Building a better future for our members

by John Newcomb, BMF CEO
23 October 2018

John NewcombAt its annual Members’ Day Conference the BMF unveiled a bold new strategy for the next three years, designed to help members to build excellence within every aspect of their business.  

The strategy was finalised following extensive research with members to find out what matters most to them right now. The result will see the BMF extend its widely-respected training and business services to help the Federation’s diverse membership gain, and retain, business advantage at a time when the challenges facing our industry have never been greater.  

The BMF will also increase its focus on political campaigning, the third key area of support identified by the research and will concentrate its resources on the issues given the highest priority.  

While this is the start of a new era for the BMF, we are not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We are building on what has proved successful in the past to deliver tailored business services, together with training, development and apprenticeships. Importantly each element can be drawn together to create a personalised package of value added services to meet individual members’ needs more effectively and help every business type within the building supply industry to move forward with confidence.  

This is evolution rather than revolution, but our new strategyencompasses our bold vision of the future. Our mission for the next three years is to help members to excel at providing materials and services, for building a better future. This is encapsulated in our new strapline, “Building Excellence”. 

In recent years, under our previous strapline of “One Industry, One Voice”, we have helped to unify the building materials supply chain. With 655 merchants and suppliers now in membership, representing an 80% share of the sector, we have become the network, or glue, that sticks a disparate group of national and independent merchants together.  Now it is time to move forward together, with the BMF as the backbone of the industry, promoting the sector’s vital contribution to UK economic growth and leading all members towards a larger share of the future.  

We will support merchants and supplier members, building their skills, their voice, their business and their prosperity, helping them to build excellence into every aspect of their business. At the same time, our closer relationship with the IOBM means they will complement our work as a trade body by helping our members’ employees to build sustainable careers within the building materials supply chain.  

At the heart of our programme are three core political issues prioritised by our members:

Employment opportunities – we will work to attract new talent to the industry, with a refreshed website, nationwide exhibition programme to reach potential apprentices, and industry ambassadors to spread the message in schools and colleges. 

Post Brexit Trading issues
– we will use our influence with government to ensure business is not disrupted by customs duty/dockside delays, changes to VAT practice or other procedures that hamper timber and other imports. 

Housing demand and supply – we will campaign to simplify and speed up the planning process, to enable our members’ customers to build the homes that the country needs.  

We are not only ambitious for our members. By 2020, our aim is to be regarded as the leading trade association in the building materials industry for merchants and suppliers, representing 90% of the merchant sector, with 800 merchants and suppliers in membership. We also aim to be recognised as the most professional trade organisation in the UK. By constantly building excellence into everything that we do, we can all achieve our goals.  

Find out how the BMF can work with you to build a better future click here.

This article appeared in the October 2018 edition of Builders Merchants News (BMN)