When it comes to industrial distribution, scale matters. Our customers want technical experts who are close to them, able to advise on products and services and ready to apply solutions to their manufacturing and processing problems.

With over 800 locations across 22 European countries, we are close to our customers, wherever they need us. In fact, over 300 of those locations are actually at a customer site.

As you would expect, there is always more we can do to get even closer. That’s why we are constantly developing our network to meet our customers’ needs.

Fortunately for us, and our customers, there is no shortage of opportunity. We operate in a highly fragmented market. We are the clear market leader with only three per cent market share and we are substantially larger than the nearest competitor. That makes us the natural consolidator of European industrial distribution and therefore perfectly positioned to strengthen our business through network development.

So what exactly do we mean by network development? It’s about making our network stronger by adding high quality branches, rather than building them from new.

Our approach works because the process is in the hands of managers within our 22 markets. They understand the needs of local customers better than anyone and they are best placed to make decisions about which branches complement our existing business, enabling us to further improve the service we provide to our customers.

It’s not the branch building itself that we want to add to our network. It’s about bringing great people with strong customer relationships into the Group. Most importantly, it’s about doing it quickly. The payback on growing our business like this is faster than if we open a branch, hire those people and build those relationships ourselves.

Typically, we are looking at single branch businesses with owners that don’t have an obvious successor. They have reached a point where taking their business to the next level requires a level of investment that they can’t meet, for example to develop a digital platform. Finally, they are healthy businesses, as the benefits to Rubix don’t play out if they are in need of turnaround.

The beauty of network development is that everyone benefits: our existing customers, the people joining Rubix and the customers they bring with them.

Our customers get instant access to those experienced and local technical experts. Our new colleagues get to be part of a market-leading business with exciting growth plans. Their customers get access to the benefits of doing business with Rubix on day one. That could be the prices we are able to negotiate thanks to our size, the wide range of products that we can supply, or the extensive range of value-added services on offer.

We have a strong track record of both execution and on-boarding. We always meet with key customers and employees before the deal is closed and our versatile, plug-and-play ERP system allows for rapid integration of accounting and stock management.

With over 400 branches in the pipeline, network development will continue to be an important aspect of how we grow our business to meet the needs of our customers.

Andrew Silverbeck
Group CFO