An update from your Kent Construction Ambassador Ross Bartlett

Ross Bartlett, Chief Sales Officer, VJ Technology, Kent and Construction Ambassador for IoD Kent

I have worked in the construction industry for nearly 25 years but the last three have probably been the most challenging.

In part this was due to my change in role and appointment to director in 2018 but our industry, like many, many others, has felt in a state of crisis since the Covid pandemic of 2020 with labour and supply chain shortages, inflation and interest rates all taking their toll.

I have seen many changes and lots of progression but there is still a long way to go, especially with digitisation and diversity.

We face many challenges in construction at the moment, mainly around material availability and price volatility but when we overcome these challenges, and we will, I see a long period of sustained growth ahead of us.

A recent article in the Construction Enquirer citing the Begbies Traynor Red Flag report said that the impact of inflation, higher interest rates and a slowdown in activity has meant that the number of construction firms on the brink of collapse increased by 33% in Q4 of 2023 to nearly 8,000.

Coupled with the news from Barbour ABI that contract awards in 2023 fell by 14% compared to the previous year, it certainly makes for a challenging time, but we are used to rolling up our sleeves in construction and getting on with it. Inflation appears to be falling and I, like many, hope interest rates start to come down in order to stimulate growth, especially in housebuilding.

Since becoming a director, joining the IoD and starting the journey to become a Chartered Director back in 2018, I have found IoD membership and resources to be invaluable. I have made a point of taking advantage of the free online CPD events, recently attending one on using a Business Model Canvas that I have found very useful with our most recent innovation, VJ iStore. In February, I’m attending a Chartered Director masterclass as well as one on Leading in a Crisis, which particularly resonates right now!

With a Royal Charter and the aim of making ‘Better Directors for a Better World’, the IoD is a great place to learn, develop and network with people from all walks of life and has been a key part of my professional development. I am the Construction Ambassador for IoD Kent and looking forward to supporting fellow Kent directors this year with the many events, masterminds and networking we have planned.

About the author

Ross Bartlett

Chief Sales Officer, VJ Technology

Throughout his career at VJ Technology, Ross has played a pivotal role in driving growth and innovation within the company. As Chief Sales Officer, he spearheaded the implementation of transformative initiatives such as launching new CRM systems, coaching programs, and digital transformation projects. His strategic vision and ability to build strong relationships have been instrumental in expanding VJ Technology’s market reach and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Ross is also actively involved in industry organisations, serving as an ambassador for construction initiatives and participating in leadership programs with organisations like the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Ross is a driving force behind VJ Technology’s success, shaping the future of the company and the construction industry as a whole.

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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