My Working Week.
Who: Mike Blakeley, Managing Director, The Wood Heating Company
What: The Wood Heating Company is a biomass boiler installation company working across the North East, with a biomass heritage stretching back 30 years.
MONDAY – The day begins early – I prefer to clear any e-mails and voicemail messages before making a start on the day. I’m on site at 8am with our commissioning engineer to discuss a project which involves the installation of KWB’s latest boiler – the new Multifire II. KWB boilers are very easy to commission and setup. For a boiler that’s so advanced it’s great to be able to get it up and running with so little hassle.
TUESDAY – Today I need to prepare some estimates for sites I visited at the end of last week. I tend to get the more ‘interesting’ projects to deal with – our estimating team will generally handle the more straightforward projects themselves. We’ve got a few such interesting projects to work on at the moment – so some interesting calculations to be done on, for example, the domestic hot water requirements for a large cheese business and an equestrian centre which wants its vast stabling and arenas kept just above freezing – but no more than that.
WEDNESDAY – After an early trawl through my inbox and a chat with a couple of our engineers before they head off to start on a new site, I prepare for a training session with a group of new installers. Having spent more than 30 years amassing knowledge and experience of biomass systems, it’s rewarding to pass some of this onto the next generation of installers. Today’s group are a mixed bag – some with no experience and others who been through different boiler suppliers’ training courses – but everyone is keen and willing to learn, making my job a lot easier. Our installation partner support engineer does the introductory session, before I get involved when we start looking into the more technical details. Teaching new installers is a really satisfying part of my job and will enable them to offer a high standard of service to their customers. This is critically important to us, as these installers will be installing boilers supplied to them through our sister company IXUS Energy.
THURSDAY – With a glut of recent orders to work through, today is meant to be dedicated to getting up to date with design work on some of our new projects. Ideally this would be done without interruption, but in a busy office there is no such thing as an uninterrupted day! We design every project from scratch in-house, so a great deal of time and effort goes into every design we do. Today will be a long day….
FRIDAY – Today we’re hosting a customer open day in our training centre to let potential customers come and see our range of log, pellet and chip boilers at work. We like to send potential clients to see one of our existing customers’ projects so they can find out how well we perform, as well as our boilers, but for those who just want to understand a bit more about the technical implications of a biomass installation then these days provide a great opportunity for them to come and pick our brains. We are now running a series of events like this to increase awareness of biomass generally and give those who are interested an opportunity to come and see us in an informal atmosphere. Hopefully these people go away better informed and better able to decide whether biomass is right for them, their clients, or their business.