Is this Uber for boilers? Former Help-Link directors launch BOXT online fitted boiler business

Three former executive directors of boiler specialists Help-Link have launched BOXT an online boiler business. Mel Butler, the former chief executive and co-founder of Help-Link, chief operating officer Alan Dickinson and finance director Andrew Kerr have set up an internet-based business selling fitted central heating boilers.
Keith Jones, the former managing director of Wolseley’s Plumb Center has joined them as chairman in the new venture which operates in a similar way to the taxi service Uber, connecting gas safe installers with customers through a centralised booking facility.
Already being described as a ‘market disrupter’, BOXT, which started trading in March, is currently achieving the second highest number of fitted boiler sales in the UK.
Read: Robert Bosch UK Holdings Limited has acquired a minority share in online supplier BOXT Limited
“It’s early days,” explains Mel Butler, “but the response to BOXT has been absolutely fantastic. We’re getting really positive reviews from customers – we’re already the top rated boiler installation company on Trust Pilot – I think we’re causing a bit of stir in the trade! It’s a totally new concept; no-one else is offering home owners the opportunity to buy their replacement boiler in this way.
“There are a lot of highly qualified gas engineers out there working hard to build their own businesses and now here is an opportunity for them to ‘turn up the gas’ if they want to! Thanks to the success of our advertising campaigns and fantastic five star customer reviews we’re attracting a lot of attention. Sales are already ahead of our projections – there’s plenty of installation work to share out.”
BOXT has invested £3m in developing its website that not only steers consumers through the decision making process but allows them to select their boiler brand, delivery date and installation time. Prices, which are typically 40% lower than the market leader, are fixed according to the model selected and availability. Customers are then asked to upload a selection of photographs to enable BOXT’s technicians to verify the order and installation arrangements.
Orders taken via the website are dispatched nationwide via the supply chain directly from top tier manufacturers such as Worcester Bosch, Baxi and Vokera with everything the installer will need boxed in one self-contained package.
All installers are carefully vetted before being provided with secure access to the website’s planning facility where they register their availability and manage job bookings.
Alan Dickinson continues: “Mel, Keith and I have been in this market all our working lives, we have over 100 years experience between us. We’ve all seen how effective this type of business model can be and we knew it could work for the central heating market.”
BOXT currently employs 50 people at its headquarters in Leeds. The new company started trading on 9th March and is currently achieving the second highest number of boiler sales in the UK. Over the next twelve months it plans to establish an installer network of 1,000 engineers countrywide.

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