The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) recently hosted two supplier network meetings to create discussion on key topics and let suppliers feed their views into the buying group’s five year strategy.
Held at the National association of Jewellers’ (NAJ) Britton Street HQ, and the Birmingham Assay Office’s AnchorCert Academy on January 14 and 15, discussions were led by chief executive officer Terry Boot, executive director of business development and marketing Lucy Reece-Raybould, and CMJ supplier director and CMJ (UK) head of sales, Barrie Dobson.
Attended by more than 35 suppliers, Boot updated suppliers on major changes seen in the past 12 months, including CMJ’s ‘getting back to core’ values, corporate governance and improved financial rigour. The chief exec also advised suppliers of a new membership development manager, due to join the CMJ team in coming weeks.
Furthermore, Reece-Raybould, highlighted the communications changes that had been implemented including the installation of Customer Relationship Management software, HubSpot, and further updates to the new CMJ website, including a secure, interactive and closed-group supplier forum.
A separate members forum is also included in the website developments. All, she added, in a bid to improve supplier and retailer relations and to ensure CMJ was adding value at every touch point with all stakeholders.
Trade exhibitions was a hot topic, and suppliers were keen to look at forging a “partnership ethos” between suppliers and retailers, whether CMJ should seek to bring in more non-jewellery partners and how CMJ could partner with other trade organisations to increase member and supplier benefits.
Boot confirmed this is already bearing fruit with members receiving additional discount on NAJ educational training courses.
At the CMJ’s spring trade show last year, a roundtable led by Professional Jeweller, and attended by directors of leading independent jewellers, revealed retailers are also looking to work closer together with suppliers to help bolster business during difficult trading condition.
Commenting on the networking events, Boot adds: “This event was just the start of a series of supplier-focused meetings. It was a really useful, thought-provoking exercise for us, and an enjoyable networking opportunity for the suppliers who attended.
“Overall, the same main topics were discussed at both sessions and our core takeaways for deliberation and future focus will be how can CMJ continue to increase member engagement and how can we add more value to our core services for the benefit of all stakeholders.”