Monday, 28 April 2014

Construction industry set for 18% growth during 2014

The Construction Products Association (CPA) has revealed in its spring forecast that they expect sectors of the construction industry to grow by as much as 18% during 2014. This is great news for sales of construction products and those who have jobs within the construction industry.

The CPA said the construction industry’s recovery was becoming stronger and broader, and it pointed to increases in private house building, together with growth in the infrastructure and commercial sectors.

The spring forecast said private housing starts would rise 18% in 2014 and 10% in 2015; commercial office construction would increase 7% in 2014 and 10% in 2015; and infrastructure activity would grow 10.1% in 2014 and 7.2% in 2015.

Dr Noble Francis, economics director, said, “One year since the construction recovery began, activity is becoming firmly entrenched. We forecast 4.5% growth in 2014 and a further rise of 4.8% in 2015.

"The construction industry is now on track to grow 18% by 2017 and contribute an additional £20 billion (€24 billion) to the UK economy.”

The association stressed that private house building only accounted for 15% of total construction and the commercial sector, was expected to grow each year up to 2017. The offices sub-sector, in particular, has recently shown growth, though demand was mostly in Central London.

They also revealed that they expect last year’s gains in the infrastructure sector to continue to 2017, when levels are forecast to be 42% higher than in 2012.

“Recently, rail has been the fastest growing infrastructure sub-sector and the near-term growth in activity will be led by Crossrail and the Thameslink Programme. Another strong sub-sector is roads, which fell almost 50% in only two years but is forecast to grow every year to 2017, including 15% in 2014,” said Dr Francis.

The retail sub-sector output growth was also expected to show 4% growth in 2014 and 8% in 2015.

Dr Francis added, “The main risks to our forecasts arise around the issue of energy. Construction and manufacturing firms have serious concerns regarding energy security and supply.

"Constant delays to the nuclear programme and uncertainty regarding investment in gas-fired power stations only exacerbate these concerns."

He went on, "As a consequence, we continue to highlight the need for government to deliver on its numerous announcements of project investments and ensure these feed through into activity on the ground.”

Monday, 21 April 2014

Construction Sales Job in Focus for April

Our Job in Focus for April is a great opportunity for an experienced specification focused construction sales professional with excellent experience of managing the distribution channels. The role is a National role and you would be selling Technical Insulation products.

Each month our Job in Focus feature takes a detailed look at some of the fantastic construction and building materials job vacancies currently on our books. Job in Focus is also promoted on our website.Visit 

Job Title: National Sales Manager
Job Ref: J4159
Product: Insulation Products
Location: National
Salary: £60k + 20% bonus and benefits

EMPLOYER: Our client are huge global brand, a true market leading manufacturer of structural building products. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: National Sales Manager - You will be responsible for leading a field based team, selling an industry leading portfolio of specialist technical products aligned to niche market sectors including HVAC, Industrial, Marine and Process sectors.

The role will incorporate both coaching and development of the field based sales team focusing on specification and major project sales with key stakeholders in each sector as well as Architects, Consultants, Main Contractors, End Users and OEMs. In addition, the core personal focus of the role is in developing sales via Distribution. 

You will invest heavily in building sustainable and profitable relationships with key distributors, dealing at head office and regional level in agreeing and managing a strategy to maximise sales and distribution of our clients product on a national basis. 

The role will also incorporate liaising with key personnel internally, assisting in the delivery of defined marketing strategies as well as coordinating back office teams to ensure best levels of service are delivered to the key distribution partners. 

LOCATION: National - Ideally located in the South or Midlands 

PERSON: We are seeking a high calibre senior sales professional, with experience in senior level/national negotiation or business development. 

This person will have experience within the Insulation sector, ideally with exposure to Technical Insulation applications such as Industrial or HVAC Sectors, however this is not essential. 

Most importantly our client is looking for someone with extensive experience and proven success in delivering sales growth through key Distribution channels, specifically Insulation Distributors. 

Furthermore, exposure to project led specification selling, sales team management and an educational or practical grounding in engineering would be a further benefit. 

BENEFITS: On offer is a basic salary of up to £60,000 + 20% Bonus & an excellent management package including Company Car, Pension, Healthcare etc. 

For further information or to discuss your career options contact Chris Easom on 01480 405 225 or apply via email

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Happy Easter from all at Pinnacle

As we reach the height of Spring, everything around us seems new and fresh. If you'd like to bring this into your professional life and make a new start, we have an increasing number of high quality sales positions available now. 

There may be a job ready for you to eggsplore today!! Take a look at our latest sales jobs in the construction industry.

Our specialist industry recruitment consultants are always available to meet or speak to you, so if you would like to discuss a career move, or your recruitment needs, please call us on 01480 405225.

Everyone at Pinnacle Consulting wishes you all a Happy Easter.

Monday, 14 April 2014

You’ve seen the shoes and it is me who is going to fill them! Now find out why…

A while ago, Steve Rogan, the Managing Director of Pinnacle Consulting mentioned to me that he’d like to raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital, as his nephew, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, receives amazing care there. 

It is a very special and personal cause for Steve and being responsible for marketing at Pinnacle, I felt that I should start thinking of how we could help ensure this cause receives as much publicity as possible. You can find out more below, but this is just the start of a number of postings on our efforts. We have many interesting ways planned for you to help our efforts and there will be many ways in which we can help you in return.

Donate here

How I'm going to raise money?
Now, I am not a particularly fit individual, having not really taken part in physical exercise for over 20 years, but I have decided to take part in our local half-marathon in Cambridge in March 2015 will be keeping you informed of my progress and to share in my pain and fun!

By doing this, I can help highlight the cause over a prolonged period of time and by putting myself through just a minute fraction of the pain and effort that the young people who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis do, it will help to bring home how brave those are with the disease and how much time and energy it consumes for those who suffer and their families.  In short, I feel I need to work hard for your support.

My target is £5000. This will take some effort to achieve, so any size of donation is most welcome.

There will be many ways for you to show your support
I look forward to keeping you informed, encouraging you to get involved and also educating you further on Cystic Fibrosis. There will be many ways both companies and individuals can get involved and show their support. Keep and eye out on our social media pages for more information in the coming weeks.

Google +

How your money will help
Tom, Steve's nephew receives incredible care at GOSH and spends much of his time in the Badger Ward. 

Currently, Badger Ward (the respiratory ward) has 13 beds on it and they are devoted to the care of children and young people with complex respiratory conditions. Badger Ward has witnessed an amazing change in the care of these patients – many would not have survived 10 years ago.

Many children spend a significant number of months on Badger Ward and many come back repeatedly throughout their lives– for them it is crucial to have a much improved clinical environment. Badger Ward, which was fine 10 years ago, is now starting to slip behind.

More and more technology is being used to keep children like Tom alive - but this equipment needs space to be stored and space to be operated properly. Parents need space to be able to sleep with their children – presently there is not enough space for them to be able to do just this.

Donate here now

All monies raised will be going to towards the funding of the new respiratory ward.

Thank you.

Chris Atkinson

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Featured Building Sales Jobs in the UK Construction Industry - April 2014

April 2014: As we approach the Easter break and the height of Spring, there are signs of fresh starts and newness all around us. If you are thinking of taking this into your professional life too, you may wish to take a look at our current building sales jobs in the construction products industry.  We have some superb sales opportunities on our books at present and we feature some of them here.

If you are interested in any of these roles or are looking to develop your career, contact us or take a look at our website for more details on our construction sales jobs.
Keep informed of ALL our latest jobs when they become available on our Facebook page. Remember to click LIKE! to ensure you receive the full benefits of news, jobs, entertainment, articles, events and promotions.

See below for full details of our featured jobs (click 'Read more' if required).

Monday, 7 April 2014

Optimism for UK construction is higher than at any time in the last 7 years

The growth shown in housebuilding significantly contributed in helping UK's construction firms to maintain a very positive rate of expansion during March and optimism about the months ahead is now at its highest level in more than seven years, accordingly to a report issued last week.

The Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a survey of 170 construction companies, although edging very marginally down to 62.5 in March from 62.6 in February, it is still way above the 50 figure that denotes growth and has been for some time now.

The survey showed Britain's builders in an exuberant mood with optimism rising to its highest level since January 2007 and firms hiring staff at the fastest pace in four months. This is fantastic news for manufacturers and merchants of construction products.

Britain's construction industry has been on the road to recovery since last year thanks to a combination of record low interest rates, government programmes to encourage people to buy new homes and falling unemployment. In the budget, last month, the government announced that it would extend until the end of the decade the Help to Buy programme designed to encourage the purchase of new homes.

Housebuilders saw reported a fast of expansion after bad weather of January and February, although this had boosted the civil engineering sector with flood relief projects.

"The rise in residential construction was one of the sharpest experienced over the past 10 years, helped by resurgent demand of development programmes and supportive funding conditions," said Tim Moore, senior economist at survey compiler Markit.

However, supplies such as bricks and staff as still hard to find and are in short supply as the industry enters the busy Spring and early Summer period.

If you are a manufacturer or supplier of building products and need more sales or marketing staff to meet the increasing demand the building industry is showing, contact us on 01480 405225 or view our website at

Friday, 4 April 2014

Construction Sales Jobs Recruitment Clinics - April 2014

Are you ready for a new challenge in construction products sales and you would like an independent evaluation of your career? Why not arrange to attend one of our FREE PinBuild Career Development Clinics this April.

PinBuild Clinics are for sales professionals in the construction and building products sector. They provide specialist career advice and a match to our latest vacancies.

Call us to arrange to meet one of our Specialist Consultants. Tel: 01480 405225 or e-mail

April 2014 PinBuild Clinics
  • Wednesday 9th April - GATWICK
  • Wednesday 16th April - WARRINGTON
  • Wednesday 23rd April - NOTTINGHAM
  • Wednesday 30th April - NEWCASTLE
Our current jobs: You might find one you'd like to discuss: Search for construction products sales jobs

PinBuild Clinics will evaluate the job seeker’s career to date and identify the best opportunities available. The clinics provide professionals with expert advice on how to progress their career by discussing the industry sectors that have potential for growth, the skills and focus needed to ensure that they develop with the changing nature of the market and how to ensure that their career continues to progress rather than stagnating.

The clinics will also assist those that attend to map out a realistic and achievable career path, including any potential training requirements. Assistance will also be given to evaluate their CV and also their interview technique and where they should focus to ensure they realise their true potential in the building and construction industry.

We specialise in external and internal sales positions, marketing and management roles and director and board appointments with manufacturers, merchants or distributors across the whole building, construction and interiors product spectrum.

Take some time out to read about CRASH the construction industry's charity for homeless people people and one of our industry partners for our charity initiative 'Helping others as you recruit.'

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A plasterer's view on sales, marketing and service in the building industry

In part two of our interview with Justin Phipps of JP Plasterers we discuss his opinion on the building trade press, trade events, the internet and the support he expects from manufacturers and merchants.

You can catch up on part one here - where he discussed what makes JP Plasterers stay loyal to a product or try a new one.

Do you read any trade press?
I do read certain ones but not many, I haven’t got the time, but they can be useful, especially if they are aimed directly at the tradesperson, rather than the merchant, which in my opinion most of the trade press is normally for.  Trade magazines are great when the have product reviews and practical and independent guides and reviews.  

I do find catalogues etc. useful though too, especially when I am selecting products for the job or seeking greater understanding. 

KEY LEARNING POINT: The trade press is still important, so remember there are magazines aimed at the installers of your products too and use them. 

However, the trade press aimed at the merchants is vital too, the people on the trade counter are an extension of your sales team, so make sure they know about your product and have a favourable opinion.

Do you ever go to trade fairs or events at merchants? 
Yes, if we have interest in the product, we will go on courses specific to these manufacturers. I have found more and more of this happening and I think it’s a great idea and would actively encourage this kind of event.  It is very useful for the manufacturer to supply courses for trade at a reduced rate to show how their product works when correctly applied and used etc. It would definitely make me more likely to use the product and have trust in its performance.

KEY LEARNING POINT: This is perhaps one of the most interesting ways of reaching the independent trades, you can meet them, talk to them, watch them, listen to their opinions, communicate your messages and help them. It is a two way relationship and running courses can only assist with this relationship and reduce the risk of them having a roving eye.

What type of support do you expect from the stockist? 
If a product fails for no fault of your own, I’d expect the merchant or manufacturer to come and see the failure and to make good, either by supplying free of charge or by making it right. This is not always as easy as it sounds in our trade. 

Communication is essential, as is good information flow and knowledge.  Delivery is not an issue as we normally collect our goods.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Communication is vital, remember that many of the smaller trades are under great time and financial pressure, with little human resource to invest in sorting out major product problems, so make it easy for them, understand their issues and react quickly to resolve their problem. Otherwise your reputation could be at risk, and remember, how you act when there is a problem, can be relationship defining.

What support do you require from the manufacturer? 
The manufacturers’ support is key and their literature, usage advice, information on products and technical support are very valuable for my job.

I expect them to be fair in their pricing with no price hikes just because a product is selling well and demand goes up. We have seen this happen with a number of products and in the end we steer away due to cost, it is short sightedness on the manufacturers’ side. When demand goes up, they should be able to reward their customers with a stable or even reduced price due to cheaper production costs.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Again, it is all down to relationship building and understanding your audience’s needs. Don’t take advantage of their custom and make sure you know what support and information makes their life easier. 

Do you purchase via the Internet and what are your reasons if you do?
Yes, more and more, although only on products that have no shelf life.  In plastering many products have a shelf life and we have found that you have no gauge on the Internet on how much life a product has left, when you buy via a website. 

Tools, tape screws etc. are much cheaper on the Internet and we are more likely to buy on-line for these products than plaster.

It is, therefore, normally either down to price or ease of ordering. Our preference is always to see what we are buying and to be in control of the purchase, so most of our products are still purchased from a merchant - you get more support and as long as it is in stock, you can have the product on the same day you need it.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Makes sure that as either a merchant or a manufacturer you provide good service and have options off-line and on-line to purchase your products. 

The on-line relationship is different but should have the same aims in mind, so be as helpful as you can with the information and level of communication they need. It might even mean the packaging quality and information contained within needs to be changed accordingly.

If you are a merchant losing business to on-line trades, you need to consider making the in-store experience more valuable to the tradespeople. You might need to step up your game in terms of support and service to justify a higher price.

How do you prefer to be communicated with by the manufacturer? 
Normally by phone, we do not really have the time for emails etc. – we are out working! Talking to a person is always better in the long run. Emails do have their place but I don’t think there is anything more frustrating than awaiting email responses on a failed product from a manufacturer. I need technical support quickly and with the ability to have an actual conversation.  Great technical support is a wonderful thing.

KEY LEARNING POINT: The key point is to be customer friendly and if someone requires technical support, they should be able to quickly get through to someone who has the required knowledge to help. When you can provide a high level of technical support, the installer will have peace of mind when selecting your product.

We hope this interview has provided you with useful information - for sales people, merchants and manufacturers – to ensure you retain and grow your business with a sector which has always been difficult to reach and influence. If you are looking to recruit in the building products sector, call us on 01480 405225.

In the final part of our series on selling and marketing to the small independent trades in the building industry, we will be speaking to a bathroom showroom/retailer to gain their views. Keep visiting the Pin Board blog, so you don’t miss out.

If you want to catch up on the first part of this series, where we interviewed an independent building and construction firm, you can do so here.

JP Plasterers is a family run business based in Saffron Walden, offering both modern and traditional plastering services. They provide customers in the domestic and commercial markets with the highest standard of service.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

How to sell your products to the independent trades - the plasterer's view

In the second of our series on selling and marketing to the small independent building trades, we speak to Justin Phipps, Owner of JP Plasterers and find out more about his relationship with manufacturers and distributors of the products he uses to ply his trade.

As we know, the collective of the small independent or family run business is a vital part of any merchant’s or manufacturer’s sales and their value cannot be ignored. However, communicating with them and knowing their buying motivations can be difficult, but like all sales and marketing it is about building a trusting and long-term relationship with your audience, truly understanding them and fulfilling their needs.

There is never a one size fits all approach, but once companies and sales teams start adapting their behaviour to suit their audience, it usually results in an improved and long lasting relationship with better sales. One way in which you can find out what they really want, is perhaps the obvious one: ask them!

We discussed these very topics with Justin and we hope his views will provide you with some useful guidance. 

JP Plasterers mainly buy Siniat and Gypsum plasterboard products, insulation backed plasterboard, Gypsum plasters, drywall screws, Spax screws, scrim tape and various adhesives. They also buy quite a lot of timber and loads of dustsheets and basic tools that you’d expect a plasterer to use.

How do you find out about new products? 
We often hear about new products in merchants through point of sales displays etc., I am often in and out of merchants, so it is usually the best way to catch my eye and also through some of the trade magazines available within the merchants.

However, the internet is an area which I am using more and more to find out about products, but I usually pay more attention to independent recommendations and views before seeking information on manufacturers’ websites. I read and participate in a number of plasterers’ forums and building communities. I also sometimes Google any issues I am having, either with a particular problem or product and both often result in useful suggestions in the results found.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Having a visual message which is easy to understand and relevant to your audience is vital. Displays in merchants are very important as you have a captive audience who are likely to be interested in your product; it is not like having a billboard on the roadside and hoping for the best. 

Peoples’ opinions are key and with the Internet these views can be quickly and easily spread, helping or hindering you in equal measures. So, make sure you have a good on-line presence and offer your customers what they need in terms of support and quality. Monitor forums and react accordingly, your reputation is at risk, but with the right strategy, product and support services the Internet can be one of your biggest sales and relationship builders. However, make sure it is not purely a transactional relationship, as you need to build something stronger than that, where people will feel the need to say nice things about you.

Which trends have changed the type or specification of the product you buy? 
Yes for sure. We find that the average customer these days is a lot more clued up in what they want. Knowledge of factors such as soundproofing and thermal insulation etc. - probably due to the ease of search facilities on the Internet – is much higher. We often try and follow these needs, but obviously cost is normally still the greatest guideline to use. 

Trends also change the way we work, for example, in kitchens, rather than tiles under cabinets as in years gone by, it is now mostly all splash backs; up-stands with a plastered wall behind.  

Ten years ago, house builders used to just tape and join, thinking this would save them money, but now taping and joining is not considered robust enough for day-to-day living, only plaster has the strength - tape and joining should really be left to shop fitting only. 

We have also found that new adhesives have changed how certain jobs are now done. 

Regulations for fire and acoustics are forever changing and will continue to, so as tradesmen we need to keep ahead of the game and constantly be informed with new products to make sure our work meets these standards and hopefully quicker, easier and cheaper too.

However, sometimes we find a new product comes out that is trying to solve a problem that is simply not there. If it is not broke why try and fix it?

KEY LEARNING POINT: Make sure you communicate with the householder, as they are increasingly becoming the specifier in private work of this nature. The advent of home improvement TV shows, the Internet and home improvement and self-build exhibitions has helped educate the householder.

Make sure all improvements to products that make life easier are effectively communicated; otherwise your great new product will sit on the shelf gathering dust.  It is equally important to ensure that the improved product is solving a real issue, not a made-up one.

Of course, it goes without saying how important regulations are to product enhancements and new product development.

What makes you decide to try a new product? 
It can be for a number of different reasons, but usually to solve a problem, to provide an improved finish or by customer request.

Also, if we feel that the product we use has a better alternative or if the product has let us down, a bit like one particular fire proof plaster product, which is really the only product on the market for this job but is expensive, hard to apply and has a high failure rate. It is not very good all round and we need another product that’s easier to use, if this happened, we’d definitely try the new product. 

It is not often we try a new product purely down to lack of availability of our regular products, as this is not normally a problem and we can also order from the Internet if need be.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Talk and listen to the users of your products to find out what would really help them and focus your sales and marketing on how your products solve these problems. 

Evaluate gaps in the market - where your experience and expertise could provide a better solution - in your product development plans. This might mean you move into a related product field you’re not currently in, but already have trust with the appropriate audience.

What keeps you loyal to a product? 
For it to do the job properly followed by price and finally consistency. We have had products in the past that have changed and for the worse.  If a product works perfectly, the price doesn’t get too expensive you stay loyal to it, it’s as easy as that.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Reliability and consistency are vital and you are more likely to retain customers if you don’t let them down. Treat them as you’d expect to be treated. It should be a long-term relationship, not a one-night stand.

Read part two here for his opinion on the building trade press, trade events, the internet and the support he expects from manufacturers and merchants.

If you're looking for a job in the building products industry, please take a look at our latest sales jobs. Or if you're looking to recruitment find out more about one of the leading construction sales recruitment agencies.

JP Plasterers is a family run business based in Saffron Walden, offering both modern and traditional plastering services. They provide customers in the domestic and commercial markets with the highest standard of service.