BMF salutes first post graduates

Published:  12 January, 2016

The Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) professional and personal development programme recently achieved a new landmark, when the first eight students graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in Independent Merchant Leadership and Strategy, three of them with Distinction.

Five of the graduates, Andrew Brooker of T Brooker, Jason Rothwell of Howarth Timber, and Lee Church, Jake Feek and Jamie Pierce from Parker Building Supplies, attended Birmingham City University’s Winter Award Ceremony, donning traditional gowns to receive their Diplomas.

The three other graduates were Gary Froggatt of Howarth Timber and Darren MacAskill and Steven Webber from Elliott Brothers.

John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF, attended the ceremony with Richard Ellithorne, BMF membership services director and Stewart Pierce, BMF vice chair. He said: “I am proud and delighted to congratulate the first group to achieve the BMF Post Graduate Diploma. I believe they are all planning to continue their studies at Birmingham City University towards a merchant-specific masters degree that has been developed in conjunction with the BMF. This is a fantastic endorsement of the relevance of the BMF’s development programme for the industry.”

For their final Post Graduate Diploma projects, all eight students undertook work that directly benefited their companies.

Mr Webber and Mr MacAskill (who achieved Distinctions), investigated branch benchmarking for Elliott Brothers. Their project created a series of balanced measures to assess the quality and performance of a branch beyond the profit it generates. This encompassed customer service quality, stock management and availability, the appearance and cleanliness of the branch, and its health and safety record.

Mr Froggatt and Mr Rothwell focused on digital marketing at Howarth Timber and Building Supplies, with a project that investigated the company’s existing online trading platform and recommended developments.

For Parker Building Supplies, Mr Pierce, Mr Church and Mr Feek took a close look at stock control and movement, with a project to create a unified working process system of efficiency across the company that will enable branches to have confidence and control of stock movement.

Mr Brooker, who also achieved a Distinction, undertook a solo project on his family firm, Brookers, where he evaluated options for the future of one of the company’s branches, with recommendations to be used as a template for future expansion.

Picture caption: L-r: Stewart Pierce (BMF vice chair), Andrew Brooker (T Brooker), Lee Church (Parker Building Supplies), Jamie Pierce (Parker Building Supplies), Jason Rothwell (Howarth Timber), Jake Feek (Parker Building Supplies) and John Newcomb (managing director of the BMF).

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