Why manufacturers need to be flexible for installers

Martyn Bridges, director of technical communicaon & product management at Worcester Bosch, discusses why manufacturers should adhere to installer needs and wants

ranges. Regardless of what type of boiler you have, it should provide you with the same end result… reliable warm radiators and hot water. Any variations in price are generally based on the additional features included on the boiler and it’s important for an installer to have a variety of options as not all customers will want or need exactly the same things. As a manufacturer, this is something we are constantly reminded of when we are out there speaking to installers. In our case, conversations with installers showed us that there remains a need to operate in higher-end markets, however we understood that an area we should also aim to cover is the entry-level market. This is to ensure our products are accessible to a wider range of installers’ customers. I've had many installers tell me that they regularly come up against price- sensitive jobs and customers, which can restrict them from offering a high- quality boiler system that they know can be relied on. This has its disadvantages for the installer as they are unable to make their highest recommendation and, as I’ve mentioned in the past, it is the installer who is the key decision maker 80% of the time. This is why it is essential for manufacturers to directly connect their product plans – from concept to creation – with installers.


Let’s use our latest entry level boiler, the Worcester 2000, as an example. We introduced the boiler to provide installers with an accessible choice when dealing with customers. The new product provides installers with the flexibility to offer every home greater choice and the opportunity to have the same high-quality heating system, at a competitive price, along with all the aftercare support

hen it comes to the heating industry, boilers have always been

available across a variety of price

that is synonymous with the Worcester Bosch brand.

The initial uptake of the new product wouldn’t have been as high without the insight we received from installers, and they have been quick to send us their approval on the finished article. The product has been described as compact and light, with great engineering software and highly flexible with its flue lengths and panel removal options.

From a user perspective, the 2000 has been praised for being stylish, affordable, economical and easy to use. This is ideal, for example, for customers who may be beginning their journey on the housing ladder or for landlords looking to kit out their properties with a hassle free, affordable option.

This process highlights the importance of receiving feedback and advice from the installers who fit boilers and heating systems every day, and we are helped by an industry whereby many installers are very passionate about their jobs and are eager to influence change. With a few exceptions, our entire range has been created from installer feedback. As part of the product development process, we create an example of what we think is right for the market and show it to installers, with most new boilers going through several rounds of feedback.

After the Greenstar 8000 Lifestyle's launch in Germany, we adapted the product for the UK market with help from conversations with several hundred installers.

It may be a very labour-intensive process, but it is enjoyable and essential at the same time. We know that it's worthwhile because the installers will always get it right, and we always have faith in them. At Worcester Bosch we have a reliable and trusted network of loyal Worcester Bosch Installers. These fully trained independent installers specialise in Worcester Bosch installations and can offer exclusive benefits to

homeowners, and they are often the

ones we call upon for advice as they are the true experts when it comes to our products.

Installers are the influencers above all else – as they interact with the customer every day, providing crucial advice and preparing quotes. If they believe in the products, they will relay this to the end user.

There's an old saying, 'the closer you can get to your customer's customer, the better supplier you are for your customer.' This might sound like double- dutch, but when you think about installers and the end user, the riddle becomes clear.

Of course, all manufacturers and suppliers work differently, and I am by no means suggesting everyone should follow our lead. However, engaging with installers or those who fit your products and treating them as part of your research and development arm can only bring positives, and ensuring flexibility and accessibility in all areas of your product range is simply essential.

‘ 14 BUILDING SERVICES & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER FEBRUARY 2020 There's an old saying, 'the closer you can get

to your customer's customer, the beer supplier you are for your customer.' This might sound like doubledutch, but when you think about installers and the end user, the riddle becomes clear

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