x
Best associates

Going beyond:

Our associates
are the heart
of our business

Joe Smith, National Sales Manager for PP-R (polypropylene random) pipe, has been with Ferguson for 44 years. Joe joined Ferguson through the acquisition of Atlas Supply in 1977 as a Warehouse Manager. “At the time, there weren’t many of us at the location, so the role encompassed everything the business did which meant I got trained in everything,” remembers Joe. It was this attitude from Joe, and Ferguson’s Best Associates culture, that has seen him develop his career to become a National Sales Manager.

“Ferguson sent me on every product training there was. Whether it was US Steel’s training in Lorain, Ohio, Top Lines sanitary fittings training in Bradford, Pennsylvania or our own valve actuation training, I was very hands-on and gravitated to that side of the business,” said Joe. He continued, “I’ve done every kind of internal and external training. Anything you can imagine for 44 years, I’ve been involved in it at some point, including classes like time management or sales training. Ferguson associates have an incredible thirst for knowledge – we’re training people all the time whether it’s basic product knowledge or on job sites installing products. As part of that training, we’re developing our associates to be the trainers of the future so it’s constant learning for all our associates – it’s great.”

When a pharmaceutical customer approached Joe and Ferguson needing to enlarge its manufacturing plant in Gainesville, Georgia, the challenge they faced was that the roof of the existing facility could not support the weight of a larger cooling system required to make the expansion viable. The cost and operational disruption of reinforcing the roof was not an option for the business and so CRB, the construction and design firm awarded the contract, turned to Joe and Ferguson for help. Joe’s idea was to use prefabricated polypropylene pipe, which is about one-fourth the weight of steel pipe, reducing the load on the roof without extensive reinforcing.

The result saved the customer more than $50,000 in direct costs, as well as the costs associated with any downtime that would have been required for extensive structural reinforcing. It also helped to reduce on-site construction hours and was completed with no recorded injuries. The customer was so impressed that they have awarded a second-phase contract that is currently being fabricated and shipped.

Ferguson’s new Virtual Design and Construction (“VDC”) Team and our fabrication team were essential to this project. The VDC team delivered a 3-D scan, field verification drawings, a fabrication map and spool drawings for the fabrication team to build and deliver a complete bolt-up piping system.”
joe smith
Joe SmithNational Sales Manager

Rooftop PP-R pipe installation supervised by Joe Smith, Ferguson National Sales Manager for PP-R

Read more about how our
associates are integral to our strategy.

Going beyond:

Our brand or
branded, we
meet our
customers’
needs

We have a focused product strategy that includes both branded and own brand offerings, and with over a million products across nine specialist customer groups, our extensive range can meet every customer’s need. Own brands, which represent 8.6 percent of revenue, offer customers high-quality, “on-trend” products at competitive prices with excellent availability and industry-leading warranties. For the business, own brands offer higher gross margins. As such, our customers, associates and the business all do well when we sell own brand products.

In November 2020 we launched an exciting new line of own brand products in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (“HVAC”) equipment category called Durastar. Durastar has been designed to offer a broad, high-quality range of residential unitary and ductless HVAC products at competitive price points.

The initial Durastar offering has included air conditioners, heat pumps, gas furnaces, air handlers and coils, and we are executing a phased, targeted launch strategy starting in the Ohio Valley District and growing geographically into new markets over the next several years. Durastar will be our primary line of equipment as we expand our HVAC business within our branch network as it offers us a considerable growth opportunity to sell our brand across the US, giving our customers even greater choice for their HVAC needs. Our scale and global sourcing capabilities make this a strong competitive advantage for the business in the HVAC market worth approximately $50 billion of which we currently have approximately 4 percent market share.

Creating and launching Durastar has been a cross-functional team effort. Durastar enables us to sell in any market and any channel which is a borderless brand deployment opportunity. From a thought leadership perspective, this supports our multi-brand product strategy that includes branded, branded exclusives and own brand products.” Rodney GraingerSenior Director, Category Management
durastar

Durastar product installation

Read more about our strategy.

Going beyond:

Empowering
customers through digital capability

Our digital capabilities mean that our customers are more efficient, saving them time and money. Through our digital platforms, we continually keep our customers updated with their order details when they are on the go. This means that our customers know where their products will be – exactly when they need them. Through geolocation technology implemented across our delivery fleet, customers can pinpoint the exact location of the truck that has their order on it and know precisely what has been loaded so they can plan for the day ahead. This also reduces call volumes, freeing up our associates to concentrate on sales and service.

Customer, Aaron Walton, with Stillwater Group LLC, often runs several high-end, large residential projects simultaneously. Aaron is able to schedule installation with his Ferguson Install Coordinator, Alexandra Miller, and return to other aspects of his job. During a recent project, the layout of a new construction home required the rental of a boom truck to lift the appliances in through the second-floor terrace. Aaron was able to confirm his requested date and time of installation with Alexandra and leave her to arrange the details. Behind the scenes, Alexandra worked with a local company to rent a boom truck and have it delivered to the job site on the morning of installation.

Aaron received a system-generated email and text message confirming and reminding him that the install for his project was scheduled for the following morning. The message noted which job the appointment was for, provided a time window for delivery, a link to see where the truck was located, who the installers were, exactly what products were being delivered and the current status of the installation. The Ferguson installers were able to notify Aaron via the mobile app that they were en route and were approximately 30 minutes from his project. They met the company delivering the boom truck on-site and delivered the appliances through the second floor.

Upon completion, Ferguson sent the delivery receipt via the app to Aaron confirming what had been delivered and installed that day. This freed Aaron up to visit other projects throughout the day and continually be informed on what Ferguson had delivered and installed at his job site. A more detailed installation summary was sent to him the next business day by Alexandra who verified everything was completed to his liking and thanked him for his business.

Laura Wolfe, Ferguson Showroom Consultant, with Aaron Walton from Stillwater Group reviewing the installation for Aaron’s customer

Read more about how our digital
capabilities are integral to our strategy.

Going beyond:

Scale
delivered
locally

Inside our new Denver MDC with its automated inventory picking and replenishment system (on the left hand side)

Our supply chain is built around the needs of our customers who require access to a wide variety of products, high fill-rates and speed of delivery. We bridge the gap between over 34,000 suppliers and over one million customers, and we continue to invest in our procurement, logistics and supply chain to constantly improve efficiency and speed.

Across the US, we have 6.5 million square feet in 10 distribution centers and 35 million square feet across our branch network which makes us capable of same-day and next-day delivery to over 95 percent of the US population.

This is the foundation for our seamless omnichannel customer experience, combined with our investment in the best-in-class technology and tools, which enables us to stay ahead of our competition and grow market share.

Our new market distribution center (“MDC”) in Denver came online towards the end of the fiscal year and is a step-change in productivity. The 450,000 square foot facility has a revolutionary automated inventory picking and replenishment system that will complete 60 percent of all product picks for the facility. The 16,000 square foot system holds 49,000 bins and 26,000 products and utilizes energy efficient robots to run these product bins across a modular grid, optimizing space, time, energy and productivity. With energy-efficient motors and regenerative power, each robot uses about 100 watts of power, a tenth of an average toaster, improving energy-efficiency. The robots work day and night, saving on traditional warehouse costs including labor, lighting, heating and cleaning.

The system also decreases manual handling of materials by 50 percent which will improve health and safety metrics. In the future, it is possible to expand the system without the need to shut it down. Denver is the first of our new future state MDC facilities, and we are planning to build approximately two or three of these annually over the next several years. This is in addition to our 11 distribution centers (10 in the United States and 1 in Canada).

Across North America we have:

  • 34,000 suppliers
  • 1,679 Branches
  • 11 distribution centers
  • > 1 million customers
Our scale sets us apart from other
competitors – see how it makes us different in our business model.