Production in a Pandemic

The economic value of manufacturing is in sharp focus in these challenging times points out Sales and Marketing Director Matthew Carter.

With the UK suffering the worst contraction in GDP on record the focus is certainly on those sections of the economy that are still operating to keep on track. And when it comes to our business, keeping on track means keeping up with demand.

The last twelve months have stretched the definition of the word volatile to its limits and flexing our production to keep pace, while simultaneously developing effective new safety regimes and working practices to protect our plant workers, has been testing.

But it is astonishing how quickly it is possible to adapt to situations that a year ago would have been unthinkable and we’re on schedule with our plans for manufacturing and output volumes.

It is no secret that H+H believes the outlook for the housebuilding sector in the UK, both immediately and in the medium to long term, is very positive. Right now, demand is strong both in the new build and RMI sectors and we anticipate robust levels of activity for the remainder of 2021.

Meeting variable demand is always a challenge for manufacturers. Charting a course through inconsistent markets is about being able to flex production to meet the peaks and manage the troughs.

Our strategy is to focus on increasing the production volume achievable from our three UK factories. Significant investment in both our Borough Green and Pollington facilities, combined with enlightened and forward-thinking management, underlines our “four from three” objective.

This objective sees us increasing our overall volume capability by a third by incremental improvements in the operation of our factories. This three-year programme is running to plan and enabled us to significantly increase the supply of our aircrete products into the market over the last six months. We have more improvements planned and will be able to increase production volumes further over the coming months.

I have always been, both professionally and personally, a huge advocate of UK manufacturing. It is a salutary experience to see, amongst the devastation caused by Coronavirus on global economies, that the more resilient seem to be those more reliant on manufacturing and production.

As manufacturers, the best contribution we can make to helping our economy during this challenging period is to focus relentlessly on efficiency: doing everything we can to make sure our service levels, in terms of both product supply and customer care, is consistently first rate.

The Prime Minister clearly sees construction as a key component of a recovery plan and we are absolutely on board to contribute and play our part. Take a look through our range of products and solutions.