Rutherford Cross recently held its latest Sector Spotlight Series webinar which was focused on the Construction Sector. The virtual event was attended by a small group of Senior Finance Professionals from the industry and had the insights and expertise of Stuart Dougal, Director from Interpath Advisory.
The session focused around a discussion on the sector in general with some of the key points being discussed including material shortages, end of furlough, labour shortages and the general outlook for the sector.
Some of the key takeaways from the session included the huge rise in price of materials such as timber, plastic, and steel which is causing some real challenges for a number of businesses with margins being squeezed considerably, as well as projects being delayed and, in some cases cancelled due to delays in materials being supplied or being unable to be sourced.
Labour shortages in the sector are also causing delays with projects and this is pushing up salaries in this area and making it very competitive. Some businesses are moving away from sub-contracting to directly employing labour staff as a solution. In a job market that is incredibly buoyant right now, our attendees discussed some of the trends we are seeing around salary increases and increased flexibility in working practices as businesses are having to be highly competitive to attract and retain staff.
Overall, the consensus is these challenges will sort themselves out eventually and are in line with a number of other sectors who are facing similar supply and demand issues post Brexit and pandemic. Demand remains very high in the Construction sector and for Finance Directors in this area it is a balancing act of managing the growth and new opportunity for the business along with controlling the increasing costs and competitive margins to maintain solid cashflow.
If you would be interested in joining this discussion in the future, then please get in touch at [email protected]