BMF News

Six BMF members achieve CLC net zero carbon Business Champion status


28 July 2021 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 app impacts on building materials' supply chain

23 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Labour and product shortages putting pressure on the construction industry

21 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concerns over HGV driver shortages raised by construction trade body

14 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Six Blaze a trail with IoBM


8 July 2021

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

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

John Newcomb BMF Chief Executive said: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBI Economist confirmed for BMF Members Day Conference


6 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

BMF and BMN launch search for top 100 merchant influencers


1 July 2021

BMF and BMN launch search for top 100 merchant influencersAn influencer is someone who has the power to affect the decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.

The Builders Merchants Federation and Builders’ Merchants News have partnered to bring the merchant industry together to recognise the top 100 most influential people across the UK builders’ merchants sector.

BMF Regional Managers will draw up a list of the most influential merchants within their areas to be considered. They do not have to be BMF members, or directors, or managers; the key ingredient is to be ‘influential’.

To make the Top 100 Merchant Influencer list, merchants must reach key criteria in specific categories:
Involvement
Presence
Charity & community work 
Commitment to the industry as a whole.

An individual who works for a builders’ merchant and is involved with buying groups and trade associations, who attend events and focus on great customer interaction will be considered. Someone who is active on social media, or has a presence within their community through fundraising, performing charitable work could also make the Top 100. If they are also committed to training and promoting the next generation of apprentices via the apprenticeship scheme, and they themselves are actively continuing to learn then they too could be in the running. 

John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF, said: “The merchant community is blessed with people whose activities and commitment make a positive difference to others. They may promote initiatives within their own business. They could support individuals or organisations within their local area or even nationally. Or they may work unselfishly for the benefit of the wider building materials industry. What they have in common is the affirmative influence they have on those around them. Some will be widely known, others may fly under the radar. We aim to shine a spotlight on the work all are doing to celebrate and salute their achievements.”

BMN’s Associate Publisher, Lucyanne Matthews, added: “The BMN team is proud to partner and launch this new event with the BMF. We always feel that the greatest rewards come when we work together collaboratively to recognise the talent and passion that so many merchants have for the sector they are part of. From the energy and enthusiasm they throw at their local and national charitable work, to the evidence that we are seeing with the new Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, merchants are an influential part of their communities.” 
If you think that this could be you, or someone you work with, then please get in touch with your local BMF Regional Manager, or contact a member of the BMN team. 

The Top 100 Merchant Influencers will be featured in a special commemorative brochure and will be invited to an exclusive Gala Dinner on 19 May 2022 at the Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, for an evening of celebration and networking. 

Siniat, part of Etex Building Performance Group, is the headline sponsor for this unique event.

If you are a Supplier and would like to be involved please contact Lucyanne Matthews at  l.matthews@hgluk.com or by calling 07917 463383, or BMF Events Manager, June Upton, at june.upton@bmf.org.uk or on 02476 854980 for further details.
 
BMF and BMN launch search for top 100 merchant influencers
The Builders Merchants Federation and Builders’ Merchants News have partnered to bring the merchant industry together to recognise the top 100 most influential people across the UK builders’ merchants sector.

Three more BMF net zero carbon Business Champions announced


28 June 2021

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

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

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

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

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

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation said:

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

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

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

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

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

The search is on for BMF Young Achievers 2021


23 June 2021

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

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

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

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF said: 

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

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

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

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

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

BMF reveals speakers for Young Merchants Conference Industry Forum


14 June 2021

BMF reveals speakers for Young Merchants Conference Industry ForumThree leading figures from different parts of the building materials industry will come together in an Industry Forum at the BMF Young Merchant Conference at the NEC, Birmingham on 6 October.  

Krystal Williams of Pavestone, Shanker Patel of the Lords Group of Companies and Edwin de Silva of Travis Perkins plc will lead the debate on current issues affecting the industry and answer questions from the audience 

As Managing Director of Pavestone’s landscaping division, Krystal Williams will provide the suppliers’ view. Krystal has worked with leading brands of aggregates, stone and concrete paving since 2003.  She joined Pavestone in 2017 and was promoted to her current position in 2019, since when her commercial acumen, vision of the future and strategic thinking has helped drive Pavestone’s growth and market leading position in a fast-paced sector. 

Shanker Patel joined his family-owned retail business in the 1990s after initially training as a lawyer. Appointed as Managing Director in 1999 and as Chief Executive in 2009, Shanker has been instrumental in transforming the business and growing turnover to over £300m.  Today the Lords Group is a highly diversified business involved in the retail, distribution and manufacturing of construction materials and employing over 650 people. Its principal UK trading arms are Lords Business Merchants, Hevey Building Supplies Limited and APP Wholesale Limited.

Edwin de Silva has been involved in the building industry in some shape or form for over 40 years since starting an apprenticeship with British Gas, where he worked across most functions, but notably sales and marketing. He subsequently honed his skills with a world-leading building materials manufacturer and a major housebuilder before being recruited by Travis Perkins plc into a newly created Business Development Director role to grow their market share with regional and bespoke builders, where he has been developing their understanding while supporting their strategic plans for the past 7 years.  

With the theme, “Building the Next Generation”, the BMF Young Merchant Conference is designed to encourage, inspire and enthuse. Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on 6 October 2021, the event is being held in connection with UK Construction week and will include a visit to the Build Show on site. In addition to a full day’s business programme the BMF Young Merchants Conference features an evening social event at the Sky Loft within the Park Regis Hotel, and enjoy unparalleled views over the City of Birmingham.

Registration of the BMF Young Merchant Conference is now open at www.bmf.org.uk/events

The headline sponsor for the BMF Young Merchant Conference is Knauf Insulation. Other key sponsors include: Mannok, Marshalls, Pavestone and Saint-Gobain Insulation UK.
 
BMF reveals speakers for Young Merchants Conference Industry Forum
Three leading figures from different parts of the building materials industry will come together in an Industry Forum at the BMF Young Merchant Conference at the NEC, Birmingham on 6 October.

CLC launches Construct Zero website at BMF Sustainability Forum


09 June 2021

CLC launches Construct Zero website at BMF Sustainability ForumThe Construction Leadership Council used the inaugural BMF Sustainability Forum to launch its new Construct Zero website, which will provide a single hub for all information relating to the construction industry’s change programme in the Race to net Zero.

Hannah Vickers, CEO of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) and the CLC’s Construct Zero lead, announced the website to delegates from the building materials supply chain attending the virtual meeting.
 
Hannah Vickers said: “I’m delighted today to announce the launch of the new Construct Zero website, within the existing Construction Leadership Council website. Since its launch in March 2021, Construct Zero, as an industry-change programme, continues to go from strength to strength, gathering considerable engagement and support from Government, and across the breadth of the sector and beyond, for which we are very grateful.
 
“The website provides key details on Construct Zero including governance, consultation, events programme, a package of supporting resources for industry together with information on how companies can get involved with the programme as a Business Champion or Business Partner or both. The CLC looks forward to hearing from and working with you on this exciting industry change programme.”

Four BMF members were amongst the first 14 Business Champions announced by the CLC last month.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “The CLC programme will stimulate collaborative behaviours across the supply chain and builders merchants and building materials manufacturers have a vital role to play in championing and delivering the changes necessary for success.  BMF Business Champions are committed both to reducing the environmental impact of their operations and supporting others with their low carbon plans.”
 
CLC launches Construct Zero website at BMF Sustainability Forum
The Construction Leadership Council used the inaugural BMF Sustainability Forum to launch its new Construct Zero website, which will provide a single hub for all information relating to the construction industry’s change programme in the Race to net

Shortlists for BMF Supplier and Service Awards announced


3 June 2021

Shortlists for BMF Supplier and Service Awards announcedThe BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2021 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2021.

The finalists, who have been shortlisted from over 300 BMF Supplier and Service members, are:

BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award
ACO
Crystal
JCB
Marshalls
Knauf Insulation
Xtratherm

BMF Service Member Award
eCommonSense
Kerridge
RDS
Intact
Peak

Despite the disruption of Covid-19 pandemic, the shortlisted companies continued to maximise the value of their membership through their active support of meetings and events that, for much of the year, were held in a new virtual environment.  

BMF Chief Executive, John Newcomb said: “The BMF has long represented the entire building materials supply chain and the past year has highlighted the importance of each and every link in that chain in the timely delivery of the materials that our colleagues in the building trades depend upon.  

“Within our own community, these Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the vital role suppliers and service members play within the Federation.  Every member on these shortlists has made an outstanding contribution through their participation in training, forums and events or sponsorship in one of the most challenging years we have ever experienced.  I would like to thank them all and wish them the very best in this year’s Awards.”

The winners will be announced at the BMF Members’ Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Annual Conference on 23 September at the De Vere Beaumont Estate, Windsor.

Many thanks to our sponsors, Peak (Supplier Member Engagement Award), Merlin Software (Service Member Engagement Award) and Marshalls/Stonemarket (headline sponsor of the BMF Members Annual Conference and Awards).  
 
Shortlists for BMF Supplier and Service Awards announced
The BMF has announced separate shortlists for two Awards that will be presented at its Annual Members Day Conference and Awards in September - the BMF Supplier Member Engagement Award 2021 and the BMF Service Member Engagement Award 2021.

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.

PageGroup CEO returns to BMF All Industry Conference


25 May 2021

PageGroup CEO returns to BMF All Industry ConferenceSteve Ingham, CEO of PageGroup, the worldwide leader in specialist recruitment is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in November. 

Steve’s presentation will focus on creating opportunity.  As the head of a company with a market capitalisation of almost £2 billion, he understands what it is to create opportunity for people, regardless of location or background.

PageGroup’s people first culture has been strengthened by successfully adapting to volatile market and cultural changes, delivering a threefold increase in turnover and profits.

Steve also spoke at the BMF All Industry Conference in 2017. Since becoming a wheelchair user after a near fatal skiing accident in March 2019, his perspective on how he can unlock hidden talent, enabling employers to nurture diverse organisations built on an inclusive, winning mindset, has changed. His focus is putting PageGroup’s unique expertise to work, harder than ever, for more people.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “There are so many opportunities in the building materials industry, but perception barriers can be a limiting factor in attracting new talent. I’m looking forward to hearing Steve’s thoughts on overcoming these barriers and building diversity within our industry.”

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.
 
PageGroup CEO returns to BMF All Industry Conference
Steve Ingham, CEO of PageGroup, the worldwide leader in specialist recruitment is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in November.

Young Merchants to gain Adventurer’s perspective at BMF’s YM Conference


18 May 2021

Young Merchants to gain Adventurer’s perspective at BMF’s YM ConferenceOli France, an adventurer and professional expedition leader who has spent the last decade embarking on intrepid adventures across the world, is set to share his extraordinary experiences at the BMF Young Merchant Conference in October.

Oli has travelled alone and led teams through some of the world’s most dangerous and least visited countries on adventures that have taken him through deserts, jungles, mountains, and war-torn regions. He has faced spies, interrogators, minefields and arrest, along with avalanches, earthquakes, killer snakes and severe dehydration, all while attempting to complete challenging journeys in remote corners of the world.
John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Oli has chosen a completely different path to his dad, Tony France, a BMF Board Advisor for many years, who recently retired as Sales Director at Ibstock.  But Oli’s incredible experiences clearly demonstrate that he knows what it takes to succeed, and I’m sure he will inspire everyone at our flagship event for Young Merchants.” 

With the theme, “Building the Next Generation”, the BMF Young Merchant Conference is designed to encourage, inspire and enthuse.  Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on 6 October 2021, the event is being held in connection with UK Construction week and will include a visit to the Build Show on site.  In addition to a full day’s business programme the BMF Young Merchants Conference features an evening social event at the Sky Loft within the Park Regis Hotel, and enjoy unparalleled views over the City of Birmingham.

Registration of the BMF Young Merchant Conference is now open at www.bmf.org.uk/events  

The headline sponsor for the BMF Young Merchant Conference is Knauf Insulation. Other key sponsors include: Mannock, Marshalls, Pavestone and Saint-Gobain Insulation UK.
 
Young Merchants to gain Adventurer’s perspective at BMF’s YM Conference
Oli France, an adventurer and professional expedition leader who has spent the last decade embarking on intrepid adventures across the world, is set to share his extraordinary experiences at the BMF Young Merchant Conference in October.

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Press enquires for the builders merchants and building materials industry;

The Builders Merchants Federation is the only trade association that represents and protects the interests of builders’ merchants and suppliers to the building materials industry in the UK and Ireland.

Total membership at 1 July 2021 stands at 760 merchant, supplier and service companies who together have combined sales of £39bn and employ around 207,000 people in the building materials industry. BMF’s 393 merchant members operate from over 5,900 branches across the UK and Ireland.

From the saw-mill, quarry and out to the shop floor, the BMF has a unique perspective, which is of value to the media.

For press enquiries regarding the building materials sector/merchants sector, please contact;

Jane Shepherd
jane@shepherd-pr.com
07985 129315
01538 308685