UK brick maker Ibstock has introduced a series of collaborative initiatives to support merchants, from effectively managing brick supplies to developing innovative interactive displays.

Ibstock’s work with merchants is part of its overall business strategy to support the construction industry’s growth, which has seen an increased demand for bricks. The Ibstock team has been working in close partnership with its customers to allocate brick supplies - particularly of popular products - and will continue to help with accurate forward-planning of stock levels.

Ibstock has also designed a number of tools to enable merchants help their customers make the right choices when it comes to brick products.

The Ibstock Merchant Pod is currently being trialled at selected sites. Featuring a fully interactive display, it allows users to access dynamic information on the latest products and order samples at the same time – providing an easy way for merchants to help their customers make selections.

Other Ibstock services for merchants include its Brick Selector, which offers access to essential information across its whole brick range. Merchants can also access a host of point of sale displays and clear signage to enable them to better market Ibstock's products and solutions to their customers.

Andrew Halstead-Smith, group marketing manager at Ibstock, said: "We have a long and well-established commitment to the builders' merchant market, which culminates in our annual Independent Builders’ Merchant Forum. By meeting face-to-face and sharing latest brick designs and market trends, we are able to supply merchants with the best and widest brick range currently available, and support this with bespoke services to meet their individual needs.

"For example, to help meet demand for brick, Ibstock has invested more than £22m into the redevelopment of our Chesterton factory and has re-commissioned a previously mothballed site in Leicester. This, together with other initiatives, means that we will bring an extra 200m bricks to the market in 2014."