From low cost products to high value services

Service Design
From £50 fans to £1000 installations

Designing a high-value installation service for MVHR products

PDR developed new services that moved Nuaire up the value chain from low-cost fans to high-value installation services.

As a result of the new services developed through this project sales of Nuaire’s MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery) units rose from £400k to 1.2M within one year.
Nuaire are a £65 million manufacturing company based in Caerphilly, South Wales. They manufacture energy-efficient domestic and commercial ventilation solutions and are one of the largest manufacturing companies in the area.

A long history of investment in research and development meant that Nuaire were recognised for their product solutions, but not for their integration services. The question we set out to answer was what level of services should the business provide and where are the opportunities to gain a competitive advantage?

What did we do?

Insight Workshops

Focusing on MVHR, a series of insight workshops were organised by PDR and attended by with senior staff from marketing, sales, technical support and customer service from Nuaire. The workshops lay out the challenges faced by staff when providing customer, sales and technical service support to clients.

Competitor Analysis 

Alongside these internal workshops PDR undertook an audit (using mystery shopping, desk research and client interviews) to build an accurate picture of Nuaire’s competitors. The audit identified customer experience trends, detailed specific service provision currently provided and customer expectation of this within the sector. The review enabled Nuaire to benchmark against competitors and identify opportunities for exploration.

Ethnographic research

To gain deeper insights into new customer needs PDR went undercover at a two-day training course on ventilation installation. This cost-effective approach to customer research enabled the service design team to speak directly with engineers who were fitting Nuaire products and understand the problems they experienced installing the products capturing feedback and insights that informed the service design outputs.

PDR collated and analysed all research data, the results of these formed the basis of a series of ideation workshops that generated ideas and new concepts for services Nuaire could provide. These concepts were visualised using video, illustration and storyboards and presented to senior staff at Nuaire for review.

What was the result?

Following the work with PDR, Nuaire have implemented three significant new developments.

Industry leading training 

A new BPEC training facility has been installed at Nuaire’s head office in South Wales and is delivering free of charge. This course has ensured that the engineers better understand Nuaires products and are able to fit them correctly – reducing call-outs, service requests and maintenance costs.

Adding value to client projects

The client also invested in design software and staff training so that inquiries made by clients could be better supported. Nuaire now offer their clients full drawing and design packages that support their architecture and planning clients through the design stage of projects.

Staff training

PDR also produced a range of Service Design tools that are specific to Nuaire’s needs (customer journey maps, customer profiling and personas) so that in the future the business can continue to apply service design techniques to their business.

These developments mean that Nuaire, whilst still focusing on manufacturing, are now offering solutions to customers and working earlier and more closely with their customers in the selection and installation of the ventilation systems.

One example of how the new approach to service is impacting the business is that each £50 ventilation fan sales are now supported with a drawing service and ancillary products and services that go into a whole package. This can reach a sales value of up to £1,000, clearly adding value to customers as well as Nuaire’s bottom line.

“We are now looking forward to using these tools across the business to provide added value services to our customers.”


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Professor Andrew Walters Director of Research