This excerpt taken from the SMG 10-K filed Nov 29, 2007.
Leveraging our core strengths and competitive advantages in the United States
As stated previously, the Company has succeeded, in large degree, due to our ability to leverage our competitive advantages, including our world-class supply chain, industry-leading brands and our commitment to innovation. The opportunity to further build upon these strengths is a major focus of the Company and will be key to driving continued growth and financial improvement.
Specifically, the Company is investing behind a key initiative to further improve upon its technologies and processes with the goals of enabling increased supply chain synergies and creating global shared services that result in lower selling, general, and administrative costs. In addition to this effort, the Company is currently exploring other supply chain initiatives designed to lower our cost structure without compromising our commitment to quality. For example, the Company will launch a pilot
program in fiscal 2008 to explore the economic viability of regional manufacturing and distribution of lawn fertilizer.
In addition, the Company intends to increase its investment in its sales force, an area that is also considered to be a key competitive advantage. The Companys interaction with its major retail partners is a key reason for its success. In fact, several of the Companys largest retail partners have awarded us with vendor of the year or similar honors over the past several years. In addition to working closely with retailers, the sales force also provides the Company an opportunity to interact with consumers on a 1-to-1 basis in stores. Our in-store counseling program, which is utilized during the peak of the lawn and garden season, provides the Company with a critical advantage by helping consumers. Of course, the Company also uses other means to build upon its relationships with consumers. To that end, in fiscal 2008, the Company intends to launch a state-of-the-art website that will improve our ability to communicate with consumers while also creating an online experience that allows them to speak with each other in public chat rooms, message boards and blogs. In addition to the website, the Company plans to increase its investment in promotions, cross-branding and other key marketing initiatives in fiscal 2008.
Research and development initiatives also will be increasingly focused on helping to create a more positive experience for consumers who use our products. Over the years, we have a proven track record of growing our business by providing consumers with value-added products that make success in the lawn or garden easier to attain. Looking ahead, we are focused on developing even more products that are easier to buy, easier to use and easier to store. Our commitment to environmental stewardship also will become increasingly evident in products currently under development or being considered.