A quarterly survey by the Construction Products Association (CPA) reports general growth in the construction industry, but sends a warning over rising costs.

Following a weather-related boost to activity in the second quarter, most of the construction industry experienced growth in Q3 of 2018, according to The CPA’s Construction Trade Survey. During this quarter, 27% of product manufacturers, 25% of main contractors, 16% of SME builders and 10% of civil engineering firms reported an increase in activity. 22% of SMEs reported an increase in enquiries in Q3.

However, a rise in costs appears to be reducing profit margins. 80% of main contractors reported a rise in materials and labour costs, while 90% of product manufacturers reported an increase in fuel costs. Furthermore, cost rises for civil engineering contractors reached a three-year high.

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders, said: ‘The latest trade survey indicates a general increase in construction output, workloads and enquiries for SME contractors. With the economy facing further uncertainty in future months… contractors operating with falling profit margins are a reason for concern.’

With rising costs being felt across the industry, it’s important to find new ways to protect your profit margins. The first and most crucial step is to gain complete control over your finances; acquiring proven construction-specific job costing software will provide you with the accuracy and flexibility needed to streamline your businesses processes and manage your company’s accounts effectively.

Construct for Sage is a contract management solution from Eque2 that helps you control your budget by recording your contract costs as they build up against specific cost codes, managing subcontractors and providing accurate client billing in a familiar interface alongside Sage. This construction job costing software is perfect for ensuring your Finance and Commercial teams are well aligned and well informed with accurate and updated records on every contract. Ultimately, this powerful job costing solution helps you to increase margins and save time and money.

Rising costs pose a threat to profits for contractors, but construction job costing software enables you to overcome any difficulty with advanced financial control. Construct for Sage comes in two software packages suitable for SME contractors that work with Sage, ensuring the margins of any company are protected from rising industry costs.