Industry News

British Woodworking Federation launches 'Build it Better with Wood' campaign

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has launched a campaign to promote the UK’s woodworking sector and the many benefits of building with wood.

‘Build it Better with Wood’, is designed to make wood the construction material of choice by celebrating its many benefits in the built environment and promoting the vast range of woodworking and joinery expertise available in the UK.

Wood has many significant advantages as a cost effective, versatile, high-performing and truly sustainable building material that can be used in a broad range of applications. And with around 700 BWF members across the UK, there is no shortage of highly skilled and trusted suppliers to choose to build with.

“Build it Better with Wood strengthens the collective voice of the woodworking sector with the aim of making wood the first-choice material in any build.” said Iain McIlwee, former CEO at the British Woodworking Federation. “Build it Better with Wood isn’t just a statement, it embodies the values of this organisation. The 21st century is waking up to the potential of timber and we are working with a growing network of customers and specifiers to ensure that they appreciate the benefits of building with wood. But, as a supply chain, we cannot be complacent and rely on the inherent qualities of the material – we can do more to be healthy, sustainable, efficient and safe.

“Every member joining the BWF is visited and audited against our Code of Conduct. This means that our community is made up of people who share these values and that customers can be assured that they are working with a supplier who is committed to best practice in all areas of operation, including customer care and complaints, technical expertise and training, environmental impact and waste as well as employment, education legislation and health and safety.

“With wood delivering on so many levels, from its aesthetic beauty through to its environmental benefits, and the woodworking sector boasting craftspeople and engineers of the very highest calibre, the proliferation of wood in the built environment presents exciting opportunities for the construction sector.”

The launch of the new Campaign was accompanied by the news of a change at the top of BWF management with Iain McIlwee to stand down as Chief Executive after almost seven years. 

Iain will continue to work alongside the new appointed BWF Acting CEO Helen Hewitt until the end of September.

Helen said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to spearhead the BWF through this next period of change. I am excited to start this new role and am looking forward to working closely with our Members, the Council and Executive in developing the strategy focused on the new Build it Better with Wood campaign."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/british-woodworking-federation-launches-build-it-better-wood-campaign]

2018 British Woodworking Federation Awards call for entries launched

The call for entries for the 2018 British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Awards has now been launched, giving joinery sector businesses a fantastic opportunity to showcase their finest achievements from the last year.

From hand-carved craftsmanship to high-tech innovations, the Awards give great projects, products and people the recognition they deserve, helping businesses benchmark their progress against the very best of the industry. The closing date for entries for this year’s Awards is 22nd June.

Last year saw winning entries from Gelder Joinery Limited, Morland, AJB Group, Warwickshire College, Gowercroft Joinery and Cotswold Manufacturing Ltd. Gelder Joinery’s restoration of an Edwardian house won the prestigious Woodworking Project of the Year Award and was praised by judges for the project’s beautiful restoration, unparalleled detail and design excellence.

BWF Chief Executive Iain McIlwee began this year’s call for entries: “With wood taking over as the architectural wonder material of this century, the awards are a chance for UK joinery businesses to prove that they can not only build it better with wood, but build it in a way that is more sustainable, more productive, healthier and safer than the rest.

“Have you worked on an amazing wood project or launched an innovative new product? Does your joinery business have any rising stars or Health & Safety heroes within the workforce? Or do you simply think that you can do better than the other businesses out there and want to prove it? We urge all UK woodworking businesses to spare a minute and think about what, or who, they might want to put forward as an entry.”

The winners will be announced at the BWF’s Annual Awards Dinner in November with the shortlist to be revealed in October at the W Exhibition, which is the national show for the joinery and furniture industries. All shortlisted entrants will receive a free place at the dinner and will have their achievements promoted through a high profile marketing and social media campaign.

Entry is free and open to all, including non-members of the BWF so long as they are from the UK joinery and woodworking sector. The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 22nd June 2018. Entries for this year’s awards can be submitted at www.bwf.org.uk/choose-wood/awards.

 

The BWF Awards 2018 categories are:

The Product Design in Wood category (sponsored by Teknos) recognises excellence in technical expertise, application and innovation in joinery product manufacture and design.

The highly prestigious Woodworking Project of the Year (sponsored by Whitehill Tools) recognises the very best in design, application or ability in joinery manufacture, and innovation in joinery projects. This award is given every year in memory of John Hedgecock, former technical director at the BWF.

Process Efficiency (sponsored by W Exhibition) – recognising lean processes which have improved business performance, including maximising value for money, quality and speed of delivery.

Health & Safety Hero (sponsored by Didac) – acknowledging an individual or collective effort which has made a notable difference to the health and safety practices and culture of a business. The award will be presented in memory of Michael Lee, former membership director at the BWF.

Apprentice or Trainee of the Year (sponsored by CITB) - celebrating apprentices or trainees who have really stood out from the crowd, whether through fantastic feats in their work or extraordinary commitment that adds value to a business.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/2018-british-woodworking-federation-awards-call-entries-launched]

BWF Trade Survey Q4 2017: Investment in products improvement grows despite rising raw material costs

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has issued its Joinery State of Trade Survey Q4 2017. The consultation indicates that investment in product improvement and customer research is growing despite rising raw material costs and slowing sales growth.

BWF Policy and Communications Executive Matt Mahony commented: “Sales are still growing at a reasonable rate and there are no indications of a sudden decline for the British woodworking industry despite the pessimism around construction from some quarters. Slightly fewer order books extending beyond three months and consecutive quarters of lowered sales growth expectations conceal the reality which is that our members have been selling products and adapting to the higher costs that have now unfortunately become the new norm.

“More than two-thirds of respondents noted that Brexit-related uncertainty has already affected their business, with two-thirds of those identifying the impact as being increased raw material costs. If we look to the longer term however, manufacturers are unsure as to what the effects of Brexit might be.

“On the plus side, it’s hugely encouraging to see joinery manufacturers taking a proactive approach to growing their market. Investment in e-business is set to increase by half and customer research is anticipated to double. More than two-thirds of members will be investing more in product improvement.

“With the innovation and initiative of our members reflected in the survey results, there are plenty of reasons why wood should be the material of the choice for 2018 and beyond. The irreparable damage of plastic pollution is never far from the news, with programmes such as Blue Planet 2 capturing the public imagination and the Wood Window Alliance’s Fake Facts campaign shining a spotlight on the PVC-u industry’s ‘plastic promises’. We will be building on existing resources to support members of all sizes in showcasing their products as beautiful and sustainable and illustrating the benefits to specifiers of building it with wood.”

 

Key points from the BWF Joinery State of Trade Survey Q4 2017 include:

  • A balance of 33% of respondents reported an increase in sales volumes over the last quarter, with 41% reporting an increase over the last year. This corresponds with the 44% of respondents reporting a quarterly increase in the previous survey.
  • 68% of respondents felt that Brexit-related uncertainty had affected their business so far with 67% of those noting that the cost of raw materials was where it had impacted.
  • A balance of 32% felt that Brexit negotiations would have a negative impact on their business in the next 12 months.
  • When asked about the impact of Brexit over 5 years, respondents were split between whether it would be positive or negative (25% for each) with 40% unsure of the implications and 10% expecting no impact.
  • Manufacturers felt that sales volumes would improve in the next quarter, with a balance of 34% predicting an increase for Q1 2018, and a balance of 30% predicting an increase over the next year.
  • 19% of companies reported a current order book of future work extending beyond 3 months – down 7% from the previous quarter - with 53% saying that their order book extended to between 1 and 3 months.
  • Demand was listed as the most likely constraint on output over the next year by 37% of respondents. Labour availability and Capacity came next, with 24% and 20% of respondents feeling that they were most likely to constrain output.
  • 32% of respondents on balance reported increasing their labour force in the previous year, with 44% of respondents anticipating an increased labour force over the next year.
  • Raw material costs were noted as a major inflationary factor for unit costs for 95% of respondents on balance, with wages/salaries increases pushing up unit costs for 67% of respondents on balance.
  • Over the previous year a balance of 59% of respondents had invested in improving their products with 45% investing in their manufacturing equipment.
  • Investment in product improvement was set for the highest capital investment over the next year, with a balance of 67% planning to invest and with 48% set to invest in equipment

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bwf-trade-survey-q4-2017-investment-product-improvement-grows-despite-rising-raw-material]

UK woodworking sector faces long-term question marks over skills and construction growth

The BWF’s Joinery State of Trade Survey Q3 2017 has indicated that the medium term prospects of the joinery industry remain sound, but growing concerns over skill, raw materials and the implications of Brexit are fostering long-term uncertainty.

BWF Policy and Communications Executive Matt Mahony said: “Labour shortages and raw materials costs continue bite but sales growth is still expected, at least in the medium term, with order books holding up well and more than half of firms operating at over four fifths of their capacity."

“Investment is set to increase with manufacturing equipment and product improvement the main targets but large increases in spending are also anticipated for R & D and e-business. Longer-term growth expectations appear to have been dampened slightly however and this tallies with broader construction industry research suggesting that slower economic growth and signs of an emerging weakness in construction activity outside of private housing are beginning to have an impact on spending decisions.

“Labour availability is also becoming a growing concern and this is now anticipated by survey respondents to become the biggest constraint on activity over the next year. New training and apprenticeship reforms, not to mention industry-led skills initiatives, will need to deliver for the woodworking sector and BWF has been redoubling its efforts to support the joinery skills agenda.”

 

Key points from the BWF Joinery State of Trade Survey Q3 2017 include:

- A balance of 44% of respondents reported an increase in sales volumes over the last quarter, with 46% reporting an increase over the last year. This corresponds with the 42% of respondents reporting a quarterly increase in the previous survey.

- Manufacturers felt that sales volumes would improve in the next quarter, with a balance of 40% predicting an increase for Q4 2017, and a balance of 36% predicting an increase over the next year.

- 26% of companies reported a current order book of future work extending beyond 3 months – down 16% from the previous quarter - with 53% saying that their order book extended from between 1 and 3 months.

- Labour availability was listed as the most likely constraint on output over the next year by 35% of respondents. Demand and Capacity came next, with 29% and 17% of respondents feeling that they were most likely to constrain output.

- 34% of respondents on balance reported increasing their labour force in the last year, with 37% of respondents anticipating an increased labour force over the next year.

- Raw material costs were noted as the main inflationary factor for unit costs for 96% of respondents, with wages/salaries increases pushing up unit costs for 82% of respondents on balance.

- Over the previous year a balance of 49% of respondents had invested in improving their products with 43% investing in their plant/equipment.

- Investment in in product improvement was set for the highest capital investment over the next year, with a balance of 54% planning to invest and with 50% set to invest plant/equipment.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/uk-woodworking-sector-faces-long-term-question-marks-over-skills-and-construction-growth]

BWF launches new weather testing guidance for windows

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has launched a new guide for window and door manufacturers explaining weather testing requirements and providing advice to help joineries to get their products tested.

The publication covers the relevant standards for weather tightness, how to determine what performance level is required as well as what needs to be considered before testing takes place. Weather performance testing is a means of assessing a product's ability to achieve specific requirements as set out in British Standards and/or European Standards. Windows and doors can be tested for Air Permeability, Watertightness and Resistance to Wind Load.

BWF produces a wide range of publications to support members and the joinery industry. On the BWF website, members can find a wealth of information, including the popular Machine Safety Cards, Heritage & Conservation Joinery Factsheets, and a range of employment guides all supported by the BWF member helplines.

The documents can be downloaded from www.bwf.org.uk/publications.

For more information, contact [email protected]

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bwf-launches-new-weather-testing-guidance-windows]

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