Builders' Merchants News
Condensate pipes are still not being protected on every boiler installation

Following the Beast from the East, when millions of boilers suffered malfunction and breakdown due to frozen condensate pipes, the heating and plumbing industry resolved that it must not happen again.

Make risk management a priority

Kishor Harsiani, IBC’s Strategy & Finance Director, explains why the merchant industry must make risk management an urgent priority.

The basics of business records: what do you need to keep and for how long?

Tax preparation specialist and Director of DSR Tax Claims Ltd, David Redfern, explains what business records you need to keep and for how long.

Don’t forget the millions on the table in front of you

There’s an A and an O road to growth, says Kevin Morgan, Group Commercial Director of The Crystal Group. Acquisition is exciting and quick, organic less risky, cheaper and a bit slower.

Consumer trends merchants need to know about in 2019

It’s important for builders’ merchants to keep abreast of consumer trends, Becci Pell, Marketing Communications Manager at Häfele UK, spoke to kitchen experts from some of Häfele’s retail customers and suppliers to get their valuable insight for the coming year.

Is there such thing as “over automation”?

In today’s society we are overrun with technology. But within a business, you cannot beat human interaction and personal understanding of your business’s facts and figures, according to Mike Cockfield.

Modern solutions to delivering social rented homes

Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive, explains how modular construction could solve the lack of social renting homes in England and Scotland.

Scaling up your SME

SMEs can reduce exposure and contribute more through growth – radically shortening the 'scaling void' by combining both ‘twist’ and ‘stick’ approaches, according to Gary David Smith, the co-founder of Prism Solutions.

Five critical factors in recruiting for an agile supply chain

Andy Kaye, CEO at Bis Henderson Group, explains the five key factors that businesses need to consider when recruiting and training for an agile and responsive supply chain.

Women in construction

The construction industry has come a long way over the years in reflecting diversity. However, there is still a long way to go – particularly in encouraging women to work in the sector, says Sophie Beard, Account Executive at MRA Marketing. 

Activate tomorrow’s AI marketing technology, today

Grant Coleman, Vice President and Market Director at Emarsys UK, explains how you can use artificial intelligence technology to enhance your business.

Customer experience is what it’s all about, and customers are driving

Omnichannel is not an end, it’s an opportunity, says Steve Halford, Group Managing Director of The Crystal Group. It’s on the way to an easier, quicker, friction free customer experience. End to end.

Improving the construction industry's understanding of modern slavery

Lawyers Michelle Essen and Chris Hoile explain the independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and explains how to identify and prevent modern slavery.

Government funding for heat networks welcomed

Pete Mills, Technical Operations Manager at Bosch Commercial and Industrial, welcomes The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s decision to invest £320 million of public funds to support heat network build and extension projects.

How the ageing population is influencing design of bathroom products

There are a number of demographic factors affecting the UK bathroom market, which is mature and worth around £900 million at manufacturers selling prices, according to recently published research. Hayley Thornley, Head of Research at AMA Research, looks at the impact these factors are having on design and specification.

How agile a supply chain can you afford?

One of the greatest challenges facing retail businesses today is how to keep the customer proposition attractive yet affordable.

Should you start accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment?

Richard Costello from MultiPlumb explains the top three reasons why he believes merchants should start accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method today.

Skills shortage will hamper housing delivery

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, discusses the latest research from the FMB, which shows that small house builders predict that skills shortages in the building industry will hamper housing delivery and will eventually overtake access to finance as a bigger barrier to building new homes.

Death of the high street – 50% of all retail could move online by 2044

Andy Soloman, CEO of Yomdel, discusses how long it could be before bricks and mortar retail become extinct from the Great British high street and moves completely online – and how the internet could boost your business.

Six reasons why you need to be selling on Amazon

Mike Cockfield, CEO at Khaos Control Solutions, highlights six reasons why you need to start selling your products on Amazon.

Debunking the EN54 myth

Bradley Markham, Director at Bull Products, explains the reasons why EN54 does not apply to temporary use on construction sites.

Concurrent delay and the allocation of risk: Cyden with the contract

Emily Leonard, Managing Associate, and Hannah Gardiner, Solicitor at law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, consider the court’s ruling of the case North Midland Building Ltd v Cyden Homes Ltd.

Why you should be alarmed by HMRC’s proposal for secret access to taxpayer’s bank accounts

In a range of new measure to crack down on tax evasion, HMRC has proposed it should have secret access to taxpayer’s bank accounts. David Redern, Director of DSR Tax Claims, denounces this proposal as an unreasonable invasion of taxpayers' privacy and urges HMRC to reconsider.

Steel producers hit by tariffs could adapt to the trade dispute

S.M. Lodha is an industrialist with interests in iron and steel, and Chairman of specialist thermal engineer companies Western Thermal Group. Here, he gives his opinion on the news that the Steel producers hit by tariffs could adapt to the trade dispute.

How to use Facebook videos to grow your business

How can your business exploit the obvious benefits of Facebook videos? Richard Costello describes four of the best techniques that you can use so that Facebook videos will grow your business.

With estimated numbers in slavery in the UK higher than ever before, how can the construction industry spot the signs of a crime that is so hidden?

Louise Gore, Equiano Project Manager at The Jericho Foundation, explains the warning signs that point to slavery in construction, and what to do if you suspect it is happening.

End of the road for traditional retail business models?

Are we at a retail tipping point, asks Steve Halford, Group Managing Director of The Crystal Group. Could trade be next?

How to reduce heatwave health risks for your workers

With temperatures this week hitting a record high, Matthew Fell, Chief UK Policy Director at CBI, has some recommendations for keeping your employees comfortable and safe.

The heat is on and the spotlight is on construction

As the Met office issues an Amber weather warning and tells Britons to “stay out of the sun”, Womble Bond Dickinson lawyers Kelly Davidson and Chris Hoile assess the risk to construction workers and how employers can negate them.

Water conservation - why it should be a year-round conversation

Stuart Gizzi, Director of bathroom manufacturer Inta, believes that water conservation should be something we consider all year long - not just when there is a heatwave.

Why SME developers are key to resolving the UK housing crisis

Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions suggests the solution to the housing crisis could be down to SME developers.

Better education needed to avoid unnecessary deaths

Following the news last month that a 79-year-old man died after falling in a scalding hot bath at his Romford home, Stuart Gizzi of bathrooms product manufacturer Inta is calling for more to be done to avoid such tragic incidents.

Technology is the key to overcoming growing pains

Despite challenging times, business growth for merchant and construction supply chain manufacturers is on the rise, and technology can play its part, explains Nick Hull, BisTrack Customer Account Manager ‎at Epicor Software.

Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill 2017-19. Lessons from Carillion: reform of the use of retentions in the construction industry at last?

The construction sector has some of the highest new company insolvencies per year. The need for reform is significant - the report published by the Trade and Industry Committee in 2002 estimated that retentions account for some £3.25 billion per annum. Jonathan Hyndman, Partner at Rosling King, discusses the need for reform as demonstrated by the impact of Carillion’s insolvency earlier this year.

Building a positive mental health culture in your organisation

Every working day, two construction workers take their own life - and nearly 400,000 days are lost every year due to poor mental health. Every company has a moral obligation to embrace and develop a culture to improve the industry’s mental health, and our work is just beginning. Bill Hill, CEO of The Lighthouse Construction Charity, explains how you can build a positive mental health culture in your organisation.

Massive profits, huge efficiency and business made easy – be a part of business systems’ future

A successful business needs an efficient system behind it. If you are selling products online, it might be handy to have Enterprise Resource Planning software, which can help to manage stock control, order processing, Customer Relationship Management, and accounting.

Is the construction sector in decline in the UK?

In the current climate, it's tempting to apportion blame for slow economic growth and depreciating market activity to Brexit. So, when the construction sector output plunged by 3% year-on-year in February, commentators were quick to highlight the growing lack of confidence in the market as a result of the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Missing a few million in sales?

"Are you leaving a lot of easy sales on the table for your competitors?" asks Steve Halford, Group Managing Director of the Crystal Group.

The ten characteristics of a growth getter

What goes into being a high growth company? ‎Nick Hull, BisTrack customer account manager ‎at Epicor Software, has the answer.

The rise of DIFM v DIY

Over the past five years, the number of homeowners opting for projects to be completed by trade professionals has increased considerably, with younger generations demonstrating a clear demand for DIFM rather than DIY projects.

Ten ways to improve van security

Van tool theft is still a problem for both merchants and tradespeople and here give some tips on how to improve van security.

Omnichannel is starting to bite

The impact of omnichannel is hurting retailers that have been slow to act on the accelerating convergence of ‘bricks and clicks’, and rewarding retailers that are on their omnichannel journey.

Supporting Women in the Industry

Epicor is sponsoring the very first Builders' Merchant Award for Excellence supporting outstanding women in the industry, explains Nick Hull, BisTrack customer account manager, ‎at Epicor Software.

Taking the Stress out of Growth

I regularly visit builders’ merchants and many are growing their businesses incredibly well.

Take hold of new sales opportunities

Over the years the traditional handrail has gradually transformed from a simple element designed to provide safety and protection, to a design feature that can help enhance the overall look and feel of a hallway.

2018: The Year of Omnichannel

Steve Halford, Group Managing Director of Crystal, looks at the disruptive effects online technology is having on traditional industries, and how merchants need to adapt to thrive in this new environment

Isover sounding-off at this year’s Jewson Live

Steve Taylor-Wilson, Marketing Communications Manager at Isover talks us through their recent attendance at Jewson Live 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham.

How to Leave Your Site over Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, building sites rush to complete projects before the holiday period, as employees take time off to be with loved ones. This rush however, means that preparing your site for the Christmas period can often be an afterthought.

Four ways to keep your account customers happy - a plumber's perspective

Account customers should be the bread and butter of your business. If treated well you can keep them spending consistently for years and years with minimal maintenance.

Is it time for the construction industry to adopt alcohol and drugs screening legislation?

Suzannah Robin, alcohol and drug safety expert at AlcoDigital, has helped numerous companies to address their alcohol and drugs testing requirements. She explains why implementing testing policies and procedures will help to improve workplace safety.