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Our Strategy – How Tomorrow Works

As trusted advisors, we provide innovative products and solutions to make our customers’ projects better.

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Digitally enabled customer relationships

Build the capabilities that drive the best digitally enabled relationships

Case study - COVID-19

Digitally enabled customer relationships

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for our customers and we are there to support them by combining our great people relationships with an array of digital tools (see below) that enhance their experience and help them deliver their projects safely and efficiently.

Since the pandemic began to July 31, 2020, an additional 44,000 customers have signed on to use our digital tools. This is significantly more than the normal run rate. User activity is also up nearly 50 per cent, proving that customers are embracing our site and appreciating our digital experience. We have continued to see accelerated growth in our mobile offering for our trade customers. Mobile is critical in creating the frictionless experience that allows our customers to be more efficient and our associates more productive.

Scott Hamele, owner of Plumbing Place and early Ferguson mobile adopter said “Being a small business, I’m on the go constantly and the mobile experience from Ferguson allows me to run my business from anywhere – from ordering materials and checking on orders to using the scan function for ordering stock – we can order anything from our shop or on our trucks – it’s very helpful and time saving!” He added, “Pick-up is always easy too and we don’t have to wait long. They know who we are so we can grab it off the pick-up shelf or, if it’s a big item, get help in loading it really quickly.”

  • 50%

    We have generated a 50 per cent increase in online user activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 44,000

    Additional customers registered to use our digital tools since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I love using the mobile experience on my phone to scan the items. I also love the website. I have a weekly order list set up and it doesn’t get any easier. Additionally, we get emailed when the order is placed. Easy business.” Lauren Hickman Tri County Air Service Inc, Wiggins, Mississippi
“Ferguson always has what we need; the ease of the website and our salesperson makes our experience effortless to take care of our daily purchasing needs. The website is clean with an easy mobile experience that makes it so simple to order.” Patricia Guglielmo Approved Oil Co Brooklyn Inc, Brooklyn, New York

One brand – Ferguson

Continue to move toward operating as one brand – Ferguson

Case study – How we approach bolt-on acquisitions

One brand – Ferguson

Over the past five years Ferguson has spent nearly $2 billion acquiring 65 businesses across the Group, 53 of which were in the USA. The majority of these deals have been bolt-on where we rapidly integrate all businesses into our network to create synergies. The vast majority of these businesses have also been rebranded.

Acquisitions remain a key part of our growth strategy and over the last two years we have increased our footprint in the Northeast of the USA considerably with the acquisitions of Blackman, Wallwork and S.W. Anderson. Blackman was acquired in December 2018 and once the back office technology integration was complete, Ferguson developed a new marketing strategy and rebranding plan for the region. The rebranding was completed in early 2020 across 15 locations, bringing with it additional benefits for the business as set out below. Wallwork and S.W. Anderson are currently in the process of being rebranded.

The rebranding process is hugely important because the Ferguson name today is respected and synonymous with quality, service and results. Acting as one brand in all that we do enables us to utilize the size, scale and reputation of the Company and creates many efficiencies across all areas of our business including:

  • increased brand recognition and reputation;
  • consistent brand promise and customer experience across all channels;
  • leveraged investment across the business creating efficiencies in areas such as brand building and marketing, omnichannel and digital investments, customer insights, recruiting and creative and design services;
  • ability for our customers to engage seamlessly across all aspects of our business;
  • one path to market for our suppliers; and
  • investor and market clarity on brand value proposition.

We will continue to focus on driving the Ferguson brand to ensure customers recognize and value what we do as a consultative experience.

Focused product strategy

Provide a robust, intentional product offering that includes both branded and Own Brand products

Case study – Own brands

Focused product strategy

Own brands are a critical part of our growth strategy. They offer our customers high-quality, “on-trend” product ranges at competitive prices with excellent availability and an industry leading warranty. For us, these products offer higher gross margins so the business, our customers and our associates all do well when we sell own brand products.

Signature Hardware has become our organization’s primary consumer facing own brand of decorative plumbing products with the majority of revenue, 57 per cent, coming through Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Showrooms. Our legacy decorative plumbing brands, Mirabelle and Monogram Brass, migrated to Signature Hardware at the end of March 2020 to create one unified consumer plumbing brand. This move reflects greater focus on our decorative plumbing product development, product quality, marketing and omnichannel sales opportunities. Extensive research of our customers, contractors and associates showed that Signature Hardware has strong brand recognition and reputation, and therefore presents a strong opportunity for growth.

Our local outside showroom salesperson, Nate Colbert, heard about a large residential building development of 68 houses in Eagle, Idaho. Normally, residential developments would be bid for through the plumbing contractor, however Nate took the initiative and approached the developer directly. Nate discussed the benefits that Signature Hardware had to offer and the developer liked the well-designed look and quality of the products. Nate put together a quote with exclusively Signature Hardware products for all 68 houses, with between 2–3 bathrooms per house. The price point, product quality and lead times all meant that the bid was secured for the project that was worth approximately $250,000 and completed in June 2020.

  • 9%

    Own brand percentage of US revenue.

  • 57%

    of Signature Hardware sales are generated through our Residential Showroom business.

“The developer was very grateful for the direct approach in the end knowing the great look and feel of the whole Signature Hardware product range they were getting at a good, competitive price. Our lead times meant we could hit deadlines for such a large order too and I’m sure that had a part to play in being awarded the contract.” Nate Colbert Outside sales, Residential Showroom

Specification and influence

Be a part of our customers’ decision-making process sooner, evolving from order taker to trusted advisor

Case study - Newport News Waterworks

Specification and influence

We are trusted advisers to our customers and with approximately 50 per cent of US sales generated through bidding and tendering with our customers for a job, we succeed when our customers do. They rely on our expertise and our ability to help solve their construction, repair, maintenance and improvement problems. The Newport News (Virginia) Waterworks Utility department (“NNWW”) approached our experts in 2017 looking to update their outdated water metering infrastructure across 120,000 residential homes. Our experts understood the customer requirements and specified an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (“AMI”) system that we could implement with the help of our vendor and install partners, all managed by us.

Due to the size and scope of this project, it would traditionally be a direct bid by manufacturers, cutting out distribution completely. However, as Ferguson Mid-Atlantic Waterworks General Manager Doug Koenig explains, “Our relationship with NNWW and the collaborative effort from our vendor and install partners not only put us in the driver’s seat but helped ensure the successful award of the project.” He continued, “Our combined experience and ability to collaborate across Ferguson specialisms gave us the leverage to act as a consultant for the customer and made us stand out as thought leaders as the customer made their final decision.”

Two years later, the resulting $45 million contract included the AMI system, software, infrastructure, installation and integration, all managed by us. This is the largest single “Remote Disconnect Meter” deployment in the USA and the second-largest capital expenditure for the NNWW ever. The project began in 2020 and is scheduled to complete in 42 months.

“The customer required a business partner that understands the need to continually innovate while delivering long-term success. Our shared vision of creating innovation through thought leadership and investments in technology to evolve with the changing expectations of our customers made the partnership a very good fit.” Brandon Matthews Ferguson Business Development Manager
“This project marks one of the largest collaborative efforts of our business and perhaps in the industry. I have been a part of many large pipeline and plant projects over the years, but I have never seen so many people and departments come together to provide value during the bid process.” Doug Koenig Ferguson Mid-Atlantic Waterworks
General Manager

Project driven

Guide projects rather than just quoting lists

Case study - One Vanderbilt

Project driven

We work with our customers to make their projects better and this is never more true than in our Commercial business. The construction of One Vanderbilt, the second largest skyscraper in New York City, started in late 2016 and is expected to complete by the end of calendar year 2020.

Due to the exceptionally limited build space on-site, products needed to arrive at specific time windows for crane picks to lift them up the skyscraper. If products missed their slot, it could mean delays for the entire build. Our project driven approach helped us to understand the full requirements of the customer including fabrication, collaboration with installers, specific delivery times, out of hours work and specialist delivery vehicles, all of which made us the perfect partner. This, along with a competitive price won us the bid and we have consistently delivered to customer expectations. The total value of this one project was approximately $5 million.

We supplied all the finished plumbing fixtures, drain, waste and vent piping and much of the mechanical piping, valving and fitting materials for this project. Our mechanical fabrication shop in Long Island City assisted by providing cut to length pieces with fittings ready to install. All deliveries were co-ordinated to arrive at specific times, often early in the morning (including after hours and weekends), due to the location of the project (right outside Grand Central Station) and for elevator loads and crane picks. We utilized our fleet of boom trucks (with cranes) to offload and put in place much of this material to assist the contractor and limit the need to move material around site.

  • $5m

    The total value of the project for One Vanderbilt was approximately $5 million.

  • 50%

    Approximately 50 per cent of US revenue is “project based”.

Where we invest

We will focus on key capabilities that lay the ground work for our path to tomorrow.

Our Values

Our Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values