The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has released its latest State of Trade Survey, with results indicating a poor end to the year for smaller construction firms in London. We’re seeing a number of contractors review how technology can help them to stay ahead, monitor margins closely and streamline manual processes.

The survey, the only quarterly assessment of the SME construction sector across the UK, shows growth slowing among the capital’s small building companies for the second consecutive quarter, with the overall indicator dropping four percentage points in Q3 2017.

The results were described by Barry Mortimer, director of FMB London, as “clear evidence that material price hikes and skills shortages are starting to bear down on London’s construction SMEs.”

Further findings from the FMB’s State of Trade Survey include an increase in workloads reported by only 41% of SMEs, compared to 48% in the last quarter, while 58% of construction SMEs say they expect wages and salaries to increase in the next six months.

Many firms continue to struggle with the ongoing skills shortage; 61% of the survey’s respondents are struggling to hire carpenters and joiners, while 59% are having difficulties finding bricklayers.

Add to this the 82% of constructors anticipating a further rise in material prices, and the forecast from the FMB isn’t looking good. This shows that what is important in surviving economic uncertainty is closely monitoring your margins, being aware of any fluctuations in costs and having full visibility of how your construction projects are progressing. You can do this easily through the use of construction specific accounting software.

Our Construct for Sage software enables businesses to stay abreast of large amounts of information from multiple data sources, streamlining your processes and offering total transparency for the entire team.

Contract budgeting, job costing, PO processing and even managing subcontractors are all much more straightforward with Construct contract management software. So instead of losing time and money to lengthy, complex processes, these are now automated and allow you to find quality contractors and invoice in less time, with better results.