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

  • Training and development
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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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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 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

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

Learn More



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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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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Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 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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Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

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10-12 July 2020

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Latest News



Here are the latest news stories from the BMF

Six BMF members achieve CLC net zero carbon Business Champion status


28 July 2021 

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

With the confirmation of Hanson UK, JCB, Knauf Insulation, Saint-Gobain, Cocuun and Steel Blue as net zero Business Champions, thirteen BMF members have now committed to share evidence of their own progress to net zero carbon, and to work with other companies in the sector to support the industry-wide change programme.

Hanson’s priority is to innovate and to produce the lowest carbon materials for use in construction.  They have committed to carbon neutral concrete by 2050 with key accelerated milestones to help them achieve this. Around 90% of the Hanson UK CO2 emissions are from its three cement works and they have prioritised reductions by increasing the use of alternative fuels and raw materials; by using secondary cementitious materials with a significantly lower CO2 footprint; by making major investments in plant efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and by increasing the share of sustainable low carbon concrete products.

JCB has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of its global manufacturing facilities and supply chain and has a waste reduction program that focuses on packaging and its ability to be fully recycled.  JCB products have evolved to use less fuel, with 10 machines now fully electric and great progress with hydrogen including the world’s first hydrogen powered 22 ton excavator, and the first hydrogen motor in a backhoe loader.

Saint Gobain has developed road maps for each of its operating businesses to reach net zero by 2050, with interim targets along the way.  Specific actions include committing to renewable energy, new cars to be fully electric by end 2023, capital investment in a new glass furnace to class leading performance, increasing recycled gypsum content in products, an active energy reduction programme, the use of alternative fuels in logistic, 100% recycled packaged by 2030 and deploying LED lighting across its network.

Knauf Insulation’s sustainability strategy commits the company to reducing the embodied carbon of its products by 15% between 2019 & 2025 and cutting its organisational carbon footprint by 25%.  Since 2015, Knauf has reduced energy use at manufacturing sites, reducing CO2 emissions by over 5,000 tonnes a year. Industry-leading compression technology already reduces distribution road miles and the use of plastic packaging. This year will see new packaging across the range made from a minimum 30% recycled content, which is also itself easier to recycle.

Cocuun was founded in 2020 with net zero as its inspiration. The company embodies three of the CLC’s nine net zero priorities: whole house retrofit delivery, low carbon heat solutions - scaling up industry capability and supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks - and enhancing energy performance of both new and existing buildings, through higher operational energy efficiency standards and better building energy performance monitoring.

Steel Blue, the workboot manufacturer, aims to be carbon neutral by 2025 globally. A 100kw solar panel system at its head office and manufacturing facility generates 71% power during peak operation and 100% power during off peak operation periods. The company also uses LED lighting and has implemented a hybrid car policy.  Since 2012 they have reduced the use of solvent based adhesives in manufacturing by 92.5%. They are also identifying potential circular economy opportunities and exploring improved recycling rates and a reduction in waste

The six BMF members were amongst 14 organisations confirmed in the third wave of CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, the others being RDM Electrical and Mechanical, Mott MacDonald, The Clarison Group, Mitie, Signify, Jackson, McLaughlin & Harvey and SES.

The CLC is running an ongoing monthly recruitment drive for more companies to commit to CO2nstruct Zero as Business Champions.  If any BMF member would like to be considered, please contact John Newcomb in the first instance, at june.upton@bmf.org.uk

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

Covid-19 app impacts on building materials' supply chain

23 July 2021

Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to the BMF.

It has raised concerns with government about the affect staff shortages are placing on an industry already balancing unprecedented demand.

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, said: “We are currently facing the biggest demand for building products we have seen in more than 30 years.

“We are already struggling with the labour we have to meet that requirement. Now, with many staff going into isolation after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, builders’ merchants, and building materials suppliers and manufacturers, are facing a huge challenge. The past two to four weeks have been described as the most challenging of the entire pandemic by some members.

“Our concern is that lead times will be pushed even further back and we could see disruption, now and later down the line. The supply chain is extremely stretched on all fronts. We are feeding all our data back to the government as they establish a complete picture of the situation.

“Hopefully a solution can be achieved. An ideal situation would be to pull the exemption date forward for the sector.”

Frank Elkins, Group Chief Operating Officer for Travis Perkins plc, said: “We are disappointed that our colleagues have not been included on the list of workers that can be made exempt from full self-isolation if they are alerted by NHS test and trace. Having worked hard to put in place measures that safeguard our staff while they have played such a vital role in helping to maintain essential services that are so crucial to keeping us all dry, warm, safe and secure, we urge the Government to look again at the broader construction supply chain and its importance to the country at large.” 

Martyn Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, Marshalls plc, said: “After the challenges in 2020, no one could have accurately predicted the shape of demand in 2021. This demand continues to grow and the effects of Covid, in particular, the ‘self-isolation’ practices are now beginning to bite within the Marshalls business. 

“Health and Safety has always been our number one consideration throughout this pandemic. We have gone above and beyond government guidelines to keep our people safe. What we are now seeing is a very high incidence of absence (due mainly to self-isolation through NHS Test and Trace) and this is compromising our ability to operate. 

“What is most challenging is the volatile nature and the inability to plan for this random alerting. As we support our colleagues to self-isolate, it is putting increasing pressure on those who are attending work resulting in an increasing concern about the mental health and wellbeing of these individuals who are carrying additional workloads. If the construction manufacturing sector could be categorised as ‘essential’ it would be a significant help to maintaining production levels. This would mean that colleagues who have been double jabbed could be exempted from self-isolation in the period from now until the rule change (currently planned for 16th August 2021).”

Paul Bence, managing director of Cheltenham-based independent builders’ merchant George Bence Group, added: “Currently, 15 per cent of our workforce have been affected by self-isolation this week. None of them have tested positive for Covid-19. 
“With it also being staff holiday season, we have been operating on a skeleton staff basis in many areas.” 
 
Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to an industry trade body.

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.

Six BMF members achieve CLC net zero carbon Business Champion status


28 July 2021 

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

With the confirmation of Hanson UK, JCB, Knauf Insulation, Saint-Gobain, Cocuun and Steel Blue as net zero Business Champions, thirteen BMF members have now committed to share evidence of their own progress to net zero carbon, and to work with other companies in the sector to support the industry-wide change programme.

Hanson’s priority is to innovate and to produce the lowest carbon materials for use in construction.  They have committed to carbon neutral concrete by 2050 with key accelerated milestones to help them achieve this. Around 90% of the Hanson UK CO2 emissions are from its three cement works and they have prioritised reductions by increasing the use of alternative fuels and raw materials; by using secondary cementitious materials with a significantly lower CO2 footprint; by making major investments in plant efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and by increasing the share of sustainable low carbon concrete products.

JCB has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of its global manufacturing facilities and supply chain and has a waste reduction program that focuses on packaging and its ability to be fully recycled.  JCB products have evolved to use less fuel, with 10 machines now fully electric and great progress with hydrogen including the world’s first hydrogen powered 22 ton excavator, and the first hydrogen motor in a backhoe loader.

Saint Gobain has developed road maps for each of its operating businesses to reach net zero by 2050, with interim targets along the way.  Specific actions include committing to renewable energy, new cars to be fully electric by end 2023, capital investment in a new glass furnace to class leading performance, increasing recycled gypsum content in products, an active energy reduction programme, the use of alternative fuels in logistic, 100% recycled packaged by 2030 and deploying LED lighting across its network.

Knauf Insulation’s sustainability strategy commits the company to reducing the embodied carbon of its products by 15% between 2019 & 2025 and cutting its organisational carbon footprint by 25%.  Since 2015, Knauf has reduced energy use at manufacturing sites, reducing CO2 emissions by over 5,000 tonnes a year. Industry-leading compression technology already reduces distribution road miles and the use of plastic packaging. This year will see new packaging across the range made from a minimum 30% recycled content, which is also itself easier to recycle.

Cocuun was founded in 2020 with net zero as its inspiration. The company embodies three of the CLC’s nine net zero priorities: whole house retrofit delivery, low carbon heat solutions - scaling up industry capability and supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks - and enhancing energy performance of both new and existing buildings, through higher operational energy efficiency standards and better building energy performance monitoring.

Steel Blue, the workboot manufacturer, aims to be carbon neutral by 2025 globally. A 100kw solar panel system at its head office and manufacturing facility generates 71% power during peak operation and 100% power during off peak operation periods. The company also uses LED lighting and has implemented a hybrid car policy.  Since 2012 they have reduced the use of solvent based adhesives in manufacturing by 92.5%. They are also identifying potential circular economy opportunities and exploring improved recycling rates and a reduction in waste

The six BMF members were amongst 14 organisations confirmed in the third wave of CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, the others being RDM Electrical and Mechanical, Mott MacDonald, The Clarison Group, Mitie, Signify, Jackson, McLaughlin & Harvey and SES.

The CLC is running an ongoing monthly recruitment drive for more companies to commit to CO2nstruct Zero as Business Champions.  If any BMF member would like to be considered, please contact John Newcomb in the first instance, at june.upton@bmf.org.uk

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

Covid-19 app impacts on building materials' supply chain

23 July 2021

Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to the BMF.

It has raised concerns with government about the affect staff shortages are placing on an industry already balancing unprecedented demand.

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, said: “We are currently facing the biggest demand for building products we have seen in more than 30 years.

“We are already struggling with the labour we have to meet that requirement. Now, with many staff going into isolation after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, builders’ merchants, and building materials suppliers and manufacturers, are facing a huge challenge. The past two to four weeks have been described as the most challenging of the entire pandemic by some members.

“Our concern is that lead times will be pushed even further back and we could see disruption, now and later down the line. The supply chain is extremely stretched on all fronts. We are feeding all our data back to the government as they establish a complete picture of the situation.

“Hopefully a solution can be achieved. An ideal situation would be to pull the exemption date forward for the sector.”

Frank Elkins, Group Chief Operating Officer for Travis Perkins plc, said: “We are disappointed that our colleagues have not been included on the list of workers that can be made exempt from full self-isolation if they are alerted by NHS test and trace. Having worked hard to put in place measures that safeguard our staff while they have played such a vital role in helping to maintain essential services that are so crucial to keeping us all dry, warm, safe and secure, we urge the Government to look again at the broader construction supply chain and its importance to the country at large.” 

Martyn Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, Marshalls plc, said: “After the challenges in 2020, no one could have accurately predicted the shape of demand in 2021. This demand continues to grow and the effects of Covid, in particular, the ‘self-isolation’ practices are now beginning to bite within the Marshalls business. 

“Health and Safety has always been our number one consideration throughout this pandemic. We have gone above and beyond government guidelines to keep our people safe. What we are now seeing is a very high incidence of absence (due mainly to self-isolation through NHS Test and Trace) and this is compromising our ability to operate. 

“What is most challenging is the volatile nature and the inability to plan for this random alerting. As we support our colleagues to self-isolate, it is putting increasing pressure on those who are attending work resulting in an increasing concern about the mental health and wellbeing of these individuals who are carrying additional workloads. If the construction manufacturing sector could be categorised as ‘essential’ it would be a significant help to maintaining production levels. This would mean that colleagues who have been double jabbed could be exempted from self-isolation in the period from now until the rule change (currently planned for 16th August 2021).”

Paul Bence, managing director of Cheltenham-based independent builders’ merchant George Bence Group, added: “Currently, 15 per cent of our workforce have been affected by self-isolation this week. None of them have tested positive for Covid-19. 
“With it also being staff holiday season, we have been operating on a skeleton staff basis in many areas.” 
 
Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to an industry trade body.

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.

Six Blaze a trail with IoBM


8 July 2021

Six trailbazers, Aco, Knauf Insulation, the Keystone Group, Mannok, the NMBS and Reisser have joined The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) as Corporate Supplier members, the recently enhanced membership category for manufacturers and suppliers to the merchant industry who support the IoBM’s professional training ethos.

Fees paid by Corporate Supplier members will fund the support of training and development throughout the professional Institute.  In return they may nominate two employees as IoBM contacts within their business, and the Institute will include details of any free CPD or merchant training programmes offered by Corporate Supplier members. 

John Newcomb BMF Chief Executive said: 

“The past year has shown the power of working together and ‘inclusivity’ will become a watchword of the IoBM.  Corporate Supplier members will help us embrace the entire building materials sector within the Institute. That this category has rapidly gained support from the industry’s leading buying society and five major building materials suppliers signals its relevance and value across the whole industry.”  

“We are also looking to attract a diverse group of individual members, particularly younger members, and have an initial target of 1000 new members within the first year.”

The Institute’s new management committee which includes representatives of the BMF Young Merchant group as well as two BMF directors and two long-term IoBM board members has also agreed that all BMF Young Merchants will automatically be enrolled into the Institute during its first year as a brand of the BMF.

Knauf Insulation was one of the first suppliers to sign up to the enhanced Corporate Supplier membership category.  Jo Callow, an IoBM member in her own right and Head of Communications at Knauf Insulation said:

“We became IoBM Corporate Supplier members as we recognise the work that the IoBM and the BMF have done together to breathe life back into the Institute. We are keen to encourage training, development and learning for individuals throughout the industry and recognise that this is a great way to support that.”
 
John Ryszkowski, Managing Director of ACO, another IoBM trailblazer, said:

“ACO are delighted to be one of the first Trailblazers to sign up to support the newly merged Institute under the BMF brand and look forward to helping to promote IoBM membership throughout the industry.”  

Find out more about IoBM Corporate membership at www.bmf.org.uk/IOBM
 
Six trailbazers, Aco, Knauf Insulation, the Keystone Group, Mannok, the NMBS and Reisser have joined The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) as Corporate Supplier members, the recently enhanced membership category for manufacturers and suppliers t

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 june.upton@bmf.org.uk
 
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

Three more BMF net zero carbon Business Champions announced


28 June 2021

Three more BMF net zero carbon Business Champions announcedThree BMF member companies were named in this month’s cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions announced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as part of their CO2nstruct Zero initiative.  

BMF supplier and service members, Ibstock plc, Peak and Wavin joined the four existing BMF Business Champions by committing to share evidence of their net zero carbon programmes and to contribute to the CO2nstruct Zero reporting process.  They have all committed to work with other companies in the sector in order to support the industry-wide change programme. 

Ibstock recognise that the net zero journey is one they share with customers and understand that the longevity of the business relies on low carbon solutions.  They track progress tracked against a Sustainable Roadmap to 2025, with a key measure of a minimum 15% reduction in CO2 per tonne of production by that date.  As part of this drive, major investment at one of their factories will make it an exemplar of global environmental best practice in the construction product sector – reducing process carbon emissions by circa 50% with the remainder offset to make what Ibstock believes will be the world’s first Net Zero brick factory for scope 1 and 2 emissions.  New and sustainable products have already been introduced, with others in development.  By 2025 these should account for 20% of sales turnover.   Further targets within the roadmap include zero waste to landfill, 40% reduction in preventable plastic packaging, 5% reduction in mains water usage per tonne of production and 100% of suppliers meeting their Supplier Sustainability Code of Business Conduct.

Peak, a BMF service member, helps merchants and manufacturers to drive improved business performance using Decision Intelligence.  Peak’s Decision Intelligence software embeds AI in routing technology, ensuring that delivery vehicles are more productive and travel fewer miles. Customers have seen transformational efficiency gains at speed and scale including an 8% reduction on miles travelled per job and an increase of 23% capacity, in just 3 months.  AI-driven demand forecasting informs both production scheduling and sourcing optimisation to reduce waste. Over a year, another company making aluminium products reduced transportation costs by 8% and eliminated 400 metric tonnes of waste.  As BMF Business Champions Peak will engage customers on the sustainable benefits and long term benefits that Decision Intelligence can deliver.

Wavin is working to reduce carbon both in the products it makes and in everything that concerns their manufacture and distribution. They have a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and an ambition to lead the industry in sustainability by 2025, by which time they will have a fully electric car fleet. Their four manufacturing sites already run on 100% renewable energy, 40% of their forklift fleet uses Bio LPG, and transporting products in the most sustainable way is helping to make significant CO2 savings. Managing the full lifecycle of products is another consideration. Around 30% of their products are currently manufactured from recycled material, with a target of 60-70%.

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation said:

“I’m delighted to see the initiatives that Ibstock, Peak and Wavin have introduced in their drive to net zero gaining recognition in this way.  I think it is important that the building materials industry shares best practice, so we can move forward together.  Clearly there is a lot still to do, but with seven BMF Business Champions now in place, with ACO Technologies, APP Wholesale, Bradfords Building Supplies and Travis Perkins Plc gaining Champion status last month, we are helping to build a bigger cross-industry movement that will help everyone gain knowledge and learn from their peers.”

The three BMF members were amongst 12 organisations confirmed as the second wave of 
CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, the others being Adair, Atkins, Cast, CEF, Costain, Faithful + Gould, Imtech, IStrucE and Knights Brown.  Representatives from Atkins, Costain, Knights Brown and Peak, took part in event where they explained the work they are undertaking to tackle carbon, and why it’s important for them to be a Business Champion. 

Welcoming the new Champions, Construction Leadership Council co-chair Andy Mitchell said: 

“We all know that tackling carbon will be the single biggest challenge our sector faces over the coming decade.  To advance as an industry, we need to learn from those who are leading the way.  I am delighted that we have such strong Champions coming on board, providing guidance for companies across UK construction on how they can drive out carbon.”

The CLC is running an ongoing monthly recruitment drive for more companies to commit to CO2nstruct Zero as Business Champions. If any BMF member would like to be considered, please contact John Newcomb in the first instance, at june.upton@bmf.org.uk
 
Three BMF member companies were named in this month’s cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions announced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as part of their CO2nstruct Zero initiative.
Three BMF member companies were named in this month’s cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions announced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as part of their CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021


23 June 2021

The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021The BMF has launched its annual search for the industry’s brightest rising stars through the BMF Young Achiever Awards 2021.

There are two categories within the Awards – Young Merchant Achiever and Young Supplier/Service Achiever.  Both are open to anyone under 35 who has demonstrated an ability to go above and beyond in their role, for example by identifying new opportunities or implementing new concepts with a real benefit for their business.  

If that sounds like someone within your business, what better way to recognise their contribution than by nominating them for a prestigious Award. 

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF said: 

“With so much media focus on skills shortages and the difficulties of attracting young people into the industry, it’s easy to overlook the fact that there is already a pool of extremely talented young people working in the building materials industry.   The BMF Young Achiever Awards recognise and reward their talent, commitment, innovation and achievement.”

The Award winners will be announced at the BMF Members’ Annual Conference and Awards on Thursday 23 September 2021.

The closing date for entries is 31 July 2021. Entrants can be nominated by a manager, a colleague, or even nominate themselves.

For full details and entry information please visit www.bmf.org.uk/youngachiever

The BMF would like to thank the sponsors of the BMF Young Achiever Awards: Hafele, Bostik, Mannok and GfK.
 
The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021
The BMF has launched its annual search for the industry’s brightest rising stars through the BMF Young Achiever Awards 2021.

Six Blaze a trail with IoBM


8 July 2021

Six trailbazers, Aco, Knauf Insulation, the Keystone Group, Mannok, the NMBS and Reisser have joined The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) as Corporate Supplier members, the recently enhanced membership category for manufacturers and suppliers to the merchant industry who support the IoBM’s professional training ethos.

Fees paid by Corporate Supplier members will fund the support of training and development throughout the professional Institute.  In return they may nominate two employees as IoBM contacts within their business, and the Institute will include details of any free CPD or merchant training programmes offered by Corporate Supplier members. 

John Newcomb BMF Chief Executive said: 

“The past year has shown the power of working together and ‘inclusivity’ will become a watchword of the IoBM.  Corporate Supplier members will help us embrace the entire building materials sector within the Institute. That this category has rapidly gained support from the industry’s leading buying society and five major building materials suppliers signals its relevance and value across the whole industry.”  

“We are also looking to attract a diverse group of individual members, particularly younger members, and have an initial target of 1000 new members within the first year.”

The Institute’s new management committee which includes representatives of the BMF Young Merchant group as well as two BMF directors and two long-term IoBM board members has also agreed that all BMF Young Merchants will automatically be enrolled into the Institute during its first year as a brand of the BMF.

Knauf Insulation was one of the first suppliers to sign up to the enhanced Corporate Supplier membership category.  Jo Callow, an IoBM member in her own right and Head of Communications at Knauf Insulation said:

“We became IoBM Corporate Supplier members as we recognise the work that the IoBM and the BMF have done together to breathe life back into the Institute. We are keen to encourage training, development and learning for individuals throughout the industry and recognise that this is a great way to support that.”
 
John Ryszkowski, Managing Director of ACO, another IoBM trailblazer, said:

“ACO are delighted to be one of the first Trailblazers to sign up to support the newly merged Institute under the BMF brand and look forward to helping to promote IoBM membership throughout the industry.”  

Find out more about IoBM Corporate membership at www.bmf.org.uk/IOBM
 
Six trailbazers, Aco, Knauf Insulation, the Keystone Group, Mannok, the NMBS and Reisser have joined The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) as Corporate Supplier members, the recently enhanced membership category for manufacturers and suppliers t

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 june.upton@bmf.org.uk
 
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

Three more BMF net zero carbon Business Champions announced


28 June 2021

Three more BMF net zero carbon Business Champions announcedThree BMF member companies were named in this month’s cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions announced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as part of their CO2nstruct Zero initiative.  

BMF supplier and service members, Ibstock plc, Peak and Wavin joined the four existing BMF Business Champions by committing to share evidence of their net zero carbon programmes and to contribute to the CO2nstruct Zero reporting process.  They have all committed to work with other companies in the sector in order to support the industry-wide change programme. 

Ibstock recognise that the net zero journey is one they share with customers and understand that the longevity of the business relies on low carbon solutions.  They track progress tracked against a Sustainable Roadmap to 2025, with a key measure of a minimum 15% reduction in CO2 per tonne of production by that date.  As part of this drive, major investment at one of their factories will make it an exemplar of global environmental best practice in the construction product sector – reducing process carbon emissions by circa 50% with the remainder offset to make what Ibstock believes will be the world’s first Net Zero brick factory for scope 1 and 2 emissions.  New and sustainable products have already been introduced, with others in development.  By 2025 these should account for 20% of sales turnover.   Further targets within the roadmap include zero waste to landfill, 40% reduction in preventable plastic packaging, 5% reduction in mains water usage per tonne of production and 100% of suppliers meeting their Supplier Sustainability Code of Business Conduct.

Peak, a BMF service member, helps merchants and manufacturers to drive improved business performance using Decision Intelligence.  Peak’s Decision Intelligence software embeds AI in routing technology, ensuring that delivery vehicles are more productive and travel fewer miles. Customers have seen transformational efficiency gains at speed and scale including an 8% reduction on miles travelled per job and an increase of 23% capacity, in just 3 months.  AI-driven demand forecasting informs both production scheduling and sourcing optimisation to reduce waste. Over a year, another company making aluminium products reduced transportation costs by 8% and eliminated 400 metric tonnes of waste.  As BMF Business Champions Peak will engage customers on the sustainable benefits and long term benefits that Decision Intelligence can deliver.

Wavin is working to reduce carbon both in the products it makes and in everything that concerns their manufacture and distribution. They have a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and an ambition to lead the industry in sustainability by 2025, by which time they will have a fully electric car fleet. Their four manufacturing sites already run on 100% renewable energy, 40% of their forklift fleet uses Bio LPG, and transporting products in the most sustainable way is helping to make significant CO2 savings. Managing the full lifecycle of products is another consideration. Around 30% of their products are currently manufactured from recycled material, with a target of 60-70%.

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation said:

“I’m delighted to see the initiatives that Ibstock, Peak and Wavin have introduced in their drive to net zero gaining recognition in this way.  I think it is important that the building materials industry shares best practice, so we can move forward together.  Clearly there is a lot still to do, but with seven BMF Business Champions now in place, with ACO Technologies, APP Wholesale, Bradfords Building Supplies and Travis Perkins Plc gaining Champion status last month, we are helping to build a bigger cross-industry movement that will help everyone gain knowledge and learn from their peers.”

The three BMF members were amongst 12 organisations confirmed as the second wave of 
CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, the others being Adair, Atkins, Cast, CEF, Costain, Faithful + Gould, Imtech, IStrucE and Knights Brown.  Representatives from Atkins, Costain, Knights Brown and Peak, took part in event where they explained the work they are undertaking to tackle carbon, and why it’s important for them to be a Business Champion. 

Welcoming the new Champions, Construction Leadership Council co-chair Andy Mitchell said: 

“We all know that tackling carbon will be the single biggest challenge our sector faces over the coming decade.  To advance as an industry, we need to learn from those who are leading the way.  I am delighted that we have such strong Champions coming on board, providing guidance for companies across UK construction on how they can drive out carbon.”

The CLC is running an ongoing monthly recruitment drive for more companies to commit to CO2nstruct Zero as Business Champions. If any BMF member would like to be considered, please contact John Newcomb in the first instance, at june.upton@bmf.org.uk
 
Three BMF member companies were named in this month’s cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions announced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as part of their CO2nstruct Zero initiative.
Three BMF member companies were named in this month’s cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions announced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as part of their CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021


23 June 2021

The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021The BMF has launched its annual search for the industry’s brightest rising stars through the BMF Young Achiever Awards 2021.

There are two categories within the Awards – Young Merchant Achiever and Young Supplier/Service Achiever.  Both are open to anyone under 35 who has demonstrated an ability to go above and beyond in their role, for example by identifying new opportunities or implementing new concepts with a real benefit for their business.  

If that sounds like someone within your business, what better way to recognise their contribution than by nominating them for a prestigious Award. 

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF said: 

“With so much media focus on skills shortages and the difficulties of attracting young people into the industry, it’s easy to overlook the fact that there is already a pool of extremely talented young people working in the building materials industry.   The BMF Young Achiever Awards recognise and reward their talent, commitment, innovation and achievement.”

The Award winners will be announced at the BMF Members’ Annual Conference and Awards on Thursday 23 September 2021.

The closing date for entries is 31 July 2021. Entrants can be nominated by a manager, a colleague, or even nominate themselves.

For full details and entry information please visit www.bmf.org.uk/youngachiever

The BMF would like to thank the sponsors of the BMF Young Achiever Awards: Hafele, Bostik, Mannok and GfK.
 
The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021
The BMF has launched its annual search for the industry’s brightest rising stars through the BMF Young Achiever Awards 2021.

Six BMF members achieve CLC net zero carbon Business Champion status


28 July 2021 

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

With the confirmation of Hanson UK, JCB, Knauf Insulation, Saint-Gobain, Cocuun and Steel Blue as net zero Business Champions, thirteen BMF members have now committed to share evidence of their own progress to net zero carbon, and to work with other companies in the sector to support the industry-wide change programme.

Hanson’s priority is to innovate and to produce the lowest carbon materials for use in construction.  They have committed to carbon neutral concrete by 2050 with key accelerated milestones to help them achieve this. Around 90% of the Hanson UK CO2 emissions are from its three cement works and they have prioritised reductions by increasing the use of alternative fuels and raw materials; by using secondary cementitious materials with a significantly lower CO2 footprint; by making major investments in plant efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and by increasing the share of sustainable low carbon concrete products.

JCB has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of its global manufacturing facilities and supply chain and has a waste reduction program that focuses on packaging and its ability to be fully recycled.  JCB products have evolved to use less fuel, with 10 machines now fully electric and great progress with hydrogen including the world’s first hydrogen powered 22 ton excavator, and the first hydrogen motor in a backhoe loader.

Saint Gobain has developed road maps for each of its operating businesses to reach net zero by 2050, with interim targets along the way.  Specific actions include committing to renewable energy, new cars to be fully electric by end 2023, capital investment in a new glass furnace to class leading performance, increasing recycled gypsum content in products, an active energy reduction programme, the use of alternative fuels in logistic, 100% recycled packaged by 2030 and deploying LED lighting across its network.

Knauf Insulation’s sustainability strategy commits the company to reducing the embodied carbon of its products by 15% between 2019 & 2025 and cutting its organisational carbon footprint by 25%.  Since 2015, Knauf has reduced energy use at manufacturing sites, reducing CO2 emissions by over 5,000 tonnes a year. Industry-leading compression technology already reduces distribution road miles and the use of plastic packaging. This year will see new packaging across the range made from a minimum 30% recycled content, which is also itself easier to recycle.

Cocuun was founded in 2020 with net zero as its inspiration. The company embodies three of the CLC’s nine net zero priorities: whole house retrofit delivery, low carbon heat solutions - scaling up industry capability and supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks - and enhancing energy performance of both new and existing buildings, through higher operational energy efficiency standards and better building energy performance monitoring.

Steel Blue, the workboot manufacturer, aims to be carbon neutral by 2025 globally. A 100kw solar panel system at its head office and manufacturing facility generates 71% power during peak operation and 100% power during off peak operation periods. The company also uses LED lighting and has implemented a hybrid car policy.  Since 2012 they have reduced the use of solvent based adhesives in manufacturing by 92.5%. They are also identifying potential circular economy opportunities and exploring improved recycling rates and a reduction in waste

The six BMF members were amongst 14 organisations confirmed in the third wave of CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, the others being RDM Electrical and Mechanical, Mott MacDonald, The Clarison Group, Mitie, Signify, Jackson, McLaughlin & Harvey and SES.

The CLC is running an ongoing monthly recruitment drive for more companies to commit to CO2nstruct Zero as Business Champions.  If any BMF member would like to be considered, please contact John Newcomb in the first instance, at june.upton@bmf.org.uk

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

Covid-19 app impacts on building materials' supply chain

23 July 2021

Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to the BMF.

It has raised concerns with government about the affect staff shortages are placing on an industry already balancing unprecedented demand.

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, said: “We are currently facing the biggest demand for building products we have seen in more than 30 years.

“We are already struggling with the labour we have to meet that requirement. Now, with many staff going into isolation after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, builders’ merchants, and building materials suppliers and manufacturers, are facing a huge challenge. The past two to four weeks have been described as the most challenging of the entire pandemic by some members.

“Our concern is that lead times will be pushed even further back and we could see disruption, now and later down the line. The supply chain is extremely stretched on all fronts. We are feeding all our data back to the government as they establish a complete picture of the situation.

“Hopefully a solution can be achieved. An ideal situation would be to pull the exemption date forward for the sector.”

Frank Elkins, Group Chief Operating Officer for Travis Perkins plc, said: “We are disappointed that our colleagues have not been included on the list of workers that can be made exempt from full self-isolation if they are alerted by NHS test and trace. Having worked hard to put in place measures that safeguard our staff while they have played such a vital role in helping to maintain essential services that are so crucial to keeping us all dry, warm, safe and secure, we urge the Government to look again at the broader construction supply chain and its importance to the country at large.” 

Martyn Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, Marshalls plc, said: “After the challenges in 2020, no one could have accurately predicted the shape of demand in 2021. This demand continues to grow and the effects of Covid, in particular, the ‘self-isolation’ practices are now beginning to bite within the Marshalls business. 

“Health and Safety has always been our number one consideration throughout this pandemic. We have gone above and beyond government guidelines to keep our people safe. What we are now seeing is a very high incidence of absence (due mainly to self-isolation through NHS Test and Trace) and this is compromising our ability to operate. 

“What is most challenging is the volatile nature and the inability to plan for this random alerting. As we support our colleagues to self-isolate, it is putting increasing pressure on those who are attending work resulting in an increasing concern about the mental health and wellbeing of these individuals who are carrying additional workloads. If the construction manufacturing sector could be categorised as ‘essential’ it would be a significant help to maintaining production levels. This would mean that colleagues who have been double jabbed could be exempted from self-isolation in the period from now until the rule change (currently planned for 16th August 2021).”

Paul Bence, managing director of Cheltenham-based independent builders’ merchant George Bence Group, added: “Currently, 15 per cent of our workforce have been affected by self-isolation this week. None of them have tested positive for Covid-19. 
“With it also being staff holiday season, we have been operating on a skeleton staff basis in many areas.” 
 
Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to an industry trade body.

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.

Six Blaze a trail with IoBM


8 July 2021

Six trailbazers, Aco, Knauf Insulation, the Keystone Group, Mannok, the NMBS and Reisser have joined The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) as Corporate Supplier members, the recently enhanced membership category for manufacturers and suppliers to the merchant industry who support the IoBM’s professional training ethos.

Fees paid by Corporate Supplier members will fund the support of training and development throughout the professional Institute.  In return they may nominate two employees as IoBM contacts within their business, and the Institute will include details of any free CPD or merchant training programmes offered by Corporate Supplier members. 

John Newcomb BMF Chief Executive said: 

“The past year has shown the power of working together and ‘inclusivity’ will become a watchword of the IoBM.  Corporate Supplier members will help us embrace the entire building materials sector within the Institute. That this category has rapidly gained support from the industry’s leading buying society and five major building materials suppliers signals its relevance and value across the whole industry.”  

“We are also looking to attract a diverse group of individual members, particularly younger members, and have an initial target of 1000 new members within the first year.”

The Institute’s new management committee which includes representatives of the BMF Young Merchant group as well as two BMF directors and two long-term IoBM board members has also agreed that all BMF Young Merchants will automatically be enrolled into the Institute during its first year as a brand of the BMF.

Knauf Insulation was one of the first suppliers to sign up to the enhanced Corporate Supplier membership category.  Jo Callow, an IoBM member in her own right and Head of Communications at Knauf Insulation said:

“We became IoBM Corporate Supplier members as we recognise the work that the IoBM and the BMF have done together to breathe life back into the Institute. We are keen to encourage training, development and learning for individuals throughout the industry and recognise that this is a great way to support that.”
 
John Ryszkowski, Managing Director of ACO, another IoBM trailblazer, said:

“ACO are delighted to be one of the first Trailblazers to sign up to support the newly merged Institute under the BMF brand and look forward to helping to promote IoBM membership throughout the industry.”  

Find out more about IoBM Corporate membership at www.bmf.org.uk/IOBM
 
Six trailbazers, Aco, Knauf Insulation, the Keystone Group, Mannok, the NMBS and Reisser have joined The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) as Corporate Supplier members, the recently enhanced membership category for manufacturers and suppliers t

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 june.upton@bmf.org.uk
 
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

Three more BMF net zero carbon Business Champions announced


28 June 2021

Three more BMF net zero carbon Business Champions announcedThree BMF member companies were named in this month’s cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions announced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as part of their CO2nstruct Zero initiative.  

BMF supplier and service members, Ibstock plc, Peak and Wavin joined the four existing BMF Business Champions by committing to share evidence of their net zero carbon programmes and to contribute to the CO2nstruct Zero reporting process.  They have all committed to work with other companies in the sector in order to support the industry-wide change programme. 

Ibstock recognise that the net zero journey is one they share with customers and understand that the longevity of the business relies on low carbon solutions.  They track progress tracked against a Sustainable Roadmap to 2025, with a key measure of a minimum 15% reduction in CO2 per tonne of production by that date.  As part of this drive, major investment at one of their factories will make it an exemplar of global environmental best practice in the construction product sector – reducing process carbon emissions by circa 50% with the remainder offset to make what Ibstock believes will be the world’s first Net Zero brick factory for scope 1 and 2 emissions.  New and sustainable products have already been introduced, with others in development.  By 2025 these should account for 20% of sales turnover.   Further targets within the roadmap include zero waste to landfill, 40% reduction in preventable plastic packaging, 5% reduction in mains water usage per tonne of production and 100% of suppliers meeting their Supplier Sustainability Code of Business Conduct.

Peak, a BMF service member, helps merchants and manufacturers to drive improved business performance using Decision Intelligence.  Peak’s Decision Intelligence software embeds AI in routing technology, ensuring that delivery vehicles are more productive and travel fewer miles. Customers have seen transformational efficiency gains at speed and scale including an 8% reduction on miles travelled per job and an increase of 23% capacity, in just 3 months.  AI-driven demand forecasting informs both production scheduling and sourcing optimisation to reduce waste. Over a year, another company making aluminium products reduced transportation costs by 8% and eliminated 400 metric tonnes of waste.  As BMF Business Champions Peak will engage customers on the sustainable benefits and long term benefits that Decision Intelligence can deliver.

Wavin is working to reduce carbon both in the products it makes and in everything that concerns their manufacture and distribution. They have a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and an ambition to lead the industry in sustainability by 2025, by which time they will have a fully electric car fleet. Their four manufacturing sites already run on 100% renewable energy, 40% of their forklift fleet uses Bio LPG, and transporting products in the most sustainable way is helping to make significant CO2 savings. Managing the full lifecycle of products is another consideration. Around 30% of their products are currently manufactured from recycled material, with a target of 60-70%.

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation said:

“I’m delighted to see the initiatives that Ibstock, Peak and Wavin have introduced in their drive to net zero gaining recognition in this way.  I think it is important that the building materials industry shares best practice, so we can move forward together.  Clearly there is a lot still to do, but with seven BMF Business Champions now in place, with ACO Technologies, APP Wholesale, Bradfords Building Supplies and Travis Perkins Plc gaining Champion status last month, we are helping to build a bigger cross-industry movement that will help everyone gain knowledge and learn from their peers.”

The three BMF members were amongst 12 organisations confirmed as the second wave of 
CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, the others being Adair, Atkins, Cast, CEF, Costain, Faithful + Gould, Imtech, IStrucE and Knights Brown.  Representatives from Atkins, Costain, Knights Brown and Peak, took part in event where they explained the work they are undertaking to tackle carbon, and why it’s important for them to be a Business Champion. 

Welcoming the new Champions, Construction Leadership Council co-chair Andy Mitchell said: 

“We all know that tackling carbon will be the single biggest challenge our sector faces over the coming decade.  To advance as an industry, we need to learn from those who are leading the way.  I am delighted that we have such strong Champions coming on board, providing guidance for companies across UK construction on how they can drive out carbon.”

The CLC is running an ongoing monthly recruitment drive for more companies to commit to CO2nstruct Zero as Business Champions. If any BMF member would like to be considered, please contact John Newcomb in the first instance, at june.upton@bmf.org.uk
 
Three BMF member companies were named in this month’s cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions announced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as part of their CO2nstruct Zero initiative.
Three BMF member companies were named in this month’s cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions announced by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) as part of their CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021


23 June 2021

The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021The BMF has launched its annual search for the industry’s brightest rising stars through the BMF Young Achiever Awards 2021.

There are two categories within the Awards – Young Merchant Achiever and Young Supplier/Service Achiever.  Both are open to anyone under 35 who has demonstrated an ability to go above and beyond in their role, for example by identifying new opportunities or implementing new concepts with a real benefit for their business.  

If that sounds like someone within your business, what better way to recognise their contribution than by nominating them for a prestigious Award. 

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF said: 

“With so much media focus on skills shortages and the difficulties of attracting young people into the industry, it’s easy to overlook the fact that there is already a pool of extremely talented young people working in the building materials industry.   The BMF Young Achiever Awards recognise and reward their talent, commitment, innovation and achievement.”

The Award winners will be announced at the BMF Members’ Annual Conference and Awards on Thursday 23 September 2021.

The closing date for entries is 31 July 2021. Entrants can be nominated by a manager, a colleague, or even nominate themselves.

For full details and entry information please visit www.bmf.org.uk/youngachiever

The BMF would like to thank the sponsors of the BMF Young Achiever Awards: Hafele, Bostik, Mannok and GfK.
 
The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021
The BMF has launched its annual search for the industry’s brightest rising stars through the BMF Young Achiever Awards 2021.

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 june.upton@bmf.org.uk
 
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.

BMF’s P&H Merchant Index confirms steady sales increase in Q1


26 May 2021

P&H Merchant Index confirms steady sales increase in Q1The latest edition of the BMF Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) confirms that sales of plumbing and heating products remain steady, with evidence of a slight upward trend in Q1 2021.

A year on from the onset of the Covid pandemic and the temporary closure of branches at the start of the first lockdown period, from 24 March 2020, an increase in year on year sales was to be expected.  However, comparing sales values with Q4 2020 and with the pre-Covid levels seen in Q1 2019 sheds more light on current market performance.

The latest figures reveal that:
Sales in Q1 2021 were up +6.8% compared with Q1 2020
Sales in Q1 2021 were up +3.5% compared with Q1 2019 (pre-Covid)
Sales in Q1 2021 were +3.1% higher than in Q4 2019, helped by three more trading days in Q1.  However, average sales a day were -1.8% lower in Q1.
Comparing monthly sales in Q1 2021 shows a slight month on month increase. March
returns were +15.5% higher than in February, albeit helped by three more trading days 
in March.  Taking extra days out of the equation, shows that average sales a day nudged up by 
+0.4%.
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.
 
P&H Merchant Index confirms steady sales increase in Q1
The latest edition of the BMF Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) confirms that sales of plumbing and heating products remain steady, with evidence of a slight upward trend in Q1 2021.

New scheme links NHS heroes to discounts at builders’ merchants  


12 April 2021

New scheme links NHS heroes to discounts at builders’ merchants  The BMF is co-ordinating a new scheme to provide NHS workers with discounts at local builders’ merchants.

Launched today, 12 April 2021, ‘Builders’ Merchants Supporting The NHS,’ has been developed in recognition of the tireless support provided by healthcare staff throughout the Covid emergency.

For the next six months, NHS Discounts will be offered by 33 BMF merchants who between them operate 1,225 branches throughout the country. 

Each participating BMF member will offer their own discount deals, averaging a 10 per cent reduction on the standard price, to NHS workers presenting ID such as an NHS staff card.

The BMF has compiled a full list of participating members, together with an overview of the discount they each provide at www.bmf.org.uk/nhs

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: 

“Throughout the pandemic, our NHS workers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support the health of the nation. As we start the return to ‘normality’, the merchant industry wanted to come together and thank them.

“Builders’ merchants taking part will offer be offering expert service as well as access to a wide range of home improvement products at discounted prices.”

Kieran Griffin, MD at Travis Perkins, one of the participating merchants said:

“The pandemic has shown incredible examples of personal sacrifice, generosity and community spirit, and from the start, our colleagues played their part by donating building supplies and PPE to keep NHS workers safe. So we’re proud to take part in this BMF initiative and offer NHS workers a 10% dedicated discount when they buy from us as a small recognition and thank you to those who have been – and remain – on the front line caring for us and our families, for which we’re all so grateful.”
 
New scheme links NHS heroes to discounts at builders’ merchants
The BMF is co-ordinating a new scheme to provide NHS workers with discounts at local builders’ merchants.

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 Sustainability Forum to launch in June


21 April 2021

BMF Sustainability Forum to launch in JuneIn response to the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) ambition to drive carbon out of construction the BMF is launching a new Sustainability Forum, which will meet for the first time on 9 June.

To be chaired by Giles Bradford, Communications and Engagement Manager at Bradfords Building Supplies and sponsored by BMF service member, Peak, the Sustainability Forum will bring together merchants and building material manufacturers for regular briefings and discussions to share progress and best practice.

The inaugural Sustainability Forum will feature a presentation about the CLC’s Construct Zero initiative from Hannah Vickers, CEO of the Association of Consulting Engineers. 

Sustainability Forum Chair Giles Bradford joined his family’s business to head up communications in September 2019 after a 12-year career as an officer in the Royal Navy, and then as a management consultant in NHS and defence sectors.  His understanding and passion for the sustainable built environment rapidly developed over the past 18 months and he now leads Bradfords’ commitment to it.

Giles Bradford said: “I’m delighted and honoured to chair the BMF Sustainability Forum. Bradfords’ approach to sustainability is underpinned with a deep-rooted understanding of the responsibility that the business has to support its communities and their futures. We must all work together.”

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “As manufacturers and merchants, BMF members are in the vanguard of the supply chain and have a vital role to play in championing and delivering the changes necessary for success in the Race to Zero carbon. Our new Sustainability Forum will not just raise awareness, it will also shine a spotlight on the work members are doing to deliver low carbon solutions.”

Mark Perkins, Construction Territory Lead at Peak said: “Artificial intelligence is a technology that helps merchants and manufacturers to drive growth sustainably. Peak are proud to be sponsoring the inaugural BMF Sustainability Forum and look forward to sharing ideas on best practice and innovation.”
 
BMF Sustainability Forum to launch in June
In response to the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) ambition to drive carbon out of construction the BMF is launching a new Sustainability Forum, which will meet for the first time on 9 June.

BMF applauds widespread endorsement of National Retrofit Strategy


17 March 2021

BMF applauds widespread endorsement of National Retrofit StrategyThe BMF, which has been campaigning in support of the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) National Retrofit Strategy expressed its delight that the consultation document has received widespread endorsement.

50 organisations including representatives of the energy and water sectors are backing the CLC National Retrofit Strategy which sets out a twenty-year blueprint to transform the nation’s housing stock to make it greener and more energy efficient. 

Britain’s 28 million homes contribute 20% of the country’s carbon emissions so unless these are retrofitted to make them more energy efficient we won’t achieve a zero carbon economy by 2050. The CLC National Retrofit Strategy is structured into four phases and calls on the Government to invest an initial £5.3bn over the next four years to help kickstart the retrofit market. The benefits of this investment would lead an additional 100,000 new jobs; a saving to the NHS of £1.4bn; and a reduction in householders’ energy bills by as much as £436. 

Andy Mitchell, Co-Chair of the CLC Task Force, said: 

“Given our homes contribute 20% of the nation’s carbon emissions it is essential that we start to retrofit them to make them more energy efficient. With widespread industry support the CLC is calling on the Government to adopt the National Retrofit Strategy to make our homes greener. Our strategy has been fully costed and offers a roadmap about how the Government can create a low carbon built environment by 2040.” 

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation, and one of the 16 members of the CLC Domestic RMI Working Group who compiled the National Retrofit Strategy, said:

“It is extremely encouraging that the wider construction industry, water and energy sectors all agree the need for a Government-backed National Retrofit Strategy.  We cannot achieve a zero carbon economy by 2050 if we don’t address the energy efficiency of our existing homes, which make up the vast majority of the UK’s housing stock. This strategy is a ready-made solution for a Government that is putting such high emphasis on the success of the COP26 Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in November.”
 
BMF applauds widespread endorsement of National Retrofit Strategy
The BMF, which has been campaigning in support of the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) National Retrofit Strategy expressed its delight that the consultation document has received widespread endorsement.

Six BMF members achieve CLC net zero carbon Business Champion status


28 July 2021 

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

With the confirmation of Hanson UK, JCB, Knauf Insulation, Saint-Gobain, Cocuun and Steel Blue as net zero Business Champions, thirteen BMF members have now committed to share evidence of their own progress to net zero carbon, and to work with other companies in the sector to support the industry-wide change programme.

Hanson’s priority is to innovate and to produce the lowest carbon materials for use in construction.  They have committed to carbon neutral concrete by 2050 with key accelerated milestones to help them achieve this. Around 90% of the Hanson UK CO2 emissions are from its three cement works and they have prioritised reductions by increasing the use of alternative fuels and raw materials; by using secondary cementitious materials with a significantly lower CO2 footprint; by making major investments in plant efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and by increasing the share of sustainable low carbon concrete products.

JCB has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of its global manufacturing facilities and supply chain and has a waste reduction program that focuses on packaging and its ability to be fully recycled.  JCB products have evolved to use less fuel, with 10 machines now fully electric and great progress with hydrogen including the world’s first hydrogen powered 22 ton excavator, and the first hydrogen motor in a backhoe loader.

Saint Gobain has developed road maps for each of its operating businesses to reach net zero by 2050, with interim targets along the way.  Specific actions include committing to renewable energy, new cars to be fully electric by end 2023, capital investment in a new glass furnace to class leading performance, increasing recycled gypsum content in products, an active energy reduction programme, the use of alternative fuels in logistic, 100% recycled packaged by 2030 and deploying LED lighting across its network.

Knauf Insulation’s sustainability strategy commits the company to reducing the embodied carbon of its products by 15% between 2019 & 2025 and cutting its organisational carbon footprint by 25%.  Since 2015, Knauf has reduced energy use at manufacturing sites, reducing CO2 emissions by over 5,000 tonnes a year. Industry-leading compression technology already reduces distribution road miles and the use of plastic packaging. This year will see new packaging across the range made from a minimum 30% recycled content, which is also itself easier to recycle.

Cocuun was founded in 2020 with net zero as its inspiration. The company embodies three of the CLC’s nine net zero priorities: whole house retrofit delivery, low carbon heat solutions - scaling up industry capability and supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks - and enhancing energy performance of both new and existing buildings, through higher operational energy efficiency standards and better building energy performance monitoring.

Steel Blue, the workboot manufacturer, aims to be carbon neutral by 2025 globally. A 100kw solar panel system at its head office and manufacturing facility generates 71% power during peak operation and 100% power during off peak operation periods. The company also uses LED lighting and has implemented a hybrid car policy.  Since 2012 they have reduced the use of solvent based adhesives in manufacturing by 92.5%. They are also identifying potential circular economy opportunities and exploring improved recycling rates and a reduction in waste

The six BMF members were amongst 14 organisations confirmed in the third wave of CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, the others being RDM Electrical and Mechanical, Mott MacDonald, The Clarison Group, Mitie, Signify, Jackson, McLaughlin & Harvey and SES.

The CLC is running an ongoing monthly recruitment drive for more companies to commit to CO2nstruct Zero as Business Champions.  If any BMF member would like to be considered, please contact John Newcomb in the first instance, at june.upton@bmf.org.uk

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

Covid-19 app impacts on building materials' supply chain

23 July 2021

Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to the BMF.

It has raised concerns with government about the affect staff shortages are placing on an industry already balancing unprecedented demand.

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, said: “We are currently facing the biggest demand for building products we have seen in more than 30 years.

“We are already struggling with the labour we have to meet that requirement. Now, with many staff going into isolation after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, builders’ merchants, and building materials suppliers and manufacturers, are facing a huge challenge. The past two to four weeks have been described as the most challenging of the entire pandemic by some members.

“Our concern is that lead times will be pushed even further back and we could see disruption, now and later down the line. The supply chain is extremely stretched on all fronts. We are feeding all our data back to the government as they establish a complete picture of the situation.

“Hopefully a solution can be achieved. An ideal situation would be to pull the exemption date forward for the sector.”

Frank Elkins, Group Chief Operating Officer for Travis Perkins plc, said: “We are disappointed that our colleagues have not been included on the list of workers that can be made exempt from full self-isolation if they are alerted by NHS test and trace. Having worked hard to put in place measures that safeguard our staff while they have played such a vital role in helping to maintain essential services that are so crucial to keeping us all dry, warm, safe and secure, we urge the Government to look again at the broader construction supply chain and its importance to the country at large.” 

Martyn Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, Marshalls plc, said: “After the challenges in 2020, no one could have accurately predicted the shape of demand in 2021. This demand continues to grow and the effects of Covid, in particular, the ‘self-isolation’ practices are now beginning to bite within the Marshalls business. 

“Health and Safety has always been our number one consideration throughout this pandemic. We have gone above and beyond government guidelines to keep our people safe. What we are now seeing is a very high incidence of absence (due mainly to self-isolation through NHS Test and Trace) and this is compromising our ability to operate. 

“What is most challenging is the volatile nature and the inability to plan for this random alerting. As we support our colleagues to self-isolate, it is putting increasing pressure on those who are attending work resulting in an increasing concern about the mental health and wellbeing of these individuals who are carrying additional workloads. If the construction manufacturing sector could be categorised as ‘essential’ it would be a significant help to maintaining production levels. This would mean that colleagues who have been double jabbed could be exempted from self-isolation in the period from now until the rule change (currently planned for 16th August 2021).”

Paul Bence, managing director of Cheltenham-based independent builders’ merchant George Bence Group, added: “Currently, 15 per cent of our workforce have been affected by self-isolation this week. None of them have tested positive for Covid-19. 
“With it also being staff holiday season, we have been operating on a skeleton staff basis in many areas.” 
 
Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to an industry trade body.

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.

Six BMF members achieve CLC net zero carbon Business Champion status


28 July 2021 

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

With the confirmation of Hanson UK, JCB, Knauf Insulation, Saint-Gobain, Cocuun and Steel Blue as net zero Business Champions, thirteen BMF members have now committed to share evidence of their own progress to net zero carbon, and to work with other companies in the sector to support the industry-wide change programme.

Hanson’s priority is to innovate and to produce the lowest carbon materials for use in construction.  They have committed to carbon neutral concrete by 2050 with key accelerated milestones to help them achieve this. Around 90% of the Hanson UK CO2 emissions are from its three cement works and they have prioritised reductions by increasing the use of alternative fuels and raw materials; by using secondary cementitious materials with a significantly lower CO2 footprint; by making major investments in plant efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and by increasing the share of sustainable low carbon concrete products.

JCB has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of its global manufacturing facilities and supply chain and has a waste reduction program that focuses on packaging and its ability to be fully recycled.  JCB products have evolved to use less fuel, with 10 machines now fully electric and great progress with hydrogen including the world’s first hydrogen powered 22 ton excavator, and the first hydrogen motor in a backhoe loader.

Saint Gobain has developed road maps for each of its operating businesses to reach net zero by 2050, with interim targets along the way.  Specific actions include committing to renewable energy, new cars to be fully electric by end 2023, capital investment in a new glass furnace to class leading performance, increasing recycled gypsum content in products, an active energy reduction programme, the use of alternative fuels in logistic, 100% recycled packaged by 2030 and deploying LED lighting across its network.

Knauf Insulation’s sustainability strategy commits the company to reducing the embodied carbon of its products by 15% between 2019 & 2025 and cutting its organisational carbon footprint by 25%.  Since 2015, Knauf has reduced energy use at manufacturing sites, reducing CO2 emissions by over 5,000 tonnes a year. Industry-leading compression technology already reduces distribution road miles and the use of plastic packaging. This year will see new packaging across the range made from a minimum 30% recycled content, which is also itself easier to recycle.

Cocuun was founded in 2020 with net zero as its inspiration. The company embodies three of the CLC’s nine net zero priorities: whole house retrofit delivery, low carbon heat solutions - scaling up industry capability and supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks - and enhancing energy performance of both new and existing buildings, through higher operational energy efficiency standards and better building energy performance monitoring.

Steel Blue, the workboot manufacturer, aims to be carbon neutral by 2025 globally. A 100kw solar panel system at its head office and manufacturing facility generates 71% power during peak operation and 100% power during off peak operation periods. The company also uses LED lighting and has implemented a hybrid car policy.  Since 2012 they have reduced the use of solvent based adhesives in manufacturing by 92.5%. They are also identifying potential circular economy opportunities and exploring improved recycling rates and a reduction in waste

The six BMF members were amongst 14 organisations confirmed in the third wave of CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, the others being RDM Electrical and Mechanical, Mott MacDonald, The Clarison Group, Mitie, Signify, Jackson, McLaughlin & Harvey and SES.

The CLC is running an ongoing monthly recruitment drive for more companies to commit to CO2nstruct Zero as Business Champions.  If any BMF member would like to be considered, please contact John Newcomb in the first instance, at june.upton@bmf.org.uk

For the third consecutive month, BMF members featured prominently amongst the latest cohort of net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

Covid-19 app impacts on building materials' supply chain

23 July 2021

Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to the BMF.

It has raised concerns with government about the affect staff shortages are placing on an industry already balancing unprecedented demand.

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, said: “We are currently facing the biggest demand for building products we have seen in more than 30 years.

“We are already struggling with the labour we have to meet that requirement. Now, with many staff going into isolation after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, builders’ merchants, and building materials suppliers and manufacturers, are facing a huge challenge. The past two to four weeks have been described as the most challenging of the entire pandemic by some members.

“Our concern is that lead times will be pushed even further back and we could see disruption, now and later down the line. The supply chain is extremely stretched on all fronts. We are feeding all our data back to the government as they establish a complete picture of the situation.

“Hopefully a solution can be achieved. An ideal situation would be to pull the exemption date forward for the sector.”

Frank Elkins, Group Chief Operating Officer for Travis Perkins plc, said: “We are disappointed that our colleagues have not been included on the list of workers that can be made exempt from full self-isolation if they are alerted by NHS test and trace. Having worked hard to put in place measures that safeguard our staff while they have played such a vital role in helping to maintain essential services that are so crucial to keeping us all dry, warm, safe and secure, we urge the Government to look again at the broader construction supply chain and its importance to the country at large.” 

Martyn Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, Marshalls plc, said: “After the challenges in 2020, no one could have accurately predicted the shape of demand in 2021. This demand continues to grow and the effects of Covid, in particular, the ‘self-isolation’ practices are now beginning to bite within the Marshalls business. 

“Health and Safety has always been our number one consideration throughout this pandemic. We have gone above and beyond government guidelines to keep our people safe. What we are now seeing is a very high incidence of absence (due mainly to self-isolation through NHS Test and Trace) and this is compromising our ability to operate. 

“What is most challenging is the volatile nature and the inability to plan for this random alerting. As we support our colleagues to self-isolate, it is putting increasing pressure on those who are attending work resulting in an increasing concern about the mental health and wellbeing of these individuals who are carrying additional workloads. If the construction manufacturing sector could be categorised as ‘essential’ it would be a significant help to maintaining production levels. This would mean that colleagues who have been double jabbed could be exempted from self-isolation in the period from now until the rule change (currently planned for 16th August 2021).”

Paul Bence, managing director of Cheltenham-based independent builders’ merchant George Bence Group, added: “Currently, 15 per cent of our workforce have been affected by self-isolation this week. None of them have tested positive for Covid-19. 
“With it also being staff holiday season, we have been operating on a skeleton staff basis in many areas.” 
 
Self-isolation alerts are having a significant impact on the supply of building materials, according to an industry trade body.

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.
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