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We are a successful and expanding independent builders merchant with branches across the UK. For 25 years, the company has been supplying building and roofing materials to local tradesmen and the general public, priding itself on the quality of the products it sells and the customer service it provides. The company has a turnover of approximately £52 million with branches in Sussex, Surrey, Kent, London and the Midlands.
Following the successful introduction of a Graduate Management Training Programme in 2016, the company is aiming to recruit two more graduates into the business. You can find out more about our 2016 & 2017 Graduate Management Trainees and their experiences by clicking on the button below.
We are looking for individuals with two vital ingredients for success:
Firstly, you should possess strong interpersonal skills, with a natural ability to 'get on with people'. This is the kind of person who, as a Trainee, is willing to listen and learn from those more experienced whilst, in time, has the ability to step forward and take on the role of a manager.
Secondly, you will need the drive to learn new skills and to complete, over a 2-year period, the company's Management Training Programme.
Armed with the above characteristic traits, we believe that each Trainee who is given the chance to gain practical, hands-on experience, plus the opportunity to further develop his/her skills and knowledge through the Management Training Programme, has every chance of building an excellent management career.
Variety! We expect you to spend time in all areas of the business in order to gain valuable experience in the key roles within the builders' merchant industry. This will include working across departments covering:
Our Yard Staff work outside in all weathers to assist both tradesmen and the general public in selecting heavy-side building materials kept on site. They are responsible for the goods-in and storage of materials received from our suppliers and for loading our own commercial vehicles ready for delivery within the local area. This is a very manual area of the business and demands good organisation, excellent customer service and a strong adherence to Health and Safety (H&S) guidelines.
Our commercial drivers are often acknowledged as the face of the business. They are the people who use their skill and experience to safely deliver a wide range of building materials to site. Their challenge is to deliver the right goods, to the right location, at the right time. That's not always straightforward, with drivers often having to negotiate congested roads, small cul-de-sacs, and narrow country lanes, aside from the fresh set of challenges associated with off-loading vehicles on site. Drivers constantly assess the H&S risks and are forever mindful of transport legislation.
This department plays a vital role in any branch wishing to operate efficiently and effectively. Our Transport/Operations staff co-ordinate the day-to-day activities to ensure the branch is able to meet customer needs whilst operating within the H&S guidelines and transport and freight legislation. This role covers a wide remit, from maintaining adequate stock levels, co-ordinating deliveries, and liaising with drivers and customers alike. It is a role that requires strong organisation and communication skills and the ability to think on your feet.
A large number of trade customers visit the branch on a regular basis to select and collect the products they require. This may be from the significant range of plumbing, ironmongery or decorating materials, (termed light-side products), or heavy-side building materials generally stored in warehouses or outside in the yard. Our counter sales staff have developed extensive product knowledge and the ability to recommend the right materials for each job. A good counter sales assistant will be a natural problem-solver, finding workable solutions to satisfy each customers' needs.
A large proportion of company business is conducted through tele-sales, providing our Internal Sales Coordinators the chance to develop trusting relationships with a loyal band of customers over the telephone. Experienced Internal Sales Coordinators will be familiar with the customer, know their business and be able to satisfy their needs, taking the initiative to proactively identify new sales opportunities for generating increased sales and margin. It's both a reactive and pro-active role - when the telephones stop ringing, it's time for the Coordinator to start making the calls.
Our External Business Development Executives (BDEs) cover designated areas within the regional network of branches. Like our internal sales staff, BDEs require the interpersonal skills to establish, develop and maintain good relationships with customers - the majority of whom will be professional tradesmen. It's a competitive world and our BDEs constantly come up against other merchants and suppliers when negotiating sales orders, chasing new business and endeavouring to meet their individual sales targets.
In addition to time spent in the above areas of the business, you will also work in the Finance and Accounts Department and the commercial sectors of Purchasing and Marketing to gain a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of our industry.
The programme will be supported by the Builders' Merchant Federation (BMF) and includes a series of specific training workshops linked to all aspects of the business, with modules in subjects, such as, Customer Service, Finance, Sales, Health & Safety, Personal Effectiveness, Transport/Operations, Leadership and Performance Management, as well as a variety of other industry-relevant topics.
In your second year, you will spend more time working in three different branches in the Sussex region. Here, you will have the opportunity to use the skills and experience you have gained over the last year to begin making your mark. You'll work closely with branch and department staff to help develop your knowledge of the industry and attend four full-day workshops that will further enhance your ability to be an effective front-line manager.
On successful completion of the 2-year programme, you will aim to be successfully appointed to a management position within the company. This may be that of a team leader, a department manager or a business development executive. Career progression should then be focused towards becoming an Assistant Branch Manager and eventually a Branch Manager - ready to rise to the challenges that this role entails.