Power Tool Industry December 2017
According to Bosch executive Gerhard Steiger, who started his career at Robert Bosch three decades ago, the corporate culture has changed drastically. When he started, failure was completely unacceptable. But today failure is an option, as long as it can be used to help create something even better. The new thinking is a result of Bosch’s decision to encourage more of a startup mentality within the company.
Stanley Black & Decker
From the Robert Baird and Goldman Sachs Global Industrial Conferences:
The tools business is anticipated to account for close to $9 billion in revenue this year. They anticipate the tools segment will deliver organic growth of close to 9% this year and at the high end of their range of 4% to 6% for 2018.
They have ten plants in the United States that are producing tools to sell in the U.S.A. and now about 40% of what they sell here is actually produced domestically. Their goal is to get to 80% U.S. production.
Today Craftsman is essentially a Chinese-produced product line. When they introduce it in Lowe’s in the middle of 2018 it will be a much more Americanized product, and that will continue as time goes on. They believe the Made in the U.S.A. positioning is very important.
Using Industry 4.0 in their plants has enabled them to reduce labor by 30% so they can be competitive with tools produced overseas.
They did not talk much about the Craftsman introduction at Lowe’s request because Lowe’s did not want to disclose their strategies. They did confirm it will be a comprehensive program covering all categories that will begin in mid-2018 and be in full force by 2019. It will be strongly supported with investment dollars, shelf space, digital marketing and a powerful brand statement. There will be brands coming out of Lowe’s when Craftsman goes in, both their brands and competitors’.
They feel as if FlexVolt will be a billion dollar product line in four to five years; however CEO James Loree said that not everyone in the company agrees with this goal, especially the people who have to commit to the numbers. They are introducing 10 to 20 SKUs a year that are increasingly replacing corded tools. However, their experience thus far shows that their corded tools are actually growing and their 20-volt tools, especially DC brushless ones, have been given a boost by FlexVolt.
When they merged Stanley and Black & Decker, B&D had 9% margins; today they have 18% margins.
Because they have invested $3 billion in their tools business over the last year or so, they will be looking in other areas, such as industrial and security, for mergers and acquisitions candidates.
They believe the home store channels still have two to three years to go in the current cycle of growth and expect housing to continue to grow over that time period.
They’ve made a lot of changes in the last three years to their distribution network within Tools. They’ve added two large new distribution centers (DCs), one in the U.S. and one in the U.K. They plan to add another in the U.S., most likely in the middle of the country.
SB&D will open a new 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Mission, Texas in early 2018 that will produce DeWalt power tools. It’s SB&Ds third manufacturing facility in Texas. The company says it’s part of their commitment to making products in the U.S.A.
SB&D is working with READY Robotics, which develops fully integrated robotic systems capable of being deployed in hours compared to the weeks or months normally required. SB&Ds director of Infrastructure Innovation, Harry Zhong, says they are always looking for disruptive technologies that will change the way they manufacture and will also shift the way they design and validate.
SB&D has created a new C-suite position, Chief Technology Officer. Dr. Mark Maybury will form a small, agile team to work across the company's businesses and functions. The team will advise and counsel management on technological threats and opportunities.
SB&D extended and expanded their licensing agreement with JAKKS Pacific. JAKKS will continue to manufacture, market and distribute to all retail channels B&D branded role-play tools for kids. In addition, JAKKS will be introducing a new line of Stanley branded kids’ products such as toy hand and power tools at Walmart stores in the U.S. and Canada this holiday season.
Milwaukee Tool has spent $33 million expanding their corporate campus in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The new four-story, 207,000-square-foot addition is connected to their older facility, which has 183,000 square feet on one level. The new building was designed to “immerse the employees in an environment reflective of the users they design and develop tools for,” with such innovative touches as door handles fashioned from large drill bits and large lighting fixtures with features made from industrial materials such as pipes and heating conduits. The addition features open air creative and cross-functional meeting space, a wide variety of furniture and office space choices, increased natural lighting and an environment designed to stimulate creative thinking and problem solving.
A Milwaukee employee was charged with making the bomb threats to Milwaukee Tool’s plant in Greenwood, Wisconsin that began in September, continued in October and escalated during November, when the tool maker receiving an additional three bomb threats. Authorities said the $10,000 reward did not actually play a role in leading police to Ottowa Anderson, 20, who now faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each bomb-threat count.
Trimble plans to build a 65,000 square-foot research dome and a 4,000 square-foot support building in Ohio. The dome will primarily be used for indoor research and development and product testing, as well as a training center for dealers and customers to review their products. Trimble is building the dome because they estimate that they lose 120 work days each year due to inclement weather and outside conditions. These days are often during the winter when customers are available to meet with them and see demonstrations of the products. The dome will allow customers to come to Trimble during their “slower seasons” and Trimble will be able to do research and development year-round. Trimble already has a data center and a distribution center in Huber Heights, the location of the new dome center.
Trimble was named a leader in the 2017 Green Quadrant Analysis for Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS). Trimble’s Manhattan software got the highest score for functionality and also got high marks for breadth. Trimble is dedicated to delivering solutions to manage the entire continuum of building construction and real estate management. The Green Quadrant is an independent benchmark of IWMS.
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