Smartphone showing Howdens' Chip AI tool on the screen

Kitchen supplier Howdens launches innovative AI help tool

Leading UK trade kitchen supplier Howdens has launched Chip, a new AI tool designed to provide practical advice for tradespeople and make their jobs easier.  

Building on a number of Microsoft’s generative AI technologies – Azure OpenAI Service, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure AI Search, Applied AI Services – Chip will be exclusively available to online trade account customers within the Howdens Trade App.  

Offering step-by-step installation instructions, product guides, and more general support, Chip provides trade customers with the information they need to do the best possible job, all in one app.  

David Sturdee, Chief Customer Officer, Howdens, said: “We are proud to announce the launch of our new AI tool ‘Chip’.  

“Building on the existing functionality in our Trade App, this development marks an advancement in our digital offering.  

“Built using Microsoft AI technology, the tool gives our trade account holders the option to access product and fitting support at the touch of a button, meaning we’re there for our trade customers wherever and whenever they need us.” 

Mr Sturdee added that Howdens’ collaboration with Microsoft had enabled his company to offer an industry-first tool that would make life much easier for its trade customers. 

“Chip marks only the start of Howdens’ AI journey and we will continue to explore other ways AI can improve efficiencies for our customers,” he said. 

“We will also continue to collaborate with Microsoft on the evolution of Chip, as it continues to evolve to meet the demands of our industry and trade customers.” 

Lowering barriers

Olaf Akkerman, General Manager for Retail and Consumer at Microsoft, said: “Retail is one of the most dynamic and competitive industries in the world, where customer expectations are constantly evolving.  

“Microsoft has lowered the entry barrier to building generative AI solutions that improve customer experiences, support employees, and drive innovation.  

“We are thrilled to be working with Howdens to put the power of AI into the hands of tradespeople across the country, enabling them to easily find the information they need, when it matters most.” 

Chip is now available to online trade account customers using the Howdens Trade App.