Monday, 27 October 2014

UK Construction Industry set to grow by 23% over next 3 years

According to the latest Autumn forecasts from the Construction Products Association, the UK construction industry is expected to grow 23% by the end of 2018. In the short-term this will be driven by private housing.

Construction industry output is forecast to increase 4.8% this year and 5.3% in 2015 – up from the predictions of 4.7% and 4.8% made earlier in 2014.

Private housing starts are predicted to grow 18% this year and 10% in 2015, “leaving starts at 148,000,” CPA said. Beyond 2015, private housing growth is set to slow, but CPA said that it predicted a total of 171,000 starts in 2018.

General construction growth is forecast to continue throughout 2018. But CPA warned that “several risks” remained, namely the strength of the UK and Eurozone economies, the outcome of the general election and supply constraints.

Noble Francis, CPA’s economics director, said that the forecast for private housing was also dependent on certain factors. He said:

“We forecast starts to rise 18.0% in 2014 and 10.0% in 2015. In order for such projections to be met, however, increased capacity is necessary, particularly from SME housebuilders. In addition, there remain serious questions about affordability and higher mortgage repayment costs.”

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The sky's the limit: Our guides to help Sales and Marketing professionals in the Building Products Industry

It is our aim to help individuals throughout their careers, so they can add value to their employers. We also want to help employers to maximise the potential from their staff and departments. 

One of the ways we do this is by speaking to people within the industry and getting their thoughts and opinion based on actual industry experience rather than just theory.

Some of our below resources will either assist in your current roles, in your career development, or in your recruitment or restructuring decisions. The sky really is the limit to what you can achieve...

How to establish a positive relationship between Operations and Sales within the Building Industry
The relationship between Sales and Operations for a manufacturer or distributor of building products is of vital important for a sales professional to succeed and for a company to thrive.

Make sure you invest in making it work, both as individuals and departments.

The importance of the Internal Sales function for Building Products Manufacturers
Internal Sales in the building products industry has a key role to play in the overall sales function within a company. Excellent office based customer service can increase sales and trust in your service or product.

Internal sales jobs are now much more specialised and rewarding due the changing nature of the role. It is not just order processing and advising on stock and prices.

Specification Sales and its growing importance
Specification selling is more important than ever for a manufacturer of building products. A specification sales job allows you to directly influence the product selection for a project. However many are not sure what the role really involves.

Specification sales jobs require a more technical approach and different skill set to traditional account sales and there is lots to learn.

Achieving greater sales and better relationships with independent trades within the building industry
In the overall sales and marketing strategy of a building products’ manufacturer or stockist, these trades may not appear to be that important. As a collective, however, they are a vital audience to reach.

So, what makes them stay loyal? How do they become aware of a new product or a change in legislation? What support and information do they need? What is the best way to communicate with them? How can you maximise their effectiveness as part of your sales strategy? 

To get some answers, we have gone straight to the people who know: the tradespeople themselves.

We hope that these guides and insights are useful to you. Please contact us if we can help you further on 01480 405225 or visit our website

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

In which job function are you looking to recruit?

The building products and construction sector was one of the hardest hit during the recession. However, now the economy and the construction and building industry sectors are in sustained growth, we are seeing many companies adopting a more considered and focused approach to their recruitment policy. 

This may be as a result of looking at the importance of their employees more closely in those darker days – isn’t it good to refer to those times in the past tense?

It is important to make the right recruitment decisions: focusing on particular disciplines, as well as the type of people you want to hire.

In construction industry sales and marketing roles, there are a number of job functions you can recruit for to help ensure you maximise your business potential quicker and more successfully than your competition.  

Field Sales Options
High-impact positions are often targeted, e.g. field sales roles, as they are vital to ensure that you secure every bit of business out there. But – should you be focusing on standard ‘Account Sales‘ or on ‘Specification Sales’ with its possible more lucrative long-term benefit? 

Getting the balance between the long and short-term view can be an important and difficult call to make. 

Are you finding the nature of the market means you can’t ignore securing specifications as part of your sales strategy? This certainly seems to be the case with the amount of specification sales roles we’ve had available recently.

Read our guide on 'What is Specification Sales?'

Internal Sales Options
Some companies are now enhancing their internal sales team to reduce the pressure on external sales and provide a more instant and technical response to customers’ needs. 

This can also be seen as proactive, as it ensures customers are being more regularly contacted as part of a support function - the more focused companies are exploiting this to their advantage.

Of course, it also helps to process orders more efficiently and keep customers advised on order progress, so that you are seen as reliable and an excellent long-term business partner.

Read our feature on the importance of internal sales in the construction industry

Marketing / Product Development Options
These were the areas that seemed to have been hit first in the recession, when really they should’ve been the key areas to support and focus on. Investment in marketing and product development helps ensure your product differentiation is clear which helps your sales team. 

The future of your company is more assured if you have new products and services that meet the changing needs and regulations of the construction market. 

How many companies were brave enough or able to invest in these areas during the recession? Do you have a long-term road map for new product introduction or enhancement? If not, it is something you should be thinking of developing now.

Along with specification sales, these are areas where we are now seeing a significant increase in construction companies’ recruitment.

More on construction marketing jobs

Developing and rewarding loyal members of staff
During the recession, we found many people were given extra duties to maximise their value. Hopefully, many companies will have found some hidden gems within their teams and will now reward them with new or enhanced roles. If you’ve found a good team member, cherish them, invest in them and let them develop even more. Don’t lose them, but recruit more good people who will grow with you and add real value.

Of course, it’s not always that simple and some companies just have to get on with it the best they can. Those who survived and want to thrive are often those who had the best and most adaptable employees in the first place. 

The key thing to remember is: your recruitment policy affects you even when you are not in recruitment mode, but if you are, consider where you need to be making appointments. Don’t think that just because it was right 7 years ago, it will be right now. Times have changed.

If you want to discuss the best way forward to develop your sales and marketing teams, please contact us to discuss your requirements on 01480 405225 or take a look at our website

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Job in Focus for October: Commercial Manager in KBB Sector for South East region

Our latest construction products industry Job in Focus is a superb opportunity as a Commercial Manager in the South East for a high-end KBB sector manufacturer taking control of the Projects Division of our client who has an outstanding reputation.

You would be responsible for building relationships and developing their brand with Housebuilders, Developers, Architects and Specifiers. 

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

Job Title: Commercial Manager
Job Ref: J4683
Product: Kitchens
Location: London & South East
Salary: £60k

EMPLOYER: Our Client is a market leading manufacturer of supremely high quality KBB products with an outstanding reputation in their market sector. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: They are now looking to recruit a new Commercial Manager to take control of their Projects Division. This person will be responsible for building long term relationships with upmarket Housebuilders, Developers, Architects & Specifiers. They will also have responsibility for managing a BDM who will be working closely alongside them plus an internal projects support coordinator. This is a key appointment for a high quality brand who are looking for an equally high quality individual who can help further develop their profile within the projects sector. 

LOCATION: South East - ideally living within easy access of London, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Kent, West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey, Essex, Hampshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk etc 

CANDIDATE: We are looking for extremely high calibre candidates with a proven track record of success selling into the Architectural / Contract / Projects sector with excellent contacts - ideally with a successful background in a related product sector eg Bathrooms, Kitchens, Ceramics etc although credible candidates from any building product background will be considered. 

PACKAGE: On offer is a basic salary likely to be between £50k - £60k plus excellent commission scheme, quality car, superb company benefits and the chance to join a truly prestigious brand. 

For further information or to discuss your career options contact Colin Hoy on 01480 405225 or apply by email

Monday, 13 October 2014

Construction products manufacturers optimistic as 2014 draws to a close says CPA

The Construction Products Association’s latest State of Trade Survey reports continued growth in UK sales of construction products in the third quarter of 2014. In addition, manufacturers reported optimism going forward and the survey highlights anticipated domestic sales growth over the next quarter and the next year. However, manufacturers also suffered falls in export sales during Q3.

Search now: Looking for a construction sales job?

Dr Noble Francis, Economics Director at the Construction Products Association, said:  
“The latest results highlight the strength of the UK economy in Q3, with private sector construction and manufacturing both benefitting.  A rise in third quarter sales was reported by 78% of heavy side firms and 50% of light side firms compared with the previous quarter, and all firms reported a rise in sales compared with 12 months ago.  

“Furthermore, as recovery in the construction industry has become more broad-based – across private housing, commercial and infrastructure sectors – growth in construction products has become more sustainable and manufacturers are optimistic going forward. Rising sales in the coming years are anticipated by 72% of heavyside product manufacturers and 90% of lightside product manufacturers.

“While product manufacturers reported growth in domestic sales, 27% of heavy side manufacturers suffered falls in export sales during Q3, and 40% of manufacturers reported that the key reason for this was the poor economic performance of the Eurozone, the key export destination for construction products.  A further 20% of manufacturers reported that the appreciation of Sterling was a key factor in fall in export sales during Q3.”

Key points include:  

  • 78% of heavy side firms and 50% of light side firms reported that sales rose during the third quarter
  • 72% of heavy side product manufacturers and 90% of light side product manufacturers reported that they anticipate sales rising over the coming year
  • 61% of heavy side firms and 20% of light side firms reported that costs rose in Q3 compared with a year earlier
  • 67% of heavy side firms and 50% of light side firms anticipate costs rising further over the next year
  • 27% of heavy side manufacturers reported that exports fell in Q3
  • 40% of manufacturers reported that the economic conditions of export destinations was the key factor affecting exports

Friday, 10 October 2014

Another position filled: Our latest Trainee Recruit

At Pinnacle Consulting we strongly believe in taking the time to shape our employees and it is very rewarding to see a new arrival develop and grow into their role. 

A detailed and defined plan for the future is also essential in any business (and in our personal lives)... 

Natalie Matthews, one of the excellent members of the Pinnacle Consulting Recruitment Consultant team, has been achieving her targets for some time now.

  • Position as Recruitment Consultant at Pinnacle Consulting  - Secured
  • Husband selected – Found and married
  • Legacy secured – Achieved

The legacy, of course, is Natalie’s new arrival, the birth today of a lovely and healthy baby girl called Scarlett Autumn Matthews (7lb 12oz).  Everyone at Pinnacle Consulting is delighted with the news and wish the whole family all the very best for the future.

We are sure Natalie is already developing her new recruit so she is ready to grasp and succeed in any opportunity that comes her way in life.

We look forward to welcoming our new Trainee to the office soon – there is already a whole load of fantastic opportunities waiting for her to start work on filling, although we think it is the nappies which are more likely to be filled!!!!!!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Construction industry growth reaches new high as housebuilding grows again but commercial sector is ready to pounce!

The UK’s construction industry has skyrocketed to new heights, supported by the strength of UK's housebuilding industry, despite the predictions of City analysts that there would be a slow down in September. There are encouraging signs that the commercial and civil engineering sectors are set to be the new stars and dislodge domestic housing from its perch.

The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 64.2 this September, 0.2 points higher than the previous month. Any reading above 50 would shows us that that construction output is in growth. 

August’s saw an eight month high and the consensus of City analysts thought that the PMI reading would slip to 63.5 in September, so the continued growth is fantastic news for anyone in the industry.

Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit, who compile the figures in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), said that: “housing activity remains the brightest spot” in the sector.

Yet “its outperformance has started to fade”, he added. Now “domestic housing’s mantle of star performer” has been dislodged, said David Noble, CEO of the CIPS.

This is because UK's housebuilders may have to make way for commercial and civil engineering as the sector’s top performers. The jump in commercial activity this September was the second-fastest since the summer of 2007.

If you are looking for a new job in construction sales, contact us today on 01480 405225.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

After 'Help to Buy' now comes 'Rent to Buy'

You can now keep your options open
More encouraging news for the building industry with the government launching a 'Rent to Buy' scheme to encourage the construction of new homes for rent that people can choose to buy at a later date. This initiative along with the successful 'Help to Buy' scheme are very welcome to builders, manufacturers and merchants of products for the housebuilding sector.

The scheme will allow housing associations and other providers to bid for a share of the £400 million fund which has been made available of low-cost loans to deliver up to 10,000 new homes. These will be built between 2015 and 2018 and will mostly be small one and two bedroom apartments.

Landlords must make the homes available for rent at below-market rates for least seven years, allowing tenants time to save money to buy their rented property if they choose. At the end of this time, if they decide not to purchase the property, they can buy a different one, or rent another property either privately or with the housing association.

If the home is sold, the provider can use the proceeds to build more affordable homes in their area, said the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). If it is not, the home will still be available for someone else to rent with a view to buy.

The providers - who will have up to 16 years to repay the loans - cannot sell the properties or rent them at market rates until the loans have been paid.

"This government is standing by people who work hard and do the right thing, and helping them move on and up in life,” said communities secretary Eric Pickles.

"As part of our wider housing programme, this new scheme will help increase the provision of low-cost rented accommodation and provide a springboard for young people to upgrade to home ownership down the line.”

The future for the long-term health of building industry is looking good and this has been giving building products manufacturers, distributors and merchants the confidence to recruit, invest and promote. Long may it continue.  

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Recruitment Clinics for Construction Sales Jobs - October 2014

Is it time for your next career move in construction sales? Do you need an independent evaluation of your career and guidance? Then, why not arrange to attend one of our FREE PinBuild Career Development Clinics this October at a location near you.

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

Call to arrange to meet one of our Consultants 01480 405225 or e-mail

Next clinic dates
  • Wednesday October 8th - Bristol
  • Wednesday October 15th - Dartford
  • Wednesday October 22nd - Birmingham
  • Wednesday October 29th - Leeds
Our current jobs: You might find one you'd like to discuss: Search for building and 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.'

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Independent Builders Merchants are going from strength to strength as is job creation

The NMBS - the independent builders merchants buying group - has announced that the combined number of UK branches of its members is now over 3000. The strength of the independents is further underlined by the fact the NMBS state that its combined sales value is now over £6.5bn.

When taken as a whole, the NMBS membership is bigger than Travis Perkins and Saint Gobain combined, and has more branches than any other national merchant. This is proof that they are relevant in todays market place and their importance cannot be ignored by the industry.

Although every independent merchant is not a member of NMBS, the independent market share would is greater than 40%, even without counting non-members. 

This just goes to show the importance of selling to the independent merchants for manufacturers of building products and explains the increasing number of sales jobs in the builders merchants sector being created at present. Merchants are also becoming increasingly proactive themselves, both in branch with sales advisors and support and with field sales professionals chasing contracts and supply for key projects in their locality.

This desire to grow is also shown from the feedback of a recent NMBS survey of its membership on the future for the industry. The survey revealed that confidence for the next year is very high and the over 40% are planning to grow by adding further branches. 

NMBS Managing Director, Chris Hayward said: "NMBS and its independent members still offer the most effective route to market for any building industry supplier, with independents having visibly the greater market share in many commodity areas ranging from Natural Paving to Power tools. 

"So our message is clear: Independents are a real force in the market place and have real confidence and proven plans for growth in the future." 

Pinnacle Consulting is very active in the recruitment of sales and marketing professionals in the supply of building materials and products via independent merchants.