technical services manager and head of BIM Implementation at WACO (Premier Interlink) highlighted how BIM will save considerable amounts of money simply by reducing waste. He pointed out that, as all centrally procured government construction projects must be delivered using BIM by 2016, not addressing the issue was simply not an option. He also made the offer to CAB members to contact him directly for advice. Finally, Geraldine Fleming, vice president and executive director at Knowles, highlighted a number of issues critical to getting paid which was an introduction to her planned contractual awareness seminar to members in Bristol (below). One of the points that Geraldine emphasised was that getting the original contract correct was a much cheaper option than pursuing money after the event. Geraldine, who was also a qualified QS and solicitor, used her experience within the supply chain to offer a number of useful tips for dispute resolution and arbitration. She also summarised a wide range of contract seminars that CAB hopes to make available to members in 2015. CAB breakfast meeting CAB’s November breakfast meeting at the At-Bristol science centre welcomed Neil Sansum, architect director at BDP Architects who highlighted the wide use of aluminium by the RIBA Award winning practice. He focused particularly on the design process behind the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) at the University of Exeter’s Falmouth campus which achieved one of the highest BREEAM Outstanding scores in the UK at 91.57%. After updates by members of the CAB team highlighted their varied work on standards, regulations and best practise, Geraldine Fleming presented a contractual awareness seminar entitled, ‘We’ve done the work, now how do we get paid?’. The content included: contract formation; the quotation; post tender negotiations; the contract; formalities; correspondence and payment. Further seminars are planned in 2015, in particular targeting CAB’s growing aluminium fabricator base. CAB State of the Market Q3, 2014 headlines • 87% of CAB members, on balance, reported a rise in sales in Q3 compared with the previous year. • 93% of members reported that they anticipated sales to ruse over the coming year. • Costs continued to rise with 53% net balance reporting a rise in costs in Q3 compared to a year ago, largely due to wages and materials. 79% net balance reported that costs would rise in the next 12 months (75% in Q2). • Headcount increased compared to a year ago for 73% net balance of respondents while 87% had forecast an increase in the year ahead (69% in Q2). • Raw material prices had become a key factor (21% of respondents) in ‘likely constraints on activity over the next 12 months’ after capacity (36%) and demand (29%).
GGP January 2015
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