In April 2018, the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) appointed Kevin Buckley as interim Group Chief Executive with the appointment being made permanent in October 2018. 12 months on and Kevin is pleased with the success so far as he marks the progress the GGF has made under his tenure.
“We have made great strides in the last 12 months, as we continue to deliver key benefits for Members. It’s fair to say that when I became Group Chief Executive, I was very familiar with the GGF commercial subsidiaries but had less knowledge of the industry and the Federation. In the last twelve months, my views have been transformed. I’m continually amazed at the breadth and depth of the GGF Membership and of the loyalty and commitment of the many passionate individuals that contribute to the Federation.”
In the last 12 months, the significant progress the GGF has achieved is clearly evident. In the short space of time the industry’s leading trade body has a considerable list of achievements including:
- Expanded and reconfigured the GGF Regional team with two new Regional Managers as the GGF’s continues to facilitate over 40 regional meetings per year which attract both existing and new Members.
- Launched the GGF Training programme with accredited courses for installers and surveyors to enhance performance in the workplace.
- Continued to promote and develop the GLASS Charter – the GGF’s health and safety scheme to help you provide a safer working environment on site, in factories and during transit.
- Launched a new intranet system to improve internal communications and enhance staff engagement and to develop greater team work.
- Established three distinct political strategies for fire safety, energy efficiency, skills and training. The renewed political focus on these topical areas benefits not just GGF Members but the entire industry.
- Created a new External Affairs department to focus more on media relations, political relationships and PR.
- Worked closely with government on issues associated with Brexit – an area the GGF is constantly updating as the timeframes and implementation shifts.
- Rejuvenated the approach and activities of the GGF Heritage Group to help businesses overcome the restrictions imposed by local authorities on companies operating in the heritage or conservation sectors.
- Launched new GGF Brand guidelines and a new sharper logo
- Launched the new GGF website – making it easier to navigate across all digital devices and platforms
- Recruited over 50 new Members into membership
- Launched a new Members only fortnightly e-newsletter called “Members First” to ensure that all Members receive GGF news first and in a clear and easy format.
- Hosted and organised high profile events including Members Day and the recent President’s Reception.
These are just some of the outstanding projects the GGF Staff has delivered and continue to deliver for Members. In the next few months the Federation also plans to have a strong presence at major exhibitions including FIT Show, FIREX, Glass Performance Days and VITRUM. At these events the GGF will be presenting seminars, imparting technical expertise, promoting best practice, engaging with the industry and also continuing to bring more companies into the GGF Membership as part of their recruitment strategy.
In addition the GGF is also planning a ‘new Members’ introduction event for the 4th July, and has special features planned for Members Day 2019 in September that will include an exciting networking event on the evening before, hosted at the London ‘Museum of Brands’.
Kevin emphasised the importance of listening to Members as he continued;
“One thing that I have found most worthwhile this last 12 months, has been discussing GGF activities with our Members and listening to comments and suggestions. A common misperception is that the GGF senior staff don’t visit Members often enough and don’t value their views. I know the GGF team come into contact with hundreds of Members and I believe that making myself available to Members in various forums, talking about what I am doing and listening to opinions is one of the most important aspects of my role. I have made it a personal objective to do this and since my appointment, I have visited Members both individually and through attending many of the GGF’s Regional, Technical and Members’ meetings.”
One area where the GGF is making great progress is in market research. In 2018, almost 20 different surveys were conducted and the results are proving to be extremely useful for the Federation, with data that highlights market trends and provides a greater understanding of the level of concern over industry issues. It has also proved to be practical as Kevin explains.
“The shortage of skilled labour and training is a real concern for most of the industry. Last year, we reviewed our Members’ Perception Survey and we have since shaped our strategies around the responses. For example, the training courses for installers and surveyors that we now offer, have been created as a direct result of what our Members said they wanted in the survey.”
Though a lot of work has been done, Kevin is keen to point out that it’s only the beginning of the GGF’s long term strategies.
“For the rest of this year and into next year, we will increase our technical resource and publish more technical documents. We will also develop and promote our training courses and will be launching a new suite of health and safety publications. Added to this we will continue to drive our political campaigns, build stronger relationships and develop synergies with like-minded organisations. There’s lots more to do and much more to come, as we make it our mission to continue to provide better services and improve the trading environment for GGF Members and the wider industry.”
Kevin Buckley will be presenting on the industry issues at FIT Show 2019 at Birmingham NEC on 21st May. You can book your place at this seminar which starts at 10.30 in the Insights Theatre (Hall 20) by visiting: https://www.fitshow.co.uk/sessions-2019#/seminars/