Last month, MRA Research gathered the views of the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) Expert Panel on the effect they expected Brexit to have on the UK, their sector and on their business, exclusively for the Builders’ Merchants News latest edition of Leading Lights. Nine experts from the BMBI panel commented on the impact they thought Brexit would have.
Most of the experts, who represent leading suppliers across a range of sectors supplying builders merchants’, said their companies were prepared for the fallout from Brexit, in whatever form it may take, and had made contingency plans. As a result, they had a positive outlook, despite some obvious concerns.
Not unexpectedly, the general economic and political uncertainty was mentioned by almost all the experts as having a major effect on the market at the moment.
Below are brief extracts of what the experts had to say on the subject. A report with the full comments from each expert can be downloaded for free at www.bmbi.co.uk/news-blogs/brexit/
“While we’ve seen a very good start to the year, with a high level of enquiries and a strong order book, the lack of clarity on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is leading to increasing market uncertainty.”
John Coe, Commercial Director Alumasc Water Management Solutions (AWMS) and BMBI’s Expert for Civils, Metal Rainwater & Drainage.
“Actions we’re taking include increasing lead times with European suppliers, increasing safety stocks in the UK and exploring options to increase sourcing in the UK.“
Paul Roughan, Trade Merchants Sales Director Dulux Trade and BMBI’s Expert for Paint.
“Given the uncertainty, delays in investment, worsening skills shortages and likely transport pressures, it will be challenging for the industry to meet the Government’s targets on new housing and planned infrastructure.”
Andrew Simpson, National Commercial Director Hanson Cement and BMBI’s Expert for Cement & Aggregates.
“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure we have that resilience including investment in warehousing, organisational space, processes and transport.“
Jeff House, Head of External Affairs Baxi Heating UK (incorporating Heatrae Sadia) and BMBI’s Expert for Water Heating.
“Ibstock Brick manufactures all our products in the UK, so as a company we expect to be largely unaffected by Brexit, regardless of the outcome.“
Tony France, Sales Director Ibstock and BMBI’s Expert for Bricks.
“A ‘No Deal’ scenario would be particularly difficult for roof windows, due to the significant cross-border sales. We’ve increased our stock holding capacity in the UK by around 25% by moving to a new warehouse in Burton.”
John Duffin, Managing Director Keylite Roof Windows and BMBI’s Expert for Roof Windows.
“Our main concern is estimating how much product the market will require and ensuring that we can meet that demand. In the short term, we have increased our stock of finished goods and raw material.”
Derrick McFarland, Managing Director Keystone Lintels and BMBI’s Expert for Steel Lintels.
v“To protect customers as best we can from disruption and potential ‘known unknowns’ at ports in the UK, we’ve been increasing our stock holding over the last few months to unprecedented levels.“
Mike Tattam, Sales & Marketing Director Lakes and BMBI’s Expert for Shower Enclosures & Showering.
“The impact of Brexit will depend on which Brexit we get, and some outcomes will be worse than others. None are likely to be ideal for a large importer of materials like ourselves.“
Malcolm Gough, Group Sales & Marketing Director Talasey Group and BMBI’s Expert for Natural Stone Landscaping Products, Vitrified Paving & Artificial Grass.