The construction industry had a busy summer, with a great deal of confidence returning to the sector. Mike Beard, Merchant Development Director for Encon Insulation and BMBI Expert, discusses how merchants can make the most of the increase in demand.
It’s been a topsy-turvy year for house builders and construction in general. Early in the year the weather was appalling, with the ‘Beast from the East’ reportedly accounting for up to 30 days lost on many building sites. Since then the UK has had a glorious summer — and not just in terms of the weather, but in the fact that the construction industry has been making up for that lost time.
As the UK’s leading independent distributor of insulation, we’ve had a front row seat in watching this rise in demand, which has seen strong sales in this sector. In fact, I believe the weather over the last 12 months has helped to show the true benefit of good insulation standards — keeping the warm air inside in the winter and allowing the opposite in the summer!
I’m sure many of you have also noticed the increase in construction sites over the last few months across the bulk of the country — the government is pushing harder than ever to build much-needed new homes, and the CPA recently predicted a 5% increase in private housing output “with demand for new build underpinned by the support of Help to Buy through to March 2021.”
The good news is, any increase in new build housing inevitably leads to more business down the line for builders’ merchants. People moving into a new home tend to want to make it their own, eventually looking to improve, extend and add to their property. And that’s where local merchants who are on the ball can really feel the benefit.
Home improvements and extensions offer you the ideal chance to sell Value Added Products. In the case of insulation, for example, Actis and YBS are perfect for room-in-roof projects, Knauf Aquapanel and Perfialsa Perfiboard are ideal for bathrooms or wet rooms, and Knauf DriTherm and Superglass Cavity Wall insulation are great in an extension. All offer merchants an excellent sales opportunity and greater profit — making this a sales opportunity not to be missed.
Naturally, these aren’t the only products available. Working with a major distributor like Encon gives you a vast range of alternative insulation options for any given project — and it’s the distributor who should be able to put you in the driving seat in terms of choosing the right product or products, both for the specific job and for your business’s bottom line.
Their knowledge of the Building Regulations is vital, as they’re now putting more and more emphasis on the tighter specification of products to make sure they perform on site. The distributor’s expertise will prove invaluable in making sure you offer your customers the right solution for the right project too. And their support, both technical and marketing, can make a huge difference in making that sale.
The best distributors will go even further of course, and offer independent merchants a whole host of other benefits. At Encon, we’re totally committed to helping independent merchants succeed — which is why we created Choice, our dedicated scheme designed to help merchants improve their sales and profits.
It offers a unique package of benefits, which have already helped many builders’ merchants boost their sales of insulation.
Through Encon Choice, we work with each merchant as part of their team — forming a true partnership with you, passing on active sales leads to help generate new business and providing tailored offers and marketing support to give you the right tools to promote the right products to the right market.
Choice also offers you complete technical support, available whenever you need it, to make sure the solutions you provide meet the right performance criteria, together with extensive product training to provide your staff with the technical knowledge they need to advise your customers and offer a better service.
And in terms of Value Added Products, Choice means you’ll be offered the latest products ahead of your competitors, to give you a definite sales advantage.
With the increase in activity amongst house builders resulting in construction of new houses rising at the fastest rate since 2015, packages such as Encon Choice are invaluable for any merchant looking to make the most of the renewed confidence in the new build housing sector. Especially as product availability has started to become an issue in certain key areas, such as glass and rock mineral wool.
But when you work with a major distributor like Encon, you have access to plenty of choice — whatever is happening in the market.