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Our strategy

The Group has a clear view of its growth objectives – to create a specialist fluid power organisation that remains focused on its core competencies whilst servicing the varied industrial and manufacturing sectors through its delivery of 'class-leading' service and support. Our long term growth model is based on both organic growth coupled with complementary acquisitions in a very fragmented marketplace.

Strategy Diagram 2015

Strategic focusDescriptionHighlights

Brand positioning

Brand and the ability to maintain and build a reputation is critical to our long term development. For all future acquisitions, brand and reputation will be paramount with the intention to maintain any local company branding and build on its existing position.

Product brand expansion continues to be a key strategy for the Group.

Acquisitions since flotation have strong brand names within their sectors and remain operationally independent under the original name and corporate branding.

Eight new Exclusive Brands were added to our portfolio, now 26 brands in total.


Acquisition and integration

The strategy is to acquire complementary businesses operating in specific channels, highly focused, commercially independent operations delivering quality customer service at all times.

Integration projects are ongoing to streamline all processes across the Group to ensure every operation can minimise its administration burden and concentrate on delivering growth.

Acquisitions since flotation have brought substantial new skills, knowledge, access to new markets for fluid power components and capable management teams.

Finance and HR processes have been migrated to the Service Centre leaving local management free to focus on delivering their growth strategies.


E-Commerce and business intelligence

The Flowtechnology operation has always been innovative in its use of e-commerce and our website is fully integrated to our stock control systems. With 64% of Flowtechnology customers ordering online in the UK we are committed to continually improving the customer website and will be launching a new website in 2016.

Business intelligence initiatives create insight which enables us to improve our products, our inventory management and pricing strategies.

First in the industry to introduce a mobile App in 2015. This features basic mobile phone ordering plus bar code scanning and technical sheet downloads.
Invested in creating data cubes linking warehouse and logistics data.

Global data repository project initiated.


Products and sourcing

We aim to have a market position as a one-stop shop supplier of fluid power products. The ongoing expansion of ranges will see the Group capture a greater percentage of current customer spend and also open up new business opportunities in the wider market.

The business nurtures its relationships with its OEM suppliers whilst developing its complementary Exclusive Brands.

The acquisition of Albroco has given us an enhanced presence in the new product range of electro-mechanical control products.

Master trading agreement with the Hydraulics Group of the Eaton Corporation for the sole distribution of Eaton Winner hose, hose fittings and adaptors.

Expansion of our sourcing team based in Shanghai.


Supply chain

In the Flowtechnology segments we consistently achieve our service level targets of 99% orders delivered next day, this is underpinned by our strategy in products and sourcing and sound inventory management. We have built long term partnerships with our suppliers and quality logistics companies to enable us to provide the pace and responsiveness our customers demand.

Where acquisitions include distribution operations they will be integrated into the Flowtechnology segments to provide synergy savings for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

To ensure service levels are never compromised we have substantially improved the business continuity plan. In addition, the Skelmersdale warehouse now has the capability to supply 60% of Benelux sales, next day, in the event of an emergency.

Reorganisation of assembly operations to create our 'Centre of Engineering Excellence' at Knowsley.


People

People are one of our strongest assets and as well as recruiting new talent, we are keen to acquire companies who value the importance of their workforce and share our values of continuing strong traditions.

Investing in our management teams brings the benefits of improved retention and talent identification for succession planning. We see training and development of employees as key to our strategy to achieving our overall goals.

Nelson was acquired with the majority of the senior team having over 25 years service with the company.

The Primary in-house training programme was rolled out to all UK employees. UK managers benefited from NLP training to improve skills and capabilities.

Nick Fossey joined the Group from Eaton Corporation in March 2016 and has become the Group's first "Divisional Director" responsible for development of Power Motion Control division. Nick has gained an extensive knowledge of the hydraulics distribution sector internationally, particularly within Europe, which will be invaluable to the future development of our business model.