Council for Aluminium in Building

‘Business as Usual’

Change happens across many industries and as an Association we are not above such changes, but we must rise to such challenges and support our members through these difficult times. Not only has the Association been faced with the industry challenges by way of COVID-19, but has also seen a change at the helm. Mo Panam, CAB President, comments: “During Justin’s tenure as Chief Executive, the Association has made many notable strategic achievements which are reflected in the Association’s current position as an influencer in the facade industry in the UK. Furthermore, Justin has built up a strong and dedicated CAB team at Stonehouse, who will continue to provide members with support in these difficult times. Justin leaves the Association in a strong position with notable initiatives gaining momentum in the industry which include the CAB Training Scheme and the recent launch of the CAB Closed Loop Recycling scheme.”

During lockdown some of the staff at the CAB offices were furloughed, but as of the beginning of August are now back and working in a safe environment on an active webinar program covering common contractural issues. These seven webinars are planned to take place between September and December. Virus containment permitting, the Association is also looking forward into 2021 to organise a members open day in May followed by a further two members meetings which regularly attract over 200 members and their guests.

Quarter two results of the State of the Market survey run in conjunction with the CPA were recently released to the membership. In Q2 the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak hit all member companies with the enforced lockdown. Many companies closed, but some continued to be open, with a reduced workforce, many people were allowed to work from home and some temporarily closed and furloughed some or all of their workforce.

During Q2 the market also saw lockdown being lifted with the government offering initiatives to get the economy back up to speed. That said, it is widely reported that the economy shrank from Q1 to Q2 by 20%. In Q2 CAB members seem to have fared better than the wider construction industry with a 51% net balance reduction in sales compared to a construction industry average reduction of 81%. On balance, CAB members are also much more optimistic about a quicker bounce back with increased sales in Q3.

Typically demand is seen by members as the biggest constraint on activity at 88% of CAB members, but 12% on balance of members see their return to 90% plus capacity in the short to medium term which suggests a ‘V’ shaped recovery for the aluminium Fenestration market which is broadly in line with the wider construction industry.

CAB members see that their labour costs will rise less this year compared to last, most likely due to the market uncertainty and the government furlough scheme. In the wider construction industry labour rates seem to be quite static with pressure to increase labour costs reducing in the current year.

On Capital Investment, CAB members undertake more customer research and R&D than the general construction market, but this does lead to less product improvement on balance. As E-business is rapidly being adopted across the construction industry, 50% on balance adoption, CAB members adopting new technologies at 33% falls below the industry average.

Whilst the Association seeks a new Chief Executive, it is business as usual and CAB staff are on hand at the offices to answer any aluminium fenestration related questions. Information is regularly updated on the CAB website at www.c-a-b.org.uk. For association membership enquires please contact Jessica Dean at the CAB offices by email jessica.dean@c-a-b.org.uk or by phoning on 01453 828851.