Expert for Natural stone & porcelain paving

Krystal Williams

Managing Director

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Krystal Williams

Krystal has extensive commercial experience in the landscaping and building materials sector, working with leading brands of aggregates, stone and concrete paving since 2003. She joined Pavestone in 2017 and was promoted to Managing Director of the company’s landscaping division in 2019.

Krystal’s commercial acumen, vision of the future and strategic thinking has helped drive Pavestone’s growth and market leading position in a fast-paced sector.

Pavestone

Pavestone is a leading hard landscaping supplier of natural stone and man-made paving products, serving independent builders’ merchants across the UK.

For nearly 20 years, the privately owned business has been synonymous for elegant products, manufactured from the highest quality materials and to relevant British Quality Standards.

Its natural stone landscaping products originate from many countries around the world. The stone is ethically sourced from audited, long standing supply partners and to exact specifications.

Pavestone’s manufacturing facilities are located in Chipping Campden (Gloucestershire) and Burford (Oxfordshire), where it makes most of its made-made landscaping products using local Cotswold stone. The electricity used to power Pavestone’s production machinery, light, heat and general power is supplied from renewable resources that include wind turbines and hydro-electric schemes.

In addition to its own manufactured products, the company also supplies the finest and most innovative European landscaping products through commercial partnerships with world class concrete and porcelain manufacturers.

Visit: www.pavestone.co.uk

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/pavestone-uk-limited

Twitter: @Pavestone

Pavestone Comment: Q1 2021

Krystal Williams, Managing Director Pavestone, is BMBI’s Expert for Natural Stone & Porcelain Paving.

First quarter market demand is significantly ahead of last year, with volumes more than double compared to Q1 2020. During the first and third lockdowns, homeowners have been spending big on their outdoor spaces and we are hearing that many landscapers have full order books to Christmas 2021.

This unprecedented demand has brought immense challenges. We have seen threefold increases in shipping costs, still poised to rise further, as well as container shortages and port congestion limiting exportable volumes and resulting in surcharges on (what feels like) a weekly basis.

Within the industry there are mixed opinions about whether the high shipping costs will last. Some feel the inflated costs and disruptions will be the new normal for the UK for the next few years, while others hope things might settle down by the new year.

To add to the industry’s woes, most of the UK’s sandstone comes from India and with the country battling to bring COVID infection rates under control, our partners on the ground estimate that just 30% of workers are available as many have entered voluntary self-isolation or forced lockdown. The labour shortage affects the stone processing volume, the timber used for the packaging and available transportation to port. The result has been increased procurement prices.

We are hopeful that India’s ports and factories can avoid a national lockdown, and supplies will still get through albeit at a very reduced rate. But if they do have to close, there will be even more stock issues, with pressure on manufacturers reliant on product they only have on the water (4-5 weeks in most cases).

While supply is challenging, we are encouraging merchants to move away from just-in-time and start planning, and to explore more stable alternatives such as porcelain. Alongside India, porcelain is mostly imported from Italy and Poland, which avoids cheap but unsuitable (not anti-slip) products from Turkey and Egypt.

Increased demand has broadened the scope of what homeowners will look for and what merchants can sell and achieve with landscaping products. The boundaries have been pushed and hopefully this will continue.