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PAYMENTS GOOD PRACTICE WELCOMED BY MANUFACTURERS

Prompt payment is helping manufacturers through coronavirus, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) has said. Constructive dialogue where customers are struggling to pay has been welcomed by the trade body. Nevertheless, BMA has also warned that pockets of poor practice remain.

The coronavirus lockdown has meant an unprecedented drop in demand for all building products, so cashflow is key to companies’ survival. Government measures aim to keep liquidity in the construction industry so that work can continue, and a post-lockdown recovery is possible. Most supply chain partners are paying bills promptly to ensure manufacturers share the benefit of these initiatives.

Two weeks ago, the BMA published a strongly worded statement warning that supply chains could be badly damaged if merchants and distributors did not pay bills. Separately, the Construction Leadership Council chair Andy Mitchell wrote that companies should “think hard about how their reputation could be damaged by not doing the right thing”.

Association Chief Executive Tom Reynolds said:

“It is very positive that in difficult circumstances most of BMA member’s customers are continuing to pay in line with terms. Where that’s genuinely not possible, several have picked up the phone to find a way through in partnership with suppliers, also good practice. Nevertheless, pockets of bad practice do remain, where a few companies have unilaterally informed suppliers that they are deferring on payment. It’s this sort of approach which is causing deep frustration.”

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