17/11/2015 - 13:14

Wesfarmers restructures industrial arm

17/11/2015 - 13:14

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Wesfarmers will make about 300 national roles redundant, 45 of which are in Western Australia, as part of a restructuring of its industrial and safety division.

Wesfarmers restructures industrial arm

Wesfarmers will make about 300 national roles redundant, 45 of which are in Western Australia, as part of a restructuring of its industrial and safety division.

Wesfarmers Industrials and Safety will merge its specialist businesses including Protector Alsafe, Bullivants, Bakers and Total Fasteners into its Blackwoods business, retaining the Blackwoods name.

The merger will lead to the loss of 300 jobs across the WIS business, with 100 of those employees being notified today.

WIS employs about 4,400 people nationally.

Blackwoods customers will continue to have access to products and services of other businesses in WIS’s portfolio including the Workwear Group, Coregas and Greencap.

The New Zealand businesses of Blackwoods Protector, NZ Safety and Packaging House will also come together as an integrated NZ operation.

The initiatives follow a statement by Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder at the company’s annual general meeting last week, when he said the trading environment of the firm’s industrial and safety business remained challenging with ongoing margin pressure.

Wesfarmers Industrials managing director Rob Scott said the changes would improve the company’s offer to customers, reduce costs and strengthen its platform for the future.

“These changes are in response to the challenging market conditions faced by our customers and in our own business,” he said.

“By removing complexity in our business, we can unlock the benefits of our scale and national distribution network and invest further in specialist solutions for our customers.”

Mr Scott said WIS’s specialist operations would now benefit from being part of a larger and stronger national platform.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

The new structure will be progressively implemented during the current financial year.

It follows news in August that Wesfarmers was combining its three non-retail operations into a single industrial wing, headed by Mr Scott.

Wesfarmers shares closed 1 per cent higher to $37.45 each.

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