Construction Update - February 2024

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Construction Update

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Inspired by nature, Woven Image adds five new colours to its acoustic offering [click here]




Construction Update

FEBRUARY 2024 Contents 6

Fear Of Theft And Violence Putting A Strain On Tradespeople


NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL Inspired by nature, Woven Image adds five new colours to its acoustic offering




DLM Opens Machine Shop, Brings Load Pin Manufacturing In-House

To feature in the next edition of Construction Update. Call 020 805 09659 or email Construction Update



Hybrid and flexible working have evolved how businesses approach the

day-to-day in offices. Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 66% of organisations believe that offering flexibility for advertised roles is important in attracting new candidates.

These changes to office environments bring

they’re no longer the optimal working days as time

plenty of positives, and it’s forcing employers and

progresses, fluidly transitioning to different days is

employees alike to embrace and adapt to them.

possible with hybrid working.

Here, Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at

Keeping communication open with your workforce

leadership development specialist: Impact, shares

can help you make these decisions, as transparency

a few ways businesses can continue to adjust their

will result in honest responses and reasoning as to

processes to account for these changes.

how well the split is working.

Scheduling and timekeeping


When implementing hybrid and flexible working

As a business owner or management, a huge

into your working day, the most important thing to

concern might be how you contact your workforce

establish is what the split between office working

without feeling invasive. That’s why communication

and working from home will be. Building a routine

technology that allows for everything from instant

on which days everyone commutes to the office can

messaging to live voice and video calls is an

help keep productivity consistent while also allowing

important investment.

for the flexibility that hybrid working offers. These can be synced to your pre-existing email Finding the right divide between building a strong

systems so that when meetings are scheduled,

office culture where your full workforce is together

emails can be sent that attach a link to the online

and working while also feeling they’re trusted when

meeting link. This provides more flexibility when

working remotely. One way you can assess which

it comes to meetings, as while you might prefer

days are best for in-office is by analysing your

everyone to be present in person for it, those

internal data on outputs and productivity, as these

working remotely can still be included.

numbers can help you make informed choices. One thing that’s important to note is that these days don’t have to be permanent. If you feel like


Construction Update

Read the full article here >>>

Award-winning construction innovation builds for the future with online shop launch

A Leominster company that has developed an award-winning construction innovation is aiming for a huge 2024 after launching an online retail outlet J-struts, which are a faster, safer,

to deliver J-struts all over the country, with next-day delivery now

and easier to use alternative


to conventional ‘acrow props’, are now being sold exclusively

The online shop is an important first step in growing market share

at with first orders

and this will be followed by the development of a network of hire

dispatched earlier this month.

partners who can offer products to builders and tradespeople on a weekly or monthly basis.

The firm decided to sell direct to ensure that customers have

Will Helme, J-strut’s Product Champion, commented: “It has been

access to the ‘smarter way of

a significant time for our business, with two milestone moments

propping’ at the best possible

taking place within a matter of months.

price, with the MSRP set at £39.95 each for 10+ units.

“After all the interest J-strut has received, both from a productivity and safety perspective and all the builder-led development and

New partnerships with Peartree Logistics and other national carriers have been established

testing, we are now fulfilling orders via our dedicated online shop. Read the full article here >>> Construction Update


FEAR OF THEFT AND VIOLENCE PUTTING A STRAIN ON TRADESPEOPLE WITH MORE THAN 9 IN 10 TARGETED BY CRIMINALS • More than nine in 10 tradespeople say they or someone they know have been victims of theft • Research shows 88% of those surveyed are concerned about the ongoing issue • Almost a third of tradespeople admit the fear of theft contributes to negative mental health • 60% in the industry do not believe mental health is spoken about openly • NFU Mutual is a proud supporter of Samaritans, whose volunteers offer emotional support to anyone who is struggling 6

Construction Update

More than nine in 10 tradespeople have been targeted by criminals as the fear of theft and violence puts a strain on the industry, alarming stats reveal. New research* from commercial insurer NFU Mutual found that more than nine in 10 tradespeople (92%) say they or someone they know have been a victim of theft. In the last 12 months alone, 53% of those surveyed said they had experienced tool or equipment theft, just shy of half had materials pinched, almost three in 10 had a vehicle stolen and 23% were victims of organised crime. And those figures clearly weigh heavily on those in the industry, with almost a third of tradespeople (29%) admitting that the fear of theft and violence on their business contributes towards difficulties with mental health. The rising cost of living (42%), financial worries (41%), stress of the job (39%), long hours (35%) and a lack of regular work (33%) were the other factors. With almost nine in 10 tradespeople concerned about the threat of their equipment being stolen, NFU Mutual is urging workers to remain vigilant. Zoe Knight, Commercial Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “Theft of tradespeople’s tools or equipment continues to blight the industry and the fact 92% of people surveyed say they – or someone they know – have been a victim speaks volumes. “Tradespeople rely on this equipment for their income and livelihood, with crime hitting not just their pocket but, as our research shows, also having a huge and negative impact on their mental health. “To see a third of tradespeople fearing theft or violence in their day-to-day job is worrying and we would urge tradespeople to do all they can to offput the threat of that happening – via security measures and recording serial numbers of equipment. “We want tradespeople to feel supported and protected should the worst happen and know there is also help available for those struggling.” A report by Builders Merchants News* revealed in December that texts to a construction charity helpline had seen an increase of 105% after the launch of an initiative to take the mental health message across the UK. That could pave the way for more open conversations, with NFU Mutual’s survey showing that more than half of respondents believe that mental health isn’t spoken about openly in the trades industry.

While more than three-quarters of tradespeople did say they were confident or fairly confident they would know where to go for support if they were struggling, worryingly, almost four in 10 (36%) said it is unlikely they would seek help if they had mental health problems. Commercial insurer NFU Mutual is a proud supporter of Samaritans, a charity which offers round the clock emotional support to anyone struggling to cope. Jason Jaspal, Assistant Director of Business Development at Samaritans, added: “Samaritans offers a listening ear and a safe space to share how you’re feeling 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “It’s vital that tradespeople reach out for support when they are finding life tough, rather than letting things build up and potentially reaching a crisis point. It doesn’t matter what they’re finding challenging, Samaritans is here so they don’t have to face things alone.” For quality trades insurance to suit all sizes, search NFU Mutual Builders and Trades Insurance at For more information about Samaritans and the work the charity does, visit

Construction Update


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BEN BUCHELE DELIVERS ELECTRIC MOTORS FOR VESSEL Ben Buchele Elektromotorenwerke GmbH has delivered two electric

motors to Reintjes for installation on a hybrid dredger, called Chicago, at the Port of Hamburg, Germany. The Nürnberg, Germany-based company manufactures standard and custom-built motors for shipbuilders and other heavy-duty applications globally. Reintjes is a specialist in maritime gearboxes and powertrains; in this instance it was contracted to provide a hybrid powertrain consisting of two diesel engines and two electric motors, helping the ship operate at low emissions when close to port.

set position, the diesel engine kicks in. However, a simple button is another method of switching between modes—

The end user wanted an electric motor

and was the solution implemented for the Chicago. If the

solution that enabled fully electric

lever is in neutral, the captain can select electric mode by

power at a speed of up to six knots, and

pressing the button and continue to steer the ship using

offered the capacity to recharge the

the control lever. Drive modes can be changed at any

batteries, while using the diesel engines. time, even when the ship is in motion and the propeller is Reintjes asked Ben Buchele for a weight- turning.” optimised, water-cooled engine that met certain criteria, such as 60 kW of power;

Louis Zander, director of sales and service at Reintjes

frame size 200; rated speed of 2,130

Hamburg, said: “In order to deliver the various operating

rpm; inverter duty; and suitability for S1

modes, the motor has to allow such high speeds and be

continuous duty.

able to draw its rated power across a broad speed map. We designed the motor to produce almost two times the

Detlef Koslowsky, head of sales at Ben

rated speed. In other words, the motor was designed to

Buchele, said: “Special calibration is

run at up to 4,300 rpm in PTO [power take-off] mode, or

required to allow a hybrid system to

when operating as a generator, but needed to supply 60

easily switch between drive modes. One

kW of power at as low as 2,000 rpm so that it could operate

way to change from electric operation

at full capacity at the required speed of six knots in electric

to diesel power is by using the control

mode. Only Ben Buchele motors can achieve this kind of

lever. Moving the lever by a small


amount manoeuvres the ship using electric power. Once the lever reaches a

Read the full article by clicking here >>>

Construction Update


NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL Inspired by nature, Woven Image adds five new colours to its acoustic offering

The allure of the natural world is the inspiration for Woven Image’s extended colour palette with 5 new colours: dusk, mint, butter, cayenne and nutmeg. By embracing the ongoing evolution of colour and textural finishes in the built environment, these portfolio refreshments support interior designers and architects to deliver sustainable, acoustic solutions that evoke moods of relaxation and happiness through clever function and aesthetics. The EchoPanel® 12mm colour palette is the


anchor which drives this material evolution.

Fuji acoustic ceiling tiles along with Array 12mm

EchoPanel® acoustic panels, which are now

ceiling baffles become further enhanced with an

carbon neutral certified, remain the benchmark

updated colour palette

for innovation in sustainable, design-led interior acoustic solutions. The new palette expands

Dusk captures the ethereal allure of a stunning

to the stunning 12mm EchoPanel® precision

sunset; a unique hue comprised of a subtle

cut designs, including Ohm, Longitude, Palace

fusion of tones between peach and mauve. This

and Empire, as well as the embossed acoustic

shade embraces the ongoing evolution of pinkish

panel collection comprising Zen, Pico, Gem and

tones, highlighted in fashion and interiors.

Ion. These textural ranges are ideal finishes for open plan workspaces, learning environments

Mint shows a fresh juxtaposition of pastel style

and social settings, incorporating a functional,

tones with a glow reminiscent of refractions

sensorial solution with a contemporary design

of light beams from patina-style surfaces and


Construction Update

Construction Update


translucent tropical waters. This provides a feeling of weightlessness within a space, evoking a mood of calm and relaxation. Butter encapsulates the concept of wellness within workplace, education and healthcare sectors. It is a fresh positive colour, providing an elegant alternative solution to a traditional neutral palette. When utilised in the Embossed series, this comforting hue creates an unwavering desire to touch and experience these textural surfaces. Cayenne reflects the popularity of browns, chocolates, caramels and wood tones, as we continue to embrace earthy natural hues. This provides a unique depth of colour with a warm and spicy accent. Nutmeg completes the earthy palette, mimicking a natural oakwood tone whilst providing a rich decadent caramel hue. This versatile mid-tone allows for a creation of acoustically superior cosy interior environments and is easy to specify as an anchor colour to blend with many feature colours, including trend colours of orchid, mint and blush. Woven Image is also launching its new digital print collection, Digital Spirit. The collection offers a refreshingly modern colour palette, printed on EchoPanel® with both muted pairings and contrasting tones. Typically seen on workstation screens, this now showcases print designs as large-scale wall installations or partitions, with the option for single or double sided printing. Digital printing offers specifiers more customisation opportunities with reduced order minimums and lead times. With these new additions, Woven Image continues to provide enhanced acoustic solutions for a diverse range of commercial interior spaces.


Construction Update

For a list of global distributors, please visit

Construction Update


NEW COMMERCIAL BOILERS FOR HOUSING: WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS? With winter upon us, are you confident that your commercial boilers and heating systems are working safely, reliably and efficiently enough to deliver the hot water and heating your residents need? While the coldest weather is still

– for a simple monthly payment. It’s a hassle-free way to modernise

ahead, it’s never too late to look

your housing association’s critical assets, without any capital outlay.

at replacing older or less effective heating systems. But even if your

It’s also worth knowing that any minor increase in monthly costs could

properties’ commercial boilers are

be offset by the efficiency gains and utility savings that come from

in good working order, the current

using newer commercial boilers. We’ve also seen many of our housing

costs of energy could still make this a

customers include these monthly payments in their residents’ monthly

good moment to consider replacing

service charges – essentially splitting the cost and removing the hassle

older systems with newer, much

of trying to fund a replacement installation.

more energy-efficient models. Alongside consistent, predictable monthly payments, Total Care’s After all, these new units are not

repair and breakdown cover delivers real peace of mind for you, your

only designed to save energy and

management company, and your residents. That’s because Total Care

drive down costs, but are hydrogen-

guarantees rapid response times through a 400-strong nationwide

compatible and ready for the future.

engineer network – particularly important if there are elderly or vulnerable residents in your properties.

And with a lease solution such as JLA’s all-inclusive equipment and

A wide range of future-proof boilers to choose from

support package, Total Care, you could make significant upgrades

JLA has partnered with many of the world’s leading names in heating

across your estate, without having to

to offer a full range of energy-efficient commercial boilers, including

spend anything upfront.

hydrogen-ready boilers from leading manufacturers like Viessman. All of these boilers are designed to reduce energy bills while helping your

The latest technology with

estate meet its sustainability goals.

manageable costs Then there’s the added benefit of remote care. JLA Connect, for JLA’s Total Care package offers state-

example, allows our specialists to spot faults or potential issues before

of-the-art boiler and commercial

they can cause disruption or downtime, and keep your heating and hot

heating system upgrades – including

water flowing for residents.

full design, installation and comprehensive servicing and repairs


Construction Update

Considering alternative heating solutions? If your priority is to reduce your carbon footprint, but your property or the potential costs of a full alternative system are prohibitive, you could also take the opportunity to consider commercial hybrid heating as a viable alternative. Over recent months, we’ve seen a big uptick in interest for heating systems that combine air or ground source heat pumps with a traditional non-renewable heat source (an existing boiler, or a new boiler installed as part of a hybrid upgrade). This combined approach is ideal if upgrading radiators and pipework is either impractical or too expensive – but it’s always worth talking to a commercial heating expert for the fuller picture. For more information on commercial heating solutions for housing associations, please feel free to contact us today. Construction Update


OZ LIFTING CHAIN HOISTS LOWER $250K CAR Winona, Minnesota-based OZ Lifting Products LLC provided equipment

for a rig that lowered a $250k Lucid Air Sapphire electric car at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The vehicle was center of a holiday-

it took 10 hours

season display in the jewelry section

even when the

of the store, which is below street

Sapphire was in

level. Getting it there took an

the store, such

overnight operation that involved

was the complexity

four 3-ton capacity OZ Premium hand

of the job and

chain hoists, with a lifting height of

the constant

30 ft.; beam clamps attached to 30-ft.

requirement to

long beams; and a customized lifting

complete such

platform. The 5,600-lb. car combined

lifts as safely as

with the platform for a total load of


10,000 lb. He added: “The To facilitate the lift (lower), four

yellow straps you

exterior doors were removed, an

can see in the

escalator bank was stripped, and

photos were used to secure the vehicle in place, and the beams were

the car was driven to the makeshift

supported by shoring towers.”

freight elevator. The store’s pillars were utilized to anchor the platform

The OZ Premium hand chain hoists are part of a range that spans 0.5-

in preparation for the 28-ft. journey

ton to 10-ton capacity. They offer minimal load lifting effort; double

down to the vault level.

reduction gearing provides easy operation. A unique hand-wheel design enables the hand chain to successfully feed directly into the wheel

OZ Lifting’s equipment was utilized

sprocket from many directions and angles. Thus, the operator can use

at the point of use by the project’s

the hoist while standing to the side of, or even above, the load without

rigging contractor, Concord Painting,

fear of the hand chain jamming.

which sourced it from OZ dealer, Eastern Rigging Supply. A steel

All-steel construction features a long-lasting powder coat finish, while

fabricator was subcontracted to

providing a long and dependable service life in harsh environments.

provide the lifting platform.

An enclosed and protected Weston-style load brake stays clean and dry during the entire load operation. Hoists are also equipped with a

Bob Eberheim, of Eastern Rigging,

unique twin pawl design for additional reliability. A sealed roller bearing

said: “The work was completed upon

provides smooth, controlled operation of the gears and shafts, which

closure of the store one evening;

ensures maintenance-free lubrication.


Construction Update

An article published in the New York Post reported, ‘…it’s probably the biggest stunt the store has pulled off since 1935’. For more information on OZ Lifting Products visit Construction Update


DIGITAL CONSTRUCTION EXPERT PREDICTS 2024 TRENDS FOR THE INDUSTRY As the UK Government’s deadline for the digital transformation looms,

industries across the board are diversifying strategies, internal and external approaches and implementation of services to ensure cutting edge digital technology is embedded to drive business efficiencies and meet new industry standards. Rapid change and adoption

“We are now seeing businesses of all sizes investing in smart technology to

of digitisation is paramount

reduce supply chain hurdles and improve forecasting capabilities at all points

in the construction industry

of the construction journey. Due to uncertainty at the job site, investing in

to position the UK market

technology and smart solutions will help identify and prevent issues before

alongside construction markets

they happen. At the close of a tumultuous year for inflation, savings are more

globally and general business

important than ever and precise calculations are made possible by accurate

infrastructure worldwide.

insight and data collection.”

Richard Clement, Deputy

One such example of smart technology benefiting supply chain hurdles

General Manager at Smart

and improving internal cost saving is that of Smart Construction customer

Construction, offers his

, ECOSOIL Nord West GmBH. The firm employs around 300 people, and

thoughts on the biggest digital

specialises in brownfield activities including land rehabilitation, environment-

and technological trends in

friendly earthworks and landfill construction. Working in partnership with

construction for 2024.

the solution provider, ECOSOIL Nord West leveraged as-built data from its intelligent machines to monitor daily productivity at the Lager Waldteich

The rise of Smart Technology

project site.

– why 2024 is the year to implement change

The Lager Waldteich project site’s primary objective was to build a retaining structure for the former Waldteich coal storage site, into which contaminated

Richard says: “Businesses across soil could be deposited. Site data was required by site manager Thomas multiple sectors have been

Vent, who wished to manage and track in real time the volume of material

implementing smart tech at a

movement each day, ensuring new material could be ordered and delivered

rapid pace – but construction

in time to reduce bottlenecks and pressure points. Working with experts

has historically fallen behind,

from Smart Construction, it was advised that ECOSOIL make use of as-built

meaning that 2024 is the year to intelligent machine data. Benefits were instantaneous. take the bull by the horns and invest in smart technology.

Vent saved around 16 hours a month – two full working days – in time that would otherwise have been lost to travelling, surveying and processing data.


Construction Update

Vent and his team were also able to identify any

“Not only does this

anomalies in daily performance and correct problems

reduce cost due

before they became more prominent, meaning he was

to the fact that

also able to manage unforeseen costs.

external surveying teams no longer

“At Smart Construction, we’ve designed an innovative

need to make long

portfolio of solutions, utilising hardware and software

journeys to site, but

to create a full complement of IoT (Internet of Things)

also offers more

tools. This encompasses as-built data presented on

effective insight in

our Dashboard gleaned from 3D Machine Guidance

much quicker time

retrofit equipment as well as intelligent Machine

to make decisions.”

Control, which is installed on a number of Komatsu machines. Smart Construction’s Remote offers site


management the flexibility to send new design data

Construction sites

to the field remotely, ensuring that teams are working

and their impact on

off the most up-to-date plans for a project. These

the landscape

are simply a few ways smart technology and IoT can

Using IoT connected sensors, devices and

support in creating an even more profitable job site.

software, Connected Construction sites connect

Smart Construction Deputy General Manager, Richard Clement

people, equipment and data. This allows real time Drones and surveying: a new way to approach the site

communication and collaboration between all stakeholders, according to Richard.

Survey data has long been a prerequisite for construction, with regular site surveillance common

He says: “One of the significant challenges faced in

practice for earthworks projects and prep for vertical

earthmoving tasks is the unpredictability of what

builds. Regular site data has been historically collected

lies beneath the surface. Despite careful planning,

with survey teams journeying to site and taking

unexpected conditions often emerge once digging

individual readings to build a comprehensive view of

commences, disrupting original plans. Instead of

the site, pinpointing any areas of concern and building

merely dealing with these unforeseen circumstances

an ongoing view of the works.

as they arise, a connected site offers a more dynamic solution. It monitors site activities, assesses any

Richard believes this has seen a huge shift, saying:

deviations, and modifies the plan accordingly, ensuring

“Surveying was historically time consuming, labour

continuous alignment with the project’s requirements.

intensive and fairly short sighted in terms of outputs, with results delivered back to clients over a course of

“Employing an updated digital twin for all job sites

days or weeks, by which point many measurements

will allow the industry to visualise, plan and execute

can be out of date. With the introduction of drone

with precision. Instead of using the digital twin as a

technology at the job site, managers are able to take

reactive tool to troubleshoot issues, it can be utilised

more regular measurements of the terrain, with more

proactively in the planning stage. This proactive

data available to them including material moved

approach will ensure that projects are executed with

over a given time period, changes in terrain profile,

confidence, knowing that the plans are well-informed

and more. These changes have been rapid, and have

and feasible.”

helped the industry reach new levels of efficiency, making surveying much more self-sufficient.

Read the full article here >>> Construction Update


DLM OPENS MACHINE SHOP, BRINGS LOAD PIN MANUFACTURING IN-HOUSE Dynamic Load Monitoring (UK) Ltd. (DLM), of Southampton, has opened a machine shop in collaboration with sister company, Vulcan Offshore Ltd.

Having taken a new lease on two buildings

engineering, and DLM had no machining capability

already fitted out as a machine shop in

of its own. Previously, DLM would source the raw

Vancouver Wharf, Southampton, each company

material—typically 17-4PH stainless steel—and

will occupy an adjacent unit. A state-of-the-

outsource to a machinist that would machine the

art suite of machining and milling equipment

load cell billet according to drawings produced by

will give DLM full control of its manufacturing

the in-house design team. DLM would then complete

processes, reducing lead times.

strain gauging, assembly, proof load, calibration, and final tests.

DLM has supplied load cells plus load monitoring and cable working equipment to the lifting, rigging, wind

Martin Halford, managing director at DLM, said: “This

energy and wider renewables sector for a decade.

is most probably the largest single investment ever

It often partners with Vulcan, which is a specialist in

made by DLM and marks a real step forward for us

fabrication, welding, and computer numerical control

in being able to control the complete manufacture

(CNC) machining.

of our products. It is something that we have wanted to do and have planned for a long time, but the

Demand has long since outstripped the capacity

opportunity came up when we least expected it to

of Vulcan, which also performed subcontracted

acquire this new premises. Vulcan has gone from

20 Construction Update

DLM and Vulcan. They will take orders from quotation, machining, gauging, documentation, shipment, and every stage in between. Traceability will thusly be enhanced. The lathe is able to machine pins to 200mm diameter and over 1m in length, in capacities over 300t. However, Halford reiterated that the investment goes beyond machining load pins, the company’s flagship product, with tensile link billets and running line monitors (RLMs) also central to the newly expanded One of two Doosan Puma lathes is put to use at Vancouver Wharf.

operation. The mill will machine the standard range

strength to strength in its very short life. With the need

capacity RLMs.

of tensile links and both the company’s 60t and 200t

for more space at our existing workshop [in Quayside Road] and the winning of some large contracts, the increased capacity and space will aid our growth even further and allow us to push on quicker with our plans.” He added: “The CNC lathe [at Vulcan] was already at full capacity, even without DLM work; and we could rarely get access to it. Now we can free-up vital space in Vulcan’s workshop for another welding bay, which was desperately required due to the increase in order levels. We already source raw materials of the highest quality from approved mills in Western Europe; we

The machine shop will feature two Doosan Puma lathes, a Haas lathe, and a Haas mill.

will eventually stock popular sizes to further enhance

Halford said: “All our load pins are typically custom-

efficiency and cut costs.”

designed to meet clients’ specific physical sizes, so although we state we have some standard [load pins] on our website, they are only standard in their electrical operation and sealing method / environmental protection—not necessarily their physical size or appearance. Our pins are used for various applications across numerous industries, including oil and gas, lifting, rigging, and subsea.” DLM is renowned for supply of subsea load pins, especially, most commonly used in tandem with

The lathes, and other equipment, will be used by a team of five professionals.

Machining capability

underwater trenching vehicles used to lay and bury cables. The pins measure the forces imparted on sections of the underwater vehicle and aid the control of the vehicle as well as monitoring its condition during operations.

The machine shop, which will feature two Doosan Puma lathes, a Haas lathe, and a Haas mill, will be

supported by a dedicated team of five professionals, including a workshop manager jointly appointed by Construction Update


EVENING STANDARD SME XPO 2024: THE UK’S LEADING EVENT DEDICATED TO HELPING SME AND SCALE-UP BUSINESSES TO THRIVE SME XPO has a wide range of sponsors, exhibitors and partners that will be showcasing their services and products at the SME XPO 2024 including; HSBC UK, Barclays Eagle Labs Workday, Virgin Atlantic, Eurostar for Business, Growing Business Awards 2024, SME National Business Awards 2024, and Your Business magazine to name just a few. Piers Linney, founder and former investor Dragon’s Den, remarked at the SME XPO in 2023, “A brilliant opportunity to network and cover ground quickly, that would otherwise take weeks to do. Incredibly well-attended show and it’s great to see such a positive atmosphere.”

The Evening Standard is thrilled to unveil the SME XPO 2024, a vibrant and all-encompassing platform, a dynamic and comprehensive space dedicated to Powering scaleup businesses. Now entering its third year, the event is scheduled for April 2324, returning to ExCeL in London. The exhibition brings together a diverse range of businesses, experts, and resources to foster growth, innovation, and collaboration. Registration for the event is now Live, and SME XPO 2024 is FREE to register. SME XPO 2024 provides a unique space for scale-up businesses to showcase their products and services, connect with potential clients, and gain valuable insights from industry leaders, offering a plethora of opportunities for networking. With over 5000 SME founders and owners and more than 100 best-in-class suppliers all coming together across this event.

Key Features of SME XPO 2024 encompass an expansive exhibition featuring booths from over 100 companies, all there to support SMEs and their growth. The event will encourage networking with like-minded individuals, featuring: Members Meet Ups, Meet the Investor, and speed networking sessions. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in a range of workshops and seminars conducted by industry experts, covering key topics such as strategy, finance and investment, marketing, technology, and more. This year, the event will host over 60 of the most forward-thinking entrepreneurs, including keynote speaker Theo Paphitis, Retail Entrepreneur, TV Dragon, and #SBS Small Business Sunday Creator Chairman and Owner. He has revived the fortunes of notable high street names such as Ryman, Stationery Box Robert Dyas and many more. Further keynote speakers, including Tim Martin, Founder & Chairman of JD Wetherspoon PLC, and Founder of supermarket meal brand Charlie Bigham will also grace the stage. SME XPO 2024 promises to be a transformative event for small and medium-sized businesses, providing them with the tools, knowledge, and connections necessary to scale and succeed in today’s competitive business environment.

For more information and to register for free, head to the SME XPO website. 22

Construction Update





55-6725 Cut level


55-3725 Cut level


55-1725 Cut level

See us on stand 3 E/40 25-27 April 2023, NEC Birmingham UK

Tilsatec | +44 (0)1924 375742 | | TILSATEC LIMITED, Flanshaw Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 9ND, ENGLAND


CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERT EXPECT IN 2024 Customer service is essential to any business, as it determines customer behaviour and loyalty. In fact, data shows that 94% of customers stated that a positive experience would make them more likely to purchase from a business again. As such, keeping on top of trends and customer demands is necessary for providing the best experience possible.

Janine Hunt, Client Partnership Director at Kura, says: “Great customer service isn’t simply about providing the same experience continuously. It means adapting your approach to benefit each customer and ensuring that you’re keeping on top of trends, so your competitors aren’t getting an added edge. As technology and customer demands shift, it is vital that your business is adapting its approach to provide modern, updated, and friendly customer solutions that work for both your business and your customer base.”

AI This year has seen a boom in the AI world, with the likes of ChatGPT taking over. As more people become aware of AI and its uses, it is likely customers will expect businesses to implement this technology as part of the customer experience. In fact, 80% of customers are expecting AI and chatbots to improve customer services. Some of the benefits that customers are expecting and hoping to receive include faster resolution times, better intent understanding, and tailored promotions and offers. Janine says: “As AI makes its way into everyone’s customer service experience, it is important to understand where such technologies can be beneficial and where it is essential to use your own expertise and knowledge to provide the best experience. Quicker responses and one-call resolutions can save your customers time and frustration, but technology can only be part of the solution. For more complex customer support, a human advisor will be needed to resolve the issue and provide additional care and support.”

The human touch According to data, one of the top reasons that people contact customer service throughout 2023 was to report an issue with their product or services. During these moments, having human customer service advisors on hand to handle problems, sensitive topics, and de-escalate customer complaints is essential for a business’s success. Janine predicts: “We can expect to see the human touch remain just as important if not more so, heading into 2024. As more companies explore the benefits of AI as a quicker solution, offering your customers human interaction will remain part of offering the best customer experience.

24 Construction Update

T PREDICTS WHAT YOU CAN “Empathy has always, and will

worldwide expect better

“Data-driven insights aren’t

remain, a vital part of customer

personalisation from the data

only useful for personalising

service as we head into the

they provide. As such, using

and targeting your audience,

New Year. While technology is

your data effectively is crucial

but they can also help your

useful for the running of your

for not only understanding

business better create informed

customer service experience, it

your audience better but also

decisions moving forward.

is the human touch which makes

providing a better-quality

Whether you’re planning a new

a difference for your customers.


service line or looking to better

Connecting and finding unique

a product, the data and insight

resolutions that work for

Janine recommends: “Having

that your customer service team,

your customers can make the

the right software in place will

alongside the developments and

difference between loyalty and

be a must in 2024. As your

analysis technology, can provide


customers expect more tailored

might be making a way into your

communications, you will

business in 2024.”

If your business doesn’t have

need to analyse the data you

the resources to meet demands

have been provided to offer

Social media

during ramp periods, then

increasingly bespoke responses.

As more brands transition to

customer service outsourcing

Whether you’re promoting

being online, ensuring you have

could be the right option for

to the right audiences at the

the right customer service in

you. Instead of overloading

right time or avoiding debt and

your DMs is essential for the

your workforce with additional

repayment problems through

great overall experience your

tasks and communications,

risk assessment, big data is

customers deserve. In fact,

outsourcing customer service

going to become more crucial in

brands are using social media

can provide your customers

the coming year.

platforms to effectively target...

with clear, consistent messaging and quick response times to

continue reading the article here

ensure the best experience is delivered – no matter the time of year. This is also a great option for businesses that don’t have the right resources in-house – including expertise in people, equipment, or workspace.

Data-driven insights As technology continues to develop, data-driven insights are expected to improve in 2024. In fact, 74% of customers Construction Update



Integrated security systems specialist, DSSL Group has agreed a deal with sports-rights specialist, Eleven Sports Media to join the London Stadium Associate Partnership on a multi-year deal.

The iconic London Stadium is a 62,000-capacity venue. The Associate Partner programme offers branding opportunities across the high impact Mid-Tier LED; Eleven’s award-winning StadiumTV platform found in the concourse and hospitality areas; and the unique, giant, external digital wrap, which provides an attention-grabbing visual for supporters approaching the stadium on Premier League matchdays. DSSL will have the added chance to connect with fellow like-minded companies, who are also members of the Associate Partnership, through Eleven’s invitation-only VIP partner events. The Associate Partnership with the London Stadium gives DSSL great credibility with current and future clients. It indicates that the company is growing and that it is likely to offer a superior service than that of its competitors. With the company based in the heart of London, it is delighted to have its logo on display at this venue. Aaron Stephens, managing director of DSSL Group comments: “Our key clients are mostly made up of London councils, so this is a perfect venue to show off our branding. We’ve invested in the Associate Partnership to celebrate the growth of our family business, which is set to hit an increased turnover of £10 million in March 2024. Our company has grown from 24 members of staff to 74 over the last three years and this is a great way to shout about our wins.” DSSL Group has a well-qualified engineering workforce, with considerable expertise in integration of CCTV, access control (wireless, fibre and hard wired) and perimeter protection systems gained with

26 Construction Update

various organisations. The company brings a new dimension to total security solutions. The Group offers a competitive service in terms of installation, project management and maintenance of CCTV, access control and perimeter protection systems. The Group provides expertise and ‘best of breed’ products and software solutions to deliver systems tailored for the individual customer. It boasts an understanding of its customers’ needs and offers a product and service that can adapt to accommodate customer growth. Operating nationwide, DSSL Group is a leader in public space CCTV and the oil and gas CCTV sector. It has a reactive and installation department for door entry systems, lifeline, and automatic doors and barriers. The company’s customers include local authorities, hospitality companies, data centres and large corporates. To find out more about DSSL Group’s integrated security systems solutions, visit Keep up to date with the company’s latest news and other community initiatives by following DSSL across its social media channels: Facebook :: LinkedIn :: Instagram

Construction Update


SURFACE DESIGN SHOW UNVEILS SPEAKERS PRO Choose from Over 20 talks that delve into sustainability, trend predictions and the careers of some Industry Legends It is less than a week to go to until Surface Design Show opens its doors at the Business Design Centre. Surface Design Show, the leading event for architects and designers showcasing innovative surface materials, is thrilled to announce its stellar speaker’s program for the upcoming edition. Featuring a diverse range of topics and industry experts, the 2024 speakers program promises to engage

Also on the gallery level will be the Designers Hub where guests can

and inspire attendees.

enjoy refreshments and relax before the talks in a beautifully curated space designed by Interior Design studio Kibre using furniture from

The programme will be held

luxe Italian company Arper with lighting from Zena Holloway whose

on the Main Stage sponsored

bio designed lights Roots are also shortlisted for a Surface Design

by Smile Plastics and consists

Show Award.

of an exciting line-up of 20 presentations from 61 speakers,

Kicking off the Speakers Programme will be the Opening Night

including architects, designers,

Debate, sponsored by Mastercharge from 18.30 – 19:30, on Human

manufacturers, and journalists.

Capital, Risk, and Retention. Renowned freelance writer, editor, and

For the first time the main stage

speaker Louis Wustemann will lead a discussion joined by esteemed

will be featured on the gallery

panellists: Mark Shayler – Owner at Ape, Gill Parker – Non-Exec Chair

level and will feature furniture

at Informare, Nicola Osborn – Creative Director at Basha-Franklin, and

supplied by Nowystyl creating

Dr. Petrina Carmody – Chief Change Officer at Great Place To Work.

a casual, stylish and welcoming atmosphere. This year’s Surface

Following on from the Opening Night Debate will be , Stone and

Design Show theme, Mindful

Beyond – How This Ancient Material Remains Relevant Today

Living plays a pivotal role in the

Matt Robb, Marketing and Media Manager for Stone Federation

topic areas for the discussions

Great Britain, will explore the attributes of stone from various parts

and is reflected throughout the

of the world alongside Panellists including Mr. Gokhan Karakus –


co-founding curator of, Stefano Ghirardi – Chairman

28 Construction Update

W 2024 OGRAMME & CEO of Marmi Ghirardi S.R.L, and David Richardson – Chair of the Stone Federation Technical and Sustainability Committees. The discussion will set stone within the context of other materials and its continued relevance. Legends live returns for its third year, this year hosted by Alys Bryan, Managing Editor of Design Insider, with three talks spread across two days, Wednesday, 7 February, and Thursday 8 February. This year’s legends consist of insightful conversations with design legends

The programme on Wednesday, 7 February, the day will

Tom Lloyd, Gurvinder Khurana

commence at 10:45am – 11:15am, with this Surface Design Shows

and Matthew Hilton. These not to

Charity Partner, Furnishing Futures – The Importance of Design

be missed conversations will draw

for Mental Health/Living in the Right Environment. Furnishing

from Alys’ individual experiences

Futures founder Emily Wheeler will delve into the amazing work

and will delve into her guests’ design

that the charity does, and how it helps those escaping domestic

philosophies, portfolios, and future

abuse that have been rehomed into empty social housing.


Emily will be joined by Reeba Simon, co-author of ’Scandi Rustic: Creating a Cozy and Happy Home,’ columnist for Simple Scandi

The ever-popular trend predictions

Magazine, an interior and lifestyle influencer and collaborator

by Colour hive are back again and

of the Main Company. Through their individual and personal

will be taking place with two talks

knowledge, Emily and Reena will discuss the importance of design

across the Wednesday and Thursday.

for mental health and wellbeing, and the effects/need of living in

Featuring exclusive future insights

the right environment.

from Colour Hive membership

Click here to read the full article >>>

including MIX Magazine, Colour,

To read the full Surface Design Show Speakers Program please

Material and Finish Directions and


Global Colours alongside an edit of one-of-a-kind inspirational objects

Do not miss this opportunity to gain insights from industry leaders

and materials inspired by their 2025

and influencers at the Surface Design Show. For more information

design direction Hack.

and to register for free, click here Construction Update


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