What affect has the awful weather had on business?, asks Steve Rogan
The good ole English weather is surpassing itself this year and with the building and construction industry finally on the up, it is typical that something like this comes along to do its best to dampen our optimism.
If further downpours are on their way, it is likely that flooding in many areas of the UK could well get worse. There are many building sites still facing battles to keep sites safe and intact, let alone even thinking about actually continuing with proper building work.
When the rain hasn’t been a problem, the wind has howled, also bringing work to a grinding halt. We know that some sites have been badly affected and products have also been flood damaged or simply blown away. At least contractors have been kept busy, but not in the way they’d expected.
It is not just on building sites where there has been a problem, the infrastructure of the UK has also been hit and this has caused stock or production problems for merchants and manufacturers of building products.
A manufacturer or merchant may be inaccessible to receive deliveries due to flooding in their area, but even those not physically affected are being hit, as the suppliers they get stock or raw materials from are affected, meaning they suffer too. It has been a vicious circle.
Once the Spring arrives and the better weather allows for sustained work to progress, everyone will be catching up, but with contractors already in short supply and problems with the supply of some building products – especially bricks and blocks – it is set to be a frantic next few months.
No doubt insurance companies will be the winners again and will increase their premiums etc. on building sites, warehouses, manufacturing sites and merchants’ premises – especially those who have been seriously affected with flood, stock or structural damage.
With unusable products on-site, the time and replenishment cost is not welcome, especially when momentum in the industry is increasing. Even the possible bonus to some manufacturers and merchants of replacement stock orders is of little comfort, as it puts added pressure on production and lead-times, just to make up for the short-fall.
There is also the human side of the story – the people who have lost jobs, homes and even loved ones. However, as often in times of great distress and chaos, the human side has also demonstrated how people come together to help each other. It is shame that the same can’t be said of those in power during this crisis.
Perhaps we will all soon be using our products and skills to build arks!
Steve Rogan is managing director of Pinnacle Consulting, specialist recruitment consultants for the building products industry.