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Monopoly, Clowns & Driving Effectiveness Down.


Some time ago now, I had the pleasure of working and learning in various countries across Europe. As one example, i remember being involved with the German Trade & Invest team in Dusseldorf, not once but twice, and being able to meet with many industry colleagues from far and wide, and at various levels from Bib and Brace to Pen & Teller Pinstripes. This at times from right across the Countries trading platforms, allowing us to share and implement views and actions that could really make a difference across the relevant trading silos.

At the time they had a population of circa 80 million and an industry seemingly full to bursting with renewable technology growth and sustainable energy consultancies/consultants and allied trades and professionals. From engineers to EPC developers, to lawyers and industry bodies in-between, but yet there was still room at the table and on the shop floor to exercise implementable sustainable beneficial joined up trade development strategies, and see that through to professional delivery and almost harmonious support for each other at the majority of levels, from manufactures to installers to specifiers and beyond, there was no obvious glass wall or ceiling, where onerous policy lurked beyond..

It isn't in particular the fact we are seemingly faffing about in regards to the 'B' word and Europe, that prompted this blog, in fact i rarely enter into politically driven narrative for obvious reasons, and this is not a political prod in any way... 

This was actually prompted by the fact that i constantly, and i mean by that nearly every day, hear or hear of business's in our so called allied trades and construction industry, moaning about each other, staff, subbies, the products, the service, (time) costs of training, supply chain back up etc etc... and the fact that there isn't enough margin to effectively deliver a sustainable income and or to complete various measures and or project delivery strategies from ECO to ATP to ESOS in a constantly compliant manor whilst retaining growth and profitability.

I am guessing that most 'humans' do rather like a little self indulgent moan/gossip now and again, but, I find the all too often escalation to 'Meeow'ing' non-constructive, and have done for many years, it's just I have never really spoken about it. 

Certainly after reflecting on my time spent in Europe, the States and even other areas around this Planet that we all seem to forget we share and occupy.

I find that the attitude of and towards our trades in particular, is still very different, and by that i mean the valuing of the hard earned professional qualifications and skill sets of trades in the UK, and placing them in line with other so called professionals in the UK PLC (brackets). 

I do think that the variety of trade bodies and associations where they can, do a sterling job, but even these can be limited by the fact that there is opposition and competition for membership, as well as variance in views and objectives, not to mention challenges at all levels, from the political landscape to the client and the education piece that is so important, and the fact that the industry seems to cyclically cut its own throat by going into a price war with its self, and sometimes also being its own worst enemy in the way it provides its services to its own customers.... and i could really go on here but will save you the bore... but if your in the CI sector I am sure you will know what i refer to.

The point I make is really a simple one, this is of nothing more than retrospective comparison and thinking of how we operate as trades and associates of trades in the UK and how they do this well elsewhere and what we can seek to lead on, and also follow and learn by, and implement these elements as best customer practice, whoever that customer is, be that a House Builder for a Client, Architect for a Community, Social Housing Provider for Tenant's, Manufacturer or Merchant with a Trade as a customer, or a Trade for a 'Homeowner' or 'Business' as a customer....

I am not saying for one minute that we should all run about like the 'Borg' (that's a Star Trek thing)... as a collective, as that would be dull and bland, but, given the enormous amount of variation in thinking, behaviours, regional trends, expectations, and customer needs, particularly in regards to the joined up best practice journey that are ultimately your customer experiences 'who ever they are'... There could perhaps be a little better alignment at times across our CI silos, and we don't have to look too far into the past or too far overseas to observe good examples of how this works efficiently and effectively...

If we took just a proportion of the lost time, for one example: in the 'interpretation of policy and putting it into trading action and traction' as 'one' industry, we may just be able to be more effective in converting our seemingly spandex like margins from a 'Meeowww'...... to a 'Grin'....

Or maybe, we just love the Circus too much?


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