Independent builders merchant buying group h&b Group held its first-ever members conference at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.
The event kicked off with event organiser, Kevin Parr interviewing h&b Chairman, Peter Buttle about the future growth and direction of the group. This was followed by Steve Gummer, of Sales-i, showing how members can galvanize their field sales force using mobile technology.
Tom Miller of e-Biz then demonstrated forthcoming improvements and developments to the h&b intranet.
The BMF’s Nina Royle talked about how businesses can benefit from the BMF’s government funded Apprenticeship Scheme. Then eco-warrior Lorcan Anglin, of h&b member Pagets and founder of The Green Energy Centre, looked at how independent builders merchants can take on the challenges and huge opportunities presented by the Government’s Green Deal and other eco-initiatives.
After lunch Arthur Duffy, from Progressive Solutions, got all delegates juggling to prove a point, and showed how better analysis of data already on merchants’ own computer systems can improve sales, profit and cash flow.
A Q&A session with Buttle and management committee members Dave Anderson and Mark Northway emphasised that the group depended on member comittment and that the more actively engaged members were in participating, the bigger the benefits to them and to the membership at large.
The afternoon’s key speaker was management guru Geoff Burch whose motivational talk pointed up some hard-to-deny home-truths about the sort of mistakes made when running a business.