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Settling in – and there’s a lot going on!

Carl shows his support for the CFA’s Winter Warning Campaign, which hopefully will make all our lives a little bit easier this winter.

As I settle into the role of president, I find it very reassuring to see how active the CFA is during this rather strange and difficult time that we are going through at the moment. I’m particularly pleased that we are confronting the issue of inadequate conditions and heating on site.

Wearing my contractor’s hat, I am aware that this is an important issue, which the CFA is absolutely right to be making a lot of noise about, especially at this time of year.

Of course we will only install product if we know the installation is going to be successful, but raising these issues on-site with clients or main contractors can be a cause of unnecessary friction. It’s much better that everyone is warned in advance and prepared to do a successful job.

To me the Winter Warning Campaign is firstly about providing a service to our members in the form of a real member benefit which gives them something they can use on site and which makes their lives easier. I’m aware it also means that we need to communicate effectively that we have the Winter Warning cards and the Toolkit, as there is no point having these things if members are not aware of them. Hopefully we are doing that effectively this year.

It is also about making jobs run more smoothly on site, avoiding animosity, ensuring the job gets done to the best of the contractor’s ability, ensuring the customer is happy and our members get repeat business!

Given all the normal cost constraints and time pressures on site, additional aggro caused by lack of heat being provided for the floorlayers is just something we can all do without. I hope that the CFA Winter Warning Campaign will play a part in making things run more smoothly this winter. It is something we are yet again actively pushing at Westcotes Flooring with our sites and clients as the colder months approach.

I also hope that members understand that the tools we are making available are benefits which are only fully available to members. Joining the CFA is the only way to access to all the materials – another great reason to join!

Your membership also of course helps make these campaigns possible – Future Fitters, our work on sustainability, all our training activities and the many publications that we produce to help support the industry – to name just a few activities.

In fact I would like to take the opportunity to promote once again the publications that are available to download from www.cfa.org.uk. Taken together these amount to an amazing amount of work, research and expertise distilled into documents for the benefit of our members and indeed the wider industry, since many of the key ones are available as free downloads to site visitors (although some documents require a free registration).

From the CFA Guide to Contract Flooring to the Sustainability Guide and from the Members’ Handbook to the Training Guide, you will not find a more complete resource anywhere else serving the contract flooring industry. It is worth pointing out that CFA membership is required to access the full range of information on the site, including technical guidance documents, recordings of recent webinars and, of course, the materials which make up the Winter Warning Toolkit.

Talking of support to members, I am really pleased that we have been able to welcome Richard Bromwell, membership manager, as the newest member of our team. Recruiting new members is a key task, and Richard will be taking every opportunity to reinforce the point that, whatever the pressure on budgets currently, an investment in CFA membership will definitely be money well-spent to help you run a successful business in the long term. A part of Richard’s role is also to support our existing members – the lifeblood of the CFA – and help them get maximum value from their CFA membership.

I think Richard is absolutely right also to prioritise getting out there and meeting people. Online methods of communication are great and have really helped us all over the last couple of years – and in fact have revolutionised for good the way a lot of us work. However there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings, and Richard will be very keen to meet members, ex-members, prospective members and anyone else from the industry, so I hope you all get the chance to meet him soon.
I have myself also found it a pleasure to meet up with many of you – old acquaintances and new – at CFA events over the Autumn. Since we are now in mid-December, it just remains for me to wish you and yours a peaceful and relaxing break over Christmas and also to wish you every success for 2023!

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