Business Direction 49

Page 30


Carl Arntzen

TRANSFORMING OUR HOMES Few businesses can lay claim to having invented a product used by 70% of UK households and fewer still have shaped our country’s bylaws – but such is the case with Worcester Bosch. Founded by Cecil Duckworth in 1962, his pioneering research and development work led to the pioneering the combi-boiler in the 1970s – precluding the need for a separate hot water tank. At the time, connecting a boiler straight into the cold water supply was prohibited, so in those early days, Worcester had to apply for a relaxation of the bylaws in order to carry out an installation. Once the restriction was lifted, the concept took off, as combi-boilers proved more efficient, producing hot water as you needed it. Today combi-boilers are found in the vast majority of homes up and down the country. The business became a part of the Bosch Group in a phased acquisition between 1992 to 1996 in the lead up to Cecil’s retirement, for he would only sell to a business committed to investing in the company long term - Bosch definitely fitted the bill. Another step-change occurred in 2004 when the government changed the regulations to make condensing boilers


the minimum standard. Worcester Bosch was well-prepared for the change, which cemented their position as the industry-leader. “When you buy a Worcester Bosch boiler, you purchase far more than the appliance in a box, you purchase all of the after sales support too. We have a really good customer support infrastructure in place,” explains CEO Carl Arntzen. So it’s no wonder that today, Worcester Bosch remains the UK’s market leader in domestic boilers, receiving a Royal Warrant for supplying boilers to Her Majesty The Queen’s Sandringham Estate and coveted Which? Best Buy awards for nine years running. These awards are “really hard earned accolades and the ultimate measure of customer satisfaction,” Carl observes, “which show the business is driven by the voice of our customers.” Initially encountering the business as a work experience student, Carl joined the company after graduating from his Mechanical Engineering degree and he’s been with the group ever since. Appointed Managing Director of Worcester Bosch in 2008, he became CEO in 2011. Employing 1,200 people in Worcester, 300 people in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, in addition to their sales and after sales support engineers and staff, they directly employ around 2,000 people in the UK. Today their products include the gas and oil fired boilers for which they are most

well-known, together with solar water heating systems, multi-fuel stoves and more besides. Whilst just launched is a new range of boilers which aim to be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional – so you’ll no longer need to hide your boiler in a cupboard. “We generate sales in the UK of around £500 million a year which represents 95% of our business, so clearly the focus of our business is in the UK. As a part of the worldwide Bosch Group, however, we retain our links with Europe and around the globe. “Given the uncertainties of the next few months, we’ve built contingency plans into our operations, as have many companies, holding higher levels of inventory to cushion against any impact. The lack of clarity in the short term is causing anxiety to businesses and their customers. “Moving forward, our focus is on decarbonisation. We’re exploring how best to heat our homes in a low carbon way, for which there’s likely to be a combination of solutions, one of which may be Hydrogen which doesn’t give off carbon emissions. “We’re also always looking to inspire the next generation, by running 12 month internships, apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships. Ensuring we develop employees with the engineering, digital and additional skills required across the business.”

May/June 2019

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