The prospective new BHETA management team that would be headed up by John Newcomb has set out its vision for the trade association in a new 10-point plan.
The team says that, if elected at the June 3 AGM, it hopes to draw a line under the recent internal wrangling and present the association as a proactive body working hard to help members deliver a united voice.
The plan was put together by the proposed new senior management structure of Gordon South, Nick Ryder, John Grayson and John Newcomb, who is standing for president.
Charles Harrison has also put his name forward for president.
The 10-point plan is designed to streamline the operation of the board and committees and bring the housewares and DIY sectors closer together. The sector directors would be more proactive in the day-to-day running of the association and a drive to increase the DIY membership would follow the election.
Negotiations on a merger with The British Jewellery, Giftware and Finishing Federation would also be re-opened with a view to presenting the case to members for a vote.
The full plan is as follows:
1 The CEO position will not be replaced. Instead, more authority is given to the two sector directors and sector committees on day-to-day operational issues.
The objectives and strategies for both sectors will be set by a newly-formed senior board committee (SBC) made up of the president, treasurer, two sector chairmen and the two sector directors.
Clear limits of authority will be agreed to allow the sector directors to operate with maximum effectiveness within agreed parameters.
2 The DIY and housewares sectors will forge stronger links and greater co-operation on the key issues facing both sectors, with at least two joint housewares and DIY forums to be held each year.
The extensive combined commercial experience within the new board and sector committee structure will be put to full use to benefit members in key areas, such as abuse of power, stronger links with retailers, education and training, etc.
3 Immediately following the presidential election, negotiations with the BJGF on the merger suggestion will re-open, with the objective of seeking a beneficial outcome for BHETA, and a final vote from the membership on this issue.
We should take, as a model for future discussions, the recent example of the merger of the BHF and BSSA, which has created greater efficiencies and member opportunities, through the bringing together of two retail trade associations into one strong, cohesive and powerful trade association, representing over 7,500 members.
The new proposed negotiating committee to consist of John Newcomb, John Grayson, Peter Bello and Patrick Gardner (the latter two members of both BHETA and BJGF).
4 The Treasurer’s role will be more closely focused on introducing and monitoring tighter financial costs controls, with the core financial objective being for the association to break even at operating level, and make profit on its investments.
5 A comprehensive review to be carried out immediately on all services offered to members by BHETA. This review to be carried out by the sector directors, with the objective of dropping any services that are not being used and replacing them with new services that are more appropriate to today’s trading requirements. They will also be tasked with making services easier to access for members.
6 The future activities of the association will be entirely focussed on adding value to members’ businesses via the existing, established areas, such as providing networking opportunities, cost-effective and well attended exhibitions and the provision of market data, as well as through encouraging and promoting business development activities such as joint ventures, distribution agreements, product development and seeking new market opportunities both in the UK and overseas.
7 The lifeblood of any trade association is its membership. The new board and sector committee will use their extensive industry knowledge and network to grow membership in appropriately aligned sectors – both organically and by acquisition, where appropriate.
8 We will launch a new membership drive to attract new member companies of all sizes across a variety of sectors, but with particular emphasis on the DIY sector, where the potential for growth is considerable.
9 We will continue to work closely with, and form relationships with, various organisations such as the CBI, DTI, UK Trade & Investment, FEDIYMA, and other trade bodies to provide valuable economic, market and legislative information to the benefit of members.
10 A newly elected board with revitalised and directly involved committees represents an opportunity to unify and move the association forward, with a more communicative and openly transparent approach that listens to and acts upon the aspirations of all members.