Lynn Street, Sales & Marketing Manager Midland Lead is BMBI’s Expert for Lead.
The last few months have seen continued growth in the construction sector, but high demand is in stark contrast to staff shortages, logistics problems and price fluctuations.
Our industry is still in a transitional period and no company is unaffected. We’ve also yet to see the full impact of the widening gap between demand and supply, with staff shortages in manufacturing, construction and retail, and a lack of drivers in distribution companies.
Brexit was a huge disrupter in the distribution of raw materials and delivery of products, but that has now settled down as we have all got to grips with the additional legislation and paperwork. However, we are still reacting to unforeseen circumstances such as the ping-demic that recently affected workforces. Coupled with construction’s well-documented skills shortage this is extremely testing.
It is reported that the UK needs an additional 100,000 drivers, and the whole supply chain is affected. We don’t have a problem sourcing raw materials (lead), but our sector is moving towards its busiest quarter. Logistics companies, manufacturers, customers, and end-users all need to work closely together, and communicate effectively, to mitigate the challenges that we will be facing for some time to come.
Midland Lead’s sales are also continuing to increase, and we expect we will have a good year no matter what is thrown at us. Many of our customers are in the same position. But housebuilders and main contractors are still trying to drive prices down when they know that material prices are rising, and deliveries are delayed.
There is little we can do in the short term about distribution problems, but we can keep customers updated, so they can update their customers. Short term the focus is on being agile and responsive, and working together to keep the supply chain moving. However, companies must keep looking at the long term and have a solid business strategy that keeps the future in focus.