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Introducing the 2023 CFA Members’ Handbook in an unpredictable market

Richard Catt launches this year’s handbook and elaborates on how the CFA has represented its members.

I DON’T know if you are the same, but I often find myself measuring or comparing things pre- and post-pandemic. That is probably not always absolutely fair or relevant, but it is a natural marker and difficult to ignore. There also seem to be many examples that coincide with the pandemic creating a perfect storm of new challenges for the construction industry and business community.

Significant things that have changed the landscape almost irreversibly to make running a business just that bit harder than say… before the pandemic.

Events such as Brexit, Ukraine, the pandemic, political unrest, a weakened economy, high interest rates, and Grenfell (new regulation that construction must work to for high rise buildings – see my September 2023 CFJ article) significantly impact the construction sector. I have to say that the onslaught is quite relentless and even on a sector basis some of these events (and others) are really important.

For example, Shaun Wadsworth (CFA Training Manager) has been leading CFA’s recent involvement in saving apprenticeship delivery in Scotland. We are also constantly engaged on working on how the industry can improve the shortage of skills and labour in the wider sector through our Future Fitter campaign.

I am pleased to say that our efforts are showing some benefit to CFA members. FITA (our training arm www.fita.co.uk) has never been busier and our work in delivering apprenticeships as well as reviewing the standards has taken huge leaps forward. Of course, you have to be a member to reap the rewards such as a 15% discount off FITA training courses or access to Shaun’s direct support for training needs.

Paradoxically, the industry has been busier in the last few years than I have probably ever known. At least during my time at the CFA. I say paradoxically, because you would not have thought that the environment I describe at the beginning of this article could possibly create positive trading conditions, but they have.

When labour is short and quality can therefore sometimes be compromised, the value and stock of a company that has been vetted and displays the CFA logo has to be high and will only increase as the amount of work eventually and inevitably slows.

I am therefore pleased to launch this year’s handbook with the October issue of CFJ and thought you might like to see how we have represented members in the introduction:
‘Welcome to the 2023/2024 edition of the CFA Members’ Handbook.

The UK contract flooring industry is a dynamic and ever-evolving sector, catering to a wide range of projects. From office spaces and retail environments to healthcare facilities and educational institutions, the flooring choices made by specifiers can significantly impact the functionality, aesthetics, and safety of a space. Therefore, finding trusted and experienced professionals is paramount to ensuring project success.

So why choose a CFA member to supply and fit your floors?
The reality in the UK market is that the flooring industry is relatively unregulated. This directory serves as your indispensable resource, a quality supply chain providing information about our association’s members who specialise in contract flooring. Each member listed has undergone a vetting process to ensure their expertise, access to industry standards, training, health and safety and an overall commitment to quality. By choosing professionals from this directory, you can have underlying confidence in their abilities and track records.

Whether you are specifying carpet, sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl tiles, engineered or solid wood, or even specialised flooring systems, this directory will assist you in identifying the most appropriate professionals who can fulfil your specific needs.

We understand that as a specifier, you prioritise factors such as sustainability, innovation, as well as aesthetics, performance and compliance with industry regulations. CFA members have access to a wide variety of support including our industry leading technical and sustainability guides that are also freely available to the specifier from the downloads section of the CFA website www.cfa.org.uk.

This directory offers a unique opportunity for you to explore collaboration possibilities and build long term relationships. Our association’s members serve as a valuable resource and quality supply chain for specifiers seeking partnerships or expert advice on specific flooring challenges.

By connecting with our members, you can tap into a wealth of industry knowledge and experience that will enhance your own professional input, and successfully deliver your projects.’

CFA membership costs just £735.00 plus VAT per year. If you consider the coverage, promotion and business opportunities that the CFA handbook and website offer alone, it easily justifies that investment.

Our comms plan for 2023 / 2024 includes emphasis on reaching specifiers with the message of using a CFA member to support them should work begin to slow. If you add all the other benefits that CFA membership brings, like business helplines, dispute resolution service, technical support, free credit checks and a vast array of templates (e.g., disclaimers for laying on a damp floor or poor site conditions, general terms and conditions, H&S policy, quality policy etc) it becomes even more compelling.

The CFA is a leading trade association representing the flooring Industry. If you would like further information or an application pack outlining all the benefits of membership, please contact the CFA offices.
0115 9411126

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