Leadership will be required from the UK construction products sector to address the forces taking shape around the entire construction industry, urged Carl Arntzen, CEO of Worcester Bosch and Chair of the Construction Products Association.
At the CPA’s annual Autumn Lunch, with over 600 guests from across the construction supply chain including manufacturers and distributors, major contractors, politicians and the media, Mr. Arntzen argued that a variety of systemic changes were buffeting businesses across the industry; skills and labour shortages, resource constraints, climate change, technological advances, to name just a handful. Numerous government policies, including of course, Brexit were impacting companies too.
Mr. Arntzen reflected that in 2017 perhaps the biggest catalyst for change has not been brought about by any of these factors, but rather by the terrible loss of life in the Grenfell Tower fire.
“Poor risk management, poor procurement, poor quality, poor building management, not to mention complex regulations and controls, all contributed to the tragedy,” said Mr. Arntzen.
“No corner of the UK construction industry will remain unchanged by Grenfell, and it will require leadership from likes of the people in this room to take the industry forward.”
Mr. Arntzen otherwise insisted that UK manufacturers and suppliers of construction products were well-placed to help the wider construction industry to modernise:
“Already,” he said, “we are creating smarter, more innovative products and methods of construction. And by using digitally-enabled, collaborative ways of working we help deliver better, more certain outcomes and avoid smart products being installed into dumb, poorly constructed buildings.
“I see our member companies improving quality, safety, performance and sustainability throughout our businesses and our products, and this feeds through to the projects themselves.
“We now need to help support such changes in the supply chain. If we succeed, there is potential for massive rewards in boosting growth, improving construction productivity and through this spur investment by our companies to increase capacity in UK manufacturing and wider construction.
“We also need to get on and deliver for the UK as a whole,” concluded the CPA Chairman. “Construction, after all, underpins the UK’s ability to grow and thrive and to create that ‘equitable modern society’ often spoken about but seemingly out of reach.
Click here to read CPA Chairman Carl Arntzen's speech.
Click here to view infographics outlining CPA's support of an Industrial Strategy and a sector deal for UK construction.
By Emma Salmon at 2 Nov 2017, 09:22 AM