Bill Barlow, UK business unit director for Conex Bänninger, discusses the time-saving and safety benefits of push-fit technologies that are proving popular with installers, and why they present great sales opportunities for builders’ merchants.

BMN has published its annual review of the top-performing national and independent merchants for 2015 (previously published in the April 2016 issue of Builders' Merchants News).

Timber frame offers a solution to the need for more homes to accommodate the extra 5.3m households government figures predict over the next quarter century.

The release this summer of government projections suggesting the number of households in England will rise by 5.3m over the next quarter of a century has prompted Matthew King, UK and Ireland director of Actis, to propose a viable approach to ensuring we have enough homes to accommodate the growing population.

By acquiring Cemex Packed Aggregates, GRS Bagging will now extend its operations by a further five sites.

Having announced its recent acquisition of the Cemex Packed Aggregates business in the UK, GRS Bagging explains how it is well placed to provide its customers with the products and services they need.

Serious injury or even death can result from the failure of a timber scaffold board, and can leave contractors facing prosecution and significant fines, as recent incidents have shown, BM TRADA says.

Alsford Timber has 18 branches across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Tracing its routes back to 1882, Alsford Timber has come a long way since its humble origins. BMN's Nichola Farrugia visited the merchant to find out how it is committed to continuous development.

Left to right: Becky Hodgson, Amanda White, Stephanie Blacknell, Sandra Challands and Jemma Burton.

Set up in the early 1980s, Key Building Supplies is an independent builders’ merchant with strong values about its place in the local community. BMN’s Nichola Farrugia spoke to the company as it prepares to open a new store called Key DIY next month.

BMN publishes its annual review of the top-performing national and independent merchants for 2014 (previously published in the April 2015 issue of Builders' Merchants News).

In the past, very few merchants have felt comfortable selling PVC-U windows and doors, despite it being a lucrative market. However, that’s all set to change as NMBS-approved supplier Crystal Direct is simplifying this process. BMN’s Nichola Farrugia met with Steve Halford, managing director, to find out more.

While at present the renewables market isn't huge, it is anticipated that it will steadily grow. Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, Bosch Group, explains why merchants should support alternative solutions and help provide a stepping stone to a green future.

The heating industry has had an interesting 12 months with the arrival of the much anticipated domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. Here, Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, Bosch Group, reflects on recent developments and predicts what lies ahead.

A major upturn in the construction industry has seen demand for timber grow to its highest level in five years. Stephen King, commercial director of SCA Timber Supply and president of the Timber Trade Federation, reflects on a busy six months for the sector.

In order to progress, we often have to look back. Jonathan Eyre, bcg sales director, addresses the importance of looking after longstanding customers.

This time last year, the industry faced the implementation of the European Timber Regulation. Here, SmartPly’s George Watson takes a look at how this and other legislative changes have affected the company’s business and the market at large over the past year.

With new legislation set to increase the use of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), John Lloyd, head of design at Hanson Formpave, looks at the benefits SUDS offer and why builders’ merchants should be prepared.

EH Smith's head office in the West Midlands.

Fran Smallman, commercial manager for EH Smith, explains how using an integrated business intelligence and CRM software solution has significantly increased the company’s sales performance and productivity.

The bathroom market, which includes a vast array of products from sanitaryware to flooring and furniture, continually adapts to changing customer requirements. This creates an exciting sector which actively encourages innovative product design. Louise Flynn, product director at PTS, discusses the emerging trends.

The adhesives and sealants category offers some great opportunities for sales growth, says Nathalie Rogue, category manager at Bostik. Here, she discusses how manufacturers can best support merchants and boost business.

Nick Whitwell, managing director of Quinn Radiators, gives an overview of the current issues in the radiator market, including the ongoing debate about the benefit of radiators vs. underfloor heating and their compatibility with renewable energy sources.

Paul Hetherington, managing director of Alumasc Rainwater and Harmer Drainage.

Alumasc Rainwater and Drainage has more to offer merchants than ever before. Managing director Paul Hetherington explains why.

It’s likely that every customer entering a merchant will have a different priority from the one before, which can make recommending the right product a challenge. Jonathan Cherry, head of product management at British Gypsum, looks at some of the issues affecting product choice and highlights how manufacturers can help.

Jonno Barrett, managing director of Kudos Software, tells Jennie Ward why a successful IT system should integrate an entire merchant’s business to improve the customer service offering.

Prior to the implentation of mandatory CE marking for construction products at the start of this month, John Lambert, general manager at Forticrete, asked who would be responsible for compliance.

CE markings are to become mandatory as of 1 July 2013. The new regulation will require builders’ merchants to have more knowledge and tighter control of their manufacturers’ specification data.

The introduction of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the impending move from the Construction Products Directive (CPD) to the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) from 1 July are both having an effect on the OSB market and, ultimately, the merchant, writes George Watson of SmartPly.

Cloud computing and making the most of facilitators to move business forward are the topics tackled in this final part of the Builders’ Merchants News/Epicor Round Table.

In the second report from the Builders’ Merchants News/Epicor debate, the panel weigh up the benefits of IT and whether GLNs are the right way forward for the merchant industry.

Recruitment has arguably been one of the hardest hit sectors by recession with employers putting the brakes on and prospective candidates too concerned with job security to risk changing company. Is 2013 a new dawn for recruitment? Lynn Sencicle talks to four leading recruitment agencies in the construction sector.

What’s in store for the merchant sector? Which areas will be buoyant and which will not? Here, some of the key players reveal where they see opportunities and challenges for our industry as we enter the New Year with a mix of positivity and trepidation. Lisa Arcangeli reports.

In this Builders’ Merchants News report, sponsored by Epicor, our panel discuss how the industry can evolve its business efficiencies through the use of IT and how it can subsequently improve productivity throughout the supply chain.

No matter where you are, cries of ‘the stupid computer doesn’t work properly’ are increasingly common in this day and age. Lynn Sencicle reports.

This month, our panel discusses the business of holding firm when it comes to prices and deliberates on where independents fit into the complex construction landscape for Part 2 of the Builders’ Merchants News/H+H Round Table Debate.

Kevin Appleton: the Green Deal offers a beacon of light.

Challenging markets pose unique problems. Kevin Appleton, the new chairman of Travis Perkins, expects the market to remain tough for at least another 18 months. Lisa Arcangeli reports.

John Newcomb (left) with BMF director, Stewart Pierce, of Parker Building Supplies.

John Newcomb, the BMF’s new managing director, is passionate about the role that trade federations play in their markets. In this exclusive Q&A for Builders’ Merchants News, he explains his vision for the Federation and how that will help all merchants’ businesses.

Clockwise from centre: Lisa Arcangeli, Simon Clark, Andy Williams, John Churchett, Alan Boyd, Nick Walley, Tom Parker and Bob Butler.

Merchants face a constant battle not to give their profit away. They are caught between a competitive marketplace and a precarious economic climate. Builders’ Merchants News and H+H invited some of the industry’s outspoken business leaders to air their views about how merchants should aim to banish the fear factor and adopt a bolder, more proactive approach.

Rebecca Mason and Andrew Pine.

The Institute of Builders’ Merchants is setting out its activities for the rest of the year. Rebecca Mason, the organisation’s past-president, interviews current president Andrew Pine about educating merchants of the future.

Conference host Roger Black MBE, NMBS managing director Chris Hayward and financial editor Anthony Hilton.

NMBS pulled out the stops to launch the first merchant industry conference in three years. It brought together over 250 merchants and suppliers eager to network on a grand scale. Lisa Arcangeli and Lynn Sencicle report from Marbella in Spain.

In the third and final part of the Builders’ Merchants News Round Table Debate, sponsored by Acheson & Glover, leading independent merchants examine changes to the sector’s business models, the real role of the internet and how to build and maintain proactive and effective supplier partnerships.

Robert Boslem, senior credit controller at Beatsons Building Supplies, explains why the DPG within credit application forms is so important to your business.

In part two of the Builders’ Merchants News Round Table Debate, sponsored by Acheson & Glover, leading independent merchants discuss the industry’s problems and how to move the sector’s business forward with greater confidence and better sales.

What do employers need to know when sourcing candidates? Could jobseekers be better prepared? How can a recruitment agency smooth the process? Lisa Arcangeli talks to the top companies in the field and discovers a diverse and surprisingly buoyant market.

BCG Merchant is offering its quickest delivery yet to independent merchants. Jonathan Eyre, sales director at BCG explains how a quicker service means better business.

Winning share in a shrinking market is difficult, but there is a way to get ahead of the pack. At the Builders’ Merchants News Round Table Debate, sponsored by Acheson & Glover, some leading independent merchants discussed the industry’s problems and how to move business forward with greater confidence.

An Ironmongery Direct warehouse.

A merchant is a merchant whether it trades on the high street or on the internet. With an 80% trade customer base, IronmongeryDirect classes itself as a merchant. Here, managing director Wayne Lysaght-Mason talks to Lynn Sencicle about the company’s expansion and growth.

Independents voice their opinions about the Green Deal and look at the different options which are currently available in part one of this Builders’ Merchants News/F&P Wholesale debate.

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