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Cash retentions – money held back from specialist sub contractors by clients as security – have come closer to being consigned to the history books, thanks to a campaign supported by the Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF).

The NSCC’s (National Specialist Contractors Council) ‘No Retention Policy’ was recently launched at an exclusive event in London, where more than 100 key clients heard a presentation by Martin Rowark, head of procurement at Crossrail.

The No Retention Policy, which has the support

of NSCC’s 32 member organisations – including very active involvement by the GGF – is aiming to eliminate cash retentions by providing specialist contractors with the support they need to resist retentions.

“Many of our members find themselves in contracts where the client withholds money as a way of guaranteeing quality,” Nigel Rees, chief executive of the GGF, told Clearview. “We believe that this is an extremely outdated practice, and there are far more effective ways of working with the supply chain.

“More importantly, in an age when competition is fierce, and companies have to work to small margins, interfering with cash flow in this manner can have a devastating effect on a company’s finances.

“We are, therefore, proud to have worked alongside the NSCC in providing tools for sub contractors – including GGF members – to help them avoid having their money withheld from them.”

High profile clients such as Crossrail and Stanhope are increasingly recognising that there are better guarantees of quality than cash retention. Stanhope plc, one of the most successful development companies, removed retentions from its contracts some 20 years ago when it recognised that there was considerable disadvantage to its suppliers.

Peter Rogers, Director of Stanhope, explained:

“The passage of time has strengthened the case for our policy, having both improved the relationships with suppliers and removed the risk of abuse.”

“Cash retention is an extremely outdated practice” – Nigel Rees GGF

The NSCC reception, supported by Bibby Financial Services, Creditlook, and Surety and Bond, showcased the new Fair Payment Campaign website which has a dedicated section on retentions at packed with helpful guidance and tools on how to implement a ‘no retention’ policy.


At a time when an increasing number of consumers are becoming wiser, more aware and more selective in their approach to spending their hard-earned money, it is not surprising that they are looking for better standards and sound accreditation in the companies with which they will do business.

For businesses in the double glazing industry – which sadly, has always come in for more than its share of flak – any move that will provide bona fide businesses with a positive, marketing edge has to be welcome. But with accreditation available from a number of different sources, it can prove a confusing and time-consuming exercise for both businesses and the consumer.

One man who decided it was time to simplify the

whole accreditation checking process is Alan Burgess, who has campaigned for better standards throughout his four decades in the double glazing industry.

Alan has been involved with representative

organisations such as GGF, Fensa and BFRC in his work towards improving standards.

As MD of Masterframe Windows Ltd, he was very aware that this venture has to be

52 « Clearview NMS « April 2011 «

completely separate from any other business or organisation with which he is associated, if it is to be unbiased, independent and trusted. He also wanted it to be simple and straightforward.

“Removing advertising removes the criticism that the site is biased: nobody can buy a better position!” Alan said.

The end result is now up and running at Alan admits that it is a work in progress, but

already the easy-to-navigate new site is attracting a lot of interest from the industry and end users alike.

“The site aims to help educate end users about

the good standards and accreditations that some companies in the industry aspire to – what they should be looking for when they change their windows,” he told Clearview.

“The site has an educational area, where users can follow up accreditation claims and go to links with all the major bodies. There is a knowledge area, designed to help users to understand abbreviations such as GGF, Fensa, DGcos, BBA, BSI etc, to aid them in their search for

appropriate accreditations. The review system on the site offers users the opportunity to comment on their experiences – registered companies will get an automated prompt saying that a review has been left and have an opportunity to respond.”

There is no advertising or sponsor links on the

site, neither does it have banner ads, PPCs and other distractions.

“The only income is from companies wanting a

greater content,” Alan explained. “The site offers three levels of membership:

basic entry level, bronze is free. But we are offering silver or gold memberships at just £95 and £395 (plus VAT) respectively – and the chance to win an Apple i-pad, for businesses signing up by midnight on 28th April 2011,” he added.

Silver or gold memberships allow members to publish more – website links, photographs, stats on the number of hits on the site etc.

Check out to find out more.

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