The four shortlisted companies were selected for their commitment in supporting and developing their teams through their use of BMF training.

The Builders Merchants Federation has announced the four companies nominated for the title BMF Training Company of the Year 2021 - E H Smith, Harlow, Huws Gray and LBS.

Nominated by BMF Regional Managers, who work closely with members in their area to satisfy training and other service requirements, the four shortlisted companies were selected for their commitment in supporting and developing their teams through their use of BMF training.

E H Smith encourages staff to reach their full potential through a range of class-room based and online learning programmes. These include the Maximising Margin programme, which has run across all branches and a management training programme for branch managers.

It also encourages staff development through more informal programmes, with team members active within the BMF Young Merchant Group and chairing BMF Forums in Marketing and Transport.

Timber specialist, Harlow, is a relative newcomer to the BMF having joined in 2019. However, it quickly demonstrated the value it placed on training and continued to run face to face courses on sales and people management in a covid-safe environment throughout the pandemic as well as embracing virtual training in computer skills and subscribing to BMF Campus, which enables staff to access online product and technical learning modules tailored to their job role.

Huws Gray has taken its training to the next level, working with the BMF to develop a bespoke training programmes and an in-house BMF Diploma in Merchant Management group. It has also created its own online Academy Platform with BMF’s training partner Cortexa and has committed to taking on new apprentices in the coming year.

LBS has also discovered the value of BMF Campus, developing its own Academy Platform with Cortexa. The platform includes access to all BMF Building Blocks courses which give new recruits an excellent grounding in building materials as well as keeping more experienced staff up-to-date with the latest products and techniques.

In addition, it has made a significant investment in sales and management training running group programmes for the BMF Diploma in Merchant Management, the BMF Certificate in Merchant Management and an ISM Essential Sales Management course tailored to the specific needs of its team.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “We rested our Training Award last year during the worst of the Covid pandemic, but it is clear to see that there is still a huge appetite among our members to develop its teams, no matter what the external circumstances. 

"The four companies chosen by BMF Regional Managers have all maintained, or increased, their investment in developing staff at all levels. I am delighted that they are making full use of the broad range of formal and specialist training offered by the BMF. 

"Whoever wins the title, each of the nominated merchants are clearly winning in terms of building excellence within their own business.”

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 23 September 2021