Benefits of BMF membership

The BMF is the authoritative voice of the industry representing merchants and suppliers within the industry with one collective voice.  

There are 5 good reasons to join the BMF as a Member:   

1. Training and development
2. Business support
3. Access to market data
4. Networking opportunities
5. Political representation

1. Training and development

The BMF runs a comprehensive range of industry specific and specialist training courses that can be run regionally or “in-company” and are accredited as appropriate to national standards for employees of merchants and suppliers, from yard staff to company directors. Training ranges from on-line product knowledge to specialist skills training. The BMF also offers formal qualifications including government subsidised NVQ Level 2 and 3 Apprenticeships, the BMF Diploma in Merchanting for trainee managers and a Foundation Degree in Merchanting awarded by the University of the West of England. Courses include:

• Apprenticeships and NVQ’s
• BMF Diploma and Foundation Degree in Merchanting
• Post Graduate Diploma leading to Master’s Degree
• Distance Learning in Customer Care and Health and Safety (IOSH Certified)
• Transport training from CPC driver training to Fleet Manager refresher
• One to four-day course in general management, staff development, operations, sales and management
• MOL product modules and BMF Campus on-line product training

The BMF has now introduced a Postgraduate Diploma in Merchant Leadership & Strategy for experienced managers that will be awarded by Birmingham City University and which can lead directly on to a Masters Degree.

The BMF are striving to recruit new talented young people into the building materials supply sector in all areas ranging from yard work to sales and from manufacturing to marketing. The BMF has launched a dedicated website to promote careers and jobs in merchanting and list job vacancies with BMF members. The website is also supported by promotion on social media and the BMF working in partnership with Jobcentre Plus.  

2. Business support

The BMF is a ‘one’ stop shop with relevant and expert information, advice and support on helping run your business more efficiently and profitably. Member services include:

• BMF Model Trade Conditions of Sale & Purchase
• Legal Helpline
• Business Guides
• Staff Awareness Guides

The BMF works with insurance brokers and solicitors who have particular expertise in the merchanting sector and we also offer support services on Health & Safety, Transport, Credit Insurance and Employment. You will receive regular communications from us in the form of:

• Monthly BMF Business e-news
One Voice magazine
• Regular email updates on Forums, meetings, training courses, etc.
• A visit at least once a year from your BMF Regional Manager

3. Access to market data

The BMF provides a wide range of statistical business reports including: • Builders Merchants Building Index including Monthly Sales Indicators • Remuneration Survey • KPI report • Quarterly industry specific product category data based on merchants own sales out data, provided by industry experts GFK

4. Networking opportunities

A whole range of networking opportunities and events are available throughout the year for you to become involved in, share your views with fellow merchants as well as suppliers, feed your ideas back to us at the BMF, and raise issues of concern to you. These include:
• Regional meetings, which include merchants and suppliers
• Specialist functionally specific Forums for Branch Managers, Health and Safety Executives, Security, HR, Finance and Marketing Directors and Managers
• Sector specific Forums for Plumbing and Heating and Timber
• Annual BMF Members’ Day and Awards Dinner
• Bi annual All-Industry Overseas Conference

5. Political Representation

The BMF provides an authoritative, co-ordinated and collective voice for the builders’ merchant trade. We provide the collective perspective because we advance, defend or support the interests of our members and we fight to ensure merchants’ way of working is recognised and protected. We arrange visits from local MPs and local Government officials to merchant members’ premises. The BMF offers reputable, balanced and convincing input to inform strategy, policy and funding options for Government and regulatory bodies and to protect our members’ interests against unwelcome or unworkable regulations. 

The BMF collaborates with a number of major industry partners such as the CBI, CPA and the FMB to further the interests of the building material industry. We explore common aims, forge alliances and conduct joint assignments to channel members’ interests with other trade associations, professional societies and environmental or consumer groups.