A little knowledge goes a long way

A little knowledge goes a long way

ARTICLE · first published in Builders Merchant News · May 2022

Timber Development UK offers a wide range of training guides, courses and advice for merchants looking to maximise their timber sales. CEO David Hopkins outlines just some of the help and support you can access.

With all the different types of timber and fixings on the market, it can be difficult for your staff to keep on top of everything you stock, especially if you are expanding and have new people joining your team.

But a little knowledge goes a long way, and training your staff can make the difference between being a merchant that sells timber, and being known in your area as a true timber expert.

Timber Development UK is the largest member organisation for the timber supply chain, so we are ideally placed to support all our merchant members looking to deepen their knowledge and understanding of timber. Many of our training courses are also available for non-members as part of our commitment to grow the timber market and deepen the wider construction industry’s understanding of the value of timber as a low-carbon building solution.

Merchants can access both in-person and online training on a wide range of timber issues. Our online training is carried out in partnership with Wood Campus, while our in-person training is run with Reed Consultants.

Through Wood Campus merchants can access bite-sized learning modules covering a wide range of topics including ‘An Introduction to Timber’, ‘Understanding Timber Products’, ‘Timber in Buildings’ and ‘Wood Coatings and Preservatives’, as well as many others. These are all available free to merchants, and can be accessed online at a time that suits your staff.

These courses are designed to provide a solid introduction to the timber supply chain, from the forests and sawmills right through to how timber products are used in the built environment.

Merchants who would like to learn even more can sign up to our Award in Timber Merchanting – an accredited online course that offers 39 hours of online training for just £150 (£95 for members of Timber Development UK).

The course is divided into four sections: An Introduction to Timber; Timber as a Material; Timber Products; and Selling Timber. Each module is interactive and complemented by guided reading and project work to help your staff fully understand how they can upsell timber products and better support their customers with technical advice.

On successful completion of the course, each person will receive a Level 3 Award in Timber Merchanting, as well as significant Recognition of Prior Learning towards a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Merchant Supplies.

For those working in merchant sales who prefer in-person learning, a six-day ‘Essential Foundations of Sales Management’ programme is available from Timber Development UK via our partner Reed Consultants. This programme is delivered over a 12-month period and supports talented individuals to successfully manage a portfolio of customers, particularly in the timber industry.

Thanks to the merger between the Timber Trade Federation and the Timber Research and Development Association, which has led to the formation of Timber Development UK, we are currently undergoing a full audit of all our training courses and will be expanding the knowledge and advice available to members and non-members in the coming months.

There is also a wide range of booklets, resources and training materials designed specifically for merchants available online from Timber Development UK. For more information on any of these courses, please visit www.ttf.co.uk

This article was originally published in the May issue of Builders’ Merchants’ News

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