June. It’s quite often a quiet month in the industry in terms of news. Summer sometimes threatens to break out in full on milk white clouds and mild temperatures. School kids start thinking about their exams and the end of the school year. Parents start thinking about and leaving to go on their summer holidays. With all that going on, June can be quite a dull month. Not this time however. This is my review of June.
FiT Show 2014
This month saw the second FiT Show, the industry’s flagship exhibition. To read my full review of the show, click here.
Held in Telford, it was fair to say that the event was a great success. Although down on visitor numbers, probably due to the busyness of the industry and not as much curiosity as the first, the quality of exhibitors, stands, visitors and products were very high and demonstrated that the UK fenestration industry has a lot to be very proud of.
Laws, Regs, Directives And IBGs
Well, where do I start with this one?
Thanks to the EU, we now have yet another directive which directly affects the way British businesses operate. This time it was to do with cooling off periods. They have now upped it to 14 days, with an option for customers to actually be able to claim back full contract values within 379 days if they believe it’s not fit for purpose. Not only that, a loophole in these new laws now stops people who are pressured into a sale on the doorstep being able to cancel that order if the product they buy is classed as made to measure. Quality law making from Brussels there.
Then we had the list of authorized IBG companies from FENSA that wasn’t a list, then it was. When laws changed on the 6th of June, it became law for all installers to include insurance backed guarantees with their work. Problem was, the approved list consisted of just 3, possibly 4 IBG companies! Plenty of installers weren’t using the ones on that list. FENSA blamed due diligence taking longer than they wanted it to. But a week later, a list of 12 companies was released which seemed to diffuse the situation.
Early World Cup Exit
Did anyone of you see the Belgium v USA game on Tuesday night? What a game, and what passion and dedication to the cause from the Americans. Shame our boys couldn’t muster even 10% of that.
Yes, England made a very sorry exit from the group stage of the World Cup (with the results I predicted in December) leaving the country in a rather angry and deflated mood about the manner in which we played. This means no happy World Cup mood for England and no possible boost for business because of it. Oh well, at least Andy Murray is still in Wimbledon!
Up, Down, Up, Down
Because of outside influences like school, holidays and weekend BBQs, June can sometimes be a funny month for leads, and I think it’s safe to say it was no different.
One week leads would be in full flow, the next it would be as if the taps were turned off. Bit annoying if you’re trying to get a flow going, but we can only work with what we are given and I think our place did pretty well given the stop-start nature of the month.
Going on anecdotal evidence from others, it seems that it was that way for plenty of others too.
Record Sales Month
Despite fluctuating leads, we actually achieved our best sales month since August 2007. This came about thanks to some earlier leads in the year coming good, and having a damn good conversion rate throughout June too.
Overall, this puts us around 9 weeks in front of target, which we should reach in either the second or third week in September if the current rate of sales continues.
My own experience of an industry on the bounce-back isn’t singular though. I am seeing so many of you now reporting month-on-month rises, with plenty of you looking set to have a stellar 2014. So all good on that front I think.
Here’s to a great July!