“To be successful you have to adapt”
Maria Ford President of North America Industrial and Commercial Construction Global Tools & Storage at Stanley Black & Decker, discusses adapting during challenging times and the digital and environmental development within the fastener and tool industry with Torque Magazine…
It's been a highly disruptive 11 months and in your STAFDA Convention talk you spoke about the need for more digital interaction with customers. Is this something that was always going to become necessary, and has Covid accelerated it? Or has it been driven by the pandemic?
Yes, I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has been disruptive. It was a privilege to speak at STAFDA this year, and the theme I centred my speech around was transformation. As an industry I think we all knew we needed to become increasingly digital, but COVID-19 really accelerated that to a speed no one could’ve anticipated.
How do you see the drive towards digital impacting on how sales are made in the industry? Is it a challenge for businesses to adapt?
The virtual environment we live in allows people to get information, reviews and products very quickly, and now with COVID-19 these virtual opportunities are more efficient than ever. Distributors and manufacturers like Stanley Black & Decker were all making changes in the way we did business, but in 2020 a lot of change happened overnight.
The opportunity for smaller incremental changes has passed, and we all need to transform the way we think about doing business to create as much impact as we can in every customer interaction. For example, leveraging digital platforms to share information and virtually connect with customers during the pandemic has helped us reach broader audiences more frequently, and helped create more connectivity then we could’ve ever imagined.
For some businesses making these shifts will be more challenging, but the world is going to continue changing and to be successful you have to adapt.
We’re seeing growing awareness of environmental impact in the fastener and tool industry. Do you expect this to continue and how is Stanley Black & Decker addressing this?
As an organisation Stanley Black & Decker has made a commitment to sustainability, and we are actively working to become better than carbon neutral (what we call carbon positive), achieve zero waste to landfill, and use sustainable water across our operations by 2030. We are working to achieve these goals because we understand the need to positively impact the environment is only going to increase.