In September, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) hosted the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) inaugural annual Round Table debate at its offices in Coventry. The BMBI is a brand of the BMF and the debate was organised for BMBI Experts to discuss topical issues, and the potential implications for our industry. It was chaired by Builders’ Merchants News Group Editor Jennie Ward and included BMF Chairman Peter Hindle, BMF MD John Newcomb and MRA CEO Mike Rigby.

BMBI Experts that took part included: Mike Beard, Merchant Development Director Encon Insulation; Nigel Cox, Managing Director Timbmet; John Sinfield, Managing Director Knauf Insulation; Andy Simpson, Commercial Director Hanson Cement; Derrick McFarland, Managing Director Keystone Lintels; Steve Halford, Group Managing Director Crystal Direct; Andy Williamson, Group Managing Director IKO PLC; and Steve Durdant-Hollamby, Managing Director Alumasc Water Management Solutions.

The debate covered 6 main topics:

1.    Brexit and after
2.    Capacity & Skills shortages
3.    Housing
4.    Changing customer requirements & impact of technology on merchant businesses
5.    Changing role of the merchant
6.    Standards, legislation and regulations

Part one of the debate was published in the November/December issue of BMN, and part two features in January 2017. Don’t miss it!

Visit to download the latest BMBI report or to learn more about each Expert. Follow @TheBMBI  

If you’d like your brand to become an Expert and the voice of your market, call Tom Rigby of MRA Marketing on 01453 521621.