The Stanley Black and Decker recent GEM event gave both customers and members of the media the opportunity to understand the sheer size of Stanley Black and Decker worldwide and to experience hands-on demonstrations of the vast range of tools available from the company.
The local Stanley Black and Decker team alongside key International Directors of the company such as Bart Muller, President of Emerging Markets Stanley Black and Decker and Manoj Panikkal, General Manager of Stanley Black and Decker Sub-Saharan Africa hosted the event.
Panikkal introduced the concept of the ‘one tool company’ (OTC) – a slogan that Stanley Black and Decker have adopted worldwide. This in the wake of the recent acquisition of the Newell Tools company which includes the Irwin (hand tools and accessories) and Lenox (niched accessories) range of products, a company and brands well-loved in South Africa. After Stanley merged with Black and Decker worldwide, this acquisition is the single largest acquisition the company has made and reinforces their mission to become the ‘one tool company’ around the world. Panikkal feels that the Newell acquisition is a perfect marriage with the tools already in the Stanley Black and Decker range and affords them critical mass within their distribution networks globally. Wall Street is in agreement with this fit with share values rising on the back of the acquisition.
Other brands that Stanley Black and Decker own are DeWalt, Bostitch, Facom (including Expert by Facom for the everyday user), Magtools, Vidmar, Lista, Proto, Porter and Cable, Moley and now Irwin and Lenox. They now also have the rights to Sears home store private label brand, Craftsman, outside of Sears across the world.
The extensive range fills all white spaces that existed in the company offering and they now have brands that fit all customer needs. The purpose of the GEM customer experience event was to showcase to all critical markets what Stanley Black and Decker are all about and to unpack the support structures they offer to retailers and wholesalers.
Stanley Black and Decker pride themselves on innovation and consider their current positioning as ‘disruptive’ in terms of shaking up the market through product range, innovation and digital footprint. It is implementing digital platforms that allow real-time connectivity with the end user. This ensures that its customers are listened to and consulted. The DIYZ site in the USA is an app based platform where consumers can source the ‘how to’ of completing a project, get a list of the tools/products needed to complete the project, click on the items to purchase, be connected to Amazon and have the products delivered the next day. This system will be introduced to South Africa in the next 12 months. Other digital platforms are already up and running including Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, barcode scanning etc.
The GEM countries are broken down into Latin America, Asia and the Emerging Markets group, which includes Russia, Turkey, India, the Middle East and Africa. Due to sheer size, Russia is currently bigger than South Africa, but the company recognises the potential of the South African market and is investing heavily in this region with an aim to get them closer to the Latin American market who have the advantage of closeness to North America, similar behavioural patterns to their neighbours and hence the ease and quick timing of innovation adoption.
The company aims to grow to a 20 billion US Dollar Company by 2022.
The GEM evening began with a media briefing, followed by the customer experience where hundreds of Stanley Black and Decker customers had the opportunity to visit brand stations where demonstrations were carried out at regular intervals displaying the products and allowing the customers to interact with the tools. The brands showcased at the event were Irwin, Facom (including Expert by Facom), Stanley, Black and Decker, DeWalt and Lenox.