It’s been a stormy month in the meteorological sense of the word. We didn’t get the early start of a snowy, cold winter that the usual newspapers promised. Instead, we got wave after wave of wind, rain and storms to make life on site just that little bit harder for the industry’s installers. The Chancellor had his latest spending review. There was tragedy in Paris and around the world which brought some realities home. Windows and doors didn’t really seem that important. But, business had to go on, so lets get stuck into the last monthly review of the year.

Business activity declined

We all know that as we near the end of the year, business activity slows in November and falls off a cliff in December. Well it seems that the fall off the cliff occurred a bit sooner than expected.

At our place we noticed a significant and early drop off in leads and sales. We knew it wasn’t far away, but I think we anticipated a couple more weeks of brisk business before things dropped off like they did.

We weren’t the only ones either. Conversations I have had with a few others have indicated similar business conditions in other parts of the industry.

As we have moved into the latter part of the year, I feel like the industry has had a bit of an opinion change. We started the year in high hopes that we would surpass the achievements of 2014. Yet, as the year rolled on and the explosion of business didn’t quite come, there was a slow realisation that a bumper year wasn’t on it’s way.

It’s not been a baron year by any means, it feels more like a consolidatory year than anything else. Perhaps 2016 will see a bumper year. Maybe not.

Awards season climax

This time of year is also awards season, and it kicked off with the annual G Awards presentation and dinner event in London. Click here to find out this year’s winners. The compere for the evening was the popular Jason Manford, and judging by the social media feedback, he went down very well.

But that’s not the end. The awards season comes to a climax with the announcement of this year’s National Fenestration Awards. In fact they are coming to a climax as I type this! It’s been an epic year for the NFAs, which has seen yet more major growth in terms of the number of registered users, a record number of nominations and a gigantic jump in the number of votes cast.

This week has been dubbed “Winners Week” and from today (Tuesday 1st Dec) up until Friday, the winners will be announced in groups. I’ll give my own feedback on the awards this year in a later post, but I can say now that this year’s shortlists have been of an incredible character and that as each year goes by, the standard of the companies and the monthly Cool Wall competitions gets better and better. Stay up to date with the winners by visiting the NFA website.

The Spending Review

Much less exciting but far more important, the Chancellor presented his latest Spending Review. His plan for spending the UK’s money over the next five years. I covered the statement live on DGB, so feel free to click here and catch up with the “best” bits of the announcement.

The most attractive bit of the statement from the perspective of the industry will be the news that the Government want’s to build 400,000 new affordable homes over the next five years. I suspect many will believe that it’s not achievable. But, I am sure the window and door companies that deal with house builders will want to make sure that their products end up in as many of these new homes as possible.

Paris tragedy

On the 13th November, the world watched in shock as carnage and murder was rampant on the streets of Paris. Attacks claimed by IS killed 130 people across various venues in Paris. I have written my own views on the tragedy here.

It is things like this which put much of everything else into perspective. If you read my personal column on the issue you’ll get my own perspective on it all.

It’s been a busy month, and all in all a busy year. I am sure we’re all looking forward to a well deserved break during Christmas and New Year.

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