Merchant News
Welcome to Trusted Timber
24th May 2019

Welcome to Trusted Timber

Welcome to Trusted Timber

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest, as the shrewd 18th century American politician Benjamin Franklin once said. It’s an observation that still rings just as true today.

Whether you are a London black cab driver doing ‘The Knowledge’ or a merchant timber trade counter manager, responsible for profitably answering queries from builders, architects and the public, your investment of time and energy in improving your ability to do business can pay dividends.

From the employer’s perspective, no-one can ignore the positive research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) showing direct links between investment in learning and development and increasing productivity. Their 2015 report entitled ‘Investing in productivity: unlocking ambition’, found that 67% of organisations where investment in learning and development had increased over a period of two years also realised productivity gains. Productivity in the merchant timber context means selling more timber, more profitably, and to a wider range of customers, brought in by your company’s reputation for sound advice and fit for purpose products.

There are many valid schemes delivering timber knowledge, from our own TTF Timber Merchanting Level 3 online package,to training successfully delivered face to face by individual expert timber trainers. To this mix we have recently added a TTF Essential Foundations of Sales Management course, which takes place over a year, bringing confidence in developing sales techniques and managing customer relationships. The course is accredited by the Institute of Sales Management.

With TTF members being part of a much wider timber supply chain, the TTF organises many different types of development, designed to bring knowledge and to secure business-building confidence. Last year we held our first training session for those involved in selling to specifiers, which went into great detail about what information is needed and how to approach this very selective band within our industry’s customer base.

The last of our series of joint EUTR risk mitigation and due diligence workshops, run in conjunction with the Office of Product Safety & Standards, took place a few weeks ago in April, looking at specific risks in timber supply to the caravan industry. Since last autumn this series has addressed sector-specific risk across a variety of our wood-buying industries. We have also stretched our co-operation net wide, holding Brexit Transition Workshops in conjunction with the Forestry Commission’s Plant Health team and other Government departments. These covered wood imports and biosecurity during the Brexit process: a vital issue as the UK imports nearly 60% of all its timber.

Growing the Use of Wood’ is central to the Timber Trade Federation’s mission. Within that we aim to become enablers, both for our own members and those in the wider supply chain, bringing together the strands of development which lead to better business for us all