Kitset lifestyle business

How Kitset Assembly builds a brilliant lifestyle business

Sarah Stowe

How Kitset Assembly Services builds a brilliant lifestyle business

It’s quite a claim: saving marriages one assembly at a time. But for Kitset Assembly Services there’s more than a grain of truth in this bold branding.

Tuning flatpack items into the finished article, whether it’s a Billy bookcase from Ikea or a barbecue from Bunnings, requires tools, a little skill, and an outsized dose of patience.

The process has tested many relationships. Kitset Assembly’s research reveals five out of 10 people have fought with a spouse or partner when putting together flatpack furniture.

So Kitset Assembly Services does it for you. It is the simplest idea, and one that caters for customer demand from across the population from 18 to 80 year-olds.

The same research show two out of 10 people would pay someone to assemble flatpack furniture for them and almost six out of 10 who describe themselves as challenged by the task would outsource the job.

As Group CEO Grant Nye explains, there are plenty of situations when outsourcing the flatpack assembly makes perfect sense.

Kitset is a problem-solving business

“Increasingly, society is developing a do-it-for-me culture. We’re time poor. Kitset is delivering a solution, doing something for customers who can’t or won’t do it themselves.

“Customers use our services for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it is to save time, avoid the stress and sometimes it is a physicality issue, a customer might be older and not able to lift the item.”

Although the age group who are the most likely to pay someone to assemble their flatpack furniture are the 18 to 25-year-olds. This is also a growing sector for these services, the younger Australians who may lack the inherited skills, or the tools, for flatpack assembly.

Grant admits to feeling the strains of furniture assembly himself, before discovering the brand. “If I had something to assemble, I would send my wife out for a few hours to avoid the inevitable conflict,” he reveals.

“When I first saw the business, it immediately made sense to me. It could have saved me some weekends! And I saw something that could scale very quickly.

“A big part of our model is adding value for retailers who can recommend our services. So when a customer about to purchase a flatpack asks, ‘How will I put it together?’, there’s an opportunity for the store to refer our services, assisting in the sale conversion.”

Retail relationships provide a competitive edge

The franchisor has developed strong relationships with more than 100 retailers in its New Zealand home base, and nearly 30 store chains in Australia.

“Our supply partners love it. They know an item will be put together to the manufacturer’s standards and that helps with the warranty.”

In New Zealand, and increasingly in Australia, Kitset Assembly offers an integrated ordering process. At the purchase point the customer scans a QR code or clicks a link that converts to an online booking which tells them cost of the assembly service based on the individual product.

Kitset Assembly has compiled the details and assembly prices for thousands of products on its system, which enables this seamless process.

“Because we have developed national relationships, our supply partner retailers only need to make one call to solve any problems that crop up,” says Grant.

The national brand power and established retail relationships give Kitset Assembly a clear competitive advantage.

High level of customer satisfaction

“There is no-one else in Australasia doing this to scale. The gig economy is aggregated online but there is no-on specialising in assembly,” Grant points out.

Customer reaction has been phenomenal, he says. Customers in both countries have been very positive about the Kitset Assembly Service. It achieved an extraordinary customer satisfaction Net Promoter Score of 96 out of 100 over a recent 30-day period, and 93 in Australia.

In part, he believes, that is because the person delivering the service is the person who owns the business. Customers like the accountability. And they are happy with the speed of service too.

“Customers are astounded how fast our franchisees can assemble flatpacks. They sit down with a cup of tea, and by the time that’s finished, our franchisees are half way done!”

Kitset launched its Australian business in September 2022. It was established in New Zealand six years ago and achieved national coverage early on. There are now 38 New Zealand franchises and still plenty of room for growth.

Kitset Assembly builds a lifestyle business

“We own the supply market, including Mitre 10, The Warehouse Group and Bunnings referral, yet we believe we can still almost triple our network size,” believes Grant.

In Australia there are currently four franchises: three in Melbourne, and another in Canberra successfully operating with three vehicles.

Kitset Assembly currently supplements this footprint with a network of contractors to help with demand in key metro areas like Sydney and Brisbane until it appoints franchisees.

This is primarily a man-and-a-van model operating in exclusive territories although multi-unit owner opportunities are becoming an exciting development in New Zealand.

Kitset Assembly Services really is a lifestyle model,” says Grant. Franchisees looking to shift their work life balance come to the brand with diverse backgrounds, from airline pilots to teachers to firefighters.

“As we say, assembly is hard, our role is to make it easy. This business takes the stress out of a common situation. If you like problem-solving, building Lego, it’s your dream job!”