What does 2017 have in store

As we settle into a new year, Haffner Murat’s Dave Thomas assesses what’s in store and looks at how to make the most of it.

The start of a new year is traditionally a time for optimism and, despite a greater sense of uncertainty than we usually face, I see no need for this new year to be any different.

As a machinery supplier, we’re the first to experience any uncertainty in the industry and we’re the last to enjoy any upswing. Quite simply, people stop investing as soon as they are concerned about the future and it takes a long time for confidence to return.

It was clear last year that confidence had returned to the market in full; we had a very strong year with investment in new machinery up considerably. What’s heartening is that, despite the doom and gloom predictions around Brexit, confidence remains strong and our order books are full for the first few months of this year too.

Perhaps the mood is so positive because the signs are generally positive. While the big picture may not be clear, prospects for the industry look good. The government seems to be taking house building more seriously than it has done for a long time and consequently house building looks set to be a big growth sector this year. An £18 million fund was announced at the end of last year to speed up the building of up to 800,000 homes and infrastructure across large sites in England. Then there’s the £6 million fund available over the next two financial years to support the building of 14 new garden villages across the country.

Quite simply, more house building means more opportunities for our industry across both PCVU and aluminium. And these days, those opportunities aren’t just limited to the larger fabricators. Cost effective machinery now makes automation look a more sensible investment than ever before for small and medium sized fabricators. It enables you to drive quality throughout your business as well as allow you to scale capacity when you need to.  

What this means in practice is that smaller fabricators now have the means to compete with the bigger players. Consequently, larger fabricators will need to look at how to move up a level to maintain their competitive advantage – now is not the time for complacency.

Happily, we have the machinery that can help fabricators of all sizes to take their business to the next level. Our Italmac range of aluminium fabrication machinery combines high quality and the latest technology with competitive pricing. For PVCU fabricators, the Haffner Murat range continues to deliver what businesses need. From saws, welders and corner cleaners to profile machining centres, there really is a machine that will add value to every size of operation.

And all our machinery comes with the Haffner Murat commitment to serving our customers well. We work closely with you, using our industry knowledge and expertise to make sure you are investing in the machinery that will help you achieve your business goals. We also have finance and part exchange options to help investment even more affordable.

Despite our uncertain political climate, the opportunities for our industry are out there if you want them no matter what level you are at. But if you want to position yourself to take the best advantage of them, investment in automation machinery is the best way to do it. Machinery drives quality through your operation, increases efficiency and, perhaps most importantly, gives you the ability to increase capacity without increasing manpower.