Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Job in Focus: National Sales Manager for Building Products via Merchants/Retailers - £65k + bonus

Our second Job in Focus for September is a fantastic National Sales Manager's role for Building Products for the acoustics and fire protection sectors sold via Merchants and DIY retailers. You'd be developing this channel and would lead a team of 9. £65k + excellent % 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. www.pinnacleconsulting.co.uk

Job Title:
National Sales Manager

Job Ref: J8074
Product: Building Products
Location: London & South East
Salary: £65k


PACKAGE: Basic salary of up to £65k plus 30% bonus, executive car, healthcare, mobile phone, laptop and a generous holiday entitlement 

EMPLOYER: A leading and innovative name within the construction industry known as a "Blue Chip" brand with an excellent reputation internationally. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: National Sales Manager: This is a a fantastic role tasked with managing 7 field sales representatives and 2 national account managers. The focus of the role is on national and independent merchants and major DIY including B&Q . This is a new more direct route to market for the client and huge investment has been made and a strong commercial leader and astute sales manager is needed to develop the merchant sales channel. There is scope for substantial growth in revenue from this market so we need someone with experience of delivering sales growth through a team and who has the confidence to deliver results. In terms of product, these are a premium brand involved in the acoustics and fire protection sectors. 

LOCATION: Covering national but ideally living centrally in London, Hertfordshire, Essex, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent, Berkshire, Hampshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire 

CANDIDATE: To apply for this position you need to have had experience managing a team of field sales professional and have knowledge of national and independent merchants. Ideally you would have sold a big brand and have worked for a market leader. In terms of product, the client is open but you must come from a construction / building products background and be used to working nationally. 

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

Search for more building products sales jobs >>>

Monday, 19 September 2016

As the Brexit dust settles the property market begins to move again

New research issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has shown an upturn in the UK residential property market following the EU referendum.

In the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey, the UK housing market showed a rise in confidence, following a significant drop in activity and price expectations in the wake of the EU vote. Based on its survey, RICS has predicted that UK house prices and sales will rise over the next three and 12 months as activity in the market stabilises.

The headline price indicator edged higher during August, with a net balance of +12% of respondents reporting an increase in prices (up from +5% previously). This halts a run of five consecutive reports in which the net balance had softened, although the current reading is still the second weakest posted over the past eighteen months. In London, the net balance remained negative for a sixth consecutive month, with 30% more respondents noting a fall in prices, as opposed a rise. By way of contrast, the net balance figures suggest prices increased in most other parts of the UK.

Looking ahead, national near term price expectations climbed into positive territory for the first time since April, with a net balance of 10% of respondents now anticipating prices will rise over the coming three months. Nevertheless, expectations remain generally modest across the UK. Contributors are projecting prices in the North East to slip a little further in the near term but London expectations have now stabilised. Further out, over the next twelve months, prices in the capital are projected to see little change, while all other parts of the UK are expected to see house prices drift higher.

The real shortage of property for sale remains an overriding feature of the market and also a key factor supporting prices. This looks set to persist for a while yet as new instructions to sell declined once again during August, albeit only marginally. As a result, average stock levels on estate agents books slipped for the third successive month and now stand within a whisker of the record low posted in December of last year.

Alongside this, new buyer demand decreased slightly at the national level, although the pace of decline eased significantly, with a net balance of -7% more contributors reporting a fall in demand (up from -25% in July).

In an extra question included in this month’s survey, contributors were asked for a more detailed breakdown of changes in new buyer enquiries over the past three months - looking at trends across different categories of buyers. The results show enquiries from buy-to-let investors dropped most sharply with a balance of -57% more respondents citing a decline. Over the same period, demand from first time buyers and existing owners also reportedly fell, but to a smaller degree, returning balances of -15% and -11% respectively.

Following a couple of months in which sales declined sharply in the aftermath of the referendum, volumes stabilised during August, as the agreed sales indicator improved to zero from -32% last time. That said, sales still appear to be falling in parts of the country, London and the West Midlands in particular, but the pace of decline has slowed in each case. Going forward, the sales expectations series (three months ahead) improved noticeably, posting the strongest reading since February. Furthermore, at the twelve month horizon, sales projections have now climbed out of negative territory across all areas of the UK.

In the lettings market, demand from tenants increased at the headline level (non-seasonally adjusted figures), with growth gathering pace relative to the three months to July. At the same time, landlord instructions continued to fall modestly, and this supply/demand mismatch is expected to squeeze rents higher during the year ahead. This is generally the case across the whole of the UK, although London is a slight exception, where respondents envisage virtually no rental growth over the coming twelve months.

Interestingly, a net balance of 12% more respondents feel landlords are more likely to decrease (rather than increase) the size of their portfolio over the next twelve months. Stamp Duty changes and scheduled cuts to mortgage interest tax relief are both seen as important factors diminishing the attractiveness of buy-to-let as an investment. Contributors also sense that landlords are unlikely to expand their residential lettings portfolios over the next five years, but will keep them broadly unchanged.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said:
“There are clear signs that the housing market is settling down after the initial surprise of the outcome to the EU referendum. Buyer enquiries did dip again in August, but only modestly and, more significantly, sales expectations are beginning to edge upwards once again. It is likely the swift response from the Bank of England, both in terms of the lowering of the capital buffer and the cut in interest rates, has played a role in helping to support confidence.
“The more assured mood is also reflected in some of the longer-term RICS indicators, although this in itself could serve to reignite ongoing concerns surrounding affordability with five-year projections for both prices and rents in the latest survey back to their highest level since May.”

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Job in Focus for September: RSM for Heavyside Merchant to Architects & Contractors in Midlands - £65k OTE

Our new Job in Focus for September is a exciting role as Regional Sales Manager in the Midlands for a heavyside merchant selling cladding, bricks, masonry and timber products to architects, contractors and developers.

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. www.pinnacleconsulting.co.uk

Job Title: Regional Sales Manager
Location: Midlands
Product: Building Products
Salary: £55k
Sector: Management

Supplier of a range of exterior and heavyside building products dealing with architects, contractors and developers.
Up to £55k basic salary plus £10k OTE as well as company car, mobile, laptop, pension and additional company benefits.

EMPLOYER: UK leading heavyside merchant, selling a range of cladding, bricks, masonry and timber products. Known for there quality of service, professionalism and family culture.

Regional Sales Manager - Tasked with managing an external sales team across the Midlands and being fully involved in the motivation, development and structure of the sales team. The sales team are tasked with selling to architects, developers and contractors dealing with a portfolio of products which includes bricks, blocks, cladding and masonry. The main focus of this role is to maintain and develop the team and existing customer base whilst also looking to increase turnover in profit on this area.

Midlands - Ideally located in Shropshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire.

The ideal candidate will have exposure and experience of selling cladding or bricks as well as experience managing an external sales team. They will also understand the route to market of dealing with architects, developers and contractors. The client is also open to people who have a good understanding of other heavyside products with one of the above route to markets. Above all, we are looking for a highly structured and driven manager with proven leadership skills and a track record in sales ability and performance.

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

Monday, 12 September 2016

Builders merchants' sales rise and market set to continue to perform strongly

Good news for the merchant sector as the latest sales figures from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel, released by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) in the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI), show sales in Q2 2016 through the UK’s general builders’ merchants were up both on the last quarter and on the same quarter in 2015.

The Q2 report covers the three months leading up to the Brexit decision but despite press reports of pre-referendum jitters, builders’ merchants’ turnover was robust. Total merchant sales in Q2 were up by 6.2% on the same period last year with total ex-Vat sales of £1.44bn compared to £1.36bn in 2015. This was, however, assisted by two additional trading days in the 2016 quarter.

Year on year sales growth was particularly strong in Ironmongery (+7.8%), Landscaping (+7.7%), Heavy Building Materials (6.5%) and Plumbing & Heating and Electrical (+6.4%). Five other categories grew more slowly but still exceeded the same period last year. Only the highly volatile Renewables and Water Saving category saw sales fall.

Looking at quarter on quarter growth, total Q2  sales were 13.7% ahead of Q1, driven by Landscaping in its peak season (+58.1%) and Heavy Building Materials (+14.8%), the latter being the largest single category accounting for almost 45% of all builders’ merchant sales by value.

The actual Builders Merchant Building Index for Q2 2016 – which for the first time we have been able to calculate using the more reliable 12 month base point – was 113.6, its highest level over the past four quarters.

Interested in a builders merchant sales job? >>

Commenting on the data, BMF MD John Newcomb said: “Economic and political uncertainty in the run-up to the EU referendum was expected to cause a slow-down in the construction sector. However, sales data from the Builders Merchants Panel is telling a different, and far more positive, story.

“That said, the BMBI report includes various macro indicators supplied by GfK including a dramatic post-Brexit 11 point drop in consumer confidence in July. But with the Bank of England reacting quickly on borrowing rates, and the continuing need for housing this may be no more than a blip. The pattern will become clearer in the Autumn when we have the Q3 figures to hand, but in the meantime we remain confident that the market will continue to perform strongly.”

Monday, 5 September 2016

Excellent advice from the BMA as they urge product conformance and installation competence for new bathrooms

This is an excellent article by Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, where she discusses the importance of using a qualified installer and quality products. It provides excellent advice to anyone looking to purchase a new bathroom. Retailers of bathrooms should understand this advice to provide additional expert guidance to their customers. 

Apart from price, which is always top of the list, there should be two main priorities for anyone investing in a new bathroom. The first is that the product should be of excellent quality and should conform with all the relevant standards and regulations. The second is that it should be installed correctly, safely and efficiently, by qualified and competent installers.

But there can be a problem...

How does a customer know for certain that they are choosing the best products and installation services?

"Whether it's a bathroom, a bedroom or a bar of chocolate, I always advise people to buy from a long-established retailer with a great track record, selling well-known branded products manufactured by companies belonging to a trade association," says Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of The Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

"Well, in my position, I would say that. But it is true! A would-be bathroom buyer can ensure peace of mind (and an assurance of getting things put right if they do go wrong) if the chosen bathroom comes from a well-known branded manufacturer supported by a trade body and produced to conform with all the regulations.

"Bathroom products are required, by law, to meet certain British Standards. These standards are in place to ensure that they perform as described, conform with the regulations and are no danger to health."

Some standards are also covered by the CE Marking Regulations. This familiar mark became legally binding for sanitaryware relatively recently, in 2013. Now, all bathroom products covered by Harmonised European Standards must have the CE Mark fixed to the product, its instruction literature, or its packaging.

Interested in working in KBB sales? >>>

CE marking is a key indicator of a product's compliance with European legislation. It is not a quality mark but it does indicate 'fitness for purpose.' By fixing the CE mark to a product, a manufacturer or importer is openly declaring its conformity with the legal requirements as detailed in the Construction Products Regulations.

The BMA works hard to emphasise the importance of CE Marking and ensures that its members do follow the requirements. Unmarked product could be an indication of non-compliance and therefore not fit for purpose.

In addition, bathroom products could also be registered with the European Water Labelling scheme. This voluntary scheme seen in 34 countries throughout Europe, lists 12,500 products in its on-line database. Each listing shows water consumption, and where relevant, energy consumption, characteristics. Customers can choose which products best meet their budget and lifestyle.

Correct installation of products is also crucial. It is becoming more important than ever that customers choose a qualified and competent installer who adheres closely to the regulations. Unfortunately, as in all walks of life, there is a minority of unscrupulous people who will hoodwink their clients and charge exorbitant fees for shoddy and unlawful bathroom installations. Fortunately, recent court cases have put some of them behind bars for this very reason.

One of the best ways to select a genuine and competent installer is to use authoritative directories. One of the most familiar is the CIPHE - the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering whose members are required to abide by strict rules.

The WaterSafe scheme is also an ideal way of selecting an installer. This national scheme is aimed at consumers looking to employ the services of contractors who are competent to work in compliance with the Water Regulations.

Competent contractors will work to set standards and will carefully advise clients and ensure that the installation is the safest possible. For instance, they will recommend using the latest Thermostatic Mixing Valves, the small and inexpensive devices which limit excessive hot water temperature. These prevent life-changing scalding accidents, particularly in the young and elderly.

"Conformance of product and competence of installation should always be priorities for anyone thinking about a new bathroom," says Yvonne. "It makes sense. It avoids possible future problems and in the end saves both money, and sometimes lives."


Pic: Shutterstock ref. 39827185

Saturday, 3 September 2016

UK building sector stabilises in August with a rise in staffing levels and confidence

Britain's construction sector has largely recovered from its post-Brexit slump adding to hopes that EU referendum uncertainty may be limited.

The UK construction industry showed encouraging signs of recovery in August, contracting less than in July, according to the Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the sector rose to 49.2 in August, but stayed below the 50 level, which indicates contraction.

Purchasing prices rose at the fastest pace for just over five years amid reports that exchange rate depreciation had acted as a catalyst for increased charges among suppliers of construction materials.

At 49.2 in August, the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI® ) remained below the 50.0 no-change threshold for the third consecutive month.

However, the index was up from July’s 85- month low (45.9), and the latest reading signalled the slowest pace of decline since the downturn began in June. Sub-sector data pointed to much slower reductions in housing activity and commercial building than those recorded in July. In both cases, the rate of contraction in August was the slowest for three months.

Meanwhile, civil engineering activity stabilised in August, following a reduction during the previous month. Reports from survey respondents suggested that Brexit uncertainty continued to act as a brake on the construction sector during August, especially in terms of house building and commercial work.

However, a number of firms noted that sales volumes had been more resilient than expected. Some panel members also commented on signs of a rebound in client confidence from the lows seen earlier this summer. Reflecting this, latest data highlighted that incoming new work decreased at the slowest pace since May.

Signs of a more stable trend for new business volumes resulted in a marginal expansion of staffing levels across the construction sector in August. However, sub-contractor usage continued to decrease, and rates charged by sub-contractors rose at the second-slowest pace since June 2013.

Construction firms also cut back on their purchasing activity in August, which extended the current period of decline to three months. Softer demand for construction materials resulted in the least marked deterioration in supplier performance since April.

August data indicated that input cost inflation picked up for the third month running and reached its highest level since July 2011. Survey respondents overwhelmingly linked the latest rise in input prices to exchange rate depreciation. Looking ahead, construction firms pointed to a rebound in business confidence from July’s 39- month low. Although the degree of positive sentiment was the highest since May, it remained close to the weakest recorded over the past three years. 

However, the Brexit vote was still the main factor weighing on activity, the report said.
Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said: "Construction firms cited a nascent recovery in client confidence since the EU referendum result and a relatively steady flow of invitations to tender in August.

"However, the latest survey indicates only a partial move towards stabilisation, rather than a return to business as usual across the construction sector.

"There were still widespread reports that Brexit uncertainty had dampened demand and slowed progress on planned developments, especially in relation to large projects."

David Noble, group chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, added that the weak pound had pushed up purchasing costs for the sector "at a rate not seen for half a decade".

"Firms reduced their purchasing volumes as a result, as new orders and activity continued to fall - though at a more moderate rate compared to last month," he added.
Industry recession

Photo: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Thursday, 1 September 2016

FREE Construction Sales Career Clinics for September 2016 - UK wide venues

Alas, the summer is now entering into autumn, and if you feel your current job is doing the same, then perhaps it is time to feel the freshness that only a new challenge can bring. We can help you achieve this...

If you want to progress your career in construction sales or marketing, you should take advantage of a FREE evaluation of your career, gain expert guidance on your next move and take a look at suitable current vacancies. 

Interested...? Arrange to attend our PinBuild Career Development Clinics this September. 

This could be the most important appointment of your career so far...

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

Call us and arrange to meet one of our expert construction industry consultants on 01480 405225 or contact us via to secure your booking e-mail recruit@pinnacleconsulting.co.uk

September clinic dates
  • Wednesday, September 7th - Birmingham
  • Tuesday, September 13th - Bristol
  • Thursday, September 15th - Leeds
  • Tuesday, September 20th - Guildford  
  • Thursday, September 22nd - Derby  
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 and one of our industry partners for our charity initiative 'Helping others as you recruit.' Our other partner is the wonderful Lighthouse Club, who look after people and families from the industry who have suffered from illness, injury or death. 

Monday, 29 August 2016

Persimmon is the latest to dismiss the negative effect of Brexit as interest continues to be 'robust'

The latest in a ever-growing list of companies from the building and construction industry to announce good news post-Brexit is Persimmon.

They anticipate a “good autumn sales season”, based on the figures they reported that since July 1 its private sale reservation rate was running 17% ahead of the same period last year. That is quite some progress in just 12 months, especially with the widely predicted downturn expected.

Releasing its half year results to the city, the volume house builder acknowledged that the result of the EU referendum had created uncertainty, but its customers “quickly digested” the news, with customer interest being robust since the result. Persimmon said that the level of visitors per site per week was 20% ahead year-on-year.

During the six months to June 30 2016, market conditions were “positive”, Persimmon said. Its pre-tax profit increased by 29% to £352.3 million against the equivalent period in 2015. Revenue climbed 12% to £1.49 billion, with legal completions rising 6% to 7,238 new homes at an average selling price of £205,762 -  6% higher.

Over the six month period, the number of visitors to Persimmon’s sites was 8% ahead of 2015. Its weekly private sales rate per site rose 4% to 0.75.

Its current order book, including legal completions from July 1 2016, is 2% ahead of the same point as last year at £1.75 billion. It has 5,836 new homes sold forward into the private sale market.

Persimmon said that cancellations increased “modestly” in the week following the referendum result, returning to normal levels.

Jeff Fairburn, group ceo, said: “Persimmon's robust trading performance in the first half of 2016 was driven by our continued focus on meeting market demand to deliver controlled sustainable growth.

“While the result of the EU referendum has created increased economic uncertainty, customer interest since then has been robust with visitor numbers to our sites around 20% ahead year on year."

He added: “The group is now trading through the traditionally slower summer weeks but customer demand remains encouraging and we anticipate a good autumn sales season.”

Thursday, 25 August 2016

More evidence of the non-effect of Brexit as Polypipe delivers record half-year performance

Building Products manufacturer firm Polypipe has revealed that it had delivered a record first half performance and orders had not shown any signs of weakening after the vote in support of Brexit. The Doncaster-based Polypipe, which is one of Europe’s biggest manufacturers of plastic pipe systems, stressed that the market fundamentals were still strong.

Considering the wide-ranging products that Polypipe manufacturers and the many sectors that they operate in, this is very encouraging for the whole building and construction market.

In the six months ended June 30, Polypipe’s revenue rose by 31 per cent to £223.3m, while its profit before tax increased by 29 per cent to £29.9m.

The company said that, after an excellent start, demand from all segments of the core UK market has remained strong. It has seen continued progress in growth initiatives linked to carbon efficiency and water management.

A Polypipe statement said: “Order intake has remained consistent with the normal seasonal pattern and is yet to show any signs of weakening following the EU referendum. Despite uncertainty, the fundamentals of the market remain robust.” 

The statement added: “The business is extremely well balanced across its various sectors and does not have an over reliance on any particular part of the industry.” 

Polypipe said there had been encouraging comments from the UK Government recognising the need to provide stimulus for construction. The company also stated it was “alert to the economic situation” and able to adapt capital expenditure and capacity quickly.

The company secured a significant boost to its technical capability in the ventilation market through the £144.3m acquisition of Nuaire in August 2015. The deal to buy Nuaire has helped Polypipe tap into new legislation to reduce carbon emissions.

In a bid to reduce carbon emissions, the Government has introduced strict new rules on building regulations which are designed to reduce energy wastage. Ventilation can play a large part in harnessing the energy from warm air rather than pumping it back into the atmosphere. Polypipe said that its Nuaire acquisition was performing well.

Read our article on how Polypipe Ventilation's focus on internal support has helped them grow.

The company also revealed that the first delivery from its manufacturing plant in Dubai was made during July. David Hall, the company’s chief executive said: “We have delivered another record performance in the first half continuing the strong momentum from last year. Our strategic focus on the structural growth opportunities, together with the acquisition of our Nuaire ventilation business has accelerated our growth.

“Despite the uncertain economic backdrop, the long-term structural drivers of our business remain strong, our balanced business model means that we are not overly exposed to any particular sector and the nature of the group’s production processes enables us to adapt and flex quickly to changes in demand.

“The board is confident that the cash generative characteristics of the business and a commitment to remain agile will enable the group to continue to develop and outperform, whatever the market conditions.”

Analysts from Numis described the results as “impressive” and added: “Management state that demand from all the group’s core UK segments have remained strong and they are yet to see any signs of weakness following the EU referendum. “However, the group does point to post referendum uncertainty and therefore, despite strong interims, we leave our 2016 forecasts unchanged.”