John Sinfield, Chairman of the Construction Products Association (CPA), has announced three strategic objectives for the organisation and revealed its new logo.
Speaking before an audience of 500 senior industry leaders and government officials at the association’s recent Spring lunch, John Sinfield, Managing Director of Knauf Insulation for Northern Europe, said: “My compliments to CPA Chief Executive Diana Montgomery and her team for the new look to the logo and the new website. The change is more than skin deep as there has been significant effort put in behind the scenes to rethink and refocus the CPA’s objectives and strategy. More than ever these are clearly centred on responding to the needs of you, the members, and helping your business to succeed.”
John went on to announce the three new strategic objectives: Increasing Recognition for the Industry, Growing the Market and Reducing Regulatory Risk.
On the issue of increasing recognition, he explained that the CPA is known as the voice of this industry, commenting: “That’s a turn of phrase that sometimes gets overused, but as the umbrella trade association representing 85% by value of all the manufacturers and merchants, we have a clear mandate from our members. This support, together with our expertise and insight, means we are often the first point of contact for politicians, civil servants and the media seeking information and advice about policies that affect not only your business but the wider construction supply chain too.”
In terms of its role in growing the market, the skills shortage was a key factor. John noted: “We have put the CPA at the heart of efforts to study this problem and find effective, practical solutions. We have started a pilot project with the help of CITB and a small number of our members to see if we can put ‘product-user training’ on a more formal footing with nationally recognised qualifications. By doing so, we will not only ensure our products are being installed correctly by qualified individuals, but the builders and tradespeople would be better trained, with more flexible and professional credentials; all of which should in turn improve productivity and ultimately grow our market.”
John also highlighted BIM and digitalisation as a “key area which will determine growth opportunities.” He went on to say: “Here too, the CPA has been leading on behalf of manufacturers and distributors to prepare for this, and we are now working to develop the next steps to BIM Level 3. We lobbied hard for government’s continued support to Level 3, and so were very pleased to see the recent Budget commitment; while the £15 million investment may seem slight in quantity the signal it sends to industry is in fact strong and appreciated.
“But more broadly, digitalisation, with its demand for collaboration and innovation, plays to our strengths as an industry. As the year progresses, you will hear more about some potentially game-changing developments which the CPA is driving, including Project Data Templates and Digital Object Identifiers.”
On the issue of regulatory risk John noted: “Not long ago the CPA published a report which studied the factors underpinning investment in our industry. Our research identified 132 current and pending UK and EU policies and regulations impacting our business, not even counting health and safety, human resources, finance or transportation.
“The sheer number and complexity of these policies and regulations is a risk in itself to business. Added to this are the growing complications arising from the need to harmonise regulations both with the EU and the increasingly influential devolved regions in the UK.
“This is another area where, I believe, the CPA really delivers, though it is not always obvious. Again, a tremendous amount of work is done behind the scenes, day in, day out. Protecting our members’ interests. Minimising barriers to doing business and seeking opportunities in the way new regulations are set out. Most importantly though, we try to ensure policies are effective, clearly defined, consistent and have a long-term future.”
Also at the AGM, two new Officers were formally elected to the CPA’s Executive Committee – John Newcomb, MD of the Builders Merchants Federation and Stephen Harrison, MD at Forterra. Both replace outgoing Officers, Ray Horwood (recently retired as CEO of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors) and Peter Hindle (recently retired as Senior Vice President for Saint-Gobain).
For more information, and to read John Sinfield’s speech in full, visit www.constructionproducts.org.uk