TTF’s 2020 Roundup

TTF’s 2020 Roundup

BLOG · BY TTF CEO, DAVID HOPKINS · 28 December

Of course, 2020 is not a year all of us would wish to repeat, but the industry has seen historic demand for timber, Brexit reaching its conclusion & a more united timber industry as we announced an MOU with TRADA toward a merger in 2021.

As the pandemic soon put paid to many plans across the country as we have all had to adjust to lockdowns and a new normal of remote working.

We had to change plans and do things differently – putting a greater focus on email communications from day one as we updated our online COVID Hub with the latest guidance and information from Government and industry sources and conducting meetings online instead of in person.

It soon became apparent that the national lockdown did not mean a national slowdown, as timber demand leapt in response to the DIY boom happening across the UK, Europe, and much of the world. In turn, causing further problems with product availability, inflation, long lead times, and so on.

Throughout, the TTF has been representing our members via a seat on the newly formed Construction Leadership Council – keeping the market and Government departments alike updated on supply chain issues and pressures which our members are having to bear – and updating our membership on measures taken by Government to keep construction open. We’ve also been conducting regular polls of our membership to ascertain stock levels, stock replacement times, and supply chain problems.

We hope you have found the regular bulletins and webinars useful or, at least, a good chance to keep tabs on the changing hairstyles of your old network throughout the year!

On top of this, we have also had to contend with the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit. Like most of you, it has been hard to remain engaged about this after four and a half years, but myself and the rest of the TTF team have continued highlighting the importance of the timber sector to our politicians, pushing for information, guidance, and clarity, and making sure we have been updating our members via our Brexit page.

These pages contain all the information we believe you will need to manage the changes to your business practice from January 1 – covering customs codes, due diligence requirements, tariff implications, and much more.

Although we are glad the Government has signed a Brexit deal, all members still need to be ready for increased paperwork and longer processing times through customs.

On top of this, we have found time to develop a new Cladding Handbook with TDCA to launch in January; a new decking guide shortly after; launched our joint campaign with WPA to improve the preservative-treated timber market; got the Chinese National Forest Products Industry Association to adopt the TTF Chinese plywood auditing framework as a key part of their own quality control system; maintained our promotional relations with NMBS and other buying groups, and held a series of market webinars to update members on global supply chain issues.

In addition, we saw the first series of members qualify through the TTF Essential Foundation in Sales Management course. This was a new departure for TTF, away from timber product knowledge and into sales skills and management. The course has been a huge success and we will be building on this in the coming year with other courses as well as some one-day courses in online sales and use of social media – something all of us have to be aware of in a post-pandemic world.

Next year, we will be publishing a full calendar of events and meetings as soon as we can in January. We hope that we will all be able to meet in person again soon but have pushed our annual dinner and conference back until early July just to be safe.

We know that the upheavals and disruptions of the past 12 months will have taken its toll on many members. We want to continue to provide the strongest possible representation for our members, to provide the best value, and to keep growing the timber market
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That’s why this year we have also signed an MOU with TRADA toward a merger in 2021. This, we believe will help create a far stronger, more united timber organisation with the ability to communicate and lobby throughout the supply chain from sawmill to specifier.

The process is going well but will take time to complete. For the first year at least we will continue to run as two separate organisations under one common management plan. We will look to improve output for all members and move to a single subscription model in due course. It’s an exciting time and the two groups have complementary outputs and memberships with minimal overlap.

Despite all these outputs, I do realise that this year has been tough for many of our members. For this reason, we are offering all existing members the chance to claim a 10% discount on 2020 fees for their 2021 membership. The offer will stand for all those who renew their subscription in a timely fashion in the new year.

We have a full program laid out for the year ahead, with a lot to get involved in and benefits for companies and employees alike. There will no doubt be bumps in the road, just as there was this year, but we hope to keep you informed, updated, and engaged throughout the journey.

Below you can find a selection of what we have been up to this year across a range of categories.

I look forward to catching up with all our members in 2021. In the meantime, please keep safe.

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