• About us
  • Our marketplace

    Our marketplace

    The road ahead? Sustainable growth

    We operate in a large and fragmented industrial market. Most of our competitors are independent businesses and regional firms with a local focus – specialists with narrow product offerings, limited service solutions and less developed digital capabilities.

    We’re different. In this market, we’re one of a few global distributors of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products and service solutions tailored for industrial customers’ needs. Our worldwide reach, broad product range, innovative service solutions and digital capabilities place us in a unique position to differentiate and disrupt.

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    How big is the market? 

    The distributor total addressable market in global MRO and safety and protection is big. Our estimate: over £470 billion. And typically growing at gross domestic product (GDP).

    Today, our market share globally is less than 1%. Even in our most mature market, the UK, we have a market share of under 5%. We don’t just see the opportunities – we’re ready to seize them.
    One goal we know is within reach: continuing to grow market share across all our regions. We’re here to outperform the market and increase our share of customer wallet– by both selling more to existing customers and acquiring new ones.

    How? By being the essential link between suppliers and industrial customers who buy many different products in small volumes to maintain, repair and operate their businesses. Our deep technical and industry expertise. Our understanding of customers’ needs. Our exhaustive range of product and service solutions. Our fast and responsive customer service. We bring all these strengths together to make our customers’ lives easier, keep their businesses running smoothly and sustainably – and save them time and money along the way.

    Trends shaping our market

    Ease of doing business

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    Our B2B customers are expecting a personalised, seamless experience – both online and offline. Our suppliers are looking for a partner that understands their products, that they can work with to bring their products to market successfully.

    Our strategic response

    • Enabling a solution offering that’s more digitally led, data-driven and customer focused, building on our core strengths, helping us move up the value chain with both customers and suppliers.
    • Investing in our digital capabilities to onboard new products and make it easier for our customers to discover and purchase them.
    • Operating as one brand – global and unified – so that we’re easier to explain and understand and leverage our global network.
    • Investing even more in our supply chain networks and distribution infrastructure to increase capacity and local sourcing capabilities.

    Solutions focus

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    Offering solutions is a key differentiator for any organisation. Our customers are increasingly expecting solutions to solve their immediate problems and predict problems before they happen.

    Our strategic response 

    • Shifting our global focus towards MRO to exploit fully our digital channels, increasing our inventory offer and leveraging our global presence.
    • Developing our digitally-led solutions offering.
    • RS Industria® – providing continuous insight into the operational health and sustainability of industrial assets and equipment. 
    • RS Integrated Supply – improving efficiencies as customers consolidate and optimise their MRO procurement needs.

    One-stop shop

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    Our customers are seeking to simplify their supplier base, leverage spend and realise greater value. Why? Because receiving products and services from one provider saves them time and money.

    Our strategic response

    • Bringing together our innovation ecosystem throughout RS – including specific offers such as DesignSpark, OKdo and RS Think Hub. We are accelerating new innovations and unlocking greater value for our supplier network.
    • Supporting the convergence of sustainable industrial and electronics applications. This means focusing more on helping industrial customers solve their problems with electronics.
    • Investing in smarter processes and applications to introduce new products, faster.

    Consolidating market

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    The pace of market consolidation has increased two-fold over the past ten years, driven by globalisation and digitalisation. This will accelerate scale and efficiencies.

    Our strategic response

    • Maintaining a strong balance sheet, fortifying our position to drive consolidation.
    • Setting clear and disciplined criteria to focus on potential acquisitions – expanding our service solution capabilities, new or adjacent product ranges, geographic opportunities and operational excellence.
    • Strengthening our corporate development and integration teams to vitalise our pipeline of potential acquisitions and integration. 

    Spotlight on sustainability

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    ESG is a rising priority for all our stakeholders. We’re seeing a growing focus on more sustainable products, distribution and service solutions, responsible supply chain practices and an inclusive culture.

    Our strategic response 

    • Implementing a robust 2030 ESG action plan with four global goals to achieve by 2030.
    • Establishing an ESG solutions function to develop a differentiated suite of ESG-related product and service solutions.
    • Launching a more sustainable product range – Better World products – in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
    • Holding supplier ESG conferences to drive action and solutions for customers.