The Group has a clear view of its growth objectives – to create a specialist fluid power organisation that remains focused on its core competencies 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 the UK and Europe in a very fragmented marketplace.

The successful integration of new businesses into the Group is critical, maintaining momentum and ensuring an ability to continue to trade with their customers seamlessly. To support this an experienced integration team has been created tasked with delivering a smooth and speedy transitions process. During 2016, Indequip, Hydravalve & TSL, were acquired and successfully integrated into the Group - these acquisitions fit within the defined strategy previously outlined of developing a Focused Fluid Power Group.

Strategic focus

Brand positioning

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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
  • Successful rebranding of Indequip with a very technical inspired theme and an own brand range named "Techmatic"
  • Two new Exclusive Brands were added to our portfolio, now 28 brands in total
  • Strengthening the position of individual business unit brands within the group through the affiliation with the wider Group, whilst maintaining operational independence
  • Establishing an umbrella brand that focuses on hydraulic application solutions and technical expertise providing the customer with a specialist solution from a single source
  • Building on our relationship with global brands, providing our customers with an extensive selection of product options to cover many market sectors
  • Quality control
  • Failure to integrate acquisitions and align strategies to existing business model

Acquisition and integration

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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
  • Continued growth of the Group by acquisition to widen the geographical areas and the industrial fluid power markets it serves
  • Integration of acquired enterprise resource planning systems into one platform
  • Continued development of consistent working practices across the Group, Standard Practice Instructions (SPIs)
  • Failure to integrate acquisitions and align strategies to existing business model

E-commerce and Business intelligence

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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 70% of Flowtechnology customers ordering online in the UK, this model will be rolled out to the other business units in the Group.

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

  • Substantial investment in super server to host ERP systems for all business units from the Skelmersdale site
  • Indepth review of IT systems as part of IASME certification process
  • Cyber awareness training for all employees
  • Continued development of product data repository
  • Obtain IASME Gold certification for the Skelmersdale site and replicate best practice standards across all business units
  • Launch of new websites across the business units
  • Rationalisation of accounting systems to one provider
  • Inability to recognise and control cyber exposures
  • System and site disruption

Products and sourcing

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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.

  • Acquisitions have given us an enhanced presence in the new product ranges: Indequip – pneumatic automation components, Hydravalve – process industry valves, TSL – specialist hydraulic cylinders and rotary actuators
  • Two new Parker Hannifin ranges - Parker Triple-Lok™, a fluid conveyance tube fittings and Parker Fluid Control Solenoid Valves
  • Stock demand increases due to the increasing size of the Group has allowed the newly formed Group Strategic Buying team to negotiate improved group terms for pneumatic silencers, brass hose tails, brass ball valves, stainless steel pipe fittings and stainless steel ball valves
  • Continued growth of the Group by acquisition to increase access to new product ranges and product knowledge
  • Annual programme of visits by the Group Strategic Buying Team to set and monitor a programme of continues improvements with existing suppliers and to seek out new suppliers that will fit the Group purchasing requirements
  • Failure to integrate acquisitions and align strategies to existing business model
  • Quality control

Supply chain

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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. 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.

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

  • Currently 60% of Group sales are delivered from our Skelmersdale site. To ensure service levels are never compromised we are constantly improving the business continuity plan, which included a test scenario for the FTUK team during the summer
  • The Skelmersdale warehouse now has the capability to supply 60% of Benelux sales, next day, in the event of an emergency
  • Within the PMC division should any one site be disrupted, there is sufficient capacity at the other sites to divert work and employees to ensure business continuity
  • Preparation of business continuity plans for new acquisitions
  • Introduction of Standard Practice Instruction for business continuity planning
  • Annual programme for testing plans across the business units
  • System and site disruption
  • Inability to recognise and control cyber exposures

People are one of our strongest assets. 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.

  • John Farmer appointed Managing Director of FTUK in July 2016, following sixteen years of service in sales and purchasing for the business
  • Three new appointments to the Operational Board, Ian Simpson, Indequip, Andy Newham, Hydravalve and Steve Rushworth, TSL
  • Apprenticeship programmes in Primary and FTUK
  • Thomas International training for managers from all business units
  • Indequip sales team all qualified as Aircom technicians
  • Adoption of apprenticeship programme in Hydravalve
  • Continued training on the SPIs to reduce administration processing costs and improve visibility and control of local business unit costs
  • Introduction of accredited Health and Safety training as part of SPI development
  • Talent management and succession planning