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Issue: April 2012

News • Business • Products • Training • Publications • Diary



This month sees the introduction of the new reduced subscription rates for 2012/2013. Some merchant members will have received their invoices showing significant reductions on last year’s rates. Reducing subscriptions is one of the major parts of the new BMF strategy and it is hoped this will encourage more merchants to join the BMF. We are pleased to say that at the time of writing this report application forms are being completed by a number of merchants returning to membership. This is very encouraging and it is hoped it will continue. Increased membership will allow us to look and see whether a further reduction will be possible for 2013/2014. This can only be good news for merchants. Meanwhile, the headquarters in Soho Square, London, have now been sold and a no-cost oneyear lease agreed with the new owners giving us time to complete our move to the Midlands. The search continues for new suitable premises and we have enlisted the help of agents to help in our search. It’s important that we choose the right premises, in the right place, with the right road and travel networks. The second round of interviews has now been completed and it is hoped to make an announcement shortly on the long awaited news of our new MD. The BMF team is concentrating on ensuring its ‘business as usual’ whilst the changes take place and minimising any disruption to members. We will be attending the NMBS show in Telford next month where we look forward to talking to as many of our members as possible. Contact chairman Terry Parker if you wish to discuss any of the changes at

Latest BMF Training Courses – Licence protection for transport managers – Sales training for sales representatives – Kitchen Design Course BMF Retail Terms & Conditions literature BMF window logo sticker

2012 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY June 21-24 Conference, Hotel Don Carlos, Marbella

July 11-12 Unimer Day, Newport 13-15 BMF MasterMerchant Competition

September 13

BMF Yorkshire Region Meeting, Venue tbc 20 BMF Scottish Region Meeting, Venue tbc 25-26 Timber Expo, Coventry

October 8 9

BMF Members’ Day Dinner BMF Members’ Day, Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel, Meriden

IT’S A FOND FAREWELL With the impending move to the Midlands sadly it means we will be losing a number of loyal, long serving members of the BMF team. This month we say goodbye to Leigh Folan, Bhavesh Patel and Carole Green, who are the first to leave. Between them they have over 37 years experience working for the BMF.


Carole, BMF Product Manager (pictured), has been with the BMF for 22 years. For a number of years Carole was secretary to the BMF Commodity Committees and during the later years she has been at the forefront of many battles in England, Scotland and Wales, with government departments, industry committees and trade bodies ensuring that the merchant’s point of view is always heard. She has been responsible for organising meetings, conferences, and events for six BMF regions, and coordinating the production and writing of the library of BMF Product Selling Guides.

Further details of industry events are available on our website on the events page at

Leigh and Bhavesh have both worked in our accounts department for the last 15 years and been responsible for the smooth running of all our accounting systems as well as ensuring excellent credit control. Our finance operations are being outsourced under the new organisation. We wish Carole, Leigh and Bhavesh every good luck for the future. Our thanks and appreciation for all their hard work over the years goes without saying.

May 9-10 Greenbuild, Manchester Central 16-17 NMBS Exhibition, Telford

Important Diary Date y ’ Da inner ers mb ’ Day Day e D rs FM BM embe bers’ el – M – Mem t c Hot 8 O 9 Oct den r A of est For eriden ott i M r r Ma






BMF First services can help you to ensure that you are operating efficiently and legally in these four vitally important aspects of your business.



Ever changing employment law and regulations means you must ensure statutory procedures are in place to protect you and the employee.

Companies must ensure that they have the best health and safety practice in place to ensure that the company is operating safely and legally.



Ensuring your security measure whether personnel, systems, premises, theft or fraud is paramount to your business

Transport is one of the biggest cost centres to a business and vehicles must operate efficiently and drivers be aware of their responsibilities.

All of the services come with standard benefits •

Minimum of two visits per annum to each company outler

Unlimited telephone hotline

Detailed assessment on first visit identifying action to be taken across the sites

Training needs identified

Training courses available at discounted rates

Hands on help to implement findings

Progress monitored through the year

* Extra benefits are available depending on the individual service

TAYLOR MADE SUPPORT FOR YOUR BUSY BUSINESS Do you need help with your Employment, Health & Safety, Security or Transport issues? Don’t wait until a trading standards or health and safety inspector visit you let us help you now to make sure you and your employees are operating within the law. Contact John Stephenson on 01522 750977 for more information or email


Activity Report Feb/Mar 2012

COUNTDOWN TO THE LONDON OLYMPICS Whichever way you turn, whatever your read or watch on television. Whether you are looking forward to them or not, the Olympics are coming. And merchant and suppliers must make sure they are ready for the impact they are going to have on your businesses. The Olympics take place between 27 July-12 August and the Paralympics use the same venues between 29 August-9 September. Starting in May, the Olympic Flame will go round Britain in the Torch Relay lasting 70 days. Major events will be held from at various venues as far afield as Hampdon Park down to Weymouth and Portland which will be used for training venues as well so the disruption will not just be affecting London. And this is all on top of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations starting in April, the Notting Hill Carnival and other London events, as well as big screen viewings all across the country and other local events. All of this will have an impact on BMF members businesses and distribution schedules over many weeks. The BMF has been advised that counter-terrorism concerns mean the Metropolitan Police will impose very strict security measures. Drivers are advised to carry basic documents if stopped. At the very least, this means some sort of photo ID - preferably a photocard driving licence - and delivery or consignment notes on your company’s letter-headed stationery. The BMF message to members is to talk to your customers and plan and prepare properly, - and consider factors such as: • less drop-offs than usual on delivery routes, journeys taking longer and drivers’ hours • fulfilling orders from different branches to avoid the hassle of using or crossing main routes • talking to suppliers and customers about stockpiling, reducing the size, number and frequency of deliveries, and arranging to receive or make deliveries at different times (especially at night). It’s also important to consider the impact on staffing and ensure employees know what is expected of them. For instance how will staff get to and from work? Will some want time off to watch? Should you consider changing employees’ normal hours of work? A whole range of information is available from:

February 2012 3

Conduct visit of Mid-Norfolk Conservative MP to Ridgeons in Attleborough


Visit to Unimer


BMF Board meeting


Meeting at Building Centre


Member visits


Talks with the BMF’s public relations and marketing agencies


Meeting of energy suppliers & other businesses likely to become


Plasterboard Sustainability Partnership meeting contribution to Annual Report


Meeting with Waste & Resources Action Plan to discuss new Water Using Products Group


Meeting with DECC and others on Green Deal technical & legal matters.


Meeting with NMBS

Green Deal Providers

March 2012 6

Meeting of British Energy Efficiency Forum hosted by DECC


Meeting of energy suppliers & other businesses likely to become Green Deal Providers


BMF Suppliers/Merchants’ Liaison meeting, speakers from FTA and CPA


Meeting with DECC and others on Green Deal timeline towards October start


Meeting at British Retail Consortium on physical security and Olympics disruption


Meeting of energy suppliers & other businesses likely to become Green Deal Providers


Attended CPA Trade Federation Council


Meeting with estate agents re property search


Attend ECOBUILD trade show and meet BMF members exhibiting


Meeting with Didac re apprentice training


Meeting with DECC minister Greg Barker MP and others on CERT & CESP schemes


Attend All-Party Parliamentary Group on Construction’s post-Budget meeting


Met Police briefing on preventing counterfeit currency & credit card fraud

on Olympics and CE Marking But most of all enjoy it! The Olympics are going to be one of the most spectacular events our country has seen. In these tough economic times we all need something to cheer us all up and bring us together. The Olympics might just do it!

IDENTIFY WITH THE BMF BMF Consumer Conditions of Sale If you sell to the consumer you need separate terms and conditions from your trade ones. Make sure you do not get caught out. The BMF Terms will help you. A copy is enclosed for information.

BMF logo window stickers Show your customers that you support and are a member of your industry trade association. Display the BMF window sticker in your showroom or yard. A copy is enclosed.

850kg minimum weight bulk bag Show that you adhere to the BMF brokered industry standard for selling the correct weight of aggregates. PDFs and electronic formats are available from our website. Contact


MASTERMERCHANT 2012 Could you be our next MasterMerchant Champions for 2012?

Two new training courses are being held next month aimed at helping members increase their sales staff’s expertise and to ensure company drivers are fully trained in licence protection. 4-day sales representatives course – 15-18 May Aimed at external sales executives, reps, newly appointed reps, and staff with remote face to face contact with buyers, this course will not only be looking at how you can enhance the expertise of sales reps but also provide new concepts and techniques to ensure your sales staff have successful sales pitches leading to increased sales. 1-day licence protection for transport managers – 23 May Ensuring drivers are aware of all the implications of driving regulations and the law is paramount to a business. This course will give a clear overview of all the requirements surrounding transport, give an awareness of operators licence and tachographs, the requirements of drivers, and the law surrounding business transportation. It is also an excellent refresher course for traffic office staff and transport managers covering legislation on operator’s licence and EU drivers’ hours. Full details of both these courses and a booking form are enclosed with this issue of Link. Contact if you wish to discuss the course in more detail or any of your training needs or tel him on 01522 750977.

PRICE HELD UNTIL 2013 FOR BMF CAMPUS The special price of £295 for BMF Campus is being held for a further 12 months until March 2013. This compares strongly to £595 for non members. This exceptional offer is only available to BMF members and gives access to over 100+ product modules for as many of your staff as you wish. Some 30 new courses have recently been added • Over 712 learners are already using BMF Campus

The search is on for the BMF MasterMerchant Champions 2012! The combination of indoor and outdoor activities can include anything from abseiling, canoeing, rock climbing, leading your team blindfolded through a forest, map reading to solving logistical problems. MasterMerchant has something for everyone. You need courage, determination, and team spirit. It’s competitive but it’s also fun too. MasterMerchant improves communication and performance skills, helps build a strong sense of teamwork, and helps build trust between team members. Teams come back inspired, motivated and ready to put their new found strengths to the test in the workplace. Held over the weekend of Friday 13 Sunday 15 July in the Lake District the competition is open to men and women of all levels in teams of four. The cost is just £220 + VAT per person for the whole weekend. Last year’s champions MKM Building Supplies are ready to take on the challenge to retain the cup again this year. Can you beat them? Take on the challenge – enter your team now! Contact for further details.


• Some 1,608 courses have been allocated • 743 courses have been completed

Welcome to:

BMF Campus enables companies to ‘pick and mix’ modules to personalise courses to individuals. The modules can be done at the learners own pace, anywhere, any place, at any time.

Service Member : Prompt Training Ltd The Old Sawmill, Ripley Road, Ambergate, Derbyshire, DE56 2EP. T: 01773 850428 W:

A large number of members are already benefiting from the training. Take a look at a typical product module and at an illustrative list of the modules available by clicking You can sign up directly from the Campus website and then register your employees and the courses they wish to take. Alternatively we can set it all up for you. To get started, contact BMF Training on 020 7534 7423 or email

Prompt Training specialise in Operator Licence Management, Training, Compliance and Tachograph Analysis, helping to protect companies against action affecting your operator’s licences or professional driving qualifications.

Builders Merchants Federation Limited 15 Soho Square, London W1D 3HL Tel: 020 7439 1753 | Fax: 020 7734 2766 Email: | Registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 No 31516R

BMF Training Order Form 1 Day Licence Protection Course I wish to book ........ place(s) on the 1 day Licence Protection course to be held on 23 May 2012 at John A Stephens, Castle Meadow Road, Nottingham, NG2 1AG at a cost of ÂŁ225.00 per person +VAT

Or Please contact me to arrange for my company a personalised 1 day Licence Protection course at ÂŁ850.00 per day + expenses + VAT Contact Details Name ___________________________________________________________________ Company ___________________________________________________________________ Job Title ___________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Email ___________________________________________________________________ Phone ___________________________________________________________________

Please return this form to Sean Kelly by fax on 0207 734 2766, or email


Issue: April 2012

BMF FOUR DAY SALES REPRESENTATIVES COURSE 15 May – 18 May at Hanson Redbank, Swadlincote, Derbyshire This in depth sales course has proved to be extremely popular. It is designed to enhance the expertise of existing sales representatives and will also give a comprehensive training for new sales representatives. The programme provides new concepts and techniques to make the most of sales visits. It explores the requirements needed to ensure successful sales pitches and shows how to engage customers in your product lines and services. Who will benefit? External Sales Executives, Representatives, Newly Appointed Representatives, and Staff with remote face-to-face contact with buyers. Key results • Understanding of ‘Marketing Concepts’ • Ability to qualify the sale • Maximising the bottom line • Finding and retaining customers • Pre-planning techniques to improve performance • Effective territory management Content • The market concept • Economics of a sales force • Time management • Attributes of the professional sales person • Role of the outside representative • Sourcing customers • Market research • Pre-sales preparation • Getting appointments • The sales interview • Using sales aids • Dealing with difficult situations • The need for selling and maximising profits The course will take place over 4 days from 15 May– 18 May at Hanson Redbank, Atherstone Road, Measham, SWADLINCOTE, Derbyshire, DE12 7EL. The cost of the course is £880 per person + VAT. To book place(s) please complete the attached booking form. You can either email it to or you can fax it to 0207 734 2766


Issue: April 2012

Kitchen Design with Sales & Customer Care Bathroom Design with Sales & Customer Care Due to amazing demand we are again offering these two courses which cover respectively the basic principles of kitchen and of bathroom design. The next two day Kitchen Design Course will be held on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 June at 15 Soho Square, London, W1. The next one day Bathroom Design course will be held on Friday 8 June again at 15 Soho Square, London, W1. Please note these dates have been changed from those previously notified. The success to planning any kitchen or bathroom depends on how well you understand and adhere to the design process-which is all about knowing how to take a good brief from your customer. Vitally important is the correct and accurate way of carrying out a survey, keeping up with current compliance and how that impacts on your plan. This is the area where profit is often lost, if the plan does not work and the units do not fit then the cost of putting it right leads eats away into the profit of the project. Learning to prepare plans that the client/customer and the installer fully understand, and can work to, results in a successful installation. Presenting the design/plan in a confident and professional manner will almost certainly secure the order and put you one step ahead if the competition. Course Content The principles of design: 1. The brief: Learn to prepare brief 2. The survey: Learn to prepare an accurate survey 3. The plan: Learn to prepare working plans 4. The presentation: Learn to create compelling presentations 5. The sale: Sell the sizzle not the Sausage What you will be learning: • Make yourself aware of current and new building regulations • Application of the key elements and principles of design • The power of lighting • The power of colour • The use of planning guidelines in individual stations • Design date including inclusive design • How lifestyle changes influence design decisions • Styles and periods • Unique architectural challenges • Learn how to prepare professional working drawings, schedules, reports and quotations • Clear plan dimensions and annotations result in good working drawings • Computer Aided Design – how to present your design – an outline


Issue: April 2012

• •

Best practise techniques in selling your design The use of presentation techniques to create maximum impact

There will be four practical sessions: Session 1 Define individual needs and activities Understand how to use a scale rule Learn to outline the room ahead of the survey Session 2 How to survey a room correctly Session 3 Design and prepare a plan of the surveyed room Session 4 Present your Design The Kitchen Planning course takes 2 days and the Bathroom Planning takes 1 day. A booking form is attached


Issue: April 2012

BMF Training Order Form Kitchen & Bathroom Planning Design - June 2012 Both courses are to be held at Builders Merchants Federation, 15 Soho Square, London, W1D 3HL

I wish to book ........... place(s) on one of the following courses: Two Day Kitchen Design course – 6 & 7 June 2012

One Day Bathroom Design course – 8 June 2012

Contact Details Name ___________________________________________________________________ Company ___________________________________________________________________ Job Title ___________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

Phone ___________________________________________________________________

Please return this form to BMF Training by fax on 0207 734 2766,


Issue: April 2012

Licence Protection 1 day Regional Course for Transport Managers The course is designed to eliminate the cost of unnecessary graduated fixed penalties. It is geared specifically toward protecting our clients’ Operator's Licence, ensuring that delegates have knowledge and understanding of legislation and activities used during daily driving. It is an excellent refresher for traffic office staff and transport managers covering legislation concerning the operator’s licence, EU Drivers’ hours, Tachograph Use, vehicle maintenance, driver licensing and the powers of enforcement – VOSA and Traffic commissioners. WHO WOULD BENEFIT? Transport Managers, Transport Supervisors. Anyone with a day to day involvement with transport. KEY RESULTS • A clear overview of all requirements surrounding transport • Awareness of Operators Licence and Tachographs • The requirements of drivers • The law surrounding business transportation CONTENT O’Licence Who needs one? - How do you get one? - Got one what next? - Vehicle Maintenance - Vehicle inspections - Defect reporting Tachographs • Analogue – Charts - How many charts should a driver have? - Who should check the charts - How long should they be kept • Digital - How do they work? - Down loading the driver’s card - Downloading the VU Drivers Get the right driver - What licence do they need? - Should they get induction training? - How often should drivers’ licences be checked? The Law Vehicle safety - Loading and unloading – Parking – Speeding - Drink and Drugs Mobile phones - What is ANPR? When: Wednesday 23rd May 2012 Where: Green Energy Centre, John A Stephens Ltd, Castle Meadow Road, NOTTINGHAM, Nottinghamshire, NG2 1AG Price: £225.00 per person + VAT


Issue: April 2012

MasterMerchant 2012 MasterMerchant is a weekend team competition open to all companies in the building supplies industry. It involves a series of mental and physical problem solving tasks, including such challenges as code breaking, map reading, logic problems, climbing, clue trails and other tasks designed to test your creative powers. MasterMerchant is about working as part of a team, learning your own strengths and what you can actually achieve. It’s demanding but its also about having fun and enjoying each individual challenge. The ultimate result: To learn your strengths, build teamwork skills, and know how to apply these to your work thereby benefiting both yourself and your company. It’s all about teamwork! •

Build strong working relationships

Develop a sense of team unity

Build levels of trust and support between colleagues

Improve channels of communication between departments

Develop team problem solving skills


DATE 13-15 July (Arrive Friday evening,

depart after lunch Sunday)

REGISTER NOW! Builders Merchants Federation Ltd 15 Soho Square London W1D 3HL


WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO ENTER? A team consists of any 4 people, male, female, from counter staff to managing directors! Teams can represent a whole company, a region, area or branch.

ENTRY FEE The fee to enter a team of 4 is £880 plus VAT, that’s just £220 per person inclusive of all meals, equipment, accommodation and any transport required between the individual events.

IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT? MasterMerchant is for entrants over 18 years of age. There is no upper age limit!

The cost excludes transport to and from the Lake District which should be organised by each individual team.

THE COMPETITION The weekend event begins as teams arrive on Friday evening when each team is given their ‘starter pack’ and a briefing. Late arrivals are catered for where possible. The weekend finishes after lunch on Sunday with results and prizes.


THE PRIZES Every competitor will receive a framed certificate on survival of their heat. Winners will receive the prestigious MasterMerchant trophy, which is presented at the BMF’s Members’ Day.

MasterMerchant 2012 Sponsored by

Has been working with the BMF since 1989 when they organised the first MasterMerchant competition and have helped provide team and leadership development to BMF Members. They have worked with teams in business and education for 25 years with programmes designed to help them become more effective in the workplace. STEPHEN LEE ASSOCATES 84 Windermere Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 5EZ Tel: 01539 741318

WANT TO ENTER A TEAM? OR WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MASTERMERCHANT 2012? Let us know by completing the form overleaf. We need an indication of interest so that we can reserve venues, etc. Reply by email to Fax form to 0207 734 2766 or phone Christine Harding at the BMF on 0207 534 7426

Issue: April 2012

Link March 2012  

Link newsletter from the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF)

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