In the latest quarterly update on lead times, Tony Gale of Mace reports on dramatic rises in two packages

01 — Going up

(up) Natural stone cladding
(up) Facade-cleaning equipment
(up) General joinery
(no change) Pre-cast concrete frames

02 — Staying level

(no change) Rotary and precast piling
(no change) Architectural metalwork
(no change) Structural steelwork
(no change) Demountable partitions
(no change) Dry lining
(no change) Raised floors
(no change) Decorating
(no change) Suspended ceiling
(no change) Internal stone finishes
(no change) Profiled roofing
(no change) General joinery
(no change) Atrium roofing
(no change) Specialist joinery
(no change) Brickwork and blockwork
(no change) Reconstituted stone cladding
(no change) Curtain walling
(no change) Metal windows
(no change) Sprinkler installations
(no change) Ductwork
(no change) Non-standard lifts
(no change) Escalators
(no change) Electrical suppliers
(no change) Mechanical suppliers
(no change) Architectural metalwork
(no change) Logistics

03 — Going down

(down) IT infrastructure equipment
(down) Data and voice cabling

04 — Lead times summary

Rotary (no change) and precast piling (no change) lead times are still at seven weeks and six weeks respectively and structural steelwork (no change) has remained at 14 weeks despite predictions in the last report that greater demand might increase times.

Precast concrete frame (no change) suppliers are reporting a busy period. This has been reflected in lead times, which have been affected by the availability of manufacturing slots.

The lead times for demountable partitions (no change) have been maintained at nine weeks with previously reported spare capacity still holding true for the second successive report.

Raised floors (no change) lead time remains at seven weeks, which would be increased by any specialist finish that may be required.

Decorating (down) lead times have slightly reduced to four weeks owing to a steadying in orders.

Suspended ceiling (no change) lead times have been maintained at 15 weeks overall, with previously predicted increases not occurring.

Soft floor finishes (no change) lead times have been maintained at eight weeks after the annual busy period in the education sector.

Lead times for the membrane roofing (no change) and profiled roofing (no change) sectors were maintained at nine weeks and 14 weeks respectively. Suppliers noted that these lead-in periods were from receipt of as-built information and may be reduced depending on the package scope.

General joinery (no change) package is still at 12 weeks despite predictions in the last report that there would be an upturn in demand. Brickwork and blockwork (no change) suppliers noted a steadying in orders, although lead times remain at four weeks. Reconstituted stone cladding (no change) lead times are still 28 weeks.

Natural stone cladding (up) has seen a big increase owing to high demand for non-UK sourced granite and stone facades. These have increased by 16 weeks.

Lead times for atrium roofing (no change) are still at 29 weeks, although suppliers are turning away work to maintain this. A more pressing issue is the availability of suitably qualified labour to carry out the work. The overall lead time for curtain walling (no change) has been maintained at 18 weeks.

Lead times for sprinkler installations (no change) remain at about 10 weeks with suppliers still reporting a general shortage in skills. Increasing steel costs remain an issue.

Ductwork (no change) lead times are still at 10 weeks. Non-standard lift lead time has been maintained at 41 weeks and the wait for standard lifts (no change) is 14 weeks. The lead time for escalators (no change) is 20 weeks, and may grow busier next quarter.

The lead times for the IT infrastructure equipment (down) package and the data and voice cabling (down) package have been reduced by one week to six weeks. The product is being required more quickly and the supply chain has had to respond. Suppliers also report a shortage of skilled labour and the market is expected to get busier in the next quarter.

The average lead for electrical suppliers (no change) and mechanical suppliers (no change) has been maintained at 23 weeks and 16 weeks respectively.

Lead times for facade cleaning equipment (up) have slightly increased thanks to more complex design and need for access to 30 weeks.

Architectural metalwork (no change) suppliers have maintained their average lead time of 13 weeks, although some have advised that certain sections are difficult to source.

Logistics (no change) suppliers noted that four week lead in remains, although as this package is reliant on pre-planning this may alter depending on the complexity of the project.

In the last quarter lead in times have generally remained the same either owing to a steady demand in work or suppliers balancing their order books against demand.