By Edward Cone  |  Posted 2003-10-01 Print this article Print

The lubricant maker used to have a Brand Forress.

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Company: WD-40


The increase in earnings per share over a three-year period, from $1.08 in 2001 to $1.71 in 2003. This was achieved while absorbing a series of acquisitions including Block Drug Co. in 1999, Global Household Brands in 2001, and Heartland Corp. in 2002.

Business: Owns and markets branded products, including WD-40 lubricant and Spot Shot stain remover.
Headquarters: San Diego
Key Business Executive: Garry Ridge, chief executive officer
Key Technology Manager: Michael Freeman, division president, Americas

Project: Build information technology systems to handle orders and inventory in support of expanding product lines and sales channels.

Objectives: Integrate several acquisitions; continue growing by introducing new brands and selling in additional retail categories; increase earnings.

Technology Used: Draves & Barke Systems' Innatrack enterprise resource planning system.

Lesson for Big Companies: Don't be afraid to start over on core systems if yours needs change.

Senior Writer and author of the Know It All blog

Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.

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