Independent builders merchant buying society NMBS held a conference for suppliers, focussing on how suppliers could maximise the benefits of one of their most precious resources; their people.
Entitled Sales Success: The Art of Engagement, the event was held at the Art of Management Centre in Milton Keynes on the 20th September – focused
In total, over 150 delegates from a wide range of key building product manufacturers and distributors attended the conference. These delegates were able to learn from the experiences of businesses that rank amongst The Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Best Companies to work for’, as well as from presentations from a number of world class speakers.
The conference was opened by NMBS Chairman, Tim Allen, who outlined how NMBS’ own commitment to shaping a highly motivated, highly engaged workforce had led to the introduction of its ‘Apprenticeship Youth Enterprise 50’ campaign.
NMBS managing director, Chris Hayward who took part in a Q&A session alongside Jonathan Austin, CEO of Best Companies – the workplace engagement specialist which operates the Art of Management Centre and that administers the ‘Best Companies to work for’ accreditation standard.
Hayward and Austin spoke about what had inspired them to host the event and its ultimate aims with Hayward outlining how NMBS had undertaken a Best Companies audit with a view to securing official accreditation under the scheme.
Hayward, said: “As an organisation, NMBS is committed to continuous improvement and we never stop looking for new and innovative ways to help our members and suppliers succeed.
“Engagement may sound like an ethereal concept but it delivers tangible and unequivocal commercial benefits. In its simplest terms, if you engage your employees, they’ll engage your customers – and that leads to profitability and growth.
“Today was all about stating the business case for engagement and we’re delighted that the feedback from those who attended the 2013 NMBS suppliers conference has been nothing but positive.”
Paul Butcher, sales director at Instarmac recalled his own company’s journey towards creating greater staff engagement and outlined some of the benefits it has offered such as improved productivity, fewer sick days, lower recruitment costs and the fact that Instarmac has seen no instances of work related stress since 2008. He firmly advocated that a company with engaged staff was more competitive and more profitable.
Instarmac has ranked amongst The Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Best Companies to work for’ for the last four consecutive years.
Other speakers included Ben Hunt-Davis MBE, the Olympic gold medal winning rower, and world famous boxer Billy Schwer.
Hunt-Davis rowed as part of the UK’s national team for almost a decade and competed at three different Olympics. For years, his eight man crew kept following the same approach and getting the same, non-winning results. He explained how, using the principles behind engagement, the crew were able to turn this around, culminating in a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Schwer explained how a positive mental attitude, an unrelenting focus and sheer determination helped him push through three championship bout defeats to eventually become IBO world champion.
The final speaker of the day was Paul McGee – a bestselling author and one of Europe’s best known business speakers who offered delegates an entertaining and informative insight into his ground-breaking motivational concept known as SUMO (Shut Up and Move On).