So, just how has the US elections affected the UK

So, just how has the US elections affected the UK?

Trumping over the UK economy

by Tracey Jackson)

The world has been very involved in the recent American election battle between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, and two other candidates that no one knew about.  Both parties had their strengths and their weaknesses.

The world has watched with bated breath for the outcome and with all the copious amounts of mudslinging and character assignations, almost like a car crash unfolding in front of us, who will be selected, how will this affect us in the UK? The World?

The Independent saw Clinton winning as a negative result for Russia but that China had a really good existing trade relationship that needed maintaining.

In the run up to the election, Business and financial institutions across the World were poised for a hard ride come election day, with either result could push the economy either way.  It was by no means a done deal as opinion was divided, right up to the last vote being cast.  In the end Trump won with 276 votes and was a clear winner.

In his victory speech, Trump promised to double the US growth and strengthen the economy.  As a businessman, he says that in his experience, he has seen lots of untapped potential all over the world.  As a President, he has vowed to bring  together the US parties and have a united people.

He has a plan for see national growth and for the US to have the strongest economy in the world.  He wants to build on relationships with the world.

Following the election, US markets dropped down 900 points, which in comparison to Brexit  of 610 points, was considerably lower. Globally, our pound dropped massively following the vote, but by opening play of our markets had recovered its position.   Immediately following the result, the Mexican peso dropped nearly 13%, the Austrialia ASX 200 went down 2.1%, Japan, Nikkei 225 down 6%, China Shanghai Composit  – 1.0% and Hong Kong Hang Seng -3%.  The UK markets dropped by 2% when they opened but then recovered up by 60 points at the end of the day.  Banks in particular saw big profits by then end of the day.


Looking forward, predictions are for minimal growth and possible volatile markets for the first quarter of 2017.  On the subject of whether the new President is a good thing for UK business and Finance, well with promises of closer business ties with the US, it remains to be seen.


Information from:




Business insider

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How to keep your conservatory cosy this Christmas; Howells Patent Glazing

Conservatories make great additions to most houses, giving extra room for entertaining, playing, or relaxing in, however they’re often expensive to build and poorly insulated – so making good use of them during the great British winter can be a challenge.

Tracey Jackson, marketing manager at Howells Patent Glazing said, “whilst brick built rooms are always insulated better than a conservatory (in the main), the added appeal of panoramic views of the outdoors, and being able to let natural light flood your home is what makes them incredibly popular. However, you don’t have to suffer in the cold. There are a few solutions to combat the cold during the winter months, and we thought we would share them with you”.

How do I keep my conservatory warm this Christmas?

How do I keep my conservatory warm this Christmas?

“How do I keep my conservatory warm this Christmas?” Here at Howells Patent Glazing, we’ve been in the glazing manufacturing industry for over 40 years, and are experts in our field. We know just how to keep the nation’s conservatories warm during winter. Here are our top tips for beating the chill:

  • Start from the bottom
    It’s a well-known fact that heat rises – and as a conservatory roof is usually made of glass, that’s where they lose most of their heat. If the flooring in a conservatory is cold (tile or laminate flooring), consider adding carpet with a thick, quality underlay. Not in the budget? Then consider buying big, thick or fluffy rugs – these will have the added advantage of being portable, so storing them in the summer months is easy.
  • Barricade the breeze
    As winter looms, so comes the wind. If the wind starts howling through a conservatory, explore and inspect the seals. Old, ill-maintained seals can erode and leave gaps for the wind to penetrate through. Often, it can be worth paying to have glazing re-sealed, or those who are of a ‘handy’ persuasion can give it a go themselves with the help of a few online tutorials.
  • Heat it up
    Don’t be afraid to invest in a heater for the conservatory. Whilst it’s perfectly safe to have a heater in a conservatory, take note; heat escapes fast through the roof. To combat costly fuel bills, ensure the only time the heater is on is when the room is in use.
  • Draw the curtains
    A conservatory is basically three walls of windows – so try dressing them like it. Often, hanging thermal blinds or curtains with a heavy weight can be the cheapest option for keeping a conservatory warm in winter. Draw them to keep heat from the heater and home inside, and open them to make use of the sunshine warming the room. This is an effective technique, and the more you can spend on great quality window dressings the better the insulation will be.
  • Check your glazing
    Single glazed conservatories are a bit like standing outside, but without the rain. Single glazed windows are unbelievably inefficient. If the budget allows, think of replacing the glazing in a conservatory with a more efficient option; such as double or triple glazed or solar controlled glazing which keeps the temperature of a conservatory regulated throughout the year.

Howells Patent Glazing are known for being a forward thinking manufacturing firm, and are regarded by many as one of the UK’s best glazing companies.  We are extremely proud of our reputation and are constantly striving to develop the business further. Giving advice on how to take care of glazing is our specialty, and we hope that in 2017 we will see a new wave of domestic clients that are keen to keep up-to-date on the advances in glazing technology.

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The challenges of working on school buildings; Howells Patent Glazing

Here at Howells Patent Glazing, we’ve been in the manufacturing business for over 40 years and worked on many building and installation challenges over the years.

We’ve decided to use our experience to take a closer look at what makes working on school and education buildings different to any other contracts, and explain how to overcome some of the more challenging obstacles that contractors may face.

Tracey Jackson, marketing manager at Howells Patent Glazing said, “With so many schools across the country needing desperate repairs to their buildings, there are a lot of opportunities out there for firms like ours. Taking on a school project can be quite unique, especially if you have never worked on one before. We have found that every project has its individual needs, and school and educational buildings are no exception to that rule”.


Howells Patent Glazing have worked on numerous school buildings over the years and we believe that, with some careful forward planning, school projects can be the one of the most rewarding contracts to undertake. Here’s our list of the most common challenges when working on a school building:


  • Company enhanced DBS clearance – all employees that will be on site will need to have DBS clearance. From the project manager to the installers. Depending on who you intend to use to get your DBS clearance, this can take some time to come back to you, so Howells suggest starting the process of obtaining clearance as soon as possible.
  • Timings – if you are planning a school project, you need to take into account that there will be students everywhere. If you can land a project inside the school holidays, then this issue can be resolved. If not, then this is where a regimented plan proves imperative to the efficiency and success of a project.
  • Deliveries – this is important. When working on a project that takes place outside of the school holidays, deliveries have to be scheduled to arrive outside of peak times when pupils are arriving or leaving school. Congestion around school buildings makes for a challenging approach to the site, and unloading at peak times will flag up some serious safeguarding issues.
  • Age related issues – a lot of old school buildings are fitted with old systems. On their Leeds City College project, Howells Patent Glazing found that the 40 year old glazing system used steel bars, no ventilation, condensation and dangerous single glazed panels. These can be tricky to remove, and dispose of, without causing damage to the surrounding areas.
  • The Big ‘A’ – asbestos. Asbestos still presides in most UK buildings built before the year 2000, and one of the most common problems that Howells Patent Glazing have faced is the fact that they were unable to remove the asbestos. Howells now has the certification to remove asbestos, but they urge any contractor to bear this in mind before taking on any project on an older building.

Howells Patent Glazing’s experience in the glazing manufacture industry has seen us take on numerous school projects over the years, but we don’t just contract to schools. Our portfolio also includes working on other public sector buildings including nursing homes and hospitals as well as commercial property, retail, leisure and private homes. Our product range features bespoke rooflights, mono, gable ended and hip lanterns, frameless flat lights, north lights and much more.

Since 2014, Howells Patent Glazing, based in Birmingham, have experienced rapid growth with record sales and turnover increasing year on year. The increase in demand for Howells’s products and expertise is believed to be because of increased investment in some of the UK’s biggest cities, and their most recent contracts prove that to be true.


For more information on Howells Patent Glazing, visit

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Structural Glazing

Structural glazing systems can provide striking store front appearances, giving architects and designers the opportunity to offer unique uninterrupted glass structures without any visible framing, giving retailers maximum visual potential.

Frameless facades can be achieved by incorporating a combination of stainless steel fittings and structural glass support fins.  These facades can be created using single toughened glass, toughened laminated or double glazed units

structural glazing

Structural glass systems can provide striking store front appearances, giving architects and designers the opportunity to offer unique uninterrupted glass structures without any visible framing, giving retailers maximum visual potential.

Frameless facades can be achieved by incorporating a combination of stainless steel fittings and structural glass support fins.  These facades can be created using single toughened glass, toughened laminated or double glazed units.

Structural glazing systems, in their simplest form, are types of curtain wall systems consisting of glass that is bonded or anchored back to a structure without the use of continuously gasketed aluminum pressure plates or caps. The glass can be comprised of monolithic, laminated, dual-glazed or even triple-glazed insulating glass units (IGUs). The back-up structure may use horizontal and/or vertical aluminium mullions or be a glass mullion, steel blade, cable or stainless steel rod. The interior and exterior may use extruded silicone/EPDM gaskets, or a wet sealed silicone depending on the system. This system creates a completely clean, flush exterior appearance while the interior members have many different options depending on design and budget.

So why would you want to go with a structural glazing system? Structurally glazed systems create a greater transparency than traditional captured systems. There are less visual interruptions due to the lack of metal on the exterior (and potentially the interior), creating a seamless, continuous glass look. Traditional captured curtain wall systems have pressure plates and caps that can conduct large amounts of heat in or out of the façade depending on the season. Since there is little to no exposed exterior metal, there is also less thermal bridging with structural glazing, saving on energy consumption costs. Now, let’s take a look at some of the different types of structural glazing systems in the market today.

Cool Structural Glazed Buildings

Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi

Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi








Raddison Blu Hotel , Birmingham

Raddison Blu Hotel , Birmingham











The Gherkin














The Shard , London


















Millennium Point Birmingham









Howells Patent Glazing have carried out works at the prestigious Millennium Point in Birmingham installing 5000 square metres of coloured U profiled glazing.


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Lead Generation…It’s a Numbers Game

How do you find new leads in the construction industry? Is there a way to accurately source new projects that are relevant to your specialty with enough information to put you in with a chance of winning that contract? Many companies and local authorities advertise jobs on procurement websites but that means spending hours creating accounts to cover each sector / local authority then going through all the results never mind trying to keep track of all the passwords / user IDs etc. To combat that headache, there are a few lead providers on the market where you can buy relevant leads in areas that work for you; Glenigans and Barbour ABI to name a couple who source local authority plus commercial construction projects. Sounds perfect; pay a small fee and have thousands of construction leads wing their way to your computer screen. Leads are then easy to sort, filter, analyse and there are teams of people there to assist with any queries you may have. Are these leads enough to bring your product to market? Can you rely solely on this information to drum up new business?

Lead generation market leaders

If you are not familiar with lead providers these are simply companies who source information from planning departments on upcoming / proposed construction projects and make the information available to people like you and me for a monthly fee. There are literally thousands of new construction leads sourced and forwarded on a daily basis. Once these leads land at your door, you can do with them as you like; call them, email them, track companies that regularly seek your kind of product. Sounds perfect and can save hundreds of man hours trying to source these yourself, but does it work?

Buying your lead pitfalls

There are of course a few pitfalls to using these lead providers. Firstly, they concentrate on large projects over a certain value. Typically only projects over £250K are researched. Other projects that fall below this value are found and listed, but no follow-up / in-depth information is communicated. For a small to medium enterprise, this can mean that the majority of leads with meaningful information cannot be applied for direct but rather watched until a main contractor is awarded and try and secure a subcontract opportunity from them.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the information sourced is all in the public domain, therefore, whether it is found through a lead provider or someone trawling through planning consent data, the likelihood is that the person listed in the contact details will have been approached by numerous other companies trying to sell their product. It certainly is not unusual to find yourself speaking to someone who has grown tired of being ‘cold called’ by eager sales and marketing people trying to get a foot in the door.

Ensuring Quality Leads

Quality of leads is crucial when relying on lead generation information. From personal experience, there were issues with  the main companies and the information they published. There were occasions where companies were listed as being awarded a specific contract when in fact they were merely listed on a framework agreement and had no idea whether they themselves would get the job.

Other issues included jobs being advertised as current but had been completed years before, or the value of the work being inaccurate.

Being efficient

There is no doubt however that using a lead provider is a more time efficient way of finding potential new contracts. Having used lead providers for some time, there is a regular stream of enquiries received because of purchased leads but experience has taught us that timing is very important when approaching new contacts from purchased leads. Our speciality is roof glazing, therefore we need to target contracts towards the end of their construction as the roof will go on last. By targeting new projects just after planning consent is granted or at tender stage, it could be that our name gets lost in a large pile of potential suppliers. However, if we contact the contractor just a few months before the forecast completion date we stand more of a chance of remaining top-of-mind and securing the business.

Other sources for gaining business

One thing does remain clear, using a lead provider alone will not secure your success. This needs to be something in your toolbox but not your sole supply of new business. Networking events, nurturing existing customers, maintaining a good reputation for word-of-mouth recommendations are all essential but don’t take our word for it. Why not sign up for a free trial? There are numerous suppliers out there such as Glenigans, In-tend and Barbour ABI. Construction Line can be used to put buyers in touch with suppliers and can also save your company valuable time when completing PQQ documents. Also remember that there are other completely free procurement websites that are useful for local authority or government funded procurement;





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The effect of Brexit on the construction industry; Howells Patent Glazing

In the wake of Brexit, our Cradley Heath based manufacturing firm, Howells Patent Glazing, have seen a substantial increase in homeowners and local builders taking a hands-on approach to construction – cutting out the middleman. Our firm believes this as result of people wanting to retain control of a build project and reduce cost in order to keep afloat in these uncertain economic times. This is backed up by our record-breaking turnover figures for the past 3 years.

Figures from the Barbour ABI Economic and Construction Market Review state that the economy grew 0.4% in the first quarter of 2016, and continued to grow to 0.6% in the second quarter. Since then, Brexit contract activity has fallen in all areas of construction, but more specifically, public housing and infrastructure has taken a massive hit by at least 21% down in comparison to last year, and 15% down on the first quarter of this year.

Tracey Jackson, marketing manager at Howells Patent Glazing said, “Contrary to the figures in the Barbour ABI Economic and Construction Market Review, we have noticed a definite upturn in the level of enquiries – but not just in the construction side of our business. The ‘supply only’ side of our business seems to be equally as busy, if not busier than last year, in general”.

Howells Patent Glazing’s supply only department has always followed a 40:60 rule, until two years ago, when we noticed that things were starting to change. Over the last three years, the Howells team have increased their turnover by 50%, but the rule of thumb for our supply only department has changed to 50:50.

The popularity of home makeover/construction programmes on TV proves that the self-builder is on the up, with many people project managing their own home makeovers. People are also back on the trend of buying properties to use as future pensions, predicting a potential inadequacy of the state pension – something that people have been unable to afford for some time. However, we believe that the ‘second home inflated stamp duty tax’ will slow this down.

Whether Howells’s success with our ‘supply only’ department is down to Brexit or not will become clear over the next year, but for now, our firm is hoping that the new, post-Brexit self-build trend will start to change the way the UK construction industry makes money, with UK businesses buying from each other once again.

For more information on Howells Patent Glazing, please visit

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National Trust and English Heritage

Repairing and maintaining roofs are a costly business and more so when a large historic building is involved!

Orangery at Montacute House

The orangery at Montacute House, National Trust, has re-opened with a new roof and 2,380 glass panes all refitted into their correct place.

With each pane of glass a different size, the restoration presented a huge jigsaw puzzle for the National Trust building team who carried out the work following the collapse of the roof nearly three years ago.

The roof had collapsed under the weight of snow and, with most of the timbers rotting and needing to be replaced, the National Trust building team had a huge task to carefully remove the glazed roof and restore it to the original standard.

‘There were 2380 panes of glass in the roof – most of them different sizes – which turned this into a giant sized jigsaw puzzle for the building team,’ said Lottie Allen, Parks and Garden Manager

A raffle had raised over £10,000 which paid for scaffolding and materials so the Montacute building team could get to grips with carefully dismantling and rebuilding the fragile roof.

The glass panes were recorded and carefully removed and the roof dismantled – all done in sight of visitors who were able to climb to a platform on the scaffolding and see the work close up.

Thought to date from about 1840, the orangery was originally used to over winter orange trees which spent the summer on the terrace by the house. To recreate that effect, clipped bay trees have been used.  ‘I’d love to put the oranges back but for the moment we have the bay trees and we’re just celebrating the work to restore the orangery which looks great, our visitors all love it , many having watched it being repaired.’

Montacute House new roof

Montacute House

There is a cascade inside the orangery which would have been installed to increase humidity levels for the plants. It is hoped to restore it as well in due course.

More information about Montacute House is available on


Beningbrough Hall

Rooflights fitted in English Heritage and National Trust usually have to match the old style period rooflights.  At Howells Glazing we have carried out a job at Beningbrough Hall using our team of fixers using our English Heritage approved systems.

Beningbrough Hall refurbishment

Beningbrough Hall Statley Home



Beningbrough Hall refurbishment

Beningbrough Hall new rooflight

Beningbrough Hall refurbishment

Beningbrough Hall internal shot


Pilkington Suncool

We use Pilkington Glass in our rooflights, canopies etc as they are an established company and household name. We have various glass options such as Pilkington suncool 60/40, patterned glass, Pilkington Activ self cleaning etc.


Pilkington Glass

Pilkington Suncool

We have also  have worked at Longford Castle.

Situated near Salisbury in Wiltshire, with the River Avon running through its ground is one of the most maginficinet of English Country Houses.

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Working and Childcare – is it a mission impossible?

Major issues

One of the major issues affecting working families during this time of the year is without a doubt the issue of childcare during the school shut down periods.  Where to go with them, how to find suitable child care, the cost associated with these days and more all come into play – When you have more than one child, these costs can quickly escalate.

At Howells, have been looking into this as many of us have children currently in primary and secondary education and find the coming months a nightmare filled with childcare dilemmas.  This is a problem for most working parents, especially those without the benefit of a ‘grandparent care’ facility.  Childcare costs vary from the age of the child and the type of environment that they attend; A full time nursery for preschool children is around 34.00 per day.

Primary School Children

When children turn 8 years old, they then fall into a different category and have to rely on childminders, often in their own homes.  This can be a worry for parents – how do you know what is going on when you are not there?  When the children get to this age, they often want to do summer activity clubs, but these do not run for the entire working day and you have to drop them off mid-morning and pick up mid-afternoon.  What are you meant to do with work either side of this?  The working parent seems to have to make tough choices all the time.  ‘Does my child have to miss these activities, or do I need to miss work and all the implications that this involves’?

2 or more children

There is also the added issue of the ‘2 or more children’ problem, where there are such sufficient age differences that the parent cannot get them into the same system of day care.  What do you do when one wants to do the activity club, and the other is too young and needs full time care?  Sometimes it can feel like work fits in around childcare and not the other way round.

Tracey Jackson, Marketing Manager here at Howells Patent Glazing said, “ I do not think that the councils have thought hard enough about this problem. When children are under the legal age to be left at home all day, parents or carers should be offered REASONABLY priced, day long child care at their schools.  After all, the children live within a reasonable distance from these places of education and therefore it should not be difficult to utilise this type of care.  These facilities are few and far between, and costs are in line with preschool childcare… way out of the pocket of the average working parent, especially those with more than one child”.

Bumblebee vouchers

The government are trying to help parents with schemes such as the tax relief Bumblebee tax vouchers, where you save around 25% of the child care costs by purchasing the vouchers directly through salary sacrifice. For under 13’s the choice is wide, but not always practical if you work long hours.  The most flexible arrangement seems to be a mix of all options, a childminder/a grandparent/or friend who will not object to taking children to clubs and then looking after siblings, or a single option of child care facility where the children stay in paid care until they are old enough to be left at home; usually at around 14 years old, but this depends on the child.

Work Experience

Another option available to parents and children is to gain valuable work experience, similar to those carried out during term time in year 10, whilst sampling different trades.  This would be helpful in deciding future career paths, picking options and earning a little bit of pocket money.  It does take a lot of planning as the authority needs to approve the work place to ensure that it is a fit and safe environment, and that the working time does not exceed a maximum of 5 hours per day.  This could mean anything from a paper round, working in an office, in a shop or in a manufacturing environment, just like Howells Patent Glazing.

As a company, we know that the future of manufacturing lies in the new generation, and get a true buzz out of showing young people what it is to work in manufacturing and the construction industry.  As a country, the UK has a major skills shortage and unless it is addressed, it will leave a hole in the industry that cannot be filled internally.  This is something that we can all do, if we can spare the time to train, involve and educate young people.  This year alone, Howells Patent Glazing have given meaningful employment to eight children aged between 13 and 15 during both the school work experience week and several days over the summer holidays.

Mentoring a young person

Key points from Howells Patent Glazing to consider if you wish to mentor a young person:

  • Find out what their interests are and then place them either in the office or the factory accordingly.  There will be no benefit to anyone if you put someone who wants to work in marketing on the shop floor learning about roof bars.
  • Draw up a flexible training plan. For this, we tend to overload the requirements as everyone works at their own pace and they have different learning journeys.  There is no benefit to us or the child to make it a race and ruin their personal learning curve.  You will also need to factor in a member of staff to sit with them to coach and mentor them through their journey.
  • Make it sound exciting! It saddens us when people say, “I only work in manufacturing”. Manufacturing and construction is how this country was built.  Let’s get the excitement back into making a difference, building a greater Britain.  The youth are our future, give them a trade and they will use it.

It is important to note that any training plan has to follow the guidelines of the local councils employers guide, which stipulates what can be done and for how long.  The role of the department is then looked at and all available work that fits into the criteria is put into a list and against that the training that will be required to fulfil that job.  This is then broken down into a diary type form, but is still flexible to allow for a nurtured approach.  Once they are trained, they can carry out functions which can monitored and checked for accuracy, feedback given and then the learner can move onto another section.

Tracey Jackson concluded, “It is so important to give back with this type of training, and giving a positive spin on manufacturing to young people is definitely the way forward”.

Upskilling the workforce

We have a strategy to upskill all of our workforce. This involves all of our fixing teams, our admin/sales staff and our factory floor staff. In total, out of 37 staff, 28 are either about to or are undertaking a work placed NVQ.  This is an impressive statistic, and we have been shortlisted twice for an award to mark our positive training efforts via Midland Insider and now with National Apprenticeship Awards 2016.


For more information on Howells Patent Glazing, visit our homepage at




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Can SME’s still win business; Howells Patent Glazing question procurement procedures

The government has set itself a target of spending £1 in every £3 with small businesses by 2020 but our Midlands manufacturing firm, Howells Patent Glazing, are questioning how feasible the ambitious procurement goal is.

With The Education Funding Agency (EFFA) commencing the first phase of its hunt for contractors for its £6billion construction framework in May 2016, small businesses, even the ones who previously held relationships with local councils and contractors, are missing out on their slice of the pie it seems. An article in the latest edition of Construction News announced that Kier secured nearly 40% of all contracts on the EFFA’s main contractor framework, followed by huge names in the industry such as Bowmer & Kirkland, Galliford Try, Bam, Wates, Carillion and Sir Robert McAlpine.

These statistics have left firms like ours at Howells Patent Glazing thinking about our regional framework. According to the website, the list of contractors appointed on the regional procurement framework was all too familiar. Contrary to the government’s vision of opening their doors to a more competitive market place, the new approach to council procurement seems to create an increasingly difficult barrier to trading direct with once previously accessible council clients.

Tracey Jackson, marketing manager here at Howells Patent Glazing said, “We know we have great products and we know our clients; having worked closely with local councils in the past, and having built those relationships over our 40+ years of manufacture and development.  Years of developing relationships based on our reputation is now a thing of the past as we are left to cosy up to the main contractors, which can be hit and miss to say the least.  But I guess it swings both ways. There are contractors with whom we have worked in the past, who know us, trust us and use our products and always send us enquiries that come their way – we are lucky in that sense. There are smaller businesses than ours who have lost everything.”

This new approach to government and council procurement seems entirely biased towards main contractors, so the advice to fellow SME’s from Howells Patent Glazing is to keep chipping away at those who get the contracts, and try and get the business’s name out there.  Keep an eye out for contract award notices if and when they are published, and keep knocking on those doors.

Tracey Jackson concluded, “Apparently there are increasing targets for government spending with SME’s, so maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you’ve had success with local authorities in the past, then Howells Patent Glazing would love to hear your story.”

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How to avoid having to be a psychic credit controller

How do credit controllers keep things running?  How do they control the risk to the company?


quarter one insolovency for uk


Companies ceasing trading

With new government statics in for the first quarter of 2016 the trend for companies ceasing trading does not seem to abating.  Government figures show 3,694 companies entered insolvency in the first three months of the year, 3.6pc lower than in the same period during 2015.



new companies

Companies starting up

Couple that with new company start ups, there are well known statistics that show that at least half of all start up businesses fail within their first 5 years, this coupled with the fact that some of these now also restart new companies, sometimes pre-empting the fail of the currently trading company and this compounds the job of the credit controller.



Controlling the risk

Trying to control the exposure and risk of a company these days falls onto the already stressed accounts department of the company.  It seems that the credit controller now also needs to be a psychic and have abilities of fortune telling!


Cash flow forecasts demand that the credit controller be ahead of the game where finance is concerned and at the tip of their fingers know what cash is due in at any point.  If they only had to deal with expected payment dates as agreed on contract starts, that would be easy, however they are constantly now playing catch up with customers finding more and more convoluted ways of avoiding payments.

Mitigating the challenge

There are several ways of mitigating the challenge of non and defaulting payments, firstly, the most important of all, for cash sale customers/non account customers ask for a deposit with order as this will cover the basic expenses outlay and then insist on full payment before or on delivery of cleared funds.  Cleared funds are very important, as some payment options require 3 to 5 days to get through the banking system.  If a customer wants to pay on the day, cash or fast payment into the bank or credit card are  the only options that should be considered.  If there is time, the BACS/CHAPS or cheques can be considered.

Credit card payments need thought as if a deposit is taken by card and then another payment type is received for the balance, should the customer complain or reject the goods upto 6 months after delivery, they can have a FULL refund from the credit card company.  This is given to them first on complaint and then you have to fight to overturn the decision.

Customers and credit accounts

For customer having or wanting credit accounts, there are a few rules that must be followed.  Never overextend the company by offering credit to any one customer that is more than 20% of your overall yearly sales.  If this customer should default in payment for any reason, the impact on your business would be catastrophic.  Next, you must credit check every customer to determine the credit worthiness of their company.  Never extend more credit than it says on the report and never more than you can afford to lose, should the worst happen, but these will need to be monitored regularly as things can change on a day to day basis.  If you have enough in your budget to allow, having debt insurance is definitely the way to go.  This works on a company to company basis (not private indivuals) and the insurance company not only monitor the risk of the company for you, but they also step in to chase doubtful debts and best of all – pay out when the company defaults!

Check our our website here



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