Will your businesses catch a break anytime soon?

It seems there isn’t any let up right now for the construction industry and for our members. Every time we appear to turn a corner, we seem to meet another obstacle and have to find a way to navigate around it.

The past 18 months has tested every business. First it was Coronavirus. The period of extreme uncertainty, worry and stress was all encompassing and felt never ending. Managing a safe return to the workplace, imposing and working around restrictions, and creating different ways of working has been a constant preoccupation that most have navigated amazingly well.

Materials shortage, staycations & the ‘pingdemic’

Then came the materials shortage. Another uphill climb as many of our members faced a shortage of supplies and basic materials. Everything from cement and plaster through to replacement vans and cars, has become a lengthy and stressful challenge.

As the summer months approached and we looked forward to our ‘staycations’, the pandemic swiftly became the ‘pingdemic’. Keeping people at work long enough to get anything done while juggling people who needed to take a well earned break, was and remains an HR headache.

Skilled contractors, poaching & a fuel shortage

Finding people is always difficult but never more so than now. We’ve touched on the subject of staff retention in previous blogs but keeping hold of good employees is increasingly difficult. Rising salary expectations, coupled with outside agencies ‘poaching’ qualified staff and a lack of people in the labour market is another tough challenge, and for some, presents the biggest block on growth and profitability.

The fuel shortage is our most recent stress. Most of our businesses and our extended supply chains are dependent on road traffic – not being able to get to site and battling with the impact of late or cancelled deliveries, is a shocker!

PCA members are incredibly resilient

We don’t see a return to “normal” market conditions any time soon and who knows where the next curveball will come from, but we do know one thing – PCA members are proving incredibly resilient. Order books look pretty good for now and for the most part your businesses seem to be coping, some of you are even thriving.

We at the PCA will continue to scan the horizon for threats and opportunities and do all we can to inform, promote, and look after members, through whatever comes our way…

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