DEMAND ‘TIDE WILL HAVE TO TURN AT SOME POINT’: WHAT CAN INSTALLERS DO ABOUT THE PREDICTED MARKET SLOWDOWN?
It’s unlikely that the UK home improvement market will see a repeat of 2020 and 2021, which means that once the backlog has been cleared, installers are going to need to maximise profitability and think creatively about where they find leads.
FIT Show and Business Pilot team up to explore the predicted market slowdown and what installers can do to reduce the risks associated with this.
Elton Boocock, Managing Director, Business Pilot, explains: “We haven’t and I don’t think we are going to see a crash in demand, so in that sense, we’re not looking at a cliff-edge”, he says. “It is, however, sensible to expect some normalisation and adjustment in the market later this year. That is likely to represent a contraction on the last two years.”
This is reflected in some of the figures coming out of the Business Pilot Barometer, an anonymised measure of average leads and sales, among its CRM and business management tool customer base.
This showed a drop in sales of 38% in December. Leads were down 44% on the preceding month. “That’s not something that anyone needs to worry about”, continues Elton, “we know that there is a seasonality to sales, while many retailers decided to take extended breaks at Christmas.
“They’re also busy, and with order books full for 12-weeks, maybe installers haven’t brought the same focus to lead generation because they haven’t had to. The tide will, however, at some point have to turn.”
And that’s exactly what FIT Show event director, Nickie West is urging exhibitors and visitors to consider when prioritising the event, which returns to the NEC from May 10 - 12. Nickie comments, “We really have been operating in unprecedented times and whilst market demand has been, we know that this is going to slow and that installers and fitters need to be investing in the right platforms now to help secure their pipelines beyond 2022. FIT Show will come at just the right time to help them do that.”
The window and door industry was on target for significant growth before the pandemic hit, at around 5% year-on-year through to 2023. The growth that has been seen in the last 18-months has been exponential, estimates suggesting that it’s topped 25-30%.
Elton continues: “As we’ve said, we know December is not a typical month but if we benchmark it across the last three years, we see that year-on-year sales December 2021 were down 23% on those for 2020. Go back a year further to the pre-Covid era and December 2019, and they’re 60% lower.
“Again, there are a number of reasons why no one needs to panic but it does hint things may be slower this spring than they have been in the last two.”
Designed and developed by installers for installers Business Pilot delivers real-time information on true profitability against every job, as well as helping installers to manage cash flow, win new business and manage operations.
This includes its drag-and-drop scheduling board, which makes rescheduling jobs easy, automatically adjusting ‘back-end’ systems in a single action.
“While there isn’t going to be a crash, some of the disciplines of running a good business are going to become more important”, Elton argues, “that includes running your business efficiently to understand and maximise your profitability.
“As an exercise that may lead you down some routes that you hadn’t previously considered, which is what FIT Show is all about.”
Nickie adds: “Alongside accessing content, platforms and service providers who will be showcasing the latest solutions to help installers to operate more effectively at FIT Show, we’ll also be bringing the market together to collaborate on these key themes for the first time in three years.
“There’s no time like the present to prioritise improving business operations - whether that’s investing in the latest products and technology, learning and upskilling, or just taking the time to speak directly to suppliers and manufacturers all under one roof. You can do all of that at FIT Show. And that’s why FIT Show in May will be unmissable for anyone looking to be the best in the business.”
For more information visit www.businesspilot.co.uk