Flowtech Fluidpower 2016 Annual Report
Acquisition and integration
Our strategy is to acquire complementary businesses operating in specific channels, highly focused, commercially independent operations delivering quality customer service at all times.
Indequip was established in 2003 by Ian Simpson in St. Helens Lancashire. Lacking personal funding he set up Indequip as a UK branch of a European pneumatics distributor with their financial support. Specialising in technical pneumatics it serves a wide range of sectors including transport, pharmaceuticals and medical gases. In Indequip launched a catalogue in 2003 and a year later this was supplemented by a fully transactional website. The first in the market to offer customers the ability to pay by credit card, the Indequip site also had a unique personal branding featuring its employees to emphasise its commitment to personal customer service. The Indequip team pride themselves on having the skill set to work with OEMs to advise on providing cost effective solutions to technical problems as well as products.
Following acquisition Ian has remained with the business and sits on the Operational Board.
Whilst a successful brand in the market, Indequip was becoming severely constrained by an inability to extend stock levels with service levels dipping down to 70% for next day delivery pre-acquisition. With profit levels also dropping, the majority shareholders wished to divest to focus on their main European business. With some customer and product overlap and a locally based team Indequip was an ideal opportunity to simply move operations across to the SLC. Indequip's values of people and tradition and the passion for the industry resonated strongly with the division. Indequip is very much a family business with Ian's brother Stuart joining the team in 2006 as a salesman and Ian's daughter Chloe joining in 2011 shortly after completing her marketing degree.
The stocks were predominantly transferred to the SLC over one weekend. For customers, this was a seamless changeover and Ian is pleased to report that service levels for next day orders are now over 90%. Order conversions have also increased due to the wide and deep stocks now available to Indequip as part of the Group. The team transferred to Skelmersdale. Whilst retaining their own branding the team feel very much part of the division sharing the canteen and other facilities. Ian feels the move has had a very positive impact on his team with the improved stock holdings and service levels restoring morale. Working together, the quality of resources and support from the Flowtechnology division has really helped Indequip grow.
Total cost of acquisition
Profit before tax
Family team: Chloe Simpson, Ian Simpson, Stuart Simpson
One of the most pleasing outcomes for Ian has been the 2017 catalogue. Totally redesigned by the Flowtechnology creative services team the design concepts now emphasise the technical aspects of the product range. 9,000 new products have been added increasing the size by 30%. The catalogue will also have a European version priced in euros to facilitate export sales. For the first time the catalogue was produced and delivered on time with customers now able to pay in direct debit instalments. The creative services and marketing teams have also helped Indequip develop its own Exclusive Brand, TechmaticTM.
Throughout our changing needs as a fast growing business, Indequip have been at the forefront consistently providing fast, solution driven, value added support. Indequip are valued within our supply chain and are synonymous with technical solutions, supporting our daily operational needs, and providing guidance to our longer term strategic activities.
Head of Supply Chain, Peak Scientific