AO Business | Smart thinking

AO Business | Smart thinking

Appliances are a vital part of many new build homes. PHPD chats to Anthony Sant, MD of AO Business, to find out what housebuilders need to consider and discover the growing importance of ‘smart’ solutions.

Q. Kitchens are a vital room in all houses and especially so in new-builds. How can kitchen appliances help to create the right impression in a new home?
Housebuilders need to consider both the design and functionality of their kitchen appliances, especially in new-builds. Fully functional and aesthetically pleasing appliances are crucial to building an attractive kitchen for homeowners – we also recognise retail trends for our housebuilder customers, using the knowledge that comes with having the retail business as part of our group. A recent example of this is that we’ve seen manufacturers are finding new ways to make luxury items more accessible to customers. Working with such a wide range of manufacturers, we’re able to make this huge selection of kitchen products available for our AO Business customers.

Q. What types of appliances are available from AO?
AO Business offers a vast range of both large and small kitchen appliances, from a number of leading household brands. Packed with innovative features, many of the appliances available can help customers save both energy and money.

Q. What are some of the latest product developments that housebuilders should look out for?
We are certainly noticing some trends in the type of appliances consumers are seeking out for their kitchens. There’s interest in the whole world of connected living and smart homes – any housebuilder or developer who can provide a ‘smart’ option for their client will have a market leading proposition. With open plan living on the rise, we also understand that clients now want quiet and peaceful appliances so as not to disrupt everyday life. As people continue to work from home for long periods of time, kitchen appliances must be multi-functional, catering for both our living space and our office space. 

The green agenda is also a key driver of change in the product marketplace. Consumers are becoming more green savvy and want to see products that are more sustainable. For each appliance, we include an easy-to-find data sheet on every product page. Improving energy efficiency and reducing water usage should be a top priority when it comes to designing kitchens for new developments. At AO Business, we can support this market with longer warranties and services that we believe will enhance the consumer experience in their new home.

Q. What assistance does AO offer to housebuilders in the specification/scheduling process?
Housebuilders can really benefit from having AO Business as a dedicated appliance distributor and installer. As well as helping with product selection and providing excellent service at every stage of the process, your account manager can also advise on the latest trends suitable for each housing development and the best appliances to meet specific needs in your kitchen.

In most cases, products specified by the housebuilder and developers have been set months ago and it is for this reason that our stockholding facilities and supply chain are crucial. With over 1.5 million square feet of warehousing space and a logistics network spanning the UK, AO can minimise supply chain disruption by holding over three months’ worth of stock at any time, meaning the right products are always available when they are needed.

Q. Is an installation service available?
As a vertically integrated retailer, we are well-positioned here at AO Business to provide a solution to the everyday challenges that housebuilders face – and this includes providing an experienced installation service. On delivery day, the team will make sure everything is up and running before leaving the property.

Q. Plastic waste is a growing issue in the construction sector – how can AO help keep this to a minimum?
As an environmentally conscious supplier, AO Business has several initiatives in place to help keep waste to a minimum – including a Collect and Recycle service where we recycle old appliances responsibly at our plant in Telford. The appliances we supply are designed to last many years but even at the end of their lifespan, we can safely recycle them at AO Recycling and new products can be created from the plastic at our plastics plant. When delivering to housing sites, we can also remove all packaging and take it away to be recycled.

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