BMF News

BMF CEO in line for UFEMAT Presidency  

John NewcombJohn Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, is set to be the next President of Ufemat, the European Association of National Builders Merchants Associations and Manufacturers.  His candidature for the Presidency was unanimously accepted during the Ufemat committee meeting on 13 April, to be confirmed at the Ufemat AGM in Lisbon in October.  

Ufemat was created to represent the interests of the building materials trade and supply industry throughout Europe, with a particular remit in regard to EU legislation and standards.  The organisation also hosts an annual Conference, where members discuss issues affecting the industry throughout Europe, to promote co-operation and best practice.  

The BMF is the only trade association representing and protecting the interests of builders’ merchants and suppliers to the merchanting industry in the UK and Ireland. John has headed the BMF since August 2012, during which time membership has almost doubled. Together, the BMF’s 640 members have combined sales of £28bn and employ 123,000 people.  BMF’s 340 merchant members operate from over 5,000 branches across the UK and Ireland.  

John Newcomb said: “I am extremely honoured to be nominated for the position of President of Ufemat at this time. As the UK approaches Brexit, it is even more important for the BMF to strengthen its links with our European colleagues and trade bodies. “The BMF understands how important it is to have a strong body speaking for the wider industry. With over 80% of the UK merchant industry in membership, BMF has become the trusted “go-to” organisation for national government seeking the industry’s view.  Ufemat is similarly respected by European legislators for their representation of building materials supply throughout Europe.  

Ufemat“I would like to thank Antonio Ballester López, Ufemat’s outgoing President for his excellent stewardship of the organisation.  He was instrumental in bringing the Iberian Peninsula back into the Ufemat family, supporting the development of the Polish Federation and opening the door to our friends from Ukraine, as well as successfully lobbying for subsidies to finance the Erasmus + project. I am looking forward to supporting and guiding Ufemat as we enter a further period of change and development.”  

Congratulating John Newcomb on his appointment, Antonio Ballester López said: “During my four years as President of Ufemat I have gained a far greater understanding of  the European building materials sector and the common challenges that face us in every country. Challenges such as the tech-revolution and e-commerce, well informed customers, and their desire for more environmentally sustainable products.  The strength of Ufemat enables us to face these challenges together, to share our experiences and best practice and to work with regulatory institutions in accordance with the needs of this fast-moving world.  

“I would like to congratulate John Newcomb and thank him for accepting this challenge. With his great background and knowledge of the sector, I know he will contribute to its continued success.”  

For more information on Ufemat visit www.ufemat.eu .
John Newcomb CEO of the BMF is set to be the next President of Ufemat, the European Association of National Builders Merchants Associations and Manufacturers. His candidature for the Presidency was unanimously accepted during the Ufemat committee me

ARISTON JOINS THE BMF AS NEW SUPPLIER MEMBER


Ariston has joined the BMF as a supplier member. As a worldwide leading company in the heating and hot water industry, Ariston supplies merchants with its latest water heaters, boilers, heating system controls and accessories. These products include the recently introduced ONE Series range of condensing gas boilers, as well as Andris Lux, the UK’s number one unvented electric water heater.  

Commenting on the company’s membership, Mustafa Findik, Managing Director at Ariston, said:  “We have a large number of merchant customers throughout the UK, so it was only logical for Ariston to join the BMF. Not only is the BMF widely respected organisation throughout the heating industry, it also represents and protects the interests of merchants and their suppliers.”  

He continued: “Merchants hold a key position in the supply chain, as the conduits between manufacturers to installers and end users. As a result, it is essential they are kept up to date with recent product developments, alongside any legislative or regulatory changes. At Ariston, we work closely with our merchant partners to ensure they are always aware of the latest industry news and events; having now joined forces with BMF, we will be able to engage with a wider audience and raise awareness of key issues throughout the heating sector.”  

The BMF’s membership comprises over 640 merchant and supplier companies. Plus, it is the only trade association that represents and protects the interests of builders’ merchants and suppliers in the UK. Membership will allow Ariston to benefit from training, development and professional support opportunities through a variety of services and key events, where members can meet and exchange ideas with merchants, suppliers and leading industry figures.  

Ariston Thermo UK, which is part of the Ariston Thermo Group, is a manufacturer of domestic heating, hot water and renewable products. With over 20 years of experience in the UK, Ariston Thermo is a worldwide leading company in the heating and water heating industry.   For more details about Ariston and its range of boilers, controls, water heaters and other products, visit: www.ariston.co.uk. Follow @AristonUK on Twitter.
Ariston has joined the BMF as a supplier member. As a worldwide leading company in the heating and hot water industry, Ariston supplies merchants with its latest water heaters, boilers, heating system controls and accessories.

Olympian Steve Backley to speak at first BMF Young Merchants Conference

 
The BMF has confirmed that Steve Backley OBE, one of Britain’s most consistent and popular athletes who won medals at three different Olympic games, will speak at the first BMF Young Merchants Conference.  

The BMF Young Merchants Conference, one of three special events held to celebrate the BMF’s landmark anniversary year, will take place on Thursday 11 October during UK Construction Week at the NEC, Birmingham.  

For over a decade Steve established himself as one of the all-time greats of his sport. In 2002, he was awarded the OBE, after being the first British athlete to successfully win four consecutive European Championship titles. After seven gold medals, three world records, two Olympic silver medals and one bronze – at Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney - Steve finally hung up his javelin at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, showing he was still one of the world’s best by placing 4th in the final.  

Since retirement from professional sport, Steve has written three inspirational books: The Winning Mind, The Little Book of Inspiration and, most recently, The Champion in All of Us: 12 Rules for Success.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “We are delighted that Steve will speak at our very first Young Merchant’s Conference. His consistency and winning mentality can be seen in his record of high achievement over a decade. It is a great message for the next generation of achievers in our own industry.”  

John continued: “We are looking forward to welcoming those working in the merchant and building materials supply industry to the BMF Young Merchants Conference. The day will embrace business and inspirational presentations, industry forums and networking opportunities. Held at the NEC on the last day of UK Construction Week, we encourage all those attending to spend time at the exhibition too.”  

The BMF Young Merchants Conference is free of charge to current members of the BMF Young Merchants group. The event is also open to anyone aged between 21 and 40, working in the building material supply industry for a small fee. For full details and registration information please contact james.spillane@bmf.org.uk.
The BMF has confirmed that Steve Backley OBE, one of Britain’s most consistent and popular athletes who won medals at three different Olympic games, will speak at the first BMF Young Merchants Conference.

Bristan joins the BMF

Bristan
Bristan, the UK’s number one taps and showers brand, has joined the BMF, in a show of support for its merchant partners.  

As the only trade association for builders’ merchants and suppliers in the UK, the move to join BMF is part of the company’s strategy to continue to assist merchants in the building materials distribution sector and to raise awareness of the issues they face.  

A key aim of the BMF is to be the authoritative voice for merchants and suppliers, working closely with allied industry groups and regulatory bodies such as trading standards and planning departments. By partnering with the organisation, Bristan hopes to collaborate on overcoming the challenges affecting member merchants, which is a core channel for the business.  

Ian Hansell, General Manager for Bristan, commented: “Merchants play a really important role in the industry, providing crucial advice to customers on the products and services that can have a big impact on a build.”  

“Bristan is continually looking to enhance our merchant relationships and our membership of BMF provides us with the opportunity to support merchants on the issues that affect them most. We look forward to becoming an active member of the BMF group.”  

Bristan is a market leading supplier of domestic and commercial bathroom products. For more information visit www.bristan.com

Bristan, the UK’s number one taps and showers brand, has joined the BMF, in a show of support for its merchant partners. As the only trade association for builders’ merchants and suppliers in the UK, the move to join BMF is part of the company’s

West London's independent welcomes shadow chancellor


With local elections in all London Boroughs in six weeks’ time, politicians must remember that housing is not built, nor are homes improved, without London’s builders, plumbers and timber merchants. That was the message from Lords, West London’s independent builders’ merchant, to John McDonnell MP when he visited the 33-year old business in Hayes.  

Mr McDonnell was welcomed by Shanker Patel, Lords’ Chief Executive, to see for himself how merchants deliver for communities. Solving the capital’s housing crisis was discussed in the context of the Mayor of London’s draft London Plan. If London is to see the 66,000 new homes a year they need, stronger emphasis on small sites for SME builders to complete is essential.  

Lords and its trade body, the Builders Merchants Federation, support the Mayor’s aim to increase housing and deliver more affordable homes. But Mr Patel warned that London Boroughs will struggle to deliver this number on the brownfield land that is available. The worry is that railway depots and other sites used for merchants’ yards and minerals’ handling will be lost. London’s industrial sites should be safeguarded, Mr Patel noted. If not, land used for freight is pushed further out of London - meaning more deliveries by road, not rail, increasing congestion and emissions.  

After visiting the 2½-acre site, John McDonnell MP said: “I was delighted to visit Lords here in the constituency and see for myself their contribution to Hayes and the wider London economy. I pay tribute to Branch Manager, Stuart Macdonald, and his team in helping customers with their building projects. Housing is central to Labour Party thinking and I want better quality and more affordable housing in London if we are to improve the lives of constituents. Changing ministers every so often is not helpful, and I have seen 7 Housing Ministers in the last 7 years. Successful firms like Lords want long-term stability in housing policy to be able to invest confidently in their people and products”.  

Shanker Patel, Chief Executive of Lords Group, commented: “I was grateful to John McDonnell for taking time to visit and gain further insight into our supply chain. We wanted to show him that builders’ merchants like Lords offer good jobs and rewarding careers, to people of all ages, and serve local communities in helping to improve their homes. Lords is pleased that housing remains at the top of the political agenda and that the Shadow Chancellor supports moves to build many more new homes. Merchants want to see unstinting efforts by national government in Whitehall, and local authorities in London, to close the gap between housing demand and supply”.

John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the Builders Merchants Federation, said: “I am delighted the Shadow Chancellor recognises the role, value and importance of merchants and the BMF in delivering for local communities. This year, we celebrate our 110th anniversary as a trade association, and our 40th anniversary as the BMF. In addition to celebrating our past, we want to raise the profile of our supply chain with MPs like John McDonnell”.  

The Shadow Chancellor toured the business and heard how merchants like Lords have evolved since the Credit Crunch of nearly ten years’ ago - and how the supply chain is responding to today’s housing challenge. Last year, the Dawley Road branch was completely rebuilt to make way for a larger trade counter, vehicle management hub, and new group training suite.  

The visit was another arranged by the Builders Merchants Federation as part of its industry and parliamentary programme. The aim is to show MPs how trade essentials and value-added products get from quarries, kilns, sawmills & factories to where they are used by end-customers.
West London's independent welcomes Shadow Chancellor. Mr McDonnell was welcomed by Shanker Patel, Lords' Chief Executive, and BMF at Lords Builders Merchants, to see for himself how merchants deliver for communities.

BMF builds presence at UK Construction Week 2018  


BMF Pavilion at UK Construction WeekThe BMF is building on its successful first two years at UK Construction Week in 2016 and 2017, by hosting its own branded BMF Pavilion again at this year’s exhibition, with an increased floor area and hub for visitors. The show takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 9-11 October.  

The BMF Pavilion will be located in the Build Show area of UK Construction Week, which features nine separate shows in total, including Grand Designs Live. Exhibition space within the BMF Pavilion is available at special rates for BMF members.  

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive said: “For the last two years the BMF Pavilion has proved an excellent platform for merchants to meet and do business with potential customers and suppliers. In 2017 UK Construction Week attracted 33,697 construction professionals (a rise of 11% on 2016), demonstrating the industry’s appetite for a major annual event that combines exhibitor space with education seminars, workshops and relaxed networking opportunities.”  

BMF member, EasyTrim, had great success launching a new product at the show, as Rachel Gibson, the company’s Marketing Manager explained. “We decided to launch our product at the Build Show because the show attracts such a broad demographic of visitors. We had a fantastic week at our stand and garnered a lot of high-quality leads.”  

Members exhibiting in the BMF Pavilion last year included EasyTrim, Rawlplug, ClicBox, Glen Castings, Sales-i, Werner, Wykamol and Intact Software.  

This year, with BMF members benefitting from a substantial 20% discount, the Federation is confident that the number will be even higher. Intact have already booked their BMF Pavilion stand and other BMF members at the 2018 show include ClicBox, Easy-Trim, Marsh Industries, Aggregate Industries, Danosa, Fibo, Ibstock (Forterra), Soudal, Velux, Marley Plumbing & Drainage, Rockwool, Kingspan Environmental (Klargester), Quinn Building Products (who took a 9m2 in 2016 and have now booked 85m2!  

For further information about the BMF Pavilion click here. To reserve exhibition space please contact Christine Harding at cv.harding@btopenworld.com or Dale Nicholson, Sales Manager, Media 10. Tel 0203 225 5217 or email dale.nicholson@media-ten.com
BMF builds presence at UK Construction Week 2018. The BMF is building on its successful first two years at UK Construction Week in 2016 and 2017, by hosting its own branded BMF Pavilion again at this year’s exhibition, with an increased floor area
 

Andy Street to give Keynote Address at BMF Members’ Day  


Andy StreetAndy Street, the first Mayor of the West Midlands, and former Managing Director of John Lewis will give the final address at BMF Members’ Day in September.  

Andy was elected as the first Mayor of the West Midlands in May 2017, and his primary role as Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority brings with it significant powers over transport, housing skills and jobs in the region. His ambitious plan to deliver 215,000 new homes by 2030 has just won the support of the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, with grants totalling £350m announced in the Government’s Spring Statement.  

Before becoming Mayor, Andy combined a career with John Lewis, Britain’s most successful workers’ co-operative, with a host of high-profile economic development roles.  As MD of John Lewis he was named the “Most Admired Leader of the Year” by Management Today in their annual survey of bosses at the UK’s most successful companies. He has also been lead non-executive director for the Department for Communities and Local Government as well as a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Andy was elected on a manifesto aiming to revolutionise the lives of citizens within the West Midlands, where the BMF is headquartered, and we are delighted that our first Mayor will be speaking at Members’ Day.  In addition to his current drive to boost the West Midlands economy, during his earlier career at John Lewis he oversaw one of the most successful periods in the company’s history.  His presentation will resonate with every delegate.”   John Newcomb also announced that, with regret, Vince Cable has had to pull out of the event.  Mr Newcomb said: “Both Vince Cable and the BMF are disappointed that unavoidable changes to his schedule mean it is no longer possible for Vince to speak at Members’ Day.  However, we are pleased that he will now be joining us at our Parliamentary Reception on 24 April.”  

The theme of BMF Members’ Day 2018 is “The Future belongs to the Bold”.  It will be held for the first time at St George’s Park, Burton on Trent – the home of England’s 28 national football teams.  The Business Conference and the BMF’s black-tie Awards Dinner, which celebrates the achievements of young people working in the industry, both take place on 27 September.  The BMF’s annual Golf Tournament and other social activities will be held on the previous day, 26 September.   The BMF thanks our Members’ Day headline sponsor, Encon Insulation, and Marsh Industries and Monument Tools, who sponsor the Awards Dinner and Golf Tournament.  

For more information on BMF Members’ Day click here or contact: june.upton@bmf.org.uk
Andy Street to give Keynote Address at BMF Members’ Day. Andy Street, the first Mayor of the West Midlands, and former MD of John Lewis will give the final address at BMF Members’ Day in September.

BMF Comment on Spring Statement    


BMFCommenting on the Spring Statement, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The BMF is pleased to see the government focus attention on tackling the issue of late payments which is a big issue for our members, particularly for smaller builders’ merchants. The collapse of Carillion gave a clear indication of how vulnerable suppliers can be to their customers and we support measures that minimise these risks to our members in the future. In order to keep Britain building and delivering the building blocks for growth, it is vital that merchants are paid quickly.   

“The Spring Statement has also re-iterated other positive changes for the building materials supply industry including funding to stimulate housing growth, £80 million funding to support apprenticeships in SME firms and an additional £50 million to support T level training. Encouraging new apprentices into the sector is a key aim of the BMF and we hope that this funding will help to drive this forward.”
BMF Comment on Spring Statement. Commenting on the Spring Statement, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The BMF is pleased to see the government focus attention on tackling the issue of late payments which is a big issue for our memb

The Builders’ Merchants Awards for Excellence 2018 are officially open for nominations!

Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence 2018
Now in their 17th year, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence by merchants and the people who work for them.

There are 21 different categories this year, including two new ones, and you can nominate yourself or be put forward by colleagues. Entries must be submitted at www.merchants-awards.co.uk by 31 August 2018.

A panel of independent judges will choose the winners of these prestigious awards from a shortlist of entries that demonstrate the very best that merchanting has to offer.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Hilton Park Lane hotel in central London on 23 November, hosted by one of the biggest and best-loved names in British showbiz. He’s following in the footsteps of actress Joanna Lumley, who hosted last year’s awards, and comedian Dara O Briain, who hosted the 2016 awards.

We’re very pleased to be the official partner for this year’s awards, and some of the industry’s leading lights as sponsors of the categories. The categories are:

  • Website and Digital Initiative of the Year (sponsored by Blue Rock Systems)
  • Marketing Initiative of the Year (sponsored by Catnic)
  • Training Initiative of the Year (sponsored by Klober UK & Ireland)
  • Best Community Initiative by a Builders’ Merchant (sponsored by Encon Insulation)
  • Best Customer Service of the Year (sponsored by Ibstock)
  • Hard Landscaping Display of the Year (sponsored by Bradstone)
  • Showroom of the Year (sponsored by Lakes Bathrooms)
  • Tool Showroom of the Year (sponsored by NMBS Ltd)
  • Supplier Account Manager of the Year (sponsored by SRS Recruitment)
  • Trainee of the Year (sponsored by TIMco)
  • Timber Merchant of the Year (sponsored by SCA Merchant Services)
  • Heating & Plumbing Merchant of the Year (sponsored by Ariston)
  • Independent Builders’ Merchant of the Year (1-10 branches) (sponsored by Keystone Group)
  • Independent Builders’ Merchant of the Year (11-20 branches) (sponsored by Siniat)
  • Independent Builders’ Merchant of the Year (21+ branches) (sponsored by Sika Everbuild)
  • National Builders’ Merchant of the Year (sponsored by Hanson Cement)
  • Supplier of the Year (sponsored by MRA Marketing)
  • Achiever of the Year (sponsored by IKO)
  • Branch Manager of the Year (sponsored by Reisser)
  • Woman in Merchanting (sponsored by Epicor)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by H+H)

You’ll find all of the information you need to make your nominations or to attend the awards ceremony in the Official Launch Brochure that’s with this month’s Builders’ Merchants News – look out for it this week – and at www.merchants-awards.co.ukJoin BMN on social media as they keep you up to date with all the awards news - we're #BMAwards18.

Good luck!

The Builders’ Merchants Awards for Excellence 2018 are officially open for nominations! Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence 2018. Now in their 17th year, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence by merchants and the people who work fo

BMF promotes industry apprenticeships  


Apprenticeship Show - Sandown ParkAs part of the BMF’s Youth Recruitment Campaign for 2018 the BMF’s Apprenticeship Plus team is out in force this week using the platform provided by Apprenticeship Week to promote the merchant industry as a career choice for school and college leavers. The Apprenticeship Plus team is targeting 110 new apprenticeships to begin during 2018.  

The round of exhibitions began on 5 March with the 3-day National Apprentice Show for London and the South East at Sandown Park, where the BMF team was joined by merchant staff from member companies, Lords Group and Richmonds of London, whose ability to give first-hand accounts working in the industry proved invaluable.   

James Spillane, BMF Training Manager said: “The show was attended by 20,000 school leavers, teachers and parents, so it was great for us to have people who are currently working in merchant companies on the stand as BMF Ambassadors to encourage the next generation of new starters into the industry.  I think we opened many peoples’ eyes to the diversity of job roles available in the sector and the broad range of apprenticeships offered through the BMF scheme.”  

Since launching its own Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA) last year, the BMF has already supported over 60 builders’ merchants, helping them to access funds from the government’s latest apprenticeship levy and/or to recruit new apprentices.   

Later this week the BMF will take part in the UK University and Apprenticeship Show at the King Power Stadium in Leicester.  They will also be exhibiting at the National Apprenticeship Show in Milton Keynes on 12-13 March.   The BMF is also actively encouraging the 1,400 trainees affected by Carillion’s demise to consider moving into the building materials industry, where there are opportunities for young people in all parts of the country.
BMF promotes industry apprenticeships. As part of the BMF’s Youth Recruitment Campaign for 2018 the BMF’s Apprenticeship Plus team is out in force this week using the platform provided by Apprenticeship Week to promote the merchant industry as a c

Julian FisherBMF Members’ Day to welcome real life 007  

The BMF steps into the world of espionage with the latest speaker to be announced for BMF Members’ Day in September.   Julian Fisher was an operational officer in the Secret Intelligence Service (commonly known as MI6) before moving into the private security and intelligence sector as Head of Africa for Aegis Defence Services Ltd.  He now acts as a consultant on espionage matters for a variety of media outlets.  Last year, Julian was one of the lead trainers/assessors on the Channel 4 series, Spies, which subjected fifteen ordinary men and women to tests based on the training for new entrants to the British Intelligence Services, to find out if they had what it takes to make it.  

As a speaker, Julian brings his unique combination of operational experience, training capability, geographical expertise and creativity to bear advising businesses on the lessons they can learn from intelligence officers’ use of interpersonal skills and human psychology.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Our conference theme this year is “The Future Belongs to the Bold”, which makes a presentation from a former MI6 officer especially appropriate. The business of spying may seem a world away from the building materials supply industry, but Julian is set to show us all how we can draw on espionage skills to develop our business.”  

BMF Members’ Day 2018 will be held for the first time at St George’s Park, Burton on Trent – the home of England’s 28 national football teams.  The Business Conference and the BMF’s black-tie Awards Dinner, which celebrates the achievements of young people working in the industry, both take place on 27 September.  The BMF’s annual Golf Tournament and other social activities will be held on the previous day, 26 September.  

The BMF thanks our Members’ Day headline sponsor, Encon Insulation, and Marsh Industries and Monument Tools, who sponsor the Awards Dinner and Golf Tournament.  

For more information on BMF Members’ Day visit the BMF website at www.bmf.org.uk/events or contact: june.upton@bmf.org.uk  
BMF Members’ Day to welcome real life 007. The BMF steps into the world of espionage with the latest speaker to be announced for BMF Members’ Day in September.

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.

BMBI wins Best Product Launch at the Construction Marketing Awards  


BMBI win Best Product Launch at CMA AwardsThe Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) has won Best Product Launch at the prestigious Construction Marketing Awards (CMA) for what the judges described as “an innovative offering to the market.” The CMAs recognise the marketing achievements of organisations and individuals in the construction industry. The awards are run by the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG), and winners were announced on 30 November 2017.  

The BMBI is a joint enterprise between GfK, the BMF, and MRA Marketing. Before launching the Index, there was no reliable measure of Repair Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) building activity in the UK. Economists, media and Government made do with a patchwork of measures of variable reliability.  

Since its launch in 2015, the BMBI is helping to put construction and builders’ merchants on the map and achieving wide exposure in and outside the industry. Centred on an agreement with GfK to use the top line of their Builders Merchant Panel data, new quarterly and monthly reports are produced by MRA Marketing to help close the knowledge gap. The initiative is supported by a high profile strategic PR programme that has resulted in 200+ press appearances over the last 12 months, and is winning the attention of leading organisations, institutions, and government bodies.  

The CMA judges said: “This is an innovative offering to the market to provide clarity on what is a very nebulous index to measure. Great insight to the market for RMI and great service to subscribers.”   An integral part of the Index is the panel of leading industry Experts who speak exclusively for their markets. Each Expert adds perspective and context to the data, and helps to make sense of trends for users of the BMBI. These include: Encon Insulation, Timbmet, Knauf Insulation, Keylite Roof Windows, Hanson Cement, Keystone Lintels, Crystal Group, IKO PLC, Alumasc Water Management Solutions, Ibstock Brick, Heatrae Sadia and Natural Paving Products.  

John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF comments: “BMBI is achieving tremendous momentum in the market and this award is recognition of all the hard work that has gone into launching this unique and essential tool for the RMI sector. It would not exist without the combined efforts of GfK, the BMF and MRA Marketing.”   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. To find out more about the Builders Merchant Panel data email Richard Frankcom at GfK on Richard.Frankcom@gfk.com.
BMBI wins Best Product Launch at the Construction Marketing Awards. The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) has won Best Product Launch at the prestigious Construction Marketing Awards (CMA) for what the judges described as “an innovative offer

New Merchant Apprenticeship launched for 2018  

BMF merchant apprenticeship launchThe BMF and the Electrical Distributors Association (EDA) have jointly championed the development of a brand new, industry specific Trade Supplier Apprentice Standard. It is the first Apprenticeship to be designed for our industry by experts in our industry, and is set to become the sector’s primary Level 2 qualification when it is launched to employers next year. 

The Trade Supplier Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard has just been launched to more than fifteen training providers who will deliver the training programme across the UK. From January 2018, the new Standard will be offered to builders merchants through BMF Apprenticeships Plus.  

Trade Supplier Level 2 was developed as part of the government’s Trailblazer initiative. This encouraged groups of employers to work together to create robust apprenticeships for their own sector, to ensure that people have up-to-date workplace skills that are fully relevant to business and industry.    

Speaking at the launch, Richard Ellithorne, BMF Membership Services Director  said: “Merchants and other trade suppliers play a vital role in ensuring an efficient flow of goods and services between manufacturers and their skilled trade customer base, but this is the first time that an Apprenticeship has been designed to meet the industry’s specific needs.  It is a huge step forward, and I would like to thank all those who gave their time and energy to ensure this new apprenticeship delivers the skills and knowledge needed by new recruits to our industry.”  

John Henry, Director of BMF Apprenticeships Plus (the BMF’s Apprenticeship Training Agency) said: “This employer-led qualification will give young people entering the industry an excellent grounding in merchanting and will raise the bar in terms of skills and knowledge at an early point in their careers.  Having been in close communication with many businesses it is clear that the merchanting sector has been waiting for this new apprenticeship and I am confident of a significant take up by employers wishing to recruit and train new entrants and existing colleagues.”         

Commenting on the collaborative development process, Margaret Fitzsimons, EDA Director said: “Created by wholesalers for wholesalers, this new entry-level apprenticeship reflects the substantial commitment and knowledge sharing from across the building, timber and joinery, kitchen installation and electro-technical sectors. It has been a pleasure to work with similar trade organisations and their members to pool our significant wholesaling experience.”  

Crawford Knott of Hawk Training, an Ofsted accredited Outstanding training provider added: “Boosting the level of skills and productivity in the UK is vitally important, even more so as we move into the post-Brexit era. Apprenticeship standards like this one will enable employers in the sector to harness new talent and support the development of industry-specific skills.”  

The new Trade Supplier Apprenticeship Standard will replace the Trade Business Service framework apprenticeship, formerly used by merchants.  The new Standard is far more closely aligned with the merchant working environment.  Trade Supplier Apprentices will be trained and assessed on:  

  • dealing with customer sales at the trade counter and over the telephone
  • understanding incoming deliveries, stock control and despatch
  • processing customer orders and taking delivery of goods
  • technical knowledge of the products and services offered
  • using bespoke systems and equipment within their company
  • communication and building relationships both internally and with customers. 

Trade Supplier Apprentices may work on the trade counter, or they can specialise in other roles in the trade business environment including sales, purchasing account management, logistics and administration.  

The new Apprenticeship received approval from the Skills Funding Agency and OFQUAL earlier this Autumn, and will be eligible for funding under the new Levy system.
New Merchant Apprenticeship launched for 2018. The BMF and the Electrical Distributors Association (EDA) have jointly championed the development of a brand new, industry specific Trade Supplier Apprentice Standard. It is the first Apprenticeship to