Against the back drop of an increasingly competitive marketplace, one of the constants for installer business Heatcraft Limited over the last ten years has been fitting Main boilers. Installer went to find out why.
Mick Kelleher started up Heatcraft over 30 years ago in Woodford, Essex. Like many other small heating and plumbing businesses, it has worked hard over time to establish a reliable reputation, fitting products that help to reflect those credentials including Main’s range of boilers. Mick began installing Main 15 years ago, firstly its water heaters, and then its range of boilers. During that time, he can only remember ever having one call-out on any of its boilers.
Mick believes that an installer’s reputation can be at risk before they’ve even had chance to get their tools out the van.
“The standard of product packaging may not be on the top of every installer’s list of priorities, but it’s an underestimated factor whenever you’re arriving at a customer’s premises. Main’s boilers are always packaged in a good two inches of polystyrene, which means they are far less likely to be damaged in transit,” says Mick.
“If there is any wear and tear to the packaging, or worse still a scratch or dent in a boiler cover, then straight away a seed of doubt is placed in a customer’s mind. They’re left wondering: ‘Has this boiler been dropped or damaged already?’. This scenario is only ever going to go end one way – the customer is going to want a replacement boiler and rightly so.”
This would mean a delay in the installer’s schedule before they have got started. In an increasingly competitive market place, time is something the small heating and plumbing business cannot afford to lose.
The Main Combi Eco Boiler comes in output ranges of 25 and 30kW, and is one of Main’s range of A-rated boilers, which Mick has fitted a number of times.
“One reason we’ve stuck with Main boilers all these years is that they’re particularly straightforward to install. I’m not as nimble as I used to be so I don’t want to be worrying about putting my back out and being off work having been bent double in a confined space trying to wire a boiler .”
The Combi Eco has a dedicated and easily accessible electrical power terminal, which makes wiring straightforward. The ease of fit is further helped by a central flue and a pre-plumbing jig, so Mick is able to stand up straight and look down on the connections while he is installing and get the pipework in the right place first time around.
Compact and manageable, it requires minimal installation clearances so it fits nicely into a standard kitchen cupboard and does not need any compartmental ventilation. These qualities make Main ideal for boiler replacements, particularly for landlords – who Heatcraft does a lot of work for – as they want as little disruption to tenants as possible during necessary refurbishment work.
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Heating controls, and in particular the wireless activity, can be fitted quickly and without causing major disruption to the fabric of the house.[/box]
“I can only remember one call out for a Main product in all the years I have been fitting them,” says Mick, accepting that a high level of product reliability is perhaps the best advert for the reputation any business.
“A boiler is a long-term responsibility to the installer. It goes far beyond the initial installation. If you fit a boiler the chances are that you will be back, year after year, to do any required maintenance or service work. If the product you have fitted is reliable then your customer is going to deem you as reliable. This can lead to referral work.”
By the same token, a call out can cause customers to wonder if they have a rogue boiler on their hands. They may also begin to question the installer’s handiwork. The Main Combi Eco range has caught the attention of Which? – who called it one of the most efficient combi boilers it has tested, while also being impressed by its ease of installation. It is also, along with all of Main’s boilers, an Energy Saving Trust Recommended product. This gives customers peace of mind that they are buying a quality and reliable product.
Mick has no doubts that it’s getting harder for installer businesses to survive.
“There is usually someone somewhere willing to offer a slightly cheaper quote. This puts added pressure on installers to ensure they’re always doing the very best handiwork they can. Main make this that bit easier.”