Wednesday, 27 March 2013

This weekend is all about new beginnings

The Directors and Consultants of Pinnacle Consulting wish everyone a restful and enjoyable Easter weekend.

At this time of year it's all about new beginnings: flowers, lambs, chicks ...

If you're thinking about a new start, why not take a look at our latest jobs over the Bank Holiday weekend? Even if you're happy in your position, just have a quick look at our website to see what's on offer!

You can contact us by telephone on 01480 405225 for a free and confidential chat on the options available to you. We are also offering FREE PinBuild career development clinics for sales and marketing professionals within the building and construction industry.

Pinnacle Consulting offer expert and industry specific advice and access to the best UK wide opportunities in the market.

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Friday, 22 March 2013

DeConstructing the Budget

The construction and housebuilding industry did receive some good news from the Chancellor. Better than nothing, I suppose Mr. Osborne. So, what exactly was there to deconstruct in the Budget to help us start to construct? We look at the main points.

Housebuilding initiatives
New initiatives were announced to boost the housing market .

The new Help to Buy scheme will work in two ways.

From April all buyers of  new homes up to £600,000 will benefit from £3.5 billion of capital spending to support shared equity loans of 20% of the value of the new homes, with the buyer raising a 5% deposit.

And, from January 2014 for three years, buyers of new and second hand homes will be able to buy with a low deposit backed by a new government mortgage guarantee scheme supported by £130 billion of funds.

The chancellor described Help to Buy as a "dramatic intervention" in the housing market.

The chancellor also said the government would be investing in providing 15,000 new affordable homes as well as a five-fold increase in the Build to Rent fund.

The Home Builders Federation has “guardedly” welcomed the “Help to Buy” housing measures announced.

It said that the government’s proposal to extend FirstBuy – shared equity loans of 20% of the value of a new home – should open the market to more buyers, increasing housebuilding activity. With the government taking on the scheme, “this frees up developers’ balance sheets such that they can invest in new land and home building activity,” HBF said.

HBF welcomed the extension of the NewBuy mortgage guarantee scheme to all homes in the market, but warned that the initiative would need a wide range of lenders covering new and second hand build if the scheme was to boost housebuilding and improve the market.

The government also announced its commitment to more affordable homes funding and further funding for the private rented sector, both of which HBF supported.

“A lack of affordable mortgage availability remains the biggest constraint on housing supply, something government now clearly understands and is looking to address,” said HBF’s executive chairman Stewart Baseley. “Extending NewBuy to the second hand market should create churn in the market place and drive up sales across the board – including for new homes.”

Persimmon’s group communications director Steve Roche said: “We believe that these two initiatives will help create much needed movement within all levels of the housing market.”

The Chancellor also pledged to build 15,000 more homes.

Help to boost Infrastructure

Government department underspends will be used to fund infrastructure projects in plans
unveiled by the Chancellor George Osborne in his Budget speech. Mr. Osborne told parliament that government departments are expected to underspend by more than £11bn in 2013.

There is support for the £9.4bn High Level Output Specification (HLOS) which is the largest programme of investment in the railways since Victorian times.

There are UK Guarantees for major infrastructure projects such as the Northern Line Extension to Battersea and to Drax Power, which has been offered a guarantee worth up to £75m for the partial conversion of its power station from coal to biomass.

The Treasury also published an update on National Infrastructure Plan 2011, setting out progress on its Top 40 priority investments.

Reform is promised in the government’s approach to infrastructure delivery. It is described as “an enhanced central cadre of commercial specialists” from Infrastructure UK will be deployed across government and by this summer will establish new Infrastructure Capacity Plans for key government departments.

Mr. Osborne said: “We’re already supporting the largest programme of investment in our railways since Victorian times – and spending more on new roads than in a generation.

“We’re giving Britain the fastest broadband and mobile telephony in Europe.

“And the Treasury is now writing guarantees to major projects from supporting the regeneration of the old Battersea Power Station site to building the new Power Stations of tomorrow.

“We’ve switched billions of pounds from current to capital spending since the spending review. But on existing plans, capital spending is still due to fall back in 2015-16. I don’t think that’s sensible.

He said: “By using our extra savings from government departments, we will boost our infrastructure plans by £3bn a year from 2015-16. That’s £15bn of extra capital spending over the next decade.”

Pinnacle Consulting hope that these initiatives will be good news for manufacturers and distributors of building and construction products as well as builders and engineers.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Poll: Are exhibitions still a key part of your sales and marketing strategy?

Many Marketing Managers are sure to be breathing a huge sigh of relief now that Ecobuild has finished and many Sales professionals will now be eager to start working their way through the wheat and chaff of the leads generated. There will also be Managing Directors, Commercial Managers and Financial Directors anxious to ensure the leads generate new business to justify the expense of the show. 

So with all these people involved, it begs the question: Are trade exhibitions still worth the investment for a manufacturer or distributor of construction products, or just a costly flag-waving exercise? 

A large trade exhibition doesn’t just take a week out of a company’s time; it is a huge investment of people time and finance. 

The preparation of a successful show takes months: selecting the space and position; design of the stand; deciding on your objectives and key messages, writing the copy; design of any graphics; creating any necessary new literature; arranging electrics and stand services; completing reams of paperwork; organising promotions; inviting customers and prospects; organising travel, accommodation and stand personnel; building of the stand; coordinating everything with product launches, printing of literature; arranging giveaways, sales samples and demonstrations for the stand as well as maximising the press coverage of your presence. After all that comes the break down of the stand and then dealing with requests for information and following up all the leads post show. It is tiring just thinking about it!

Stands become a sales and marketing team’s 'home' for the week and some stands can cost almost as much as a small house itself - perhaps they should be included in the UK housebuilding figures! 

Any responsible marketer has to think carefully about their show strategy: which show to exhibit at, what to promote, how to maximise the number and type of people visiting the stand. You cannot just expect the show to be a success, otherwise the expense should perhaps be used elsewhere.

There are many questions to consider when deciding whether to exhibit:
  • Do we need to be there to enhance our profile and reputation?
  • Can we reach people we wouldn't normally be able to see?
  • Is the opportunity to bring people to us and actually show them our product a major benefit?
  • Would we have got these leads anyway?
  • Could we have spent this money better elsewhere?
  • Can we afford to have our sales team off the road for a week?
  • Do we actually have anything new and interesting to say?
  • Can we now reach people just as effectively with all the opportunities the Internet provides?
  • Does it fit in with our business strategy and objectives?
  • Will we put as much time and effort in post-exhibition as we do into organising it?

And there are many, many more which will keep Sales and Marketing Managers' brains active for weeks during planning and budgeting time.

Latest construction sales jobs & construction marketing jobs.

We would like to gain your view as Sales, Marketing and Management professionals of construction products, manufacturers and distributors, whether you feel that exhibitions still play an important part in your sales and marketing strategy in 2013.

Please vote and comment.
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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Growth predicted for UK floor coverings market

There are some sectors in which the market is beginning to look increasingly encouraging -  roofing and cladding is one (more of which another time) and floor coverings is another. In a new report from MTW Research on the UK floor covering market suggests that the double-dip recession has cost suppliers more than £1 billion in lost sales during the last 5 years, though growth is expected to strengthen in 2013 as macro-economic conditions slowly improve.  

Based on industry data from more than 190 companies, the research for the report found that whilst industry assets have remained static in the last 3 years almost one third of floor covering suppliers have exhibited strong sales growth in the last 12 months.  Commenting on the figures, MTW suggested that, “Following a difficult few years, retailers growth rates reflect an increasingly positive trend in the domestic floor coverings market in late 2012, this will be strengthened by steady growth in business investment stimulating higher demand in the contract floor coverings market from mid 2013 onwards.” 

In the last 2-3 years, the commercial floor coverings market has experienced a particularly difficult trading environment as business investment has remained low across a wide range of key sectors for non-domestic floorcoverings.  MTW’s 270 page report finds that investment levels by commodity goods retailers have exhibited modest growth in recent years though higher value retail and service sector applications have experienced lower demand for floorcoverings as a result of declining activity in terms of both new build and refurbishment activity.

Whilst public sector cuts are set to dampen demand for floorcoverings as austerity continues to bite, private sector demand in the contract floorcoverings market is forecast to strengthen in key target sectors such as commodity retail and leisure in 2013, with demand from higher value retail and service sectors likely to grow in real terms during 2014.  According to MTW, growth from commercial markets coupled with some moderate rises in industrial floor coverings should offset public sector declines from mid-late 2013 onwards, prompting greater optimism for the non-domestic floor coverings sector.  

Following flat trading conditions in the last 2 years, the domestic floor coverings market is set to offer moderate growth in 2013, though MTW sound a note of caution that demand is likely to be modest at best as ‘big ticket’ home improvement spending returns to growth slowly.  In addition, a lacklustre domestic new build sector coupled with historically low house-moving activity levels continue to present challenges in the floor coverings industry in late 2012, with conditions only likely to improve from mid 2013 onwards as the economy slowly returns to real term growth. 

Despite sales of floor-coverings remaining flat in the last couple of years, MTW point to a core strength in the floor covering retailer channel with more than 90% of companies reportedly having either a ‘good’ or ‘fair’ credit rating in late 2012, underlining that the industry is ready to meet the demands of growing market demand in the near to medium term.  However, the report also identifies that just under 10% of retailers are currently considered ‘at risk’ of imminent failure, as margins remain under pressure due to ongoing price sensitivity in a number of key sectors in the floor coverings market. 

The report identifies market size and trends for each of the key floorcovering product sectors and finds that the carpets market has lost some share as pricing pressure remains a key issue influencing carpet specification and purchase.  Sales of laminate and wood floor coverings have now stabilised in 2012 according to MTW, with laminate and wood flooring suppliers not anticipating any substantial further movements in terms of product share.  Product development and innovation in the ceramic flooring market is offering some growth opportunities for tile manufacturers and distributors with developments in ultra thin tiles, glazing innovations and metallic finishes all providing healthy value added opportunities for the sector.

MTW’s qualitative and quantitative review of the UK floorcoverings market provides reasonably positive forecasts for the market overall to 2016, though the report sounds a note of caution that these forecasts are subject to the ongoing fragility in the UK and European economies in late 2012. Nevertheless, the near to medium term future appears increasingly positive for floor covering suppliers, with the industry’s longstanding optimism and expectations of growth slowly being realised. 

Pinnacle Consulting specialise in the whole spectrum of sales and marketing jobs in the building and construction market, including interiors and domestic and commercial fit-out solutions. Check out our latest construction sales jobs.

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Friday, 15 March 2013

Mr. Osborne: Your country needs you NOW! - UK construction slumps again

We hope that the forthcoming Budget will have something to really boost the construction sector, especially since the disappointing news in the latest UK Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) where it showed another decline in commercial and civil engineering activity.

As new work falls for the ninth consecutive month the index has registered at 46.8, down from 48.7.

Commenting on the report, David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said:

"There is barely a crumb of comfort in this month’s figures for the construction industry to ease the continued decline in performance. The dramatic fall in civil engineering activity is particularly worrying, having been the one bright spot in the second half of 2012. Whilst the housing sector has registered mild growth for the first time in nine months, it remains weak compared with its long run average. To add insult to injury, commercial activity declined at a worrying pace. 

"Future prospects look dismal too with an accelerated reduction in new orders and although there was a marginal rise in employment, it is difficult to see how this will be sustained.

"Overall, these figures are disappointing to say the least and with little in sight to improve the sector’s fortunes, all eyes will be on the Chancellor to do something to prevent further decline in the sector as we approach the Budget later in the month."

We are waiting for some real action to build the foundations of a recovery. Mr George Osborne: Your country needs you.

Pinnacle Consulting is a specialist in Construction Sales Recruitment 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Construction Sales and Marketing Featured Jobs: March 2013

March 2013 - This month we focus on some excellent internal and external sales, management and marketing opportunities throughout the UK in the bathroom products, glass, insulation and waterproofing sectors.

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).

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Two more exhibitions for your diary in March

This week we have had a spring in our step (or some heavy tired feet!) due to the Ecobuild show. It seems trade exhibitions are very much on the mind as there are many more events about to happen - almost before the ExCeL centre is even cleared.

We focus on two of these below. Also remember to take a look at our construction industry events planner.

12th - 16th March
Frankfurt, Germany

ISH is one of the best exhibitions in the industry and has been the leader in its sector for 50 years. It is the world’s leading trade fair for Bathrooms, Building Services, Energy, Air Conditioning Technology and Renewable Energies.

With everything from sustainable sanitation solutions, innovative bathroom design and energy-efficient heating technologies combined with renewable energies to environmentally friendly air-conditioning, cooling and ventilation technology, ISH covers all aspects of future-oriented building solutions.

Over 2300 exhibitors, including all international market leaders, launch their latest products, technologies and solutions. For five days, international trade visitors from the installation trade, retail trade, firms of engineers and architects, housing and property companies, service providers, public authorities and universities meet with manufacturers, service providers  and distributors at Messe Frankfurt. 

Search for the best bathroom sales jobs how

21st - 24th March
National Homebuilding & Renovating Show 
NEC Birmingham

The Homebuilding and Renovating Show is aimed at the self build market. It is ideally for those who are planning to build their own house, add a spacious new extension or want to remodel the internal layout of their house. 

Many of the leading manufacturers and distributors of innovative and essential building products, materials and appliances will be exhibiting and showcasing their latest products at the show. 

The self-build and small builder market is now a major focus for the industry. The show provides an ideal opportunity for manufacturers of building materials to meet the consumer and help them with their selection of products to ensure they use the most energy-efficient, cost effective and appropriate option in their build or conversion.

The show is on at the weekend too, so why not attend to combine your job and personal life and have an informable and enjoyable day out.

Pinnacle Consulting - recruitment for the building products sector
If you are inspired by any of the products and would like a change in your career within the building and construction industry, contact us to discuss your career on 01480 405225 or take a look at our latest construction products jobs.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Construction Sales and Marketing Career Clinics: March 2013

Are looking for a new challenge in your career or an independent evaluation of your career direction? Perhaps you should attend one of our FREE PinBuild Career Development Clinics being held throughout the UK this March.

PinBuild Clinics are for sales and marketing professionals in the building products, construction and interiors sectors and provide specialist career advice. Call us to arrange to meet one of our Specialist Consultants.  Tel: 01480 405225 or Email

March PinBuild Clinics

Thursday 14th March - Birmingham
Wednesday 20th March - Glasgow
Thursday 21st March - London
Tuesday 26th March - Warrington

Look at our current jobs

You might find one that you would like to discuss:

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.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

ONS reveal that new orders in construction industry have increased

On the back of the news that new home registrations have increased, Pinnacle Consulting is delighted to hear that construction new orders for Q4 of 2012 rose 3% compared to Q3 2012. These figures were 11% higher than the same quarter one year earlier according to figures released by the ONS. 

Although new orders remain at historic lows, this is a second consecutive quarter of growth and provides positive signs for the construction and building products industry.

Commenting on the ONS figures, Milja Keijonen, Economist at the Construction Products Association said; ‘Output in construction fell 8 per cent in 2012 and so the second consecutive quarter of growth in new orders provides some much needed positive news for the industry. New orders are a forward-looking indicator and it will take around 12-18 months before the industry sees the benefits of this in construction output. Private housing has a much shorter time-lag between orders and output so the 10 per cent growth in private housing new orders in Q4, compared to the previous quarter and year, should lead to a rise in output this year.

‘New orders in the commercial sector, the largest sector of construction, were 10 per cent higher in Q4 than in Q3 and were 14 per cent higher than one year ago. Despite this, commercial new orders remain 64% lower than the pre-recession peak so it is too early to get excited about a recovery in offices and retail construction.

‘It was extremely disappointing that infrastructure new orders fell 15% compared to the previous quarter, fell 13% compared to a year ago and were 29% below the pre-recession peak. Government announced £1.3 billion of capital investment to boost infrastructure in the Autumn Statement and it is essential that this is spent if the contraction in infrastructure is to be reversed.

The £10 billion of capital investment announced by the government over the last two years is yet to provide significant activity on the ground. If it were to occur, it would add an extra 0.8% to GDP, even without taking account of any wider benefits.’

Pinnacle Consulting is a construction products recruitment specialist.

The Construction Products Association represents the UK’s manufacturers and suppliers of construction products, components and fittings. The Association acts as the voice of the construction products sector, representing the industry-wide view of its members. The sector has an annual turnover of £50 billion and accounts for 44% of total construction output.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Plan your week at Ecobuild

There is so much to see at Ecobuild this week, so make sure you plan your visit carefully. Take a look at the event guide here to help. For more information visit

Tuesday 5 March 10.00 – 17.00
Wednesday 6 March 10.00 – 18.00
Thursday 7 March 10.00 – 16.00
Venue: London, ExCeL centre: Find out how to get to ExCeL

Pinnacle Consulting would like to wish all exhibitors a successful show.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Why Pink Floyd are key to the recovery of UK housebuilding

Although we could do with a few more bricks in the wall, we are starting to see some encouraging signs for the UK housing and construction market. 

The recent announcement from the NHBC that UK new home registrations increased by almost almost 30% in January 2013 to 10,112, against 7,831 in the same month last year only reinforces this view and is very positive news for manufacturers and distributors of building products. So, what has this got to do with Pink Floyd?!

Well, the NHBC said that the encouraging rise at the start of the year had been boosted by the Battersea Power Station redevelopment, with more than 800 new homes registered during the scheme’s first phase. The site which was immortalised by the Pink Floyd album 'Animals' will have more than 3,000 new homes built on it over the next 15 years.

During the rolling quarter of November 2012 to January 2013, 24,999 new homes were registered in total, a rise of 18% against the equivalent period in 2011/12. Of these, 18,061 were for the private sector, an increase of almost 14%. Meanwhile, public sector registrations climbed 32% to 6,938.

“We are heartened by the encouraging registration statistics for January which follow a strong end to last year,” commented NHBC’s commercial director Richard Tamayo. “This will be a welcome bit of New Year cheer for housebuilders up and down the country.”

Perhaps we really are moving away from the dark side of the moon towards something a little brighter!

Take a look at our current construction products sales jobs.
If you are looking to recruit, you can register your vacancy here.
Find out more about Pink Floyd's 'Animals' here.
More about the development here.