Meet the BMF trainers

25 February 2020

BMF trainingOne of the reasons that BMF training is so highly rated by the industry is the nature of the trainers that create and deliver its programmes.  We decided to find out what makes them tick, and why they love working with builders merchants. 

Jason Routley, in common with a number of BMF trainers, is equally at home delivering bespoke programmes or leading one of the many courses listed in the BMF Training Prospectus, be they leadership or management skills, sales techniques or customer service. He is particularly engaged with training in our sector because he has spent time on both sides of the trade counter himself.

Says Jason: “I often mention to delegates that training and developing staff across the builders merchants sector is a bit like ‘playing at home’, and that’s one of the main reasons I enjoy it so much.  I spent many years working in the merchant sector, starting out in the yard, then the trade counter, moving on to telephone sales, a sales representative role and then into branch management before taking a different turn. I fulfilled a long-standing desire to work for myself by setting up a busy building business which I managed for nine years before moving into training and development.

“The benefit of working on both sides of the trade counter has helped me no end when designing and delivering training and provides invaluable credibility in the training room.  Many delegates comment on how it was good to have a trainer that understands their job role and the challenges they face in the real world. I’m grateful that my previous experiences allow me to make a positive difference to the people I meet now as a trainer.”

John Allison is another trainer with an in-depth knowledge of the construction industry.  Earlier in his career he had responsibility for managing distribution branches and has used these skills and the knowledge gained over his career to become a highly effective CIPD qualified leadership and development professional. 

Says John: “Understanding the market and challenges contractor customers face makes me appreciate the difficult job builders’ merchants do to provide a high level of customer service.  This coupled with many years managing branches and sales teams provides a wealth of practical experience to draw on when training customer-facing staff. The purchase experience provided by builders’ merchants is what differentiates them and ensures their customers keep coming back. I particularly enjoy helping them to equip their staff to provide the levels of service required to keep the ahead of the competition.”

Richard Green, who specialises in management training is the mainstay of the BMF Diploma in Management.  He has worked with a great variety of industries and sectors but is particularly drawn to those working in the merchant industry.

Says Richard: “I find that in the merchant industry above all others there is a huge potential in so many staff to become managers of the highest quality.  Whether graduates or those who left school with few qualifications, I have been delighted to have worked with so many who have gone on to excel in and to enjoy their management role.

“I like to think that I have helped them develop into that role by emphasising that managers must manage for today (not an imagined time when ‘things were better’ or how we would like them to be), a modern management approach that especially recognises the importance of intelligent reasoning and joined-up thinking.  This approach has led to powerful training sessions where delegates have challenged their understanding of ‘management’ and learned to develop an all-round confident, thoughtful and self-aware management style.”


BMF training ranges from formal Apprenticeships and sector-specific Diplomas and a Foundation Degree in Merchant Management, to on-line product knowledge and other specialist skills training. To find out more about any aspect of BMF training, please contact paige.godsell@bmf.org.uk or phone 02476 854980.

This article first appeared in the February 2020 edition of Professional Builders Merchant (PBM)