BMF Training Zone – June 2021

BMF Training Zone – June 2021

Set to be announced at this year’s Members’ Day Awards Dinner in September, the Builders Merchants Federation has announced the shortlist for BMF Training Company of the Year 2021.  

Nominated by BMF Regional Manager (RM) James Spillane, EH Smith encourages staff at all levels to reach their full potential through apprenticeships and a range of class-room based and online learning programmes. 

Adele Chambers, the merchant’s HR Director, said: “Of particular success was the interactive Maximising Margin programme, which aligned directly to our business objectives with a customer centric approach, addressing service, engagement and collected margin across all branches. Having training tailored to our needs enhanced employee performance and confidence whilst maximising margin and overall profitability.”

Timber specialists, Harlow Bros, joined the BMF in 2019 and quickly demonstrated the value they placed on training, working closely with their BMF RM, David Millward to introduce both online and classroom learning covering product, technical and people skills.

Alice Stoney, Head of HR at Harlow, said: “The need for training did not go away during the pandemic. We invested in our newly promoted management team supporting them in their role with face-to-face courses in sales and people-management. We had restrictions in place to ensure their safety and received great feedback about the training. All attendees said it has helped them and we are looking to continue training with the BMF.”

Nominated by BMF RM, Alex Clifford, Huws Gray has taken its training to the next level, working with the BMF to develop bespoke training programmes and an in-house BMF Diploma in Merchant Management group. It has also created its own online Academy Platform with BMF’s training partner Cortexa and has further committed to multiple apprenticeships in the coming year.

Rebecca Mason, Group Head of HR at Huws Gray, said: “We are only just beginning, but Huws Gray training is gaining momentum. Working closely with BMF has enabled us to design bespoke programmes across the group to meet specific requirements and we have a joint commitment to do much more.”

Proposed by BMF RM, Richard Jones, the final nominee, LBS, also discovered the value of BMF Campus and is making a significant investment in sales and management training.

Ray Laidlaw, Training Manager at LBS, said: “The uncertainty of 2020 created a series of hurdles but also instigated opportunities for creativity. We reviewed all our training courses, looking at options to future-proof learning throughout the organisation, and investigated ways to complement current courses with tailored ‘bolt –on’ modules. As a result, we launched our brand-new LBS Academy through the BMF Campus.

“This Platform has opened the door to a wider variety of online learning for all staff. It has been particularly useful for our 39 Kickstart Scheme Trainees, who each have a six month learning plan accessed through LBS Academy. Alongside this, classroom training with the excellent BMF Essential Sales Course and the BMF Certificate and Diploma in Merchant Management is planned for the year ahead.”

The winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 23 September 2021. Whoever wins, each of the nominated merchants are clearly winning in terms of building excellence within their own business. 

Visit to find out more about BMF training, or to book your place at BMF Members’ Day.

This article can be found in the June 2021 issue of PBM.

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