Awards – live from the Lancaster London.

AWARDS: Celebrate the heroes of 2011

Published:  25 November, 2011

LONDON: Over 450 of the builder's merchant industry's top people attended this year's Awards ceremony at the Lancaster London. Ten years on and the Awards have certainly not lost their sparkle. The event has been running live on Twitter, announcing the results as they happen. Stay tuned for picture galleries and videos from the event on this site and on the Awards' website.

Here are the champions of 2011: 

Training Initiative of the Year

EH SMITH BUILDERS' MERCHANTS. The judges were especially impressed with this company. "There was a serious focus on health and safety which set an example for everyone else," they said. "The winner also showed clear objectives and well-defined delivery."

Finalists:

BSS

MKM BUILDING SUPPLIES

Trainee of the Year

ANDY NICHOLAS of LBS Builders' Merchants was chosen for his all-round performance. "The winner was brave and prepared to take a step backward in order to move forward and learn and develop new skills," the judges commented.

Finalists:

ADAM BURNS of EH Smith (Builders' Merchants)

MARK MOON of LBS Builders' Merchants

Best Builders' Merchant Showroom

The judges agreed that SMITH BROTHERS OF YORK'S plan was a bold one for these times, with sweeping changes to raise a tired old site's image. The winner, said the judges, "is operating a true builders' merchant showroom, as opposed to a specialist site".

Finalists:

COOMERS

GEORGE BENCE & SONS

Best Builders' Merchant Hard Landscaping Display

The judges were especially impressed by winner GPH BUILDERS' MERCHANTS. The company showed very important lessons can be learned from using one's own team's creatively and intelligently and by benchmarking against one's competitors, they agreed.

Finalists:

C&W BERRY

JT DOVE

Best Builders' Merchant Website

PARKER BUILDING SUPPLIES site caught the judges' attention because it was so easy-to-follow, comprehensive and because "it is a trade site that isn't intimidating to consumers". The winner, said the judges, understood the fundamentals: keep it refreshed and keep it simple. Different language versions cover all bases.

Finalists:

COVERS TIMBER & BUILDERS' MERCHANTS

HOWARTH TIMBER GROUP

Best Customer Service by a Builders' Merchant

LBS BUILDERS' MERCHANTS was chosen by the judges for being "an outstanding example of finding out what the customer needs and giving them what they want. It shows the way forward for other merchants by adding value. The winner has created a new customer-driven market that proved to be an outstanding success".

Finalists:

BUILDBASE

KELLAWAY BUILDING SUPPLIES

Best Builders' Merchant Marketing Initiative

The judges really liked winner GEORGE BENCE & SONS' clear and well targeted objectives, processes and ideas. "They were simple to progress and they delivered a great result," the judges said.

Finalists:

JACKSON BUILDING CENTRES

PARKER BUILDING SUPPLIES

Builders' Merchant Environmental Initiative

Winner COVERS TIMBER & BUILDERS' MERCHANTS was chosen by the judges for the way its defined objectives covered plant, staff and customers and brought everybody together. Ethics and business is blended seamlessly for true environmental management, the judges remarked.

Finalists:

INTER-LINE BUILDING SUPPLIES

THE RIDGEON GROUP

Achiever of the Year

This especially personal category's winner came from humble beginnings and rose to accomplish major achievements. CATHERINE HOAKEN of Ashmead Building Supplies particularly impressed the judges by how she showed such determination and outstanding personal commitment, against numerous odds. "What a person to have on your trade counter!" the judges exclaimed.

Finalists:

SIMON CLARK of Tiptree Building Supplies

MARK TUPPEN of Chandlers Building Supplies

Builders' Merchant Manager of the Year

MARK WINSTANLEY of Buildbase immediately stamped his authority on a very big the branch and got on with the job. The branch was transformed and saw immediate results. "Determined, focused and successful, this is a truly remarkable achievement for an individual managing a site of that size." The judges were inspired by this achievement.

Finalists:

JASON BATES of Jackson Building Centres

DUNCAN THOMSON of Builders' Merchants Co

Independent Builders' Merchant of the Year (1-5 branches)

Winner MP MORAN caught the judges' attention by demonstrating such good results for a huge site and large warehouse. And, the judges were further impressed with the winner's intelligent use of its branch to consolidate waste handling. The company has paid attention to its staff, customers and the environment, the judges stated.

Finalists:

COOMERS

GPH BUILDERS' MERCHANTS

Independent Builders' Merchant of the Year (6+ branches)

LBS BUILDERS' MERCHANTS - chosen and praised by the judges for being a company that thinks outside the box. "It is focused on customer satisfaction first and corporate presence second. And, it has developed a very organised and planned route to achieve its objectives," they commented.

Finalists:

MKM BUILDING SUPPLIES

PARKER BUILDING SUPPLIES

National Builders' Merchant of the Year

PLUMBING TRADE SUPPLIES demonstrated that it was genuinely working as a green company. "There was absolutely no 'greenwash'," said the judges.

Finalist:

BUILDBASE

Supplier of the Year

This category's winner, said the judges, re-invented itself, re-defined its business and expanded. "CATNIC demonstrated the strongest evidence of supporting results and conducting specific initiatives for merchants while also firmly re-establishing itself with the buying groups," the judges said.

Finalists:

HUNTER PLASTICS

KEYSTONE GROUP

Best Heating and Plumbing Merchant (environmental focus)

The judges voted for PLUMB CENTER at this year's winner "because it has shown that it made major improvements and had a strong environmental focus running thoughout the business".

Finalists:

GRAHAM

PLUMBING TRADE SUPPLIES

The Builders' Merchant Lifetime Achievement Award

PETER STEPHENS of John A Stephens was the judges' choice for his unstinting work on behalf of his company and his down-to-earth approach when working for on behalf of the merchant industry for over 40 years.

This special 10th anniversary of the Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence once again celebrated and honoured the entrepreneurial spirit that is so strong throughout each and every business in this sector.

By celebrating the good, the honest and the true heroes of the industry, the event also shows the wider construction sector just how important builders' merchants are – set firmly at the heart of their communities – and within the supply chain.

Builders' merchants are a hardy bunch. Whatever the market or the economy has thrown at them, they have responded intelligently and emerged stronger and more focused than ever.

Winners and finalists, the team at Builders' Merchants News, salutes you and celebrates your success!

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