The National Buying Group (NBG LLP) of independent builders merchants is expected to implement changes to its buying and management disciplines shortly, after a brainstorming session among a number of key members.
15 members, five from each region , met with NBG md Allan Durning for a day-and-a-half meeting – dubbed the G15 by Durning – at Birmingham Airport Novotel on April 1 and 2. All 75 NBG members were aware of the meeting, and had been invited to submit areas of concern beforehand.
The group split into three working parties to consider specific issues before reporting back to the main G15 group. Interviewed by BMJ immediately after the meeting, individual group members stressed there had been a high level of unanimity about the key issues and the way forward; and that while changes may result, they are seen more as improvements to existing good practice rather than changes to eliminate bad practice.
All the proposed changes will now be drawn together into a ‘green paper’ with the aim of circulating it to NBG members by the end of April, to give them consultation time before the AGM in May. Assuming everything is agreed, the new policies will be implemented in meetings with suppliers from June onwards.
Little is yet known of the precise content of the green paper, but Durning confirmed that he expects a broad move towards category management disciplines rather than “simply doing deals”. Other G15 members added that the intention is to re-focus on buying, rather than being side-tracked into peripheral issues like Health & Safety. “We are a buying group, after all,” he said.
Durning also revealed that he is keen to recruit new members from the timber merchant sector – an area where NBG is currently seen as having weaknesses.