Headquartered in New Britain, CT, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. is an innovative manufacturer of tools and storage, commercial electronic security, and engineered fastening systems.
Frederick Stanley — Building A Legacy
American industrialist and entrepreneur Frederick Stanley (August 12, 1802 – August 2, 1883) was born in New Britain, CT on August 12, 1802. Throughout his career, Frederick was involved in several New Britain businesses, including a machine manufacturer for the growing iron business in Hartford.
In 1843, Frederick and his brother William started Stanley Bolt Manufacturing, a small bolt, hinge, and hardware manufacturing business in New Britain, CT.
Eventually, Frederick wanted to expand the hinge manufacturing business, so in 1853 he started a separate company, the Stanley Works.
In 1920, the company merged with Stanley Rule and Level Company, which was founded by Frederick’s cousin Henry Stanley in 1857, with Stanley Rule & Level becoming the tool division of the Stanley Works.
With his passion for entrepreneurship and innovation, Frederick became known for many firsts in New Britain. As a nod to his help bringing the railroad to New Britain in 1850, the first locomotive to come through town was named the Frederick T. Stanley.
Frederick was involved in the creation of a local gas light company in 1855. Two years later he helped bring the first running water to New Britain. In 1871, Frederick served as the first mayor of New Britain. Frederick died on August 2, 1883 at the age of 80.
Black & Decker – Power Tool Innovators
Headquartered in Towson, MD, Black & Decker Corporation manufacturers power tools, accessories, hardware, home improvement products, and technology-based fastening systems. The company merged with Stanley Works to become Stanley Black & Decker on March 12, 2010. Black & Decker remains as a wholly owned subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker.
S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker started their shop in Baltimore, MD, in 1910. In 1916, they obtained the world’s first patent for a portable power tool.
One year later, Black & Decker invented a portable electric drill, obtaining a patent for a hand-held drill combining a pistol grip and trigger switch.
In 1943, Black & Decker received the Army-Navy “E” Award for production, which is one of four World War II citations awarded to the company.
Stanley Works and Black & Decker grew in parallel over the proceeding decades, accumulating an innovative family of brands and products and abundance of industry expertise.
Stanley Black & Decker Today
Today, Stanley Black & Decker is one of the world’s most recognized brands of tools. The company has more than 13,000 active global patents and launches about 1,000 new tool products per year, including many of the “world’s first.” In fact, according to Stanley Black & Decker, new products drive more than 85% of the company’s organic growth. What’s more, NPD Data recognized the Stanley Black & Decker for receiving the 8th most patents in the world from 2010 to 2014.
Stanley Black & Decker sells more than 500,000 products including power drills, saws, toolboxes, wrenches, fasteners, measuring tools, compressors, nail guns, outdoor power equipment, sanders, lamps, mowers, vacuums, workbenches, polishers, grinders, and cordless tools.
Stanley Black & Decker’s innovations include the Bailey hand plane, the Surform shaper, the PowerLock tape measure, and the box-cutter knife (e.g., a utility knife or a Stanley knife). The company’s largest brands include Stanley, DeWalt, Black+Decker, Porter Cable, and Bostitch.
Branding, global distribution channels, and product innovation are key factors to the company’s long-term success.
Stanley Black & Decker’s products are available in many home center and mass merchandise retailers. The products have developed brand loyalty and cover an array of applications. The company has number one global market share for power tools and hand tools and number two market share for engineered fastening and commercial electronic security services.
Since 2002, Stanley Black & Decker has invested more than $6 billion in acquisitions to advance its growth opportunities.
As one of the most innovative consumer products companies, Stanley Black & Decker takes an evolutionary approach to core innovation, which the company refers to as “linear innovation.” The company uses well-developed processes to deliver next-generation products across its portfolio.
Stanley Black & Decker developed Breakthrough Innovation teams in many facets of the business. Each team is dedicated to a business, but operates and collaborates with other teams on specific technical problems.
“With multiple breakthrough teams up and running, catalyzing ideas and accelerating development, our organizational capability to disrupt industries and move markets continues to grow,” says Stephen M. Subasic, Vice President, Human Resources, Global Tools & Storage and Executive Sponsor of Breakthrough Innovation. “We’re seeing unprecedented synergy and collaboration across the teams and our businesses, and we’re tapping into external sources of inspiration. This is taking our culture of innovation to a whole new level,” he added.
Stanley Black & Decker’s Total Innovation initiative enables employees in departments such as engineering, marketing, legal, and finance to participate in innovation projects that get evaluated at a “science fair” event every six months. At the event, management reviews the projects and chooses those that will go on to the company’s standard, milestone-oriented development process.
“We give certain guardrails around user frustrations, or problems that exist,” explains John Cunningham, President of the Consumer Products Group at the Baltimore company. “Then, we let the engineering team dedicate 10% of their time to solving those problems. About 40% move on, and 60% we shelve, or we send them back to be developed further.”
Total Innovation Hackathon
In 2016, Stanley Black & Decker partnered with Johns Hopkins University for the Total Innovation Hackathon. The competition invited Johns Hopkins University students to build off of a Black+Decker 20v battery to improve an existing product or create a brand new one.
Building an Innovation Ecosystem
According to Stanley Black & Decker, the company is “building an innovation ecosystem where cross-fertilization and co-creation is a compelling element of the company’s culture.”
The company assembled a council of breakthrough innovators who meet virtually to examine innovative technologies such as battery storage, sensors, and micro-motors. The council includes representatives from each breakthrough innovation team and from the businesses.
In addition, Stanley Black & Decker has annual summits to share progress and highlight new solutions. The company has “created and continue to grow a thriving community of technologists who are highly collaborative and mutually supportive in their pursuit of breakthrough innovation.”
- Bollinger, Guru Focus, “Stanley Black & Decker: 139 Years of Dividend History,” 2016.
- ConnecticutHistory,org, “Stanley Works for New Britain”
- Innovation Leader, “Two paths to innovation at Stanley Black & Decker”
- The New Britain Industrial Museum, “The Stanley Works”
- Stanley Black & Decker “2016 Year in Review”
- Stanley Black & Decker, “How We Innovate”
- Stanley Black & Decker, “Our Legacy”
- Wikipedia, “Black & Decker”
- Wikipedia, “Frederick Trent Stanley”
- Wikipedia “Stanley Black & Decker”