Smiths Group, a global, diversified family of companies, can infuse you, seal you, detect you, connect you, and hose you. With operations in more than 50 countries, it has five main divisions: John Crane (provides seal, bearing, filtration, and rotating products), Smiths Medical (drug delivery and infusion devices), Smiths Detection (security sensors), Smiths Interconnect (electronic connector, microwave, and protection products), and Flex-Tek (HVAC and fluid management components). Key customers include hospitals, oil and gas and power generation companies (Chevron), government agencies (US Department of Defense), telecom companies (Motorola), and aerospace/defense manufacturers (Raytheon).
The company is organized into five divisions: John Crane, Smiths Medical, Smiths Detection, Smiths Interconnect, and Flex-Tek.
Smiths Medical is the group's largest division and manufactures drug delivery devices that are used to treat cancer patients and those with pain disorders. Its vital care products are used to treat hospital-acquired infections, manage patients airways during surgery, maintain body temperature, and assist in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy. Its safety products help prevent needlestick injuries and reduce cross-infections. This portfolio of products is sold under the brand names BCI, Graseby, Portex, Pneupac, Medex, Deltec, and Medfusion, among others. Manufacturing facilities are located in the US, Mexico, the UK, Italy, Germany, and China.
John Crane, the group's second-largest largest division representing 25% of total sales, is a leading provider of mechanical seals, engineering bearings, couplings, and rotating technologies that serve OEMS and aftermarket customers in the oil and gas, power generation, chemical, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, and mining markets.
Smiths Detection designs and manufactures sensors that detect explosives, weapons, chemical agents, biohazards, narcotics, and contraband. Its detection products include X-ray, trace detection, millimetre-wave, infrared, and biological diagnostics. It has manufacturing centers in North America, the UK, Germany, France, and Malaysia. The division sells both directly and through third-party distributors to the likes of the TSA and the UK Ministry of Defence, in addition to the US Department of Defense.
The company's smaller Interconnect division manufactures electronic components and subsystems that provide connectivity, power, and protection. Products include connectors, microwave components, and protection products to OEMs, system suppliers, and subsystem manufacturers primarily in the telecommunications and aerospace/defense markets.
Flex-Tek, the group's smallest division, makes engineered components for fluid and heat management. Products include flexible hosing and rigid tubing, which are used for fuel and hydraulic applications in commercial and military aircraft, delivering fuel gas and air conditioning in residential and commercial buildings, and providing medical respiratory care. Its heat and thermal systems are designed to improve the performance of HVAC equipment, domestic appliances, and medical diagnostic equipment.
Smiths Group has operations in more than 50 countries, with a network of dealers and distributors in many more. North America accounts for more than half of its revenues and around a third of employees.
Sales and Marketing
About three-quarters of Smiths Group's end users are hospitals, with the remainder comprising the alternate care market, such as homecare, clinics, and other surgery centers, as well as OEM relationships. It has a direct sales presence in more than 20 countries and distribution arrangements in 100 others.
Smiths Group's revenues jumped 2% from 2015 to 2016. This was due to increases across almost all its divisions, including Smith Detection (13%), Flex-Tek (6%), Smiths Medical (5%), and Smiths Interconnect (4%). The company also experienced sizable increases in Japan (9%) and France (5%). (Note: growth rates may differ after conversion to the US dollar.)
Smiths Group believes that investing in new product development across all lines is a key driver of future sales and continued margin growth. It is also trying to drive more growth through bolt-on acquisitions that add to its technologies and extend its geographic reach.
John Crane's business strategy is focused on sustaining a cycle of growth and productivity. It is built around four core priorities: to profit from core products and services, build-out selected growth markets, drive continuous productivity and expand across the energy value chain.
Smiths Medical's primary focus is on improving patient outcomes and reducing the total cost of care by helping healthcare providers solve their clinical needs efficiently and economically. This drives investment in new product development, manufacturing optimization, and improvements in supply chain, marketing, and distribution models.
Smiths Detection’s strategy is one of balanced growth supported by continuous improvement. Operational savings achieved through ongoing cost control initiatives and elimination of waste will be reinvested in focused development of products and software systems, as well as improvements in aftermarket coverage and service levels. Future product development will be driven increasingly by greater customer insight. Product development priorities remain competitive differentiation and ease of installation, service and upgrade. Operational improvements will be based on value engineering, quality improvements, and continuous improvement initiatives to drive out waste and reduce lead times.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In mid-2016, Smiths Group agreed to purchase Morpho Detection, a maker of law enforcement biometric identification systems, products, and services, for $710 million. Smiths Group is purchasing Morpho from French high-tech industrial firm SAFRAN in an effort to gain additional market share in the always growing security market. After completion of the acquisition, Morpho will be merged with Smiths Group’s Detection division.