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Membership

Five reasons why becoming a member
can help you and your business

  • Training and development
  • Business support
  • Access to market data
  • Networking opportunities
  • Political representation


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Training

The BMF runs a wide range of training and skills development for employees of merchants, distributors and suppliers, from yard staff to company directors. Training ranges from online product knowledge to specialist skills training.

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Publications

BMF publications include One Voice magazine, Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI), Plumbing & Heating News, Timber Forum News, Remuneration survey, KPI report, Business News and CPA Weekly notes.

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Featured Events

The BMF has a wide range of events, forums and regional meetings to enhance networking opportunities.




Branch Managers' Forum

14-15 March 2018

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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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VADO Rally
7-10 June 2018 (closing date for entries 22 Dec 2017)

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Latest News



Here are the latest news stories from the BMF

Upwards extensions in London: BMF comment


BMFThe Government is right to relax planning rules to make it easier for homeowners and businesses to build additional storeys, according to the BMF.  

New-build cannot provide enough homes needed in London to overcome the housing crisis. The BMF wants to see better use made of existing buildings - and allowing building upwards to add extra storeys must be part of the solution that leads to the completion of extra housing.  

The BMF was responding to an announcement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government after it carried out a consultation seeking views on proposals to enable London to “build up” more easily to reduce the pressure to “build out” in providing much-needed homes - whilst at the same time protecting the Green Belt. The BMF took part in the consultation exercise.  

Making the announcement, Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State, said “The answer to building new homes isn’t always an empty plot, or developing on a derelict site. That’s why we are looking to strengthen planning rules to encourage developers to look at opportunities to build upwards where possible when delivering the homes the country needs”.  

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, commented “No-one wants a repeat of bad high-rise housing from the past, but the BMF believes better use can be made of existing buildings. The Minister is right to conclude there is scope to increase the number of new homes. Allowing London property to be extended upwards, for a limited number of storeys, up to the height of adjoining buildings, without needing prior approval, is a good way to do so. It is not the single solution to today’s housing crisis, but it is a good one, worth pursuing”.  

The capital’s population is projected to be 10.8 million by 2041, and many more extra homes per year are required to narrow the gap between housing demand and supply. In the Mayor of London’s draft London Plan, that is currently open for public consultation, Sadiq Khan proposes a new London-wide house building target of 65,000 new homes for each of the next 10 years.  

John Newcomb noted that for many voters, housing is the number one domestic policy priority. Enabling London to “build up” more easily ought to enable owner-occupiers and landlords to complete properly-considered and un-contentious projects that conform to the rules, he added. The BMF has lobbied in favour of building upwards over the last two years, with three different Housing Ministers, including Alok Sharma MP, who attended BMF Members’ Day in September 2017.  
Upwards extensions in London: BMF comment. The Government is right to relax planning rules to make it easier for homeowners and businesses to build additional storeys, according to the BMF.

Strong Q4 Builders Merchants’ sales complete another year of growth  


GfKAnother set of positive sales figures for the final Quarter of 2017 published today in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) reflects the continued strength of the sector’s primary markets, private housebuilding and domestic repair, maintenance and improvement. 

Total Q4 2017 sales were up +6.3% on Q4 2016, delivering stronger growth for the quarter than the running average, which in turn helped to push the annual growth numbers. Overall, merchant sales in 2017 finished 4.8% ahead of 2016 by value.  

The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80% of builders merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.   

Looking at Q4 in detail, total growth was supported by the two biggest value categories, Timber & Joinery (+7.3%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.4%).  A number of smaller product categories also assisted the strong finish, notably Plumbing, Heating & Electrical, and Tools (both up by +7.7%), Ironmongery (+7.3%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+6.6%). Perhaps not surprisingly, growth in annual sales was also driven by the largest product groups, with Timber & Joinery at +5.4% and Heavy Building Materials at 5.1%. Almost every category recorded sales growth in 2017, with just one minor area, Services, falling back at -2.0%.  

Commenting on the latest figures, John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Our results have appeared out of kilter with headline figures from the ONS for some time, but if you drill down into their reports the results are comparable. The lion’s share of merchant sales is driven by the housing market. While private housebuilding is forging ahead, assisted by Help to Buy, and private domestic RMI work is holding up well, the same cannot be said for commercial and industrial sectors which have seen a sharp decline post Brexit.  We remain optimistic for continued growth in 2018, but I’m sure BMF merchants will be factoring in a number of outside factors – from monetary policy to Carillion’s demise – that could affect trading.” 

Richard Frankcom, Senior Client Insight Manager, GfK said: “Builders merchants delivered a strong performance in 2017 during a period of political and economic uncertainty and a changing value of the pound, which compounded trading difficulties. The strength of the sectors they operate within has generated some of this growth, but price inflation has also been a contributing factor.  

“There are a number of factors that could impact on trading in 2018. Initial reports have shown a weakening in new housebuilding, and there are renewed concerns over skilled worker shortages. With interest rates expected to rise sooner and faster than predicted, thereby increasing the cost of borrowing, we watch with interest to see if generalist builders’ merchants continue to defy market expectations and drive forward again in 2018.”  

For more information please visit www.bmbi.co.uk.
Strong Q4 Builders Merchants’ sales complete another year of growth. Another set of positive sales figures for the final Quarter of 2017 published today in the BMF’s BMBI reflects the continued strength of the sector’s primary markets, private hous

BMBI shortlisted twice at national marketing awards  


CIM Marketing Excellence Awards FinalistThe Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) has been shortlisted in two categories at the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s 2018 Marketing Excellence Awards.

The BMBI, which uses gold-standard sales-out data from GfK’s General Builders’ Merchants Panel to measure RMI in the economy, is a BMF brand launched and managed by MRA Marketing.  

The awards aim to celebrate outstanding, high quality and impactful marketing in a range of subcategories. The BMBI has been shortlisted for ‘New Product or Service Innovation’, and for ‘Best Use of Data and Insight’.  

Richard Frankcom, Senior Client Insight Manager for the Trade Panel, GfK says: “We’re delighted to be a double finalist at the CIMs. The BMBI contains data from GfK’s ground-breaking Builders’ Merchants Panel which analyses data from over 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales in Great Britain. GfK’s Builders’ Merchants Point of Sale tracking data sets a gold standard in reliable market trends. It’s based on actual sales from merchants to builders and other trades.”  

BMF Chief Executive Officer, John Newcomb, said: “I hope the BMBI wins in both categories but we’re very pleased to have just been shortlisted. I’m proud that BMBI is being recognised for the major step forward in construction data and insight it has achieved.”  

The CIM Marketing Excellence Awards will be held on 12 April 2018 in London. 

Visit www.bmbi.co.uk to download the latest BMBI report, learn more about each Expert or watch the Round Table debate videos where the Experts discuss important issues and the implications for merchants and construction overall.

If you’d like your brand to become a BMBI Expert and the voice of your market, call Lucia Di Stazio, MRA Marketing on 01453 521621.  
BMBI shortlisted twice at national marketing awards The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) has been shortlisted in two categories at the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s 2018 Marketing Excellence Awards.

Carlton Manufacturing joins the BMF


Carlton ManufacturingCarlton Manufacturing has just joined the BMF. Carlton Manufacturing produce a comprehensive range of bagged, ready-to-use products for applications such as fence & gate posts, bases for sheds & greenhouses, brick & block laying and much more. 

Marc Case, UK Packed Products Commercial Manager at Carlton Manufacturing, specialist developers & manufacturers of bagged, ready-to-use cementitious products, said: “The BMF is respected within the construction industry, working on behalf of suppliers such as ourselves to ensure any issues we face are dealt with promptly and efficiently. By joining, we are adding to the strength of this superb organisation, which strives to ensure its members continue to succeed in an increasingly crowded marketplace.”  

The BMF’s membership numbers more than 640 merchant and supplier companies. As well as working alongside industry groups and regulatory bodies including trading standards and planning departments, it is an active lobbyist with local and central government in the UK. Training and development, business support, market data access and networking opportunities are among BMF member benefits.  

Marc Case added: “Joining the BMF provides us with a voice within the marketplace and at governmental level.  It’s a huge benefit to have organisations such as this promoting our cause.”  
 
Welcoming Carlton, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said “It’s great to have Carlton on board. Our members are at the heart of everything we do and I’m sure Carlton, will gain value from being part of a strong trade body.”  

For more information on Carlton products please contact: 0808 1000 321 or visit: www.carltonmanufacturing.co.uk  
Carlton Manufacturing joins the BMF. Carlton Manufacturing produce a comprehensive range of bagged, ready-to-use products for applications such as fence & gate posts, bases for sheds & greenhouses, brick & block laying and much more.