Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Superb Director's Position in KBB sector - £60k + bonus

Our new Job in Focus is a National UK Director role working for a company producing High-end Porcelain Tiles & KBB Products - £60k+ bonus. You would responsible for Sales, Admin, Operations, Marketing, and HR. You will lead the development the UK Sales of this European manufacturer in bathroom sector

Our Construction & Building Industry Job in Focus feature takes a detailed look at some of the fantastic sales & marketing construction and building materials job vacancies currently on our books. 

Job in Focus is also promoted on our website. 


Job Title: UK Director
Job Ref: J10008
Product: Ceramic Tiles
Location: National
Salary: £60k

UK Director vacancy working for a high-end porcelain tiles and bathroom products manufacturer 

Basic Salary £50,000 to £60,000 plus 20% bonus, company car, phone, laptop, 30 days holidays and pension. 

Role: UK Director - This role is vital for our client as they are looking for a candidate that will be given the task of growing its UK Business. This person will be fully responsible for our clients business in the UK which will include everything from management and recruitment of the sales, admin and warehouse staff, HR responsibilities, marketing, business strategy and general business management on a day to day basis. You will be supported by our clients head office and work closely with senior members of the management team in Europe. 

Location: National Coverage but ideally in West Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Leicestershire or Worcestershire 

Candidate: Our client is looking for a candidate who has a background of managing a sales team as well as being involved in all other aspects of running a business within the tile and bathroom or closely related product sectors. 

For further information or to discuss your career options contact James Houston on 01480 405225 or apply online.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Show your love for the Construction Industry today

To celebrate St. Valentine's day, we thought we'd celebrate the building and construction industry, especially why we love working in it.

We have produced a guide, detailing some reasons why we think it is possibly the best industry in the world to work in. Download it here. Let us know what you think.

Photo from Shutterstock

Monday, 12 February 2018

UK bathroom market to grow by 12% over the next four years

The UK market for bathroom products achieved value growth of around 3% in 2017. The pace of growth has lessened over the last 12 months compared to the previous 2-3 years, with modest growth expected in 2018 and 2019. The main factors influencing the market include lower levels of consumer and business confidence, in turn impacting on demand for bathroom products. Overall market growth between 2017 and 2021 is forecast at around 12%.

Baths and sanitary ware is the largest sector of the bathroom products market, followed by bathroom accessories, taps and mixers, bathroom furniture and whirlpool/spa systems. In terms of trends, demand for quality bathroom products with additional features is expected to remain significant and will be supported by a greater level of replacement purchases as consumers upgrade to higher value solutions, with aesthetics continuing to exert a notable influence on consumer choice.

The growing consumer preference for minimalist, wall-hung and countertop designs will impact volume demand for sanitaryware. This trend will support the growth of prefabricated solutions, installation frames and concealed plastic cisterns. Taps and mixers will increasingly be used as a means of differentiation in domestic and certain commercial environments, with higher quality finishes and contemporary styling.

Popular products include space-saving solutions such as wall-hung sanitaryware, slim-line wash basins and short-projection furniture. While in the baths sector, compact shower baths, small freestanding baths and space-saving ‘back-to-wall’ D shaped/skirted baths, continue to gain share.

In the bathroom furniture sector there is increasing demand for clever ‘invisible’ storage solutions that ensure that the bathroom remains tidy and clutter free. The market for bathroom accessories is likely to remain positive as consumers buy accessories as an easy and cost-effective way to update and personalise their bathroom.

Going forward, new housebuilding volumes are set to stabilise despite the economic uncertainty. Prospects remain positive in this sector and will support demand for bathroom products installed in new build homes, while RMI activity is expected to be more constrained in the next 2-3 years. Commercial private work will also remain a key driver of activity across a number of applications, including hotels and leisure.

“The wide variation in UK bathroom size will continue to provide opportunities for product
development to suit the various types of bathrooms such as ensuite, cloakroom installations
etc.” said Hayley Thornley, Research Manager at AMA Research.

“Modern, digital and advanced technology, such as digital taps and sensors to control temperature and flow, motion sensor LED mirrors and Bluetooth entertainment systems, will become more widely used in the bathroom as consumers and businesses become increasingly aware of their benefits.

Consumers are demanding quality products that will last and use the internet to search for the best deals available.”

This will be boosted by the Disabled Facility Grant (DFG) provision to pay sanitaryware for easier manoeuvrability, thermostatic and lever operated tapware controls, and shower toilets. This will be boosted by the Disabled Facility Grant (DFG) provision to pay for improvements such as accessible showering facilities, which is set to double over the next 2-3 years to over £500 million in 2019/20.

The ‘Bathroom Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA
Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’
experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available
now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

Pic from Shutterstock

Monday, 5 February 2018

Construction output still in growth, but only just!

UK construction companies reported a subdued start to 2018, with total industry activity barely rising. A return to contraction in residential building activity was accompanied by near-stagnant commercial and civil engineering activity. New orders declined, linked by many companies to market uncertainty.

On a more positive note, confidence towards future growth prospects improved, with many firms anticipating an increase in new project wins later in the year. Meanwhile, intense cost pressures continued across the UK construction sector.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) posted 50.2 in January, down from 52.2 in December. The figure was just above the neutral 50.0 no-change mark, thereby signalling a fractional rate of growth that was the weakest for four months.

The latest data signalled that the sector’s main driver of growth in recent months, house building, slipped into decline, ending a 16-month expansion.

Meanwhile, commercial building returned to growth, reversing a six-month period of decline, though the pace of expansion was only marginal. Civil engineering activity also rose, representing an improvement on the declines seen late last year, though the increase was likewise only very modest.

The rate of job creation eased to an 18-month low in line with the reduced growth of building activity. Whilst some firms hired additional staff in anticipation of future new project wins, others reported job shedding in response to lower workloads.

New orders received by UK construction companies decreased slightly for the first time in four months during the latest survey period. Many respondents linked falling new business to worries fuelled by general political and economic uncertainty.

Despite softening marginally since December, cost pressures remained intense in January. Inflation in input costs was driven by a variety of materials such as bricks, copper and timber.

Sub-contractor usage increased during January, thereby ending a ten-month sequence of decline. Furthermore, the latest expansion was the strongest seen since November 2016. In response, sub-contractor availability fell sharply.

Despite subdued total industry activity growth and falling new orders, optimism among UK construction companies improved in January. Many firms anticipate a pick-up in new business wins later in the year.

Sam Teague, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the IHS Markit/CIPS Construction PMI® said:

“January’s PMI data indicated a difficult start to 2018 for the UK’s construction sector, underlined by business activity growth slumping to a four-month low and new orders sliding back into decline.

“A contraction in house building added to the lacklustre commercial building and civil engineering markets, and reduced inflows of new work suggest overall activity could slip into decline in February. Furthermore, cost pressures remained intense, fuelled by shortages of input materials and high costs for imported products.

“Survey respondents reported increased hesitance among clients to invest in new projects amid heightened concerns over the UK economic outlook. Encouragingly, however, firms generally expect things to improve later in the year. Constructors’ optimism towards future growth prospects reached a seven-month high. Many forecasted that the soft patch in construction demand would be short-lived and new project wins would pick up throughout the year, though this will inevitably depend on how Brexit negotiations play out. Despite the upturn, optimism remains worryingly low by historical standards.”

Duncan Brock, Director of Customer Relationships at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said:

“The construction PMI delivered meagre results for January as any hopes for a stellar start to the year were eclipsed by a surprisingly poor show from the housing sector, offering its worst performance since July 2016. Not even a marginal improvement in commercial and civil engineering could prevent a near-stagnation in overall activity as the index hovered near the no-change mark.

“The blocks to progress included a sharp rise in costs and a shortage of key materials, which contributed to longer lead times as supplier capabilities were stretched to their limits.

“Against this challenging backdrop, though larger orders from cautious clients also failed to materialise, firms retained a sunny disposition with optimism at a seven-month high and a slight rise in employment continued.

“With construction teetering on the edge of contraction, this surprise outcome will serve as a jolt to policymakers, that the impact of political and economic uncertainty remains large at the beginning of 2018.”

Photo: From Shutterstock

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Job in Focus: Regional Sales Manager for Paints and Coatings in North - £55k + bonus

Our new Job in Focus is a fantastic Sales Management role, with four reports, selling Paints, Chemicals and Coatings. You would be responsible for developing relationships and agreements with Regional Contractors and Housebuilders via specification. The role is based in the North and comes with a salary of £55k + bonus.

Our Construction & Building Industry Job in Focus feature takes a detailed look at some of the fantastic sales & marketing construction and building materials job vacancies currently on our books. 

Job in Focus is also promoted on our website. 


Job Title: Regional Sales Manager
Job Ref: J9923
Product: Paints, Chemicals & Coatings
Location: North
Salary: £55k + 25% bonus


PACKAGE: Up to £55K basic salary plus bonus of up to 25% bonus, car, pension, healthcare, mobile phone, laptop and excellent holiday scheme. 

EMPLOYER: An established market leader in the paint, chemicals and coatings sector with a recognised brand. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: Reporting to the National Sales Manager, you will have 4 field sales representatives reporting to you and you will lead, motivate and develop them as well as negotiating with key regional contractors and house builders. Additional responsibilities include: 

  • Handling key senior level national agreements with all key stakeholders in the specification process 
  • You will drive the continued development of the region with strong profit focused thinking as well as strong leadership 
  • Increasing volume of premium products in line with contractor/specification strategy and company targets 

LOCATION: Field based covering the North of England so you could live in Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Cleveland, County Durham, Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear. This role will require extensive travel throughout the North with overnight stays. 

CANDIDATE: You will be an experienced manager used to leading a sales team within the construction sector targeting the specification/housebuilder or contractor market. Additionally, you must be able to demonstrate a successful track record of advanced sales and negotiation skills and have strong interpersonal skills. 

For further information or to discuss your career options contact Natalie Matthews on 01480 405 225 or apply online.

Friday, 26 January 2018

New Home registrations highest since 2007 says NHBC

Good news from the Housebuilding industry as it was announced that annual registrations last year were the highest since 2007, according to NHBC’s latest figures.

The number of new homes registered to be built in 2017 increased 6% against 2016 to 160,606 homes, NHBC said. Of these, 118,825 were for private new homes, up 3%. Registrations for the affordable sector grew 14% to 41,781, the increase driven by a rise in registrations in the private rented sector. These figures are included in the affordable housing data, NHBC said.

Meanwhile, in 2017 new home completions lifted 4% to 147,278 homes against 2016.

Nine out of 12 UK regions saw increases in registrations, with the East Midlands (+19%; 14,481), Wales (+19%; 5,470) and the North West (+12%; 16,947) seeing some of the highest growth.

London, a region struggling in recent years, experienced a slight annual rise in registrations, up 1% to 17,850 on 2016.

Steve Wood, NHBC’s CEO, said: “2017 was an interesting year, politically, economically and socially.

“Our figures show the market has delivered strong growth resulting in the highest new home figures for a decade and growth across the majority of the UK, including London for the first time since 2014.

“Looking ahead, NHBC will continue to work with the industry to help raise the standards of new homes.  With 6% growth in the quantity of new home registrations, the focus on delivering quality for consumers remains critical.”

Photo via Shutterstock 

Monday, 22 January 2018

The Carillion debacle - BMF assesses its impact on materials supply chain

Oh, the irony! 'Making tomorrow a better place'. For whom exactly?

The warnings had been there for some time, but despite the inevitability, it was still a tragic day when Carillion went into liquidation, especially for the innocent people and companies caught in the aftermath. The building supply chain is one area which will be impacted, and the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has undertaken an initial survey of its members following the collapse of Carillion.

BMF Chief Executive Officer, John Newcomb said: “From our initial survey of members it seemed that very few traded with Carillion directly, and it was a very small part of business amongst those who did. However, a number believe they are likely to be indirectly exposed as their customers include Carillion sub-contractors.

“It is well-known that Carillion operated on 120-day payment terms and most of their sub-contractors are owed money for work carried out prior to the liquidation. At the moment it seems that most of our merchant members will be covered by credit insurance for any losses, but they would like to hear from customers who may be affected as soon as possible so they can find ways to move forward and support them.

“We would also call on the Government to learn lessons from this and take immediate steps to promote and enforce the Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter (CSCPC), which is designed to ensure that payments are made to the supply chain within 30 days.”

The BMF is also highlighting the employment opportunities offered by the building materials industry, and urging Carillion’s 1,400 apprentices as well as other staff, to consider entering the sector.

John Newcomb added: “There are opportunities within our sector in all parts of the country. Through our own Apprenticeships Training Agency and our dedicated recruitment portal we can offer recruitment options to former Carillion employees who would like to find out more about furthering their career in the materials supply sector.”

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Happy 110th Birthday to the BMF!

The BMF is set for a year of celebration with three major events taking place during 2018 to commemorate a trio of landmark anniversaries.  As well as the 40th anniversary of the Builders’ Merchants Federation itself, the BMF is marking 110 years as a Trade Body and 5 years since it relocated from London to its current HQ in Coventry.   

To celebrate these milestones in the BMF’s history, the Federation is holding its first Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commonsits first Young Merchants’ Conference and a special Anniversary Dinner for 200 members at the Belfry.  

The Parliamentary Reception, which takes place on 24 April, will be hosted by Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South where BMF head office is based.  The event will bring together an invited audience of BMF members, MPs and Peers to network, and to promote and explain the role, value and importance of merchants within the building supply chain.   

The Anniversary Dinner for BMF members, on 29 November, sees the BMF return to the award-winning Belfry Hotel in Warwickshire, where the BMF celebrated its Trade Body centenary in 2008. Known for its world class golf courses and state of the art leisure facilities, the Belfry was named as England’s Leading Resort and Leading Conference Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2017.   

Details of the first Young Merchants’ Conference, which takes place on 11 October, will be finalised later this month.
Search for the latest builders merchant jobs>>

John Newcomb, the BMF’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a very special year for the BMF and we have planned three very different events which both commemorate the merchant industry’s heritage and look forward to a vibrant future.  While much has changed over the years, the BMF’s support for the industry and our members remains as strong as ever. We look forward to working, and celebrating, with as many members as possible throughout this milestone year.”

The BMF is also gathering historic photographs and memorabilia from the industry’s 110 year history.  Companies that wish to contribute, or that are celebrating their own landmark anniversary in 2018, should email to share in the BMF’s anniversary celebrations.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Construction Products Sales expected to slow during 2018

The UK’s £56.5 billion construction product manufacturing industry is expected to slow this year as the sector lost its pace at the end of 2017, according to the CPA's State of Trade Survey for 2017 Q4.

The survey results showed activity is expected to weaken this year as inflation continues to rise, economic growth slows, and the UK’s post-Brexit deal still remains unclear. It is likely the first half of 2017 was a peak for the industry, with the survey reporting early signs of slowing activity in the final three months of 2017, and construction product manufacturers envisaging a broader softening in market conditions during 2018.

The survey results showed that 6% of heavy side manufacturers, such as steel, bricks, timber and concrete, reported a decrease in product sales in Q4, compared to 10% reporting a rise in Q3. This was the first negative balance since 2013 Q1. In contrast, sales on the light side, which includes non-structural and finishing products such as insulation, boilers, glass and lighting, were still reported higher by half of manufacturing firms.

Whilst a modest pickup in sales is anticipated in the first quarter of 2018, the survey showed a weakness in sales expectations extending across the next 12 months, for both heavy side and light side firms. No heavy side firms and only 10% of those on the light side expected an increase in product sales during 2018.

Rebecca Larkin, CPA Senior Economist said: “The survey echoes other industry data that has shown the prolonged period of growth in construction activity since 2013 started to lose pace in the closing months of 2017. Of note are the signals of a leaner 2018 with heavy side expectations for sales growth at their lowest in five years, reflecting a backdrop of a slower economy, Brexit uncertainty and falling new orders in key sectors such as commercial offices.

“As well as weaker market conditions, it appears as though a further rise in costs will strengthen the headwinds facing industry. In Q4, 87% of heavy side firms and 91% of light side firms reported a rise in raw materials costs, whilst on the energy-intensive heavy side, fuel and energy costs were reported higher for 93% of firms. This illustrates the lagged pass-through of the 2016 Sterling depreciation and rising global commodity prices into input cost inflation that is still to filter down the construction supply chain. Three-quarters of product manufacturers expect inflationary pressures to linger into 2018.

Key survey findings include:

  • A balance of 6% of heavyside firms reported that construction product sales fell in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the third quarter. 50% of lightside firms reported a rise in sales in Q4
  • On an annual basis, sales rose for 13% of heavy side firms and half of firms on the lightside, on balance
  • On balance, no heavyside manufacturers anticipated a rise in sales in the next year, decreasing from a balance of +28% in the previous quarter
  • On the light side, 10% of firms expected an increase in product sales in the next year, compared to a balance of 33% in Q3
  • Annual cost increases were reported by 87% of manufacturers on the heavy side and 80% on the lightside
  • Raw materials costs rose according to 87% of heavyside manufacturers and 91% of those on the lightside
  • 73% of heavyside manufacturers and 80% of lightside manufacturers anticipate a rise in costs over the next year.

Image from Shutterstock