Evolve or die? Is there another way?
Change is the one thing you can guarantee will be constant. Businesses all face the impact of current global conditions which are speeding change up.
It’s vital to evolve
Climate change isn’t going away, and construction plays a key role. Through driving forward the need for sustainable supply chain partnerships the industry can evolve, for the better.
Through engaging with your supply chain on the topic of sustainability and choosing to work with a sustainable supplier you can benefit from lower carbon emissions, helping to make your input on improving climate change and directly improving your scope three emissions.
Scope three emissions are those that come from your purchased goods and services, and are important to consider as often the majority of greenhouse gas emissions lie outside of your own business operations.
At Artex we work on a variety of initiatives which make us a sustainable supplier. We have, and will continue to reduce the amount of plastic and recycled materials in our packaging and we’ve introduced the use of HVO in our delivery vehicles, and switched to electric company cars. We also consider how we run our business premises in this context and use LED lighting and a biomass boiler to heat our entire site, all with the aim of improving our environmental footprint.
Adapting is vital in order to stay ahead. New retail and merchant models, improvements in logistics and more sophisticated consumers, have all impacted the industry. The opportunity to work closely with your suppliers can deliver cost and time savings, the streamlining of processes and consistent levels of quality, all improving the end experience for the customer, and enabling you to stay ahead.
What does the future of the industry look like
The Covid-19 pandemic impacted most, if not all businesses; we examine its impact more closely in our blog about the future opportunities for construction here.
Digitalisation has also had a big impact on the way the industry works and will continue to do so. It is anticipated that technological advances in construction will augment and provide productivity efficiencies of up to 60% going into 2023. With software and automation there will be improvements in efficiency and safety.
At Artex we manage our product data in compliance with the Code for Construction Product Information. The Code for Construction Product Information is a code of conduct that ensures construction manufacturers provide reliable and accurate information. Working to the code is not a legal requirement, so working with manufacturers who follow the code gives you reassurance of high standards in relation to the presentation of product information.
The future of the industry is a combination of digitalisation with sustainability. The two are intrinsically linked. Through using digitalisation to drive the sustainability agenda this will also provide the productivity and operational efficiencies the industry is seeking.
With 30% of all building materials delivered to building sites ending up as waste, and often sent to landfill, we must strive for this combination to solve the issue.
The UK Conformity Assessed Mark (UKCA) and Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) are examples of recent changes in standards. At Artex, all of our products have effectively already transitioned or are in the process of transitioning to carry the UKCA mark, so we’ll be ready well ahead of the new 2025 deadline. The PPT is a tax that applies to plastic packaging manufactured or imported in the UK that does not contain at least 30% of recycled plastic. At Artex we use at least 30% recycled plastic across all primary, secondary and transport packaging, and actively work with our bag, film and tub manufacturers to reduce the amount of plastic we use in our packaging.
Artex, as part of the Saint-Gobain group, has a long-term ambition to not generate waste during the production process that cannot be recovered, achieved by maximising the amount of re-used, recycled or bio-sourced content in our products.
The new workers of construction
Software and new ways of working are transforming construction to become a more promising career option, however we face a diminishing workforce and skills gap, so more needs to be done to promote the industry and new and different ways of working.
British Gypsum, the sister company of Artex, offers a range of practical upskilling courses for new and existing tradespeople to help narrow the skills gap. These courses cover a variety of topics, including drylining and the installation of systems. This industry leading training offered by British Gypsum also includes a range of both RIBA and non-RIBA approved CPD presentations, webinars and events.
At Artex, our colleagues are encouraged to participate in apprenticeships and CPD to upskill them and support their future career ambitions. Continued professional development means Artex colleagues are better able to support customers with the challenges they face.
With a wide range of existing roles available in the construction industry, and more newly created roles to come, the future workers, and roles in construction are set to be interesting and diverse.
How do we improve construction productivity?
Construction productivity has been slow to improve. Annual productivity growth in the sector over the past 20 years was only a third of total economy averages. Increasing costs have continued to impact the sector and decisions have frequently needed to change as a result.
The construction sector can be complex, with often multiple stakeholders and bespoke requirements for building projects which can limit the standardisation needed to go at pace.
New ways of working need to be developed to respond to modern day challenges. At Artex, we understand this, and in response to our merchant customers, now offer a flexible delivery service so that merchants can get hold of the products they need quickly and in low quantities, helping them to serve contractors and tradespeople, improving the availability and speed of the in-branch experience.
Change doesn’t need to be scary
There will always be a need for change and innovation. The need for sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions has been the greatest motivation for change in a long time. Recent changes brought about by the current economic climate with Brexit, the cost-of-living crisis and fuel rises in connection with war in Ukraine all present us with a perfect storm of challenges.
However, these turbulant times have demonstrated just how resilient and adaptable the industry can be, and that construction can flex, grow and adapt. In a muti-faceted sector we have so many opportunities available to make an impact.
Change needs to be embraced across every corner of the industry to allow for us to deliver an energy efficient built environment. Placing customers at the heart of all decisions will also future proof the industry and build repeat business and positive customer satisfaction.
Stacey O’Connor, Head of Marketing, from Artex commented:
“In a rapidly changing market it’s more important than ever to stay aligned with our customers to evolve our business to meet their needs and deliver a more sustainable service. At Artex we’re committed to continually listening to our customers, most recently through our customer satisfaction survey where we received an NPS score of 63 and where 97% of our customers mentioned sustainability as being important to their business. In a sector where new trends and technologies are emerging to shape the future of our industry, it’s vital to embrace change, collaborate to face common challenges and drive forward improvements in sustainability.”