Thursday, 28 November 2013

Sales and marketing feature preview: What small independent tradespeople in the building industry really want...

In the overall sales and marketing strategy of a building products manufacturer or stockist, small independent builders and tradespeople may not appear to be that important. As a collective, however, they are a vital audience to reach and should form a key part of most companies’ strategy. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to communicate with them or advise about using your products and their benefits.

Many of these independent companies are small in terms of head count (sometimes just one person) but they still purchase, install and give their opinion on manufacturers’ products and the service they receive from a stockist. 

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 to help them in their jobs? What is the best way to communicate with them? These and many other questions should be in the minds of manufacturers, distributors and merchants of building products when they are developing their sales and marketing plans. 

To get some answers, we thought we’d go straight to the people who know - the small tradespeople themselves - and ask them for their views. In our forthcoming series we speak to a building, carpentry and construction company; an independent plastering company and a bathroom retailer.

Our series starts in December, when we find out what a small builder really wants. Now here..

Make sure you don’t miss out - follow us on FaceBook, Twitter or Google +, so you know when it’s published.

If you are a manufacturer or distributor of building and construction products and are looking to recruit, please visit our website or contact our specialist industry consultants on 01480 405225

Image courtesy of  Poulsen Photo

Monday, 25 November 2013

Build it and they will come...

'Help to buy' is helping
people to buy the homes
they want
"Build it and they will come...". An inspiring phase which illustrates the importance of creating an environment where people can buy homes. This has been confirmed with the latest government figures for Q3. Private sector new home starts in England in the last quarter reached 28,850 - this is 29% up on last year. It just shows how simple policies like Help to Buy can make a real difference to the industry and economy. It must not end with this though, as the industry needs a full recovery to realise our fields of dreams for the future.

This is excellent news for housebuilders as well as manufacturers and distributors of building products.  One of the main reasons of the increase is down to the Help to Buy initiative, a view supported by major players in the house building industry.

HBF (Home Builders Federation) executive chairman Stewart Baseley said: "Help to Buy is increasing demand for new homes and the industry is responding. If people can buy, builders will build."

"Help to Buy has enabled us to build more homes on the sites we have already got open and gives us more confidence about investing in future sites," added Taylor Wimpey CEO Pete Redfern.

Persimmon CEO Jeff Fairburn said the firm was opening 85 new sites before the end of the year while Barratt boss Mark Clare said the company was rapidly increasing production. "We now have the confidence to target the construction of 45,000 new homes over the next three years and we are investing in land and bringing it through planning to meet increased demand."

He added that the firm is taking on 600 new apprentices. The confidence for companies to take on new staff is something that the whole industry is experiencing, as seen in the Reed Job Index which has shown a 73% increase in job opportunities in construction and property this year, and also reflected in our own experience at Pinnacle Consulting.

Steve Rogan, Managing Director of Pinnacle Consulting, commented: "At Pinnacle we have seen a significant increase in our clients - throughout all sectors - taking on additional sales and marketing staff. The most encouraging aspect of this is it is 'additional' staff, rather than replacement staff. A sure sign of confidence and growth. Much of our feedback is that the Help to Buy scheme has made a real difference"

If you are a building products manufacturer or distributor looking to enhance your team, please contact our experienced team of building and construction industry recruitment specialists to discuss your requirements. 

Using Pinnacle as your recruitment partner also benefits building and construction industry charities. Ask about our 'Helping others each time you recruit' initiative. Call us on 01480 405225.

Photo credit "Walkway To Home" by phanlop88 via

Thursday, 21 November 2013

CPA chief warns that carbon taxes are a threat to UK manufacturing

The Construction Products Association has called for the chancellor of the exchequer to abolish the carbon price floor in his upcoming autumn statement, this is a stance that Pinnacle Consulting, leading sales and marketing recruitment specialists to the construction products industry also supports.

Speaking to an audience of senior industry leaders and government officials at the Construction Products Association’s recent autumn lunch, the CPA’s chairman Geoff Cooper stated: “The construction products sector in the UK is supportive of the government’s intent to deliver a low carbon, low cost built environment whilst securing the future of a vibrant, modern and innovative manufacturing sector.  However, like the ordinary householder, business is being considerably impacted by the rise in energy prices and the increasing insecurity of energy supply.
Geoff Cooper, Chairman of CPA

“According to a study conducted for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, by 2020 the UK’s electricity price is expected to have risen by more than three times that of Germany’s.  A primary reason for this is the additional taxes on energy.

“Much of our manufacturing is energy-intensive: energy bills and taxes can be up to 30-35% of total production costs.  The need to maintain diversity and security of energy supply, and to meet emissions reductions targets must be balanced against the ability of the industry to pay.  Many firms have already invested in the latest technology to improve energy efficiency to the maximum level possible so further savings here are unlikely.”

Cooper, who is also chief executive of Travis Perkins, also said: “The chancellor has said, ‘We are not going to save the planet by putting our country’s manufacturing sector out of business’, and so end up importing these same products.  His actions, however, speak louder than words as the minimal extra climate change agreement rebate on electricity from April 2013 has been more than eclipsed by the increases in renewable obligation costs and feed in tariffs this year, neither of which is compensated for energy intensive users.

“In this year’s autumn statement, therefore, we are joining the ranks of many senior industrialists by calling on the Chancellor to abolish the carbon price floor, or at the very least to a freeze to the rates of the tax.

“It is essential that the UK has a secure, low carbon energy supply at a price that does not jeopardise investment in UK manufacturing and sustained economic recovery.  We need a level playing field to ensure we can compete against international competitors to keep manufacturing in the UK.  This needs a concise and coherent regulatory environment and policy framework to allow confidence to invest.”

The CPA is also calling on the government to link the energy performance of the property to the stamp duty which the buyer pays, and offer a stamp duty refund where the new home owner improves the performance within the first 18 months of ownership. 

“We believe this will be highly effective in driving change right at the time homeowners are most likely to make such improvements,” he said. “Also, crucially, our model shows that such an incentive would not leave the Treasury out of pocket.”

Contact Pinnacle Consulting on 01480 405225 or search online for the best construction products sales jobs.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

How you can support a vital part of the UK building and construction industry

The new charity initiative from Pinnacle Consulting helps building and construction industry charities each time one of our candidates is successfully placed at one of our clients. This means that you are giving something back to the industry when you recruit or are recruited.

The scheme is designed to provide long-term support and awareness of the charities’ good work. One of our chosen partners is Lighthouse Club.

Established in 1956, Lighthouse Club, the construction industry charity, gives financial help to construction workers’ families, plunged into financial crisis when they lose their breadwinner’s income through illness, injury or death. 

Why you should support Lighthouse Club?
Construction workers and builders are a vital cog of our whole industry: infrastructure, commercial and house-building. They are the people who install and erect the building and construction products that you either manufacture, promote, sell or distribute -  without them the whole industry would come to a halt. They are also often the people who somewhere down the line can influence brand selection, help to improve design and provide vital feedback on products and their ease of installation or construction. They put their faith and life in your products and that faith needs to be repaid.

Bill Hill, chief executive of Lighthouse Club, said: “We are delighted that Pinnacle Consulting has chosen the Lighthouse Club as one of their charity partners. The funds raised by this programme will make a profound difference to the individuals and families within the construction and building industry that we support. It is initiatives like this that demonstrate that our industry has a “big heart” and cares for its people."

The 'Helping others when you recruit' initiative is very simple: when a vacancy is filled, a donation is made by Pinnacle to the preferred charity of the employer and the employer is also given the opportunity to donate - this means that all parts of the industry are brought together to aid one common cause. 

Managing director of Pinnacle Consulting, Steve Rogan, commented: "It is vital the building industry recognises that to succeed, everyone has a key role to play. It is also important the industry uses its knowledge and expertise to support those less fortunate than ourselves. This is the basis on which we have carefully selected our two beneficiaries - their causes should be close to our clients’ hearts and they are something they can be actively involved with too.”

Our other charity partner is CRASH. 

If you would like to find out more about the initiative contact us on 01480 405225 or visit

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Featured Building Products Sales Jobs for November 2013

November 2013: We have some superb field sales vacancies on our books at present. Confidence within the industry continues to grow with more and more companies entering active recruiting mode. This month we focus on a number of fantastic specification sales and standard sales roles throughout the UK building products, KBB and construction industry. We hope you find what you're looking for.

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.
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).

Friday, 15 November 2013

KBB sector retail sales set to hit £1bn in next 12 months

In recent months, we have seen a huge increase in our KBB clients starting to recruit new field sales, showroom sales or marketing professionals. This has been a good indication of future confidence and is confirmed by the optimism revealed in a recent report by MTW Research. According to the report, retail sales in the kitchen and bathroom market are set to hit close to £1 billion in the next 12 months.

MTW Research (who are one of the UK's leading DIY market research firms) findings are based on financial information from more than 90% of UK KBB distributors. They reveal that sales have been increasing in the second half of 2013 and there is a high degree of optimism and confidence throughout the sector, but particularly among independent retailers. The report also said the contract and merchant markets were growing due to greater house building activity. 

Click here if you are a distributor in the KBB market and are looking to recruit, or if you are looking for a sales or marketing job in the sector. Alternatively, contact us direct on 01480 405225 to discuss your requirements with one of our KBB industry recruitment specialists.

One-in-five of distributors were said to be reporting growth of 10% or more, with the over-50s market influencing this growth by helping an increase in sales of high-end luxury products. Consumers are beginning to invest in quality again rather than taking a short-term view by buying interim cheaper products.

MTW’s director Mark Waddy highlighted that distributors, to ensure they succeed, must became more sophisticated in how they do business. He said that distributors must not only sell and deliver the products, but that the most successful “recognise their integral role in the supply chain and can uniquely influence and assist suppliers and customers to develop cohesive, effective marketing strategies to grow sales”.

One major shift in how the KBB sector is selling products since the last MTW report on the sector, is that during this period approximately 20 distribution businesses had either closed because of falling sales or moved into direct selling via the internet. The power of the internet is changing the way all industries throughout the economy does business and influences decision making.

The report is a comprehensive and detailed review of the UK Kitchen & Bathroom Distributors Market in 2013 with forecasts to 2017. It is written specifically for Kitchen and Bathroom product manufacturers and distributors, If you are interest in obtaining a copy of the report is available immediately in a variety of formats for use in presentations and sharing with colleagues.

The report illustrates and discusses the performance of the kitchen and bathroom distributor market in recent years, with analysis of product mix and share by customer type between 2007 and 2013, with forecasts to 2017. Discussion of the key macro and micro market influences impacting the sector are provided with thought-provoking qualitative comment on future opportunities and threats. This report combines the best of both, with statistically relevant quantitative data, coupled with relevant and insightful qualitative analysis.

If you would like to purchase the report, please click here.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Report reveals sixth month of sustained growth for the UK construction industry

Pinnacle Consulting is delighted to hear that the construction industry continues to move forward with confidence, as confirmed by results shown in the latest Markit/CIPS UK construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI). The report revealed the sixth consecutive month of growth by posting a score of 59.4 for October, up from 58.9 in September. Any score above 50.0 indicates growth. 

In recent months it has been the housebuilding sector which has been the strongest contributor to the upturn, but we are now seeing excellent rises in civil engineering and commercial construction activity too. The rate of growth in the commercial sector was the best since April 2012. 

Improvement in UK economy helping confidence
Construction companies reported that output had been boosted by improvements in the UK economic outlook and a corresponding upturn in client spending. Survey respondents also cited better housing market conditions as a key driver of activity growth. 

Employment throughout the sector is rising
Higher levels of new work contributed to an increase in staffing levels during October. The latest upturn in employment levels being the highest for six years. 

If you are a manufacturer or distributor of building and construction products looking for additional sales, marketing and management professionals, then visit our website to see how we can help you.

Manufacturers and distributors struggling to meet demand
The survey revealed a strong rise in purchasing activity by construction companies during October, driven by increasing output and new business. The rate of input buying growth was the sharpest since December 2007. However, there were some signs that the upturn in purchasing activity led to strains on stock levels and operating capacity at suppliers. A good problem to have but one that must be resolved for the industry to continue to grow and thrive,

A bright future is ahead
Markit senior economist Tim Moore said: “UK construction output continues to rise like a phoenix from the ashes, with housing, commercial and civil engineering activity all seeing strong rates of expansion at the start of
the fourth quarter.

“Official data showed that the construction sector lived up to the strong billing given by business survey evidence during the third quarter of 2013. Importantly, the latest Construction PMI survey signals that job hiring and input buying are now rising in tandem with greater new business inflows.

“Improved opportunities to tender and a broadening of the recovery beyond housing activity have helped foster confidence in the longer-term outlook for business conditions. Highlighting this, the latest survey indicated that more than four times as many construction firms expect a rise in output over the year ahead as those that anticipate a fall.”

David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said: "The future is looking bright for the UK construction industry as it soars into the final quarter with its strongest performance in over six years, boosted by a strengthening surge in activity broadening out across all sectors. Housing remains the key driver of the ever-strengthening rebound in October, but with civil engineering and commercial works continuing to bolster their expansion. Particularly impressive is the commercial sector, which registered the fastest rate of growth since April 2012.

"The on-going growth of new business levels, climbing confidence and positive market conditions has resulted in the steepest rise in staffing levels for six years. Caution on employment experienced in the first half of 2013 has now been replaced by rising expectations and a strong belief that growth can be sustained in the year to come.

"With demand picking up, delivery times are lengthening but there is optimism this will lead to a more bullish approach from suppliers, who up until now have been cautious on stock levels. They now have the platform to level out the continuing squeeze on stock availability and operating capacity."

"Image courtesy of Pakorn (Building Construction)/".

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Construction Sales Career Development Clinics - November 2013

Are you looking for a new challenge in construction sales or marketing? You might just want an independent evaluation of your career? Why not arrange to attend one of our FREE PinBuild Career Development Clinics throughout England this November.

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 e-mail

November PinBuild Clinics
  • Thursday 14th November: Birmingham
  • Thursday 21st November: Central London
  • Thursday 28th November: Bristol

Our current jobs: You might find one you'd 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.

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.'

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Please Sir! I want some more...The question of the salary increase

Should we give more to
our employees?
The salary question is always an awkward one, but sometimes when you’re hungry, you need to ask for more. We are convinced that an increase in salaries will give a boost to companies, the economy, and is also a key factor in the overall health and sustainability of the housing industry. So this month’s poll is simple: is it now time wages started to rise?  

To help our industry, we really need people to be able to invest in either buying a home, refurbishing their home or building an extension. Funds and confidence are needed in equal measure to enable this to happen. But where are the funds? 

The recent Reed Job Index survey revealed that employee pay packets remained at the same level as they did this time last year and 4% lower than they were when the Index began in 2009 - that is a long time. 

When you consider that energy suppliers have just announced another large price increase and transport and travel costs have also risen significantly risen, it makes the reported rate of inflation at just under 3% hard to believe. We are expected to invest, but we are not being given the resources to do it.  

House prices are starting to rise again, but with wages decreasing in real terms, ownership of a home, for some, will just be a dream, despite the best intentions of the Help to Buy scheme. If the situation does not change, then we are in real danger of the recovery being short lived.  

Most people over the last few years have realised that foregoing a salary increase or accepting a very low one is helping their employers and keeping their jobs secure. However, if this state of affairs continues for too much longer it may have a negative effect, creating resentment, demotivation and causing the good employees that should be retained and developed, to look for another job - especially with our sector and the overall labour market now on the rise. 

We would never advise companies to commit to what they can’t afford, but we believe that perhaps now is the time for employers in all sectors of the economy to reward their employees with a well-deserved pay increase. We are all going to be very busy in the coming months and expectations will be high, so motivate your employees and thank them for helping you through the tough times. It has been a team effort getting through the past few years, make sure it is an enjoyable team effort over the next few years.  

We are reminded of a company that gave everyone a large bonus each year – regardless if they were the cleaner or the Sales Director. Rather than being over generous, the truth of the matter was they saved on the cost of having to replace good quality staff, training and the cost of errors in the sales office, the warehouse and accounts. The employees were always knowledgeable and experts in their fields, and this allowed the company to continue to recruit new people, but for growth. A good policy in hindsight, employees were happy, motivated and respected, and the company saved on costs, but spent on adding to their team through recruiting additional members of staff that complemented and enhanced an already established and successful team.

There are many ways to look at this difficult topic, but the question remains: should employees throughout all sectors be given a pay rise at their annual review, allowing them to invest in the economy and be inspired to achieve more in their jobs? Surely the company, country and employee will benefit?

Thoughts please.

If you are looking to add to your sales or marketing team for growth, contact us on 01480 405225 or look at our website for the best construction sales recruitment services in the UK

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