Tell Us About Yourself


By telling us about yourself we can make sure you see content that is relevant to you. You can add your new content here.

 
 




What can the BMF do for me and my company?

The BMF can offer many benefits no matter what your job role is.



 



 

Sometimes you need to talk to a real person before deciding if joining is right from your company. We can give you a call to discuss.



Request a Callback

Membership

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

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


  ​Learn More


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.

Learn More

Publications

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

Learn More

 
Find a member, search our members' database

SEARCH



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

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

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

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

16-17 September 2020

Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More



Bob Beaver Memorial Shoot
9 July 2020
 
Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More

Mastermerchant
10-12 July 2020

Learn More




See All Events




Latest News



Here are the latest news stories from the BMF

BMF Responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement

27 October 2021

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.


However, the BMF welcomed today’s announcement of more investment in further education, which will help promote a low-carbon skills revolution.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said:

“With the UNCOP26 Climate Conference less than a week away, we believe a National Retrofit Strategy is the best way to tackle an urgent national infrastructure priority - namely to improve the energy and thermal performance of homes - especially with rising gas prices adding to pressure on household bills.

“The BMF and others involved in property RMI put together the Construction Leadership Council’s 20-year fully-costed plan to improve existing homes; an investment of £5.3 billion over the next 4 years to tackle emissions.

“Today’s news means international visitors arriving in Glasgow will see a missed opportunity to decarbonise by doing something simple - upgrading homes properly”.

                                                                                                                             **********

Welcoming Government support for further education as part of a low-carbon skills revolution, John Newcomb also called for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, saying:

““The BMF is a strong believer in the parity of esteem between academic education and vocational training - so today’s announcement of more investment in further education, with employers and local colleges at the fore-front of the Chancellor’s Skills Revolution, is very welcome.

“Apprenticeships are the established way into most crafts & trades we need now, and in future. But the Apprenticeship Levy is not working as it should and must be reformed to offer employers and learners a better experience. With numbers falling, significant sums of employer contributions remain unspent and are going straight to the Treasury. 

“To match the scale and extent of the net zero challenge, all available funds should be redirected to boost apprenticeships that equip workers with the necessary technical or occupational skills - and the interpersonal skills to reassure homeowners and explain the carbon choices they can make.”
 
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.

BMF drives net zero agenda at Parliamentary Reception

21 October 2021

The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary
Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacturers.


With the theme Building a Sustainable Britain, the reception showcased some of the latest products developed by BMF’s supplier members that will help create the low carbon homes the country needs if we are to achieve the government’s net zero aim by 2050.


The BMF event was held on the same day the government announced its Heat and Buildings Strategy which outlined plans to drive down the cost of clean energy, including £5,000 grants for those replacing gas boilers with heat pumps to help decarbonise their homes, as well as a range of other measures.
Speaking at the event, both Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, Secretary of State for Housing and Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets acknowledged the vital role the building materials industry will play in the development and delivery of heat pumps, insulation and other new technologies required to drive down carbon emissions, expressing the government’s commitment to supporting the building supply chain to build more skills and more homes.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb, said: “It is clear that we cannot achieve net zero without addressing the building environment, and our homes in particular. Our homes use 35% of all the energy in the UK and emit 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions. The vast majority are heated by gas, and many are not well insulated.  We welcome today’s announcement to support the start of the decarbonisation of our homes with a three-year grant programme to help homes suited to the technology to transition to heat pumps, but with 28 million existing homes to upgrade sustained longer-term support will be required.”


The BMF thanks UK Construction Week, headline sponsor for this Parliamentary Reception. The BMF also thanks those exhibiting at the event: Fernox, JCB, Marsh Industries, Midland Lead, Rockwool, Velux, Weinerberger, Baxi, Worcester Bosch, Grundfos Pumps, Knauf Insulation, Mannok, Polypipe Civils and PPG.

 
The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacture

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

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

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

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

BMF's Covid response wins multiple Awards 

 

14 October 2021

The BMF support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.  

The BMF’s entry covering “Getting Merchants Back to Business” won the overall Award for the Best Membership Support during Covid 19 (under 800 members) category. The merchant industry’s trade body also gained a bronze award for the Best Covid 19 Response (under 4000 members) category, where their entry focussed on the success of the industry’s PPE appeal in support of the NHS.

The Association Excellence Awards, which have been run annually since 2014, celebrate and encourage the vital work undertaken by associations, trade organisations, unions and professional organisations, for and on behalf of their members to ensure their voices are heard and their causes are championed. 

Awarding the BMF the prize for Best Membership Support during Covid 19, the judges highlighted the Federation’s structured and impactful approach, the level and range of support given to members during the pandemic including comprehensive Branch Operating Guidelines, as well as the appreciative feedback from members. 

The BMF’s success in the Association Excellence Awards, comes hot on the heels of its Highly Commended award for Member Support during Covid 19 at the Memcom Awards.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Our members are at the heart of everything we do so I am absolutely delighted that these awards are for our work on their behalf throughout the pandemic. We have some great people working for the BMF and I’m extremely proud to see the hard work and achievements of the whole team recognised in this way.”

The Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.

BMF Responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement

27 October 2021

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.


However, the BMF welcomed today’s announcement of more investment in further education, which will help promote a low-carbon skills revolution.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said:

“With the UNCOP26 Climate Conference less than a week away, we believe a National Retrofit Strategy is the best way to tackle an urgent national infrastructure priority - namely to improve the energy and thermal performance of homes - especially with rising gas prices adding to pressure on household bills.

“The BMF and others involved in property RMI put together the Construction Leadership Council’s 20-year fully-costed plan to improve existing homes; an investment of £5.3 billion over the next 4 years to tackle emissions.

“Today’s news means international visitors arriving in Glasgow will see a missed opportunity to decarbonise by doing something simple - upgrading homes properly”.

                                                                                                                             **********

Welcoming Government support for further education as part of a low-carbon skills revolution, John Newcomb also called for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, saying:

““The BMF is a strong believer in the parity of esteem between academic education and vocational training - so today’s announcement of more investment in further education, with employers and local colleges at the fore-front of the Chancellor’s Skills Revolution, is very welcome.

“Apprenticeships are the established way into most crafts & trades we need now, and in future. But the Apprenticeship Levy is not working as it should and must be reformed to offer employers and learners a better experience. With numbers falling, significant sums of employer contributions remain unspent and are going straight to the Treasury. 

“To match the scale and extent of the net zero challenge, all available funds should be redirected to boost apprenticeships that equip workers with the necessary technical or occupational skills - and the interpersonal skills to reassure homeowners and explain the carbon choices they can make.”
 
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.

BMF drives net zero agenda at Parliamentary Reception

21 October 2021

The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary
Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacturers.


With the theme Building a Sustainable Britain, the reception showcased some of the latest products developed by BMF’s supplier members that will help create the low carbon homes the country needs if we are to achieve the government’s net zero aim by 2050.


The BMF event was held on the same day the government announced its Heat and Buildings Strategy which outlined plans to drive down the cost of clean energy, including £5,000 grants for those replacing gas boilers with heat pumps to help decarbonise their homes, as well as a range of other measures.
Speaking at the event, both Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, Secretary of State for Housing and Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets acknowledged the vital role the building materials industry will play in the development and delivery of heat pumps, insulation and other new technologies required to drive down carbon emissions, expressing the government’s commitment to supporting the building supply chain to build more skills and more homes.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb, said: “It is clear that we cannot achieve net zero without addressing the building environment, and our homes in particular. Our homes use 35% of all the energy in the UK and emit 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions. The vast majority are heated by gas, and many are not well insulated.  We welcome today’s announcement to support the start of the decarbonisation of our homes with a three-year grant programme to help homes suited to the technology to transition to heat pumps, but with 28 million existing homes to upgrade sustained longer-term support will be required.”


The BMF thanks UK Construction Week, headline sponsor for this Parliamentary Reception. The BMF also thanks those exhibiting at the event: Fernox, JCB, Marsh Industries, Midland Lead, Rockwool, Velux, Weinerberger, Baxi, Worcester Bosch, Grundfos Pumps, Knauf Insulation, Mannok, Polypipe Civils and PPG.

 
The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacture

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

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

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

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

BMF's Covid response wins multiple Awards 

 

14 October 2021

The BMF support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.  

The BMF’s entry covering “Getting Merchants Back to Business” won the overall Award for the Best Membership Support during Covid 19 (under 800 members) category. The merchant industry’s trade body also gained a bronze award for the Best Covid 19 Response (under 4000 members) category, where their entry focussed on the success of the industry’s PPE appeal in support of the NHS.

The Association Excellence Awards, which have been run annually since 2014, celebrate and encourage the vital work undertaken by associations, trade organisations, unions and professional organisations, for and on behalf of their members to ensure their voices are heard and their causes are championed. 

Awarding the BMF the prize for Best Membership Support during Covid 19, the judges highlighted the Federation’s structured and impactful approach, the level and range of support given to members during the pandemic including comprehensive Branch Operating Guidelines, as well as the appreciative feedback from members. 

The BMF’s success in the Association Excellence Awards, comes hot on the heels of its Highly Commended award for Member Support during Covid 19 at the Memcom Awards.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Our members are at the heart of everything we do so I am absolutely delighted that these awards are for our work on their behalf throughout the pandemic. We have some great people working for the BMF and I’m extremely proud to see the hard work and achievements of the whole team recognised in this way.”

The Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

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

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

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

Hundreds of Travis Perkins apprentices join IoBM 


06 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Haulage a priority for BMF


3 September 2021

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

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

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

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

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

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

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

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

John Newcomb added: 

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

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

4 August 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

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

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

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

Hundreds of Travis Perkins apprentices join IoBM 


06 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Haulage a priority for BMF


3 September 2021

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

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

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

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

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

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

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

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

John Newcomb added: 

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

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

4 August 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BMF Responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement

27 October 2021

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.


However, the BMF welcomed today’s announcement of more investment in further education, which will help promote a low-carbon skills revolution.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said:

“With the UNCOP26 Climate Conference less than a week away, we believe a National Retrofit Strategy is the best way to tackle an urgent national infrastructure priority - namely to improve the energy and thermal performance of homes - especially with rising gas prices adding to pressure on household bills.

“The BMF and others involved in property RMI put together the Construction Leadership Council’s 20-year fully-costed plan to improve existing homes; an investment of £5.3 billion over the next 4 years to tackle emissions.

“Today’s news means international visitors arriving in Glasgow will see a missed opportunity to decarbonise by doing something simple - upgrading homes properly”.

                                                                                                                             **********

Welcoming Government support for further education as part of a low-carbon skills revolution, John Newcomb also called for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, saying:

““The BMF is a strong believer in the parity of esteem between academic education and vocational training - so today’s announcement of more investment in further education, with employers and local colleges at the fore-front of the Chancellor’s Skills Revolution, is very welcome.

“Apprenticeships are the established way into most crafts & trades we need now, and in future. But the Apprenticeship Levy is not working as it should and must be reformed to offer employers and learners a better experience. With numbers falling, significant sums of employer contributions remain unspent and are going straight to the Treasury. 

“To match the scale and extent of the net zero challenge, all available funds should be redirected to boost apprenticeships that equip workers with the necessary technical or occupational skills - and the interpersonal skills to reassure homeowners and explain the carbon choices they can make.”
 
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.

BMF drives net zero agenda at Parliamentary Reception

21 October 2021

The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary
Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacturers.


With the theme Building a Sustainable Britain, the reception showcased some of the latest products developed by BMF’s supplier members that will help create the low carbon homes the country needs if we are to achieve the government’s net zero aim by 2050.


The BMF event was held on the same day the government announced its Heat and Buildings Strategy which outlined plans to drive down the cost of clean energy, including £5,000 grants for those replacing gas boilers with heat pumps to help decarbonise their homes, as well as a range of other measures.
Speaking at the event, both Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, Secretary of State for Housing and Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets acknowledged the vital role the building materials industry will play in the development and delivery of heat pumps, insulation and other new technologies required to drive down carbon emissions, expressing the government’s commitment to supporting the building supply chain to build more skills and more homes.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb, said: “It is clear that we cannot achieve net zero without addressing the building environment, and our homes in particular. Our homes use 35% of all the energy in the UK and emit 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions. The vast majority are heated by gas, and many are not well insulated.  We welcome today’s announcement to support the start of the decarbonisation of our homes with a three-year grant programme to help homes suited to the technology to transition to heat pumps, but with 28 million existing homes to upgrade sustained longer-term support will be required.”


The BMF thanks UK Construction Week, headline sponsor for this Parliamentary Reception. The BMF also thanks those exhibiting at the event: Fernox, JCB, Marsh Industries, Midland Lead, Rockwool, Velux, Weinerberger, Baxi, Worcester Bosch, Grundfos Pumps, Knauf Insulation, Mannok, Polypipe Civils and PPG.

 
The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacture

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

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

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

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

BMF's Covid response wins multiple Awards 

 

14 October 2021

The BMF support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.  

The BMF’s entry covering “Getting Merchants Back to Business” won the overall Award for the Best Membership Support during Covid 19 (under 800 members) category. The merchant industry’s trade body also gained a bronze award for the Best Covid 19 Response (under 4000 members) category, where their entry focussed on the success of the industry’s PPE appeal in support of the NHS.

The Association Excellence Awards, which have been run annually since 2014, celebrate and encourage the vital work undertaken by associations, trade organisations, unions and professional organisations, for and on behalf of their members to ensure their voices are heard and their causes are championed. 

Awarding the BMF the prize for Best Membership Support during Covid 19, the judges highlighted the Federation’s structured and impactful approach, the level and range of support given to members during the pandemic including comprehensive Branch Operating Guidelines, as well as the appreciative feedback from members. 

The BMF’s success in the Association Excellence Awards, comes hot on the heels of its Highly Commended award for Member Support during Covid 19 at the Memcom Awards.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Our members are at the heart of everything we do so I am absolutely delighted that these awards are for our work on their behalf throughout the pandemic. We have some great people working for the BMF and I’m extremely proud to see the hard work and achievements of the whole team recognised in this way.”

The Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

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

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

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

Hundreds of Travis Perkins apprentices join IoBM 


06 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Haulage a priority for BMF


3 September 2021

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

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

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

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

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

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

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

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

John Newcomb added: 

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

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

4 August 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBI Economist confirmed for BMF Members Day Conference


6 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

Building materials sales continue upward growth trend 


26 May 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation said:

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

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

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

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.

Haulage a priority for BMF


3 September 2021

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

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

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

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

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

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

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

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

John Newcomb added: 

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

Labour and product shortages putting pressure on the construction industry

21 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concerns over HGV driver shortages raised by construction trade body

14 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BMF 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 Responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement

27 October 2021

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.


However, the BMF welcomed today’s announcement of more investment in further education, which will help promote a low-carbon skills revolution.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said:

“With the UNCOP26 Climate Conference less than a week away, we believe a National Retrofit Strategy is the best way to tackle an urgent national infrastructure priority - namely to improve the energy and thermal performance of homes - especially with rising gas prices adding to pressure on household bills.

“The BMF and others involved in property RMI put together the Construction Leadership Council’s 20-year fully-costed plan to improve existing homes; an investment of £5.3 billion over the next 4 years to tackle emissions.

“Today’s news means international visitors arriving in Glasgow will see a missed opportunity to decarbonise by doing something simple - upgrading homes properly”.

                                                                                                                             **********

Welcoming Government support for further education as part of a low-carbon skills revolution, John Newcomb also called for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, saying:

““The BMF is a strong believer in the parity of esteem between academic education and vocational training - so today’s announcement of more investment in further education, with employers and local colleges at the fore-front of the Chancellor’s Skills Revolution, is very welcome.

“Apprenticeships are the established way into most crafts & trades we need now, and in future. But the Apprenticeship Levy is not working as it should and must be reformed to offer employers and learners a better experience. With numbers falling, significant sums of employer contributions remain unspent and are going straight to the Treasury. 

“To match the scale and extent of the net zero challenge, all available funds should be redirected to boost apprenticeships that equip workers with the necessary technical or occupational skills - and the interpersonal skills to reassure homeowners and explain the carbon choices they can make.”
 
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.

BMF drives net zero agenda at Parliamentary Reception

21 October 2021

The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary
Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacturers.


With the theme Building a Sustainable Britain, the reception showcased some of the latest products developed by BMF’s supplier members that will help create the low carbon homes the country needs if we are to achieve the government’s net zero aim by 2050.


The BMF event was held on the same day the government announced its Heat and Buildings Strategy which outlined plans to drive down the cost of clean energy, including £5,000 grants for those replacing gas boilers with heat pumps to help decarbonise their homes, as well as a range of other measures.
Speaking at the event, both Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, Secretary of State for Housing and Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets acknowledged the vital role the building materials industry will play in the development and delivery of heat pumps, insulation and other new technologies required to drive down carbon emissions, expressing the government’s commitment to supporting the building supply chain to build more skills and more homes.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb, said: “It is clear that we cannot achieve net zero without addressing the building environment, and our homes in particular. Our homes use 35% of all the energy in the UK and emit 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions. The vast majority are heated by gas, and many are not well insulated.  We welcome today’s announcement to support the start of the decarbonisation of our homes with a three-year grant programme to help homes suited to the technology to transition to heat pumps, but with 28 million existing homes to upgrade sustained longer-term support will be required.”


The BMF thanks UK Construction Week, headline sponsor for this Parliamentary Reception. The BMF also thanks those exhibiting at the event: Fernox, JCB, Marsh Industries, Midland Lead, Rockwool, Velux, Weinerberger, Baxi, Worcester Bosch, Grundfos Pumps, Knauf Insulation, Mannok, Polypipe Civils and PPG.

 
The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacture

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

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

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

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

BMF's Covid response wins multiple Awards 

 

14 October 2021

The BMF support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.  

The BMF’s entry covering “Getting Merchants Back to Business” won the overall Award for the Best Membership Support during Covid 19 (under 800 members) category. The merchant industry’s trade body also gained a bronze award for the Best Covid 19 Response (under 4000 members) category, where their entry focussed on the success of the industry’s PPE appeal in support of the NHS.

The Association Excellence Awards, which have been run annually since 2014, celebrate and encourage the vital work undertaken by associations, trade organisations, unions and professional organisations, for and on behalf of their members to ensure their voices are heard and their causes are championed. 

Awarding the BMF the prize for Best Membership Support during Covid 19, the judges highlighted the Federation’s structured and impactful approach, the level and range of support given to members during the pandemic including comprehensive Branch Operating Guidelines, as well as the appreciative feedback from members. 

The BMF’s success in the Association Excellence Awards, comes hot on the heels of its Highly Commended award for Member Support during Covid 19 at the Memcom Awards.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Our members are at the heart of everything we do so I am absolutely delighted that these awards are for our work on their behalf throughout the pandemic. We have some great people working for the BMF and I’m extremely proud to see the hard work and achievements of the whole team recognised in this way.”

The Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.

BMF Responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement

27 October 2021

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.


However, the BMF welcomed today’s announcement of more investment in further education, which will help promote a low-carbon skills revolution.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said:

“With the UNCOP26 Climate Conference less than a week away, we believe a National Retrofit Strategy is the best way to tackle an urgent national infrastructure priority - namely to improve the energy and thermal performance of homes - especially with rising gas prices adding to pressure on household bills.

“The BMF and others involved in property RMI put together the Construction Leadership Council’s 20-year fully-costed plan to improve existing homes; an investment of £5.3 billion over the next 4 years to tackle emissions.

“Today’s news means international visitors arriving in Glasgow will see a missed opportunity to decarbonise by doing something simple - upgrading homes properly”.

                                                                                                                             **********

Welcoming Government support for further education as part of a low-carbon skills revolution, John Newcomb also called for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, saying:

““The BMF is a strong believer in the parity of esteem between academic education and vocational training - so today’s announcement of more investment in further education, with employers and local colleges at the fore-front of the Chancellor’s Skills Revolution, is very welcome.

“Apprenticeships are the established way into most crafts & trades we need now, and in future. But the Apprenticeship Levy is not working as it should and must be reformed to offer employers and learners a better experience. With numbers falling, significant sums of employer contributions remain unspent and are going straight to the Treasury. 

“To match the scale and extent of the net zero challenge, all available funds should be redirected to boost apprenticeships that equip workers with the necessary technical or occupational skills - and the interpersonal skills to reassure homeowners and explain the carbon choices they can make.”
 
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.

BMF drives net zero agenda at Parliamentary Reception

21 October 2021

The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary
Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacturers.


With the theme Building a Sustainable Britain, the reception showcased some of the latest products developed by BMF’s supplier members that will help create the low carbon homes the country needs if we are to achieve the government’s net zero aim by 2050.


The BMF event was held on the same day the government announced its Heat and Buildings Strategy which outlined plans to drive down the cost of clean energy, including £5,000 grants for those replacing gas boilers with heat pumps to help decarbonise their homes, as well as a range of other measures.
Speaking at the event, both Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, Secretary of State for Housing and Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets acknowledged the vital role the building materials industry will play in the development and delivery of heat pumps, insulation and other new technologies required to drive down carbon emissions, expressing the government’s commitment to supporting the building supply chain to build more skills and more homes.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb, said: “It is clear that we cannot achieve net zero without addressing the building environment, and our homes in particular. Our homes use 35% of all the energy in the UK and emit 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions. The vast majority are heated by gas, and many are not well insulated.  We welcome today’s announcement to support the start of the decarbonisation of our homes with a three-year grant programme to help homes suited to the technology to transition to heat pumps, but with 28 million existing homes to upgrade sustained longer-term support will be required.”


The BMF thanks UK Construction Week, headline sponsor for this Parliamentary Reception. The BMF also thanks those exhibiting at the event: Fernox, JCB, Marsh Industries, Midland Lead, Rockwool, Velux, Weinerberger, Baxi, Worcester Bosch, Grundfos Pumps, Knauf Insulation, Mannok, Polypipe Civils and PPG.

 
The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacture

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

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

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

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

BMF's Covid response wins multiple Awards 

 

14 October 2021

The BMF support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.  

The BMF’s entry covering “Getting Merchants Back to Business” won the overall Award for the Best Membership Support during Covid 19 (under 800 members) category. The merchant industry’s trade body also gained a bronze award for the Best Covid 19 Response (under 4000 members) category, where their entry focussed on the success of the industry’s PPE appeal in support of the NHS.

The Association Excellence Awards, which have been run annually since 2014, celebrate and encourage the vital work undertaken by associations, trade organisations, unions and professional organisations, for and on behalf of their members to ensure their voices are heard and their causes are championed. 

Awarding the BMF the prize for Best Membership Support during Covid 19, the judges highlighted the Federation’s structured and impactful approach, the level and range of support given to members during the pandemic including comprehensive Branch Operating Guidelines, as well as the appreciative feedback from members. 

The BMF’s success in the Association Excellence Awards, comes hot on the heels of its Highly Commended award for Member Support during Covid 19 at the Memcom Awards.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Our members are at the heart of everything we do so I am absolutely delighted that these awards are for our work on their behalf throughout the pandemic. We have some great people working for the BMF and I’m extremely proud to see the hard work and achievements of the whole team recognised in this way.”

The Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.
IDPrimary RankRole Title
There are no records.
Non Member Company