The Branch Manager Manual: By Managers, for Managers

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Launched in December 2023, the Branch Manager Manual (BMM) was designed as an easy-to-follow online guide, offering Branch Managers from across the business guidance and training to successfully fulfil their roles.

The BMM has been designed with ease of use in mind and has categories of work grouped together, based on feedback provided by BMs themselves.

Whether its information on internal audits carried out as part of Chain of Custody on certified wood, or guidance around ToolHire or EHS, the process has been made simple and quick to use. Clickable links take users to function pages on the intranet and contact names and emails available for further information.

James Fox, Customer Process Improvement Lead, who led the project, says: “The key has been to keep it simple – the BMM is not the home for all the information, because we didn’t want to rewrite the information already available out there, it just provides key points, contacts and links to help colleagues quickly find what they need.

“It’s about simplification, if we make it easier and quicker for branch managers to get the information they need, they can use their time more productively.”

The BMM could be used as part of the induction process for New Colleagues and has already proven itself invaluable in the career development of assistant branch managers.

“An experienced ABM has given us feedback saying: ‘This is an excellent tool which is long overdue. It is easy to navigate & it’s good to see everything in one place. I have been with the company over 27 years and over that time have had to step up to the Branch Manager role from time to time, this will be an invaluable tool for staff on those occasions as well as the Branch Managers’.”

Growing users

The manual is continually maintained and updated with the help of the same focus group of BMs & support functions who helped create it, “the BMM is a working document, and we will continue to develop it using the feedback from users,” says James, “all feedback is welcome!”

Since its launch only three months ago, the page has already been accessed by more than five hundred unique users, but James is keen to build the numbers. 

“They are good numbers, but we could do even better. It’s just making sure everybody knows about the manual and understands that it’s useful to everyone. 

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James says comments from Branch Managers have included: “’it’s a game changer’… ‘a brilliant piece of work’… ‘an excellent tool which is long overdue’.” 

And he points out, it’s not just for new colleagues. 

“I had one manager who’s been in the business for a long while and had looked everywhere trying to find a contact. He used the BMM and found straight away what he was looking for. 

“It has proven to be a great asset already for many colleagues in different roles, experienced and new but please remember, it’s ‘your manual’ – please look through and tell us what is missing and where we could improve it. 

“Thanks to all that have done this already, keep it coming! 

You can find the Manual on the Stark Intranet under Operations & Distribution, or via this link.

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