The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is to build on what has been widely acclaimed as the industry’s “best ever conference”, by developing initiatives which stem directly from two of the guest speakers’ presentations at the event in Portugal last month.

The BMF is already in discussion with Dr Dorian Dugmore, an internationally recognised expert in the treatment and prevention of heart disease, to develop a Wellness Programme for BMF members. It will be designed to ensure that merchant and supplier members’ staff are physically fit for the future and adequately protected from the stresses and strains of corporate life.

The BMF will also introduce the Wellness Programme for its own staff. Dr Dugmore has had great success introducing his fitness and health programmes at Premier League football clubs as well as for corporate clients. Many delegates approached him following his conference presentation, and the BMF is delighted to be working with him to develop a Wellness Programme specifically tailored for the industry.

The BMF is also talking to Garry McDonald, procurement director at national housebuilder Miller Homes, who told conference delegates that his company wanted to do more business with independent merchants. The BMF will work with Miller Homes to facilitate their relationship with a pool of independent merchants around the country.

BMF managing director John Newcomb said: “Some 340 merchants and suppliers attended the Conference and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We wanted to deliver a conference that challenged people’s perceptions and encouraged different ways of thinking, and to demonstrate that the BMF itself is ‘Fit for the Future’ and able to lead from the front. Looking at the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received, I believe we achieved that aim.

“The industry has seen that the BMF is a very different organisation. We signed up another two new merchant members and one supplier member at the conference, as well as launching a new buying group membership scheme with IBC that could add up to 100 additional BMF merchant members within the next 12 months, taking our total membership to almost 450. Now our challenge is to build on the success of the conference with tangible initiatives, such as those we are discussing with Dr Dorian Dugmore and Miller Homes, and with all the ingredients now in place, there will be plenty more from the BMF later in the coming year.”