Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety restructuring Blackwoods

Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety (WIS) is restructuring a number of its business operations within Australia. The company announced the decision on 17 November and simultaneously begun implementing changes.

The Blackwoods, Protector Alsafe, Bullivants, Bakers and Total Fasteners businesses are being combined to improve the company’s offer to customers, reduce costs and strengthen its platform for the future.

The resultant company is expected to operate under the Blackwoods name. A number of these businesses provide essential equipment for building, maintaining and monitoring within the oil and gas industry.

Talking to Gas Today, Alan Watkins, EGM Industrial Specialists at WIS, explained “Customers have said they value the capabilities of the multiple businesses, but several of them – particularly the oil majors – have asked us to simplify the way that they do business with us.”

In a company statement announcing the consolidation managing director of Wesfarmers Industrials Rob Scott said “We are confident that these changes will deliver significant synergies across merchandising, sourcing, supply chain, property and support services that ultimately will deliver more value to our customers. This transformation will see greater focus and investment in new products, digital solutions and service delivery models to meet the changing demands of our customers.”

According to Mr Watkins the response has been encouraging since the announcement. He said “The customer reaction has been very favourable, including several major oil and gas guys. They’ve said ‘we very much support what you’re doing, we support the innovation but just make sure you continue delivering on our service offer and some of the critical resources and assets that you have in these businesses’.

“There is a major change within Blackwoods here too; we need to strengthen our specialist capabilities. So, it’s critical to us to maintain these specialist services and capabilities as we make this transition. If we get it right, the view is that we can extend it to other specialist areas.”

Mr Watkins said “We’ve announced and started this activity simultaneously. It’s going to roll around geographically, we have kicked off with our construction business in Sydney, and our safety business in South Australia.”
He added that he believes the market will begin seeing the results of the consolidation within the coming months.

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