Disruption, delay and discombobulation

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell welcomes a change of pace.

It is not news that would, in a normal year, be greeted with relief, but some of the heat is coming out of the market, according to the latest Business Pilot Barometer; we like to be busy and boast a full order book, but we don’t want our processes to be adversely affected by shortages and issues further up the supply chain.

It seems like the Green Homes Grant scheme debacle worked in our favour slightly, putting the brakes on the orders, but delaying rather than removing demand.
There are still obstacles to overcome: how will the end of the furlough scheme affect demand?; will the booming housing market put plans to improve homes on hold?; and will people buy winter-sun holidays rather than a new conservatory?

Actually, that has been the most unsettling thing about the last six months: that it has all been very unpredictable. It is new territory, and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had conversations with industry veterans who have been caught off guard. No-one could have foreseen the pandemic, and no-one expected demand to soar once lockdown was lifted.

I was speaking to a property developer earlier this week, and he said the whole of the construction industry was experiencing the same levels of disruption, delay and discombobulation. Therefore, asking homeowners to wait longer for their windows is not that much of a big deal when there are delays of up to three months (or more) on other items such as paving.

What’s more disconcerting is that I’m hearing a lot of rumours about big changes to company structures and relationships with existing customers, and even the wholesale closure of well-known brands. Efficiency is one thing, but making lives even harder for your customers is another.

More when we get it.