Independent builders merchant buying group Cemco changed formats this year for its annual supplier conferences in order to give a clearer message to supplier partners and members.
Due to the continued growth of the membership, particularly in the last 18 months, the group held two events, one specifically for heavyside members and suppliers, and one specifically for lightside members and suppliers, with the mixed merchant members attending both events.
The events were hosted by conference host, Kevin Parr, who used the Lightside event to challenge the Chairman, Andrew Nicholls, to explain why the conference was held when others had been cancelled due to the economic climate. Nicholls responded by telling the audience that Cemco still needs to drive business, working more proactively with their suppliers to forge even closer relationships.
Parr interviewed key directors of Cemco on stage to give the audience a clear message of where the group is going. The clear message that came through was that Cemco is keen to deliver commitment to suppliers by working together to drive business, and that there is no optimum number of members, but every member is there to deliver value to both Cemco and the supplier.
Following a Q&A session, the conference then reverted to an intense “Meet the Merchant” session where suppliers were given the opportunity to launch their deals to the membership. This was followed by an evening of networking over dinner.
The following day’s formal proceedings included a keynote speaker and the presentation of supplier awards. The winners were: Heating supplier of the year: Main, Bathrooms supplier of the year: Bristan, Retail supplier of the year : Matki, Plumbing supplier of the year: Comap, New supplier of the year: Rangemaster, Overall Lightside supplier of the year: BCGXL
The Heavyside Conference was held on February 2 and 3, the Lightside event on March 3 and 4.
A web-edit of this conference is available, along with testimonials, on the Cemco Intranet site, www.cemco.co.uk.