Over 100 editors, bloggers and other tool nerds attended Milwaukee Tool’s annual New Product Symposium near Milwaukee, WI, where the company launched dozens of new tools and job-site accessories.
Launches that seemed to attract the most attention included smaller yet more powerful drill impact drivers and drill drivers; M18 Fuel Hackzall reciprocating saws; LED lighting products for the job-site; a 12V battery-powered stapler; dust-collection systems to meet new OSHA standards; Shockwave Lineman’s Impact Auger Bits and Shockwave Lineman’s 3-in-1 Distribution Utility & Transmission Sockets; new drain cleaning products; a sliding compound miter saw; Empire torpedo levels; Packout modular storage systems; and new capabilities for the One-Touch tool management system.
Milwaukee Tool’s focus on using its 18V Fuel batteries to replace corded and pneumatic power tools was clearly one of the core themes in its growth strategy. In many cases, the 18V platform offered users the ability to run tools for a full day on job-sites without a recharge. There were plenty of examples in the new products that a sweet spot for the company’s R&D department is using the 18V platform to pack an impressive amount of power and life into surprisingly small form factors.
While some attendees asked senior company executives at a Q&A session why Milwaukee Tool hadn’t yet launched a chainsaw, tablesaw or womens’ work clothing and Company President Steve Richman admitted the company had some snafus in its distribution system, Milwaukee Tool is clearly on a growth track. It has invested in a $35 million, 200,000-square-foot addition to its Brookfield, WI, headquarters and has grown from about $300 million in sales several years ago to $3 billion today. Richman told attendees Milwaukee Tool wants to use its strategy of disruptive innovation to hit $5 billion in sales in the near future.