This is a regular monthly featured article in our Clippings & Musings series by our Editor Helen Duval

Another excellent exhibition season looms on the horizon and already the FIT show is talking about important topics of the moment for the glazing sector. Industry leaders are looking at the event as a positive way to generate leads and inspire investment regarding new and improved solutions for the market that will be pivotal for everyone in the sector moving forward. Undoubtedly it will be a great show and well worth a visit to the NEC in May this year. Put the dates in your diary!

Earlier in the year there will also be some excellent opportunities to sample the best the industry has to offer with Vision 2019, Futurebuild 2019 and the Home Renovation Show promising great things to make life easier for builders and installers in relation to product design. It is hoped, commercial and domestic sectors will be energised by positive developments due to be introduced that will spark debate as the industry continues to evolve.

The needs of the consumer and the energy conscious developer will be a focus so it will be interesting to discover the latest trends and the views of the speakers as they focus on the materials, practices and thinking which could shape our future living.

Smart buildings and associated technologies that operate without human intervention continue to be a topic that cause much discussion.

Let’s talk Labour

Sadly, the skills shortage continues to hamper growth across the sector and it still appears to be driv-ing up wages throughout the construction industry to far above the national average. This situation could potentially put more of the government’s biggest housing and infrastructure programmes at risk, with a considerable amount of construction professionals still citing labour shortages as a sig-nificant growth barrier. Bricklayers and quantity surveyors remain in short supply according to recent news.

Hot Topics

There are some extremely thought provoking issues raised on DGB at the moment and they do make you sit and think about the massive shifts that could occur within the sector, depending on adherence to industry legislation, Brexit, quality standards and naturally, that all important end user.

Irrespective of our position on Brexit, which seems to offer new scares and options in relation to business on almost a daily basis, surely what we should be geared towards is a new, better and brighter perspective for the country as we move forward?

Economically, there is huge uncertainty that leaves people questioning direction, but the sector as a whole remains driven to succeed, particularly when its back is against the wall. Looking back to 2008 when a recession hit hard, there were some very focused individuals who surfaced like phoenix and began to reshape the industry as it struggled to cope and these people today continue to set bench-marks.

Stay Focused

Marketing helped to drive things forward, embracing new technologies that could help steer the sector and this is still the case now. A slick strategy helps everyone gain ground. So what are the best routes these days? Naturally, websites, social media and blogs help here,… they are fast and very effective. Likewise, well designed POS material that simply and easily sells the merits of a range in a way that is most useful to the installer has to be a great method of bringing things into focus for investors. Knowing how your customer works is pivotal – we are at a crux when it comes to genera-tional business development.

Grasping a new way to work is not always easy, yet that is something this industry can relate to with the tenacity of its motivators and leaders as well as its ability to innovate and reinvigorate enthusiasm about an ever changing market.

Getting The Message Out There

Obviously I’m in favour of online news portals for many reasons.

Online media, news and shopping is now leading the way when it comes to news, information and developing industrial arenas. It changes our lives on almost a daily basis and mostly for the better. Tighter legislation is bringing into check fraudulent and abusive behaviour, so to get the word out there has never been such a beneficial tool. Online publishing and promotion is more ecologically friendly, which just has to be a superb benefit to the planet. Personally, I would far rather have 100 emails cluttering up my inbox daily, than one unwanted piece of a paperchain through my letterbox that has caused the felling of a tree. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good read and a well tailored brochure because I remember it….but millennials are growing tired of this route to promote a business and they are the next generation of business leaders.

‘Our printing press is the internet. Our coffee houses are now Social Media.’ I have quoted journalist Heather Brookes before, but she is so right. From a publishing point of view, it does make me smile when people criticise the online news forums and publishing houses – particularly when it seems to be the first route they choose to fire off angry messages or even promotions about the benefits in their opinion, of not using it. Hilarious, …but I suspect people are grasping that!

Online technology has the ability to change thought processes in a nanosecond. No matter how peo-ple struggle against it, the internet and its associated technology is here. It is not going anywhere. It is growing and it is adapting to the needs of the user in business and private lives on a daily ba-sis,…and mostly for the better.

Helen Duval 2019