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Be prepared for the future – final NMBS Conference Speakers announced

 16 May 2024

With less than one month to go until the NMBS Conference, Andy Hextall, commercial director at NMBS, makes his final speaker announcement…

This year’s NMBS conference has been designed to help those operating within the building materials sector to improve the performance of their business, learn about the wider construction industry, and prepare for what is coming next.

Our final set of speakers will be discussing a range of issues that members may currently be facing including talent development, cyber security, retrofit, and how to attract the next generation.

Talent development

We’ll be joined by best-selling business author Adrian Webster who will be sharing his insight into what he’s learned about inspiring teams from his experiences as a sales professional and business owner – something that is particularly important as the industry battles to not only attract people into construction, but also keep the talented people it already has.

After starting his career as a police officer in Bristol, Adrian left the police force to pursue his entrepreneurial urge. He set up a dairy business before diversifying into a wide range of other areas ranging from frozen food to recruitment and property.

Adrian then entered the IT industry. From corporate sales manager of US Robotics, he moved to leading distributor Northamber plc as group sales and training manager where he led a team of 150 and discovered his ability to inspire others.

Since publishing his first book in 2002, Adrian has written about an array of topics around business and personal development. His most recent book, TNTs – Tiny Noticeable Things, outlines his approach to the positive changes that can elevate teams, boost employee happiness, and improve customer perceptions.

Retrofit agenda

Also joining our speaker line up is Glenn Paddison, commercial director of h&b Buying Group LLP, who will be updating delegates on the retrofit landscape in the UK and the challenges and opportunities it offers the sector.

With over a decade of experience across various roles in the building materials industry, Glenn specialises in strategic purchasing, supply chain management, and market expansion, as well as enhancing the value and operational efficiency of businesses in the independent merchant sector.

He began his career in the builders’ merchant industry at MKM Building Supplies, advancing from sales to branch director. Glenn was also an Industry Advisor for Enable, a software platform for managing complex rebate deals, as well as being Chairman of the Builders Merchant Federation Young Merchants group for three years.

In addition to his role at h&b, Glenn is also the co-founder of two businesses: Cocuun and VOLLT. Glenn’s career reflects a blend of traditional industry expertise and innovative entrepreneurial ventures, driven by his dedication to both economic and environmental sustainability.

Cyber security

IT expert Charlie Blakemore, CEO of Intercity Technology, will be leading a session on one of the biggest issues facing all businesses in 2024: cyber security.

With a 40-year career in defence, aerospace and technology, Charlie has an impressive track record in delivering business transformation and growth. He progressed through the ranks at BAE Systems to lead its £1.2bn Global Land Business and held board-level positions in its Maritime and Air Sector divisions.

As non-executive director on the Board of the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Charlie supports the executive board in the development and delivery of policy to support 2,500 local businesses of all sizes across many sectors. He recently won a lifetime award at the Innovation Awards 2022 for his contributions to the business industry and wider community.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Directors and Association for Project Management, the deputy chairman on the Board of Innovation West Midlands, and is also a board advisor on Cyber Security.

Charlie will be discussing the challenges that cyber security presents business and how to address these throughout the business.

Industry apprenticeships

After running NMBS’ successful apprenticeship initiative in 2023, our very own Dean Hayward, head of sales and marketing, and Charlie Smith, marketing coordinator, will be presenting to attendees on the benefit of apprenticeships and what NMBS will be doing next to help independent merchants attract new talent.

Dean has worked at NMBS for more than 20 years. He originally started in the finance department before becoming part of the marketing team and later taking on the sales side of the business. In May 2022, Dean became the chair of the Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) Tools, Workwear and Fixings Forum.

Charlie joined NMBS as a marketing apprentice. Since completing her qualification in August 2023, she has gone on to become an advocate for apprenticeships in the construction industry and speaks publicly about her passion and experience.

During their session, Dean and Charlie will be providing an update on NMBS’ apprenticeship programme, highlighting the benefits for not only the apprentices, but for businesses and its employees, as well as updating on what NMBS is doing to encourage and promote apprenticeships within the industry over the next few years. Charlie will also be sharing her own experience of completing an apprenticeship and the development opportunities it has allowed.

NMBS Conference 2024

Magician and digital illusionist Keelan Leyser is hosting the NMBS Conference which is taking place between Thursday 6 and Sunday 9 June 2024 at the City of Dreams Resort in Limassol, Cyprus.

Power tool manufacturer Makita is the Conference’s headline sponsor. Our conference host is sponsored by Worcester Bosch, and Saturday’s keynote speaking slots are sponsored by Marshalls Plc.

www.nmbs.co.uk

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