Robert Bosch Tool Corporation
Bosch is launching generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) pilot projects in some of their factories to test the use of generative AI and basic models to make improvements in production scheduling, monitoring and control. Planning and implementing AI applications currently takes between six and twelve months; Bosch wants to reduce that to just a few weeks. Tools linked to AI are currently in use in almost half of all Bosch factories and are improving productivity and generating substantial cost savings.
Stanley Black & Decker
SB&D is selling Stanley Infrastructure to Sweden-based Epiroc AB for $760 million dollars. Stanley Infrastructure manufactures excavator attachments and hand-held hydraulic tools. They’ll use the proceeds to reduce their debt load. The transaction follows several other large deals they’ve made in the past couple of years. Last year they sold their oil and gas business for an undisclosed price, sold the automatic-door division for $900 million and sold most of the security business, to another Sweden-based company for $3.2 billion. The latest divestiture is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.
Robert Baird Global Industrial Conference:
As a company, they are down to two main business segments, Tools & Outdoors and Industrials, which is primarily fasteners.
Their number one objective is to increase their margins and sales in order to get them back to their traditional performance levels and return to outgrowing the market. Their traditional margins are 35%; they have about 7 basis points to go to get back to normal.
Their goal for the past year has been to drive $2 billion of cost structure improvement, about three-quarters of which will come out of Cost of Goods (COGS). So far, they’ve achieved about $0.5 billion of the COGS.
They intend to invest $300 to $500 million of the savings in growth drivers, including innovation and marketing.
They think their North American consumer is about done switching from goods to services and believe that the goods business will stabilize. Most of the production curtailment is now off the balance sheet. They will be mindful of production levels in the outdoor space, especially high-ticket items, but otherwise production is mostly normalized.
The large-format ride-on type outdoor products have been much slower to catch on than either they or the industry anticipated. However, they’re seeing a lot of synergies with their 60-volt battery.
Their three big brands, DeWalt, Craftsman and Stanley, will drive innovation and brand investment. Brands like Irwin and Lenox will remain strong players in their niche specialty markets.
There will be an emphasis towards making investments in the Pro that will have a halo effect at retail rather than making an investment that is solely targeted at retail.
They’re focused on 20-volt and 60-volt for Pros, because big applications in concrete for infrastructure or industrial building require more than 20-volt.
They have learned that both Pros and consumers really value tools that perform ever better on the batteries they've already invested in rather than tools that require brand new batteries.
They will be looking at software and applications that benefit them as well as the end user. They are targeting advancements that are valuable to the user but also connect the user to the manufacturer.
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