The screw biz rebounded sooner than expected, but the customer meeting game still has a long way to go. Veteran sales pro Jackie "Kind of a Big Deal" Ventura guest-hosts a timely segment that details the current picture, as she welcomes fellow rep John "Cowboy" Wachman, and Christian Reich of Goebel Fasteners (1:25:17). The Industrial Distribution "Big 50 List" just hit the street, managing editor Mike Hockett has the story (21:45). On the Fastener News Report, industry newsman Mike McNulty talks with Solution Industries senior manager, the indefatigable Frank "Balboa" DeVito to unpack the latest FDI results (52:58). Thread stick-out is the topic of the minute, The Fastener Training Minute with Carmen Vertullo (1:18:29). PLUS: IFE manager Morgan Wilson has the names of this year's Hall of Fame inductees in his hand! Will he divulge the winners during the podcast (42:38)? Brian and Eric can't decide if they hate Amazon more because it's taking over the world, or because their packages have started taking longer to arrive. Run time: 02:08:01
Hosts: Brian Musker
Intro: It's Fully Threaded Radio Episode 157.
John: I feel that blind fastening systems need to be demonstrated. And that's pretty much the way I was taught. So, with limited travel. It's been kind of challenging.
Jackie: I know, I couldn't agree with you more. Another rep out of Chicago said he's meeting with customers in parking lots. What do you do? You bring your tools and stuff and you go sit in the parking lot and have a cup of coffee, or maybe a bottle of wine.
Intro: It's time for Fully Threaded Radio.
It's Fully Threaded Radio voice of the FCH Sourcing Network. If you buy, sell, manufacture import or otherwise, think about fasteners in your everyday life. Well, this is the podcast for you. We're so glad you clicked in.
Eric: Hi everyone. Eric Dudas here with you and the co-host of Fully Threaded is with me as well. He's the fastener technologist and fashion maven the man with the deep Southern accent Mr. Brian Musker. What's new in the server room, amigo?
Brian: I'm not the fashion maven. I'm just Bob beer. Okay. I stay well out of that. And then a few like our goals and things like that. Then it's George Hunt III. Okay. But not me. I'm doing fine actually.
Eric: Well, you've got a lot of competition in this industry but you're still up there.
Brian: That's why I decided to sort of step out of it. I'll leave it to other people.
Eric: Well, there are lots of well-dressed people in this industry Brian, and some of them will be appearing on this Episode 157 of the podcast. We're publishing on October 18th, 2020. Case in point, Jackie "Kind of a Big Deal" Ventura is hosting our feature segment today.
It's a conversation with “Cowboy” John Wachman and Christian Reich of Goebel Fasteners. The rep side of the business is a whole other slice of this thing that we don't discuss in depth too often. John and Jackie are both repping Goebel, and they'll give us their take on how the current market is affecting being a rep, interacting with reps.
And even if that's not something that you're directly involved in. This conversation delves into lots of things that are in general going on in the fastener world, you don't want to miss it. That's coming after our kick-off conversation with Mike Hockett, he's Managing Editor of Industrial Distribution. They're very well known for their "Big 50 List". They just published that. And Mike will be here with us to kick that around a little bit.
On the Fastener News Report Today, Mike McNulty speaks with Solution Industries, Frank "Balboa" DeVito, and makes a return this time with slightly better news to report on the Fastener Distributor Index. And Mike also circles back to the Big 50. He fills in some of the gaps that we left on the table as he winds that segment up with his well-known Backpage Report.
We also slip in there somewhere, a conversation with Emerald Expositions, IFE manager, Morgan Wilson. They've got a virtual event coming up in lieu of this year's Vegas Show. They're calling it Match & Meet. Plus, he's got some teaser info, Bri, about the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. That's just around the corner. Another thing that got knocked down by the plague.
Eric: This year they're doing the best they can. We'll hear all about that. And as always Carmen Vertullo is here with The Fastener Training Minute. This time he's talking about Threads Stick-out.
Eric: Is that a term you're familiar with Bri?
Brian: It is not a term I'm familiar with.
Eric: I know I wasn't either. It's decidedly, untechnical sounding, but he says, this is, how it's handled.
Brian: So, it doesn't sound very technical, you're right.
Eric: Well, he knows what he's talking about. And so, will all of us, after The Fastener Training Minute today. Well Bri you know, precisely what you're talking about when you mentioned our great list of sponsors. Why don't you take care of that piece of business right now?
Brian: I do know that very well. And the title sponsors of Fully Threaded Radio, Stelfast, Brighton Best International and Goebel Fasteners. Stelfast, "For Service You Deserve and People You Trust". Brighton Best International, "Tested, Tried and True". Goebel Fasteners, "Quality The First Time".
Also sponsoring Fully Threaded Radio are Buckeye Fasteners. "Every Good Weld Starts With Buckeye". BTM Manufacturing, Eurolink Fastener Supply Service, INxSQL Software, ND Industries, Parker Fasteners, Volt Industrial Plastics, Würth Industry North America and Solution Industries, "Home of Solution Man".
So, thanks to all of you for making all this possible and make sure you think of these people first, when you're looking for fasteners.
Eric: I like how you mentioned “Every Good Weld Starts With Buckeye”, Bri. Yeah, I did that on this time I noticed.
Brian: And every little glass of beer, I'm sure comes from Buckeye. Could be from there or from INxSQL. I think Larry's brought me a glass, knowing that I'm dying of thirst over there.
Eric: Well, they're more than just weld. That's another one of their monikers. And there's a lot of things going on over there at Buckeye. I know Bri, and I keep meaning to get Larry on to talk about that. But boy, they're really beefing up their backend, their back office. And I think they're loaded for beer over there again. We'll get Larry on here.
Well, thanks to all the sponsors Bri. And of course, every one of you out there for clicking into the podcast, we really appreciate it. And we look forward to hearing your comments. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org fire away. Now we ask folks to send us their ideas for a humorous cut in last time.
And I don't know, I guess I didn't do that great of a job in explaining it because some of the things that came in the entries, they were a little mixed. I would say nothing really that I had in mind. The closest we're going to award a winner. I think the incentive of the ironclad gloves was enough to make some people respond despite my poor explanation of the contest.
Brian: Well, for a set of gloves from BBI, that's pretty worth it. We have them. They're good.
Eric: Exactly, exactly. That goes without saying, well, this time around, we're going to award JD of L9 and Bolt out there in the West Coast. The prize will probably get his liner recorded soon. I'll point it out when we do. Again, it was not quite what I had in mind, but anyway, we're going to send out a couple of pairs of ironclad gloves.
Of course, Brighton also sent out some matching beanies. You'll get one of those. And I think we'll throw in a couple of packs of this new BTM U-Bolt Blend Coffee, Bri.
Eric: Yeah, we got a couple of those in the mail. Jake is at it again. The man knows his coffee, Bri. I think we're going to start calling him simply just Valdez for sure, Bri.
Brian: Wan, just call him Wan. Wan instead of Jake. Okay.
Eric: I like just Valdez for short myself, but anyway it's going to be a nice price package going out to JD thanks for your entry. And I'm going to get much better at setting these contests up. If we do them in the future, Bri seems like a good idea. They're harder to manage than you'd think. But anyway, I don't think I pointed out last episode. It's closed now. So, the entry period was between shows. So that contest is now over.
By the way, I've got this box here sitting on the desk and I see on the Brighton Best logo, it says, "B-Right-On". So, it's a play on Brighton.
Eric: We never used that cutline on any of their ads. I wonder what the history of that slogan is B-Right-On, Brighton. I get it and it's clever and I bet you it's old as the hills. And I just recently noticed it.
Brian: Sounds like we have some good segment material right there.
Eric: Yes. We're going to have to delve into that B-Right-On, Brighton Best. They probably used to use that before there were podcasts. Well, if they didn't want to use it, they wouldn't have it on all their cartons. Right?
Brian: Right. I used to just think of them as Brighton as opposed to be Right-On.
Eric: When I just got in the industry, I didn't notice it right away. One more titbit here before we pop the cork on this one, folks, the New Link Magazine hit the streets. It's the big fall issue. And you cannot see this without noticing our partners INxSQL Software took the cover this issue. Amazing how often our partners wind up on the cover link. Isn't it, Bri?
Brian: It does.
Eric: Tracy did a very fine job this issue in cobbling together these montages of photographs. Usually of course she'd have these from recent events, but since they aren't around, she was soliciting everyone to send in their photos and it's a lot of fun just to page through those. So even though there have been no live events, you can count on Link for getting your fix of a---.
Brian: Virtual semi-live.
Eric: --- fastener pictorial content. Don't miss the Link. And you're not going to want to miss the rest of this episode, folks it's Fully Threaded Radio. Thanks so much for clicking in. We'll talk to you again in mere moments.
Brian and Eric, you're online, fastener talk, radio brothers on thread, Fully Threaded Radio.
Eric: Stelfast customers say it all.
Travis: Travis Hermanson, Pacific Bolt Manufacturing out of Vancouver, BC, Canada. I use Stelfast as one of my main suppliers. They've been a consistent, great vendor of mine. I've used them for many years now. I've never had any issues, and whatever we are in a jam and we need to get skids and skids of product out the door out of the warehouse, Stelfast jump on it right away. Their price is always very competitive and they're always my first phone call. I'm a big supporter of Stelfast and I continue to be one for as long as I can.
Eric: For service You Deserve and People You Trust. It's Stelfast.
At Brighton Best. We continue to expand our wide range of products, including stainless steel and metric fasteners. Our family of brands include preferred U.S. Anchor and Ironclad Performance Wear. BBI has been a trusted partner since 1925 with award-winning hand tools, gloves, and drywall screws. BBI is the largest master distributor of fasteners in the USA, “Tested, Tried and True". We are Brighton Best to learn more about Brighton Best visit Brightonbest.com.
Erosion is a serious threat to the industrial cost of business for the global industry that translates to an estimated cost of $2.5 trillion in a single year. Goebel, newly developed screws and sealing cup rivets are made from high quality AISI 318LN as well as AISI 316L stainless steels that minimize the problem of corrosion, especially in harsh environmental conditions. The duplex material, which due to its austinite and ferrite structure is three times harder than ordinary AISI 304 or 316 stainless steel. With the newly developed products by Goebel. There is now a tangible solution that secures installations people and above all considerable economic investment. “Quality The First Time”.
David: Hey, this is David with Endries Industries, you're listening to Fully Threaded Radio.
Eric: Well, Bri, I mentioned at the top the "Big 50 List" is coming up with Mike Hockett. And I'm telling you speaking as a small business operator, when you look at the revenues, some of these companies are generating, I mean, very humbling, huge numbers.
Brian: Yes. I know. But they were once little companies too, a long time ago.
Eric: Something to shoot for. Speaking of huge numbers, I was doing some research and I stumbled across something. I guess it's encouraging we're all in this industry. And, came across a figure the Freedonia Group back in September of 2019, this was actually, but at that point they were forecasting that the North American demand for industrial fasteners would rise to 16.5 billion. And that's after a 2.7% increase per year.
And that just stuck out to me because we were always throwing around a number that was much lower than 16.5 billion. I don't know where we came up with that, but I like this one much better.
Brian: Right. Are we still on track for that?
Eric: Well, of course I haven't been keeping up. I just came across this number, but I'm repeating it blindly like a parrot, but I hope we are. And the FDI lately certainly seems like people are still doing pretty well by and large. So, hopefully we are. But even if we're anywhere near that, it sometimes feels like a smaller industry, but it's huge.
Brian: Yeah. And I guess it depends on which segment of the industry you're in too. I talked to a lot of our members, not as many as I'd like to, but some of them are saying things aren't quite so good. And yet I speak to others who are saying, they're just having a great time because different parts of the industry are surging as other things are sinking.
Eric: That's probably one constant at all times across all business, in different parts of sectors had a chat with Kevin over there at Trinity Hardware Headquarters, which is now part of Agrisolutions. And they're doing gangbusters. He thinks they're up 15% in the current year. So, they're doing something right. But it's where you play, the markets you play in. And he said between the mountains, that's where they're getting their business.
West of the Rockies seems like it's a little harder hit and out East it's been a little slower for them at least. And, they're rocking and rolling. He also pointed out which he made my day because he said funny, you called Eric. Because I just got off the phone and we just made our FCH membership for 10 years with that one call. They're long-time FCH members over there, of course, but love to hear that.
Brian: Wow, a very long time actually. Cool.
Eric: And that's a little hint folks. The FCH sourcing network is something you don't want to pass up because it's the chance to develop new business online. It's not that complicated. You get yourself online with FCH, you put your inventory up there.
Seriously, it's one of the easiest and least expensive ways you can set your fastener company up to make sales and add new business. There's a whole world of customers. You've probably never would have found otherwise FCH Sourcing Network, fastenersclearinghouse.com. There's my plug Bri.
Brian: Oh good. And even if you do or have you just built your own website and quite a few have gone up this year, actually, there's no reason why FCH can't be a great addition to that because two sites that can list your stuff, give you twice the exposure. And from your listing on FCH, we can make it so that people can find one of your items and click on a link that takes them straight to that item on your site, where they can buy.
Eric: In common, Web Power Lines. It's known as an affiliate program. We call it deep links. It's certainly something we'll set up for you folks. If you have an online shopping cart system, let us know if you do. And when you get your inventory set up, we'll drop our people right into your shopping cart system. It's a beautiful thing, FCH Sourcing Network. Get out there. Maybe someday you'll be in the big 50 list too.
Brian: That'd be nice.
Eric: And just before we get to that conversation, couple of events, we were supposed to have Cari on, Bri from the SFA but scheduling, I don't know, we just couldn't make it happen. There's a joint event with the Southwest Fastener Association along with Pac-West and SEFA the Southeast Fastener Association. It's ensuing October 20th. And it stretches out for a couple of weeks. Get out to any one of those association websites for details on this folks.
It's something they're calling, Connecting at a Distance and it's a series of online events. And then they'll have some round tables. And I think there's a couple of other networking components to it. It begins on October 20th, little tight for when we're publishing this episode, but it goes all the way through October. And the whole schedule of events is online.
I happen to be looking at Pac-West at the moment where it is pac-west.org. I see here on Thursday, October 22nd, they have a panel discussion called, "What's New, What's Next". And they managed to recruit Jun Xu from Brighton. How'd they do that?
Brian: That wasn't helping them. But Lindsay, I wonder if we can get to talk to him, actually.
Eric: I know we always try to control him on the podcast. He never wants to talk. So, don't miss a rare opportunity to hear these big leaguers, Tim Roberto from Star. Mike Bailey from Nucor.
Then skipping down to the 27th, Mr. Valdez from BTM Manufacturing, he'll be participating in a crisis management panel.
Brian: Jake Valdez, you mean.
Eric: Carrie from EDSCO will be up there too. And David Palmquist from ND Industries, that's something that maybe the virtual thing has over the in-person. Because every time I think of David, I don't know him that well I've met him a couple of times, but I can't get that Pac-West meeting where he had that giant rainbow Afro wig on. It just stuck in my mind. I'm sure you won't have it during this panel conversation.
Brian: Make sure remind him, he might.
Eric: He's out there representing in the industries in the most colorful way. Don't miss, Connecting at a Distance. It's the fall association meeting Re-imagined launches on October 20th, 2020. As long as we're on that roll Bri, the NFDA is also, re-imagining something that they've been doing for a long time, which is their executive sales planning sessions.
This to me seems like an event that really will lend itself very well to the virtual format December 1st and 2nd is when this is happening. And I saw something out on LinkedIn. I know London from Eurolink is all ramped up. They've got their room. They're inviting folks who want to talk to Eurolink to join them on their ESPS session. And it's a great opportunity for people to have direct one-on-one content with vendors or potential vendors.
Brian: There are not many things that I think can benefit from these virtual meeting but this one they can.
Eric: It seems like it. On the other side of the coin, I see Fastener News Desk just broadcast this by way of their Twitter account, that the next Stuttgart show that's the 2021 rendition. They say 80% of the available spaces already booked.
Brian: I saw that too.
Eric: The shows not until May. It's May 18th through the 20th, 2021 in Stuttgart Germany. That's Mack Brooks' baby. As far as I know, it's still the largest fastener show in the world and it looks like it's going right ahead. And hopefully it does. That my friends, is a big fastener show.
And on to other things, big, let's talk about the Big 50 and why don't we wind that up right now Bri?
Brian: Sounds good.
Eric: The industrial distribution Big 50 list was recently published. And they're saying that this year they saw more of a mixed bag of scenarios facing distributors than ever before. Note though, that this list is based on 2019 sales figures. So, it was developed ahead of all the current chaos, but let's not get ahead of ourselves because joining us now is the Managing Editor of Industrial Distribution Magazine. He's Mike Hockett. And he's going to share some further insights into this year's Big 50 list. Mike, thanks for being here.
M Hockett: Thanks for having me on. I've listened to you guys shows in the past. Obviously, I've been involved with some of the content that you guys put out, so yeah. Nice to be on the show.
Eric: Good to finally have you on. And the Big 50 is something of an institution over at Industrial Distribution and people are really receptive to it. They wait for it every year.
M Hockett: Those that don't know, it's basically our biggest claim to fame. Former editor, Jack Keough, he started the Big 50, about 30 years ago. It was, right around 1990. Just basically trying to put out a snapshot of the industrial distribution market in China, identify the biggest players out there. It's certainly not an all-inclusive list. The only subjectivity involved is what our definition of an industrial distributor it's just, we have to draw a line somewhere.
It basically covers anyone that's in the MRO space. Distributors of fasteners to the safety products. Anything that most people would consider an industrial product, something that can basically fit in a shoe box, sort of size product. Anyone that distributes those sorts of products. And as we mentioned, it's solely focused, it's based on companies’ previous year sales.
So, for the 2020 Big 50, it's based on 2019 sales and certainly the 10,000-pound gorilla in the room, the pandemic is not reflected in this years, Big 50. So that's just yet the one thing that everyone will know to keep in mind as they, as they view the Big 50.
Eric: Exactly. Exactly. So, when the smoke finally clears from this, what we're going to talk about here today is kind of the benchmark for what we'll be discussing about a year from now, but it's still very interesting, nevertheless.
The thing that I noticed immediately, of course, it's not a big surprise at the very top of the stack is Grainger. They're the behemoth in the space for sure. But the disparity between the top and the bottom of the 50 is a big range, isn't it?
M Hockett: Yeah. That's certainly a thing it's become more and more so, especially with this past decade is it's just become a super top-heavy list and yeah, it just kind of reflects the consolidation in this industry. I was talking with an analyst just a couple of weeks ago and he just mentioned now, it's almost month to month or week to week that it just consolidates a little further and further.
So, yeah, it's definitely reflected in the Big 50. You almost wish it was more, a gradual downtrend as far as from the top revenue to the bottom, from company number one to 50. But, that's just how the industry's going with the bigger guys getting bigger, gobbled up more and more of the small guys. So, I just imagined that five, six years from now, it'll be even more top heavy when we look at the Big 50.
Eric: Well, the way things seem to be going. That's true. And I just want to put a little bit more detailed to that observation because coming in at number 50, a very respectable number 50, because this list is, let's face it. These are all great companies. It's Martin Supply and Doug Ruggles, who's a senior guy there. I believe he was the brother of CEO, David Ruggles listed on your list here, Mike.
He is just the Past President of the NFDA. So, it's kind of close to home and there's lots of names on the list here that fastener distributors are going to be very familiar with some not so much. Why don't we look at what is really the standout, surprises perhaps, or some of the more important observations that you draw out of this year's list, Mike?
M Hockett: And as you mentioned, some of these names will be really familiar to those in the know of the fastener industry. But really on some level I'd say about 90%, maybe 80% of the companies on here do carry fastener products in some capacity. There are certain companies like Fastenal, Optimas Solutions, Endries International their bread and butter are fasteners.
I'd say the vast majority of the companies on here are involved in fasteners in some way. Just some of the general observations on here besides, the consolidation aspect of the industry. Really when we talk to these companies and talk about what they've been doing since the pandemic started. It was interesting to see that mixed bag of companies that talk. There are some of these that have been still aggressive on the acquisition front, just trying to gain market share, whether it's through acquisition or just internal company expansion.
And then on the other side, you get these companies that are taking this chaotic time to focus on their internal operations, whether that's in terms of upgrading their ERP system or other software. Just Y-sizing their business, selling off some of the less profitable parts of the business, focusing on those things that are generating high revenues.
So, it seemed to be a pretty even mix of companies that are just trying to gain market share versus those that are just kind of internal improvements. And certainly, there are some that are doing both. It was interesting to see that disparity between acquisition-based companies right now, and those that are trying to do the right things internally that way when the pandemic eventually subsized, that they can then return to being aggressive.
Eric: Well, Endries is on everybody's mind right now because headlines keep coming out about acquisitions. They're making K&L sales most recently. I'd be very surprised if we don't see more news coming out of Würth in the near future on that front as well. Is acquisition really the mixed bag that you were referring to in this year's bunch of influences that were shaking things up, or are there other things as well, reassuring other things, what were you pointing to there?
M Hockett: Yes. There are certainly a variety of factors, but I would say acquisitions still remains the key one there. Like you said, Endries, that we just mentioned they're one of the companies that has stayed really aggressive through 2020. Yes, with K & L. That was their third deal that they've announced of 2020. And, I think it's their second one since the pandemic really got going here.
So, Endries is a company that's moved. I think they moved up four or five spots from last year from the 2019 Big 50. And that was again, based on 2019 sales. It's almost a guarantee that Endries is going to bolt up probably another four or five spots on the Big 50. So, they're going to be a fast grower on there.
You mentioned Würth, they're another company that's been active in the acquisition space. They figured to keep moving up the list. And then obviously there's Fastenal and, they've been one of those companies, one of the rare companies that's actually been having a positive 2020. Even though that's largely driven by their vending and safety sales. That's really empowering that growth.
Whereas for Fastenal, the portion of their sales that come from fasteners, it really shrunk pretty small amount. I think it was in the 20 something percentage range in April and May. And as we've seen they just released their Q3 numbers this morning. That percentage normalizing back to what it used to be, but it's still probably going to be another six months before, its percentage of fastener sales get down to where it was pre-pandemic.
Eric: I want to point out that's an important detail to add because we discuss this on the last episode where the PPE shot up as a percentage of their total sales. And we're hoping an anomaly. Again, though, we're talking about 2019 numbers that went into this list
M Hockett: Yes. We actually talked with, Fastenal CEO, Dan Florness. This would've been about a month ago when they signed their big marketing deal with the NHL. He talked about how once this pandemic really started taking off and impacting businesses. Fastenal, just given by their name, they're always going to be known as a fastener distributor and one of the top ones out there.
Safety and PPE products, they were a real small percentage of Fastenal sales going into 2020, but you mentioned how it wasn't like they were starting from scratch when the pandemic hit. It was more about scaling up what they were doing in PPE and sourcing and getting that stuff. And then, fasteners just kind of taken a back seat as they've relied more on PPE sales.
So, it's just interesting to see Fastenal has really performed well in 2020, they've had quarterly sales growth in each quarter so far. Obviously 98% of the fastener distributors out there don't have the resources and the sourcing capabilities for PPE to pivot to that like Fastenal does. So, Fastenal is definitely in a unique position with what they're able to do there. It'll just be interesting to see what happens with the rest of the fastener market once, this prolonged weakened demand hopefully turns the other direction pretty soon.
Eric: Well, you say that you talked to Dan Florness and I guess that makes me wonder, maybe you can explain a little bit about the methodology you use to develop the list you're on the horn all the time with the top guys at these companies. What do you actually do in terms of using that information to compile this list?
M Hockett: The methodology behind the Big 50, it starts out with us each year about, I think it's three months before the Big 50 comes out. We put out a big survey to our entire subscriber list and it's basically just an information survey asking companies to provide, to make sure that we have up to date, names and titles. The biggest thing is we asked them to provide their most recent year full year, total sales, since that is what the list is based on.
And so, we get about half of the Big 50, the companies that are on there. We get that information from the survey. And for those that don't submit through the survey, we end up reaching out via email and a phone call saying, Hey, we know you're probably going to be on the Big 50, but we need to get your sales here.
It involves some hunting on our part trying to track down those figures, but most of the Big 50 regulars know to expect, the survey that comes out and they're good about getting it to us, but for all the publicly traded companies on there, which I think are about 15 or so that have investor relations websites, it's easy to just pull that data from there.
So really besides the survey and then the investor relations websites for the biggest companies out there, there's really only about 20, maybe even less than 20 companies that we have to actually track down via email or phone call to get that information. For the most part, by and large, most of the companies on the Big 50 are on there year after year. So, they're familiar with the process and they're easy to work with.
Eric: Well, you're doing something right, Mike, because I could tell you with the Fastener Distributor Index. Sometimes it's a little harder to get guys to complete the information, but overall, we do pretty good with them, but it's definitely something you have to keep on.
Well, let's circle back again then, and talk about maybe some of the surprises, some of the winners and losers, other observations that you made from this year's list. Of course, as we said, number one, was Grainger going down the list. What else do you see?
M Hockett: Usually like when we look at the Big 50, especially in the top five, over the last few years, that's really remained static, but this year, there was some shake-up there. Fastenal, they moved in the top five, they had a real solid 2019 with what they did in sales.
And then HD Supply, I don't know what portion of their sales comes from fasteners, but I know it's a good chunk. They moved up to number four, but they're a company that made one of the biggest headlines in our industry where, they're now basically splitting in half, half their company.
Their construction and industrial portion of their business were just sold off. That acquisition is probably going to complete sometime here in October, so they're basically going to go down by half their size. So next year they'll probably move. They'll probably be right around the 10 or so mark.
Motion Industries, another major, MRO company here, they moved up to number two. I think there were number four or five last year. They're at 6.5 billion in 2019 sales. So yes, it's just a decent amount of shake- up in the top five after three or four years of it basically remaining the same.
And then obviously Grainger is still King. They're at almost 11.5 billion in sales. And, they figured it to be number one for the foreseeable future. Outside of the top 10 and those big guys, we already mentioned Endries is one of the winners on the Big 50 is making some of the biggest growth on there.
Some of the other companies on here, BlackHawk Industrial, they had some solid growth. Lawson Products seems to continue to move up, one or two spots every year. Those are some of the ones that immediately come to mind.
Like you said, Martin Supply. They, just nearly made the list at 50. But really when you look year to year, we encourage the audience to not use this list solely as a year to year comparison. Just because there's a variety of factors that might move a company up or down, whether it's through divestment or through acquisitions. If it was just an organic sales growth-based list, that might be a better true test of which companies are doing better or worse compared to each other.
Whereas we consider the Big 50 more of just a singular snapshot of where the market is at each year. I think Martin supply at 50. I want to say they moved down to one or two spots from last year.
Eric: I think you're right.
M Hockett: That by no means, means that they did worse than the year before. It's based on who did what blower in front of them.
Eric: Let's face it to many people in our audience. This is like monopoly money. We got a lot of guys out there in the 10, $15 million category, which is great. These are the bread and butter companies in the fastener industry. And we're looking at these companies as the leaders and certainly something to pay attention to, but let's look at it this way, rounding up 18 of the 50 are billion and over. So, that's a little bit of a stretch for some of our guys. Interesting nevertheless.
M Hockett: Definitely. And one thing we've always wanted to do was put out a small or like the next Big 50 sort of thing that would really show those middle range companies that are, let's say 60 million to 100 million. I wish we could do a list like that. And maybe someday we could. We would just love to, in some way, put out a list that goes beyond this Big 50 Lists that are by far and large, the biggest market movers.
That's the thing that this list, it's really just reflective of the biggest market movers out there. We know there is tons of other industrial distributors and faster distributors out there that, don't come close to some of these, revenue figures. Yes. So, it'd be nice to somehow recognize some of those smaller guys out there that are doing well.
Eric: Well again this list has become something of an institution for industrial distribution magazine, you and your team do a great job, Mike, and this year you also produced a video series. What was that? A three-part series to introduce it. So that was a newer wrinkle, which good job for you doing that. And where can listeners see more information on this if they haven't caught it already?
M Hockett: Sure. Like you said, that the three-part video countdown was the first place they could have seen it, right at the end of September. And then we put out the full condensed list just about a week ago. So really, the easiest way to find it is to go to our website, which is I-N-D-D-I-S-T.com.
And then to find all the Big 50 information you want, whether it's that condense list, or if you want to watch the video countdowns, you would just go to that website. I-N-D-D-I-S-T.com/big-50. So inddist.com/big-50. Otherwise, if you just go to our main homepage, there's a Big 50 button, right at the top of the page, click on that. It takes you to all the Big 50 stuff you're looking for.
Eric: Perfect. Well, Mike Hockett, you're the Managing Editor of Industrial Distribution Magazine. And also, before we wrap it up, like to thank you for doing a really fine job of covering the Fastener Distributor Index, and you picked that up sometime ago. Thank you for that.
M Hockett: Sure thing. We know that a lot of our distributor audience wants to know what the market's looking like as far as fastener selling conditions. And, the FDI is a great place to give a snapshot of that. So, we like to provide some color on there and say here's what the FDI is showing and here's what it means for distributors. So, we're always glad to put that information out there for our audience.
Eric: Thanks again, Mike.
M Hockett: Well, thank you. And thanks for having me on the show and glad to share the info about the Big 50 out there.
Eric: Mike Hockett. Industrial Distribution. It's Fully Threaded.
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Eric: Stelfast customers say it all.
Tim: Tim Minter, Northern State Supply. I've been in this industry for 40 years, and I can never remember basically when Stelfast hasn't been a part of it, they've taken care of us over the years helped us grow quality outfit, quality people. And this goes back to the days when Sorano and you call up to Toronto and we ran out of some 70th jam nuts, and they were basically just opening Cleveland. I believe at the time.
And president of the company took care of it. And I got us what we needed in about three or four days and saved us from shutting down a production line and they'll bend over backwards and take care of your needs for you. I have more of a personal relationship with the group. Very good group of people.
For service You Deserve and People You Trust. It's Stelfast.
Since 1905 Buckeye Fasteners and the Ohio Nut and Bolt company have been supplying the world with high quality fasteners. Our standard product lines include weld fasteners, graded weld screws, leg levelers. Self- clinching hardware, clevis pins, rivet nuts and various other fastener lines, allowing us to support virtually all types of industries. Buckeyefasteners.com. Buckeyes Fasteners, "More Than Just Weld".
Rosa: This is Rosa, the preferred riveter at Brighton Best International. You're listening to Fully Threaded Radio with Eric and Brian.
Eric: Brian and Eric, back with you putting a little thread in your head trying to help you sell a few screws while we do it. Well, Brian it's the news section.
Eric: Well and it's fortunately being sponsored again by our friends at Volt Industrial Plastics. This time, there are some news worthy items, and we decided to roll it into one brief conversation with our friend who has the scoop on what's going on with the Vegas Show that never was in 2020, but they've got a very interesting alternative lined up and it also rolls the Hall of Fame event into it.
That's another thing that got nixed due to current circumstances. So, the California kid Morgan Wilson's out there. Hey man.
Morgan: Hey gentlemen, how are you?
Brian: How long has it since you've been called a kid?
Morgan: I think I'm used to it. It's okay. I'll take it these days.
Brian: Ever since you stopped leaning your surf board up against the fence.
Morgan: Probably, probably.
Eric: I think it fits. Before we get into the matter at hand Morgan. I got to ask you, we were speaking earlier in the podcast about Amazon, and I know you're in Southern California. Where you are, have you experienced any change in the service that you receive from Amazon? Is it improved, stayed the same, gotten worse? I'm talking over the last four to six months. Have you noticed a shift?
Morgan: Yes, we definitely noticed it slowed down a little bit. I felt like we were able to get those next day deliveries a lot more often where worse? now it seems like two days is the best thing and it seems like we're having a lot more delays.
Eric: Okay. So, it's happening to you too. Brian and I are in the Midwest. Same experience. Interesting. Well, let's on with it. We've got something coming up that you're calling.
Morgan: Match & Meet by IFE.
Eric: Match & Meet by IFE. And that's going to happen November 11th and 12th, I guess, it's the launch, isn't it? And that's 2020. You'll explain that. You had a call late last week with the FIZ group, and I know they were all expecting you to explain that in detail. So, I guess this will be a Redux. What did you say on that call Morgan?
Morgan: We had a good call and it was nice of them to have me on their Zoom meeting and go over our platform. I tried to explain it as simple as possible because these things are complicated, but, overall, this is a high-level networking event. It's not a 3D or virtual event where, you're actually building 3D booths or that sort of thing.
This is really, we're trying to, to bring everyone together and make connections and meet with customers maybe you haven't seen this year. And, one of the biggest opportunities I think with this being online is that we might actually get you guys as exhibitors or vendors in front of customers that you might not typically see out in Vegas. There's a lot of companies, they are smaller teams that don't have the resources to send people all the way out to Vegas.
I think also with companies that have been, even on the OEM side that are interested, have been interested in attending, but just can't make that commitment. So, it'll be interesting to see who we have out, but overall, the event is going to allow attendees to sign up, select the product categories that they're interested in.
And, our system uses artificial intelligence to actually match the attendees with the exhibitors that have, selected the same categories or services that they provide. And we're really excited, to have that technology embedded in the system. You can search, by product, you can search by vendor, and you can even search by people. One of the huge priorities for us was having a really user-friendly platform.
There are no limitations as well, as far as who can connect. So, our system will allow attendees to connect with other attendees, exhibitors with other exhibitors. You get the, you get the picture. So, you'll be able to connect through a Chat Messenger. Just a simple text box back and forth, or schedule a virtual one-on-one meeting, kind of like the Zoom or Skype thing, and everything is inclusive in the system. So, once you to schedule that meeting. You don't have to worry about using your own Skype or Zoom. It'll actually set the meeting right in our system.
Eric: It's all handled by the one platform?
Morgan: Correct. And that's called Swapcard. And, we're really excited. We looked at several different platforms and, a lot of them didn't make sense for us and this one, checked all the boxes for us.
Eric: Oh, okay. Well, I think it's yours to win because a lot of people are going to give this a chance and they want to be really impressed. And there's certainly a need for the kind of activity that we didn't have at Vegas this year. So, I'll be watching and hopefully participating in a bunch of different ways. So again, that's November 11th and 12th, but then after those days, the platform continues to be a value to everybody. Right, Morgan? How does that actually fit into it?
Morgan: Yeah, correct. So, we wanted to just give everyone a little more opportunity to stay connected. So, the platform will remain open until about mid-2021. There will be a couple limitations to how you can connect. So, you will no longer be able to actually schedule a meeting ahead of time, but you can go on the system and, you could call a person and say, "Hey, let's jump on." And have a one-on-one, virtually. Through the platform you can do that.
You'll have access to some of the content on demand, but some of the educational aspects that we're working with, our partner, the Fastener Training Institute, they're providing some good education, that will no longer be accessible. So, you have to get that during the live main event, but for the most part, everything else will be there for you to use.
Eric: Sounds pretty cool. It's like a dating app.
Morgan: You would think that by the name.
Brian: For older people slightly older.
Eric: And with the AI, that's a departure, it's kind of a contrast to stumbling around blindly. For instance, by bumping into the right people. But that's a big part of it too. Anyway, this'll be a really tell-tale event I'll say, because like I said before, I think everybody wants to be impressed while you're rolling in the Hall of Fame presentation with this thing too.
And I heard by way of, well, let's face it. You told me that the votes are in. The names are in the envelopes, winners have been alerted and so excitement is building, but you're keeping it under your hat. What's in store for the big announcement, Morgan?
Morgan: Yes. We're really excited to still be able to do the Hall of Fame this year and do it virtually. And, yes, we're trying to keep it under wraps, as close as we can to the event, and just create a little more excitement, get everyone online and watch the award ceremony virtually this year. And Eric, I apologize, but I might not have mentioned, you're going to be helping me with those awards. I hope that's okay.
Eric: I think the tux is still in the dry-cleaning bag. So, yeah, this'll work really cool.
Brian: Which tux is this? One I haven't seen in my lifetime.
Eric: Well, I don't think I was in the booth when I was wearing it the last time, Brian, you might have missed it.
Brian: That's why. I got it.
Eric: This'll be a real change though, because Emerald has always done a good job, I think with the Hall of Fame presentations. But this is going to be new because so many people that wouldn't have had the chance otherwise will be able to attend while it's happening.
Morgan: We're, excited about it. I think it can turn out very cool. We've, attended some of our other virtual events through our organization our parent company that they've put on. And there have been some other awards type ceremonies and we're taking some influence from that and putting it into ours and I think it can turn out really great.
Eric: Very cool. Well, looking forward to that, looking forward to jumping in with you on it too. So, thanks for extending the invitation on that. And needless to say, you can get information if you want to be an exhibitor at this event, or if you're going to be attending either way, registration details are available at the website, fastenershows.com. Get out there and scan around.
There's, a good amount of information out there. Of course, Morgan would be happy to work with you if you're going to be playing on the exhibitor side, contact information is out there. And once again, Morgan, a big thumbs up, I guess, if you made it through the gauntlet of the FIZ meeting, can't be all bad.
Morgan: No, I think, I was happy to have that call and I think I was able to answer quite a few questions and just figuring out how the whole platform was going to work and, sure enough, the next day we had a couple of exhibitors sign up that were on the call.
So that's always a good sign and we're getting some great momentum so far. We've got a lot of the big VIP buyers already signed up, like Fastenal and Würth and all those big guys. So, we're trying to lock them all in and of course get everyone else. So, yeah, we're looking forward to having this event.
Eric: Wow. That's news in itself. That's a departure from what we would have seen in Vegas in years past. So that's news right there. Well, good, Morgan, thanks so much again for joining us on this. And fastenershows.com everybody. As I mentioned, it's the news segment of the podcast it's sponsored by Volt Industrial Plastics and the title sponsors of Fully Threaded Radio are Stelfast, Brighton Best International and Goebel Fasteners. And you know what this inevitably leads to Morgan?
Morgan: Yes, I think I remember this from last time. Let me see if I can get it straight and not screw it up. No pun intended.
Eric: Fire away, man.
Morgan: And now with news about screws that you can use here's Mike McNulty.
M McNulty: Thanks Morgan. This is Mike McNulty from Fastener Technology International Magazine, bringing you the Fastener News Report, which is sponsored by Volt Industrial Plastics, makers of the world's finest plastic fasteners.
The Cleveland Browns professional football team has started the 2020 season with four wins and only one loss. Its best start since 1994, when future Hall of Famer Bill Belichick was The Browns head coach and just a few years away from helping build the New England Patriots football dynasty. But I am still focused on Fasteners and ready to deliver today's Fasteners News Report.
In this episode, Frank DeVito from Solution Industries joins us to reveal the latest results of the Fastener Distributor Index. Also known as the FDI. Also, in today's broadcast, we have our top story on a new fastener making factory plan for Virginia, as well as newsmaker headlines from Avantus Aerospace, Yardley Inserts, Endries, Würth Industry North America, Brighton Best International and G & G Safety Fasteners.
On the back-page report. We're going to talk about the fastener distributors that made it onto the 2020 Big 50 list. We'll get to all of that and the latest FDI results right after this.
Joseph: My name is Joseph Volltrauer. We got a really good people work ethic. Do a little more than what you're getting paid for. I'm a great believer in that. That's how you get ahead. "We are Volt". If you grow too fast you go broke really quick. And growing too slow is not as dangerous, but it's boring."We are Volt" We know how to build the tools. And if you don't have the tools, you can't do anything. Volt Industrial Plastics, makers of the world's finest plastic fasteners.
AJ: Hey, Fully Threaded Radio. My name is AJ Strandquist, Director of 3D Solutions for Würth Industry of North America. In November Würth will be participating in Formnext Connect. This year's virtual edition of the Formnext Conference. We are excited to share Würth Industry leading 3D printing programs, announced new key supply partners and connect leaders in the industrial 3D industry. Learn more and register attend at www.Würthindustry.com. That's www.Würthindustry.com
Solution Man can. Solution man, you're my fastener hero. Just doing my job, ma'am.
M McNulty: The seasonally adjusted Fastener Distributed Index for September was 52.0 versus 49.2 in August. They welcome returned to the growth area for the third time out of the last four months. Fastener Distributor Index data is collected and analyzed by the FCH Sourcing Network and Baird.
The FDI seeks to identify demand pricing and outlook trends within the American fastener distribution industry. To get some insight on these results. We talked to Frank DeVito, he's from the management team at Solution Industries. Hi Frank, thanks for joining us on the Fastener News Report.
Frank: How you doing Mike? I appreciate you having me on again and always good to be with you.
M McNulty: I'm good. I'm glad to hear your voice again. The last time we talked was I think in, May and we were in the eye of the storm then.
Frank: I think I got the opportunity to be the lowest rated FDI in history. So, I'm on the plus side. I'm going to redeem myself. Right?
M McNulty: It's better now. But you'll never shake that 40.0.
Frank: That's right. It's like Earnest Byner, good running back, but he fumbled going in.
M McNulty: But yeah, you handled it well, so now here we are, in October talking about the September results, which were nice and solid 52.0. What do you think about these results?
Frank: I think it's great. I think we're in a steady trend now. It's still up and down a little bit, but business was good. We saw a good mix from a wide variety of distributors across the country. So personally, we are at one of our best months of the year. And I say that's an average of where we'd like to be, historically, but it's positive and that's always a good sign.
M McNulty: Yes. The sales number for this, FDI result jumped up a little bit over 60 points, which was, just a nice increase from last month, which was below 50. And, also the forward-looking indicator really had a nicer result of just a little bit here over 60 as well, which is the highest result in over two years. Highest result for 2020 and 2019. So that's a pretty good indicator, I think.
Frank: Absolutely. So, let's make my steak on that one instead of being the worst. So, the most in history we've got 60 plus.
M McNulty: Right. So, you're looking forward. You're a forward-looking guy and we got a good result. So, I think that kind of jives what you were just saying earlier, and things are improving after the dismal, April, May time period.
Frank: For sure. And again, there's just a better feeling within the industry as I talk to customers and suppliers. We do both and there's just more of an upbeat feel, which I just hope it continues. And I think it will, I think we're beyond the worst. People are learning to function, maybe not as efficient as we'd like it.
M McNulty: Now, you mentioned talking to customers and I'll segue this into, are you able to get out in front of customers now, or is it pretty much still doing things over the phone, over the computer, internet, virtual, etc.?
Frank: We are still not out in front of customers. I think it's more of a comfort level on them, you know sampling.
M McNulty: Who they let in.
Frank: Exactly. And, we've done some over the phone, some Zoom, or whatever platform you want to call it. But it's still pretty stringent on who will accept visitors at this point. And again, many people are still working from home, so maybe I'll deliver their pizza and I can get up and talk to them, right?
M McNulty: I get one of those. What do they call them? The grub hub or something like that. Door dash.
Frank: I think I got a hat somewhere. You sign up and you get a hat.
M McNulty: Maybe that's not a bad idea. All these virtual things, they are good tools and the technology is interesting and effective in that. But if you're like me, I think there's a little bit of anxiety. To get face-to-face still no substitute for it. We use these tools when we have to, but I think everybody's itching to get back in person.
Frank: Totally agree. I think our industry was built on that. Though there's some young blood and it's great, and I think, like you said, these are tools that can be useful. But I don't think there's anything that will replace the face-to-face shaking hands that type of stuff and being a part.
M McNulty: Especially if it's a new person, somebody you've never met before. You look at their LinkedIn picture, their Zoom picture, and then you meet them in person. You're like, who are you?
Frank: Yeah. A blind date. That's so true. That's why I have my picture up, I don't want to break, everybody's camera. They looked on and say, "Oh!" I don't want to scare anybody at that point.
M McNulty: Well, it's definitely a theme. I know we've gone on a little bit of a tangent here and the Fully Threaded Radio listeners are going to hear more about that in the upcoming segment from some of from Eric and Brian's guests.
So, let's go back to the FDI numbers. I'm looking at unemployment was up a little bit at 53.7 versus 46 last month. So that's a good sign. Deliveries and inventory seemed level and pricing were up on month-to-month as well as year-to-year pricing was a huge, huge jump. So, I don't know if that's indicative of things improving that people are getting a little bit better prices. What do you think?
Frank: We've seen increases, at least the finished deal for us. Our prices are up 16%, since March, it's the highest levels that it's been since 2011. Iron ore prices are up, we'll see how the demand goes. I know there's some overproduction in Australia and Brazil, so maybe that'll bring some of that down. Ocean freight is up there's shortage of containers. Plating costs for us have jumped as well.
M McNulty: Really.
Frank: From 6 to 25%. Freight costs, domestically as well has moved about 46%. So, we're seeing increases across the board thread lock features close to 10. So, I think it's inevitable that prices are going to start moving here. We try to hold as much as we can on new business, but we're under contract on some, so we'll obviously will make the adjustments on our side.
So, I do see some price increases coming down the line here, whether that'll stay steady. I think, again is just companies can't be as efficient as possible, historically try to pack in and be at most compact and efficient as possible. But it's just not, going to happen right now.
M McNulty: Well, I'm just looking at 2020, this is the highest pricing, year-to-year number of 2020. So, you can also put that on your resume.
Frank: Coming to expect it, and it fluctuates, obviously becomes buyer market, seller market. So, you ride the waves with the costs. It's what the industry does.
M McNulty: Alright. Let's touch on the six-month outlook stayed pretty solid. We've got 61% of respondents expecting higher business six months from now, which I guess I would put us into April of 2021. 24% the same and only 15% lower. So that ties into the forward-looking indicator, positive result too. I think I would concur with that.
Frank: Absolutely. And again, we do see positive there. I see it steady. This is sustainable, we'd like to see more, but I'm a positive guy.
M McNulty: So, you need all hands on deck to fill those orders.
Frank: We do, we do. We actually did a little bit of hiring here.
M McNulty: Good.
Frank: So, we're still looking for a couple of people in some positions, but more entry-level, but we need to push some of that stuff out for sure.
M McNulty: Alright. Let's move on to the commentary from the respondents. It was slightly more positive on balance, and there were also some negative ones, but the first one that got my attention was market's increasing. And then another person sends some markets rebound much faster headway than others, but overall customer demands have been increasing monthly.
And then on the cautious side, some people said COVID has caused a substantial decrease in sales. And then, another one, the final one here is that many distributors are ordering hand-to-mouth. There's a concern that when business returns there will be a mad rush to refill inventory levels, which will drive up lead times. Distributors need to plan now. Any of those ring true with you guys?
Frank: Yeah. The one that kind of sets home is order hand-to-mouth. At some point, these OEM’s are going to open up and you're going to need products. So, I think they should have been stocking, months ago. I'll be honest with you and we have had a lot of expedites and that's what we do, but more than normal, just because people weren't prepared.
But when you sell some of these larger OEM’s, and again, we sell to distribution only, but on their side, you would have to imagine that things are going to start to go again and you wouldn't want to let your inventory draw pretty low. So, we seem to be in that pinch for now. And, hopefully that starts to alleviate with more inventory coming in and it puts more pressure on suppliers. You can only manufacture so fast.
M McNulty: Right.
Frank: So, some of that planning, it's so funny because it's cyclical, it's coming. We hope that we could all plan a little better to do that, but it's tough. I get it, the OEM’s, they're the one in the driver's seat.
M McNulty: They want to keep costs down and all that.
M McNulty: Good. Well, overall, I think it's a pretty good FDI report this time around, and hopefully we continue the momentum next month.
Frank: For sure. For sure. I agree with you. It was nice to see the positive and hopefully we'll continue to get that vibe and keep pushing.
M McNulty: Alright. Well, I know. Let's finish up. We'll talk about Solution Industries a little bit. Last time we had you on you guys had just opened up a training center, I believe, and I know you're getting ready. You're going to be hosting a seminar, the Fastener Training Institute Seminar coming up, I think in December.
Frank: That's true. So, we do have the training center. We can safely distance. And then we have another room it's called the Common Room and we can fit double the space in there. We just have to add some tables, the technologies there to add for viewing and that type of stuff. But, yeah, December 7th through the 10th, we were able to host, the Fastener Training Institutes Fastener Training Week. So, we're excited about that. Again, it'll be safe, temperature checks, masks, socially distance.
M McNulty: I hear they do a good job with that program.
Frank: Yes. For sure. So, we're excited, to be a part of that. And, we'll continue to train for sure.
M McNulty: Good. Anything else new? I know we also talked about your exercise routines last time and how they were going to change. Any changes for the better?
Frank: Maybe the body isn't old enough as used to. Still having some issues there. I was talking to someone the other day.
M McNulty: Rest.
Frank: Exactly. So, I still do it everyday. You still get a few hundred push-ups in. Not where I want to be, but we'll work our way. I turned 45 last month. So, the body is not quite what it was, but then, like I said, you put the Rocky music on, I get going.
M McNulty: Good. Just as you get older. I read an article over the weekend about some guy who started a strength training program at age 70.
M McNulty: They showed a picture of him swinging those ropes, up and down. I'm like, wow, pretty good for a septuagenarian, if that's the right word.
Frank: Absolutely. The training does move around a little bit what you do and what you can't do. But again, you can get a good workout just off the floor on a mat. So, a lot of that's it's still fun. I still love doing it every day. It's just my routine.
On another note for Solution Industries, we did get our certification for AS9100.
M McNulty: Oh, good.
Frank: So, it's official. We went through all that in September, we actually got our certificates, so we're open to new opportunities and new markets. So that's exciting for us. It's really an emphasis on training though, in the industry, but when it comes to quality, we just always want to put our money where our mouth is.
We've done that and we'll continue to do that. We have the training center, love to have people in and out, and be part of that we'll have different curriculum, throughout. So, we'll just continue to team up and work with, different organizations to educate the industry.
M McNulty: Good. I was just on your website, which is solutionind.com. And there's a little video there of some of the people marching around. I don't recall seeing that before. I mean, that's new.
Frank: Yeah. That was, last year.
M McNulty: Okay. I missed the last time.
Frank: That's okay. Solution strong is what we say. We Just try to be a family. And our focus every day is just to feed families. Whether it's, taking care of customers, taking care of our own supplier, that's the company that we want to be.
So, we just stick together. And, so that was a little video on that. There's couple of other ones out there. I think we're going to post some stuff that was before COVID, none of us were wearing masks and we're all crammed in one second. So, I hope they can figure that out.
M McNulty: Remind myself not to make any comments or mental judgments on that issue. But anyways, it's good people can check out stuff about you guys there. And, I'm glad that you're able to join us again on the FDI with more positive results than last time around. And if we stay on the same cycle, it'll be probably 2021 when we have you on again, but you're always welcome to come back and we'd like your insights and your optimism. And I want to thank you for joining us.
Frank: I truly appreciate that love and be with you guys and anytime for sure we can do something next year, for sure. Thank you, Mike.
M McNulty: You're welcome. That was Frank DeVito of the management team at Solution Industries. The FDI number for September was 52.0 versus 49.2 the previous month. Visit fdisurvey.com to participate in the process and to get a detailed PDF copy of Baird's monthly analysis.
Now for today's top story, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam speaking on behalf of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Recently announced the Danish company, Rose Holm, a manufacturer of threaded bolts for the food and beverage wind power and heat exchange industries. In Northern Europe will invest $1.35 million to establish its first USA manufacturing facility in the state of Virginia.
The new operation will give the company close proximity to a major customer and further its wind energy efforts. Virginia successfully competed with Indiana for this project, which expects to create 10 new jobs. Established by Erik Rose Holm in 1953.
Rose Holm is a privately owned company that specializes in high quality fastening products with a focus on supplying the global wind energy sector, combining decades of know-how logistics and ongoing investments and manufacturing technology. Rose Holm currently has two plants in Denmark that are making fastener solutions year-round.
Next up today's fastener newsmaker headlines. In acquisition expansion and agreement news. Avantus Aerospace has completed two acquisitions, California Screw Products and Fastener Innovation Technology also known as Cal Screw and FIT respectively.
Bearon Manufacturing reports the addition of a new 80,000 square foot manufacturing facility, as well as the acquisition of Yardley Inserts. Endries International has acquired K & L Sales. And Würth Industry North America also known as WINA has signed a national agreement with DSM to distribute the company's 3D printing materials.
In personnel news. Brighton Best International/Proferred announced the appointment of Scott Gibson to the position of Proferred Global Sales and Product Director. As well as the promotion of Larry Unger to the position of Proferred National Drywall Account Manager.
Doncaster’s Group has appointed Robert Frank as General Manager for its precision casting operation located in Germany.
G & G Safety Fasteners announced that Kevin Sand will take over as CEO and General Manager effective January 1st, 2021, replacing the retiring Bob Bowden.
And Bulten has appointed Emmy Pavlovic as Senior Vice President Technology and Innovation.
You can get details on all of these stories and more in Fastener Technology International Magazine and the Fastener News Report monthly newsletter, both are available in online and print additions. You can subscribe at fastenertech.com.
Now let's turn to the back page to talk about fastener distributors that landed on the 2020 Big 50 list. As mentioned earlier in the show, the annual industrial distribution Big 50 list has been published and includes several suppliers that are very active in the USA fastener industry. And they are listed as follows with their rank on the list as well as their latest annual sales figures, which also includes non-fastener products.
Coming in at number one is; W.W. Grainger from Lake Forest, Illinois with $11.49 billion in annual sales. Number four is HD Supply from Atlanta; Georgia was $6.51 billion in sales. Number five is Fastenal from Winona, Minnesota with $5.33 billion. Coming in at number six was WinSupply based in Dayton, Ohio with $3.92 billion in sales.
Number nine was MSC Industrial Supply from Melville New York with $3.34 billion. Number 11 is Wesco International's Industrial Division in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with $2.94 billion. Würth Industry North America came in at number 12, they're based in Ramsey, New Jersey, and they recorded $2.23 billion in annual sales.
Coming in at number 20 is Optimas Solutions from Glenville, Illinois with $865 million in annual sales. Number 27 was the Border States Industrial Division from Fargo, North Dakota with $447 million in sales. Number 31 was Lawson Products from Chicago, Illinois at $375 million. Number 32 was Edries International from Berlin was Wisconsin with $351 million.
Number 35 was Kimball Midwest from Columbus, Ohio with $300 million. Number 39 is Bossard North America in Cedar Falls, Iowa recording $226 million in annual sales and finishing up the list at number 50 is Martin Supply from Florence, Alabama with $132 million in annual sales last year. You can see details on this whole report and the entire list at www.inddist.com/big-50.
And finally, did you know that in 2009, the United States federal government collected $1.72 trillion in individual income taxes and just over $297 billion in corporate income taxes for a combined total of just over $2 trillion. Which means that instead of spending $2 trillion on stimulating the economy, the U.S.
Congress could simply pass a bill to waive all personal and corporate income taxes for all American workers and companies for the next 12 months. And in my view have a better result.
And if $2 trillion is not enough for the folks that want to spend $3 trillion on stimulus boondoggles, then you could suspend payroll taxes for 10 months to free up another $1 trillion and put more money into Americans' bank accounts. And sit back while the economy catches wildfire. This has been Mike McNulty of Fastener Technology International bringing you the Fastener News Report. Please send your news, pictures, comments, corrections, or complaints to me at email@example.com.
At Brighton Best we continue to expand our wide range of products, including stainless steel and metric fasteners. Our family of brands include preferred U.S. Anchor and ironclad performance, where BBI has been a trusted partner since 1925, with award-winning hand tools, gloves, and dry wall screws. BBI is the largest master distributor of fasteners in the USA, "Tested, Tried and True". We are Brighton Best. To learn more about Brighton Best visit brightonbest.com.
Jake: This is Jake Davis with BTM Manufacturing. And for over 50 years, we have been a leading manufacturer of bent wire and threaded products, including U-bolts, single and double-end studs, anchor bolts and many more per-print items.
Based in the heart of America, Kansas City, Missouri. BTM supports Fully Threaded Radio because they support our fastener industry. Being a part of FTR is almost as good as a hot cup of industry favorite U-Bolt Blend Coffee, and if you still don't know how good that is, call BTM manufacturing today and find out for yourself. BTM Manufacturing, "Commitment to Service."
ND Industries has been solving customers' toughest problems through innovative technologies, competitive pricing and industry leading service since 1955, a family owned business. ND Industries Manufacturers and applies fastener locking, bonding, sealing masking, and assembling products.
Their pre-application process makes fasteners ready to use at the point of assembly resulting in reduced labor costs, time-savings and superior quality assurance. As a fully integrated company, ND handles all aspects of operations from formulating custom chemical compounds and coating fasteners to providing inline inspection, packaging and delivery services.
ND Industry serves the global market with 13 divisions in the Continental U.S. and also facilities in Taiwan, China and Turkey. Learn more about ND Industries at our website at www.ndindustries.com. ND Industries, "Innovative Technologies, Competitive Pricing and Industry Leading Service”. Contact ND today.
Carmen: Hey everyone, this is Carmen Vertullo with the Fastener Training Minute, coming to you from the Fastener Training Institute and AIM Testing Laboratory in beautiful El Cajon, California. As is often the case today's Fastener Training Minute has been brought to you by an email from one of our clients.
And that email had to do with a question regarding something called thread stick-out. Stick-out doesn't sound like a very technical term, but actually is the technical term to describe the number of threads that should protrude beyond the nut surface after we installed the nut on the bolt. Sometimes called minimum thread protrusion, which it's much easier to say thread stick-out. So, I'm going to stick with, stick-out.
When we come back, I'll tell you everything there is to know, and it isn’t much about thread stick-out.
Jo Morris: Thanks Carmen. This is Jo Morris with the Fastener Training Institute. We have some new training events planned for the third year. The Fastener Training Institute is proud to partner with Fastener Fair USA presenting Fastening 101.
This year, this popular class will be presented virtually. Although the in-person trade show is postponed until June of 2021. The education portion of the event will be presented online and scheduled for late fall of this year. Instructed by industry leader, Laurence Claus, fastening 101 is anything but the basics and a must for everyone in the industry.
This seminar is perfect for manufacturers, distributors and end users. Students will explore how fasteners are manufactured as well as some basic engineering concepts. Topics include fastener design and material options, head styles, drive configurations, heat treatments and platings plus an important discussion on why there are so many cost differences from one fastener to another.
If you are not familiar with the basic mechanical properties of fasteners or how they are used, you really need to attend this class. Then we have some big, big news. We are now returning to in-person live classes, and we're going to be presenting Fastener Training week in Cleveland, in December from the 7th through the 10th.
I have an absolutely huge thank you to the team at Solution Industries who very graciously allowed us to conduct training in their brand-new training room. They have a very large room and in lieu of the physical plant tours that we normally conduct on day three, we're going to just do virtual plant tours and remain in the classroom. So, if you're not familiar with Fastener Training week, this is the acclaim training program to achieve your certified fastener specialist designation.
Lastly, a reminder FTI, Fastener Training Institute. We have a complete collection of training videos in our online learning library. If you need to conduct training from home, we have plenty of options for you. Please visit our website to learn more or to register for any of our classes at www.fastenertraining.com. Take care everyone. Stay healthy. Now back to Carmen for our Fastener Training Minute.
Carmen: Welcome back everybody. This is Carmen Vertullo on the other side of your Faster Training Minute talking today about thread stick-out. Stick out is the amount of threads or number of threads that should protrude beyond the nut once the nut has been installed and tightened down. And we have a couple of different scenarios under which we need to be concerned with this.
The first one obviously is just with a standard hex nut, which by the way, is not very thick. We don't get really very many threads engaged, maybe less than a diameter of threads in a standard hex nut. And so, we need to make sure that all those threads are available to do their work. And when you consider the fact that most bolts have a chamfer on the end, not all, but most have some kind of a chamfer that could give us one to two threads that are not fully formed.
Plus, the nut has a chamfer which could give us about a half a thread that's not fully formed. So, we have some number of threads that aren't available to do their full work. So, from an engineering perspective, most assembly instructions want to see two to three threads protrude beyond the nut. That's pretty much the standard, two to three threads, more than three in your wasting threads. And it looks kind of ugly.
Now, interestingly enough, we also have this issue when we use nylon insert lock nuts where beyond the metal part of the nut. We also have some nylon which must be engaged. And unless we have full threads in that nylon, it cannot do its work either. So, we want to make sure that there are fully formed threads in the nylon.
Once again, about two threads beyond the end of the nylon insert lock that would be the minimum to absolutely ensure that. And again, more than that, it looks kind of ugly. A lot of folks like to have that nut just right up to the edge of the surface of the nylon, because that looks kind of nice, but you do risk not having fully engaged nylon.
Now, interestingly enough, the only place that I know of where we see a requirement for thread stick-out is in structural bolting. And that comes from the Research Council on structural connections. And they always use heavy hex nuts, which is something to keep in mind. In their requirement is no threads have to stick out. As long as the end of the nut is flush with the end of the bolt. You're okay. Or some can stick out, but you don't have to have any stick out.
And I also know from my background in the military and aviation, that they want to see two or three threads sticking out for the various reasons that I said before regarding there's some chamfer on the bolt and there is some chamfer in the nut.
Well, I dragged that out as long as I could. I'm glad you stuck it out about stick-out. There's not that much more to know if anything else occurs to me. We'll come back again and talk more about stick-out. This has been Carmen Vertullo with the Fastener Training Minute. Thanks for listening.
Lisa: Hi, this is Lisa Kleinhandler from Fastener News Desk at fastenernewsdesk.com, where we bring you all things fascinating. You're listening to Fully Threaded Radio with Eric and Brian.
Jackie: Well, hello everyone. This is Jackie Ventura coming to you from the Fully Threaded Radio Studio, here in Cleveland, Ohio. It's kind of a big deal for me to be hosting this segment today because it's been a long time since I've been on the podcast. And after listening to the latest episode, I suggested to Eric that he have a show that covers how our current situation is affecting the rep industry.
And he agreed that it'd be an interesting topic since it seems everyone is tired of talking about cancellations, virtual events and how the pandemic is affecting the fastener industry. I know I'm tired of hearing about it, but this is what we're living with. So, I've been a manufacturer's rep for, well, let's just say quite a long time. And Eric suggested that I joined the panel along with fellow long-time rep John "Cowboy" Wachman of Desert Distribution.
He's based in Phoenix, Arizona, and he's probably chuckling at me in the background right now. We also asked Christian Reich of Goebel Fasteners to join in the conversation. He's speaking with us from Houston today. Many of you know, Goebel Fasteners is one of the great title sponsors of the podcast.
And some of you in the audience who listened to Mike McNulty's Fastener News Report, or follow LinkedIn know that both John and I are now repping for Goebel. So, this will give you a chance to hear thoughts from both sides of the fence. So welcome to Fully Threaded Radio gentlemen.
John: Good morning Jackie. Good morning.
Jackie: How you doing?
John: Businesses, getting better? I think we've reached the bottom and it's time to get out of our offices and go visit some folks.
Jackie: That's awesome. I speak with a lot of other reps in the industry. So, this is going to be interesting to see how this topic is going to lead us. And hopefully we'll have some fun along the way and pick up some new perspectives and be able to see what we're seeing in our own respective territories and areas of the world.
We all agree. The current economy is adding a new pressure to the rep industry, but I think it's also presenting new opportunities. So, since we're going to be using Goebel as a focal point, and since you're the new guy, John, why don't you start us off with your pitch?
John: Alright. I have been involved in blind fastening systems, as Jackie said longer than I'll admit to. I worked for two of the major blind rivet producers. And I started my rep business in 2001, and we did not add a blind rivet line until, last year when I met Christian at the Pac-West Fastener Association Tabletop.
People often asked why we didn't add a blind rivet line before that. And the primary reason is I couldn't find one that I thought I wanted to represent. And having met Christian and talked about Goebel. That fence in, Jo Morris and I decided it would be a good line and it would compliment our other lines and also help us grow our business in the Southwest and in Rocky Mountain territories.
Jackie: It's pretty interesting, for me, I became a rep for Goebel based on the advertisement that I heard on Fully Threaded Radio. I had wanted a blind rivet line to, add to my portfolio for quite a long time. And I've actually truthfully never heard of Goebel.
And so, I was excited when I spoke with Christian and we had, the opportunity to work out an agreement. So, for Christian, please fill us in on your perspective and your thoughts about utilizing reps to promote the Goebel brand.
Christian: Definitely. So, it was great meeting both of you and Goebel in general, a little background information about the company. The company was originally founded in 1979 in Germany, and they've become a staple in the market over there, similar to a DeWalt Brand here in the States. And they've actively grown their presence outside of the U.S. over the years until 2016 when they wanted to enter the U.S. Market.
And so, they did a bit of initial market research, and then they started growing since mid-2016 when they opened up the facility here in Houston, Texas. I had joined them on-board February, 2017. And then from there, we actively worked to build a comprehensive blind fastening line, with various products, as well as the tooling in order to capture part of that market share, which is quite substantial here in the States.
If you compare it to Europe and those smaller countries across the pond. And so, we definitely wanted to increase our market awareness and there's only so much you can do from one location. So then when we discovered manufacturer's reps such as Desert Distribution and Ventura Industrial, we thought it would be a good opportunity to see if there was, an opportunity for both parties that would benefit and increase the market awareness of our product line.
Jackie: Well, I'll speak for John, but I think you pick two of the best rep agencies around, right John?
John: Wow. Thank you, Jackie.
Christian: Now, one of the things that's a little bit unique to blind fastening systems is that, it is a bit of a technical item. In that the blind fastening systems have performance functions, depending on the characteristics of the joint, the material thickness, the hole size. And unless those are controlled properly, things may not work out as intended.
Also, the tooling side is a critical aspect and Goebel has a wide variety of installation, tooling parts from mechanical to electric and air power. So, their complete line was a great interest to us.
Jackie: Well, you're right about that. It's interesting to me that when I first started representing Goebel, I was amazed at the number of items that they did carry in inventory. As you mentioned, they have quite an extensive tooling line and the blind riveting. Christian, how many lines do you have in inventory? I tried counting out of the catalog one time and I think I was somewhere near 750 or 1000, but I figured it's easier just to ask you, how many line items are in the catalog?
Christian: Currently, we have approximately north of 1300 sku's and we're actively continuing to add product lines. We do have some R and D projects in the works that will be launched the end of this year, as well as the beginning of 2021. With some completely new product lines and systems that we're going to introduce as well.
We don't stand still. We try not to idle. We're always looking for ways to improve on any current market products, as well as introduce brand new ones that might disrupt the current market and provide a better solution to the manufacturing application as well as the OEM end user.
Jackie: That's awesome.
John: Yes. And it was interesting when I met Christian. When was that? Last spring, Christian, I'm trying to remember.
Christian: Yes. Earlier this year, I believe back in March was the show in Long Beach.
John: One of the challenges for us, Jackie is within weeks of signing up with Goebel the world kind of shut down. So, it's been a challenge for us launching a new line in an unusual environment. The thing that's also complicated is I feel that the blind fastening systems need to be demonstrated. And that's pretty much the way I was taught.
With limited travel, it's been challenging to get people's attention. A matter of fact, I'm planning a trip to California next week and I will be visiting and demoing some of the Goebel offerings. So, I was glad to meet Christian, but it really would have been nice if we started a year or two ago. Well, we have to play the team we have on the field. And, we're looking forward to some good growth over the next years.
Jackie: I couldn't agree with you more. I started repping for Goebel right around that same time. I believe April and same thing, right in the middle of the pandemic. And here you are with a new product line, you're eager to get it into the hands of everybody. And now what, you have challenges that we're faced with.
And in fact, Christian and I were to do a show at a distributor and, we were going to have our products and our tooling and, I was going to have my great education, and be able to see how the master does it. But unfortunately, like everything else that's been canceled, we're not going to go there. But you have to find new creative ways.
And, I have couple friends in the rep industry that, have told me some of their things that they're doing. And I know you guys know Rick Rudolph, he said he was dropping off donuts and leaving literature in the lobby along the way.
And, then another rep out of Chicago, Steve Urhausen, and said, he's meeting with customers in parking lots. So, what do you do? You bring your tools and stuff, and you go sit in the parking lot and have a cup of coffee, or maybe a bottle of wine at this point.
So, I don't know, we have to come up with new ideas. John, what have you been doing? Have you come up with any creative things other than just waiting to have customers allow you back in their door?
John: Well, when COVID started, I don't think I ever had a Zoom meeting. I had used some other platforms, So, I've gotten pretty good at Zoom meetings and they are interesting, they are efficient, but I think we're all tired of them. We're social animals.
The other thing Jackie, that I think is a challenge for us, even though I have a really strong background in engineered blind fastening systems. I learn how to sell a line from making calls with the principals. So obviously Christian and I haven't had a chance to make any calls together.
So that makes it a little difficult because when you watch the principal make a sales call, you learn things that they think are the advantage for them. So, lacking those buddy calls, I call them, it's challenging.
Jackie: Well, I agree with you a hundred percent. That's exactly why I was looking forward to doing this show with him. So, see Christian, you're going to have to get out here and travel with us once we're permitted to travel.
Jackie: I did a survey recently of my customer base and, of all the respondents, six months into this pandemic, I learned that only 73% of my customers are back in the office full time. So that's, 27% are still working remotely and staggered days. And of those 73%, only 52% of them are allowing people in their facilities. So, it's like 36% of my customer base, which adds a challenge. And then you have your restrictions, temperature checks, masks, stand out in the parking lot and scream through a window.
I don't know, it's interesting because here we are six months later, I certainly thought that this would be passed and we'd be able to be more aggressive in getting to understand our product line and the pitch of Goebel. So, Christian, am I saying that correctly? Goebel, I listened to one episode where Brian pronounced it one way you pronounced it another way. I pronounce it Goebel I'm a Clevelander. So, we do things differently, but is there a correct way of pronouncing this?
Christian: It's a German company, so there's the German way of saying it, but here in the States, however you want to say it, is the right way. The way I see it, I call it ‘Goebell’, just because when you emphasize the 'bel' at the end. A lot of people, if you just say Goebel, some people will understand it as ‘Globel’ and we've had that misunderstanding quite a bit.
So, I just try to emphasize it a little bit when I say it, and then also, Goebel then it's G-O-E-B-E-L some people, when you introduce the company, just to make sure, no we're not ‘Globel’, we're not anybody else that you've heard of. We're new, we'd like to earn your business. So that's how I say ‘Goebell’. Some people say Goebel, some people say 'Guble', there are different ways of saying it, but they're all correct.
John: Well, my first entrance into blind fasteners, my first job was for Gesipa. And if you talk about a name that people could butcher, and they still do it, but, one thing I wanted to mention, Jackie, I had my first airline flight last week since February.
Jackie: I've heard flying is quite an experience. Tell me all about it.
John: Well, the first thing that surprised me is when I pulled into the airport at Phoenix, there was over a hundred acres of empty parking spaces. And the parking garage that I normally parked in, it was closed because they didn't need it. So, I had to park in the other garage, but I have to tell you, the airports were obviously easy to get through.
A lot of the retail in the Phoenix Airport was closed. It was closed, but there was a place that I could have some breakfast. The middle seats were empty. The planes were turned around and let's say 40 minutes, not 20 minutes. And when you go inside, they're actually clean. And when I got to Denver, there was a lot of open opportunity in the airport, looked more normal.
The city of Denver and the suburbs, it's fairly open, kind of like here in Arizona. So, I met with some customers. We played golf, we had dinner and it was a good trip. And I think from my point of view, it's kind of like when you get thrown off a horse, because I do know about that. You have to get back on.
And I think now that I've done my first airline trip, I'd have no reservations about doing another one tomorrow. And I actually think for those of us who do fly, we could have some nice, clean, empty planes to fly for a couple of years, which I think most of us would agree before the pandemic flying on an airplane was not a fun experience. The airports weren't fun, the planes weren't fun, they weren't clean. So, I think, if there could be an upside, I think airline travel will become much more enjoyable.
Jackie: You just won't be able to breathe on the plane through your mouth.
John: I kind of gotten used to the mask and actually I have a gal who does some marketing for us and she actually got me a handful of really good high-end masks. And I think if you need to wear a mask, get a good one.
Jackie: Well, I have mixed feelings about masks and good masks, and I'm not going to share that here. Most people know how I'm doing as far as that goes. I agree its different times you have to adjust and learn new ways of doing business. I've been doing a lot of broadcast emails. I've been using social media platforms, conference calls as well.
But on this survey, I did ask my customer base if they would be open to a Skype call or Zoom call. And somebody mentioned earlier that, 90% of my customers said, no, they did not want a Zoom call. I think everybody's getting tired of the Zoom conference calls. And I think you mentioned that earlier, but it's a much more enjoyable to go out and play golf. And I was waiting for you to tell me that you're starting to visit your customers on horseback and, taking them out riding or something.
John: Oh no, we were lucky here in Arizona, golf never shut down. Whereas in California it did shut down for a while. But no, my first trip to California in June, I played golf with customers, I think three days, because it was a nice opportunity to get them out of their office, especially, if they weren't allowing visitors and a lot of lunches, a lot of dinners, a lot of breakfasts out. California has been challenged there because they are opening pretty slowly.
Jackie: I guess it depends on where the customers are. I have customers who are still working from home. One guy told me I could come over and have lunch in his patio on his picnic table. I said, well, you just have to make sure your wife understands that this is what's going on, it's a sales call. We don't want, the neighbors also home from work, spreading rumors. So, it's kind of crazy.
John: The other thing, Jackie. You mentioned the mask, I think most of us and I effectually use the term peddlers. We key off of people's responses and when the person you're talking to is wearing a mask, just looking at their eyes, you don't know if they're smiling, you don't know if they're frowning, the cues are purely verbal, not very much facial recognition.
Jackie: Well, that's true. But half the time, I can't understand people what they're saying with masks on. There've been numerous times where I'm like, what? Huh? Excuse me. Say that again. So, I eagerly anticipating the time when we don't have to do this because I think makes business, a little more difficult. Thankfully, when on a phone call, you don't have to worry about anything.
But just changing the subject here a little bit, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about this Vegas dividend that Eric is talking about recently. And he said, companies are saving money by not attending Vegas and the other shows or events that are happening and they're spending it on marketing. And, I know for sure that my overhead has changed how I structure of how I'm spending money.
I'm using money that I would spend on hotels or gas or whatever for different purposes, sending out marketing materials or giveaway packages and things like that. So, I just wanted to see, what are you doing differently? I know, obviously you said you're playing golf and having breakfast and meals out and stuff like that. But as President of the Fastener Training Institute, I'm sure you've also seen, this whole pandemic play into the role of education. What are you doing differently as far as that goes?
John: Oh, it's been a challenging year for us. We were supposed to have a Fastener Training Week in Cleveland, the week after the Pac-West show or two weeks after. And obviously that shut down and we had to basically cancel all of our live classes.
We are launching again in December, with a Fastener Training Week in Cleveland and Jackie, I will be going to Cleveland the first week in December. Not willingly, but I will be going because your weather the first week in December. Actually, I have to take that back. Most times the weather has been very nice, but because I live in the sunshine, I need sunshine.
Jackie: Well, it's not like the first week of February. So, I think you're going to be okay. And if the NCFA is able to have their Christmas party, you'll be able to join us for that. That's usually the first Thursday or somewhere around that in December. And we were originally going to have it at Top Golf. So, whether or not that's going to come off, we don't know, but hopefully we'll get to be able to do that and go hit some golf balls. So even if you're here in the winter, you'll be hitting golf balls and you'll feel right at home.
John: No. And also, I need to mention that for the Fastener Training Week in December, the generous folks at Solutions Industries will be hosting the class in their new training facility. So, we're pretty excited about that.
Jackie: Oh, that's a gorgeous facility. That's a great space over there. That's a great place to have a training class. That would be great.
John: And, in the meantime we've been doing a lot of web-based education. A lot of people have taken advantage of our online learning library. We've also been fortunate enough to be supported by the industry with a lot of new sponsorships. Because obviously our revenue had been hurt pretty badly by the cancellation of live classes.
And, Jackie, I think in one of my posts, they used to say that from a salesperson's point of view, trade shows are kind of like you love them, or you hate them. I think, next year for the folks who do launch the trade shows, I think there'll be well attended. I think people need the interaction. They want the interaction, and I think there'll be a strong rebound on show attendance.
Jackie: Oh, I agree with you a hundred percent there, actually the NCFA was just able to hold their golf outing. We have our golf outing every September, and it was a very good turnout. And like you said, I think people were just eager. It was like the first event that has happened, I think for a long time in the industry. And it's true. You need to go out, shake hands and pat shoulders and crack jokes and have some fun with each other.
And so, another thing I wanted to talk about and I'm not sure how this is affecting you in your area, but there's this consolidation that seems to be going on right now amongst both distribution base and the supplier base. Distributors are getting merged or whatever, all segmented into one big company.
And, one company here in Ohio that's buying a lot of companies. That's AFC industries. I believe they've acquired 11 different distribution companies. They just announced another one here in Cleveland. And this just seems to be happening with Endries and a lot of the other big guys. What is your perspective on the customer base as it seems to be reducing?
John: In the past I had served on the board of Pac-West and I think most of the regional associations, when you do have consolidations, it hurt you from a membership point of view. On the West coast, we haven't had that many changes.
Endries did acquire All-West up in Seattle and they also acquired another one in the Bay area. So, they've been pretty aggressive, but they're a solid company and they're a big customer but I do think it presents challenges. As being a rep, the large national companies, you'll get an inquiry from a branch in California, and then you'll follow up two weeks later. And the person who gave you the inquiry says well, you know, the person who bought that might be in Texas, or it might be in Atlanta.
So as far as being a rep, it is pretty challenging, but I think on the West Coast, it doesn't sound like it's been quite as active as yours in Cleveland. Christian, how do you see, the marketplace for your products as we enter the first week in October?
Christian: So overall we've seen a steady uptrend. April was our worst month this year. And then we gradually started rebounding from then. Overall, we are at a 14% growth so far this year. So, we are grateful and blessed to be able to see that trend. And we should finish out the year close to last year, if not a little bit ahead. So, we're definitely grateful for that.
Overall, the marketplace in general, and also from what we've heard from our customer base. So, as Jackie mentioned, there are certain larger corporations taking this opportunity to consolidate and buy up different businesses and increase their footprint. But we've also seen a lot of others, customer bases as well, reduce their overhead.
Of course, planning and reducing risk. Manufacturers as well in the space have also reduced their stock inventory. And we've seen a lot more, I guess, quotes that are being issued with production lead times and because they're not stocking the part anymore, we see this as a benefit as well.
We have also looked and lowered our risk as far as inventory levels go. We also see this as an opportunity to gain additional market share when others are reducing their inventory, we maintain ours. And then we're also trying to continue to be competitive with pricing, put a strong focus on quality.
So, every part that comes off our production line goes into our QC lab and it's fully tested to make sure that it meets the industry standards as well as our own standards before it gets passed onto our distribution centers to be sold to our customer base. We have full lot traceability from raw material, the finished product. And we do stand behind that and push that as an additional benefit on top of our customer service.
I'm sure a lot of customers realize that with larger corporations, well you're just an account, you're just purchasing another line item from them. It's not really a personalized customer service experience. We never want to get to that level. We want to grow in size, of course, but we never want to forget about the customer service because the customers at the end of the day are what help the company grow. And they're the most important asset that we have.
So, every single customer in our view is equally important and we treat everybody with the same solid customer service, same amount of respect and everything, no matter the size of the order, you get the same level of customer service. So that's something we really strive for.
John: That was one of the reasons why Beth, Jo and I at Desert Distribution. There are a lot of generic blind fastening system suppliers. A lot of it is low end product or product that is open sourced from a variety of different factories around the world. So, we were glad to join Goebel because of the quality inspection that you guys do.
Jackie: And it's one of the things I pride myself. I've been a rep for a long time. And one of the most important things that I found in being a rep is to represent quality manufacturers. And I do know that, when you have somebody that's going to make sub-par quality product that it's going to affect you and your reputation as a rep.
I've been doing this for over 37 years. And if you, want to have a good reputation and be in the industry for a long time, I pride myself on, representing companies that are high quality ethical, good companies. And, that's what I've found with Goebel. And, I love your slogan, "Quality The First Time," and avoid all the headaches and the hassles of having to deal with that. So, I'm excited about growing the business with you guys.
Christian: We look forward it, and I think we have a great team put together between you and John Wachman and his team as well.
Jackie: So, John, do you have anything else you'd like to add about, moving forward and where we go from here? And, I think I've heard of a lot of companies that are taking the same approach that Goebel is taking and hiring reps. Several companies in the industry have done that and have decided to grow their sales force. As opposed to some companies who feel that they don't see the value of a rep and start putting the pressure on, like, what are you doing for me lately?
And, we're all feeling that pressure. I have been experiencing that. And, it's difficult because you can't get in front of a customer, but you do have to still promote your companies that you sell for. And, I wake up everyday and I come into my office and I do what I do, not from the road, but from the desktop. So, it's a challenge, but that's the world we live in and that's where we're going. Right, John.
John: Yes. And my elevator pitch for independent manufacturer's reps is you've got a fixed cost against your selling expenses so that, when there is a downturn, you're not stuck with overhead. Obviously, you're selling expense is less, but it's pretty much fixed as a percentage of your sales. And, also with manufacturer's reps, you're getting experienced people, rather than if you have to go out and hire a newbie.
There's a period of time that you've got to train folks, they have to learn the product line. They have to learn the industry. So, I think manufacturer's reps are a very cost-effective way of selling products. Our territory is basically the Southwest and the Rocky Mountains.
And I do think that as Christian mentioned, when the downturn first hit, usually what our distributors do is they stop buying inventory and you turn your inventory into cash. That's what they do. The good news for us on the supply base is. You can only do that for 30 or 60 days. Eventually you've got to resupply. So, I think we are on the upside of the downturn. And I think there's a lot of opportunities for suppliers. I think there's a lot of opportunities to grow, Goebel
Jackie: I've heard a lot of companies say that the amount of business is increasing, the activity is increasing. The quotes are increasing and they're actually turning into orders, which is good. I think for awhile there was, a lot of, well, I want to keep my job. So, let me just see if I could get better pricing on this. As you were, people were using up their inventory and not wanting to buy things.
And, it's a good time when you're a rep to go in the door with a new product and say, Hey, think of us as you're researching new companies to, add to your supply base or, maybe replace somebody with somebody that hasn't performed as well in the past. So, I think you're right. I think a lot of people used up some inventory and now they're looking to, start replenishing and they're getting busy. And, it's good. Hopefully by the first of the year, we'll be back to, some sort of normal selling format. I don't know.
Christian: I do think next year will be a continued uptrend. And I think things will get back to a level of somewhat normal. I think this year in general, with everything that's going on has put everybody a little bit waiting to see what will happen before they pull the trigger on certain projects. And I'm sure OEM's are feeling the same.
John: Yes. And based on my experience, traveling to Denver last week, I would encourage people to take that first airline flight, go visit their customer.
Jackie: Amen. I agree to that. Now we just need customers to allow us to come and see them.
John: I think it's getting better, but it's taken a lot longer than any of us would have liked.
Jackie: Or imagined that it would have been. I figured month, two months, maybe three, now we're going into fourth quarter. It's amazing. Well, thanks guys. I appreciate you joining me on the episode today. And of course, I was speaking with John Wachman, John "Cowboy" Wachman of Desert Distribution out there in Phoenix, Arizona and Christian Reich of Goebel Fasteners down in Houston, Texas. Let's move forward and have a great end of the year.
Christian: Thanks for having us. It was nice speaking with you all.
John: Thanks, Jackie. It's always nice to be part of Fully Threaded Radio.
Goebel Fasteners presents the Go-Lock Structural Interlocking Blind Rivet. Available in aluminium steel and stainless steel with diameters 3/16th of an inch, 1/4 of an inch and 3/8th of an inch. The Go-Lock is one of the most versatile and common style of structural rivets on the market today. Pad with the AirPower 3 Pneumatic tool.
This combination proves efficiently robust for truck and trailer applications, where the need for heavy duty fasteners is required with its high strength features. It is clear why the Go-Lock is the best performing structural blind rivets in the market today. Goebel Fasteners, "Quality The First Time'. Goebelfasteners.com.
Since 1905 Buckeye Fasteners and the Ohio Nut and Bolt Company have been supplying the world with high quality fasteners. Our standard product lines include weld fasteners, graded weld screws, leg levelers, self-clinching hardware, clevis pins, rivet nuts and various other fastener lines allowing us to support virtually all types of industries. Buckeyefasteners.com. Buckeye Fasteners, "More Than Just Weld".
At Würth, "Status Quo Isn't An Option". Würth is a global supply chain solutions provider of fasteners, MRO and safety products. Along with value added services like kitting and assembly, 3D printing and engineering assistance. Find out what Würth can do for you at wurthindustry.com.
J Radel: Hi, this is John Radel from Solution Industries and you are listening to Fully Threaded Radio.
Eric: Brian and Eric back with you. Shadow boxing the apocalypse selling a few fasteners.
Brian: Or making it possible for other people to sell a few fasteners.
Eric: Well, we do what we can. I'll tell you speaking to people who sell fasteners for a living, it was good they listened to Jackie and John and Christian. Sort through some of the issues that are hitting them and hope you all enjoyed it out there too folks.
Brian: Actually, not even directly, we're a little bit indirectly connected to all that.
Eric: Especially you, you've always got your head down. You're dealing with this swirl of fastener data all the time. It's a totally different world to be in.
Brian: You're right. But it's really good to actually listen to people who are really in what is the mainstream part of the business, selling fasteners. That's how these companies will have to run.
Eric: A hundred percent. Had the chance to see another few pros in action recently. When the Olander Company had their first Heli-Coil installation webinar, and John Butler led up a team had Anne and Carl with him. They did a very respectable job of handling that. And I guess they had some solid turnout as well. Congratulations Team Olander.
Eric: But getting back to the last segment. I could just listen to Jackie's voice all day. It's just soothing to me.
Brian: You'll rather your past. Okay. Sorry, Jackie.
Eric: I guess I am, but I'd like to thank Jackie "Kind of a Big Deal" Ventura for hosting that one.
Eric: And also, to "Cowboy" John Wachman and Christian Reich of Goebel Fasteners. Mike Hockett led everything off today. He's the managing editor, Industrial Distribution Magazine. Frank "Balboa" DeVito joined Mike McNulty and the Fastener News Report. Well done gentlemen and Carmen Vertullo, Fastener Training Minute taught us all about thread stick-out, which I never thought I would know about, but now I do. It's a great feeling.
Brian: To learn something brand new.
Eric: The title sponsors of Fully Threaded Radio are Stelfast, For Service You Deserve and People You Trust". It's Stelfast.
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Goebel Fasteners, "Quality The First Time".
Fully Threaded is also sponsored by Buckeye Fasteners, BTM manufacturing, Eurolink Fastener Supply Service, Fastener Technology International, INxSQL Software, ND Industries, Parker Fasteners, Solution Industries, Volt Industrial Plastics and Würth Industry North America.
We feel very fortunate and honored to have all of these sponsors on board. Please reach out to them, let them know you appreciate it too. Take a moment to let us know what you think of the podcast while you're at it. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to hearing your comments.
You know, Bri, this is something that we refer to all the time on the podcast, the Amazon effect, and don't shoot the messenger folks. But I just saw an ad from happens to be Distribution One. And they're now pitching for Amazon. So, they're making it possible for distributors to connect directly through their platform. And we're no shill for either one of those companies, but let's face it. It's out there. And, we've got to keep our eyes on what's going down.
Eric: Have you noticed Bri, that in the last several months, since everything fell off a cliff that Amazon service is slowing down? Has that been your experience?
Brian: In one or two cases, but in general I am a very happy user of Amazon, but I have had some things that suddenly would take like two weeks to be delivered. That seems sort of weird.
Eric: Right. Well, the way it went was in the early days, Amazon started taking over the world, you used to get this stuff and it'd be two, three days and you're really happy. And then they really started building out. And depending on where you were located, you could get deliveries in like sometimes 12 hours. I heard some stories where it was even faster than that. And then it turned into a situation where you just really expected it to be that way.
Eric: The service is just so good. And with the crush of ordering, that's been going on since people have been locked in their homes, ordering online, I guess the volumes going through the roof. And the last few orders that I've made, I'm not complaining about it, but I have noticed that, put it this way. They're more inconsistent.
Brian: Well, they're still good in that, you're actually going to get whatever you've ordered and paid for. Unlike me and one of my recent attempts to try and buy some obscure part for my car and what I found. The charge was not fraudulent and that I didn't get ripped off.
However, the company that was selling this unusual and rather rare part was really a shell complete fraud company, which I didn't find until later. So, the whole business model was to stay online, take orders for two weeks and then completely shut the company down.
Eric: Now this is completely unrelated to Amazon, right?
Brian: This is unrelated to Amazon. So, this is one of the good things about Amazon. You don't get this problem. I did. So, I finally located the servers somewhere in the middle of a Lake in Nevada. That's where it shows up, but it actually is in another continent. It was very, very carefully. Everything was hidden.
Eric: So how much did you get nicked for?
Brian: I got nicked for, $80 sort of substantial. Nothing you can do. The email address of customer service goes to another company in China that has no idea what this is and says, that they have no idea who this company is. So, it's sort of the comfort in Amazon that you don't get that. Okay.
Eric: Well, I reluctantly agree with you. Again, I'm not shilling for Amazon, but it just occurred to me that with the service becoming less dependable, I'll say. You notice that you become dependent on it. I don't know. I guess that's what scares me a little bit.
Brian: Well, it sounds like we need to get in Ella back. Okay. Because to interview them and tell us what's really going on in that department.
Eric: Well, good idea. When last we talked with Ian, he was supposed to hook up with Kirk Zehnder and they were going to see what they could do about getting some of those services marketed online. And I wonder how that wave is progressing. Good idea, Bri, I'm going to reach out. But one thing I do know is that next episode we're going to do a little supplemental episode.
We're going to sneak that in because we have big news from our friend Marc Strandquist. He just got a bump up over there at Optimas. That news just broke. But beyond that, Optimas recently announced a major overhaul of their key processes. He's going to drop in and tell us a little bit about that. We'll pad the show with a little something else too. Anyway, don't miss that one. Keep your eyes open for it folks.
Eric: And we appreciate that you were here for this one.
Eric: But we're going to put it in the can. Thanks so much for clicking in.
Brian: It's over. Well for you. I still have to go try and find those bloody car parts.
Eric: Alright. Well, there's another cliff-hanger for you folks. For Brian Musker, this is Eric Dudas. Get out there, sell some screws and we'll talk to you next time.
Brian: Until next time folks.
Fully Threaded Radio is a production of Fasteners Clearing House. Music provided by AudionautiX.