Member of the Week - WoodblocX
In 2001 Philip Blake together with Norman Fawcett developed WoodBlocX from an idea Norman had when trying to build some raised beds in his nursery. This led quickly to a few prototypes being made and the product being made ready for the market. WoodBlocX then got into B&Q and Wickes across the UK which was fantastic! However, due to the margins the retailers wanted to add on, WoodBlocX became very expensive and with the wide variety of designs and options available with this modular system, it unfortunately never quite took off.
In 2012, Philip Blake and his son Henry, decided it was time to re-start and re-vamp WoodBlocX. They set up a new website and put together some targeted marketing and started selling WoodBlocX directly from their website and over the phone. This meant they could provide an affordable and high-quality product directly to their customers their selves. It also meant that they could control their own customer service and provide bespoke designs specifically for their customers. Since then WoodBlocX has grown steadily. WoodblocX have many different kits on their website, along with made to measure options and a free bespoke design service, so they can cater for almost any possibility.
Currently, WoodblocX have produced over 10,000 designs for gardens all over the country and have sent BlocX all over the world from Orkney to America. WoodBlocX was helped along the way when they managed to gain funding on the BBC TV show the Dragons' Den and then in the same year won awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which they have since attended several times. With a strong core to the business, WoodblocX are continued to grow and expanded into commercial landscaping in 2016, helping designers to regreen the urban environment across the UK. WoodblocX have now partnered with and supplied WoodBlocX to landscape contractors in over 1500 commercial jobs. WoodBlocX can now be found in not only customers’ gardens but shopping centres, restaurants, schools and care homes throughout the UK. In 2018, WoodblocX officially launched sites in Germany, France and Spain which has resulted in many EU Sales and means they can now ship internationally. They are also looking into the possibility of expanding into the USA where their products are in high demand. The expansion has been amazing for the business and shows WoodblocX are continuing to grow year on year! Today in 2019, WoodBlocX is now multi-award-winning and the UK’s best modular timber system, with over 6000 Reviews and a 4.8/5 rating on Feefo, not only for their amazing product but also their service is award winning.
Inverness Chamber spoke to Dan McLearnon, Commercial Sales Manager at WoodblocX. About his role, Dan said: “I manage the commercial sales within the business and mostly deal with Landscape architects and contractors who want to specify our system for large scale projects. I joined WoodBlocX in 2017 in a sales management role and now manage a number of our business development activities.”
We asked Dan why WoodblocX would like to feature as member of the week: “Our system is used across the UK and Europe but we find that a lot of local buyers don’t know we exist. We would hope to inform some members that there is a unique solution for landscaping on their doorstep and also that Dingwall houses a developing international business.”
WoodBlocX would like to raise awareness of their bespoke design services which can add a lot of value to any scale of construction project. For local projects they can visit the site and provide assistance at every stage of the design and build process. WoodblocX will be shortly releasing a new dowel system that is very simple to disassemble. This will give complete flexibility to repurpose their timber BlocX and can help to avoid any mistakes during the build process.
Dan shared with us WoodblocXs’ business plans for over the next 2 months: “Continued growth into the French and German markets for both B2C and B2B sides of our business.”
WoodblocX are pleased to be winners of Best outdoor living product - Express home and living awards Bali (British association of landscape industries) award for exceptional customer service.
Dan told Inverness Chamber what WoodblocX value most about their membership with us: “The opportunity to meet likeminded local businesses and gain valuable insights into relevant industries.”
We asked Dan for his ‘top-tip’ for other chamber members to maximise their membership: “Visit the team in Inverness and put a name to a face!”