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NMBS focuses on strategic sales

Independent builders merchant buying group NMBS held its Strategic Sales Conference last month, designed to help the buying group’s suppliers get the most out of their NMBS partnership.

Held on October 15 at Hinckley Island Hotel, the conference included presentations from NMBS managing director Chris Hayward, HSBC Economist Mark Berrisford-Smith and marketing expert. Geoff Burch, among others.

“Suppliers need to be both agile and responsive”, NMBS Non-Executive Chairman, Rod Bennion told delegates. He focused on the pressures that suppliers face to deliver exactly what customers want and need, the main ones being: “to keep costs down and to manage their stocks well”.

Chris Hayward said that tough economic times require “game-changing strategies”. Among the key points he covered is how NMBS are targeting the “long tail of members who are not part of any other Buying Group”. He said that this represents a great opportunity for suppliers to target approximately 400 accounts with a potential spend of £1 billion. He finished by stressing the importance of working together and getting involved in all the opportunities NMBS provides.

Dean Hayward, NMBS marketing communications manager, explained the advantages of using NMBS’s marketing and events package, to help suppliers reach the independent sector immediately, successfully and cost effectively. This included introducing new opportunities such as the “killer deal” offers, brand mapping and the upcoming edition of the Green Guide.

He also highlighted the need to produce a promotional calendar to allow the suppliers to be more pro-active with the NMBS membership and the new NMBS corporate video.

Julie Langford, NMBS finance director, highlighted how NMBS and all its suppliers and members have come through the most turbulent of economic times, explaining how NMBS honours its payment pledge to suppliers and its commitment to maintaining credit insurance for the future.

Andy Hextall, NMBS I.T. development manager looked at the future of I.T. and how NMBS are endeavouring to start an Industry Tech Club where members can come together to discuss the latest developments and learn how to use new technologies such as Facebook, Ebay and Amazon to the best of their advantage.

Mark Berrisford-Smith, delivered a dark and humorous overview of the state of the economy at present and how it doesn’t look set to improve any time soon. He asked the audience: “How will you look back on the decade in 2019?”

Geoff Burch highlighted the need to adopt new strategies to be successful and explained about his insider’s view of NMBS – gained when he spent a day on the road with Tony Nicholas, NMBS Business Development Manager. Burch said he saw firsthand the changes that NMBS are implementing. NMBS’s approach to category management was the main focus of his presentation and he showed how NMBS are changing the way they work to in order to assist their members. Burch wanted to show suppliers how they can adopt a similar approach.

He highlighted the ways that suppliers should work to be successful in that they need to be hunting for new opportunities, know their customer’s expectations and above all else have a positive mental attitude. He followed this by focusing on how a sales person can help their customers look at situations differently and assist them in arriving at an alternative solution than they would have on their own, by passing on their own unique knowledge. “After all knowledge is power”.

Kevin Parr concluded the day by stressing how in these still tough economic times it is important to use NMBS as a radar and also work in conjunction with NMBS and other suppliers to get the most out of the opportunities available.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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