BMF's new premises at Elliott Court, Coventry Business Park.

BMF goes for gold at Members' Day event

Published:  10 October, 2012

WARWICKSHIRE: The Builders' Merchants Federation's Members' Day was an opportunity to hear about economic predictions, Green Deal routes to market, Conference 2013 and to meet new managing director John Newcomb at the Forest of Arden Marriott in Meridien, Coventry. 

One hundred and fifty people were at this year's event on 8-9 October. There was networking galore and a genuine upbeat atmosphere as merchants and suppliers discussed what the next 12 months would bring to their business.

BMF Chairman Terry Parker commenced the day's activities by stating that the Federation had "achieved more in the last eight months than it did in the previous year", pointing out that this had been done with a considerably reduced number of staff.

BMF's London headquarters have been sold for £4m and new self-contained premises secured at Elliott Court, 1120-1180 Coventry Business Park, Herald Avenue, Coventry. BMF will be relocating to its new home in the New Year, Mr Parker said.

The spacious site in the West Midlands - billed as 'the heartlands of merchanting' - boasts sumptuous conference rooms, purpose-built offices and ample car parking.

London will not be abandoned, though. Policy and campaigns manager Brett Amphlett is to occupy offices at the Building Centre in Store Street in London's West End, enabling him to remain close to Westminster and his political contacts.

The sale of the Soho Square site has given BMF a hefty injection of cash and put the Federation in the invidiable position of being able to carry out a number of ambitious programmes of activities for 2013. Among these are:

A concerted membership drive to bring back lapsed members and a drive to retain existing members.

The introduction of initiatives to help merchants overcome restrictive legislation.

Greater networking opportunities for members.

The establishment of a Customer Charter between BMF members and end-users.

The establishment of young merchant group forums - a vital means of helping to secure the future of the industry.

Developing closer collaborative relationships with buying groups and societies to offer non-competing services to members.

Establishing links with education providers like the University of the West of England (Bristol) to deliver a BMF foundation degree and CPD.

The development of a new organisational structure and the recruitment of new staff, where applicable.

The organisation, together with Unimer and NMBS, of the best biggest and best All-Industry Conference in June 2013. BMF has already successfully clinched a deal with FAKRO - one of the world's leading roof window manufacturers - to be its headline sponsor. 

As BMF director Stewart Pierce summed up: "We're going for gold. We want to be the best trade association so that our merchant members' business can be, too."

A report of the Members' Day will appear in the next edition of Builders' Merchants News, out on 23 October.

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