Bringing together members, suppliers and other key stakeholders, the 2023 Nemo Office Club two-day conference kicked off with activities including falconry, laser clay pigeon shooting and the surprisingly competitive skill of duck herding. The event’s entertainment continued late into the evening with comedy, live music and the annual Nemo Office Club awards.
An early start the following morning saw delegates sit down to two industry expert presentations. First up was well-known sustainability leader Toby Robins, who delivered no-nonsense insights that resonated with independent dealers and the challenges they face.
Nemo Office Club Managing Director Tim Beaumont appreciated Robins’ stance: “He did not make any attempt to guilt trip anyone into acting. Instead, he made it clear the number one priority is to ensure your company is commercially viable and that any ambition is matched by capability. Failing to fulfil stated ambitions can result in a gap between the environmental credentials claimed and those delivered – greenwashing – and may lead to a loss of integrity.”
A key takeaway from the session was to do everything else feasible before carbon offsetting. This included limiting business travel, employee commuting, waste generated during operations, transport to customers (and to the dealer), reducing fuel and energy used and, where possible, self-generating energy.
Extending the idea of not committing to what you are not capable of delivering, BPGI CEO Barry Hayes took to the podium to share his expertise in tendering for accounts. He provided attendees with insight into the art of establishing contact at the right level, understanding who the decision-makers are and knowing the questions to ask.
Noted Beaumont: “Many attendees were surprised by the brutal facts. But the truth is, if a prospect is unwilling to supply you with the management information – products purchased, volumes, average order values – you are probably wasting your time. Demonstrating capabilities to serve, savings offered, service improvements, range expansions and how they can be implemented will set a dealer on the path to success.”
Meanwhile, the group’s retail members met to discuss experiences, ideas and insights through the format of popular TV game shows Would I Lie to You, Bargain Hunt and Taskmaster. The latter two revolved around finding the ‘best bargain’ and undertaking tasks while visiting the four-hour exhibition featuring 40 approved suppliers.
The conference ended with presenter Sian Lloyd. She recounted her experiences of overcoming challenges and learning to understand the importance of well-being and resilience if you are going to be prepared to win in life as well as business.
The next Nemo Office Club get-together takes place in January 2024, with a return to Eastwood Hall for the annual Kickstart event.