The BiKBBI Annual Awards 2024 celebrated the achievements of those operating within the KBB installation sector. Here's some photographs from the event. All images are copyright protected, The British Institute of KBB Installation (2024).

A short video first played at the BiKBBI Annual Conference 2024, highlighting achievements made on the subject of education by the organisation in 2023.

In this video, Archie, Fitted Furniture Apprentice at Ace Electrical & Plumbing talks about why he chose the KBB industry to start his career.

A short video first played at the BiKBBI Annual Conference 2024, highlighting achievements made by the organisation in 2023 on the subject of compliance.

In this video, Steven Hatfield, Head of Installer Recruitment and Performance at Wren Kitchens talks about how their retail partnwership with BiKBBI supports their commercial objectives.

On Tuesday, 6 February the British Institute of KBB Installation (BiKBBI) held its 2024 conference in Westminster. This annual event, hosted at the prestigious QEII Centre and sponsored once again by Senstec and Quooker, is a crucial forum for professionals, industry leaders and experts from the KBB industry to gain insight, discuss key topics and make valuable connections.

BiKBBI’s 2024 conference theme was “Driving industry change through collaboration”, and speakers and panellists shared opinions and experiences and debated the sector's challenges and opportunities, across a series of engaging presentations and discussions. The event was hosted by Hannah Prevett - Deputy Editor of The Times Enterprise Network - who expertly guided activities and thoughts throughout the day.

The conference was opened by CEO of BiKBBI Damian Walters, who celebrated the existing collaboration from sponsors, retail partners and stakeholders which drives positive change for the sector but warned there is still much to do and a need for greater collaboration from the whole industry on the subject of education, standards, compliance and sustainability. Results of the BiKBBI Installer Survey 2024 were also unveiled at the conference.

Keynote speakers included Fergus Harradence, Deputy Director of Infrastructure Construction & Rail at the Department for Business & Trade (DBT) who shared the UK government’s predictions for 2024, highlighting that, despite the continued challenges with a shrinking workforce and the continued skills gap, there was growth potential with both consumer and business confidence increasing which would ultimately benefit the construction sector.

Emily Wallace, CEO of the Trade Association Forum (TAF), also presented on the topic of the value of associations and what can be achieved when industries work together to influence policy, face challenges and grow skills.

Industry insight data from AMA Research was presented alongside key findings from the Bathroom Manufacturers Association’s Understanding the Bathroom Installer Survey 2023 and kbbreview’s Retailer Survey 2024 as well as BiKBBI’s own Installer Survey 2024 – all highlighting collaboration as the pathway to success.

BiKBBI hosted a sustainability panel featuring Phil Viner from Triton Showers, Tom Reynolds from the BMA and Lyrical Communications’ David Ventris-Field to discuss how to reach and support KBB installers better on the topic of sustainability. BiKBBI’s Installer Survey 2024 highlighted that 1 in 5 installers have noticed an increase in customers asking for recommendations on environmentally friendly products, and over 50% of installers feel the industry is not doing enough to reduce its impact on the environment.

Diversity Ambassador for BiKBBI, the Rt. Hon Stuart Lawrence, supported by James Moore from the MoD’s Careers Transition Partnership and Apprentice Plumber Sophie Maguire, led a workshop on why and how the industry should work towards improving diversity and inclusion, highlighting the benefits that a diverse workforce can bring to businesses and the industry. Stuart Lawrence then asked delegates at the conference to sign BiKBBI’s ‘Charter for Change’ – a commitment to work with BiKBBI to explore a revised inclusivity recruitment strategy– with 55 businesses pledging their support for the charter.

Education and apprenticeships also remained on the 2024 conference agenda, being a key area of focus for BiKBBI as a route to tackling the current skills gap. A panel of experts, led by Hannah Hockley from The Apprenticeship Partner, included Wickes Apprenticeship Programme Manager Connie Collett, independent retailer and apprenticeships champion Simon Taylor, KBB apprentice employer Paul Miles, and previous KBB apprentice Elliott Perry. The panel discussed recent advances in apprenticeships and training, including the new standalone Apprenticeship Standard for Fitted Furniture Installers reinforcing that access to education and training is integral to resolving the skills shortage, with Hannah Hockley highlighting the importance of the whole industry recognising the severity of the situation and the importance of support from all areas of the sector.

Damian Walters, CEO of BiKBBI, said ‘The BiKBBI annual conference has seen significant growth over the past three years, and it is not by coincidence. The attendance of so many brands and businesses here today is representative of the importance that installation plays to the whole industry and recognises the role that we fulfil as an institute. The theme of the day was collaboration, which was demonstrated by the 160 delegates who took time away from their busy day jobs to come here, join the conversation, and support this vital sector of the KBB industry. But now the real work begins, and we will continue to drive the agenda on the topics raised today with the support of our corporate sponsors, retail partners and wider stakeholders.

I would like to personally thank all contributors, speakers and panellists involved in today’s event, along with all of the delegates who, through collaboration, made the event a success and have given the industry a solid platform to move forward from.”

The results from the BiKBBI Installer Survey 2024 can be viewed here.

 

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation hosted the third annual BiKBBI Awards ceremony at the prestigious QEII Centre in London’s Westminster on Tuesday 6 February, with close to 300 guests attending the sold-out event.

The evening was a huge success, with some of the KBB industry’s most prominent brands and businesses in attendance, alongside shortlisted finalists from the KBB installation sector. Guests were entertained by emerging female comedian Fatiha El Ghorri, followed by Dom Holland who hosted the Awards presentation.

The BiKBBI Awards programme, which launched in 2021, has seen continuous year-on-year growth, attracting 170 entries and nominations in 2024, from both businesses and individuals, across eleven categories. There was also the presentation of the Special Recognition Award which is voted on by the senior leadership team at BiKBBI each year.

The 2024 BiKBBI Award winners are:

 

APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Quooker
✫ Won by Sienna Tomkins, SystemXL Limited

 

COMMUNITY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by InstallerSHOW
✫ Won by TK Kitchens & Bedrooms

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Qure Group
✫ Won by The Adroit Services Partnership

 

INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by MHK UK
✫ Won by Christian Andrews Interiors

 

INSTALLATION BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Häfele
✫ Won by The Kitchen & Bathroom Installer

 

INSTALLER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Triton Showers
✫ Won by Michael Miles, Ace Electrical & Plumbing Limited

 

NATIONAL RETAILER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Anthill
✫ Won by Wren Kitchens

 

YOUNG INSTALLER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Schlüter Systems
✫ Won by Aidan Parish, Lima Kitchens

 

ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Trend Tool Technology
✫ Won by Sandy Armitage, Sandy Armitage Designs

 

INDUSTRY NEWCOMER 2024
Sponsored by Lecico
✫ Won by Derek Craig, DGC Kitchen Fitters

 

INSTALLATION MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by CT1
✫ Won by Keir Butterwick, Wren Contracts

 

Damian Walters commented ‘The growth that we continue to see for the BiKBBI Awards demonstrates the need to recognise and reward excellence in the installation sector, as we strive to improve standards. The success of these awards is as a result of not only the installation community getting involved, but also the support of the businesses including the judging panel, our event partners and, of course, the category sponsors.  The BiKBBI Awards has is becoming a flagship event in the KBB calendar, and to see so many talented, hardworking individuals and businesses celebrated on a big stage tonight is what it is all about."

 

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Sponsored by SONAS Bathrooms
✫ Awarded to Lisa Williamson, Achieve + Partners

Damian went onto say: "I also had the pleasure of presenting Lisa Williamson with the BiKBBI Special Recognition Award tonight. Her work on the development of our industry’s apprenticeship standard has been not only been relentless, but until now, largely unsung. The Fitted Interior qualification became a standalone Apprenticeship at the end of 2023, so we felt that now was a great time to formally recognise the amazing work and dedication Lisa has shown. Lisa really is an unsung hero and we should all applaud her for her tireless work in this area.”

The British Institute of KBB Installation (BiKBBI) today announced the itinerary for its highly anticipated annual conference, scheduled to take place at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster on Tuesday 6 February 2024. The event, which is sponsored by Quooker and Senstec, is set to bring together professionals, industry leaders and experts from the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom sector for a day of insightful discussions, networking opportunities and knowledge-sharing.

Themed "Driving industry change through collaboration", the 2024 conference will explore the power of collaborative working in shaping the future of the KBB installation industry, recognising BiKBBI's ambition to foster collaboration within the sector in order to drive positive change, innovation, and growth.

Hannah Prevett, Deputy Editor of The Times Enterprise Network, will return for a second year as conference host, bringing a wealth of business insight, knowledge and experience to the role of facilitator for the event, which promises a programme of engaging discussions and thought-provoking presentations.

Keynote speakers on the day include Fergus Harradence, Deputy Director of Infrastructure, Construction & Rail at the Department for Business & Trade (DBT) who will provide an update on the UK Government's 2024 predictions on the home improvement sector, and Emily Wallace, CEO of the Trade Association Forum (TAF), will delve deeper into how collaborative industries unlock greater opportunity to thrive.

The itinerary also includes panel discussions, presentations and workshops from a range of presenters and businesses including BiKBBI patron Stephen Metcalfe MP, AMA Research, eBay, Triton Showers, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, the Ministry of Defence and BiKBBI Diversity Ambassador, Rt. Hon Stuart Lawrence. Attendees can expect to gain valuable insight into industry trends, technological advancements, and best practices, as well as participate in interactive sessions aimed at enhancing collaboration within the KBB installation community. Wing Commander Calvin Bailey MBE, Commanding Officer of 70 Squadron RAF will also share his knowledge on leadership and teamwork, as well as anecdotes of his life experiences as a Royal Air Force Detachment Commander.

'We are excited to bring together professionals from across the KBB industry at the BiKBBI Annual Conference 2024' commented BiKBBI Director of Marketing & Communications, Michelle Daniels. 'This event provides a unique platform for collaboration, enabling attendees to exchange ideas, share experiences, and collectively contribute to the advancement of our industry. We are confident that the content of the conference will inspire meaningful partnerships and drive positive change within the sector.'

Registration for the BiKBBI Annual Conference 2024 is by invitation only, however limited delegate availability is available, with those interested advised to contact leon.rowland@bikbbi.org.uk for more information.

As we stand on the threshold of a new year, it's with great pleasure that I take a moment to reflect on the remarkable journey we've had in 2023 within the KBB installation industry. The resilience and dedication displayed by our community have been nothing short of inspiring and despite challenges and uncertainties surrounding world affairs and the economy, our industry’s collective commitment to excellence has shone through, driving innovation and progress across every aspect of our sector.

Throughout the past year, the British Institute of KBB Installation has witnessed incredible strides in technology, integration, and sustainable practices. As an organisation, we’ve experienced growth across the board, to include installer participation and notably the commitment shown by industry via our corporate sponsorship relationships. It would be impossible for us to positively impact our part of the sector without industry brands stepping forward in the way in which they do, so I do want to take this opportunity to thank them in particular.

We must also recognise the unwavering pursuit of professionalism and high standards shown by those businesses that operate on the front line, which continues to elevate our industry to new heights. These, predominantly micro-businesses, are responsible for delivering concept into reality, by turning innovative and world leading product and design into beautiful spaces for future living, all whilst facing the challenges associated with a fragile economy, rising operating costs and skills gap that affects us all.

This is the very reason our awards programme is critical for our industry, because it’s so important that we formally recognise these achievements, not only to show appreciation to those deserving finalists, but to inspire a future generation to want to do the same.

Looking forward to 2024, the horizon holds immense promise and opportunities for us all, as our industry continues to remain buoyant.

As an institute, we are committed to fostering an environment that nurtures growth, encourages knowledge-sharing, and promotes collaboration. Our focus remains steadfast on empowering our partners with the tools and insight needed to excel within our dynamic marketplace. We hold the key to so many challenges as an organisation, and whilst we may have retired our ‘Together Stronger’ logo post pandemic, the notion of strength in numbers remains as important today as it ever was.

In the coming year, we anticipate further advancements in technology, emphasising efficiency and precision within our own operation. 2024 will see the introduction of AI within our organisation, as we continue to lead the way in the management of compliance, reducing risk to brands, businesses and people. Our new website provides greater clarity on our purpose and how we deliver against our strategic priorities.

Sustainable practices will continue to take centre stage, and our commitment to eco-friendly solutions will further solidify our industry's responsible approach towards the environment. As revealed in 2023 research, commissioned by our strategic partners at the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA), installers play an influential role in the consumer decision making process, so we’ll continue to drive an increased focus on how we can empower them to drive an ecological consumer uptake.

As we embark on this new chapter, let us carry forward the lessons learned from the past and embrace the future with enthusiasm and determination. Together, we will continue to set benchmarks, uphold professional integrity, and contribute significantly to the ever-evolving landscape of KBB installation. My team at BiKBBI remain committed in the delivery of a robust association proposition and I wish to thank them all for their unwavering commitment to our overall efforts.

Finally, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each member, partner, and stakeholder for your unwavering support and dedication. Let us continue to join forces as we step into 2024, poised to seize every opportunity and overcome challenges together.

Wishing you all a prosperous and fulfilling New Year!

Small businesses are the backbone of economies worldwide, but they often face unique challenges, particularly when it comes to financial stability. Protecting against financial loss is essential for their survival and long-term success, and I believe that taking a proactive stance towards financial stability holds the key to survival when things don’t quite go to plan.

Whether it's an economic downturn, unexpected expenses, market fluctuations or when a customer simply doesn't (or can’t) pay, there are many ways in which small businesses may face financial struggles – and the KBB industry is by no means immune to financial risk.

Aside from commercial collapse which is usually associated with bigger financial risk, especially to tradespeople who work with larger retail clients, consumer behaviour evidently changes when economic uncertainty becomes a factor. Simply put, many industries see a sharp incline of customers refusing or delaying final balance payments during recessional times, often using the balance as a way to barter on the final price, using a wide range of reasons why payment should be withheld.

So, whether it’s customers not paying or retailers facing financial collapse, it’s important that small businesses take steps to ensure that they are protected from third party shenanigans as much as possible.

The obvious solution would be that tradespeople take the payment up front, but sadly that’s not an option in most instances. It’s not something any sensible retailer would consider when agreeing terms with sub-contracted labour and taking full payment up front from private customers would not comply with fair trading laws.

So, how exactly can businesses protect themselves?

There’s no one answer to overcome the risk, but there are a number of proactive measures that will help to dramatically reduce the risk to any small (or bigger) business, should the issue arise:

ONE: Diversify revenue streams:
Relying heavily on one product, service, client or income stream can leave a business incredibly vulnerable, yet we see this on a regular basis. Businesses that ‘put their eggs into one retailer's basket’ is often where things go wrong. Diversification (working with more than one retailer/client)  spreads the risk and should be the number one priority for small businesses heading in to 2024.

Explore new or target different customer segments to create multiple revenue sources. This can help mitigate the impact of any one area experiencing a downturn or, in particular, one retailer going pop.

TWO: Maintain a cash reserve:
Small businesses are notoriously poor at building a nest egg, but building an emergency fund is vital. Aim to set aside a percentage of profit regularly to create a safety net for unexpected expenses or other financial stresses caused from outside influences such as an economic downturn. This reserve can cover operational costs during tough times without significantly impacting day-to-day operations or necessitating external borrowing. Whilst interest rates are dropping back to some kind of normal levels, generally speaking, they’re only really heading in one direction and subsequently, the cost of borrowing will increase over time.

THREE: Invest in insurance:
Insurance is a shield against unforeseen circumstances. Consider various types such as property insurance, liability insurance, business interruption insurance, and cyber insurance based on your specific industry and potential risks. While it’s an additional cost, it can protect against significant financial loss in case of accidents, natural disasters, or legal liabilities.

Our strategic partner,Marsh Commercial, provides solid advice and guidance to our industry and recently Client Executive, Grant Barnfather wrote a blog of his own looking at this area in particular.

FOUR: Implement strong financial controls:
Maintain a vigilant eye on financial operations. Regularly review cash flow, budgeting, and expenses. Implement internal controls to prevent fraud or errors. Utilise accounting software and seek professional advice to ensure accuracy and compliance with financial regulations.

There are loads of great financial solutions available on the market, with many tradespeople opting for software including Xero and Quickbooks. These solutions help financial planning and automate many areas of bookkeeping, including invoicing, purchasing and your HMRC tax returns.

FIVE: Build strong relationships with suppliers and clients:
Developing solid relationships with suppliers and clients can be invaluable during tough times. Negotiate favourable payment terms with suppliers to manage cash flow better. Cultivate strong client relationships to encourage repeat business and prompt payments, and make sure the terms are fair and reasonable for both parties.

SIX: Embrace technology for efficiency and protection:
Adopting technology can streamline operations and reduce costs. Automate routine tasks, leverage cloud-based solutions for scalability, and implement cybersecurity measures to safeguard against potential data breaches, which can be financially devastating. With private customers in particular, consider new tech to provide peace of mind, not only for you, but for new customers too.

Consider the Protect My Install platform to transact with customers… it takes care of quoting, payments, payment processing, contracts, variations, completion, insurance backed guarantees and even disputes – and for BiKBBI registered businesses, it’s free to use.


SEVEN: Plan for contingencies:
Develop a robust contingency plan for various scenarios. Anticipate potential risks and devise strategies to mitigate their impact. A well-thought-out contingency plan can guide decision-making during crises, reducing financial fallout. Again, BiKBBI registered businesses get access to lots of business planning templates to help with this type of planning – all accessible by the BiKBBI mobile app.

EIGHT: Seek professional advice:
Consulting with financial advisors, accountants, or business consultants can provide invaluable insights. They can assess your business, identify potential risks, and recommend strategies to minimise financial vulnerabilities.

We work with The Accurate Accountant who provide accountancy advice and guidance to our registered businesses and at a discounted rate too. The discount can be found via the BiKBBI mobile app too.

In conclusion, while it’s impossible to eliminate all financial risk, small businesses can take proactive steps to protect themselves. By diversifying revenue streams, maintaining reserves, investing in insurance, implementing strong financial controls, nurturing relationships, embracing technology, planning for contingencies, and seeking professional advice, businesses can fortify themselves against financial losses and navigate challenges with greater resilience.

Remember, the key lies in being proactive and adaptable. Small steps taken today can make a significant difference in securing the financial future of your business.

The British Institute of KBB Installation launches its 2024 industry survey for kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation businesses.

Participate in the industry survey now: Your opinion is important and will assist us to best represent you and the wider installation sector in 2024. The survey should take no more than 2 minutes to complete. It's your chance to have your say!

> Take the survey by CLICKING HERE.

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) has today announced the shortlist of finalists for the BiKBBI Installation Awards 2024 – the only awards programme dedicated to recognising and rewarding excellence in the KBB installation sector.

This year saw more than 170 nominations across twelve categories, with all entries scored by an independent panel of judges representing businesses from across the KBB industry, ultimately producing our shortlist of 48 finalists.

The BiKBBI Awards 2024 shortlisted finalists are:

 

APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Quooker

Aaron Machin, AT Installation Services Limited
Peter Salter, Lima Kitchens
Sienna Tomkins, System XL Limited
Jack Nicholls, Lexon Building Services

 

COMMUNITY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by InstallerSHOW

TK Kitchens & Bedrooms
AT Installation Services Limited
GROHE
CT1

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Qure Group

Lewis Home Renovations Limited
Alexander Kitchens
Brampton Interiors
The Adroit Services Partnership

 

INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by MHK UK

JLC Interiors Limited
Bathrooms at Source
Studio Hamilton
Christian Andrews Interiors

 

INSTALLATION BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Häfele

Simon Taylor Furniture Limited
The Kitchen & Bathroom Installer
Alexander Kitchens
Ace Electrical & Plumbing Limited

 

INSTALLATION MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by CT1

Emma Boreham, Wickes
Keir Butterwick, Wren Contracts
Warwick Hockley, Alexander Kitchens
Ian Cloggie, Christian Andrews Interiors

 

INSTALLER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Triton Showers

Graham Parnell, The Kitchen & Bathroom Installer
Ross Thompson, Hollands Heating
Michael Miles, Ace Electrical & Plumbing Limited
Leigh Haag, LH Installations

 

NATIONAL RETAILER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Anthill

Wickes
B&Q
Wren Kitchens
Homebase

 

YOUNG INSTALLER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Schlüter Systems

Owain Jarvis, AT Installation Services Limited
Callum Keating, AT Installation Services Limited
Aidan Parish, Lima Kitchens
Tom Wallace, Valley Kitchens & Bathrooms

 

ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Trend Tool Technology

Sandy Armitage Designs
Space-Plug Limited
Abode
Rotpunkt

 

INDUSTRY NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Lecico

Reggy Burgees, Bettis Carpentry & Build Limited
Derek Craig, DGC Kitchen Fitters
Freddie Bowles, BESO Furniture
Alex Wickes, Tranquil Construction

 

A Special Recognition Award, sponsored by Sonas Bathrooms, will also be presented on the evening.

BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters, commented ‘The BiKBBI Awards continues to grow year or year, both in terms of the number of entries we are seeing, but also in the support and involvement from the wider KBB sector. This year we have seen nominations rise by 30% across all categories and we have, once again, seen the quality of the submissions improve. This year’s finalists should be in no doubt that being shortlisted is a cause for celebration in itself and we look forward to celebrating with them in February at the BiKBBI Awards presentation. It is so important that the installation sector is recognised for the role that it plays in the industry, and therefore our thanks goes to those businesses that are sponsoring the 2024 Awards - their commitment and support is what makes both the Awards programme and the presentation event possible.’

The winners of all eleven categories, along with the winner of the BiKBBI Special Recognition Award will be announced at an Awards ceremony at the prestigious QEII Centre in London’s Westminster on the evening of Tuesday 6 February 2024. Tickets for the 2024 BiKBBI Awards are now on sale now and can be purchased here.

More information on the event and the awards programme can be found at here.

If you are interested in finding out more about the remaining sponsorship opportunities available for the BiKBBI Awards 2023, please contact Leon Rowland on leon.rowland@bikbbi.org.uk or call 01375 213 199, option 4.

EDUCATION | STANDARDS | SUSTAINABILITY | COMPLIANCE |