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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

BMF 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 Handbook and Directory 2017

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.




BMF Members' Day

19-20 September 2017

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BMF Burns Supper, Edinburgh
26 January 2018
 
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BMF Pavilion at UK Construction Week 

UK Construction Week
10-12 October 2017

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Latest News



Here are the latest news stories from the BMF

Tim Rowbottom elected to BMF Board

Tim Rowbottom Tim Rowbottom of Collier & Catchpole Ltd, has been elected to the Board of the Builders Merchants Federation with effect from 1 September 2017.  He replaces Kevin Fenlon of RGB who stepped down due to work commitments having served a three-year term of office. 

Tim Rowbottom, who is Managing Director of Collier & Catchpole, qualified as an engineer and held a variety of senior roles in the window industry before he was invited to join the long-established family owned firm in 2005. Tim has put his previous experience to good use preparing the company to continue its near 200 years of trading in the East Anglia area. In doing so, he has championed the recruitment of apprentices into the business as well as encouraging the continued development of existing staff.  

The BMF Board now comprises:  

Executive Directors
BMF Chairman: Peter Hindle MBE BMF
Chief Executive Officer: John Newcomb
BMF Company Secretary: Richard Ellithorne  

Non-executive Elected Directors
Mark Smith (BMF Hon. Treasurer), Finance Director, MKM Building Supplies
Charles Ledigo, Chairman, Reisser Ltd
Andrew Harrison, Deputy CEO Plumbing & Heating, Travis Perkins
Shanker Patel, CEO, Lords Group
Ian Haldane, Group MD, Haldane Shiells Group
Tim Rowbottom, MD, Collier & Catchpole

Advisers
Merchant: Neil Lawrence, Managing Director Local Merchant Group, Saint Gobain
Supplier: Tony France, Sales Director, Ibstock Brick
Tim Rowbottom
Tim Rowbottom elected to BMF Board. Tim Rowbottom of Collier & Catchpole Ltd, has been elected to the Board of the Builders Merchants Federation with effect from 1 September 2017. He replaces Kevin Fenlon of RGB who stepped down due to work co

UK builders merchant Q2 sales show resilience  

GfK BMBI dataThe latest data released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirms a continuing positive trend for UK builders merchants with Q2 sales increasing by 5.3% (when adjusted for there being two fewer trading days in period) compared to Q2 2016.  The actual Q2 year on year sales figure (for 61 days trading compared to 63 in 2016) is still positive at +1.9%.  Furthermore, year to date sales figures to June are 3.8% higher than for 2016, a period with the same number of trading days.  

The majority of product areas performed well in Q2.  Sales of Ironmongery (+8.4%) and Kitchens and Bathrooms (+8.3%) led the way in adjusted year on year growth for the quarter. The three largest product groups also performed well with sales of Timber & Joinery up by +6.0%, Landscaping +5.9% and Heavy Building Materials +5.6%.  Sales of Plumbing, Heating and Electrical products also showed growth at +3.8%, although the increase was lower than the total builders merchants channel.

The BMBI tracks builders merchants actual sales using point of sale data collected by GfK that represents over 80% of the value of the builders’ merchant market.  The Q2 results appear to tell a different story to the trend reported by the Office of National Statistics earlier this month, in which overall construction output fell by -1.3% in the three months to June compared with Q1 and rose by just +0.4% on the same period last year.   This may reflect the predominance of housebuilding and domestic repair, maintenance and improvement work carried out by builders merchants’ customer base.  

Commenting on the results, John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “The majority of trade indicators are finding that order books are being sustained by private housing and RMI work – the mainstay of many a merchant’s business – while commercial sectors are falling behind. Even the ONS reported a year on year increase in housing of +9.4% for the quarter.  

“I have visited over 20 BMF members in recent weeks and every one reported sales growth in the first half.  While they have seen little evidence of a slow down in overall sales, they are reporting more price increases, an inevitable result of the falling exchange rate, and shortages in certain product areas. The merchant sector is showing resilience at the moment, but it would be foolish not to consider the possibility of tougher trading conditions as we move into 2018.”

Richard Frankcom of GfK adds: “Once again the builders merchants deliver great year-on-year sales value growth across the first six-months of 2017, coming from a variety of product categories. However, we cannot ignore the contribution that increased costs and price increases have had on this continued value growth.

“Going forward, we urge the industry to keep a close eye on trends impacting consumers’ ability to carry out renovations and improvements. Bank interest rates and real wage trends impact consumers’ ability to finance home improvements or house moves. We have just seen a significant drop in intentions to invest in home-related projects which could be felt by the merchants as early as the end of this year. However, home improvement projects could still be one of the best investments home owners and landlords can make right now. The encouragement and evidence for them to do so needs to come from somewhere during these uncertain economic times.”
GfK BMBI data
UK builders merchant Q2 sales show resilience. The latest data released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirms a continuing positive trend for UK builders merchants with Q2 sales increasing by 5.3%

CBI Brexit expert to speak at BMF Members Day 

Nicole SykesNicole Sykes, Head of EU Negotiations at CBI (Confederation of British Industry) will explore possible scenarios of business life beyond Brexit at the BMF Members’ Day in September.  

Nicole joined the CBI in 2015 to work on the organisation’s work engaging the business community in the EU referendum, to ensure CBI member companies were analysing their relationship with the European Union. Since the referendum result, Nicole has been working to co-ordinate the business community’s response to the vote to leave the EU, across sectors and now leads the team with a particular focus on the trading relationship, regulation, transition and the “no deal” scenario. Before joining the CBI, Nicole worked on political campaigns.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “I’m delighted that Nicole will be joining us on Members’ Day.  She has been involved in co-ordinating the CBI’s response to Brexit both pre- and post the referendum result.  I know everyone will be keen to hear the CBI’s thoughts on a variety of potential outcomes of the government’s current leave negotiations.”  

Members’ Day 2017 will be held at Jurys Inn Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire.  The Business Conference, “Building Beyond Brexit”, and the BMF’s black-tie Awards Dinner both take place on 20th September.  The BMF’s annual Golf Tournament will be held on the previous day, 19 September, along with our other social activities, Quad Biking and Rifle Shooting  

he BMF thanks our Members’ Day headline sponsor, Encon Insulation, and Marsh Industries, Monument Tools and First Event who sponsor the Awards Dinner and Golf Tournament and Social Activities.  

To book your place at BMF Members’ Day click here or for more information please contact June Upton at june.upton@bmf.org.uk
Nicole Sykes
CBI Brexit expert to speak at BMF Members Day. Nicole Sykes, Head of EU Negotiations at CBI (Confederation of British Industry) will explore possible scenarios of business life beyond Brexit at BMF Members’ Day in September.

BMF ATA places first merchant apprentices  


BMF ApprenticeshipsThe first apprentices to be placed by the BMF accredited Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA), start work this month.  

The BMF ATA is acting as the formal employer of two of the apprentices who have been placed with member companies.  Andrews Building Supplies’ Peterborough branch is hosting apprentice Harry Osman, and Beers’ Bromborough branch is hosting apprentice Michael Comber.  Both are undertaking Level 2 Apprenticeships in Trade Business Services.  

Two more BMF member companies have directly employed apprentices with the support of the BMF ATA.  Chandlers Building Supplies has taken on Billy Hunt at their Halesowen branch as a Level 2 Warehouse and Storage apprentice, and are already looking to take on a second apprentice.  Meanwhile Emerys decided to use the scheme to upskill Jack Rowley, an existing employee at its Stoke on Trent branch, who is now working towards a Level 2 Trade Business Services qualification. Emerys is also working with the BMF ATA to recruit an Accounting apprentice.  

Richard Ellithorne, BMF Membership Services Director said:   “It’s encouraging to see the BMF Apprenticeship Plus scheme being used in the two different ways we envisaged.  By acting as the employer the BMF ATA removes potential administrative hurdles making it easy for BMF members to take on an apprentice in any job role.  

“BMF Apprenticeship Plus also helps those members who are happy to directly employ an apprentice to recruit and train a suitable candidate.  The BMF ATA opens up a far wider portfolio of established and pre-vetted training providers offering new qualifications and funded training opportunities.”  
BMF ATA places first merchant apprentices. The first apprentices to be placed by the BMF accredited Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA), start work this month. The BMF ATA is acting as the formal employer of two of the apprentices who have been