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Wolseley is the world's largest distributor of
plumbing and heating products and a leading
supplier of building materials. Our well-known
brands hold leading positions in their local

Large vendor base

c.70,000 vendors


See our industry


Refining our strategy – driving productivity and growth.

Now that we have a strong set of business units to invest in and build, we are continuing to evolve our business unit strategies and in doing so we are reviewing the business models employed by each. Here our objective is always to have the most efficient, lowest cost platform in the industry,to drive continuous improvement by better process management and to make sure that we are executing our processes at the right point in the organisation.  

Certain processes and activities (for example strategy review, people development, finance and IT) have already been mandated as common across all business units and we have benefited greatly from this as a Group. In addition, we have ensured that every business unit, and in turn every branch, measures customer service – because we know that high customer service scores correlate to strong financial performance. 

We are now identifying and using  the best core processes in our most successful business units to derive further benefits from a more systematic approach. For example, we have taken  our successful business to consumer (“B2C”) e-commerce business and, using the same business model approach and a common IT platform, launched new businesses in the UK and Canada. We have now established in all business units a critical level of SKUs (“stock keeping units”) to be maintained in the branch with 100 per cent fill-rates – high levels of availability of a wide range of SKUs is critical to our customers’ businesses. While the top stock keeping units (“SKUs”) are therefore immediately available in branches, the remaining SKUs are readily available from hubs or distribution centres.

The evolution from a loose confederation to a systematically managed network will have a significant impact on the flexibility of decision-making in our branches.

Stock of copper pipes

Information correct as of 31 July 2013