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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, Roofing & Insulation News, Remuneration survey, KPI report and BMF Business News.

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Featured Events

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




BMF Burns Supper 2022

21 January 2022

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

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UFEMAT Conference 
28-30 April 2022
 
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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
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Top 100 Merchant Influencers
19 May 2022

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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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Latest News



Here are the latest news stories from the BMF

BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high


BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high30 June 2022

Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

The BMF holds a pivotal role within the building materials distribution chain, representing both merchants and building materials manufacturers and suppliers, and the growth in membership has encompassed companies from both sides of the supply chain.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb believes the surge in member numbers is a result of the support the BMF has provided throughout the many challenges that have faced the market since the outbreak of the covid pandemic. The BMF’s work throughout this period has raised the profile of building material supply and enhanced the sector’s influence with Government as well as promoting supply chain collaboration.

“We are absolutely focused on providing member value,” John Newcomb explained. “BMF members are huge part of the construction sector. Together they employ over 225,350 people and their combined annual turnover exceeds £44.6bn. Our mission is to help them build excellence in their business and to ensure their voice is heard.

“The current issues around product availability played to our strength and knowledge of material supply. The BMF’s central position on the CLC Task Force brings us into regular contact with Government and we have been able to develop their understanding of the role merchants play in the supply chain and provide data from merchant and supplier members on the challenges they are facing, all of which is helping to inform government action and policy.”
 
BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high
Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

HUGHES FORREST WELCOMES SHADOW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

Tuesday 14 June 2022

How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme.

The MP for Newport West visited Hughes Forrest, a 90-year old business based in the town, to see how it helps constituents to improve the thermal and energy performance of homes and workplaces.

Ruth Jones, who is the Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation, was welcomed by Richard Brian and Nick Bulpin, Joint Managing Directors. Touring the branch, Mrs Jones was shown examples of the sustainable materials and products available to Hughes Forrest customers in its six South Wales branches. She also heard how merchants are managing in the face of higher raw material, energy, labour and transport costs and the impact on local SME customers.

Concluding her visit, Ruth Jones MP said:

“It was great to visit Hughes Forrest to learn how they are embracing low and zero-carbon initiatives, whilst continuing to serve their traditional house-building and property improvement markets”.

“It’s encouraging to find a local family-run business like Hughes Forrest, having just celebrated its 90th anniversary, face the future and embrace not only carbon-neutral suppliers, but carbon-negative ones too.

“I’d like to thank Richard, Nick and their team for helping local builders and DIY enthusiasts alike with their building and home improvement projects, and for giving me the opportunity to see for myself their contribution to not only the Newport economy, but also more widely throughout South Wales”.

The visit came two months after the introduction of the new Plastic Packaging Tax aimed at boosting levels of recycled content used in plastic packaging. There was also discussion about new UK-wide proposals to reform packaging waste regulations to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility from April 2024. Ministers in Cardiff and London have decided to implement this new legal obligation in phases, starting in two years’ time with household and street bin waste.

Richard Brian, Hughes Forrest Joint Managing Director said:

“We were delighted to welcome Ruth Jones and show her how Hughes Forrest has evolved over the ninety years since we began here in Newport back in 1931. It is great to have our MP take an interest in local firms like ours and offering her insight and support to help businesses to succeed”.

“Merchants ought to be aware that a shift is underway towards a sharper focus on the environmental consequences of packaging, and the way we use resources in our supply chain in a more efficient manner, knowing that stricter targets and stronger regulation are likely in future”.

The visit was another arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme. The aim is to show MPs the role, value and importance of merchants in delivering for their communities.
 
How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its

Shortlists for the BMF Supplier and Service Awards announced

13 June 2022

The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

The finalists, who have been shortlisted from 385 BMF Supplier and Service members, are:

BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award
Marshalls
Knauf Insulation Ltd
Knauf UK
SIG
Siniat/Etex
Velux
BMF Service Member Award
ECI/eCommonSense
Intact Software
Kerridge
Pallet Loop
Virtualstock

The shortlisted companies have actively sought to gain the greatest value from their membership during the last 12 months, through their proactive support for BMF meetings and events.

BMF Chief Executive, John Newcomb said: “BMF membership embraces the whole of the building materials distribution industry and these Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the vital role suppliers and service members play within the Federation.  Every member on these shortlists has mad1e an outstanding contribution through their participation in training, forums and events or sponsorship.  I would like to thank them all and wish them the very best in this year’s Awards.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

Four shortlisted in BMF Training Awards


08 May 2022


The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022.

They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.


Nominated by BMF Regional Managers, who work closely with members in their area to satisfy training and other service requirements, the four shortlisted companies were selected for their commitment to supporting and developing their teams through their use of BMF training.

EH Smith makes the short-list for a second successive year. They support colleagues through formal and informal development initiatives, from BMF apprenticeships to people management programmes and equality, diversity and inclusion training.  Embracing the value of informal development opportunities, EH Smith has two representatives on the BMF Young Merchant group, while another colleague chairs the BMF Transport Forum.

Haldane Fisher encourages and enables colleagues to reach their full potential by accessing a range of classroom based and on-line learning programmes.  In the past year, this has included courses covering leadership skills, merchandising, stock and margin control together with a bespoke hybrid Excellence in Branch Management programme.  HR Director Andrew Laird chairs the BMF HR Forum and is an active member of the BMF Learning & Development Group.  The business was also one of the first to embrace the new BMF LEAP apprenticeships.

The HR Team at IBMG has employed a wide range of apprenticeships and training programmes across the group companies for colleagues at every level. These have included induction courses such as How a House is Built, others focusing on customer service, as well as bespoke programmes on margin management and management development tailored for specific IBMG merchant companies.

The final nominee, PDM/Buildbase, now part of Huws Gray, has rapidly progressed their training engagement with the BMF with three separate groups in the past year benefitting from specific programmes for branch managers.  The formal programmes have been so successful that PDM delegates also joined the informal 2-day BMF Branch Managers Forum last Autumn.

Commenting on the nominations, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Training is the lifeblood of our industry. It is an essential resource for merchants seeking to continue the ongoing development of core competencies and management skills. The four companies chosen by BMF Regional Managers have all increased, their investment in developing staff at all levels.  I am delighted that they are making full use of the broad range of formal and specialist training offered by the BMF.  Whoever wins the title, each of the nominated merchants are clearly winning in terms of building excellence within their own business.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022. They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.

BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high


BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high30 June 2022

Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

The BMF holds a pivotal role within the building materials distribution chain, representing both merchants and building materials manufacturers and suppliers, and the growth in membership has encompassed companies from both sides of the supply chain.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb believes the surge in member numbers is a result of the support the BMF has provided throughout the many challenges that have faced the market since the outbreak of the covid pandemic. The BMF’s work throughout this period has raised the profile of building material supply and enhanced the sector’s influence with Government as well as promoting supply chain collaboration.

“We are absolutely focused on providing member value,” John Newcomb explained. “BMF members are huge part of the construction sector. Together they employ over 225,350 people and their combined annual turnover exceeds £44.6bn. Our mission is to help them build excellence in their business and to ensure their voice is heard.

“The current issues around product availability played to our strength and knowledge of material supply. The BMF’s central position on the CLC Task Force brings us into regular contact with Government and we have been able to develop their understanding of the role merchants play in the supply chain and provide data from merchant and supplier members on the challenges they are facing, all of which is helping to inform government action and policy.”
 
BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high
Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

HUGHES FORREST WELCOMES SHADOW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

Tuesday 14 June 2022

How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme.

The MP for Newport West visited Hughes Forrest, a 90-year old business based in the town, to see how it helps constituents to improve the thermal and energy performance of homes and workplaces.

Ruth Jones, who is the Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation, was welcomed by Richard Brian and Nick Bulpin, Joint Managing Directors. Touring the branch, Mrs Jones was shown examples of the sustainable materials and products available to Hughes Forrest customers in its six South Wales branches. She also heard how merchants are managing in the face of higher raw material, energy, labour and transport costs and the impact on local SME customers.

Concluding her visit, Ruth Jones MP said:

“It was great to visit Hughes Forrest to learn how they are embracing low and zero-carbon initiatives, whilst continuing to serve their traditional house-building and property improvement markets”.

“It’s encouraging to find a local family-run business like Hughes Forrest, having just celebrated its 90th anniversary, face the future and embrace not only carbon-neutral suppliers, but carbon-negative ones too.

“I’d like to thank Richard, Nick and their team for helping local builders and DIY enthusiasts alike with their building and home improvement projects, and for giving me the opportunity to see for myself their contribution to not only the Newport economy, but also more widely throughout South Wales”.

The visit came two months after the introduction of the new Plastic Packaging Tax aimed at boosting levels of recycled content used in plastic packaging. There was also discussion about new UK-wide proposals to reform packaging waste regulations to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility from April 2024. Ministers in Cardiff and London have decided to implement this new legal obligation in phases, starting in two years’ time with household and street bin waste.

Richard Brian, Hughes Forrest Joint Managing Director said:

“We were delighted to welcome Ruth Jones and show her how Hughes Forrest has evolved over the ninety years since we began here in Newport back in 1931. It is great to have our MP take an interest in local firms like ours and offering her insight and support to help businesses to succeed”.

“Merchants ought to be aware that a shift is underway towards a sharper focus on the environmental consequences of packaging, and the way we use resources in our supply chain in a more efficient manner, knowing that stricter targets and stronger regulation are likely in future”.

The visit was another arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme. The aim is to show MPs the role, value and importance of merchants in delivering for their communities.
 
How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its

Shortlists for the BMF Supplier and Service Awards announced

13 June 2022

The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

The finalists, who have been shortlisted from 385 BMF Supplier and Service members, are:

BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award
Marshalls
Knauf Insulation Ltd
Knauf UK
SIG
Siniat/Etex
Velux
BMF Service Member Award
ECI/eCommonSense
Intact Software
Kerridge
Pallet Loop
Virtualstock

The shortlisted companies have actively sought to gain the greatest value from their membership during the last 12 months, through their proactive support for BMF meetings and events.

BMF Chief Executive, John Newcomb said: “BMF membership embraces the whole of the building materials distribution industry and these Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the vital role suppliers and service members play within the Federation.  Every member on these shortlists has mad1e an outstanding contribution through their participation in training, forums and events or sponsorship.  I would like to thank them all and wish them the very best in this year’s Awards.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

Four shortlisted in BMF Training Awards


08 May 2022


The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022.

They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.


Nominated by BMF Regional Managers, who work closely with members in their area to satisfy training and other service requirements, the four shortlisted companies were selected for their commitment to supporting and developing their teams through their use of BMF training.

EH Smith makes the short-list for a second successive year. They support colleagues through formal and informal development initiatives, from BMF apprenticeships to people management programmes and equality, diversity and inclusion training.  Embracing the value of informal development opportunities, EH Smith has two representatives on the BMF Young Merchant group, while another colleague chairs the BMF Transport Forum.

Haldane Fisher encourages and enables colleagues to reach their full potential by accessing a range of classroom based and on-line learning programmes.  In the past year, this has included courses covering leadership skills, merchandising, stock and margin control together with a bespoke hybrid Excellence in Branch Management programme.  HR Director Andrew Laird chairs the BMF HR Forum and is an active member of the BMF Learning & Development Group.  The business was also one of the first to embrace the new BMF LEAP apprenticeships.

The HR Team at IBMG has employed a wide range of apprenticeships and training programmes across the group companies for colleagues at every level. These have included induction courses such as How a House is Built, others focusing on customer service, as well as bespoke programmes on margin management and management development tailored for specific IBMG merchant companies.

The final nominee, PDM/Buildbase, now part of Huws Gray, has rapidly progressed their training engagement with the BMF with three separate groups in the past year benefitting from specific programmes for branch managers.  The formal programmes have been so successful that PDM delegates also joined the informal 2-day BMF Branch Managers Forum last Autumn.

Commenting on the nominations, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Training is the lifeblood of our industry. It is an essential resource for merchants seeking to continue the ongoing development of core competencies and management skills. The four companies chosen by BMF Regional Managers have all increased, their investment in developing staff at all levels.  I am delighted that they are making full use of the broad range of formal and specialist training offered by the BMF.  Whoever wins the title, each of the nominated merchants are clearly winning in terms of building excellence within their own business.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022. They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

Jo Callow, Head of Communications for UK & Ireland at Knauf Insulation is the new Chair of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Young Merchant Group. She will be supported by Ed Parlato, Buyer at Browns Builders Merchants, who was elected to replace Jo as Vice Chair.

Jo takes over from Glenn Paddison, who completed his term as Chair at the BMF Young Merchant Conference held this year at the NEC, Birmingham during National Construction Week and attended by 150 people.

Jo has been an active member of the Young Merchant Group for seven years, serving as Vice Chair since 2018.  She joined the Group after winning the BMF Young Supplier Achiever Award in 2014, just a year after she entered the building materials industry as a member of Knauf Insulation’s Merchant Support Team. Jo continued to work closely with merchants in her subsequent roles at Knauf Insulation as Area Sales Manager and National Merchant Support Manager. She was promoted to her current role in 2020.  
 
Jo is keen to continue developing the BMF Young Merchant’s work and influence. She said:

“I am delighted and honoured to take on the role of Chair and looking forward to working with Ed to build on all that Glenn achieved during his chairmanship. The current drive to achieve net zero makes this a particularly exciting time, offering even more opportunities for young people entering the industry. I know from my own experience how the interaction within the Young Merchant Group helps members as they build their careers. Our focus will be on delivering quality events to support this.”

Vice Chair, Ed Parlato, is currently involved in the purchasing side of Browns an independent, family run merchants in Derby, but has tackled many other roles in the business over the years. He is also part of the NBG Category Management team for tools and workwear.

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

“The Young Merchant group has grown enormously in the past few years. When I first joined there were 20 people at the meeting, the latest Conference had over 150. Every Chair has built on the work of the last and I’m looking forward to working with Jo and supporting her over the next two years, and I will be listening to members of the group to make sure their views are represented. If the last 18 months has shown us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. I always marvel at the intelligence and creativity of all the people in Young Merchants, and I hope I can capture part of that to share with the wider industry.”

The BMF Young Merchant Group supports merchants and suppliers aged between 18 and 40 in their career development. Membership is open to those holding a key management position within their organisation. They benefit from twice yearly meetings and networking events, and an annual fact-finding trip, normally overseas.

For further information on the BMF Young Merchant Group contact [email protected]
 
Jo Callow, Head of Communications for UK & Ireland at Knauf Insulation is the new Chair of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Young Merchant Group. She will be supported by Ed Parlato, Buyer at Browns Builders Merchants, who was elected to rep

Hundreds of Travis Perkins apprentices join IoBM 


06 October 2021

Travis Perkins has become the first national merchant to support The Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IOBM) ambitious plans to professionalise the merchant industry by signing up a large number of its apprentices as student members.

More than 800 Travis Perkins apprentices joined the IOBM on 1 October 2021. New apprentices joining Travis Perkins will also be given the opportunity to join the Institute.

Student members benefit from the IOBM’s role as an independent accreditation body and its structured framework for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Bi-annual conferences for student members are also planned and due to begin in autumn 2022.

Unlike most employers, Travis Perkins is an accredited provider of apprenticeships with over 40 apprenticeship programmes on offer, suited to a wide range of candidates. These include existing employees who want to develop their skills or build expertise in other areas as they progress to new roles, as well as those joining the industry, either from school or university or migrating over to an apprenticeship having joined the business from the Government’s Kickstarter programme, or those switching from a former occupation and joining the sector later in their careers.

Andy Rayner, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers for Travis Perkins Group, said:

“We pride ourselves on providing a full range of apprenticeships from the branch counter to the Boardroom. Our apprenticeships are designed to support existing employees as well as individuals with no prior knowledge of our industry or our business, to give them the skills they need to become valued colleagues.  

“This is very much in line with the ethos of the IOBM and by introducing our apprentices to the Institute as student members, they will be able to assess how active membership can support them as they continue to develop their careers. We asked our 1,000 apprentices if they wanted to become members of the IOBM and we were delighted that the vast majority did.”

Announcing the news at the Builders Merchants Federation’s Young Merchant Conference, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said:

“The IOBM Management Committee set a membership target of 1,000 new members by the end of the year. With the support of Travis Perkins, we will achieve this by the end of October. 

“It is particularly encouraging to see the largest builders’ merchant in the UK bringing such a significant number of new recruits to the industry into membership. Through accreditation and CPD the IOBM has set out a pathway to professionalism in the merchanting industry which can support them through their entire career. We hope others will now follow this example.”

The IOBM merged with the BMF earlier this year and operates as a separate brand of the BMF, with its own management body. The IOBM has a clear aim to become a Chartered Institute, supporting the highest standards of professionalism within the industry.  
 
Travis Perkins has become the first national merchant to support The Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IoBM) ambitious plans to professionalise the merchant industry by signing up a large number of its apprentices as student members.

Haulage a priority for BMF


3 September 2021

Haulage a priority for BMFNew data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK. 

A snap survey of BMF members found 67% of builders’ merchant respondents and 86% of supplier respondents are affected by haulage issues, citing it as their number one concern.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

“Haulage, and in particular the shortage of HGV drivers, has become our industry’s number one concern, and the results of our member survey have been fed into discussions between the transport industry and government.

“Some suppliers are reporting that the standard five-day lead time has more than doubled. In some cases, we are even seeing increases of up to four weeks. We have heard reports that suppliers are asking merchants to collect orders as they cannot get enough drivers to complete deliveries.

“Driver recruitment is the main challenge. Both suppliers and merchants are prepared to recruit or retrain existing staff as drivers, but there are limited opportunities for training and testing.  They want more testing to be made available to help get new HGV drivers on the road.”

The issue is not confined to the building materials industry.  The Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and tax changes have contributed to haulage challenges, with transport industry bodies estimating a shortfall of around 100,000 HGV drivers, with an estimated 15,000 lost following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Logistics UK’s May 2021 tracker survey found 61% of respondents considered recruitment of HGV drivers to be a ‘severe’ or ‘very severe’ challenge, while 50% cited the availability of testing as a ‘moderate’ or ‘extreme’ barrier to recovery.

John Newcomb added: 

“Builders merchants have done a fantastic job managing product demand and supply in the face of high global demand and reduced capacity resulting from the pandemic. Haulage is the latest challenge and our top priority.  We are doing everything we can to assist discussions between the freight industry and government as they seek to agree both short and long term solutions.”
 
Haulage a priority for BMF
New data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK.

Leadership, diversity and performance to the fore at BMF All Industry Conference 

4 August 2021

Nicky Moffat CBE, who was Britain’s highest ranking female Army officer, retiring as a Brigadier after almost 30 years of service, is the latest speaker to be confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in November.

Nicky’s expertise and insights as a leader are drawn from roles as a Recruitment Training Commander, Training Regiment Commander and Director of her Branch of the Army. Throughout, she led diverse mission-focused groups in an organisation both steeped in tradition but subject to rapid and significant changes of policy, technology and resources.

In her largest command, as brigadier, she led some 4,500 soldiers within the Army’s personnel and finance function. More broadly, Nicky served in strategy, policy, career management and finance roles in the Army’s Personnel Centre, Army Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence.

She oversaw the Armed Forces Workforce Planning and Pay Review Programmes, focusing on recruitment, retention and on valuing and supporting service personnel financially for their work on operations.

She also advised Army board members on the retention and progression of female talent, with a view to developing a more inclusive high-performing culture. In 2012, Nicky left the Army to set up What Good Leadership Looks Like. She now helps companies develop their people and make transformative and sustainable improvements in leadership and culture.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Nicky will give her perspective on the role of strong leadership in driving inclusive change and optimum performance, in what promises to be another fascinating session at the much -anticipated BMF All Industry Conference.”

The sold-out, dual-centre BMF All Industry Conference is due to take place in Harrogate and York from 4 to 7 November 2021. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk The headline sponsor for the second year is the Crystal Group.Other key sponsors include ACO, BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Rockwool, SIG and Xtratherm.
Nicky Moffat CBE, who was Britain’s highest ranking female Army officer, retiring as a Brigadier after almost 30 years of service, is the latest speaker to be confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in November.

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

Jo Callow, Head of Communications for UK & Ireland at Knauf Insulation is the new Chair of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Young Merchant Group. She will be supported by Ed Parlato, Buyer at Browns Builders Merchants, who was elected to replace Jo as Vice Chair.

Jo takes over from Glenn Paddison, who completed his term as Chair at the BMF Young Merchant Conference held this year at the NEC, Birmingham during National Construction Week and attended by 150 people.

Jo has been an active member of the Young Merchant Group for seven years, serving as Vice Chair since 2018.  She joined the Group after winning the BMF Young Supplier Achiever Award in 2014, just a year after she entered the building materials industry as a member of Knauf Insulation’s Merchant Support Team. Jo continued to work closely with merchants in her subsequent roles at Knauf Insulation as Area Sales Manager and National Merchant Support Manager. She was promoted to her current role in 2020.  
 
Jo is keen to continue developing the BMF Young Merchant’s work and influence. She said:

“I am delighted and honoured to take on the role of Chair and looking forward to working with Ed to build on all that Glenn achieved during his chairmanship. The current drive to achieve net zero makes this a particularly exciting time, offering even more opportunities for young people entering the industry. I know from my own experience how the interaction within the Young Merchant Group helps members as they build their careers. Our focus will be on delivering quality events to support this.”

Vice Chair, Ed Parlato, is currently involved in the purchasing side of Browns an independent, family run merchants in Derby, but has tackled many other roles in the business over the years. He is also part of the NBG Category Management team for tools and workwear.

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

“The Young Merchant group has grown enormously in the past few years. When I first joined there were 20 people at the meeting, the latest Conference had over 150. Every Chair has built on the work of the last and I’m looking forward to working with Jo and supporting her over the next two years, and I will be listening to members of the group to make sure their views are represented. If the last 18 months has shown us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. I always marvel at the intelligence and creativity of all the people in Young Merchants, and I hope I can capture part of that to share with the wider industry.”

The BMF Young Merchant Group supports merchants and suppliers aged between 18 and 40 in their career development. Membership is open to those holding a key management position within their organisation. They benefit from twice yearly meetings and networking events, and an annual fact-finding trip, normally overseas.

For further information on the BMF Young Merchant Group contact [email protected]
 
Jo Callow, Head of Communications for UK & Ireland at Knauf Insulation is the new Chair of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Young Merchant Group. She will be supported by Ed Parlato, Buyer at Browns Builders Merchants, who was elected to rep

Hundreds of Travis Perkins apprentices join IoBM 


06 October 2021

Travis Perkins has become the first national merchant to support The Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IOBM) ambitious plans to professionalise the merchant industry by signing up a large number of its apprentices as student members.

More than 800 Travis Perkins apprentices joined the IOBM on 1 October 2021. New apprentices joining Travis Perkins will also be given the opportunity to join the Institute.

Student members benefit from the IOBM’s role as an independent accreditation body and its structured framework for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Bi-annual conferences for student members are also planned and due to begin in autumn 2022.

Unlike most employers, Travis Perkins is an accredited provider of apprenticeships with over 40 apprenticeship programmes on offer, suited to a wide range of candidates. These include existing employees who want to develop their skills or build expertise in other areas as they progress to new roles, as well as those joining the industry, either from school or university or migrating over to an apprenticeship having joined the business from the Government’s Kickstarter programme, or those switching from a former occupation and joining the sector later in their careers.

Andy Rayner, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers for Travis Perkins Group, said:

“We pride ourselves on providing a full range of apprenticeships from the branch counter to the Boardroom. Our apprenticeships are designed to support existing employees as well as individuals with no prior knowledge of our industry or our business, to give them the skills they need to become valued colleagues.  

“This is very much in line with the ethos of the IOBM and by introducing our apprentices to the Institute as student members, they will be able to assess how active membership can support them as they continue to develop their careers. We asked our 1,000 apprentices if they wanted to become members of the IOBM and we were delighted that the vast majority did.”

Announcing the news at the Builders Merchants Federation’s Young Merchant Conference, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said:

“The IOBM Management Committee set a membership target of 1,000 new members by the end of the year. With the support of Travis Perkins, we will achieve this by the end of October. 

“It is particularly encouraging to see the largest builders’ merchant in the UK bringing such a significant number of new recruits to the industry into membership. Through accreditation and CPD the IOBM has set out a pathway to professionalism in the merchanting industry which can support them through their entire career. We hope others will now follow this example.”

The IOBM merged with the BMF earlier this year and operates as a separate brand of the BMF, with its own management body. The IOBM has a clear aim to become a Chartered Institute, supporting the highest standards of professionalism within the industry.  
 
Travis Perkins has become the first national merchant to support The Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IoBM) ambitious plans to professionalise the merchant industry by signing up a large number of its apprentices as student members.

Haulage a priority for BMF


3 September 2021

Haulage a priority for BMFNew data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK. 

A snap survey of BMF members found 67% of builders’ merchant respondents and 86% of supplier respondents are affected by haulage issues, citing it as their number one concern.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

“Haulage, and in particular the shortage of HGV drivers, has become our industry’s number one concern, and the results of our member survey have been fed into discussions between the transport industry and government.

“Some suppliers are reporting that the standard five-day lead time has more than doubled. In some cases, we are even seeing increases of up to four weeks. We have heard reports that suppliers are asking merchants to collect orders as they cannot get enough drivers to complete deliveries.

“Driver recruitment is the main challenge. Both suppliers and merchants are prepared to recruit or retrain existing staff as drivers, but there are limited opportunities for training and testing.  They want more testing to be made available to help get new HGV drivers on the road.”

The issue is not confined to the building materials industry.  The Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and tax changes have contributed to haulage challenges, with transport industry bodies estimating a shortfall of around 100,000 HGV drivers, with an estimated 15,000 lost following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Logistics UK’s May 2021 tracker survey found 61% of respondents considered recruitment of HGV drivers to be a ‘severe’ or ‘very severe’ challenge, while 50% cited the availability of testing as a ‘moderate’ or ‘extreme’ barrier to recovery.

John Newcomb added: 

“Builders merchants have done a fantastic job managing product demand and supply in the face of high global demand and reduced capacity resulting from the pandemic. Haulage is the latest challenge and our top priority.  We are doing everything we can to assist discussions between the freight industry and government as they seek to agree both short and long term solutions.”
 
Haulage a priority for BMF
New data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK.

Leadership, diversity and performance to the fore at BMF All Industry Conference 

4 August 2021

Nicky Moffat CBE, who was Britain’s highest ranking female Army officer, retiring as a Brigadier after almost 30 years of service, is the latest speaker to be confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in November.

Nicky’s expertise and insights as a leader are drawn from roles as a Recruitment Training Commander, Training Regiment Commander and Director of her Branch of the Army. Throughout, she led diverse mission-focused groups in an organisation both steeped in tradition but subject to rapid and significant changes of policy, technology and resources.

In her largest command, as brigadier, she led some 4,500 soldiers within the Army’s personnel and finance function. More broadly, Nicky served in strategy, policy, career management and finance roles in the Army’s Personnel Centre, Army Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence.

She oversaw the Armed Forces Workforce Planning and Pay Review Programmes, focusing on recruitment, retention and on valuing and supporting service personnel financially for their work on operations.

She also advised Army board members on the retention and progression of female talent, with a view to developing a more inclusive high-performing culture. In 2012, Nicky left the Army to set up What Good Leadership Looks Like. She now helps companies develop their people and make transformative and sustainable improvements in leadership and culture.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Nicky will give her perspective on the role of strong leadership in driving inclusive change and optimum performance, in what promises to be another fascinating session at the much -anticipated BMF All Industry Conference.”

The sold-out, dual-centre BMF All Industry Conference is due to take place in Harrogate and York from 4 to 7 November 2021. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk The headline sponsor for the second year is the Crystal Group.Other key sponsors include ACO, BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Rockwool, SIG and Xtratherm.
Nicky Moffat CBE, who was Britain’s highest ranking female Army officer, retiring as a Brigadier after almost 30 years of service, is the latest speaker to be confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in November.

BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high


BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high30 June 2022

Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

The BMF holds a pivotal role within the building materials distribution chain, representing both merchants and building materials manufacturers and suppliers, and the growth in membership has encompassed companies from both sides of the supply chain.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb believes the surge in member numbers is a result of the support the BMF has provided throughout the many challenges that have faced the market since the outbreak of the covid pandemic. The BMF’s work throughout this period has raised the profile of building material supply and enhanced the sector’s influence with Government as well as promoting supply chain collaboration.

“We are absolutely focused on providing member value,” John Newcomb explained. “BMF members are huge part of the construction sector. Together they employ over 225,350 people and their combined annual turnover exceeds £44.6bn. Our mission is to help them build excellence in their business and to ensure their voice is heard.

“The current issues around product availability played to our strength and knowledge of material supply. The BMF’s central position on the CLC Task Force brings us into regular contact with Government and we have been able to develop their understanding of the role merchants play in the supply chain and provide data from merchant and supplier members on the challenges they are facing, all of which is helping to inform government action and policy.”
 
BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high
Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

HUGHES FORREST WELCOMES SHADOW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

Tuesday 14 June 2022

How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme.

The MP for Newport West visited Hughes Forrest, a 90-year old business based in the town, to see how it helps constituents to improve the thermal and energy performance of homes and workplaces.

Ruth Jones, who is the Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation, was welcomed by Richard Brian and Nick Bulpin, Joint Managing Directors. Touring the branch, Mrs Jones was shown examples of the sustainable materials and products available to Hughes Forrest customers in its six South Wales branches. She also heard how merchants are managing in the face of higher raw material, energy, labour and transport costs and the impact on local SME customers.

Concluding her visit, Ruth Jones MP said:

“It was great to visit Hughes Forrest to learn how they are embracing low and zero-carbon initiatives, whilst continuing to serve their traditional house-building and property improvement markets”.

“It’s encouraging to find a local family-run business like Hughes Forrest, having just celebrated its 90th anniversary, face the future and embrace not only carbon-neutral suppliers, but carbon-negative ones too.

“I’d like to thank Richard, Nick and their team for helping local builders and DIY enthusiasts alike with their building and home improvement projects, and for giving me the opportunity to see for myself their contribution to not only the Newport economy, but also more widely throughout South Wales”.

The visit came two months after the introduction of the new Plastic Packaging Tax aimed at boosting levels of recycled content used in plastic packaging. There was also discussion about new UK-wide proposals to reform packaging waste regulations to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility from April 2024. Ministers in Cardiff and London have decided to implement this new legal obligation in phases, starting in two years’ time with household and street bin waste.

Richard Brian, Hughes Forrest Joint Managing Director said:

“We were delighted to welcome Ruth Jones and show her how Hughes Forrest has evolved over the ninety years since we began here in Newport back in 1931. It is great to have our MP take an interest in local firms like ours and offering her insight and support to help businesses to succeed”.

“Merchants ought to be aware that a shift is underway towards a sharper focus on the environmental consequences of packaging, and the way we use resources in our supply chain in a more efficient manner, knowing that stricter targets and stronger regulation are likely in future”.

The visit was another arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme. The aim is to show MPs the role, value and importance of merchants in delivering for their communities.
 
How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its

Shortlists for the BMF Supplier and Service Awards announced

13 June 2022

The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

The finalists, who have been shortlisted from 385 BMF Supplier and Service members, are:

BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award
Marshalls
Knauf Insulation Ltd
Knauf UK
SIG
Siniat/Etex
Velux
BMF Service Member Award
ECI/eCommonSense
Intact Software
Kerridge
Pallet Loop
Virtualstock

The shortlisted companies have actively sought to gain the greatest value from their membership during the last 12 months, through their proactive support for BMF meetings and events.

BMF Chief Executive, John Newcomb said: “BMF membership embraces the whole of the building materials distribution industry and these Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the vital role suppliers and service members play within the Federation.  Every member on these shortlists has mad1e an outstanding contribution through their participation in training, forums and events or sponsorship.  I would like to thank them all and wish them the very best in this year’s Awards.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

Four shortlisted in BMF Training Awards


08 May 2022


The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022.

They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.


Nominated by BMF Regional Managers, who work closely with members in their area to satisfy training and other service requirements, the four shortlisted companies were selected for their commitment to supporting and developing their teams through their use of BMF training.

EH Smith makes the short-list for a second successive year. They support colleagues through formal and informal development initiatives, from BMF apprenticeships to people management programmes and equality, diversity and inclusion training.  Embracing the value of informal development opportunities, EH Smith has two representatives on the BMF Young Merchant group, while another colleague chairs the BMF Transport Forum.

Haldane Fisher encourages and enables colleagues to reach their full potential by accessing a range of classroom based and on-line learning programmes.  In the past year, this has included courses covering leadership skills, merchandising, stock and margin control together with a bespoke hybrid Excellence in Branch Management programme.  HR Director Andrew Laird chairs the BMF HR Forum and is an active member of the BMF Learning & Development Group.  The business was also one of the first to embrace the new BMF LEAP apprenticeships.

The HR Team at IBMG has employed a wide range of apprenticeships and training programmes across the group companies for colleagues at every level. These have included induction courses such as How a House is Built, others focusing on customer service, as well as bespoke programmes on margin management and management development tailored for specific IBMG merchant companies.

The final nominee, PDM/Buildbase, now part of Huws Gray, has rapidly progressed their training engagement with the BMF with three separate groups in the past year benefitting from specific programmes for branch managers.  The formal programmes have been so successful that PDM delegates also joined the informal 2-day BMF Branch Managers Forum last Autumn.

Commenting on the nominations, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Training is the lifeblood of our industry. It is an essential resource for merchants seeking to continue the ongoing development of core competencies and management skills. The four companies chosen by BMF Regional Managers have all increased, their investment in developing staff at all levels.  I am delighted that they are making full use of the broad range of formal and specialist training offered by the BMF.  Whoever wins the title, each of the nominated merchants are clearly winning in terms of building excellence within their own business.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022. They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

Jo Callow, Head of Communications for UK & Ireland at Knauf Insulation is the new Chair of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Young Merchant Group. She will be supported by Ed Parlato, Buyer at Browns Builders Merchants, who was elected to replace Jo as Vice Chair.

Jo takes over from Glenn Paddison, who completed his term as Chair at the BMF Young Merchant Conference held this year at the NEC, Birmingham during National Construction Week and attended by 150 people.

Jo has been an active member of the Young Merchant Group for seven years, serving as Vice Chair since 2018.  She joined the Group after winning the BMF Young Supplier Achiever Award in 2014, just a year after she entered the building materials industry as a member of Knauf Insulation’s Merchant Support Team. Jo continued to work closely with merchants in her subsequent roles at Knauf Insulation as Area Sales Manager and National Merchant Support Manager. She was promoted to her current role in 2020.  
 
Jo is keen to continue developing the BMF Young Merchant’s work and influence. She said:

“I am delighted and honoured to take on the role of Chair and looking forward to working with Ed to build on all that Glenn achieved during his chairmanship. The current drive to achieve net zero makes this a particularly exciting time, offering even more opportunities for young people entering the industry. I know from my own experience how the interaction within the Young Merchant Group helps members as they build their careers. Our focus will be on delivering quality events to support this.”

Vice Chair, Ed Parlato, is currently involved in the purchasing side of Browns an independent, family run merchants in Derby, but has tackled many other roles in the business over the years. He is also part of the NBG Category Management team for tools and workwear.

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

“The Young Merchant group has grown enormously in the past few years. When I first joined there were 20 people at the meeting, the latest Conference had over 150. Every Chair has built on the work of the last and I’m looking forward to working with Jo and supporting her over the next two years, and I will be listening to members of the group to make sure their views are represented. If the last 18 months has shown us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. I always marvel at the intelligence and creativity of all the people in Young Merchants, and I hope I can capture part of that to share with the wider industry.”

The BMF Young Merchant Group supports merchants and suppliers aged between 18 and 40 in their career development. Membership is open to those holding a key management position within their organisation. They benefit from twice yearly meetings and networking events, and an annual fact-finding trip, normally overseas.

For further information on the BMF Young Merchant Group contact [email protected]
 
Jo Callow, Head of Communications for UK & Ireland at Knauf Insulation is the new Chair of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Young Merchant Group. She will be supported by Ed Parlato, Buyer at Browns Builders Merchants, who was elected to rep

Hundreds of Travis Perkins apprentices join IoBM 


06 October 2021

Travis Perkins has become the first national merchant to support The Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IOBM) ambitious plans to professionalise the merchant industry by signing up a large number of its apprentices as student members.

More than 800 Travis Perkins apprentices joined the IOBM on 1 October 2021. New apprentices joining Travis Perkins will also be given the opportunity to join the Institute.

Student members benefit from the IOBM’s role as an independent accreditation body and its structured framework for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Bi-annual conferences for student members are also planned and due to begin in autumn 2022.

Unlike most employers, Travis Perkins is an accredited provider of apprenticeships with over 40 apprenticeship programmes on offer, suited to a wide range of candidates. These include existing employees who want to develop their skills or build expertise in other areas as they progress to new roles, as well as those joining the industry, either from school or university or migrating over to an apprenticeship having joined the business from the Government’s Kickstarter programme, or those switching from a former occupation and joining the sector later in their careers.

Andy Rayner, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers for Travis Perkins Group, said:

“We pride ourselves on providing a full range of apprenticeships from the branch counter to the Boardroom. Our apprenticeships are designed to support existing employees as well as individuals with no prior knowledge of our industry or our business, to give them the skills they need to become valued colleagues.  

“This is very much in line with the ethos of the IOBM and by introducing our apprentices to the Institute as student members, they will be able to assess how active membership can support them as they continue to develop their careers. We asked our 1,000 apprentices if they wanted to become members of the IOBM and we were delighted that the vast majority did.”

Announcing the news at the Builders Merchants Federation’s Young Merchant Conference, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said:

“The IOBM Management Committee set a membership target of 1,000 new members by the end of the year. With the support of Travis Perkins, we will achieve this by the end of October. 

“It is particularly encouraging to see the largest builders’ merchant in the UK bringing such a significant number of new recruits to the industry into membership. Through accreditation and CPD the IOBM has set out a pathway to professionalism in the merchanting industry which can support them through their entire career. We hope others will now follow this example.”

The IOBM merged with the BMF earlier this year and operates as a separate brand of the BMF, with its own management body. The IOBM has a clear aim to become a Chartered Institute, supporting the highest standards of professionalism within the industry.  
 
Travis Perkins has become the first national merchant to support The Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IoBM) ambitious plans to professionalise the merchant industry by signing up a large number of its apprentices as student members.

Haulage a priority for BMF


3 September 2021

Haulage a priority for BMFNew data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK. 

A snap survey of BMF members found 67% of builders’ merchant respondents and 86% of supplier respondents are affected by haulage issues, citing it as their number one concern.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

“Haulage, and in particular the shortage of HGV drivers, has become our industry’s number one concern, and the results of our member survey have been fed into discussions between the transport industry and government.

“Some suppliers are reporting that the standard five-day lead time has more than doubled. In some cases, we are even seeing increases of up to four weeks. We have heard reports that suppliers are asking merchants to collect orders as they cannot get enough drivers to complete deliveries.

“Driver recruitment is the main challenge. Both suppliers and merchants are prepared to recruit or retrain existing staff as drivers, but there are limited opportunities for training and testing.  They want more testing to be made available to help get new HGV drivers on the road.”

The issue is not confined to the building materials industry.  The Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and tax changes have contributed to haulage challenges, with transport industry bodies estimating a shortfall of around 100,000 HGV drivers, with an estimated 15,000 lost following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Logistics UK’s May 2021 tracker survey found 61% of respondents considered recruitment of HGV drivers to be a ‘severe’ or ‘very severe’ challenge, while 50% cited the availability of testing as a ‘moderate’ or ‘extreme’ barrier to recovery.

John Newcomb added: 

“Builders merchants have done a fantastic job managing product demand and supply in the face of high global demand and reduced capacity resulting from the pandemic. Haulage is the latest challenge and our top priority.  We are doing everything we can to assist discussions between the freight industry and government as they seek to agree both short and long term solutions.”
 
Haulage a priority for BMF
New data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK.

Leadership, diversity and performance to the fore at BMF All Industry Conference 

4 August 2021

Nicky Moffat CBE, who was Britain’s highest ranking female Army officer, retiring as a Brigadier after almost 30 years of service, is the latest speaker to be confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in November.

Nicky’s expertise and insights as a leader are drawn from roles as a Recruitment Training Commander, Training Regiment Commander and Director of her Branch of the Army. Throughout, she led diverse mission-focused groups in an organisation both steeped in tradition but subject to rapid and significant changes of policy, technology and resources.

In her largest command, as brigadier, she led some 4,500 soldiers within the Army’s personnel and finance function. More broadly, Nicky served in strategy, policy, career management and finance roles in the Army’s Personnel Centre, Army Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence.

She oversaw the Armed Forces Workforce Planning and Pay Review Programmes, focusing on recruitment, retention and on valuing and supporting service personnel financially for their work on operations.

She also advised Army board members on the retention and progression of female talent, with a view to developing a more inclusive high-performing culture. In 2012, Nicky left the Army to set up What Good Leadership Looks Like. She now helps companies develop their people and make transformative and sustainable improvements in leadership and culture.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Nicky will give her perspective on the role of strong leadership in driving inclusive change and optimum performance, in what promises to be another fascinating session at the much -anticipated BMF All Industry Conference.”

The sold-out, dual-centre BMF All Industry Conference is due to take place in Harrogate and York from 4 to 7 November 2021. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk The headline sponsor for the second year is the Crystal Group.Other key sponsors include ACO, BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Rockwool, SIG and Xtratherm.
Nicky Moffat CBE, who was Britain’s highest ranking female Army officer, retiring as a Brigadier after almost 30 years of service, is the latest speaker to be confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in November.

Price inflation driving sales value growth at P&H Merchants in Q1


Price inflation driving sales value growth at P&H Merchants in Q1  Figures released by the Builders Merchants Federation in its latest Plumbing & Heating Merchants Index (PHMI) shows that sales values in Q1 2022 increased by +2.9% against Q1 2021. However, with sales volumes this year down by -5.5% on the same period last year, any growth is entirely the result of price inflation (+8.9%).  Comparing the first quarter of 2022 with Q4 2021, and removing trading day differences between the two periods, Q1 sales were down by 0.9%.   The P&H sector continues to be adversely affected by availability issues for certain key products, in particular gas boilers, where supply has been delayed by the global shortage of semi-conductors.    The data for the PHMI is taken solely from P&H specialists, including City Plumbing Supplies, Graham, James Hargreaves Plumbing Deport, PTS and Wolseley, who form part of GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchants Panel, and there is no overlap or double counting between the PHMI and the BMF’s established Builders Merchants Building Index which analyses sales at generalist merchants.19 May 2022

Figures released by the BMF in its latest Plumbing & Heating Merchants Index (PHMI) shows that sales values in Q1 2022 increased by +2.9% against Q1 2021. However, with sales volumes this year down by -5.5% on the same period last year, any growth is entirely the result of price inflation (+8.9%).

Comparing the first quarter of 2022 with Q4 2021, and removing trading day differences between the two periods, Q1 sales were down by 0.9%. 

The P&H sector continues to be adversely affected by availability issues for certain key products, in particular gas boilers, where supply has been delayed by the global shortage of semi-conductors.  

The data for the PHMI is taken solely from P&H specialists, including City Plumbing Supplies, Graham, James Hargreaves Plumbing Deport, PTS and Wolseley, who form part of GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchants Panel, and there is no overlap or double counting between the PHMI and the BMF’s established Builders Merchants Building Index which analyses sales at generalist merchants.
 
Price inflation driving sales value growth at P&H Merchants in Q1  Figures released by the Builders Merchants Federation in its latest Plumbing & Heating Merchants Index (PHMI) shows that sales values in Q1 2022 increased by +2.9% against Q1 2021. However, with sales volumes this year down by -5.5% on the same period last year, any growth is entirely the result of price inflation (+8.9%).  Comparing the first quarter of 2022 with Q4 2021, and removing trading day differences between the two periods, Q1 sales were down by 0.9%.   The P&H sector continues to be adversely affected by availability issues for certain key products, in particular gas boilers, where supply has been delayed by the global shortage of semi-conductors.    The data for the PHMI is taken solely from P&H specialists, including City Plumbing Supplies, Graham, James Hargreaves Plumbing Deport, PTS and Wolseley, who form part of GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchants Panel, and there is no overlap or double counting between the PHMI and the BMF’s established Builders Merchants Building Index which analyses sales at generalist merchants.
Figures released by the BMF in its latest Plumbing & Heating Merchants Index (PHMI) shows that sales values in Q1 2022 increased by +2.9% against Q1 2021.

Price inflation outstrips volume growth in Q1 merchant sales


Price inflation outstrips volume growth in Q1 merchant sales18 May 2021

The BMF’s Builder Merchants Building Index (BMBI) latest report on sales of building materials in the UK, underscores the growing impact of price inflation on the sector. The value of sales in the first quarter of 2022 was up by +17.7% against Q1 2021. Almost all of this was driven by price increases with volume rising by just +1.5%.

While the figures indicate a continuing demand for building materials, they also confirm price inflation as a critical issue, with the impact of rising energy, fuel and raw material costs on product price clear to see. 

Q1 2022 vs Q1 2021

Drilling down to year-on-year performance comparisons for the three largest product categories, the largest, Heavy Building Materials, increased +17.4% by value, but +5.0% by volume.  This category includes many energy-intensive products, and bricks, blocks, cement, plasterboard and roofing products all saw their highest quarterly prices to date.

Timber & Joinery products have been even more affected by fluctuating prices over the past 12 months.  Year on year results show sales value up by +21.4%, with volume down by
-11.3%, a price increase of 36.9% over Q1 2021.   However, this must be tempered by the fact that Q1 2022 Timber & Joinery prices decreased by -6.7% against Q4 2021, which may indicate that prices in this category have already peaked.

Landscaping, one of the strongest performers throughout the pandemic, saw a value increase of +14.4% against Q1 2021, with volumes down by -3.5%.

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF said:
“Taken at first sight there are some astonishing value growth figures in this quarter’s BMBI, but this must be tempered by the disparity between price and volume growth.  The supply chain was already facing uncertainty before the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The conflict can only exacerbate this. Continuing pressure on availability coupled with rising costs for raw materials, energy and labour suggests that price inflation will be the main story of 2022.”

Emile van der Ryst, Senior Client Insight Manager – Trade at GfK added:
“Growth forecasts have been revised down across the world since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February. At this stage it is difficult to make any sensible prediction, but there’s an expectation that market conditions will become increasingly more difficult as prices continue to rise and consumer spend is stretched further and further.”
 
Price inflation outstrips volume growth in Q1 merchant sales
The BMF’s Builder Merchants Building Index (BMBI) latest report on sales of building materials in the UK, underscores the growing impact of price inflation on the sector.

CBI Economist confirmed for BMF Members Day Conference


6 July 2021

CBI Economist confirmed for BMF Members Day ConferenceAnna Leach, Deputy Chief Economist at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), will provide insights into the state of the UK economy, following a video introduction by CBI Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith, at the BMF Members Conference on 23 September 2021.  

Anna heads the economic intelligence team which produces and analyses the CBI’s economic surveys and provides the CBI’s macroeconomic forecast.   She joined the CBI in 2008 and moved on to head the economic analysis team in 2012 where she leads on the CBI’s assessment of near-term economic conditions.

Before this Anna worked in the Government Economic Service (GES) and at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  She also undertook a secondment to the Treasury Select Committee to work on their inquiry into the private equity industry and their early inquiries at the start of the financial crisis.

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive said: “BMF members are always keen to hear expert analysis of the economy. The extraordinary times we have lived through recently makes this session even more pertinent than usual and I am delighted that the CBI has responded with a ‘two-for one’ speaker opportunity.   I look forward to welcoming Anna in person and Rain via video link.”

This year’s BMF Members’ Day Conference and Awards, which takes the theme “Reshape, Renew, Rebuild” will be held at the De Vere Beaumont Estate in Old Windsor, Berkshire, a new venue for the event, which marks the BMF’s return to hosting large scale physical meetings.  The event’s headline sponsor is Marshalls Stonemarket.

While the Awards Dinner is now sold out, we can accommodate a few more delegates at the Business Conference. To find out more please email [email protected]
 
CBI Economist confirmed for BMF Members Day Conference
Anna Leach, Deputy Chief Economist at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), will provide insights into the state of the UK economy, following a video introduction by CBI Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith, at the BMF Members Conference on 23 S

Building materials sales continue upward growth trend 


26 May 2021

Building materials sales continue upward growth trendThe latest report from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) shows sales of building materials continuing their upward growth trend during Q1 2021.

One year on from the onset of the Covid pandemic, comparisons with Q1 2020 inevitably reference the initial fall in sales during the first lockdown period, which began on 24 March 2020.   The reality of the bounceback is impressive nonetheless with Q1 2021 sales volumes continuing the upward trend seen in Q4 2020, and comparing well with the pre-Covid levels seen in Q1 2019.

Looking at Q1 2021 in detail, January was down -3.7% on the same month the previous year, with February seeing annual growth of 2.3%. March however was a record month for the industry, with sales increasing by 47.4% against March 2020 and by 23.0% against March 2019.

This results in overall Q1 growth of 15.1% against Q1 2020 and 6.0% against Q1 2019.  The figures also confirm overall growth of 8.6% against Q4 2020, helped by three more trading days in Q1. Average sales a day were up by 3.4%.

Q1 2021 vs Q1 2020
The strongest year on year performers were Landscaping, up by +41.4% on Q1 2020, and Timber & Joinery (+30.5%).  Sales of Tools increased by +15.9% year on year, and were also up for the largest product group, Heavy Building Materials (+10.3%) and Plumbing, Heating and Electrical products (+3.7%).  

Workwear and Safetywear (-8.9%), one of the strongest performers a year ago when PPE was in great demand, was one of only four categories to record a fall in year on year sales for the quarter.

Q1 2021 vs Q1 2019
Comparing Q1 2021 with Q1 2019, Landscaping (+32.3%) and Timber & Joinery (+15.8%) were again the strongest performers.  Heavy Building Materials also increased (+1.3%), but sales of Tools (-1.8%) and Plumbing Heating and Electrical products (-4.4%) were both lower on the two year comparison.

Q1 2021 vs Q4 2020
A similar picture emerges when comparing quarter on quarter results. Sales increased in 11 out of 12 categories in Q1 2021 vs Q4 2020, again led by Landscaping (+26.2%) and Timber & Joinery (+12.9%), strongly supported by Tools (+9.9%), Heavy Building Materials (+5.9%) and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+5.9%).  

Kitchens and Bathrooms was one of the few areas to record a fall in sales in Q1 2021 against all three comparators, at -2.1% vs Q4 2020, -1.8% vs Q1 2020 and -6.7% vs Q1 2019.  This may be due to showrooms being deemed non-essential retail and closed during the period.

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation said:

“The first three months of the year may have seen the country once again in lockdown but even this could not prevent a boom in construction activity.  This is an excellent start to the year and we are already seeing strong product demand in many areas, notably timber which has been one of the main drivers for growth during the quarter.  Managing product demand and supply will be a recurring theme this year and the Construction Leadership Council, product availability group, which I co-chair, is issuing monthly updates to assist with forward planning.” 

Emile van der Ryst, Senior Client Insight Manager – Trade at GfK added:

“To say the first quarter, and March in particular, has gone well is an understatement. It was not only the big hitters such as timber, bricks, aggregates, insulation, cement and plasterboard reporting record sales, but also areas such as tool hire, plumbing equipment, power tools, hand tools, boilers, tanks and boiler accessories.  Repair, maintenance and improvement is expected to be the main driver during the first half of the year, and quite possibly beyond, which bodes well for the industry if supply can keep up with demand.”
 
Building materials sales continue upward growth trend
The latest report from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) shows sales of building materials continuing their upward growth trend during Q1 2021.

Ibstock to host Sustainability Forum at BMF All Industry Conference


29 October 2021

Ibstock to host Sustainability ForumWith this year’s BMF All Industry Conference taking place at the same time as the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, the subject of sustainability takes on particular importance.  The BMF has responded with a dedicated Sustainability Forum, sponsored and hosted by Ibstock Brick. 

Ibstock is one of the 18 BMF members to date who have achieved net zero carbon Business Champion status supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

Commenting on his company’s commitment to sustainability, Michael McGowan, Group Sustainability Manager, Ibstock said:

“Ibstock is proud to be sponsoring the Sustainability Forum at the BMF All Industry Conference.  Sustainability is a key strategic driver for us and our ambition is to be the most sustainable manufacturer of clay and concrete building products in the UK. As a market leader it is our responsibility to be at the forefront in this vital area, a responsibility we take very seriously.  We have developed strong relationships with our merchant partners over many decades so to be sponsoring a forum on such a vital subject for the future of our industry is a great way to continue to strengthen these relationships further as we all work together to identify ways to address the challenges and opportunities that we face in the years ahead.”

Michael will be joined on the platform by James Mitchell of Kerridge Commercial Systems.  Kerridge believes that sustainability and profitability go hand in hand and focus on supporting merchants with digital solutions that support both these twin goals. James Mitchell explains: 

“We view the acceleration of Digital Transformation in the UK’s merchant sector as key to improving performance and customer service and to creating sustainable working practices. We are proud to support the BMF initiatives to promote the Net Zero Carbon strategy, we believe that sustainability and profitability go hand in hand.”

The sold-out, dual-centre BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Harrogate and York from 4-7 November 2021. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk

The headline sponsor for the second year is the Crystal Group.  Other key sponsors include the Conference Host sponsor ACO, plus BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Rockwool, SIG and Xtratherm.
 
With this year’s BMF All Industry Conference taking place at the same time as the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, the subject of sustainability takes on particular importance.

Haulage a priority for BMF


3 September 2021

Haulage a priority for BMFNew data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK. 

A snap survey of BMF members found 67% of builders’ merchant respondents and 86% of supplier respondents are affected by haulage issues, citing it as their number one concern.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

“Haulage, and in particular the shortage of HGV drivers, has become our industry’s number one concern, and the results of our member survey have been fed into discussions between the transport industry and government.

“Some suppliers are reporting that the standard five-day lead time has more than doubled. In some cases, we are even seeing increases of up to four weeks. We have heard reports that suppliers are asking merchants to collect orders as they cannot get enough drivers to complete deliveries.

“Driver recruitment is the main challenge. Both suppliers and merchants are prepared to recruit or retrain existing staff as drivers, but there are limited opportunities for training and testing.  They want more testing to be made available to help get new HGV drivers on the road.”

The issue is not confined to the building materials industry.  The Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and tax changes have contributed to haulage challenges, with transport industry bodies estimating a shortfall of around 100,000 HGV drivers, with an estimated 15,000 lost following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Logistics UK’s May 2021 tracker survey found 61% of respondents considered recruitment of HGV drivers to be a ‘severe’ or ‘very severe’ challenge, while 50% cited the availability of testing as a ‘moderate’ or ‘extreme’ barrier to recovery.

John Newcomb added: 

“Builders merchants have done a fantastic job managing product demand and supply in the face of high global demand and reduced capacity resulting from the pandemic. Haulage is the latest challenge and our top priority.  We are doing everything we can to assist discussions between the freight industry and government as they seek to agree both short and long term solutions.”
 
Haulage a priority for BMF
New data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK.

Labour and product shortages putting pressure on the construction industry

21 July 2021

Labour and product shortages are having a significant impact on the construction industry’s supply chain across the UK leading to delayed deliveries and rising prices.

An unprecedented demand for building products has been reported throughout the year, but the latest statement from the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability Group has identified a lack of labour as a rising concern.

All regions are reporting that hauliers, HGV and LGV drivers are in short supply and very difficult to recruit.  There are further issues with recruiting skilled and unskilled staff, including experienced bricklayers and yard operatives, across the supply chain and these labour shortages are being exacerbated by the high number of staff being required to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 and being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Test and Trace programme.

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation, and co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability Group, said:

“The supply chain is extremely stretched on all fronts, but our members are pulling out the stops to keep supplies in branches and deliveries out to customers in very challenging. circumstances.

“Alongside pricing, stability and accuracy of supply remains the overarching concern and regular, accurate and transparent communication throughout the supply chain to the end client is deemed vital by all.  It is important that all parties recognise the extent of the extraordinary challenges we are currently experiencing and adopt a flexible and collaborative approach to finding solutions. 

The latest Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability Group report is available here
 
Labour and product shortages are having a significant impact on the construction industry’s supply chain across the UK leading to delayed deliveries and rising prices.

Concerns over HGV driver shortages raised by construction trade body

14 July 2021

Transport issues are hitting suppliers to the construction trade, as builders’ merchants work to get supplies into their stores and deliver orders to customers.

Members of national trade body the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), have reported widespread disruption and delays, with a shortfall in drivers able to transport goods across the country.

Across the BMF membership, companies are recruiting and retraining existing staff into driving roles, but have reported difficulties sourcing new and replacement drivers, as well as struggling to secure agency cover due to demand.

Limited test slots are also preventing staff from taking HGV driving tests, while holiday plans over the summer further reduce driver availability.

BMF East Midlands Regional Chairman, Jim Parlato, a Director at Browns Builders Merchant, said: “Drivers are our biggest concern at present.

“We have two of our warehouse and yard operatives taking their tests shortly but getting courses and booking tests has become an issue with demand meaning months of waiting.”

The issues are leading to extended lead times for some products, and even failed deliveries.

BMF South West Regional Chairman, David Young, of Bradfords Building Supplies, said: “We have 16 LGV driver vacancies at the moment. We’re struggling to recruit and also no agency cover is available due to demand.

“The knock-on effect is lead times to our customers are extended by a day, from one-to-two days to two-to-three days.

“We do have 22 internal drivers being trained up but there are not enough test slots available so this is taking longer than normal.

“Suppliers to builders’ merchants have also been hit by the shortfall, resulting in restrictions on some products and failed deliveries at short notice.”

BMF Anglia Regional Chairman, Hugh Guntrip, of Huws Gray Ltd, added: “We are struggling to recruit new and replacement drivers within our merchant branches.

“The largest impact is on our suppliers resulting in product restrictions and failed incoming deliveries at very short notice.”

The BMF has 760 merchant and supplier member companies, who together have combined sales of £39bn and employ over 207,000 people in the building materials industry.

The issue comes as figures from The Road Haulage Association (RHA) show an existing deficit of 60,000 lorry drivers has been compounded by 15,000 European drivers leaving the UK and the cancellation of 30,000 HGV driving tests during the pandemic.

The BMF is now compiling information across its member network to share with Government and look towards a solution to address the issue.

BMF CEO, Mr John Newcomb said: “It is clear that there is a major deficit of HGV drivers and issues with training and supporting new recruits into the role, and this is now causing delayed deliveries and rising costs across the UK.”
 
Transport issues are hitting suppliers to the construction trade, as builders’ merchants work to get supplies into their stores and deliver orders to customers.

BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high


BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high30 June 2022

Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

The BMF holds a pivotal role within the building materials distribution chain, representing both merchants and building materials manufacturers and suppliers, and the growth in membership has encompassed companies from both sides of the supply chain.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb believes the surge in member numbers is a result of the support the BMF has provided throughout the many challenges that have faced the market since the outbreak of the covid pandemic. The BMF’s work throughout this period has raised the profile of building material supply and enhanced the sector’s influence with Government as well as promoting supply chain collaboration.

“We are absolutely focused on providing member value,” John Newcomb explained. “BMF members are huge part of the construction sector. Together they employ over 225,350 people and their combined annual turnover exceeds £44.6bn. Our mission is to help them build excellence in their business and to ensure their voice is heard.

“The current issues around product availability played to our strength and knowledge of material supply. The BMF’s central position on the CLC Task Force brings us into regular contact with Government and we have been able to develop their understanding of the role merchants play in the supply chain and provide data from merchant and supplier members on the challenges they are facing, all of which is helping to inform government action and policy.”
 
BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high
Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

HUGHES FORREST WELCOMES SHADOW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

Tuesday 14 June 2022

How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme.

The MP for Newport West visited Hughes Forrest, a 90-year old business based in the town, to see how it helps constituents to improve the thermal and energy performance of homes and workplaces.

Ruth Jones, who is the Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation, was welcomed by Richard Brian and Nick Bulpin, Joint Managing Directors. Touring the branch, Mrs Jones was shown examples of the sustainable materials and products available to Hughes Forrest customers in its six South Wales branches. She also heard how merchants are managing in the face of higher raw material, energy, labour and transport costs and the impact on local SME customers.

Concluding her visit, Ruth Jones MP said:

“It was great to visit Hughes Forrest to learn how they are embracing low and zero-carbon initiatives, whilst continuing to serve their traditional house-building and property improvement markets”.

“It’s encouraging to find a local family-run business like Hughes Forrest, having just celebrated its 90th anniversary, face the future and embrace not only carbon-neutral suppliers, but carbon-negative ones too.

“I’d like to thank Richard, Nick and their team for helping local builders and DIY enthusiasts alike with their building and home improvement projects, and for giving me the opportunity to see for myself their contribution to not only the Newport economy, but also more widely throughout South Wales”.

The visit came two months after the introduction of the new Plastic Packaging Tax aimed at boosting levels of recycled content used in plastic packaging. There was also discussion about new UK-wide proposals to reform packaging waste regulations to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility from April 2024. Ministers in Cardiff and London have decided to implement this new legal obligation in phases, starting in two years’ time with household and street bin waste.

Richard Brian, Hughes Forrest Joint Managing Director said:

“We were delighted to welcome Ruth Jones and show her how Hughes Forrest has evolved over the ninety years since we began here in Newport back in 1931. It is great to have our MP take an interest in local firms like ours and offering her insight and support to help businesses to succeed”.

“Merchants ought to be aware that a shift is underway towards a sharper focus on the environmental consequences of packaging, and the way we use resources in our supply chain in a more efficient manner, knowing that stricter targets and stronger regulation are likely in future”.

The visit was another arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme. The aim is to show MPs the role, value and importance of merchants in delivering for their communities.
 
How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its

Shortlists for the BMF Supplier and Service Awards announced

13 June 2022

The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

The finalists, who have been shortlisted from 385 BMF Supplier and Service members, are:

BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award
Marshalls
Knauf Insulation Ltd
Knauf UK
SIG
Siniat/Etex
Velux
BMF Service Member Award
ECI/eCommonSense
Intact Software
Kerridge
Pallet Loop
Virtualstock

The shortlisted companies have actively sought to gain the greatest value from their membership during the last 12 months, through their proactive support for BMF meetings and events.

BMF Chief Executive, John Newcomb said: “BMF membership embraces the whole of the building materials distribution industry and these Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the vital role suppliers and service members play within the Federation.  Every member on these shortlists has mad1e an outstanding contribution through their participation in training, forums and events or sponsorship.  I would like to thank them all and wish them the very best in this year’s Awards.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

Four shortlisted in BMF Training Awards


08 May 2022


The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022.

They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.


Nominated by BMF Regional Managers, who work closely with members in their area to satisfy training and other service requirements, the four shortlisted companies were selected for their commitment to supporting and developing their teams through their use of BMF training.

EH Smith makes the short-list for a second successive year. They support colleagues through formal and informal development initiatives, from BMF apprenticeships to people management programmes and equality, diversity and inclusion training.  Embracing the value of informal development opportunities, EH Smith has two representatives on the BMF Young Merchant group, while another colleague chairs the BMF Transport Forum.

Haldane Fisher encourages and enables colleagues to reach their full potential by accessing a range of classroom based and on-line learning programmes.  In the past year, this has included courses covering leadership skills, merchandising, stock and margin control together with a bespoke hybrid Excellence in Branch Management programme.  HR Director Andrew Laird chairs the BMF HR Forum and is an active member of the BMF Learning & Development Group.  The business was also one of the first to embrace the new BMF LEAP apprenticeships.

The HR Team at IBMG has employed a wide range of apprenticeships and training programmes across the group companies for colleagues at every level. These have included induction courses such as How a House is Built, others focusing on customer service, as well as bespoke programmes on margin management and management development tailored for specific IBMG merchant companies.

The final nominee, PDM/Buildbase, now part of Huws Gray, has rapidly progressed their training engagement with the BMF with three separate groups in the past year benefitting from specific programmes for branch managers.  The formal programmes have been so successful that PDM delegates also joined the informal 2-day BMF Branch Managers Forum last Autumn.

Commenting on the nominations, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Training is the lifeblood of our industry. It is an essential resource for merchants seeking to continue the ongoing development of core competencies and management skills. The four companies chosen by BMF Regional Managers have all increased, their investment in developing staff at all levels.  I am delighted that they are making full use of the broad range of formal and specialist training offered by the BMF.  Whoever wins the title, each of the nominated merchants are clearly winning in terms of building excellence within their own business.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022. They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.

BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high


BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high30 June 2022

Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

The BMF holds a pivotal role within the building materials distribution chain, representing both merchants and building materials manufacturers and suppliers, and the growth in membership has encompassed companies from both sides of the supply chain.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb believes the surge in member numbers is a result of the support the BMF has provided throughout the many challenges that have faced the market since the outbreak of the covid pandemic. The BMF’s work throughout this period has raised the profile of building material supply and enhanced the sector’s influence with Government as well as promoting supply chain collaboration.

“We are absolutely focused on providing member value,” John Newcomb explained. “BMF members are huge part of the construction sector. Together they employ over 225,350 people and their combined annual turnover exceeds £44.6bn. Our mission is to help them build excellence in their business and to ensure their voice is heard.

“The current issues around product availability played to our strength and knowledge of material supply. The BMF’s central position on the CLC Task Force brings us into regular contact with Government and we have been able to develop their understanding of the role merchants play in the supply chain and provide data from merchant and supplier members on the challenges they are facing, all of which is helping to inform government action and policy.”
 
BMF Membership tops 850 to reach 37 year high
Membership of the BMF has grown by 12% in the past 12 months to reach 37 year high. Total membership now stands at 850, a figure last achieved in 1985, with the highest number of merchant members (444) since 1994.

HUGHES FORREST WELCOMES SHADOW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

Tuesday 14 June 2022

How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme.

The MP for Newport West visited Hughes Forrest, a 90-year old business based in the town, to see how it helps constituents to improve the thermal and energy performance of homes and workplaces.

Ruth Jones, who is the Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation, was welcomed by Richard Brian and Nick Bulpin, Joint Managing Directors. Touring the branch, Mrs Jones was shown examples of the sustainable materials and products available to Hughes Forrest customers in its six South Wales branches. She also heard how merchants are managing in the face of higher raw material, energy, labour and transport costs and the impact on local SME customers.

Concluding her visit, Ruth Jones MP said:

“It was great to visit Hughes Forrest to learn how they are embracing low and zero-carbon initiatives, whilst continuing to serve their traditional house-building and property improvement markets”.

“It’s encouraging to find a local family-run business like Hughes Forrest, having just celebrated its 90th anniversary, face the future and embrace not only carbon-neutral suppliers, but carbon-negative ones too.

“I’d like to thank Richard, Nick and their team for helping local builders and DIY enthusiasts alike with their building and home improvement projects, and for giving me the opportunity to see for myself their contribution to not only the Newport economy, but also more widely throughout South Wales”.

The visit came two months after the introduction of the new Plastic Packaging Tax aimed at boosting levels of recycled content used in plastic packaging. There was also discussion about new UK-wide proposals to reform packaging waste regulations to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility from April 2024. Ministers in Cardiff and London have decided to implement this new legal obligation in phases, starting in two years’ time with household and street bin waste.

Richard Brian, Hughes Forrest Joint Managing Director said:

“We were delighted to welcome Ruth Jones and show her how Hughes Forrest has evolved over the ninety years since we began here in Newport back in 1931. It is great to have our MP take an interest in local firms like ours and offering her insight and support to help businesses to succeed”.

“Merchants ought to be aware that a shift is underway towards a sharper focus on the environmental consequences of packaging, and the way we use resources in our supply chain in a more efficient manner, knowing that stricter targets and stronger regulation are likely in future”.

The visit was another arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme. The aim is to show MPs the role, value and importance of merchants in delivering for their communities.
 
How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its

Shortlists for the BMF Supplier and Service Awards announced

13 June 2022

The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

The finalists, who have been shortlisted from 385 BMF Supplier and Service members, are:

BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award
Marshalls
Knauf Insulation Ltd
Knauf UK
SIG
Siniat/Etex
Velux
BMF Service Member Award
ECI/eCommonSense
Intact Software
Kerridge
Pallet Loop
Virtualstock

The shortlisted companies have actively sought to gain the greatest value from their membership during the last 12 months, through their proactive support for BMF meetings and events.

BMF Chief Executive, John Newcomb said: “BMF membership embraces the whole of the building materials distribution industry and these Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the vital role suppliers and service members play within the Federation.  Every member on these shortlists has mad1e an outstanding contribution through their participation in training, forums and events or sponsorship.  I would like to thank them all and wish them the very best in this year’s Awards.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2022 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2022.

Four shortlisted in BMF Training Awards


08 May 2022


The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022.

They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.


Nominated by BMF Regional Managers, who work closely with members in their area to satisfy training and other service requirements, the four shortlisted companies were selected for their commitment to supporting and developing their teams through their use of BMF training.

EH Smith makes the short-list for a second successive year. They support colleagues through formal and informal development initiatives, from BMF apprenticeships to people management programmes and equality, diversity and inclusion training.  Embracing the value of informal development opportunities, EH Smith has two representatives on the BMF Young Merchant group, while another colleague chairs the BMF Transport Forum.

Haldane Fisher encourages and enables colleagues to reach their full potential by accessing a range of classroom based and on-line learning programmes.  In the past year, this has included courses covering leadership skills, merchandising, stock and margin control together with a bespoke hybrid Excellence in Branch Management programme.  HR Director Andrew Laird chairs the BMF HR Forum and is an active member of the BMF Learning & Development Group.  The business was also one of the first to embrace the new BMF LEAP apprenticeships.

The HR Team at IBMG has employed a wide range of apprenticeships and training programmes across the group companies for colleagues at every level. These have included induction courses such as How a House is Built, others focusing on customer service, as well as bespoke programmes on margin management and management development tailored for specific IBMG merchant companies.

The final nominee, PDM/Buildbase, now part of Huws Gray, has rapidly progressed their training engagement with the BMF with three separate groups in the past year benefitting from specific programmes for branch managers.  The formal programmes have been so successful that PDM delegates also joined the informal 2-day BMF Branch Managers Forum last Autumn.

Commenting on the nominations, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Training is the lifeblood of our industry. It is an essential resource for merchants seeking to continue the ongoing development of core competencies and management skills. The four companies chosen by BMF Regional Managers have all increased, their investment in developing staff at all levels.  I am delighted that they are making full use of the broad range of formal and specialist training offered by the BMF.  Whoever wins the title, each of the nominated merchants are clearly winning in terms of building excellence within their own business.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 15 September 2022.
 
The BMF has announced the four companies that have been nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2022. They are EH Smith, Haldane Fisher, IBMG Group and PDM/Buildbase.
IDPrimary RankRole Title
There are no records.
Non Member Company