Careers at Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams’ mission is to manufacture, distribute, and sell quality coatings and related products.
Sherwin-Williams is a provider of paints, coatings, and related products. The firm operates four reportable business segments:
- Paint Stores Group – Consists of company-operated stores that market and sell branded architectural paint and coatings, protective and marine products, original equipment manufacturer product finishes, and related items.
- Consumer Group – Develops, manufactures, and distributes various paints, coatings, and related products to third-party customers primarily in the U.S. and Canada and the Paint Stores Group.
- Global Finishes Group – Develops, licenses, manufactures, distributes, and sells various protective and marine products, automotive finishes and refinish products, OEM product finishes, and related products in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
- Latin America Coatings Group – Develops, licenses, manufactures, distributes and sells various architectural paint and coatings, protective and marine products, OEM product finishes, and related products in North and South America.
Vermont resident Henry Alden Sherwin had held a number of odd jobs over the years, from monitoring finances for a dry goods store to shoveling show. His work enabled him to save $2,000. Desiring a change of pace, he moved to Cleveland, OH, where he soon had three opportunities. Two were full-time jobs, at a bank and at a drug store. The other was an entrepreneurship prospect.
Sherwin was invited to invest in a small business, the Truman Dunham Company of Ohio – a distributor of painting supplies, oils, pigments, and glass. The idea appealed to him, as he had an interest in developing a reliable product — which in this case would be easy-to-use, high quality paint. Sherwin accepted the invitation and began learning about paints and how they were made.
Three years later, his partners decided they wanted the firm to focus on producing linseed oil, the core ingredient for many paints. He responded by separating from them, keeping the right to make the paints himself. Shortly afterwards he aligned himself with Edward Williams and A.T. Osborn, who shared his vision. They founded Sherwin-Williams & Company in 1866.
In 1873 the firm bought its first factory, and it developed paste paints, putty, and oil colors. The same year it unveiled its first product, Guaranteed Strictly Pure Raw Umber in Oil. In 1877 it patented the first reclosable paint can, which prevented paint from drying quickly. The 1880s saw other innovations, including an improved liquid paint formula and a widely accepted mixed paint.
In 1886 the team incorporated their company and introduced Inside Floor Paint, a line of paints with varieties designed for specific purposes. During the early 1900s, the company began acquiring numerous firms in order to meet growing consumer demand for different types of paints and associated products. In 1920, Sherwin-Williams & Company completed an inital public offering.
Benefits at Sherwin-Williams
Business model of Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at anyone who needs to buy paint and related products, including professional, commercial, industrial, and retail customers.
Sherwin-Williams offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, customization, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It sells a broad range of paint-related products, including paint, stains, and associated supplies; protective and marine finishes; product finishes; automotive/transportation finishes; and aerospace finishes.
The company enables customization by offering lines of products that are designed for specific types of projects. They are formulated to meet certain conditions such as external temperature.
The company has established a powerful brand due to its success. It is the third largest paint & coatings company in the world based on revenues, behind only PPG and AzkoNobel. It manufactures several well-known brands, including Sherwin-Williams, HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams, Dutch Boy, Krylon, Minwax, Thompson’s, and WaterSeal.
It distributes its products in over 115 countries around the globe. Its paint has been used on many of the world’s most prominent structures, including The White House, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Freedom Tower in New York, Heathrow Airport in London, Arena Castelão in Brazil, and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Lastly, it has won a number of honors, including recognition as the most used brand and winner of the brand familiarity and quality rating in the Paints category by Builder magazine.
Sherwin-Williams’ main channels are its 4,086 company-operated specialty paint stores, through which it sells its branded offerings; they are located in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten, Jamaica, Curacao, Aruba, and St. Lucia. It distributes its non-branded products through home centers, mass merchandisers, hardware stores, independent paint dealers, automotive retailers, and industrial distributors.
Furthermore, it utilizes direct sales staff members for certain brand and private-label products. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages, advertising, and participation in trade shows and conferences.
Sherwin-Williams’ customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website features the “Ask Sherwin-Williams” online resource, which includes illustrated guides for painting, staining, and wallpapering.
The site also provides a “Color Visualizer” tool that enables visitors to identify the colors with the best fit for their homes. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of painting experts who advise customers at its company-operated store locations.
Sherwin-Williams’ business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products for customers.
Sherwin-Williams’ key partners are the suppliers who provide the raw materials and fuel supplies it needs to manufacture its products and run various processes.
Sherwin-Williams’ main resources are its network of company-operated specialty paint stores located worldwide.
The company depends on human resources in the form of paint experts and engineers to design, develop, and manufacture its products, as well as salespeople to promote them.
Sherwin-Williams has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of goods sold, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and product development, both fixed costs.
Sherwin-Williams has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the sale of its products through its company-operated stores, other retail locations, and direct sales staff.
info: Christopher M. Connor earned an undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University. He previously held a number of senior executive positions at Sherman-Williams, including President, Chief Executive Officer, and President of the Paint Stores Group.
info: John G. Morikis earned a Bachelor’s degree at Saint Joseph’s College and a Master’s degree in Business at National Louis University. He previously held several leadership roles at Sherwin-Williams, including Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer.
info: Sean P. Hennessy earned a Bachelor‘s degree at The University of Akron. He previously served as Treasurer at Sherwin-Williams. He will take over the role of Senior VP,Corporate Planning, Development, and Administration in January 2017.
info: Thomas P. Gilligan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Management at Saint Joseph’s University. He previously served as VP of Human Resources of the Paint Stores Group.
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