No one at Milwaukee spoke those words, but that's how I interpreted what TTi CEO Joe Galli said during a speech to investors in March. He said more or less the same thing in a series of follow-up interviews with the business press.
The speech occurred during the company's annual results presentation in Hong Kong; I listened to a recording of it on the corporate website. So why should anyone care what some dude in a suit and tie has to say about tools? No reason in particular, except that the company he runs owns Milwaukee, Ryobi, and AEG (a trade-grade brand in Europe). And it produces hand-held power tools sold under the Ridgid brand, and owns Hart, Stiletto, and a number of other brands.
To save you from having to listen to the entire presentation - which is filled with the usual corporate spin and boring financial talk - I'll relay some of what Galli had to say about Milwaukee during his time at the podium.
According to Galli/TTi:
- Milwaukee has more new product in their pipeline than all of their competitors combined.
- Worldwide, Milwaukee grew 20% in 2012. No other brand is growing as fast.
- In each of the last four years Milwaukee's power tool business gained market share in every region where it competes (U.S.; Canada; Europe/Middle East/Africa; Australia/New Zealand; Latin America). They expect this trend to continue. The company plans to ramp up sales in Asia (where it currently does not compete).
- M18 Fuel tools (18-volt brushless models) launched last year and were so popular the company could not keep them in stock.
- The Fuel sub-brand provides 2x more power and 4x more runtime than the competition (David Frane: I'm not sure which competing models he's talking about. Tools of the Trade tested the M18 Fuel impact driver against other 18-volt brushless models, and while its performance was at or near the top, it was not as dominant as Galli claims. Perhaps he was comparing it to all cordless models, instead of other brushless lithium-ion models with 4.0 Ah and higher batteries).
- This year the company is rolling out M12 Fuel tools, 12-volt max brushless models that will revolutionize the power tool business because they weigh half as much as traditional full-size (18-volt) tools but have the same performance and runtime. Introductions will include hammer drills, drill/drivers, impact drivers, impact wrenches, rotary hammer, and accessory for collecting dust from rotary hammers. (David Frane: Tools of the Trade is currently testing some of this product and will find out if Galli is correct in his assertions).
- The biggest growth opportunity is in hand tool market, which is over $5 billion world-wide (David Frane: Milwaukee got into the hand tool business a couple of years back and continues to expand their offerings. DeWalt has been doing this too).
As boring corporate speeches go, this one wasn't too bad. It will be interesting, going forward, to see how many of Galli's predictions come true. I've heard similar speeches from other tool company chieftains and they always say they're going to stomp the competition.