The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has advised the Government on the likely impact of coronavirus on the building materials supply chain and warned of the devastating impact if the pandemic shuts down the construction sector.
The BMF will continue to express the concerns of the sector over the coming weeks as the situation develops and has requested urgent meetings with the Business Minister, Nadhim Zahawi and with key contacts at BEIS to discuss specific industry-related issues.
Reflecting the concerns of the industry directly into Government is one of four priority areas for the BMF as it helps members to continue to trade through the unprecedented health crisis. They are also issuing twice-weekly bulletins with the most up-to-date advice both from the Government and the CBI.
In line with Government requests to avoid non-essential travel and contact with others, the BMF is cancelling all regional meetings, events and forums for the next 8 weeks. The Federation is also ramping up On-Line Training to replace classroom style courses, with a series of webinars for popular BMF training programmes, such as How a House is Built. This is in addition to its existing comprehensive range of online training services such as BMF Campus and BMF Building Blocks.
Through the BMF Plus Services members can access expert Employment, Insurance and Health & Safety advice. They also have access to Digital online advice, an area of business that is set to double over the next 12 months as purchasing habits are forced to change.
BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “It is exactly at times of business uncertainty that any industry needs a strong, reliable and effective Trade Association to represent its interests. The BMF will do all we can to help and support members through this very difficult period.”
In common with many office-based businesses, the BMF has instituted home working for the majority of its staff. A skeleton staff, including John Newcomb, will continue to work from their Coventry HQ. All staff will be fully operational, providing a full service to members.
John Newcomb concluded: “Regardless of COVID-19, we remain totally committed to our core objective of helping members to build excellence in materials supply. They have my personal assurance that the weight of the BMF, and the recognition and respect we command as the only trade body for the whole building materials supply chain, is fully dedicated to helping members to manage through this crisis.”