Saturday, 21 December 2013

Job in Focus: Commercial Director for Major Building Products Manufacturer

Our second Job in Focus for December is a fantastic opportunity with a major manufacturer of building products. The company is highly innovative and have been experiencing significant growth. They now seek a Sales and Commercial Director for the UK and Ireland. The role holder is required to play a proactive and driving role on the Company’s Executive Committee as well as developing and leading sales strategy.

Each month Job in Focus takes a more detailed look at some of the fantastic construction, building products, and interiors' products vacancies currently on our books. Job in Focus is also featured on the home page of our website. Take a look at 

Job Title: Sales & Commercial Director
Job Ref: J3779
Product: Building Products
Location: National
Salary: £100k

CLIENT: Are a major producer of building products. Manufacturing and operating throughout the world they are at the forefront of innovation, design and modern methods of construction. Manufacturing at two key UK Sites - they have enjoyed unprecedented growth in 2013 and are targetting significant further growth and innovation in the years to come. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: To drive sales through strategic implementation of added value strategies across a UK sales team in excess of 30 with a current turnover well over £100 million. You will identify key areas of growth and development within high volume, high spend channels. The role holder will develop and lead the future strategy of the external Sales function to deliver business goals and targets, whilst ensuring that customer requirements and expectations are exceeded. The role holder is required to play a proactive and driving role on the Company’s Executive Committee, having equal ownership with all other members of the Executive Committee for the results and direction of the Business 

LOCATION: Covering the UK and Ireland. 

CANDIDATE: Ambitious and career minded you will already be an accomplished Sales Leader and comfortable challenging the status quo. You will implement sales and commercial strategy across the business and deliver added value. Ideally an MBA gradute you will thrive in such a fast moving, high volume and challenging market sector whilst delivering growth through existing and new accounts within Specification, Design and Build, Housing, Distibution and Merchanting. 

PACKAGE: Negotiable basic salary c£100k plus excellent bonus scheme, re-location package and excellent executive benefits. 

For further information or to discuss your career options contact Steve Rogan on 01480 405225 or email

Thursday, 19 December 2013

This Christmas, I want a new construction sales job...

Is there a new construction sales
or marketing job for you waiting to be
opened this Christmas?
If a new construction sales or marketing job is high on your wish list this Christmas Your dream present could be waiting to be unopened. 2014 is set to be a year of growth for the industry, so make sure you are part of it.
If you are interested in any our roles or are looking to develop your career, contact us today or take a look at our website for more details.

We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

What level and type of support do small independent builders in the construction industry want?

In part two of our interview with Colin of Colin Banks Construction & Carpentry from Saffron Walden, we look at the support and contact he requires from manufacturers and stockists of building products to help him in his work.

You can read part one here on how he finds out about new products and what keeps him loyal to a product.

What support do you need from the stockist?
Colin: Support from the stockist is very important, as they are my main source of finding out about products and innovations as well as for first-line technical or installation assistance. 

However, there are a number of other things I need. As well as needing the best possible price, I also view stock levels and availability of equal importance, as is confidence in delivery promises being met.  Much of this comes down to communication and service - if my order is not going to arrive when advised, I need to be informed in advance with a revised date or an alternative solution. This gives me time to make other plans, so a project will not grind to a halt. In my mind, there is no excuse for not being informed of a delay to a confirmed commitment. Any delay has a domino effect and can cause disruption to so many other people involved.

I like to have a central point of contact at the merchants I use; you need to build a relationship and I’m more willing to trust their advice and recommendations. However, it shouldn’t matter who I speak to, I expect a friendly and professional service and someone who seems interested in helping me and who has good knowledge of the department they’re working in. I experienced this at a Travis Perkins’ branch recently when they went out of their way to help me, even though I’m not an account holder there.

Sometimes, I require assistance on-site, I get this from Ridgeons of Saffron Walden, as I have a dedicated person allocated for problems on-site. It makes you feel appreciated and helps build loyalty. They will also come and meet me on a job just for a general update – I welcome this, within reason.

I also require samples or swatches of products, especially on things like tiles and flooring, this helps my customers decide on finishes and style.

KEY LEARNING POINT: The stockist needs to communicate with their customers and focus on building relationships. Good levels of stock are also vital, as products are often needed on the day of the builders’ visit. Manufacturers play an important part too, as they must communicate with their distributors on these issues.

What support do you want from the manufacturer?
Colin: I rely on their support in many ways, but the focus should be to avoid problems in the first place and to quickly assist with problems which do arise. 

It is vital any product is appropriately packaged for protection. If I open a product on-site and the item is broken, it can cause many consequential problems and could cost me a lot of money, especially when there are tight deadlines to meet or if I have other trades on-site to assist on the job. 

I’d also expect there to be installation guidelines that are clear and concise, especially if the way it is fitted affects its guarantee or makes it not fit for purpose. For items that need on-going maintenance, spare parts or adjustment by the householder, I’d expect a user-manual to be included, so that I can give it to the property owner for their records, along with any guarantee information and certification. These might also need to be seen by Building Control.

One final, but very important aspect of support I need is a quick and easy way of contact. When on-site, I’d expect relevant and up-to-date contact information within the packaging or on the product and to be able to speak to a competent and relevant person as quickly as possible to help resolve the issue.

There are also occasions when I have to use a manufacturer’s website to access information, especially standards and performance data or guidelines for usage. I like it when I can get the answer I need without having to search for long or make a phone call, this is because on the rare occasions I use the internet it’s in the evenings.

KEY LEARNING POINT:  Technical or customer service departments should be easily reached with people who are able to deal with the type of questions they will receive. Manufacturers’ websites should be easy to navigate with useful information designed to meets the needs of different audiences. Products need to be tested by people in real situations and feedback obtained before they reach the market.

How do you prefer to be communicated with by the manufacturer?
Colin: Most of the time, I’d rather not be contacted directly by the manufacturer, unless I have instigated the contact. I’m not interested in being bombarded by emails or mailings; I just haven’t got the time to read them.

On occasion, a manufacturer will see my van parked up and come and have a chat. Hilti sometimes does this, and in small doses, this can be quite helpful as it allows me to ask any questions directly and gives them an opportunity to let me know of any key developments or even give me some samples for trial. I certainly do not have the time to take lots of phone calls from lots of manufacturers’ sales representatives and would not welcome this.

KEY LEARNING POINT: It is best to try and communicate in non-pressurised situations with the smaller trades, impress when they contact you and impress in non-verbal communications, like packaging and installation guides. Manufacturers should always be aware of the time restrictions of small companies or one-man businesses.

How do you find out about changes in Building Regulations and legislation?
Colin: Although some of it comes from the literature I pick up and also from the staff at trade counters, my most useful source of information is through my local Building Control Officer. They can be very helpful.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Make sure it is clear your product meets the standards in literature, advertising and is clearly displayed on packaging and documentation. Communicate with Building Control offices so they are aware of your products.

As you can see from the two parts of our interview with Colin, there are many factors to consider, but being aware of the time restraints to allow effective communication and making sure it is conducted in the right environment and done so simply at the right time, appear to be key. 

Next we will be speaking to a small independent plastering firm and after that an independent bathroom showroom to obtain their opinions on this issue.

Pinnacle Consulting proactively helps building product manufacturers and stockists find excellent sales and marketing employees. Click here for more information on how we can help.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Selling and marketing in the building industry: what small or independent builders really want - Product Awareness

In this first interview as part of our series on selling and marketing to the small independent trades, we speak to an independent builder to gain further insight into what they really want in terms of support and communication from building products manufacturers and their stockists. 

For manufacturers of building products, reaching the independents is notoriously difficult. In most instances contact and new product information and benefits is via the merchant or retailer. It is, therefore, vital that the stockist is a major part of any manufacturer’s communication strategy. However, there are times when direct contact is needed as this can lead to a tradesperson’s decision to use a manufacturer’s product. 

Colin Banks Construction & Carpentry of Saffron Walden have been plying their trade across Essex, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, for a number of years. Colin, the owner, is always busy: going from job to job, merchant to merchant, organising other trades and choosing, ordering and collecting product. The products he uses are as important to his success as is the quality of his work and could make or break his reputation. 

The scope of the building and interiors products he purchases is vast: concrete, bricks and blocks, timber, sand, flooring, plaster, insulation, windows, drainage, plumbing and heating, ventilation, roofing, tiling, slates, paints, sealants and coatings, tools, and bathroom and kitchen products. Quite a list!

With so many different products to buy, it can be difficult deciding which to choose and also be aware of new or enhanced products, installation benefits and any ongoing promotions. 

Colin, like most of us, wants a stress-free life and needs products, information, service and availability that he can rely on. These factors became clear during our conversation.

In part one of our discussion with Colin we cover the subject of finding out about and trying new products and what keeps him loyal to a product.

How do you find out about new products?
Colin: I rely mainly on the information and recommendations from the place I buy my products from. They often send me newsletters, magazines or details of promotions - these help keep me informed, but to really catch my interest any information must state a solution to an installation issue I have been experiencing, otherwise they all just blur into one. 

When I am at a merchant, I also rely on trade counter staff to advise on products to meet my needs. Their knowledge and experience is vital to my awareness and decision-making process when buying a product. Another way I find out about products in-store is through point-of-sale displays, especially if they include before and after samples, or illustrative images, demonstrations and leaflets to take away. If these are striking and interesting, I will investigate further.

I sometimes pick up trade magazines, like Professional Builder, from the merchant’s counter, especially if I see something on the front cover that is relevant. They often have product-testing features, which can be quite useful and might encourage me to find out more.

On occasion, manufacturers are present at merchants’ or retailers’ events such as branch openings or breakfast mornings, but I rarely attend these - I would rather be working and earning money. However, if I happen to be at the branch, they can be a useful opportunity to see new products or learn of price promotions – but I’d only be tempted by a price promotion if I needed the product at that moment in time.

KEY LEARNING POINT:  It is vital for manufacturers to support their stockists through staff training and provide them with information, knowledge and resources to sell. This will ensure the stockist can confidently and proactively sell.

What makes you decide to try a new product?
Colin: Sometimes it is as simple as the location of where the job is I’m doing and the merchant or stockist which is close by. I may try a different brand depending on the brands they stock. I discovered Superquilt insulation through a recommendation by a Buildbase branch because my normal brand was not stocked there. 

My regular merchant recommended Egger Floor Protect to me and I have been pleased with their product too.

I’m also more likely to try a product if it is recommended or if it has a clear solution to a problem I’ve experienced. If I can get comparable or better quality for a cheaper price I am also willing to try a new product.

Sometimes the homeowner will request I install a particular brand or type of product.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Awareness is very important through high quality point-of-sale and education of trade counter staff to pass on advice. The product needs to be stocked and its benefits clearly understood.

Have you noticed any recent trends on the kind of products homeowners want to use?
Colin: There has been a trend for people taking a longer term view, so lifetime running costs and sustainability issues are now much more important. However, I’ve noticed that as these kinds of products have an initial higher cost, these trends are mainly with those aged 45 and over. The younger householders normally just want the cheapest option that does the job satisfactorily, as when you are setting up home every penny counts.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Make sure you target the consumer too with understanding of product benefits, as the homeowner can be the specifier.

What keeps you loyal to a product?
Colin: I’m happy to pay more for a product if it’s reliable, has proven benefits e.g. simple installation and causes me no subsequent problems. In my mind some are cheaper in real terms, as I have peace of mind the customer is getting a good product and I won’t have to return at a later date to resolve an issue - this costs me time, money and damages my reputation.

Velux is one brand I am particularly loyal too, but I did once make the mistake of trying an alternative brand which alleged better fitting, this caused me many problems and I went back to Velux. 

Generally, if a product is easily available, of good quality with good support and at a fair price, then I am happy to remain loyal.

KEY LEARNING POINT: Quality, proven performance and benefits are worth their weight in gold. Ensure products are tested before going to market and listen to the needs of the installer. Ensure you stay ahead of your competition.

In part two of our interview with Colin, we look at the level of support and contact he expects from manufacturers and stockists.

Image: Floor Tile Installation" by sixninepixels /

Thursday, 12 December 2013

HBF report shows significant increase in housebuilding activity

The flow of positive news for the construction and housebuilding industry can no longer be ignored, in fact, we are being drowned in a tidal wave of great news! The latest being the figures revealed in the most recent Home Builders Federation's Housing Pipeline report where the number of new home planning permissions granted in England in Q3 was 31% up on 2012, this confirms a very significant and clear increase in housebuilding activity.

In all 44,251 permissions were granted in Q3, 19% up on the previous quarter. This is the highest Q3 figure since 2007. The 12 month total to September is 166,978, 44% up on the 2011 low.

"This is the latest indicator to show how the industry is looking to quickly increase output," said HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley. "We have already seen evidence of a rise in new homes starts and these figures show the industry's intent to increase and sustain that over the next few years."

Pinnacle Consulting is a leading sales and marketing recruitment specialist for building products manufacturers and distributors. 
Call us on 01480 405225.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Download your Ecobuild brochure for 2014 today

Believe it or not, 2014 will see the 10th Ecobuild exhibition. This show put construction and building industry exhibitions back on the map in the UK and filled the void left when Interbuild started to disappoint.

The 2014 show is again at ExCeL, London, and is being held between 4-6 March. The show brochure is now available to download here. 

It is important that the UK continues to have a flagship show for the built environment, so make sure it is in your diary to visit next year. Here are some reasons to visit:

  • See the entire spectrum of sustainable construction products for new build and refurbishment of residential, commercial and industrial projects
  • Network with industry professionals, clients and suppliers from around the world
  • Get involved in a more sustainable built environment with the leading industry voices in our thought provoking conference
  • Learn from over 600 of the most innovative and influential practitioners with our seminar programme
  • Be seen and raise your profile, meet and network with the world's leading industry press

'Happy Birthday' Ecobuild from all at Pinnacle Consulting - recruitment specialists for sales and marketing roles in the built environment.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Every region in the UK and across all construction sectors set for growth in 2014

Glenigan, leading construction industry analysts, have released figures that show broad growth in construction activity during the three months to November, with project starts increasing across most parts of the UK.  The most encouraging aspect of their figures is that growth is driven across all three main sectors of the industry: civil engineering, residential and non-residential and 2014 looks even better according to Glenigan's forecasts for the whole of the UK.

The Glenigan Index, which covers the value of projects starting on site from September to November this year, is up 9% compared with the same period in 2012 and is based on extensive research of every construction project starting in the UK over the previous three-month period and provides an indicator of developing activity in the industry.

Utilities projects drive growth in civil engineering
Civil engineering has been one of the fastest growing sectors in 2013 in terms of underlying projects starts, with the sector enjoying double digit growth since August. This continued during the three months to November, with starts 28% higher than a year ago. Growth has been driven by a 61% rise in utilities projects, while infrastructure projects were slightly up on a year ago.

Office and retail starts have risen
Glenigan data points to a slight moderation in the growth of private sector non-residential projects. Office and retail starts have continued to increase, up by 42% and 54% respectively. However, following recent strong growth, the rise in industrial project starts has slowed, now just 9% up on a year ago.

Hotel and leisure not so encouraging
Hotel and leisure starts lagged these other sectors during the second half of 2013 and fell back further, down by 39%.

Great news ahead for the private sector
Allan Wilén, Economics Director at Glenigan, believes private sector construction will be the strongest driver of growth in project starts over the next year.

He said: “Private sector growth is key to a sustained recovery in construction activity, with double digit growth forecast for the office, industrial, retail and hotel and leisure sectors.

“Last month’s Index indicated that private non-residential construction has already begun to pick up alongside improvements in business sentiment. The economic brightening has continued and recent figures show an improvement in business lending.”

Project starts in non-residential sectors that are more dependent on public funding increased during the three months to November, with education starts up by 15% and health starts by 3% year on year.

This modest upturn in health starts bucks a declining long term trend caused by constrained NHS capital funding. However, Glenigan predicts further decreases of sector activity during 2014. The Index also saw continued declines in starts of community and amenity projects.

Education sector has excelled during 2013
By contrast, education has been the fastest growing sector during 2013, as the flow of government funding has increased through a range of initiatives.

“Low levels of government spending will be less of a drag on growth of overall non-residential activity than in recent years,” Allan said.

“Starts of health projects are expected to continue a long term trend of decline; however this will be offset by a large increase in funding for school renovation and new build projects through the Priority Schools Building Programme.”

Residential news
Starts of residential projects increased in the three months to November, up by 5% in value compared to the same three months of 2012. Surprisingly, this growth was driven by a strong upturn in starts of social housing projects rather than private housing starts.

Regional indicators
The wide based upturn in new project starts is taking hold across the UK, with project starts increasing across most regions.

Starts have grown strongly in Northern Ireland during the three months to November - over double the value of a year ago and the highest level since May 2011. There was also a marked improvement in starts in Yorkshire & the Humber after the drop in starts seen during the third quarter.

The North East, East of England and Wales were the only parts of the country to see a drop in project starts against the same three months a year ago.

Allan said: “The results of this month’s Glenigan Index are a further indication that the construction recovery is spreading beyond the housing market, and London and the South East.

Roll on 2014!
“Every UK region is forecast to see an increase in project starts during the first quarter of 2014.”

If you are recruiting for sales professionals in the construction industry take a look at our website and contact us on 01480 405225.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Major boost for housebuilding in the North announced

Chancellor George Osborne has said that more support is needed for the UK housing and construction industry and some evidence of this was shown during his Autumn Statement when he announced a new £1 billion housing fund to unlock development sites in the north of England, particularly Manchester and Leeds.

In other issues relating to housing, the chancellor did not announce any alterations or dilution of the Help to Buy scheme, but confirmed that the Bank of England will carefully monitor the housing market. It is our view that the Help to Buy scheme must continue to be supported and we would like to see some long-term commitment to this from the government. 

The announcement to help development sites in the north of England has been particularly encouraging though with the introduction of billion pounds of loans “to unblock large housing developments on sites in Manchester and Leeds and across the country”. The housing revenue account borrowing limit is also being increased by £300m.

“If we want more people to own a home, we have to build more homes,” chancellor George Osborne told a packed House of Commons. “The good news is the latest survey data showed residential construction growing at its fastest rate for a decade. And our hard-won planning reforms are delivering a 35% increase in approvals for new homes. But we need to do more.”

The National House-building Council (NHBC) Chief executive Mike Quinton reacted positively to this news: “We welcome today's Autumn Statement highlighting measures to support house-building in the UK. As our new home registration statistics show, the number of new homes being registered continues to improve on last year’s figures with an overall 24% increase for the rolling quarter August to October compared to the same period in 2012, but this recovery has been from a very low base.

“It is therefore crucial that the government delivers these policies, such as the £1bn loans to unblock stalled housing developments and continued support of Help to Buy, to help the UK get back to producing the volumes required to meet the demand for quality, new homes.”

Construction Products Association chief executive Diana Montgomery shares our view on the uncertainty over Help to Buy: 

“A missed opportunity was the absence of clarity around the future of Help to Buy, the main driver in our industry’s resurgence this year.  This, together with the recent diminishing of government support for ECO – one of the only effective initiatives helping to improve the performance and energy efficiency of the existing housing stock – leads us to believe that this important sector both for construction and the wider economy is being ignored at great cost.”

Despite the fact there always could have been more encouraging news, it is still good to see that the housing and construction industry remains high on the government’s agenda for economic recovery.

Sales and marketing recruitment for the building and construction sector Call us on 01480 405225.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Construction sales and marketing recruitment clinics - December 2013

A new year is approaching and this might mean you are looking for a new challenge in construction sales or marketing or you might just want an independent evaluation of your career? Why not arrange to attend one of our FREE PinBuild Career Development Clinics this December.

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

December PinBuild Clinics
  • Tuesday 17th December: Dartford
  • Thursday 19th December: Warrington
Our current jobs: You might find one you'd like to discuss: 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, 4 December 2013

Job in Focus for December: Fantastic KBB Sales Management role for Northern region

Our Job In Focus for December is an excellent sales management opportunity to lead and manage a team of Area Managers covering the North of the UK. You would be working for a market leading manufacturer within the bathroom sector.

Each month Job in Focus takes a more detailed look at one of the fantastic construction, building products, and interiors' products vacancies currently on our books. Job in Focus is also featured on the home page of our website. Take a look at

Job Title: Regional Sales Manager
Product: KBB sector - Bathroom Products
Location: North & North East
Salary:  £50k

EMPLOYER: Our client is a true market leading manufacturer within the Bathroom sector. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: Regional Sales Manager - You will be tasked with leading, managing and motivating a team of Area Sales Managers selling a market leading range of Bathroom products, targetting the Merchant, Retail and Distribution Channels. In addition to management responsibility of the team, you will be tasked with senior level negotiation with key accounts. 

LOCATION: North - Covering the North of the UK - Applicants living North of Birmingham 

CANDIDATE: We are seeking applications from exceptional calibre field sales management professionals. You will have a background in managing a field based sales team. Experience selling via Consumer channels or trade distribution channels is significantly beneficial, ie experience dealing with Retail, DIY, Merchant or Wholesale and Distribution accounts. Product knowledge is not important, however a preference would be experience in FMCG, Bathrooms, Kitchens or Consumer led products. 

PACKAGE: up to circa £50,000 + Excellent Bonus + Car + Pension + Mobile + Laptop + Excellent company benefits. 

For further information contact Steve Brennan on 01480 405225 or email