Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Job in Focus: National Sales role for Power Tools to Amazon - £60k OTE

Our latest Job in Focus is a National Account Manager role where you would be responsible for maximising sales and introducing new products via Amazon for a wide range of power tools and accessories. The package has a £60k OTE with additional benefits.

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 Account Manager
Job Ref: J10310
Product: Tools
Location: South West
Salary: £50k + 10k OTE

Manufacturer of tools managing one of our client key accounts in the form of Amazon. 

Package: Basic salary up to £50k plus £10k OTE as well as car allowance, mobile phone, laptop and additional company benefits. 

Company: A fantastic chance to join a growing manufacturer in the power tool and accessory sector offering a great opportunity to help shape the business moving forward after promising growth figures over the past number of years. 

Role: The position is for a National Account Manager with a focus on selling a range of power tool lines to Amazon as an account. Tasked with bringing on maximising sales and introducing new product ranges where necessary. A number of product ranges from low cost to high end premium power tools are offered across the product range allowing the company to compete at all levels in the market. 

Area: The position would be communicating at all levels of the customer base Nationally however you will be required to attend regular meetings and sales conferences at the companies head office in Somerset. Candidates should ideally be located within two hours commute - Ideally based in Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Wales, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, West Midlands, Hampshire, West Sussex, Surrey. 

Candidates: We are looking for a highly motivated and professional individual with experience dealing with Amazon at a Key Account level. A proven track record of managing major accounts on a national basis is key to the position with a strong sales ability and high level of commercial acumen highly valued. Product knowledge of tools and accessories would be beneficial but not required however candidates must have an exposure to managing accounts in the retail, DIY or national merchant sectors. 

For further information on this exciting opportunity contact Ben Mckinnell on 01480 405225 or apply online.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

BMJ Awards Finalists Announced!

The Builders Merchants sector is one of the areas of the building industry which has been doing very well in the last year or so. 

We are delighted to help promote the inaugural BMJ Industry Awards next month, especially with the final, shortlist for the ceremony just being announced. The actual winners will be revealed at the Awards Lunch on Friday, May 18th at the Brewery in Chiswell Street, London.

The companies and brands on the final list are:

Best Bathroom Brand
Methven, Lakes Bathrooms, Roca, Bristan

Best Distributor
Ideal Bathrooms, Encon, Everbuild, Claygate

Best Heating Brand
Amber Underfloor Heating , Worcester Bosch, Baxi,  Stelrad Radiators

Best Heavy side Brand
ACO Technologies, Ibstock,  Imperial Bricks ,   Isover

Best Kitchen Brand
Rixonway , Moores, Blanco, BA Clic

Best Landscaping Brand
Brett Paving , Azpects Ltd,   Stonemarket , Digby Stone

Best Plumbing Brand
Baxi , John Guest,  Wavin

Best Roofing Brand
IKO, Keylite Roof Windows,, Norbord   Marley Eternit

Best Timber Brand
Norbord, Covers Timber, Arbor Forest Products,   SCA Merchant Services

Best Customer Service
Amy Sellers – SCA Timber, Cassey Behm – Methven,
Martin Walker – Chandler Material Supplies,  Nora Conlan – Jaga Heating Products

Best Sales Rep
Lyndsey Makin – Methven, John Gaunt – Knauf Insulation,
Becky Brian – Howarth Timber & Builder Supplies, Roy Selby – Azpects Ltd

Industry Personality of the year
Stuart Mason-Elliott – Elliotts, Andy Williamson- IKO,  Paul Bence – Bence Builders Merchants,  Tim Pollard – Pollard2Pollard

National Rising Star of the year
Alex Bagnall – Keyline Peterborough, Dionne Allard – City Plumbing Supplies, Katy Monk – City
Plumbing Supplies

Independent Rising Star of the year
Jessica Kelsey – Alsford Timber, Karli Mallard – Ridgeons , James Tristram – EH Smith,  Lee Davies – LBS Builders Merchants

Online Merchant of the year
My Paint Brush, Parker Building Supplies,  Chandler Material Supplies

New Merchant of the year
Bence Roofing, London Lintels, MGN Builbers Merchants

Multiple Merchant of the year (10-100 branches)
Ridgeons, RGB, Elliotts Builders Merchants,  EH Smith, Bradfords Building Supplies

Independent Merchant of the year (1-10 branches)
George Bence Group, GPH Builders Merchants, Coomers Timber Building Supplies Chandler
Material Supplies

Best Merchant Showroom
Elliotts Living Spaces – Romsey,
EH Smith Builders Merchants – New Brick Showroom, Shirley
Ridgeons – Nuffield Road Cambridge,
George Bence Group t/a Obsidian Kitchens & Bathrooms,
Nicholls Bicester Kitchen and Bathroom Solutions

Best Merchant Marketing Campaign of the year
Elliotts – 175 campaign,
EH Smith Builders Merchants – New branch launch, EH Smith Castle Bromwich,
Wolseley – Zombie Boilers,
George Bence Group – Bence Rewards

To book your place at the event, go to: http://bmjindustryawards.co.uk/tickets/

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Construction Products Manufacturing freezes in Q1 2018

The CPA’s State of Trade Survey for 2018 Q1 shows that the £56 billion UK construction products manufacturing industry suffered a weak start to 2018, in a quarter that combined the liquidation of Carillion and several days of disrupted activity due to snow and freezing temperatures.

Heavy side manufacturers recorded the lowest balance in five years with 15% of firms reporting a decline in sales in Q1, following a previous quarter of falling sales in 2017 Q4. For light side manufacturers, no firms on balance reported either an increase or a decrease, which was the weakest performance since 2013 Q2. Construction product sales act as an early indicator of wider construction activity and these results signal a noticeable dip in total industry output for Q1.

Manufacturers anticipate a return to growth in the coming quarters, but rising costs continue to act as a headwind. 90% of heavy side manufacturers and 84% of those on the light side reported a rise in raw materials costs in Q1, whilst the same proportions reported an increase in wages and salaries. In addition, fuel costs rose for 90% of heavy side manufacturers.

Rebecca Larkin, CPA Senior Economist said: “It was always unlikely that heavy side manufacturers would avoid the snow disruption, with aggregates quarries unable to operate and pauses in activities such as groundworks and bricklaying affecting demand for products and materials from construction sites. In addition, manufacturing capacity in this energy-intensive sector of the industry is likely to have been temporarily reduced by the National Grid’s gas deficit warning at the beginning of March.

“It appears from the forward-looking indicators that Q1 was just a weather-related blip, as 42% of heavy side manufacturers anticipate sales rising in Q2 and 37% see sales rising over the next 12 months. However, no light side manufacturers expect sales to increase in the next quarter and only 16% anticipate a rise over the course of the year, likely to reflect the lagged impact of any pauses in activity in Q1 on demand for these non-structural and finishing products that tend to be used nearer the end of the building process.”

Key survey findings include:
  • A balance of 15% of heavy side firms reported that construction product sales fell in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the fourth quarter of 2017. No light side firms, on balance, reported a rise in sales in Q1
  • On an annual basis, sales decreased for 5% of heavy side firms but rose for 10% of firms on the light side, on balance
  • On balance, 37% of heavy side manufacturers anticipated a rise in sales in the next year, increasing from a zero balance in the previous quarter
  • On the light side, 16% of firms expected an increase in product sales in the next year, compared to a balance of 10% in 2017 Q4
  • Annual cost increases were reported by 90% of manufacturers on the heavy side and 79% on the light side
  • Raw materials costs rose according to 90% of heavy side manufacturers and 84% of those on the light side
  • 68% of heavy side manufacturers and 67% of light side manufacturers anticipate a rise in costs over the next 12 months.
Image: Shutterstock

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Snow stops play for the Construction sector

For the Australian cricket team, ball-tampering stopped play and halted their success, but in the construction sector snow stopped play during March! The weather in March caused the fastest drop in activity since 2016 according to the latest PMI. Hopefully, as construction workers come back to play with the improving weather output will hit the weather back over the boundary for six!

Supply chains were “woefully unprepared” for the unusually bad weather, which was the key factor behind the drop in construction output. Snow-related disruptions had a particularly bad impact on civil engineering projects, the report said.

The CIPS/IHS Markit UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 47.0 in March, down from 51.4 in February. It is the first time in six months that the index has fallen below the no-change score of 50. The index is compiled through a monthly survey of buyers – a score above 50 represents growth, while a score below indicates contraction.

Duncan Brock, group director of CIPS, said: “Snow stopped play in March, as the unseasonal weather restricted overall activity, lengthened delivery times and triggered the fastest drop in new orders since July 2016.

“It’s a few years since the UK experienced such bad weather in March, and it’s obvious that supply chains were woefully unprepared to deal with the disruptions.”

Brock added that while the March figures could be seen as a “temporary blip”, without a strong pipeline of work or strong risk strategies, the sector’s health remains in question.

While civil engineering and commercial activity were worst hit, housing became the best performer of the month. But growth here was still softer than most of 2017, likely caused by more systemic problems than the weather. Brock said: “Respondents also cited continuing Brexit-related uncertainty and disappointment over performance of the UK economy.”

There was some good news in the sector. Price inflation was the lowest since June 2016 as the impact of the weak pound has largely dissipated, and job creation was the strongest so far this year indicating optimism for the months ahead.

Manufacturing PMI figures for March were also released this week and indicated a steady rate of growth in the sector. The CIPS/IHS Markit Manufacturing PMI increased slightly to 55.1 in March, up from 55.0 in February. Brock said this was “a steady if unremarkable performance”.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Are you going to the NMBS Exhibition?

This Wednesday (11th April) sees one of the most important and popular events of the merchants' sectors calendar - The NMBS 2018 Exhibition. It will again be held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

Over 280 supplier and manufacturers are exhibiting at this years show, making it the biggest buying and selling event for Independent Builders, Hardware, Timber, Roofing, Plumbing and Heating Merchants.

This year there are many Exhibition Rebates on offer and to qualify you must ensure that you follow the simple steps correctly. The Promotional Voucher Book and Spot Buy Offers will again have many exciting offers and giveaways available at selected stands along with your free lunch and drink vouchers. To help with the planning of your visit, do take some time to look through the Show Guide at the Exhibitor list and Stand Plan as this will help you get the most out of your day.

If you are an independent merchant, make sure you attend and don't miss out. More information >>

If you are looking for a job in the builders' merchants sector, find out more here.

Friday, 6 April 2018

The number 16...

Each year on the anniversary of our establishment we like to reflect on something different to mark the occasion. This year - our 16th anniversary - we thought we’d look at the significance of the number 16.

We were amazed to discover that in Tarot the number 16 is the Tower card. So what, we hear you say!?!

Well…the Tower card symbolises great change. This could include moving on to something or someplace completely new. It also might be moving to a completely new location or another big change in life.

That is pretty spooky for a company providing recruitment services to individuals looking for new challenges and to improve their lives through making positive changes. 

But if you are looking for a change, make sure you act NOW…as in Tarot, reversed it indicates being stuck or being reluctant to make a change!

Perhaps there is something in this Tarot lark?!

16 years of helping people...
When you strip down all the misconceptions about the recruitment industry, ultimately recruitment - when done properly and with integrity - should be considered a vital human support service. 

The focus should be to help individuals achieve their dreams, reach their potential, and ensure they are able to support their families and enjoy life. And from the other side, seeing businesses grow, partially because of the calibre of people we have managed to match to their business is equally as rewarding. If that doesn’t make recruitment agency worthwhile industry, we don’t know what does. 

All the team here get a buzz when we make someone’s day by placing them in a role and at the same time solve a problem for a company. If that feeling ever stops, then we have failed our industry. 

We’d like to thank everyone who has worked for us and with us in the last 16 years.

So are you ready to gamble and shuffle your pack? 
If you would like to discuss a current recruitment requirement, please contact us on 01480 405225 or email recruit@pinnacleconsulting.co.uk

Take a look at our current vacancies >>

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Job in Focus: National Specification Sales Job for Entrance Systems - £65k

Our new Job in Focus for April is superb specification sales job selling to architects and contractors on a national basis for Auto Doors and Entrance Systems. It is a cradle to grave role targeting Architects, Contractors & Local Authorities for residential, commercial and public sector projects. The package is worth £65k plus. 

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 Ref: J10172
Product: Entrance Systems
Location: National
Salary: £65k


PACKAGE: Up to £65k + bonus + Company Car + Pension + Laptop + Iphone + Healthcare + 25 days Holiday + Bank Holiday. 

EMPLOYER: Our client is a market leading manufacturer of Automatic doors and security systems selling to Architects and contractors. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: National Sales Manager: The focus of the role is to manage a team of 5 people who will be promoting our clients top of the range of automatic doors to Architects, Main Contractors, Sub Contractors, Local Authorities and Housing Associations to generate enquiries and specifications. This will be managing projects from cradle to grave, working on commercial, residential, Education, social housing, healthcare projects. A fantastic opportunity to join a true market leader in the sector. You will also be responsible for dealing with the larger accounts and key decision makers of major projects. 

LOCATION: Covering National ideally being based commutable to London 

CANDIDATE: Our client is seeking an enthusiastic and motivated field sales individual who has experience in managing a team. A strong background in the specification environment within the construction industry and have a proven track record of sales ability and performance with experience in specifying and selling a technically biased product. 

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

Saturday, 24 March 2018

UK contract floorcoverings market worth in excess of £1bn

After achieving strong growth of 4% in 2015, growth rates in the contract floorcoverings market were slightly disappointing in 2016 and 2017. A number of factors had a negative impact on the market, including increasing inflation towards the end of the period and adverse currency movements as an indirect result of the Brexit vote, affecting imports. However, despite reduced growth rates, the value of the contract flooring market exceeded £1bn in 2017The contract sector accounts for around half of the total floorcoverings market, and its share continues to increase.

There has been only modest change to the product mix in this sector recent years. Carpet has decreased in share marginally, mainly reflecting a growth in vinyl flooring, which is now the second largest product group. The growth of vinyl has been underpinned by the increased specification of safety flooring and the more recent trend for luxury vinyl tiles to be installed in the retail and office sectors. The medium-term outlook is for similarly modest changes to the product mix, with carpet expected to continue to lose share marginally to vinyl products and floor tiles in the period to 2022.

UK manufacturers remain under pressure from imports, particularly from the larger overseas floorcoverings groups, who increasingly cover several types of floorcoverings products. However, going forward UK manufacturers should gain some competitive advantage from the increased cost of imported products, although that factor will increase the cost of any raw materials they import themselves.

Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research commented: “The contract floorcoverings market has changed significantly over the last decade. Following developments in the domestic sector, a wider range of flooring products are now included in specifications, demonstrated by a move away from carpet towards smooth flooring materials in recent years. One change has been the move to a more integrated use of different flooring materials within a single installation, possibly combining carpeting with a vinyl product, although the use of different types of vinyl has also increased, especially LVT.”

Going forward, the outlook for the overall floorcoverings market is generally optimistic, although forecasts have been lowered recently, mainly resulting from the uncertainty affecting the Brexit negotiations, and over the next five years, growth rates of 2-3% are forecast in the market. Positive factors impacting the market include opportunities for new build and RMI work in the health and education sectors.

The construction of HS2 should lead to greater demand for floorcoverings on concourses, restaurants and perhaps other establishments near the various stations. However, growth in the contract sector is expected to be adversely affected by the lack of growth in the overall construction sector in 2018 and slow growth in the following years, as a result of a decline in the private commercial construction sector.

The report is available now and can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.

Photo from Shutterstock

Monday, 19 March 2018

Positive Sales Figures for the Builders Merchant market

The latest Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) Quarter 4 report has been published and shows another set of positive sales figures for the final Quarter of 2017.  

It reflects the continued strength of the sector’s primary markets – private housebuilding and domestic repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI).

Check out the full report here >>

Total Q4 2017 sales were up +6.3% on Q4 2016, delivering stronger growth for the quarter than the running average, which in turn helped to push the annual growth numbers. Overall, merchant sales in 2017 finished 4.8% ahead of 2016 by value.

The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.

Looking at Q4 in detail, total growth was supported by the two biggest value categories, Timber & Joinery (+7.3%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.4%). A number of other product categories also assisted the strong finish, notably Plumbing, Heating & Electrical, and Tools (both up by +7.7%), Ironmongery (+7.3%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+6.6%).

Perhaps not surprisingly, growth in annual sales was also driven by the largest product groups, with Timber & Joinery at +5.4% and Heavy Building Materials at 5.1%.

December slowed in comparison to both Q4 and the annual totals, but an extra trading day in 2016 hides the true performance. Growth per trading day grew faster than the annual average at +5.7%. Timber & Joinery at +8.6% was a major contributor, but internally focused categories – Plumbing Heating and Electrical +10.1%, and Kitchens & Bathrooms +8.9% – performed strongly year-on-year.

If you would like a sales or marketing job in the builders merchants market, find out more here >>

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index grows in February (marginally)

February data pointed to a continuation of the subdued growth conditions reported across the UK construction sector at the beginning of 2018. Total business activity increased only marginally during the latest survey period, while new work decreased for the second month running.

Anecdotal evidence suggested that fragile business confidence and ongoing political uncertainty remained key factors holding back client demand. At the same time, strong input cost pressures were reported in February, with higher raw material prices, fuel bills and staff wages reported by survey respondents.

Key Findings
  • Marginal rise in total business activity, led by commercial work
  • New work declines for the second month running
  • Strong input cost inflation persists in February
At 51.4 in February, the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI® ) edged up from January’s four-month low of 50.2. This signalled a marginal increase in construction output during February, with the index also weaker than seen on average in 2017 (52.3).

Civil engineering was the worst performing category of construction work, with activity falling at the sharpest pace for five months. A soft patch for house building continued in February, meaning that residential work remained on track for its weakest quarter since Q3 2016. The main bright spot was a solid upturn in commercial construction, which expanded at the fastest rate since May 2017.

New business volumes fell during February, although the rate of decline was only marginal and slightly slower than seen at the start of the year. Survey respondents cited fragile client confidence, a headwind from political uncertainty and a continued lack of tender opportunities to replace completed work on infrastructure projects.

Weak business activity growth and lower new order volumes both weighed on input buying in February. Relatively subdued demand for construction materials helped to alleviate some of the pressure on supply chains, with the latest downturn in vendor performance the least marked since September 2016.

Input cost inflation remained strong in February, driven by higher prices paid for a range of raw materials. Survey respondents noted that increased fuel costs and greater staff wages had pushed up operating expenses. However, the overall rate of input cost inflation was much softer than the five and-a-half year peak seen at the start of 2017.

Construction companies indicated that business confidence moderated since January and was at one of the lowest levels seen in the past five years. Some firms noted that resilient UK economic conditions had supported optimism. However, there were also reports that Brexit-related uncertainty continued to influence decision making and act as a drag on the demand outlook.


Tim Moore, Associate Director at IHS Markit and author of the IHS Markit/CIPS Construction PMI® “The construction sector endured another difficult month during February, with fragile business confidence, entrenched political uncertainty and softer housing market conditions all factors keeping growth in the slow lane. Residential work appears on track to experience its weakest quarter since Q3 2016, suggesting that house building is losing its status as the main engine of construction growth.

“Civil engineering activity was the worst performing category in February, with survey respondents again commenting on a shallow pool of work to replace projects reaching completion. While subdued house building and infrastructure work acted as a brake on the construction sector, this was partly offset by a sustained turnaround in commercial building.

“The increase in work on commercial projects during February was one of the strongest seen over the past two years. Some construction firms noted that greater industrial demand, alongside structural changes in consumer spending habits, had contributed to new project opportunities.

“Despite pockets of resilience in the UK construction sector, there was little sign of an imminent turnaround in overall growth momentum. Reflecting this, total volumes of new work dropped for the second month running in February and business optimism was among the weakest recorded by the survey since 2013.”

Duncan Brock, Director of Customer Relationships at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “The sector was feeling as flat as a pancake in February with falls in new orders for the second month in a row and with just a marginal rise in overall activity, as ongoing political and economic uncertainty shouldered the blame.

“Cost pressures continued to creep up and bear down on purchasing activity as raw materials became even more expensive and in shorter supply, and vendor performance degraded again impacting on the completion of projects. A talent shortage also gave staff the power to demand higher wages, adding to the overall cost burdens for business.

“Housing bore the brunt of this disappointing performance, though there was a weak improvement this month. With the Government’s intention to increase housing stocks, there will have to be a boost to the sector’s fortune for these two trajectories to align.

“Overall, the only glimmer of hope through the masonry came from the commercial sector, with the strongest bounceback since May 2017 after languishing in the doldrums these past few months. And continued job creation was the biggest surprise as survey respondents may be preparing for stronger than expected workflows.

“But with the sector’s optimism taking a tumble below its five-year trend, and without the reality of a strong pipeline of work to support activity, it will take more than spring sunshine to thaw the sector’s prospects next month.”

Photo from Shutterstock

Thursday, 8 March 2018

International Women's Day! Success in Recruitment - Natalie Matthews

Just over a year ago we promoted former journalist, Natalie Matthews to our become our new Business Manager. We are delighted to say she has been a fantastic appointment and is thriving in the role. As today is International Women's Day, we look back to her thoughts when she was appointed.

Recruitment agencies need to recruit too, and we experience the same challenges, frustrations and disappointments as everyone else.

Like anyone recruiting, we need to find the best and most appropriate fit for our business, enabling us to thrive, whilst maintaining our in-house philosophy and integrity.

It’s vitally important that the person we recruit to lead our Consultants shares our values.

An excellent indicator that the recruiter has got it right is when an internal promotion takes place. It is not only a reward for the hard work of the employee, but the recruiter also benefits from the valuable experience that person has of your company, which means newcomers can be effectively integrated into the team.

Natalie was recently promoted to Business Manager and as part of our desire to give people an insight into the workings of a recruitment agency, we caught up with her to find out more.

“I had no idea what to expect!”

An excellent trait of a recruitment consultant is being able to spot potential. Helping candidates identify how their existing skills are either relevant or transferable to succeed in roles they might not have considered is a rare and valuable talent. We identified this in Natalie when we recruited her six years ago.

“I joined as a Trainee Consultant from a journalism background with no previous sales or recruitment training. I was a Senior Reporter for a local newspaper, where one day I could be covering a cheetah escaping from a zoo and the next accompanying police on early morning drug raids.

“When I joined Pinnacle I had no idea what to expect, but I was given first-class training and support, which I continue to receive, and this is invaluable as I am now able to pass this onto the team.”

One thing that often people don’t realise is how diverse, challenging and rewarding the role of a recruitment consultant can be.

“You have to develop trusting relationships with clients and candidates, making sure you understand candidates’ knowledge, personality and aspirations, as well as understanding the recruiting company’s needs, culture and future direction.

“You learn diplomacy, empathy and the importance of communication and honesty being the best policy. It is a real buzz knowing you’ve helped someone, but it is equally important not to shy away from providing honest feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

Integrity is vital in recruitment

So what does Natalie’s new role involve and how does she hope to take it forward?

“This is my first step into management and I am really excited about it, although I see the role as more of a mentor, being on hand to support and develop the team, enabling us to be even more successful.

“Our consultants are dedicated and take pride in their job. They care about the candidates and clients they work with and strive to provide the best possible level of service. I'm exceptionally proud to work with such a team and for an agency that has built up a fantastic reputation over the last 16 years based on integrity.

“We view placements on a long-term basis, and a large proportion of the people we place go on to become our clients. Our client list is a testament to our place in the market as the leading specialist agency for the placement of sales, sales management and marketing professionals within the building products sector.

“We are proud of our many recommendations and referrals and I will endeavour to reach out to companies and candidates that are yet to benefit from our specialist service.”

The challenges

The construction industry has, and will, continue to experience challenging times including recession, recovery and Brexit. The employees of companies are the people who can help make a difference, but good employees are hard to find as Natalie explains.

“Good candidates aren’t readily available. This means that these are frustrating times for those recruiting, but working with Pinnacle as an industry specialist means our extensive candidate network and tools at our disposal means we can help.”

It is important to remember that a reputable agency wants to develop long-term and successful relationships.

“We realise that finding the right person as quickly as possible who will add value to your company is vitally important.”

Everyone at Pinnacle would like to wish Natalie continued success. Please feel free to contact her on 01480 405225 or via natalie@pinnacleconsulting.co.uk if you have a current recruitment requirement, either as a client or as a candidate. She is no longer available to assist on early morning drugs raids, though!

International Women's Day and the Young Women's Trust (BMF)

To celebrate International Women's Day, we'd like to remind everyone of a fantastic initiative set-up by the BMF.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has signed up to the Young Women's Trust employer pledge and aims to double the number of women and girls entering the merchant industry by 2020.

This is great news and only goes to confirm the increasing amount of women we are placing in sales and marketing jobs in the building and construction industry in recent times.

It is a shame that presently only 11% of merchanting apprentices are female, but the BMF announcement - following figures released by CITB which show that 232,000 jobs will be created in construction industry over the next 5 years and the findings of the charity the Young Women's Trust which has found that over 1 million women aged between 16 and 30 are in poorly paid roles and looking for work - is perfect timing and very encouraging.

BMF managing director John Newcomb, said: "Merchanting is a fantastic career with great progression and I want to open up the sector to more women across the country. This is a huge opportunity for our members who need a full mix of skills and experience in their branches and I am certain that we will meet, if not exceed, our ambitious target." 

A recent survey by the Young Women's Trust found that occupational segregation by gender is significant and is going backwards. For example, women comprise 94% of childcare apprenticeships but just under 4% of all engineering apprenticeships. These sectors are generally lower paid with women on apprenticeships earning on average 21% less than men on comparable apprenticeships. 

The BMF is already targeting women through its youth recruitment campaign, a central point of which is the website www.merchant-recruitment.co.uk which features several young women who are already making their mark in the industry. 

The BMF has now signed up to the following pledge: "The BMF recognises the value of gender diversity and will take action to increase the representation of young women in our apprenticeship programmes." 

If you would like a career in sales and marketing in the building industry, contact us today on 01480 405225 or recruit@pinnacleconsulting.co.uk

Images: BMF

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Financial Concerns Hit Construction’s Largest Sectors

The proportion of companies in the construction supply chain struggling with rising costs for raw materials, labour and energy has remained elevated in each quarter in 2017 according to the Construction Products Association's Construction Trade Survey for 2017 Q4.

The survey found that although activity continued to increase for main contractors, SME builders, product manufacturers and specialist contractors during the quarter, civil engineering firms reported the first fall in workloads in four years. Net balances for orders, enquiries and expected product sales for the year ahead weakened, and contractors reported lower orders in the commercial, infrastructure, industrial and public non-housing sectors. Combined, these sectors account for over 40% of total construction output.

Rises in fuel and energy costs were prevalent among heavy side product manufacturers, reflecting the lagged impact of Sterling's depreciation during 2016 on hedged commodity prices. This, in combination with existing price pressures for raw materials and labour, has intensified the cost inflation passing through the supply chain. Overall, costs were reported higher for 82% of civil engineering contractors, whilst raw materials increased for 82% of main contractors and 91% of light side product manufacturers.

Commenting on the survey, Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the CPA, said: "The Q4 survey marked the fourth consecutive quarter of falling profit margins among building contractors. This combined with Carillion's liquidation at the start of this year only emphasises the financial strains exerted by a protracted period of rising costs passing through the supply chain. Falls in new orders reported in the four sizeable sectors of commercial, infrastructure, industrial and public non-housing add another downside to the outlook for 2018 given the early signs of slowing activity at the end of last year."

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: "Smaller building firms in the construction sector fared well in the final three months of last year. The latest figures demonstrate an underlying resilience in the industry with many firms reporting increased workloads and an increase in enquiries. However, now is no time for complacency as growth among construction SMEs is slowing. Firms have reported record highs in terms of problems hiring skilled trades such as bricklayers, carpenters and plasterers. With Brexit just around the corner, this problem could well be exacerbated if our access to skilled EU workers is diminished. What's more, the acute skills gap has caused salaries to spike and material prices remain high. Together these factors are squeezing margins for smaller builders."

CECA Director of External Affairs, Marie-Claude Hemming, said: "These disappointing figures show that more must be done to unlock planned infrastructure investment and bring schemes to market. CECA calls on Government to do more, by committing to projects outlined in the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, and to continue to develop projects to add to this pipeline to secure the future of the UK economy. Our hopes are that the decline in workloads during 2017 Q4 is representative of a pause in activity, rather than a sign of broader decline."

Key survey findings include:

  • On balance, 22% of main building contractors reported that construction output rose in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with a year ago
  • One-third of specialist contractors reported a rise in output during Q4
  • 4% of civil engineers, on balance, reported a decrease in workloads during Q4
  • On balance, 20% of SME contractors reported increased workloads in Q4 compared to three months earlier
  • Main contractors reported that order books were lower in industrial, commercial and public non-housing
  • 10% of civil engineering firms reported a decrease in new orders in Q4, on balance
  • 15% of SMEs and half of specialist contractors reported an increase in enquiries in Q4, on balance
  • Overall costs increased for 82% of civil engineering contractors, whilst 82% of main contractors, 87% of heavy side manufacturers and 91% of light side manufacturers reported raw materials costs rose in Q4
  • 17% of main contractors and specialist contractors reported a fall in profit margins in Q4

Monday, 5 March 2018

Job in Focus: Regional Sales Manager in North for Interior Fit-out Products via Specification

Our new Job in Focus for March is an exciting Regional Sales Manager's position for interior fit-out Products in the North. Targeting the specification market, you will have 3 sales reports and will be responsible for guidance, budgets, negotiation and key account management. £50k plus superb 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: Regional Sales Manager
Job Ref: J10066
Product: Building Products
Location: North
Salary: £50k

Manufacturer of interior fit-out products targeting the specification market 

Basic salary of up to £50K with 20% bonus plus company car, mobile, laptop, pension and additional company benefits. 

EMPLOYER: Our client is a leading European manufacturer of interior fit-out products with an excellent reputation for cutting-edge technology and innovative new product development. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: Regional Sales Manager: The successful candidate will have 3 field sales reports. This is a senior level management position with the person responsible for ensuring that the team deliver on targets and providing guidance and direction. Covering the company's full range of high quality fit out products. Responsibilities including day-to-day leading and supporting the team, budget negotiation, sales forecasting and key account management working with supply chain customers. The main customer base for this division is in the specification sector targeting architects. 

LOCATION: Field based covering the North including West Midlands, East Midlands, North West and North East including Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Staffordshire 

CANDIDATE: We are seeking a highly motivated individual with experience managing a field sales team. This person should also have knowledge of the construction market and be used to negotiating at senior level with architects within the construction market. 

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

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Meet us at KBB or Ecobuild 2018 to discuss your career

Two of the best trade exhibitions in the building and construction industry are almost here. First, the KBB show and then quickly followed by Ecobuild - perhaps too quickly! Not the best of planning by the organisers in all reality (again). However, it is important we support these fantastic exhibitions and help ensure they're part of our calendar for many years to come. Take the time out to visit and catch up on the latest products and developments.

Our building industry recruitment consultants will also be attending these shows, so if you would like to meet up to discuss your career opportunities or if you are a company looking to recruit and are able to take some time out to discuss your needs, then contact us to arrange a confidential meeting on 01480 405225 or by email recruit@pinnacleconsulting.co.uk

4th - 7th March

kbb (Kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms)
NEC, Birmingham

kbb Birmingham is the UK’s largest gathering of the world’s most exciting kbb brands. It is one the UK's most vibrant shows and focused on an industry everyone can relate to, as it is such a visible part of all our homes and places of work and leisure.

kbb is the unrivalled platform for architects, interior designers, retailers, contractors, plumbers and developers to network, source and specify the latest kitchen, bedroom and bathroom products.

Search for the latest KBB sales jobs.

6th - 8th March
ExCeL, London

As well as hundreds of exhibitors, you can also:
  • Attend high-quality conference sessions for free. The ecobuild conference takes its lead from global environmental targets. Hear from leading figures including Paula Caballero, journalists Polly Toynbee and Rowan Moore; campaigner Tony Juniper, Baroness Young of Old Scone and John Elkington
  • Discover all communities that make up the built environment in a series of themed future build districts with inspiring features and seminars.
  • Take part in facilitated networking like you’ve never experienced before
  • Find curated product galleries from key industry influencers
  • Source products and solutions from hundreds of progressive suppliers
  • Gain CPD points from nine educational programmes

Pinnacle Consulting - recruitment for the building products sector
If you 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 and building products jobs.

Monday, 26 February 2018

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

It is coming up to exhibition season and it reminded us at Pinnacle of that much-discussed topic of if exhibitions are still worth it for manufacturers and merchants in building and construction industry?

Many of our clients, who we provide sales and marketing recruitment services to in the construction industry are beginning to question whether their funds can be spent better elsewhere, whereas some still benefit greatly from trade shows.

Construction products' Marketing Managers usually breathe a huge sigh of relief when a major exhibition has finished and then many Sales professionals become eager to start working their way through the wheat and chaff of the leads generated.

And then, of course, there are the 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 are trade exhibitions really still worth the investment 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.

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.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Superb Director's Position in KBB sector - £60k + bonus

Our new Job in Focus is a National UK Director role working for a company producing High-end Porcelain Tiles & KBB Products - £60k+ bonus. You would responsible for Sales, Admin, Operations, Marketing, and HR. You will lead the development the UK Sales of this European manufacturer in bathroom sector

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: UK Director
Job Ref: J10008
Product: Ceramic Tiles
Location: National
Salary: £60k

UK Director vacancy working for a high-end porcelain tiles and bathroom products manufacturer 

Basic Salary £50,000 to £60,000 plus 20% bonus, company car, phone, laptop, 30 days holidays and pension. 

Role: UK Director - This role is vital for our client as they are looking for a candidate that will be given the task of growing its UK Business. This person will be fully responsible for our clients business in the UK which will include everything from management and recruitment of the sales, admin and warehouse staff, HR responsibilities, marketing, business strategy and general business management on a day to day basis. You will be supported by our clients head office and work closely with senior members of the management team in Europe. 

Location: National Coverage but ideally in West Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Leicestershire or Worcestershire 

Candidate: Our client is looking for a candidate who has a background of managing a sales team as well as being involved in all other aspects of running a business within the tile and bathroom or closely related product sectors. 

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

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Show your love for the Construction Industry today

To celebrate St. Valentine's day, we thought we'd celebrate the building and construction industry, especially why we love working in it.

We have produced a guide, detailing some reasons why we think it is possibly the best industry in the world to work in. Download it here. Let us know what you think.

Photo from Shutterstock