Case Study: Total Tools

The Business: Total Tools

Total Tool is a network of 23 independently owned industrial tool retailers. Total Tools retails the major tool and machinery brands, speciality items and its own brand of selected tools. The motto “every tool, every trade” is used by Total Tools to clearly articulate their customers and what products they offer.

Originally formed as a buying and marketing group, Total Tools has evolved into a leading national tool retailer with a proud reputation for technical and service excellence. The Total Tools Support Office and import program has also evolved with the business and is now a significant stand-alone business employing its own staff.

The Challenge

The cooperative structure served Total Tools well during its early expansion, however, the same structure now began to stifle its ability to grow and react to changing consumer demands. The business environment had changed with the success of the big box hardware retailers

Total Tool’s import, administration and support programs were underfunded and too reliant on a few member’s time and effort
New members were needed secure greater economies of scale and maximise supplier support programs The “co-operative” culture needed to become more corporatized and inline with more prescriptive owner operator networks, albeit keeping the heritage of the co- operative culture
Any changes had to benefit all members or risk not being approved

The Solution

Total Tools engaged DC Strategy to develop a business model and corporate structure to take the business into its next phase of growth.
The project focused on several key areas including

• A redefinition of the fundamental business structure from co- operative to full-format franchise
• An economic analysis of the current stores, support office and import program to determine the scalability of the network
• Developing a comprehensive economic model for new Greenfield stores, current stores and the support office to determine capital requirements, fund network growth and identify future support office profitability and return to shareholders
• Rewriting and formalising the commercial policies, including support office remuneration structure, to bring in line with more prescriptive owner-operator network best practice
• Consultation with network members to ensure the new structure, policies and procedures and franchise agreement was acceptable to all parties
• The development and documentation of operational policies and procedures to ensure a consistent look, feel and operation throughout the network

The Outcome

DC Strategy worked with Total Tools to achieve the following:

• Universal network support for changing the support office corporate structure, including each member entering into a new franchise agreement
• Gained approval to alter the support office remuneration structure to fund network growth and support office services
• A defined growth plan with clear requirements to achieve the network’s objectives
• A clearly defined plan for new store rollout
• A new board of directors made up of founding members and independent directors was implemented and charged with ultimate responsibility of achieving the growth objectives

Total Tools now has the structure, funding and strategy to tackle its next phase of growth and achieve its goal of becoming Australia’s number one trade tool supplier. Potential franchisees enquiring about the Total Tools system can be confident the group has the structure and systems to support their business from inception to maturity.

Getting Started

We are here to help you

We help businesses of all sizes, from large corporations to sole traders, through a diverse team and nearly 40 years of experience.

Recent Franchises

"Franchising is a serious commitment and DCS guided us through our economic modeling, feasibility assessment, legal documentation, and lead generation work. They truly become an extension of your business as you seek to put everything in place to build a sustainable model that will generate returns for your new partners and your brand. DCS helped bring on our first franchisee and ensured he was the right steward for our brand. I can’t recommend DC Strategy highly enough!"

Amit Tewari

CEO Soul Burger

"Our journey with DC Strategy has been fantastic! From that initial strategic workshop to implementing our franchise program – there’s been lots of touch points. But if I think of one really great thing in our overall relationship and how DC Strategy continues to contribute to our success, it’s having them on our board."

Warren Jones

CEO Total Tools

"When DC Strategy came in to meet the board at the time, the noise was taken away. Once they had been convinced by the expert this is what you need to do and this is how you need to approach it and from thereon we never looked back. "


Marshall Hartwich

National Development Manager, Ben & Jerry's

"The DC Strategy team draws upon its solid understanding of the franchise model to improve the performance of our organization. By tapping their knowledge, we have more quickly identified our opportunity areas and defined the action steps to capitalize on them.  "


Bill Swanson

CEO, Catridge World International

"We were comfortable with the consultancy because it was responsible for the growth and development of significant franchise systems and brands. Having a full-service firm ensures the consistency of information, advice and message from exiting franchisor and franchisee. "

Joe Cirillio

CEO, Cirillo

"DC Recruitment helped take KX from 5 studios to 30 studios quickly. James and his team go above and beyond to provide great support and a vast range of franchise knowledge that is imperative for sustained growth. Their involvement allowed me to focus on growing and developing other key areas of the business knowing the recruitment was in good hands. I would recommend DC to any company trying to expand their network."

Aaron Smith

CEO, KX Pilates




"Franck Provost wouldn’t be where it is in Australia today without all the consulting and legal advice from DC Strategy. "




Jean-François Carré

Co-Founder, Franck Provost Australia


 " The team have been working with Thermawood Australia to promote the sales of our Thermawood Franchises across Australia. We have fortnightly video meetings as well as regular recap reports. We are always included in the planning and implementation of all marketing strategies and then advised on the outcome, their communication is exceptional. It is a pleasure to work with the entire DCS Lead Generation team. "


Jacki Cook

VIC Franchisor, Thermawood


"DC Strategy took great care to understand our brand while developing our franchise system. They have worked closely with us to ensure we create a franchise system that reflects our passion in the Rosa Mexicano brand and their deep understanding of the franchise system made a significant contribution. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to establish a franchise network. "

Utkarsh Vartak

CEO Rosa Mexicano

Getting Started

We are here to help you

We help businesses of all sizes, from large corporations to sole traders, through a diverse team and nearly 40 years of experience.