One thing's for sure, PR generated during the pandemic has left a positive impression on both the construction and building product industries.
2020 had been a huge strain on everyone concerned, with workers either left worrying about their futures or departments left under resourced for the amount of work on. For many the Christmas break provided some time for relief from the noise.
Irrespective of your political stance, it was fantastic to hear that Boris and Brussels had reached an agreement on Christmas eve.
From speaking with leaders within both building materials and construction, the strain of leaving the EU had been mounting for some time. Two years ago I placed an MD within a structural materials business, reporting back into central European owners. Within this country they only assemble from parts brought over. Even when he started they were having to make contingency plans for a no deal and invested in an extra warehouse to stock products.
Just prior to the break I took instruction from a brand leading manufacturer within the industry for a newly created Supply Chain & Logistics Director role. Listening to the MD the upheaval caused when trying to source component level products globally has been catastrophic. And all this when he's been trying to circumnavigate the businesses way through a pandemic.
Forecasting has been hugely problematic for everyone of late. At least now the industry will not have to factor in additional tariffs or custom duties. Additionally, the pound has stabilised due to damping of a no deal Brexit.
Our industry is set to continue to play a crucial role in the UK's recovery from last year. The UK government have promised to invest heavily in infrastructure projects, plus there's the ongoing need to "keep Britain building" and invest in sustainable alternatives; all potentially creating thousands of new jobs for people.
Fantastic news I'd say!
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was negotiated in nine months—much faster than the typical trade deal—and respects the major red lines of both parties. The EU avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland and preserves the “four freedoms” of its cherished single market: free movement of goods, services, capital, and people.