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Public Sector Quarterly Trends Report

Sponsored by System10 this survey is the fourth in a series of Quarterly Trends Reports on the public sector window and door market.

Decent Homes Standard tops the agenda for Housing Associations

Housing stock

Seventy five percent of the Housing Associations we spoke to in August expect to increase their housing stock in the next 12 months. Six percent expect it to decrease and 19% to stay the same (chart 1).

New Build Windows

Eighty-seven percent of Housing Associations this survey have a new build programme. The new build mix is split into 62% houses, 35% flats and 3% bungalows and sheltered accommodation (chart 2).

Replacement window and door programme

Sixty-eight percent of Housing Associations also have a replacement window or door programme.

Types of windows and doors being replaced

Looking at the materials used for replacement window installations, housing associations say 86% are PVC-U and 14% are softwood. The types of external doors being fitted for replacement programmes are composite doors (57% by volume), PVC-U panel doors (20%), hardwood (14%), steel faced doors (5%) and softwood (4%) and make up the balance (chart 3).


“The ideals of partnering are long term projects, continuity of progress, better business planning, and guaranteed profit. All necessary parties are involved from the beginning to give maximum input, including the end user or resident whose overall satisfaction is most important. This year 50% of our turnover is secured partnering amounting to 65 million and next year we are aiming to secure 75%.”

Mr Martin Stone, Partnering Manager,
Apollo London Ltd, Essex


Budgets

A net 9% of Housing Associations increased their replacement window budgets in the last 12 months.

Frames put out to tender

Eleven percent of those we spoke this survey say the number of windows and door frames per contract they put out to tender became larger in the last 12 months. Thirty one percent say it became smaller and 58% that it stayed the same.

Window and door contracts LAST 12 MONTHS
Supply only Supply and fit
1st survey2nd survey3rd survey4th survey1st survey2nd survey3rd survey4th survey
Direct to fabricator/ installer27%33%22%24%17%35%15%19%
Via main contractors68%66%77%73%70%59%81%74%
Other5%1%1%3%13%6%4%7%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%

Issues

The Decent Homes Standard overtook Health and Safety as the most important issue for Housing Associations in the next 12 months (chart 4).

Most important issues for Housing Associations
(next 12 months)
1st survey2nd survey3rd survey4th survey
Health & Safety 1st
Decent Homes Standard 2nd
Security 3rd
Skills shortages 4th
Environmental issues 5th
Recycling 6th
Decent Homes Standard 1st
Health & Safety 2nd
Skills shortages 3rd
Environment 4th
Security 5th
Recycling 6th
Health & Safety 1st
Decent Homes Standard 2nd
Skills shortages 3rd
Environment issues 4th =
Security 4th =
Recycling 5th
Decent Homes Standard 1st
Health & Safety 2nd
Skills shortages 3rd
Security 4th
Environment 5th =
Recycling 5th =


“For a partnership to truly work it is fundamental that all parties involved have a clear understanding of the project goals and their individual responsibilities within the partnership team. From there, the emphasis must be on teamwork and working together to achieve the project aims, whilst delivering value for money through more efficient working practices. Those that embrace partnering in its true form, benefit enormously from these efficiencies whilst at the same time enjoying a more congenial working environment. It is important that significant care is taken when selecting potential partners.”

Mark Doyle, Commercial Manager,
ACS, Kier Regional Limited


Window Fabricators' sales to Housing Associations

A net 12% of fabricators increased sales to Housing Associations in May to July compared with three months ago. Year-on-year sales were also up for a net 21% of fabricators. Large fabricators reported the most widespread increases.

Outlook

Compared with the same time last year a net 36% of window companies expect to sell more to Housing Associations in August to October. Large fabricators and those who sell more to housing associations have the highest expectations.

Comment

Mike Stevenson, Sales and Marketing Director of System10 who sponsor this survey, comments: "It's interesting that some people still see partnering as a bad thing and a threat to their business or organisation. It's true that partnering is probably the most abused word in construction's vocabulary these days with many people and organisations using the words and phrases associated with it without a clue as to what it is to partner. Similarly there are many businesses that have chosen to ignore partnering and the culture it brings in favour of tried and tested old methods leading to ever decreasing profits because they still compete by the traditional differentiation through price method. A clearly unsustainable strategy.

"It needn't be this way. There are many companies that are thriving at the moment. Particularly companies that have embraced partnering with open arms and open-books for that matter. Continuously improving their knowledge of partnering, sharing the pains and gains with clients and even competitors. System 10 has had a partnering philosophy known as 'In Business Together' as a key part of its strategy for many years. This has helped customers and clients understand partnering, identify that tenants are the customers and so are the key focus for everyone in the supply chain leading to great successes for clients and window fabricator/installers alike.

“Our System 10 developed Partnering Health Check has been developed specifically to identify at what stage in the partnering journey your organisation is at. It's powerful and will objectively highlight a serious action plan to put your organisation up there with the best when it comes to partnering.” The Public Sector Survey, a quarterly trends report, is sponsored by System10 and produced by Michael Rigby Associates. It keeps a finger on the public sector's market pulse, and views fabricators' and specifiers' expectations of market movements.

The survey covers a representative sample of 40 window and door fabricators and 60 specifiers. Telephone interviews took place between the 2-8 August 2004 across a balanced spread of size of firm and geographical area. Numbers employed was used as an indication of company size.
The categories are small (1-19 employees), medium (25-49), large (50-200) and very large (over 200 employees).

© Michael Rigby Associates 2004. Full report available free: call Pam Fay on 0121 749 3000 or from www.specifiernewsline.co.uk

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