Competitive advantage through diversity

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In 1901 county surveyor Thomas Hooley noticed a fallen barrel of tar that had split open in the road. The mess had been covered by waste slag from a nearby ironworks. At once Hooley observed that an excellent patch of road surface had been formed. A year later he had taken out a patent for mixing slag with tar and in 1903 formed the company that became Tarmac. Today Tarmac is still the UK market leader in road surfacing. It is also the country’s largest quarrying…

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