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Cast Stone industry bucks the trend (March 2013)

After a difficult time for all UK businesses, both Experian and the Construction Products Association (CPA) now predict a slowing decline in the construction industry in 2013 with a return to growth not now expected until 2014.

By contrast, the latest market stats from the UKCSA (to the end of 2012) show the picture for their cast stone manufacturing members is not so gloomy. Although volumes in the cast stone industry have not yet recovered to the highs of 2006, there has been a steady increase in members' sales from 2009, year on year, in terms of both order value and volume.

Who would have thought that apparently established cast stone manufacturing companies, who were not UKCSA members, would have gone under recently? Was your cast stone supplier one of them?

UKCSA is not only the "Guardian of Quality" for cast stone, acting as the reference point for the industry, but its membership also consists of long established cast stone businesses that can survive financially whilst delivering exceptional customer service and product quality. The UKCSA members are quite simply the right sort of companies to do business with, in a whole host of areas, to protect your business' reputation and credibility. Have confidence in your supplier and product by always specifying to the UKCSA Standard Specification and purchasing from an UKCSA member.

High performance cast stone features manufactured to the stringent UKCSA standards lend themselves to high end, quality developments and these have endured where the ‘budget’ end of construction may have faltered. This has allowed Cast Stone Association members to buck the general construction industry trend and show a steady, continued growth.

Many cast stone companies, both large and small, will not survive the current recession but those that have will be in a much stronger position looking to the future. The cast stone industry that emerges after this recession will look very different from the picture five years ago. Companies will have streamlined their processes and finances to be as lean as possible.

UKCSA members will be best placed in this reduced pool of suppliers to prove that they can provide a quality product to the highest recognised standards measured through regular testing and audits.

Buyers too will have ‘evolved’ into a different animal during this difficult time. Where buyers have experienced supplier failure they will know the cost of disruption, wasted time and possible damage to their own reputation. Buyers will need reassurance that their chosen cast stone supplier will be in business for the duration of their project. As a UK Cast Stone Association member, suppliers can demonstrate credibility by meeting stringent membership criteria which demands they have had an annual turnover of not less than £350,000 and having been producing cast stone to a minimum of British Standard 1217 for the last five years.

The manufacturing members of UKCSA are: Broadmead Renaissance Cast Stone, GreconUK, Haddonstone, Plean Precast, Procter Cast Stone, Thorverton, Woodside Cast Stone.

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