The finishes and interiors sector is facing unprecedented material shortages and inflation in a number of areas (including gypsum products, steel, fixings, insulation, sealants and adhesives and timber).  In the wake of this, FIS is urging the supply chain to heed the advice of the Construction Leadership Council and apply the lessons learned in 2020 about working in partnership and collaboration.  This is a supply chain challenge, but specialist contractors are reporting concerns that these acute supply chain pressures are being ignored in the wake of pressure to simply maintain programme.  This is unacceptable, we need to be working together, alert and reactive to the challenges on the ground and focussed on the very real risks of undermining specifications, warranties and even compliance and, at the same time, destroying businesses in our rush to get the job done.

Too often in difficult times, construction gets contractual and adopts a siege mentality, parcelling up and forcing risk down the supply chain with distorted standard contracts which include fixed prices with no scope for fluctuation and rely on overly punitive delay clauses to force people to press on at all costs.  The much talked about transformation needs to be built on sustainable and supportive supply chain partnerships and must start now.

We need complete transparency and clear communication from suppliers and to be communicating with clients, working together to help them to understand that these events are beyond the control of individual companies and that we need to work together, flexibly, to resolve and manage supply and pricing issues rather than leaving SMEs in the supply chain to swallow all of this risk.

Our supply chain has had an unprecedented and difficult year, we need to nurture it back to health, transcend these old and punitive ways or we will drive people out of business to the detriment of all.

FIS is maintaining information on shortages and their impact on the supply chain on here.  If you feel you are being treated unfairly or have information to share or require any information to support your negotiations with clients, please don’t hesitate to call Iain McIlwee on 07792 959 481 or email

The Construction Leadership Council has also issued a statement regarding shortages, which can be read here