Innovation runs deep at Stanley Black & Decker, and core to our culture is becoming known as one of the world’s great innovative companies.
Our trajectory includes but goes beyond individual breakthroughs, harnessing digital, new materials and technologies, and new thinking both within the company and by leveraging external partnerships—taking us to a whole new level of boundless, ceaseless and purposeful innovation for those who make the world.
To foster rapid and pervasive innovation and to capitalize on the pace of change, we have advanced our innovation ecosystem. It is designed to maximize the potential of internal resources and external partnerships through collaborative relationships with entrepreneurs, academic institutions, research labs and other parties. Together we are exploring key technologies that can be applied to our manufacturing and business processes as well as result in innovation for our customers and end users.
Evolving the Customer Experience
Today, customers don’t just expect an extraordinary experience—they demand it. And we know that to sustain our competitive advantage in the marketplace, we need to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of our ever-changing customer base, from home improvement and online retailers, construction companies and large contractors to heads of security or engineering and our small business or consumer tool users. The pace of change in customer experience is accelerating beyond our recent imagination, enabling customer engagement that we’ve never seen before. The physical and digital worlds have collided, and Stanley Black & Decker is well positioned to provide the kind of one-to-one, personalized experience our customers (small and large) have come to expect. We are investing across the organization in our technology, data and analytics infrastructure to better understand and market to our customers, helping to ensure they have an exceptional customer experience, from email and marketing outreach, through product use to service.
Breakthrough Innovation Teams
We know that breakthrough innovation will inspire our people and shape our future. In innovation hubs around the world where commercial, startup and academic resources are concentrated, our businesses have launched offsite breakthrough innovation centers dedicated to developing game-changing solutions, each with a long-term potential to generate annual revenue in excess of $100 million. Within our major businesses and across our enterprise, our breakthrough innovation teams are working on products and connected solutions that will shape tomorrow. The future is promising with FLEXVOLT, ATOMIC and XTREME already disrupting the power tool category, and with more innovations across our businesses on the horizon.
Partnering with MTD for Outdoor Breakthroughs
We believe in practical innovation, working to deliver breakthroughs and enhancements that customers will embrace and value. Our alignment with MTD creates great possibilities, including the extension of electrification from handheld equipment to large-format outdoor equipment, which remains a wide-open opportunity in the marketplace. We are putting our best minds together to advance this vision. Adding this compelling technology advancement to MTD’s leadership in high efficiency, gas-powered engines, will bring the best power and performance solutions to our customers. Our two organizations can bring unparelled scale, excellence and collaborative innovation to this market.
Manufactory–Our Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence
Our Manufactory, located in Hartford, Connecticut, is named after Frederick Stanley’s first plant and is pushing the boundaries of manufacturing innovation. Always on, the Manufactory is connected live 24/7 with our plants around the world, supporting the collection and harnessing of data to drive a major step change improvement in operations excellence and customer-centricity. Our Industry 4.0 team, many of whom are based at the Manufactory, engages across businesses and our technology partners, to enable new ways of collaboration across our plants, sharing best practices from the shop floor and providing shared services around process improvement and maintenance management. Our team is in full implementation mode on this important initiative, delivering accelerated productivity in 2020 and beyond.
Introducing STANLEY X, our newly renamed and consolidated organization that focuses on accelerating the development and commercialization of disruptive innovations. Formerly known as Elu, STANLEY X will be our public face within the innovation community in Silicon Valley and beyond, leveraging the power of the STANLEY brand. It also includes the incubation and scaling of new ventures such as Dado and Surehand as well as our new growth opportunities in construction technology, advanced manufacturing and talent solutions. STANLEY X steers the Experience Design team and our Digital Accelerator—specifically the areas focusing on IoT, quantum computing, blockchain and other emerging technologies. It also has responsibility for STANLEY Earth and its focus on developing products with purpose by applying innovation to positively impact people’s lives.
STANLEY+Techstars welcomed its second cohort of 10 startups in 2019, expanding its focus beyond additive manufacturing to include ecologically friendly packaging. This mentorship-driven, entrepreneurial accelerator program selects startups from around the world, with the goal of bringing breakthrough manufacturing and new packaging technologies to market. The startups co-locate with us at our Manufactory in Hartford, Connecticut, where they have access to mentoring and resources to help transform their ideas and prototypes into viable businesses.
Circularity Challenge with BASF and Greentown Labs
Stanley Black & Decker has partnered with Greentown Labs and BASF to launch a six-month accelerator program seeking battery, plastic and digital solutions to enable the circular economy. The goal of the program, known as the Greentown Labs Circularity Challenge, is to disrupt the plastics, energy storage, and recycling value chains to improve sustainability. Specific initiatives include: pushing the limits of plastics recycling; creating ways to reuse, recondition or recycle batteries; and digitally enabling new circular business models. Our support for the program ties directly to our social responsibility commitment to innovate with purpose.
STANLEY Ventures brings innovation into Stanley Black & Decker through strategic venture capital investments—partnering with early-stage businesses to advance cutting-edge technology and solutions relevant or potentially disruptive to our business. We take a disciplined approach, making minority investments and working with existing leadership to help perfect and scale their ideas. The portfolio now includes 26 companies, including four from our first STANLEY+Techstars class. In four years, we’ve had one successful exit and acquired one company outright, 3XLogic.