The annual NBG Conference came to a triumphant close earlier this week with the Supplier Awards. Winners were revealed at a Gala Dinner held at the Celtic Manor resort in Wales, where approximately 400 delegates gathered to celebrate the National Buying Group.
The Gala Dinner was the final event in two days of networking for key industry figures, which included a pub-themed dinearound evening, football match, exhibition and the NBG's annual AGM. During the AGM, delegates were able to see the newest products to join the NBG stable.
The theme of this year's conference was 'Going For Growth', with delegates encouraged to discuss ways in which the industry can continue to expand following a successful 2014.
David Szymanski, NBG's non-executive chairman, welcomed everyone to the Gala Dinner and described NBG as "a strong partnership of like-minded independent merchants who work hard. Our partnership includes our valued suppliers as we all have to work together to achieve success".
This success was exemplified by the growth the buying group has achieved this year, seeing a 16% average growth in supplier purchases by NBG partners. Twelve new branches have been opened this year by NBG partners, with plans to open 20 new branches next year already in place.
"NBG is moving forward and going for growth," continued Mr Szymanski, before quoting Henry Ford and saying: "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself."
There were nine supplier Awards announced during the Gala Dinner, before guests were entertained by snooker legends Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor.
The Supplier Award categories and winners were:
- Bricks & Blocks: H+H
- Civil Engineering & Landscaping: Digby Stone
- General Building: Sika Everbuild
- Painting, Decorating, Ironmongery, Hardware, Fixings & Electrical: TI Midwood
- Plumbing, Heating & Showrooms: Altecnic
- Roofing & Insulation: Knauf Insulation
- Tools & Workwear: Makita & Toolbank
- Timber: Caledonian Plywood
- Account Manager of the Year: Mark Jones of Sika Everbuild.
This year's Conference was sponsored by Polypipe as headline sponsor, while Cemex and Birtley Group were also sponsors. The Gala Dinner itself was sponsored by Bradstone, Encon Insulation, Knauf Insulation and Wienerberger.