Industry News

BWF Joinery State of Trade Survey: Sales volume and Costs rise in Q2 2017

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has released the results of its Joinery State of Trade Survey Q2 2017.

The consultation shows that, although rising raw materials costs and labour availability are exerting pressure on joinery manufacturers, the industry is optimistic over sales figures and product investment opportunities.

In details, key points from the BWF Joinery State of Trade Survey Q2 2017 include:

- A balance of 42% of respondents reported an increase in sales volumes over the last quarter, with 52% reporting an increase over the last year. This corresponds with the 14% of respondents reporting a quarterly increase in the previous survey.

- Manufacturers felt that sales volumes would improve in the next quarter, with a balance of 61% predicting an increase for Q3 2017 and a balance of 60% predicting an increase over the next year.

- 42% of companies reported a current order book of future work extending beyond 3 months – up 13% from the previous quarter - with 41% saying that their order book extended from between 1 and 3 months.

- ‘Labour Availability’ was listed as the most likely constraint on output by 27% of respondents. ‘Demand’ and ‘Capacity’ came next, with 25% and 20% of respondents feeling that they were most likely to constrain output.

- 38% of respondents on balance reported increasing their labour force in the last year, with 50% of respondents anticipating an increased labour force over the next year.

- Raw material costs were noted as an inflationary factor for unit costs for 97% of respondents, with wages & salary increases pushing up unit costs for 76% of respondents on balance.

- Exchange rates were a factor in inflating unit costs for 63% of respondents.

- Over the previous year a balance of 64% of respondents had invested in improving their products with 60% investing in their plant/equipment.

- Investment in in product improvement was set for the highest capital investment over the next year, with a balance of 70% planning to invest and with 60% set to invest in plant/equipment.

BWF Policy and Communications Executive Matt Mahony commented: “With optimism over sales volumes and with order books holding up well, our survey paints a picture of an industry working hard to protect its margins against significant cost rises.

“It has been a theme of recent months that the joinery industry is having to think on its feet and diversify its offering. We know from the Q2 survey that investment in product improvement has been rising, and anecdotal evidence suggests that companies are taking on more of the burden of design and specification on account of knowledge gaps within the supply chain."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bwf-joinery-state-trade-survey-sales-volume-and-costs-rise-q2-2017]

BWF appoints new Training Manager to focus on Skills & Education across Woodworking sector

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has appointed a new Training Manager to help ramp up work in the education, training and skills arena for the joinery and woodworking industry.

Tony Batchelor joins the BWF team following former Membership & Training Director Dave Campbell’s departure. Mr Batchelor will be responsible for delivering on the BWF’s three core training objectives: increasing recruitment into the sector; maintaining and developing high quality qualifications and delivery partners, and fostering a culture of continuous learning in the industry. 

The new role will focus exclusively on training and Mr Batchelor will also support the development of associated commercial products.

BWF Chief Executive Iain McIlwee commented on the new appointment: "Perhaps the biggest change the joinery sector currently faces is to the skills landscape. With CITB's role under review, changes to Apprenticeship Funding, and core qualifications being radically reformed, there are huge opportunities for BWF to help develop the training environment that the industry needs."

"We have a good training strategy, but to meet these challenges and opportunities head on we need a fully focussed and dedicated training post within BWF. Now for the first time we have a dedicated training manager role which isn’t split with other responsibilities."

With a wealth of experience on construction industry training matters through working at CITB, Mr Batchelor has previously engaged with construction industry representatives across the four home nations to develop National Occupational Standards, training and qualification solutions, and trailblazer apprenticeships for a wide range of occupational areas.

Having spent the early years of his working life in the public transport sector, Tony worked on training and skills projects for much of his subsequent career including a spell contracted to the British Council to deliver training on vocational and educational projects in Asia.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bwf-appoints-new-training-manager-focus-skills-education-across-woodworking-sector]