B2B Growth Strategy in Manufacturing - FluidMaster

Manufacturing - Fluidmaster

Situation Overview

Fluidmaster created the first in toilet tank “piston” fill valve  product in the late 1950’s. Preferred by plumbing professionals, the product was high quality, very reliable and often worked flawlessly for more than decade. With the “big box” boom of the 1980’s and 90’s, the Fluidmaster fill valve became the cornerstone of plumbing repair for The Home Depot. Rapid growth fueled by the DIY segment in both repair and remodel, Fluidmaster focused to keep up with the demand of its channel partner and struggled to serve other channels including independents, OEM’s and the plumbing professional. By early 2000, despite tremendous growth, Fluidmaster had nearly 80% of its revenue from one product and 50% of its revenue through one channel. Fluidmaster was being pigeon-holed as a Home Depot house brand.


Dobie Associates put the company through an intensive Strategic Planning Process. The objective was to grow the top-line CAGR by 8% a year and the bottom-line by 2.5% from 2007 through 2011. More importantly, the goal was to achieve the growth through new products, new channel partners and global expansion to increase strategic leverage, diversify dependencies, and revitalize Fluidmaster’s independent brand identity.

Dobie lead four Fluidmaster work teams and the Steering Committee through a rigorous, data-intensive process, that addressed industry trends, customer segmentation, channel and competitive analysis, culture, capabilities, product Innovation, brand positioning, merchandising and packaging. Anchored by a plumber’s forum and working sessions with Kohler, American Standard and Roca, new product and channel relationships become strategic opportunities for the company to pursue.

Fluidmaster Engagements


3 Year CAGR

Return on Dobie Investment

Total Manufacturing Engagements

Solution / Results

From the strategic work were initiatives to target and develop solutions for the major OEM’s, extend the Fluidmaster brand into Lowe’s, create a Professional Brand and product line exclusively for the professional plumber, and develop a toilet repair kit. By the end of 2010, Fluidmaster’s diversified channels were approaching 65% of its revenues. The Professional Brand won back the plumber and helped improve margins. Even with the building industry slow down in the late 2000’s, Fluidmaster exceeded their expectations.