Midland Lead Comment: Q1 2020

Lynn Street, Sales & Marketing Manager Midland Lead is BMBI’s Expert for Lead.

The last few months have been challenging at best, confusing at worst and the whole supply chain has been affected. For our industry the COVID-19 lockdown, announced on the 23rd March, meant that many companies needed to adapt to change quickly and drastically.

Due to the ambiguity of Government guidelines, and the need to protect the welfare of employees, many construction firms and builders’ merchants had no choice but to temporarily close their doors and halt projects. The industry is not only affected by less demand in some areas, but many production lines could not operate to their full capacity due to ensuring the welfare and safety of staff.

Here at Midland Lead the welfare, health and safety of our team is the most important factor in steadily returning to a ‘new normal’. Production lines have continued to run with specific measures in place and orders have steadily started to increase.

We remain strong and confident, clear communications with customers has been crucial throughout the whole process as they introduced varying opening times while they tackled staff shortages and additional safety measures. Many business plans will be re-written, and with an unpredictable few months ahead, business models will need to adapt to being responsive to many external factors.

Although we know that e-commerce and good websites are a sound investment, it is now an absolute necessity to have an increased online presence. We have seen many merchants that already had a strong online presence flourish, and long may this continue.

The construction industry has faced many challenges, but none quite so exceptional and unpredictable as the one we continue to face right now. However, our sector is resilient, and we remain positive that we will continue to adjust over the next few months.

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Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.