Jul 09, 2024

Building a local IBMG

The Business Focus Magazine recently interviewed our CEO, Martin Stables, to understand more about our strategy, continued growth and how we preserve our brands’ strong heritage.

“We are fortunate to be backed by genuinely actively involved investors,” Stables says. “They are all very supportive of what we do and how we go about delivering our strategy. The depth of funding and experience they bring is a huge asset for us. It lets us move at pace on many fronts while remaining focused on our core activities.”

“We are protective of our brands and their strong history; heritage is very important to us. Kent Blaxill has traded for 186 years, RGB for 174, and our youngest business is now 11 years old. The Group has some 1313 years of trading heritage behind us, it is a remarkable legacy which we are proud to grow further. We are equally protective of our customers and our teams that serve those customers,” Stables says. “We try to keep everything local because those relationships are the bedrock of the business.”

“Our customers are primarily local independent businesses themselves, so they value that approach,” Stables says. “We provide repair, maintenance and improvement in the domestic environment.”

“The final bit of jigsaw is that we are aware of the need to reduce societal drain on the planet’s resources,” says Stables. “We have a significant part to play here. It is a global challenge, but one with local solutions.”

IBMG is uniquely placed to provide those solutions. It is one of the few firms that can support a project from footings to ridge tiles, supplying every specialist trade in between. It is the only company of its size with the specialist knowledge necessary to carry out those trades.

As Stables tells us, “We do not have a one-size-fits-all franchise model. We seek out businesses and empower their people to choose the best processes. They act as entrepreneurs. That has yielded the best results most rapidly.”

Once IBMG acquires people, it tends to keep them, boasting a low turnover compared to the rest of the industry.

The company has not been without its challenges – last year’s market in particular was a difficult one for the entire sector, but despite that, Independent Builders Merchant Group has maintained a relentless focus on customer service, which has paid off in the form of market share and a growing active customer base. IBMG is making major initiatives to consolidate and enhance its supplier partnerships, as well as continuing to invest in people and pricing.

As Stables looks forward to the rest of 2024, he is anticipating the launch of new, exciting customer propositions around renewables and sustainability, as well as an expansion of the Group’s independent brand network through new branches and still further mergers and acquisitions, where strategically appropriate.

Martin will speak at this year’s BMF Conference in September, sharing his views on the sector, how IBMG thrive and also play a part in wider BMF campaign to make a Material Difference to the Skills Shortage that the industry faces throughout the building materials supply chain.

To read the full article, visit Business Focus Magazine.