Builders merchants’ organisation the Builders Merchants Federation has increased its membership following a restructure.
The simplified subscription rates and restructured its service offer to focus more heavily on business support, lobbying and training.
BMF chairman, Terry Parker said: “Supporting our members is our top priority and in the current climate, reducing the overall cost of BMF membership while retaining the services they most valued was central to our new strategy.
“We hoped that making membership more affordable would encourage both past members and new companies to become part of the BMF and the immediate response is very encouraging.”
The affordability of membership was key to one returning member, Frank Key Builders Merchants, which rejoined BMF after an absence of six years. Frank Key is based in Nottingham and Derbyshire and has three builders merchant depots, two garden centres and four hire outlets.
Frank Key’s chairman, Robert Sansom said: “The old way of calculating membership subscriptions seemed to penalise a growing business. It had got to the stage where BMF membership had become an expensive luxury which we couldn’t justify. Now it offers far better value for money we see it as an essential part of being a builders’ merchant.
“We will be making full use of BMF’s training services. We have used training providers outside the merchant industry but their one-size-fits-all approach is not ideal for our business. We perceive BMF training, with its focus on our industry, as a better fit for us.”
At Otford Builders Merchants in Kent, the reduced subscription rates also helped managing director Alan Boyd to make the decision to rejoin. He says: “Undoubtedly the reduction in membership fees made it an easy decision to take Otford’s back into membership, and with our expansion plans access to BMF training should prove a very useful tool.
“I am also keen to make the most of the networking opportunities offered by BMF. As a member of NBG, I attend meetings around the country, but BMF’s regional meetings play an important role in the industry and I am keen to play my part in these.”
Brickstore director Malcolm Graham says: “A lot of our business is with general builders merchants and BMF meetings will give us opportunities to meet existing customers and to make new contacts in a forum where we will also have an opportunity to share views and give something back to other members.”
Other new or returning members include Crossling, G B Willbond, Lawsons, Redec Industrial and Sydenhams.