BHETA’S first Service Provider Forum proves popular

The inaugural Business Service Provider Forum organised by BHETA (British Home Enhancement Trade Association) proved ‘a popular event for supplier members with an excellent turnout,’ according to the trade body.

The event, which took place at BHETA’s headquarters in Birmingham on November 19, was billed as ‘a showcase for BHETA’s comprehensive offer of added value and special rate business services for members’, and included an export clinic for those wishing to pose questions to the BHETA export committee.

BHETA said: ‘In reality, the Forum proved much more than a showcase, as speakers presented a series of radical insights into the probable effects of currency fluctuations, forthcoming legislative change, the impact of counterfeiting, the future of cross border fulfilment and the best ways to maximise the potential of Amazon as a route to market.

Trevor Charsley of AFEX set out the likely scenarios for currency fluctuations between sterling and the US dollar and sterling and Euro in the wake of different potential election outcomes, and the consequent implications for Brexit. Entitled ‘Getting a Good Night’s Sleep’, his presentation outlined potential hedging strategies to mitigate the effects of exchange rate instability.

Vera Costa of Salesupply looked at factors influencing the choice between cross border shipping and cross border fulfilment for ecommerce traders delivering product into multiple territories. A review of the options included the latest innovations in the industry such as smart boxes, dynamic re-routing, fitting rooms on location and multi-label parcel shops, as well as a run-down on the most important factors for consumers. These factors were, in order of importance: intact, on time and low cost, with 61% of customers willing to pay extra for next day delivery. She also highlighted the importance of an effective returns policy.

Laura Chalkley of HR lawyer Ellis Whittam reviewed the implications for employers not only of a post-Brexit scenario, but also of The Good Work Plan. In particular, she focused on changes to company’s obligations in terms of employment checks and contractual rights in the so-called GIG economy. Her presentation blended a review of the legal position with advice on preparation for change and the importance of assisting employees affected.

Jack Cooper of RT7 Digital, which specialises in supporting brands trading on Amazon, gave a demonstration of best practice on this channel, bearing in mind its use not only for purchase but also for shopper research. Showing examples of brands maximising potential and others falling short, he exhorted suppliers to defend their brands to the hilt online – and recommended his preferred routes for keyword research.

Lorraine Fisher of i-CRC provided an insight into the nature and scale of counterfeiting with examples of typical fraudulent scenarios. i-CRC works with suppliers to combat counterfeiting and its services range from suggesting practical ways of prevention and identification, to tracking down and prosecuting culprits on a global scale.

Paul van Danzig, director and policy advisor at Wastepack, explained the current compliance requirements for suppliers in terms of packaging waste (and why costs are ‘skyrocketing’) and the implications of probable new legislation in this area. He suggested that it may not only alter the definition of ‘obligated producer’ to include many more supplier businesses, but also see the full cost of dealing with packaging waste transferred from the public sector to private sector suppliers. Paul gave advice on options to consider and strongly suggested that all suppliers should take an interest in the proposals and make their views known to the government.’

Commenting on the event, BHETA’s member services manager Nicola Adams-Brown, who chaired the Forum, said: “This was a very successful session, packed with timely advice for members on subjects that reach to heart of their businesses. It combined longer-term strategic advice with practical short-term tips, as well as being an excellent networking occasion. BHETA will definitely repeat its Business Service Provider Forum event in the future.”

For more information about BHETA membership, contact the member services team on 0121 237 1130 or visit the BHETA website


L-R: Sam Miah and Nicola Adams-Brown from the BHETA member services team with Paul van Danzig, Jack Cooper, Lorraine Fisher, Laura Chalkley and Vera Costa

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