It has been another successful year for the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI), which is joint initiative between the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), who owns the brand, GFK whose data it is and MRA Research, who produces the reports.
Launched with the aim of reaching and influencing decision makers in and outside construction, including government, the BMBI provides a unique blend of quality data and expert commentary. Its primary objective has been reached and exceeded in recent years, with further achievements recorded during 2020.
A wider audience
Reports are distributed to decision-makers, advisors and influencers; economists; business analysts and commentators; national media; and government. This year, usage of the BMBI report within the construction sector has increased substantially, but it has become more visible to people outside of the industry too.
Since 2019, BMBI data has been regularly included in the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Monthly Construction Update, alongside BoE, ONS, OBR and other leading data sources. This year, the Treasury and the Cabinet Office have also viewed the BMBI, along with the Office for National Statistics; OBR; BoE; HMRC; Home Office; as well as a wide range of private financial and commercial organisations.
Leading journalists and economists also use and report on BMBI data. Overall, the report’s combined circulation increased by 56% in the last 12 months in terms of print circulation; and 85% in terms of online, not including distribution by the CPA and BEIS.
New experts added
Interest in contributing to the BMBI also continues to be strong. During the year, no fewer than five new experts have been recruited to the panel.
The new experts include; Stacey Temprell, Marketing Director of British Gypsum and BMBI expert on drylining systems; Kevin Tolson, Commercial Director for Wienerberger and BMBI expert on bricks and roof tiles; and Steve Durdant-Hollamby, Managing Director for Polypipe Civils and BMBI expert for the civils and green infrastructure sectors.
Also new to the BMBI’s panel of experts are; Lynn Street, Sales & Marketing Manager for Midland Lead and BMBI’s new expert on lead; and Andy Scothern, Managing Director of e-CommonSense, who is the new expert commentator on website and product data management solutions.
While the data generated by BMBI – and the reporting of it – is hugely valuable, as it reveals the trends affecting the industry, the real power of BMBI lies in the quarterly analysis and interpretation of the data by experts, who explain trends, add perspective and give meaning.
BMBI at the heart of government
The BMBI combines quality data about the Repair, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) markets with expert comments explaining the trends and their significance. People now know what builders’ merchants do and why they matter. And as planned, BMBI reaches into the heart of Government.
Unlike other data sources, BMBI doesn’t use sample data – it reports on over 80% of building material sales by general builders’ merchants to builders and tradespeople using GfK’s Merchant Panel data. Effectively it is the market and is the only reliable and up-to-date measure of housing RMI activity.
At the start, the BMBI was designed to educate, inform, engage and influence the wider construction market – and beyond. That need remains, as proven in March this year, when the Government’s clumsy lockdown shut construction without meaning to. As leaders in the industry, including the BMF, went to government to argue that construction and builders’ merchants are essential to the economy, the Treasury and BEIS prepared for the meeting by consulting the BMBI website.