Rotary piling (staying level) reported no change as lead times remained at five weeks. Although enquiries generally reduce leading up to Christmas, this year they have remained unchanged, maintaining the lead time. One company reported that the mobilisation period could extend to two weeks, depending on allocation of piling rigs and also on when orders were received.
Concrete works (staying level) remain at nine weeks, although how the figures are reported has been changed. Previously many companies identified both procurement and manufacture periods for the concrete supply chain. Typically the manufacture period identified the reinforcement procurement. This period has now been incorporated into a longer procurement period as there are no items manufactured in house to enable site operations to commence.
Steelwork (going up) increased from 10 to 11 weeks, as companies remained busier with new enquiries than in the last six months. Pressure on design offices caused the increase and companies advise that there are not enough steelwork designers in the market to ease the problem.
Membrane roofing (going up) increased by one week back to the previous lead time of seven weeks. All companies are busy with new enquiries and although last time materials were widely available, some manufacturers are now finding it difficult to meet the new Part L regulations.
High demand for brickwork (going up) increased lead times to six weeks (+1). Although there is the highest number of trainees for four years, significant numbers of projects have meant firms are quoting extra mobilisation periods.
Drylining (staying level) companies report no changes from nine weeks. Mobilisation periods have increased to two weeks. Recent supply problems have improved and scheduling new projects into resource levels remains the only fluctuating factor affecting lead times at present.
There was a mixed response in the demountable partition (staying level) sector. Some companies are very busy, notably those working in Europe, whereas other firms report workload has dropped, particularly in London. Overall the lead time remains at seven weeks. Design periods have reduced due to workloads and although manufacture has increased, suppliers foresee no serious problems.
General joinery (going down) suppliers reduced lead times to 11 weeks (-2). Enquiries are at a lower level than before and projects are now on site, reducing design periods.
Specialist joinery (going down) companies note a slow down in new enquiries as lead times reduce by a further week to 14 weeks overall. Design offices are less pressured and most companies are able to accommodate new orders. All materials are generally available.
The raised floor (going down) sector reduced lead-in forecasts back to six weeks as manufacturing plants have spare capacity. Generally new enquiries have slowed over the last six months.
Suspended ceilings (going up) increased by one week to 15 weeks, as labour availability remains the key issue. New enquiries have been slowing and suppliers expect lead times to level next time.
Lifts (staying level) remain at 41 weeks and though fitters continue to be in high demand, enquiries remain at a satisfactory level.
Suppliers report that several mechanical contracts (going down) have been pushed back in the last month creating capacity in design offices, leading to a drop in lead times of one week to 17 overall. Companies expect capacity to be available through the next year, as new enquiries are also reduced compared with earlier in the year.
Following the previous drop to 15 weeks, ductwork (staying level) companies do not report any further reduction in lead times, although new enquiries are at lower levels.
Companies are generally reporting slowing of markets relative to the workloads of the previous year. Fit-out companies have tended to be the ones noting fewer new enquiries while services suppliers note some projects being postponed. Despite all of the downward trends, most companies continue to quote labour sourcing problems.
Lead time tablesGoing up
Suspended ceilings Staying level
Demountable partition Going down