Kishor Harsiani, Strategy and Finance Director at the IBC Buying Group, explains why merchants should invest in training to develop their staff and maximise their margins.
The builders’ merchant industry is constantly changing, with new products and services coming on to the market all the time, not to mention a constant stream of new business and finance regulations to keep track of.
For merchants who want to take advantage of all the new opportunities available, it is important to ensure a constant programme of training. Keeping up to date means merchants can be sure they are operating to the correct standards, as well as being confident that their staff can offer customers the very best advice at all times.
This is especially true for independent merchants, who operate with smaller teams and often struggle to be able to take their people away from the trade counter to attend in-depth training courses.
Although it can be tough to find the time in a busy branch, the builders’ merchants who do well (with the least stress!) are the ones who invest the most in training, and who understand the important role that it plays in staff retention, boosting morale, improving margins and giving their business a boost above the competition.
Luckily for merchants, there are many high-quality training courses available from organisations across the construction industry – whether that’s on-site product training from manufacturers, or online bite-size training modules in new health and safety standards for example, which merchants can access as and when they have time.
At IBC we understand the importance of thorough training, and as well as our in-house development programme, we work hard to provide our merchant members with the training they need.
We are currently working on a new fleet of training and support documents to help our members make the most of their dedicated IBC Members’ Portal, and have also worked closely with the Builders’ Merchants Federation to offer a cost-effective training course to help merchants maximise their margins by making their business as efficient as possible.
Training needs to add value to both the individual and the business. It is crucial that the right training is offered to employees and accessing accredited courses that address those needs should be a non-negotiable part of any builders’ merchant’s development plan.
For more information on the benefits IBC can offer through its 100+ suppliers, visit www.ibcbuyinggroup.com or call 020 3195 7957.
- This article was also printed in the October 2019 issue of Builders’ Merchants News