The industrial market, both nationally and globally, is extremely fragmented and is estimated to be worth around £50bn per annum. Of this market, we believe that £25bn is representative of our target customer sector capability"
Adam John

Adam John |
European Distributor Sales Manager

Steve Wallis

Steve Wallis |
Product Sales Development Manager

Shirley Creasey

Shirley Creasey |
European Distribution Sales Co-ordinator

Rob Hall

Rob Hall |
European Distribution Account Manager

Our main routes to market

Over time we have developed routes to market for the differing needs of our customer base, ensuring that we can support and satisfy both an SME and a multinational OEM.This has been in place for over 15 years to ensure we have teams dedicated to each of these key areas.

Competitive landscape

The industrial market, both nationally and globally, is extremely fragmented and is estimated to be worth around £50bn per annum. Of this market, we believe that £25bn is representative of our target customer sector capability. Market research indicates that the global demand for fasteners will continue to grow by at least 4% until 2020.

The growth in the fastener market is primarily due to the automotive sales and demand being experienced on a global basis. Nonetheless, new products in the field of electronics, technology and telecoms have a high demand for our type of products, offering particularly special parts to drawings. In addition, the ongoing growth in the global 'middle class' is expected to drive increases in the domestic appliances sector for the medium term.

Our competitors are many and varied as they could be servicing customers on a local or a global supplier basis. Additionally, we have differing competitors depending on the industry supplied. TR has fewer competitors in the automotive sector, as it is a far more demanding industry and suppliers are required to have a global reach, their own manufacturing base, design and technical capability and to be financially robust – that narrows the field considerably.

As a full service provider, we are able to offer our customers an 'end-to-end' lean supply chain. From initial product inception, through to design and manufacture, meeting the stringent quality and logistics standards required. Our responsiveness, with a strong focus on customer service, is a hard task for our competitors to match.

Multinational OEMs

Over 60% of our sales are derived from multinational OEMs with multiple sites on more than one continent. Having a global footprint coupled with our own in-house manufacturing is a distinct advantage for these customers.

They expect consistency of systems and processes, an understanding of their corporate goals, and rely on working with companies who can service them virtually anywhere. (Their HQ's are usually in the USA or UK/Europe.) We focus on working at group level, meeting their senior teams, negotiating contracts and terms, before rolling that out to TR's locally based teams.

Their stringent requirements extend to CSR, environmental controls, the quality criteria, Value Add/Value Engineering (VA/VE) support as well as design and logistics.

Once we have established ourselves as an approved vendor to these companies, our focus is then on penetrating as many of their sites as is feasible. When that door has been firmly opened and we have built up a good service reputation, we get the opportunities to quote for more sites and builds that are often replicated in different countries and continents. We have had good results this year, increasing our penetration and have seen solid growth as a result.

Distributors

Sales to distributors equates to about 10% of our revenue. In the main we sell to them our TR proprietary parts (e.g. self-clinch, screws for plastics and brass inserts).

We have seen an increasing trend in being asked to supply other products, which has also increased distributor spend with us. One example would be the plastics commodity range that we introduced three years ago.

The new commercial TR website showcases our much enhanced proprietary product range in greater detail. There are over 45,000 drawings that can be downloaded from our site, together with animations illustrating how to use the product, all supported with engineering guidelines and data.

The key sites supporting distributors are TR Uckfield and Lancaster Fastener Co. This year we have seen growth in our sales to European distributors increase significantly. Where we do not have a TR location, we support key distributors, which today total 31 across central Europe, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Israel, Bulgaria, Croatia and Spain. These are very valued and important relationships for us, and in turn it increases the awareness of our branded products.

Lancaster are masters at promoting and marketing in an extensive, well recognised catalogue and interpreting what distributors' product needs are.

Website

45k

Over 45,000 technical drawings can be downloaded from trfastenings.com

Distributors

30

We support over 30 key distributors across Europe, generating a 10% increase in distributor revenues in 2016

Our key sectors

Automotive

This is the fastest growing sector, and currently represents 31% of our global revenue. This is also the most demanding sector in terms of meeting the stringent quality and logistics commitments we are contracted to. We have invested in more engineers in the field to work alongside our customers during these critical times. A typical new programme contract can run for seven years, giving long term assured revenue.

We supply Malaysian and Japanese OEMs directly though PSEP — factory to factory. But the main TR Fastenings distribution business model is to excel in the supply to the Tier 1's. TR's penetration into the Tier 1's on three continents has increased this year as we have added new companies to the portfolio and increased our penetration into the longer established ones. TR has picked up a number of prestigious awards this year including from Sanden in Malaysia, and Yanfeng (SAIC) in Europe and in North America.

We are entering an exciting new era in automotive development. Model changes and electric vehicles and the new battery factories to support these are all fastener rich opportunities. The development of autonomous vehicles by Google is a good example. Interiors will be equipped as offices, seats that recline and rotate, and new features will be added which will increase comfort and communication. All of this will all bring fresh challenges and new opportunities.

Electronics/telecoms

This has been a good year for this sector having been the slowest to recover from recession, and we see this trend continuing for the foreseeable future. This sector encompasses the supply of products as diverse as product for 5G telecoms, internet and telecoms enclosure cabinets, to LED lighting and computer assemblies. The target market is global OEMs and the CEMs (Contract Electronic Manufacturers) who produce for the OEM's.

The product range supplied is extensive and we are adding new product lines constantly to meet the growing requirements of this fast paced industry. Typically, we supply 200–500 parts to a company and therefore our VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory) is an essential part of the supply chain. Involvement in design is a key part of the service we provide plus ongoing technical support for the life of the product. The new commercial TR website, with over 45,000 products and CAD drawings, is used extensively by companies in this sector. We continue to target global multinational household names on three continents who require a global supplier able to give the same support and consistent supply wherever they are located.

Domestic appliances

Although the Group previously supplied into this sector, the acquisition of VIC in Italy catapulted us into a very prominent position. Think of a major brand of washing machine, tumble dryer, cooker, fridge or vacuum cleaner and the chances are that TR is a supplier of parts for it.

Over the years, design has ensured that there are low mix and very high volume parts used; the supply chain has to be extremely lean to keep costs low as the purchase cost of these products has been driven down. Therefore we have been very proactive in assisting these global brands with design and technical support to streamline parts further. An example would be a transit system fastening which did involve four parts but has now become a patented single complex moulded screw assembly which saves time and improves weight whilst remaining competitively priced. This is now being adopted in various styles across the industry as a standard system.

The demands for product in this area are very high. We have by no means exhausted the opportunities as there are new products being launched constantly as consumer demands fuel the desire for the latest product.