Monday, August 8th 2011
A new think tank that brings together kitchen and bathroom related associations and organisations has been formed with the aim of combining expertise and improving the sector as a whole.
Named 'The Kitchen & Bathroom Forum', its objectives include the exchange of information on each organisation's own strategies and initiatives - and how the Forum as a whole can help them - and identifying shared issues and goals that it can act on as a whole.
Organisations signed up so far are listed below and the Forum is open any other associations or bodies with an interest in the kitchen and bathroom market invited to attend.
Its initial focus will be on improving the image of the kitchen and bathroom industry and coming up with ways to help reduce the £80m worth of consumer complaints it faces every year.
The aim is to meet several times a year with a different chairman each time taken from the participating bodies. Two preliminary meetings have taken place so far with kbbreview editor Andrew Davies as temporary chairman; he will also chair the first official meeting in September in anticipation of handing it over for subsequent gatherings.
The first preliminary meeting took place at the KBB London exhibition in May, and the second at Blum's headquarters in Milton Keynes in July.
The initiative grew out of a panel discussion at the kbbreview Kitchen Conference 2010 on the lack of coherent representation in the UK kitchen industry, and the possibility of setting up a formal "Kitchen Association" that would include retailers, manufacturers, designers and suppliers.
However, in such a disparate industry, that is a daunting task unlikely to be undertaken by anyone to a significant degree. The Kitchen & Bathroom Forum is an exciting alternative which sees existing organisations with an interest in the kitchen and bathroom market communicating and cooperating more.
"This sounds like such a simple thing, but I believe it's a huge step forward for the kitchen and bathroom sector," said kbbreview editor Andrew Davies. "Especially for the kitchen industry in particular, which has always struggled with representation across the whole market. I hope the Forum can help it learn from the more experienced bathroom side.
"Working together on common goals can amplify any message the Forum wants to highlight. Speaking with one voice it represents a multi-billion pound industry that will be hard to ignore. I hope we've finally come up with a format and plan that means cooperation without compromise for each organisation involved. I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes out of it."
The next meeting will be held on September 29 at the FIRA offices in Stevenage. Any other associations or bodies that have an interest in the kitchen and bathroom market are invited to attend and can contact Andrew Davies at [email protected].
Organisations signed up so far include:
Builders Merchants Federation (BMF);
Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA);
The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA);
Society of British Interior Design (SBID);
Instituteof Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installers (iKBBI);
Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA);
Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA);
KBB National Training Group (NTG);
National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT)
Also present at discussions