Voice of FCH Sourcing Network
Fully Threaded Radio
Jan. 21, 2021

Episode #160 - Strange But Good

Episode #160 - Strange But Good

The fastener industry reports booming business, while the world at large seems poised for something else. What gives? Tough guys Jake “Valdez” Davis of BTM Manufacturing and John "Cool Hand" Butler of the Olander Company attempt to solve this riddle as they take on the obstacle course that is the screw biz (1:36:35). Case in point: Logistics expert, Chris Donnell of Scanwell, describes the outlook for inbound sea and air shipments, as importers contend with ongoing massive disruptions (22:08). Eurolink Fastener Supply Service president, Craig Penland, has the pedal to the metal, as he offers his take on air cargo from Europe (50:10). On the Fastener News Report, industry newsman Mike McNulty welcomes Baird analyst David Manthey to ponder the apparent departure from reality suggested by the latest red hot FDI reading (1:00:14). With impeccable timing and irony, Carmen Vertullo discusses nuts, on the latest Fastener Training Minute (1:27:26). Seeing the chair against the wall, Brian and Eric decide to keep things even more predominantly fastener related than usual. Run time: 02:35:22



Fully Threaded Radio Podcast – FCH Sourcing Network

Topic:       Episode # 160 – Strange But Good

Date:         January 21, 2021

Hosts:       Eric Dudas

                  Brian Musker

Duration: 2:35:22Minutes


Eric:               It's Fully Threaded Radio voice of the FCH Sourcing Network. Yes, it's the beginning of another year of online on-demand for dominantly fastener related talk radio. So, if you buy, sell, manufacture or import industrial fasteners, or if you're even remotely connected to someone who is, well, this is the podcast for you.

                        And we're so glad you clicked in, Hey, everybody, Eric Dudas here. And the co-host of Fully Threaded is with me as well from the FTR West Studios in the heart of fastener country. It's Brian Musker welcome to the new podcast season Bri.

Brian:            The chair is against the wall. Really? How about the sky is red?

Eric:               Well, take your pick because by some measures we're broadcasting today from behind enemy lines. There's a whole bolo-wax connected to that one, how Bri, but don't think we'll get too much farther into it. Aside from giving a nod to some of the realities all around us before we get into some of the real head-scratching questioning of reality and today's episode, because the theme is sort of, why is the fastener industry doing so well when you look around the world?

Brian:            It's falling apart.

Eric:               Yeah, kind of.

Brian:            Right.

Eric:               Got any theories on that?

Brian:            No, I'm sort of a little bit glad it is that way. Okay. But nothing adds up at the moment, quite.

Eric:               Well, it's Episode 160 everybody we're publishing this time on January 21st, 2021, which is a weird day in and of itself.

Brian:            Right. 21/21.

Eric:               In the feature segment today, we have a broad reaching chat with Jake "Valdez" Davis of BTM Manufacturing and "Coolhand" John Butler of the OLander Company. We really take that topic out and dance it around. And I don't think we come up with a much better conclusion than you just presented there, Bri.

Brian:            Maybe, there isn't a better conclusion. Okay.

Eric:               Well, we give it a good try. And in the process, we have a lot of fun and it's a great conversation. I think you'll enjoy it folks. Great way to kick off the new podcast season. We'll get things started with the conversation with Chris Donnell of Scanwell Logistics. He's going to get right to the heart of the matter as he presents the latest with what's going on with the logistics situation that's causing so much disruption in the supply chain.

                        We're also joined by Craig Penland of Eurolink Fastener Supply Service. He had a couple of things to say as a follow on to Chris Donnell segment. And as everybody knows, Eurolink is bringing a ton of material in from Europe via airline transport. So, if you're playing in that niche, you'll find this piece interesting.

                        On the Fastener News Report, Mike McNulty is joined by Baird Analyst, Dave Manthey. Mike and Dave, get out over their skis as Dave has the key for distributors in enduring the supply chain and material pricing pressures. That don't really seem to be impacting the FDI, Bri surprising numbers there again, right?

Brian:            Oh yes. This very strange. Okay. Very good. But just strange.

Eric:               Thus, giving rise to all of this head scratching going on. And of course, Carmen Vertullo has the Fastener Training Minute. You're going to learn a little bit about nuts on this one folk, which is perfect for a world gone nuts. Carmen will elucidate.

Brian:            Right. It's a very nutty Fastener Training Minute actually.

Eric:               You can go wild with that one, but instead, why don't you go wild for our sponsors, Bri, because it's going to be a great year. I think they're all signed on again and then some what's going on?

Brian:            Yes. Well, we look forward to a great year with all our sponsors. The title sponsors of Fully Threaded Radio are 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, BTM Manufacturing, Eurolink Fastener Supply service, INxSQL Software, ND Industries, Parker Fasteners, 3Q, Inc, Volt Industrial Plastics, Würth Industry North America and Solution Industries, 'Home of Solution Man'.

                        So, thanks to all of you. We say it all the time, but it's actually true. All our sponsors make this possible. So, appreciate it. Make sure if you have to do business with anyone in the fastener world, you think of our sponsors first.

Eric:               And let me emphasize what you said there, Bri, because the sponsors of Fully Threaded Radio are really the ones who make this possible in so many ways and that doesn't just include the podcast, but it's also the Fastener Distributor Index. And to a certain extent, the FCH Sourcing Network, as we expand the network, you would never believe what it takes to keep these servers running the bandwidth and so forth.

                        Some of the expansion things we've got going on and this group of sponsors is making it all happen. You might also have noticed that there's a new name in that list. Actually, it's a name that longtime Fully Threaded listeners will remember because 3Q, Inc is back in the fold, Bri.

Brian:            Yeah. I remember, I remember one year. It was years ago on a flight back from Las Vegas, after the Las Vegas show, I ended up sitting next to Mark Maddelein and we spent 4 1/2 hours or 4 hours on the plane talking to each other. And it was a good time. It was very good, he's a good guy. So is 3Q.

Eric:               3Q, Inc., actually the birthplace of Fully Threaded Radio too is Fayette Hazard, that's Naperville, Illinois. Mark's a long time MW Fayette supporter and member. Now I could tell you this. I tried to get him to make a cameo appearance on today's episode, being a returning sponsor and all. All of our sponsors are always welcome to come and talk with us. He is not the kind of guy who jumps onto a podcast though, Bri.

Brian:            Yeah. I remember that from the previous time.

Eric:               He's a great guy to sit down and have an Old Rusty with, and he'll tell you some really interesting things, but he is just not the kind of guy who likes podcasting. So, we'll be bringing you information from 3Q as the podcast season unfolds and one way or another, we'll get something out there for 3Q.

                        One thing, if you get to 3q-inc.com, you'll notice right off the bat that there's some great information about USA made fasteners. And we'll tell you some more about that, but 3q-inc.com good place to get started. Familiarizing yourself, or reacquainting yourself with 3Q, Inc. Glad to have you back on-board Mark.

Brian:            Yes.

Eric:               Well, it's a content dense episode again, Bri to kick off the season. And just before we cut into that, I want to let you know that we ended episode 159. We were talking about this great conjunction, the stars aligning.

Brian:            Or the planets.

Eric:               Yeah. More, accurately right. Not much of an astronomer actually, but fortunately we had access to an amateur telescope with an 8-inch mirror out there in the desert and we missed the first night of it because it was just socked in over there. But the second night we had really good viewing circumstances and I tell you; I saw this thing. I was blown away.

Brian:            Right. Well, you're lucky. And I don't have access to anything like that, which is a pity. But if you have decent telescope, it makes it really staggering. Just look at these planets and realize, we're just little things wandering around in space with them.

Eric:               I wasn't really, at first that excited to look at this. It's a curiosity, but once I saw it, I was just intrigued and I thought a lot about it. What we saw was Jupiter with four moons surrounding it, two on either side in a very symmetrical pattern. And then above that was Saturn. And unlike what you always imagined; the rings of Saturn were completely vertical. You always think about it as horizontal with maybe a slight angle.

Brian:            That's how they stick them on pictures and books because that's how people expect it.

Eric:               And although they weren't as close, I guess it's the first day during the height of it, it was amazing. It was impressive. And so, as 2021 has begun here and the alternate reality feeling that I have and I think a lot of people have and the weird vibe that it has so far. I think this alignment of the planets, maybe, I don't know. Maybe there's something to this whole age of Aquarius thing.

Brian:            Right. Very prophetic, I think. Yes. Well, we had a little bit crappy, but I managed to get the neighbors over to show them they couldn't find it for a start. So, by then it was like quarter to six. It was very low in the horizon over here, but it was pretty impressive.

Eric:               And if you miss that particular conjunction, don't worry. There's another one coming up on March 15th, 2080.

Brian:            You only got to wait another 60 years. Okay. But it won't be quite as good.

Eric:               Right. That'll be about the time we have another Republican in the presidential office.

Brian:            Yeah.

Eric:               You won't have to wait that long folks for some great fastener podcasting either because we're going to play a couple of announcements from the fine sponsors previously noted and we'll be back. Sure, do appreciate you being with us for another--

Brian:            ---predominantly fastener related podcast.

Eric:               You got it. It's fully threaded.


They're like more cow bell for the fastener industry, Brian and Eric, Fully Threaded Radio.

                        At Brighton-Best, we continue to expand our wide range of products, including stainless steel and metric fasteners. Our family of brands include preferred US Anchor and Ironclad Performance Wear. BBI has been a trusted partner since 1925. With award-winning hand tools, gloves and dry wall screws. BBI is the largest distributor of fasteners in the USA, 'Tested, Tried and True'. We are Brighton-Best. To learn more about Brighton-Best visit brightonbest.com.

                        Goebel Fasteners presents the Go-Lock structural interlocking blind rivet available in aluminum 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 paired 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.

                        Stelfast customers say it all. 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 jumped on it right away. Their pricing 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.

                        'For Service You Deserve. And People You Trust', it's Stelfast.

                        Hey, this is Matthew Boyd, forging the future at Parker Fasteners at Buckeye Arizona. And you're listening to Brian and Eric on Fully Threaded Radio.

Eric:               Brian and Eric back with you. Fully Threaded Radio. More predominantly fastener related than ever before.

Brian:            So why are we going to start there? What's that for?

Eric:               Well dangerous times, Bri. Dangerous times.

Brian:            Yeah. Right. Okay.

Eric:               We're just going to stick to the fasteners, you know, mostly, that's the plan.

Brian:            Okay.

Eric:               That's the plan. Tell you what not dangerous though, folks. And that is the FCH Sourcing Network. Get out there anytime you need to find a hard to locate fastener item, or if your stuff is stuck out there on the water, like one of the ports. That happening to anyone? Get out to fastenersclearinghouse.com. That's fasteners with an 'S'. The 'S' is for safe, very safe, not dangerous at all, it's safe fastenersclearing house.com. FCH Sourcing Network.

                        And another good move would be to get yourself listed on the FCH distributors directory. Now this is a new feature we've been working on and its time has come. All FCH members are automatically enrolled in this. Although we will be asking you to verify and update any of your information. But we're also using it to make an offer to all distributors out there. Who've been toying with the idea of jumping on to FCH, but still haven't pulled the trigger.

                        So, with the new directory level membership for 89 bucks a year, you can get yourself listed, plus get a hundred-line items up onto the FCH Sourcing Network, which is just dipping your toe in the pond, but a lot better than not being out on the most important fastener network of its kind anywhere.

                        So that's the FCH distributors directory. We're putting the finishing touches on it right now, but you're not going to want to miss it. Hey, for 89 bucks a year, where are you going to get a value like that anywhere in the fastener game, Bri?

Brian:            We've had it under development for a fair while it would be true to say. And there's different ways that you can search through fastener companies by in-market. So, you can look for companies in the, HVAC sector or manufacturing or whatever they want, healthcare or by what the company specialize in or just alphabetically.

Eric:               This thing is going to plug into a few other systems as we go, but this is a first step. It's a no brainer fasteners clearinghouse.com. Later in the podcast, "Coolhand" John Butler will be with us, but he shot me an email a few days ago. Little too late to act on this one, Bri, but I thought I would mention it because it is kind of interesting.

                        The Pacific West Fastener Association put out a call for help. It turns out they've been trying to patent the term "Fastener Training Week". This forwarded email begins at the request of FTI, the Pac-West board approved applying to the US Patent and Trademark Office for the trademark "Fastener Training Week". I might've misspoken. It might be a trademark, not a patent. Anyway, the USPTO responded saying that the phrase isn't eligible, but it turns out legal counsel believes that with the submission of further information, the application will be approved.

                        So, they requested that anyone who could, would help them out, I guess, establishing the validity of that phrase, "Fastener Training Week" should have asked us. We've been talking about it for how many episodes, Bri?

Brian:            I know.

Eric:               Anyway, the deadline for this has come and gone. And, Mark Alcorn is the attorney handling this. You remember all the way back to a previous fastener crisis. What it was the countervailing duties issue he was in on that remember years ago?

Brian:            The name seems familiar. Okay.

Eric:               It was with the threaded rod situation, like 10, 12 years back anyway, same guy.

Brian:            Good. Okay. At least he knows something about the industry.

Eric:               Well, we'll keep everyone posted on that. Thanks for forwarding it, John.

Brian:            And also, another thing just about Fasteners Clearing House, probably over the weekend or within next week. We're going to introduce a new updated version of our search page. Just for those of you that love things the way they were. It's not as if we're not paying attention to you. The reality is that Google has really started coming down hard on pages that don't work on a phone properly.

                        And our site, our old search page, which has served up millions and millions of searches every time it does, google hates it. Okay. So, we have to try and make a slightly different version of it. We've tried to keep it working pretty much the same way as it was. A few extra little bells and whistles on it. But basically, if you're used to the old one, you should be able to handle the new one pretty easily. Okay.

Eric:               We'll spend some time on that during the next episode, but the new search page, man, you and the team have been putting in tons of work on that. It's going to work very well on a phone and it'll keep the search engines happier.

Brian:            Yes.

Eric:               So, it's good for everybody, Chris Donnell from Scanwell, will be up in a moment, but I've got one other news item here that some folks might find useful. And this one comes from the NFDA recall the executive sales and planning sessions, otherwise known as ESPS. They got canceled. Well, they've revamped the whole thing. And it's happening now virtually online, March 3rd through the 4th.

                        And they've got a pretty interesting looking lineup for this over the course of two days, I guess, sort of like a virtual conference. And this is so new, at least as we're recording this, that it's not even on the website yet. I've got it off of an email that they blast it out.

                        Headline speaker is recent Hall of Fame, inductee, Tim O'Keefe of G.L. Huyett and Alex Chausovsky from ITR economics will be doing his thing during this conference. So, you always get your money's worth out of him. Now as if all that wasn't great enough, everybody I'll be hosting a panel discussion featuring Rich Megliola from Vertex Distribution, Marc Strandquist from Optimas and Melissa Patel from Field Fastener. It looks like they're asking us to basically cover the same stuff. That is the theme of today's episode Bri. So, we're not the only ones noticing all of this strangeness.

Brian:            The alternate universe we're living in.

Eric:               Yes. Strange but good. We're calling it. Anyway, it'll be good to have you out there, folks for this NFDA event, March 3rd and 4th. And of course, the namesake piece of all of this is the ESPS sessions themselves, which are a great chance to meet one-on-one with a whole bunch of vendors. And they line themselves up, make themselves available.

                        You basically log in for a slot to speak to them and you can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, real high bandwidth communication. I think out of all the different conference ideas, this is the one that probably lends itself best to the virtual format, even though let's face it, it's always best to press the flesh in these cases. This is pretty good.

Brian:            And usually these are sitting down with these people. I have a cup of coffee and sit and discuss whatever issues you need to bring up and get resolved. So, it's a very, really, really good environment to do this. So, this time you'd have to have the coffee virtually.

Eric:               I think people are used to that by now, Bri. A lot of it going on. Sadly, but you're right.

Brian:            Yes.

Eric:               The NFDA ESPS sessions get out to their website. I'm not sure what their policy is on this one for non-NFDA members, but I'm guessing that they have a pretty good open-door policy. So, check it out. And with that, let's jump into this conversation. I recorded with Chris Donnell of Scanwell Logistics. We have the FDI report coming up later in the podcast.

                        And of course, the big news continues to be the tumultuous situation with the supply chain. And of course, inbound shipments from the Pacific Rim. Chris Donnell is with Scanwell Logistics. He's been in this game a long time and he hasn't seen things like this or this way ever, really. Chris, thanks for hopping on with us.

Chris:            Thank you.

Eric:               How long have you been in this game?

Chris:            This will be my 20th year.

Eric:               So, you've seen a lot. And I read your January newsletter, of course we mentioned the December issue on the last episode of Fully Threaded and said, we have to get Chris on here. Because you're predicting more of the same. What are you seeing?

Chris:            It's actually interesting that we're having this conversation today because I did get some good news, for the importers. Most of the carriers have, relaxed, a little bit on their stance of implementing a new general rate increases as of January 15th. So, they seem to be pushing that back to the 31st of January.

                        Whether they facilitate that on the 31st or not will remain to be seen, but this is the second month in a row where they have kind of pushed that rate back. As a downer though, we did get some news overnights that the preferred services or what they're calling their preferred services to ensure that you're at least getting a booking. They are increasing that rate. And that rate went from roughly around $1,900 to about 3,000. So that all depends on which carrier you're looking at.

                        So, some good news and bad news, but as you mentioned, I've been doing this for 20 years and even during the port strikes and the work stoppages that have occurred in the past 20 years, I've never seen anything quite like this.

Eric:               Now, if we could rewind for a second let's step back and give the big picture on what is contributing to all of this congestion. We've got equipment shortages, we've got the Chinese Lunar New Year, we've got a variety of things happening. Can you summarize that for us? And then we'll take a look really at some of the point-by-point topics you've got here in the latest issue of your newsletter.

Chris:            Certainly. I think you have to look back on actually what kind of caused this. Obviously, the pandemic, countries that were being sheltered, working from home. Once that manufacturing came online, the carriers took full advantage of the situation, and continued with their game plan of utilizing false or blank sailings from the Far East.

                        And this contributed heavily to the bottleneck of bookings or cargo sitting at the ports in the Far East. And this is a practice that they're still doing throughout today to ensure you're maximizing the space capacity in their strains. Now this is not an isolated issue. From a North America standpoint, this is an issue that is affecting the world.

                        Anything coming out of the Far East, Southeast Asia, Indian subcontinent they're massive delays. Poor congestion, lack of equipment, berths going into the ports of the West Coast and East Coast, or anywhere from 7 to 14 days in delay. Just as an example.

                        As of today, there's almost 40 vessels that are just parked outside of the Port of Los Angeles, waiting to get space to berth. So, it's a situation that's going to be around for a while and importers need to be prepared. And that's really the reason behind my newsletters is I don't like to preach gloom and doom. I really don't like to do that, but as long as my clients and the people that I deal with on a regular basis are well-educated of what's happening in the world, the better they are.

                        And, that's why I do this newsletter. But the pandemic certainly has had, and will continue to have an impact on this Chinese New Year, which, is starting mid-February. That will have an impact. Chinese New Year, every year, has an impact in terms of shipping, because most of the Far East shuts down for a week to 10 days. So, there's a lot of things right now that are contributing to what's happening to the world.

Eric:               Now you're offering some strategies for importers to offset some of this hardship. And one of them is these Non-Operable Reefer containers that you're suggesting people look into. And for a lot of Fully Threaded listeners, this probably won't be something that they're directly going to be doing, but their upstream partners probably will. And it helps if everybody has an idea of what this is. Could you explain this idea that you're offering, a little more detail?

Chris:            Certainly, obviously, in other words a non-operating reefer is essentially utilizing a 40-foot reefer container, to move cargo. Those seem to be in abundance in the Far East. And a lot of carriers now are subsidizing those, versus utilizing a standard 40-foot or a 40-foot-high cube. Again, because of their availability, the cost is substantially less than what a standard 40- or 40-foot-high cube would be. Plus, they're in less demand.

                        So, you're able to get one relatively quickly. The industry that I primarily deal with, which is fasteners, nuts and bolts and tools. The drawback to using NOR is the weight of a NOR actually is higher than what a standard 40- foot container is. So, you really have to watch what you’re loading and how your maximum weight capabilities are in that container.

                        But the cost savings could be anywhere from a 1,000 to $3,000 per container, depending on how you're shipping it. This is something you could reach out to your current provider, your service provider and ask, "Have you looked at NORs? It's something that we could take advantage of." Again, you don't have to be, volume as cargo to utilize these, you could use these, with your heavier dense cargo.

                        You just have to be careful of how you're loading them. And if your service provider is what they should be, that shouldn't be an issue as you're working with them to make sure that the weights are within DOT standards.

                        Another thing with the NORs is because of their availability. Again, the way they're stacked is they typically are stacked, higher up on the vessel. So, you have those capabilities of getting cargo off quicker and moving quicker. So again, that's just one option that you can utilize.

                        Another option is, a lot of the ocean carriers right now are throwing around this term called premium service or their preferred service. And the, problem coming with that service is a substantial surcharge, which could be anywhere from 1900 to $3,000.

                        The problem with that is premium service doesn't mean that you're automatically sure to get space on a particular vessel. It's just, you get pulled to the top of what's available. So, you have to take your chances. What I do with my clients is I don't take that as my first response. I'll always go back overseas and fight to try and get that space without having to utilize the premium service surcharge.

                        At this time, the forwarders and logistics companies out there that are doing this, it's a constant siege every day. And if you just give in, obviously you're not doing justice to your clients, and there's a lot of money changing hands. We had a vessel that opened up last Sunday and the carriers contacted us and said, "We'll move this. We have eight slots available that the bookings never happened. If you want it the cost is $7,000 per slot."

                        Well, in normal times that costs would be around 2,500 to $3,000. So, you can see the, the amount of increases that have happened over the past nine months. It's crazy. And so not fighting, the carriers to circumvent that premium service surcharge you're not doing your customers any justice.

Eric:               I love that. So, Chris Donnell, Scanwell Logistics. He doesn't just know this business folks, but he's also fighting for his customers.

Chris:            You have to, you have to.

Eric:               Way to go, man. So then to put a cap on that part of our conversation, the NOR containers seem to be a strategy for just looking really at costs. It's not going to buy you any time back. So, you still have to do some padding in your delivery, figuring what are you suggesting to people right now? I know that's a really hard question to answer, but what's the conventional wisdom?

Chris:            In reality, and NOR right now is typically the same cost as a 40-foot container during normal times. So, you should be able to get an NOR coming to Chicago from Shanghai as an example for around $4,000. Whereas, a typical container was your premium services. You're talking close to 7,000. So again, there's a substantial cost savings there.

                        This is something that we've been doing for the past few months. As word gets out, obviously these containers are going to dry up. But, at the same time take advantage of it because the carriers want those containers here in the United States versus sitting over in Asia. So, you, as an importer should be pushing your service provider to at least look into the situation.

Eric:               Okay. And I think I probably phrased that question poorly, but the NORs again, they seem to be a strategy for keeping costs under control, but in terms of timing, they're not going to help you. So, what's the conventional wisdom on padding, your timing for delivery as we go forward through this? As best as you can guess right now.

Chris:            Well, anyone that's importing right now should have anywhere from a seven to a three-week window, or excess, added to their supply chain. Right now, it's taking anywhere from seven to 14 days for vessels, just even berth. Okay. In places like, Los Angeles, New York, the whole East Coast right now, space is almost unheard of.

                        That alone is a two-week window. And if you look at what's happening overseas and that's anywhere from, a three-day to a 14-day window. So, what used to take 22 days is now taking 44 days.

Eric:               Wow. I can see why this is affecting things so dramatically.

Chris:            Just kind of a status throughout there's 40% of all ocean containers are now sitting in five of our top largest brick and mortar companies. So, companies like Walmart, and the others are now holding on to 40% of the ocean containers, utilizing them as storage. And the ripple effect obviously, you have chassies that have to be on these containers, so it's drying up the chassis pools.

                        And again, one ripple over in China, has a cascading effect on every other service within the supply chain. So, from, an intermodal standpoint to a drainage standpoint, it all affects that. And unfortunately, is the importer has to face the music. And this is what's happening.

Eric:               Right. Now, another ripple effect from all of this, as you say, is the growing trend of these carriers to move cargo inland. So that's affecting things downstream and exactly how does that work though? What aspect of this is causing this?

Chris:            Some carriers have announced that they want to relinquish any way of doing any type of IPI, which is your, Interportal interchange. Cargo meaning, they want to bring everything just to the port and that's where their responsibility lies. And they want to turn that over to the importer, to either get that container from we'll use Chicago's situated. It's now the importers responsibility to get that container from Seattle as an example to, to Chicago.

                        And there's a whole litany of issues with that, from, a filing AMS standpoint and ISF. Just simply because they're trying to turn these equipment as quickly as possible, and this was one way that they thought that could potentially benefit that.

                        And the problem with that is it raises all sorts of issues with, obviously, you take a container from a port and you deliver the cargo. You've got to bring that container back to that port. Okay. Unless you file with the carrier to head that container, at a different location. But there's always costs associated to that.

                        Or do you transload that cargo at the Port of Los Angeles or Seattle, and put it into a 53-foot trailer then route that trailer into a rail car for that matter, and you route that ship into Chicago, there's additional cost associated with that. And again, it's for the importer. It's just another means of what's next? Is this something that's actually taking effect?

                        It is, or several carriers are trying this, and their way of looking at this is call 'force majeure', which base in critical situations where their first port of entry, they can upload cargo and declare force majeure. And it's now the importer's responsibility. We're seeing it now. So, it will affect obviously the importer that this happens to and raise costs exponentially.

                        You look at the average rail costs right now, they're, peak season mode. And you've got rail costs and trucking costs, in excess of $5,000 just from Seattle to Chicago. So that's a lot to add to already, crippling ocean costs.

Eric:               And we're seeing feedback from fastener distributors that the prices are making it to them. And, so this is having tangible impacts out there. Well, you mentioned that you're based in the Chicago office of Scanwell, it's a good moment to point out that Scanwell got 70 owned and operated offices in more than 30 countries, more than 300 agents worldwide. So, you got pretty good coverage.

Chris:            We do.

Eric:               Let's touch on the air freight situation a little bit. I got to tell you, I shared your information with a distributor friend of mine, and he pulled back a little bit. He says, "Eric, we got to put a fine point on what you're describing here, because we don't want to scare fastener distributors away thinking that everything is getting out of hand."

                        Because from his perspective, he saw maybe an 8% hike at the beginning of the year in terms of what he's importing from Europe. So, let's put a finer point on what you're describing in your newsletter, because it's ugly too.

Chris:            It has been ugly. In this kind of roll back here where, it's the beginning of this pandemic when they eliminated, any flights in and out of China or going to China from the United States. There were still carriers that had ability to move cargo because you simply can't cut off a country.

                        And when you saw air rates skyrocket to 16, $17 a kilo for the Far East, okay. And putting things in perspective this time of year, last year, we were at the, 2 1/2 to $3 per kilo rate, from Shanghai, Hong Kong, your main hubs throughout the Pacific Rim. And, today we're anywhere from 7 to $13 per kilo, per hub, depending on where you're importing from out of the Pacific Rim of Southeast Asia or India. As far as, Europe stands rates coming out of Europe are still high concerning where we were a year ago.

                        But they're nowhere near what we're looking at in terms of the Far East. Right now, I did just this morning, get a notice. I'll pull this up real quick regarding air freight out of Shanghai, they did as of effective January 9th, the going rates, going out of Shanghai right now. Okay. Put things in perspective where we were a year ago, again, 2 1/2 to $3. We double that right now and, going in right before Christmas, we were roughly around $10 per kilos.     

                        So, there was a huge rush before Christmas. And there will be a rush before Chinese New Year. These rates will certainly, go up, exponentially from where they are today. And then once the vaccine for the pandemic comes, it is readily available for shipping and distribution. That's going to eat up a tremendous amount of space worldwide.

Eric:               Yes. We were talking about that a little bit before we started recording and to put a finer point on that piece of the conversation. It looks like the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine are going to be produced here in the US, but it's still going to have an impact worldwide because it's just going to clog everything up. Is that the way you're seeing it?

Chris:            We're still going to have to distribute that to countries around the globe. All that product that's being manufactured here. It's not just staying here, so that's going to eat up a lot of space on the export basis. But yeah, that will have a negative impact on the air freight market.

                        Same thing goes whether you're buying it from China or from European manufacturers, you're going to have that situation. And there's of skepticism when it comes to exactly, how dramatic that impact is going to be. And again, we're looking at the worst possible scenario to brace ourselves to make sure that we're prepared. And it may not be as substantial as what everyone is anticipating, which would be a good thing.

Eric:               Big head scratchers of the whole question is how many planes actually are capable of carrying this type of cargo, which requires such specialized refrigeration. I have to imagine that's not a major part of the fleet.

Chris:            You'd be surprised. The airfreight industry is extremely regulated. They have the capabilities of moving this. They have the capabilities. You still have issues with carriers moving into China and these other countries, that's simply, what do you do? Do you open up and now bring those planes back to service them, or, how does this happen?

                        And that's a lot with the FAA and the Food Drug Administration. And obviously the logistics professionals around the world are trying to work through these barriers. And right now, we're still in an impasse, you just can't flood the market because that would shut down so many supply chains, because it would eat up every possible airfreight, space available.

                        So, you have to trickle this stuff out and that's the best possible scenario. I don't know. I'm not a specialist when it comes to pandemics, but I will tell you. We we're planning for the worst, but hoping for the best. And you know, what people are looking at is this release of the vaccine. And then once it becomes readily available and starts to hit the out the markets outside of the United States, it's going to create a huge ripple effects in the air freight industry.

Eric:               Okay. I guess that seems logical. And again, we're just going to have to wait and see, but you're a guy who has a credible take on all this. So, I appreciate your input on it.

Chris:            My pleasure, my pleasure.

Eric:               Is there another big takeaway before we wind this down? I know I've been taken up half of your morning here with all these questions and you have a lot going on over there at Scanwell. People are probably curious on how they can get your newsletter for sure, Chris. If you want to add more people to your list, I guess it's a pretty good opportunity, but fire away on that.

Chris:            Certainly, I guess what I can leave you with is, this issue is not going to go away tomorrow. This is something that's probably going to be around potentially based upon the carriers be the new norm. We just simply don't know. Going back to the carrier’s thing was capacity and equipment. There's going to have to be some massive changes that the FAA and the FMC are looking into what initially caused this. Is there any type of criminal activity, things of that nature, but that's down the road?

                        So, importers should look at this as something that's going to continue to happen until March. Okay. That's the earliest, if not, going into the summer months. If you are interested in the newsletter, it goes out once or twice a month, depending on what's happening in the market. Feel free to email me at chrisdonnell, that's C-H-R-I-S-D-O-N-N-E-L-L@scanwell, S-C-A-N-W-E-L-L.com.

Eric:               Easy enough. And if for some reason you didn't take that down, folks send us a note here at FTR and we'll make sure you get on that list for Chris Donnell with Scanwell Logistics. He knows his stuff, and he's been helping me out at least to understand this part of the fastener game for going on 12 years now, Chris, I really appreciate that. And I appreciate you being here with us today.

Chris:            My pleasure. Thank you so much.

Eric:               And we'll be back in a second folks. It's Fully Threaded.


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                        Rob "Big Country" Reynolds of INxSQL software coming to you from the 19th hole. And you are listening to Fully Threaded Radio.

Eric:               Eric, back with you. Some hairy news there from Chris Donnell, Bri.

Brian:            Yes, I know. It is. Not that we need any more at this time. Okay.

Eric:               No, no we don't. But we're going to focus on that being a predominantly fastener related issue and the theme of the show and all that. It is the news segment of the show everyone. Of course, that's brought to us today by Volt Industrial Plastics and the title sponsors of Fully Threaded are Stelfast, Brighton-Best international and Goebel Fasteners.

                        One item Bri, saw fly by here that I don't think McNulty covered. I saw a post fly by from Tracey Lumia over there at Link Magazine. She was passing along a press release from Fastener Fair USA. You may recall that the show like so many others was canceled or delayed and delayed again, then canceled.

                        Well now it's been postponed until November 9th and 10th. That's from the June dates that they'd moved it to previously Bri, but it's happening. The good news is at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio. So, if it comes off, it'll be right here in our backyard. It'll be a great time.

Brian:            Good. I love that Convention Center actually.

Eric:               Yes. Fastener Fair USA. We had a great time the last time they were there, hopefully it'll come off.

Brian:            Right. And very, very good barbecue close by.

Eric:               Excellent point, Bri. And we'll be happy to show any of you folks, couple of places to hit if you come in for it. Hey, I mentioned our sponsors another great sponsor of the podcast is Eurolink Fastener Supply Service. And Craig Penland has been with us for a long time. We sure do appreciate it. And I know that his ears were perking up when he was listening to Chris Donnell, because he's all about the air freight he's with us right now. Hey Craig, thanks for hopping on.

Craig:            What's happening, gentlemen, and I use that term loosely.

Brian:            Which term, hi or gentlemen?

Craig:            Hey, all I know is last year for our 20th anniversary, we came out with a stay-at-home tour t-shirt and everybody took us literally and stayed at home for the remainder of the year.

Eric:               So, that was you, huh? You're to blame.

Craig:            We are to blame for this.

Brian:            Wow. You have a lot to answer for, for that.

Craig:            I know and based on Fastener Fair, everybody's staying at home for the most part of this year too.

Eric:               Good job on those shirts though, Craig. Those were pretty awesome. And if I recall, we actually named an episode of the podcast after that shirt.

Craig:            You did, you did it.

Eric:               Wasn't all bad.

Craig:            You did. I appreciate that. And I also appreciate the last week when you were doing the episode, with Chris and you interviewed him when you got to start talking about me, that you referred to me as your friend. I appreciate that. I just letting you know.

Eric:               Hey man, we've been through a few things together.

Craig:            Yes, we have.

Eric:               And now we're going through some hairy times in general with the supply chain and with the transit logistics costs and everything. And I know you've got thoughts on what Chris Donnell from Scanwell was saying a few minutes ago. What was your takeaway from that?

Craig:            Well, I kind of took a majority of what he was discussing, referencing Asian sea freight shipments being imported. And obviously that's not something Eurolink does. We buy all of our goods out of Europe, but it was really interesting. It was interesting to hear how many containers are sitting out in the Pacific Ocean waiting to be unloaded.

                        It was interested, to hear the causes, the pandemic, the lack of equipment, COVID related employees out of work. And then the Chinese New Year cause an issue too. I heard everything he said, and I heard how he talked about the doubling of the air freight rates out of Asia. And I get all that. I really do. We have dealt with issues from day one back in March last year. Our normal air freight forwarder, basically all of a sudden shut down as far as airplanes flying in from Germany into the United States.

                        And we had to hook up with another freight forwarder, basically they extended our delivery times from one week to two or three and it just started getting ugly with them. Their rates were going up every single week, during March and the beginning of April.

                        So, we went out and fought for our customers and found another freight forwarder that we started doing business with in middle of May. And since the middle of May, we have been on-time with our air freights coming out of Europe, about 99% of the time.

                        I think we had one delay in November and then we had a delay around Christmas, but otherwise, the shipments, been going out one week and delivering to us the very next week. And this past week or beginning of the year, we sit down and discuss pricing. Because I knew that they were going to come to me with a huge rate increase.

Eric:               Of course.

Craig:            Because that's what I've been hearing. I've been hearing it. And when we sit down and we negotiated, we came up with about an eight to 14% difference in rates and something I can live with that. It's when it's two to three times the price I can't live with.

Brian:            Yes. Yes.

Craig:            And that's what we had to end up chasing or going after another freight forwarder and, basically fighting for our customers, telling them that we needed to keep the rates down. And we needed the on-time deliveries because we've got upwards of a 10 to 12 airfreight shipments a week coming in from Europe right now. And then we've got the monthly consolidated sea freight that includes, six to 10 vendors.

                        So, we've got it hitting us both ways and we just couldn't take, the 7 to $10 per kilo air freight rates out there. And we had to keep it much lower than that.

Brian:            Do you notice a problem in the shipping from Europe?

Craig:            The only thing I noticed, and this has just been within the last week and a half. I've got one vendor that does a prepay an ad with their freight cost. And, at times we'll get up to a multi-pallet shipment and they route it differently than normal. And it's always had about seven-to-eight-day delivery to us. And, last week they sent us confirmation stating that they were going to ship it out this other route. And they couldn't book a flight, space on a flight until the 18th.

                        And I'd never seen that before that they couldn't go ahead and get it on a plane the very next day in Germany. So that's the first time that we've seen a disruption like that. So instead of arriving to us in about seven to eight business days, it's probably going to be closer to about 10 business days. So, it's not a huge inconvenience in the scheme of things, but it's still an inconvenience.

Brian:            Yep. Yep.

Eric:               Point is everyone wants it good, fast and cheap, but you can never really get that. But the closest thing you're going to find in the fastener world, Eurolink Fastener Supply Service and Craig, you are on the front lines of all this. That's why I wanted to hand that over to you to comment.

                        We're not trying to scare people off of calling you or their partners and I think you pretty much laid it out there, eurolinkfss.com. What's going on over there. I know you've got some other news aside from what's happening in the world of the supply chain. What's going on at Eurolink right now?

Craig:            Working hard, getting started in 2021. We've got everybody back in the office. We're waiting to see if we're going to get shut down and have to go back to working from home. Just like everybody else around the nation is right now. But at this particular moment, everybody's back in the office. We saw sales jump up in the fourth quarter of last year, which was amazing to see.

                        And January started off bright for us, it just kind of get going with this year. I was reading an email the other day talking about no one knows, what's happening a month from now or six months from now or even a year from now. And the writer was discussing NASCAR and sometimes when there's a wreck in front of you, the driver presses the gas, even harder and to get through it. And I've taken on that persona. I'm just going to press the gas even harder and see where we end up on the other side of this smoke.

Brian:            Interesting view you're right.

Eric:               Pedal to the metal.

Craig:            Pedal to the metal. There you go. There you go. But, otherwise, just going into the new year, I expect big things this year and I've got a wonderful staff. I've got some amazing business partners, both with the air and sea freight and also with European suppliers. And, they sound optimistic over there. My freight forwarder selling off domestic here. So, just adding this all together and hoping for a big year.

Eric:               Well, we're going to hear a little more of that tenor of conversation as Mike McNulty joins us with Dave Manthey, analyst from R.W. Baird. He does so much workforce on the Fastener Distributor Index. And, yeah, we don't know where it's all coming from necessarily, but we will take it. And it sounds like you're in the optimistic pack and well, I hope that we see you soon, but if nothing else, how about in Cleveland in November at Fastener Fair?

Craig:            Absolutely. We're signed up. We were signed up in May. We were signed up in June and we'll be signed up in November.

Eric:               Right on.

Craig:            I think that what I want the fastener distributor out there to realize is, yeah, we're going through a tough time right now, with cost and with deliveries and so on and so forth. But that's what we were made to do. Eurolink was built on the idea of getting the fastener distributor out of trouble and to be that Superman, so to speak.

                        And I just want the average distributor out there to recognize that, we still have access to online inventories over in Europe. We've kept our freight costs low going into 2021. And our shipments are for the most part showing up on time. So, when there's a delay with a sea freight container and the fastener distributor is not able to meet delivery dates. That's when we want them to call us and give us a shot and allow us the chance to get it in from Europe and meet those delivery dates.

Eric:               You're the man to call when material from Europe is in order. Craig Penland, Eurolink Fastener Supply Service. You can get in touch with Craig website, eurolinkfss.com. He's a good guy to know. Another good guy to know is Mike McNulty because he's got the Fastener News Report. Thanks for joining us, Craig, we're going to hand that off to Mike.

Craig:            Thank you.

Brian:            And now for News about Screws you Can Use, here's Mike McNulty.

 M McNulty:  Thanks Eric and Brian. 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 much-anticipated 2021 is finally here and the Cleveland Browns won a playoff game for the first time in nearly three decades. The Ohio State Buckeyes finally beat Clemson. The US federal government set a new all-time record for overspending other people's money.

                        Fastener Fair USA got delayed until November and the America media monopolies dropped their masks while proceeding to censor and cancel USA citizens. But I am still focused on fasteners and ready to deliver today's Fastener News Report.

                        In this episode, Baird analyst, Dave Manthey 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 Duncan Bolt, as well as newsmaker headlines from MacLean-Fogg, HD Supply, Bumax, Action Fasteners, Würth Industry North America, Doncasters and Grainger.

                        On the back page report. We're going to talk about employee ownership in the USA. We'll get to all of that and the latest FDI results right after this.


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 M McNulty:  The seasonally adjusted fastener distributor index for December was 62.6. A surprising jump up from last month's respectable reading of 54.5. 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 great results. We talked to Baird analysts, Dave Manthey. Hi, Dave, thanks for joining us on the Fastener News Report.

Dave:             Hey Mike, Happy New year. Thanks for having me.

 M McNulty:  So, what do you think about the latest and in some ways maybe the greatest FDI results?

Dave:             Yes, pretty close. I don't want to get too far over my skis on this one. Well, that's kind of a seasonal reference, but 62.6 was certainly a very strong reading. And as you noted, it was in the mid-fifties in November and sort of hanging around there in October.

                        And just, by way of history here, where we came from for the listeners, March of 2020, we were seeing record low readings. And so, to be in the rarefied air that we are now among the highest FDI readings we've ever seen this 62.6, we've come a long way and clearly encouraging for the industry.

 M McNulty:  Yes, definitely. I expected it would stay strong, but I was surprised that it got up over 60 right at the end of the year. So that's good. Good. And, good advice and not getting too far over the skis. To crash. The thing that jumped out to me, the sales number was an astounding 90.0 versus 66.9 the previous month.

Dave:             Pretty, close to unanimously stronger sales trends, which was one of the key drivers of the higher, indices this month. And so, yes, very, very strong there. And also, the six-month outlook was one of the strongest we've ever seen too with 79% of folks responding, saying they expect it to be higher six months from now only 15, the same and 6% lower. And there too, it's one of the stronger readings we've seen. So, definitely some optimism creeping in here around the holiday season.

 M McNulty:  Yes. Those numbers are definitely bullish. And, in the last episode we had some commentary people, they weren't going to shut down as much as normal at the end of December. So, people were really expecting a good December compared to previous years, and maybe now wrapping up missing orders from 2020.

Dave:             It definitely seemed to happen. And, yes, I think that plays out with the sales number and with that record six-month outlook number. The other components here. So, beyond just the business being stronger. And, I agree, we did hear that as well, that some distributors were planning on remaining open. And some of their customers were planning on remaining open longer, maybe to catch up on what didn't happen earlier in the year.

                        But, the other key drivers here in addition to the unanimously stronger sales trends, we had very low customer inventory levels, which I think that's a positive as we look at the FLI. We think about the Forward Looking Indicator here, definitely low customer inventories are a good sign.

                        The other thing that I think is important to touch on Mike is pricing and the pricing indexes when we're looking at both month to month and year to year, moving nicely higher. And, we've been hearing more and more about this, of course, copper prices and steel prices going up. That could be a real story as we move into 2021, if it's sustainable and clearly for distributors of fasteners, that's going to be a real positive factor.

 M McNulty:  That's good. Two good points. The pricing year to year was 86.8. So almost up at the 90 level that we had for sales and month to month was 69. I'm just looking at the data over the last seven months. Those are both clearly the best numbers on pricing we've had in that time period.

                        And, you mentioned customer inventories had dropped down to its lowest 0.2 down to 27.9 lowest point over that same time period of seven months. So definitely those two things contributed as well. Let's see what else the employment number was. Let's see, it went up as well. So maybe some people doing some end of the year hiring or planning to do some hiring now. I was talking to somebody, a relative of mine who works in a distribution of high-end automotive parts and they can't hire enough people.

Dave:             That's a good point. I don't know if a high employment index meaning hiring expectations, if that means it'll actually happen, hopefully, as you say, it can be hard to find good people. Another, point in the data here that I'd point out here, Mike, is that when you look at the supplier deliveries, it's a little bit hard to discern what that means.

                        I think we might actually change the header going forward. That's lead times. And so, as we're putting this data all together and thinking about sales trends are really good. Maybe employment expectations are going higher. Customer inventories are lower and the activity levels high. When you look at that, supplier deliveries, number of 75, also a very high number that means lead times are really long, right now.

 M McNulty:  Really long. Right.

Dave:             And so, there's a potential that we could continue to see some supply chain issues here moving into the new year, which might also be causing some of the pricing, to go up. So, we'll see how it plays out. But I think there's a real story underneath the numbers here this month.

 M McNulty:  You mentioned the six-month outlook being so strong and the forward-looking indicator, which is made up of some of the things you're talking about went up to 65.7. Which was a little bit of an increase and it's seven straight months of positive forward-looking indicator. So, it seems like all the systems looking forward are on the positive.

Dave:             It does look that way.

 M McNulty:  Good. Let's see, let's move on to commentary. And it says here, given the strong sales in December as expected, the commentary was positive. One respondent said, "The outlook was surprisingly good." Another one said, "December is typically a slow month, but this year was up significantly compared to what we normally expect." And then finally somebody mentioned, "Material pricing is increasing in the first quarter." Which is, I think something you've already mentioned here. So, any other things pop-out, get your attention on the commentary?

Dave:             Yeah, just thinking about some of the other conversations we've had around the industry over the past couple of months here. I think in addition to the material shortages and the raw material price increases they are feeding into the channel, definitely something we're hearing more about. Also, freight pricing and some of this too might have to do with hiring people and some of the COVID as it relates to people being out and logistics interruptions and so forth.

                        But there's increases in freight prices. In the channel you've got material price increases. Again, I don't mean to spin this all positively, but when I think about it from a distribution standpoint. That's my frame of reference since the companies I cover are distributors.

                        Certainly, a positive, the more dollars you can get for every single fastener or slash any kind of widget you're selling at a constant gross profit percentage is more dollars to cover all your expenses. As we continue to see those pressures mount, hopefully they're able to be passed through to customers and we can enjoy higher levels of operating profitability there.

 M McNulty:  That would be good. You mentioned companies that you're tracking. Anything you're hearing from some of the public reports here. You're getting out there?

Dave:             Yes, very consistent results. I would say that things are just getting gradually better. And the one thing when I said at the outset, I didn't want to get too far over my skis on the data here on these 60 type, index numbers. Same with the ISM, which came in at 60.7 in December. That's an interesting number and our numbers is well, over 60, very interesting, but I would point out it doesn't mean we're seeing growth.

                        And I think I mentioned this when I was here back in August of last year as well. Just keep in mind a 60 doesn't mean we're growing. It just means that December is better than November, according to the respondents. And that's really the extent of it. And so, if December is minus-five and November was minus- eight, that would be above 50.

 M McNulty:  Yes.

Dave:             So just something I wanted to point out there, because that is what we're hearing. I think, more consistently is that, especially when we're talking about heavy manufacturing, the rate of change is getting better, but it's still negative. And I think that's important.

                        The other point would be on the non-residential construction. So residential construction is clearly booming. You've had home builder, indexes 80, 90. I know that's not a major end market for a lot of fastener distributors. But non-residential construction can be, and we're still down almost 10% year over year in November. And that's pretty much a straight-line deceleration from plus-12 that we saw 12 months ago. And with the ABI still, well it's 46, so it's nine months below 50. That still points to some pretty weak trends ahead.

                        So, I'd say when I think about the fastener, related industries, if I'm thinking non-residential construction still very weak and possibly even increasingly so. But manufacturing is getting better, even if it's negative. It's moving up the curve and getting less negative. And hopefully at some point here, once we get to easier comparisons in the spring, we'll start seeing some nicely positive, year to year comparisons.

 M McNulty:  So, in conclusion, you say you don't want to get too overly optimistic, but what would you say your expectations are for fastener distributors over the next six months?

Dave:             I would say I'm optimistic.

 M McNulty:  But not crazy optimistic.

Dave:             Well, I never want to get too crazy one way or the other, but on this one, I'd say I'm fairly optimistic. Again, we're coming at this from a public company perspective and typically emerging from recessions, the stocks tend to do well. And, I think that's related to the fact that investors underestimate the growth that ultimately materializes in the upturn. And often what we see and that's why I am very excited about this pricing data.

                        When you get pricing and it does often happen in the beginning part of an up-cycle. It helps profitability tremendously. So, I would say six months from now, I'm optimistic for sure. And, both for the fundamentals and for the distribution stocks that I cover. So, I'll fall into that optimistic camp and try to monitor that a little bit and make sure we're not getting too crazy. But really feeling pretty good about at least the trajectory and the direction we're headed right now.

 M McNulty:  That's good to hear and hopefully we'll have this virus nonsense out of the way by then, and that would make it even better, I think.

Dave:             Yeah, absolutely. I think that would iron out some of these logistics issues and supply issues. And, I think once we start utilizing the infrastructure, both structures and none, I think that leads to more construction and more dollars and it's a self-feeding situation. And clearly once we get that flywheel going, it all gets much better from there.

M McNulty:   Good. And wrapping up, everything going okay at Baird?

Dave:             Everything's great at Baird. I hate to say it, in terms of relative to the pandemic, clearly a lot of people are suffering. We're doing just fine. We're an employee-owned firm and extremely well-managed very conservative and conservatively run. And so, we've done very well over the past 12 months and we're going to be here over the next hundred years just as we were over the past 100. So yeah, everything's great at Baird and we're very excited about the future.

M McNulty:   You might've mentioned that before, but it went over my head. I didn't realize you're employee owned. That's good.

Dave:             Our late CEO used to say, we don't take outsize risks because it's our money. And, when you're a shareholder, you care a lot about making good decisions. And being based in Milwaukee, too, in the Midwest, we're conservative to begin with, but we run the firm very conservatively and honestly. And we care about the bottom line because it is all of our money and we care about our people and, uh, it leads to great outcomes for us.

M McNulty:   Well, that's good. So, you mentioned Milwaukee. So, I'll use that as a segue into football since we are recording this on the morning after the Cleveland Browns won their first playoff game. And I don't know, like 28 years or 26 years before we got on the air, you mentioned you're a Packers fan, but you've kind of adopted the Cleveland Browns fan as well. And you're wearing a Cleveland against the world sweatshirts. I want to call that to our listeners attention. And thank you for your support.

Dave:             I wouldn't admit that to any of my packer fan friends, but there is a soft spot in my heart for Cleveland. I think Milwaukee and Cleveland are very similar, hardworking blue collar, Midwestern towns. And, so yeah, go Browns. Good Luck.

M McNulty:   Go Browns. I agree with that. And wouldn't it be something to have a Packer's/Brown Superbowl, but I'm getting over my skis in the morning after the big wins.

Dave:             Well, good luck with it.

M McNulty:   Well, thanks for joining us and for bringing your insight into the Fastener Distributor Index and as well as, for being regularly producing your reports that I know that everybody enjoys, who is participating in the process.

Dave:             Thank you, Mike. And thanks to everyone who participates in the survey. It's a great data set, and I hope it's valuable to all of you. Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

M McNulty:   That was Baird analyst, Dave Manthey. The FDI number for December was 62.6 versus 54.5 in November of 2020, 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 on December 30th, 2020, Andrew "Andy" Cohn, president of Duncan Bolt located in Santa Fe Springs, California, retired. And Virginia Cohn vice-president also retired. Simultaneously with these retirements Duncan Bolt announced that an ESOP also known as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan led by Stephen Summers, VP and general manager.

                        Additional Duncan employees, Norris Glantz, Andrew Bengis, James Socrates and Dave Glantz was formed. And it has purchased Duncan Bolt from the Cohn’s'. Duncan Bolt distributes fasteners, and a host of other products. And it maintains facilities in Santa Fe Springs, as well as Phoenix, Arizona USA.

                        Next up today's fastener newsmaker headlines. In Acquisition and Expansion News, MacLean-Fogg Components Solutions, aka MFCS and Master Automatic announced the merger of Master Automatic into MFCS Engineered Solutions Group.

                        The Home Depot has completed the acquisition of HD Supply Holdings. Bumax has installed three new state-of-the-art machines at its manufacturing facility in Sweden. AZZ Incorporated has acquired all of the assets of Acme Galvanizing. General Equity announced the sale of Action Fasteners Incorporated to a private investor.

                        S.W. Anderson Company has acquired OEM Fastening Systems. Würth Industry North America also known as WINA announced that Würth Action Bolt and Tool will join WINA's new construction services division Würth Construction Services.

                        Doncaster’s Group secured funding for the first step in a 100-million-pound multi-year capital investment program. Seaton, Savada and Turkey and Tata International have partnered up to jointly develop the USA fastener market by a sales operation called Tata International Metals America based in Schaumburg, Illinois.

                        In personnel news Grainger announced that Deidra Merriwether currently Senior Vice President and President North American Sales and Services for Grainger has been named Chief Financial Officer. 

                        And Paige Robbins, currently Senior Vice President, chief technology, merchandising, marketing, and strategic officer has been named Senior Vice President and President of the Grainger Business Unit comprised of Grainger businesses in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

                        You can get details on all of these stories and more in Fastener Technology International Magazine and the Fastener News Report Monthly Newsletter, both available online and print at fastenertech.com. Now let's turn to the back page to talk about employee ownership in the USA.

                        In the December edition of Fully Threaded Radio, Larry Kelly was on the podcast with Eric and Brian talking about employee ownership at Buckeye Fastener. And in this episode, we have the Duncan Bolt ESOP story. Over the years, we have covered several employee-owned companies on the Fastener News Report, as well as in our magazines and newsletters.

                        And I can say that I'm universally impressed with the success, work ethic, ambition and job satisfaction level of the people I've met at these various operations. This prompted me to do some research on this sector of organizations. I found three non-profit associations that deal with support and or promote employee ownership in the USA.

                        The first one is the ESOP Association, which advocates on behalf of all ESOP companies through its mission to educate and advocate for employee ownership, with an emphasis on ESOP's also known as the Employee Stock Ownership Plans. Which are similar to and governed by some of the same laws and regulations as 401k plans.

                        The ESOP Association says, and I tend to agree with them that, "Employee ownership improves American competitiveness, increases productivity, strengthens our free enterprise economy. Creates a broader distribution of wealth and maximizes human potential by enhancing the self-worth dignity and well-being of Americans."

                        Second is the National Center for Employee Ownership, also known as the NCEO, which has a mission to help employee ownership thrive. The NCEO generates original research, hosts events, publishes information, and helps companies build cultures where employees think and act like owners. The NCEO reports, there are over 6,400 ESOP's in the USA holding assets worth over $1.4 trillion and covering 14 million workers and retired participants.

                        90% of the employed owned companies in the USA are privately held with the balance being publicly traded firms. Of the industries represented manufacturing is number one on the list with 22% of the total. The NCEO also says the 200 to 300 new ESOP's are started each year, which is the same number that existed in 1974. When the federal government created the original framework for employee ownership in the country.

                        And the third association is the Employee Ownership Foundation also known as EOF, which is supported by grants and tax-deductible donations, as well as volunteer efforts of dozens of individuals throughout the country. The EOF operates in pursuit of a single overarching goal to help more individuals become employee owners.

                        EOF President Jim Bonham says, quote, "Employee ownership is the new American dream. When you own a stake in the company where you work, you have an unbeatable opportunity to build a better tomorrow for yourself and your family." End quote. My take is that building strong companies and families by giving workers a piece of the company pie is certainly a good thing for the health of any nation.

                        And finally, did you know that not many people are surprised when colleges, universities and professional or trade schools require entrance to take proficiency tests in reading, writing, math and science before admission.

                        And similarly, I don't think that many complain that if the scores are too low, then remedial action is required before anyone proceeds. This is common sense and similar arrangements exist for professional licensing. Well, I say it is time for the institution of similar style tests for all politicians that are entering service in any of the three branches of the federal government.

                        Each year before serving public servants should be tested on their knowledge of the type of government that is operated in the USA, as well as on the details of the declaration of the independence, the US constitution, all the constitutional amendments and other laws like the Sherman Antitrust Act. The score should be made public to the people that the federal government serves, which is every US citizen and remedial education could be put in place when needed.

                        While we're at it, similar testing and education could be employed before issuing anyone voter registration, credentials, or a permit to organize protests, which should include a liability statement for the actions of the participants related to their responsibility for assembling peacefully and raising grievances, without breaking any laws. All of them our rights come with responsibilities.

                        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 mcNulty@fastenertech.com.


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                        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'.

Carmen:        Welcome to the Fastener Training Minute brought to you by the Faster Training Institute and AIM Testing Laboratory here in beautiful El Cajon, California. It's a stunningly beautiful day here in San Diego. And, it's kind of a nutty time right now. It's nuts. Everybody's nuts. World's gone nuts. And you know what? There's a lot of nuts in our business, in our faster industry.

                        And, we just couldn't get by without nuts in this business. And you know what these nuts have to be good nuts though. And sometimes nuts, aren't that good. And sometimes we don't quite know how to tell if the nut is a good nut or not a good nut. When I come back, I'm going to tell you a few things you need to know about how to tell if a nut is a nut or it's a nut.

Jo Morris:     Thanks, Carmen. This is Jo Morris, of the Fastener Training Institute and a Happy New Year, everyone. And welcome to 2021. I hope everyone is ready to get back to training in the new year. We have been busy at the Fastener Training Institute, planning new training courses for absolutely all levels of personnel.

                        And in February FTI, will be presenting Fastener Basics with Carmen Vertullo. We're going to be presenting this virtually this year. It's normally a three day in-person live class that we're going to be breaking into segments and presenting it over several weeks.

                        The program was designed to teach employees in the fastener industry about the products that they buy, they sell in the warehouse. And while it's intended for people new to the industry, it's really beneficial for all the who want to expand their knowledge. And it's great for those who want to cross-train as well.

                        Students are going to learn about what's the difference between a hex-cap screw and a hex-bolt, and how many different types of nuts are there. What are sockets? What are common materials? Plus, how are you supposed to call out parts in the fastener industry, plus a whole bunch more. And we really do understand it is tough to sit in front of a computer all day long.

                        So, if you can't attend on the actual day or days that we present, we always record these and you have access to the recording. So, I hope you can join us. We also have some excellent technical training planned as we partner with the Industrial Fasteners Institute to bring their members only training to the public. Historically, you'd have to be a member of the IFI to attend any of their training, but now you can access their entire online program through FTI. So please visit our website to see the schedule or just sign up to receive one of our newsletters.

                        Lastly, we are going to have Fastener Training Week live and in person. We're going to have to move our scheduled February date in Cleveland out just a bit, but plan on Houston, March Cleveland, in May. And please reach out to me with any questions. And we always do our best to keep our live class changes to bare minimum. Our website is www.fastenertraining.com. And my email address is jom@fastenertraining.com. Please reach out with any questions or even just to say hello. Now, back to Carmen.

Carmen:        Welcome back everybody. This is Carmen Vertullo with your Fastener Training Minute. I had an email recently and many of these Faster Training Minutes come as a result of emails regarding the inspection of internal threads on hex nuts. This particular product happened to be a metric product. And the end user was confused about how to know whether or not the product was conforming when it came to inspecting the threads.

                        Now, hex nuts in the metric world come from a standard called ISO 4032. ISO 4032 leads us to ISO 3269 to tell us what we need to inspect and how to inspect it. Now it turns out that that is an acceptance inspection plan, which basically means that we're going to have a large sample size based on the lot size. And that plan is going to allow us to have some non-conformances.

                        Unlike what we're used to in the Inch world or the Imperial world in our ASME standards, which you see equals zero inspection plans, which have much smaller sample sizes and allow for zero non-conformances.

                        So, what happened is the client, the customer, I should say end-user inspected a large sample size, much larger than the sample size indicated. And interestingly enough, ISO 3269 does not specify a specific sampling plan. It gives us some examples that allows the end user or the manufacturer to choose an appropriate one.

                        But in this case, inappropriate one might be 200, would be the number we would check with the go-gauge, which is a lot. The Go-Nut, GO threaded plug gauge, and the unthreaded plain plug gauge to measure the minor diameter. And with 200 pieces, we would accept that lot if we got four or fewer non-conformances. That means if we found four parts that were bad. We would accept a lot. Well, the customer found one or two out of a thousand and they want to reject the lot. And it was very hard to convince them otherwise.

                        Now, as we know in the fastener world, we don't have zero defects. It's only available on certain features. And only if we find a way to do a kind of inspection that allows us to look at that feature a hundred percent on every part. Which generally means you're doing it with a machine or some kind of a vision system.

                        And we really don't need that. Except in cases where a robot is handling the parts, such as an automotive assembly. We don't, for example, have zero defects with drywall screws. Drywall screw installer picks the screw out. It's got no drive in it and he throws it on the floor and picks another one. It's not the end of the world. You have a screw with no drive in it, in the assembly plant of a car. It could shut the line down. So, we have reasons for that.

                        Anyway, back to the hex nut. Further ISO also allows for us to accept product that is non-conforming. If the non-conformance does not impair the intended function or use. In this case, these one or two very minor non-conformances does not affect the function of the part.

                        And the reason we know this is because when we inspect our nuts with the GO and NOGO thread gauge, the NOGO Gauge is allowed to enter two threads in the ISO world. In the inch world we're allowed to enter three threads according to ASME B1.2.

                        In the metric world, it's two threads and that's from ISO 1502. And that's a little bit subjective because it just says two full turns into the nut GO gauge with no excessive force. While they were getting some of them to go more than two turns. Just those very few. So, we know that this is so borderline that it can possibly affect the intended function.

                        So, we present this to the end user and hopefully they realize that the problem they're causing by not wanting to first off use the proper sample size or choose an acceptable sample size. And secondly, not being willing to invoke the ISO 3269 objection clause that allows us to use these non-conforming fasteners. If they don't impair, the intended function is not in their best interest. Their line is shut down whatever it is they're assembling; it's not going to get assembled.

                        So nuts are one of the easiest things to inspect in terms of threads. It's the go/nut-go gauge, which in the metric world, two threads are allowed for the nut-go gauge. The go- gauge must pass all the way through. The plain plug gauge must not enter any threads. It can go into the chamfer of the nut, but it must not enter any threads on the nut go side. And the go plug must pass all the way through.

                        And that's true also with the ASME B1.2 gauge for the minor diameter for nuts. So once again, it's a nutty world out there right now, and we're getting a lot of nutty questions and this was one of them. I wanted to share it with you. And I hope you enjoyed this Faster Training Minute. Thanks for listening.


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Lisa:               Hi, this is Lisa Kleinhandler for Fastener News Desk at fastenernewsdesk.com, where we bring you all things fascinating. You're listening to Fully Threaded Radio with Eric and Brian.

Eric:               After great consternation and vacillation. We decided to go with a couple of crowd pleasers to kick off the new year and who better to fit that bill. Then Jake "Valdez" Davis, and "Coolhand" John Butler to help us out. Hey guys.

John:             Morning. I thought you could pick a couple of other people instead of me.

Jake:              Hello guys. It's good to be back on.

Eric:               Yes. So, the topic we never zeroed in on either, I think when we first turned the mics on here this morning, somebody said Happy New Year, and I'm not even going to dwell on how stale that is. So, we'll move right onto fastener related stuff. What do you think?

John:             Sounds like a winner.

Jake:              I'm all for it.

Eric:               Our topic today. I think we have to dovetail off of really the big headlines in the FDI and across really the fastener world right now. And that has to do with the supply and the logistics, getting stuff in. And both of you are in really excellent positions to comment on all that, but it's been a while since we had you on the podcast.

                        So, I know there's way other interesting stuff that we can cover. Like John, how's your golf score. Have you won any giant piles of money lately at poker? Come on, bring us up to speed.

John:             It's just like the fastener industry it's up and down, golf has been really well having fun. I went through a really dry spell in poker, but the last two tournaments I took first place. So that equals out that check that I had to write out for the loss last month.

Brian:            So, doing crossword puzzles in the middle of winter, that isn't for you apparently.

John:             What is this winter? Winter, what is that again?

Brian:            I thought we said we would kind of discussed that.

Jake:              You keep bringing it up Brian.

John:             No, it's just been beautiful out here. I can't complain guys. It's our own little world, but there is reality, when you're wearing masks everywhere. So, it brings you back down just a little bit.

Brian:            Yeah, that's right.

John:             Jake, how's the weather out your way?

Jake:              It's typical. Had a little snow this last Friday and was able to take in the Chiefs Browns' game on Sunday. I picked up a little, I don't know that anybody knows this within the industry. My kids both in college, so I wanted to try a little side hustle. So, I went to work for the Chiefs, as an usher. But I was a bit selfish in that I only wanted club level, which is enclosed out of the elements.

Brian:            So that's really selfish actually.

Jake:              You could call it privileged.

Brian:            I think you could call it that too.

Jake:              They used that word a lot more. So, it was an interesting game, a lot of Browns' fans and they were great. Certainly, we're pleased to have won the game. I don't say we because I played, but just in attendance, but yeah, I've had that, to kind of keep me busy this fall and winter. And, not traveling or doing anything for the shows. It's been a bit different and just staying really busy with work.

John:             That is just great. What I really want to tell you though, is you talked about the Browns coming into the stands and being just great people to have and to work with there. It's Mid-West people. They're just fantastic people. I'm not trying to get in trouble out here in California, but you can't beat Midwestern living in Midwestern people.

Jake:              We're all cut from the same cloth. It was a good time.

Eric:               I guess I was remiss in my host duties at the top of the segment here. I should have noted that John "Coolhand" Butler is from the Olander Company out there in the Silicon Valley region. But you once upon a time were a Wisconsin boy. Jake Davis of course BTM Manufacturing. ISSCO heart of the fastener world right there, out in the heart of the world, actually Jake, right?

Jake:              Absolutely. Right in the Heartland.

Eric:               It doesn't get any more Heartland than that. And I also have to mention for the benefit of Mike McNulty, because we recorded him before the Chiefs' game and he was exuberant of course, in the post victory glow. The Browns made it through that first round of the playoffs.

Jake:              I think we were all happy to see that with that Steelers loss and as bad as it was.

Brian:            And for us, the problem is that that Mike McNulty would have been seriously having concentration problems worrying about the Fastener Training Minute because he tries to be focused, but the Browns seem to de-focus him.

Jake:              Yeah, that the Indian brings.

John:             We won't have to talk much about the Packers, do we? It's just a little moment of pride, I guess, for myself, but you guys go on, go ahead.

Jake:              No, I don't think anybody's going to stop them, John. Honestly.

John:             Everybody's saying it's going to be the Chiefs and the Packers.

Jake:              I don't know.

John:             But predominantly fastener related, right. Talk radio, isn't it?

Jake:              Absolutely.

Eric:               I would have to say that this is probably the most football related episode we've ever produced because Brian and I are usually not anywhere near the sports section.

Brian:            Right.

Eric:               Carry on guys.

Jake:              No, that's it. We're moving back to fastener things.

Eric:               If we really must.

John:             So, Jake you're on the board with the Mid-West Fastener Association and the Southwest Fastener Association, is that correct?

Jake:              That's correct. Second year with Mid-West and was voted in as secretary serving behind, Mr. President and Vice-President, Matt Delawder looking forward to a good year and with the SFA, rolling up into the chairman position for one more year. And then we got a great board with Baron Yarborough taking over as president and Jason Looft as VP.

John:             That's awesome.

Eric:               Now, you're still a young fastener professional guy too, right?

Jake:              Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Emeritus. YFP emeritus is what we're calling now.

Eric:               Not senior member?

Jake:              We're trying to stay away from that.

Eric:               Okay.

John:             So, explain that a little bit to me. I've wondered about that, membership in the YFP the age.

Jake:              John, I really don't know. I think when I started with traveling and getting into BTM where we bought it, I certainly think I was in the age group and I've aged myself out. But I still rather they'll have me or not. I just consider myself part of them still. We're still with the tweener. And that's all I think in spirit, as far as the age goes.

Brian:            Right. But as I was told, it's not an age problem. It's called a birthday problem. Okay. This is a different way of referring to it.

John:             You keep on going with that, Brian.

Brian:            I know as well, they pointed out, so it's a birthday problem. So, it's a new way of saying age. They're not allowed to say that now. Okay.

Jake:              I have found if you don't show up right when the event starts, if you give yourself a good grace period, about 5 to 10 minutes they're not carding anymore. So, you can just work your way in and it's you feel like you belong? It feels great too.

Brian:            Huh?

Jake:              It feels great.

John:             So, you're, you're running BTM, is that correct or also ISSCO?

Jake:              Well, I do a little bit of both. I dabble in both day in and day out.

Brian:            That's a really interesting way of saying that, Jake. Okay.

Eric:               In between your roasting duties.

Jake:              Exactly. When I'm not roasting U-Bolt Blend, I'll make some time for both. There are people that think I make coffee and don't sell fasteners, and make U-Bolt but that's the fun part of it. So, it was a difficult year just with not being able to spend as much time at BTM as I wanted. We were just trying to keep our two operations in communication, but separate, certainly in the beginning. But it's on my 2021 shortlist to spend some more time over there with the crew.

John:             Over there. So, explain that to me. You're not located near BTM's location?

Jake:              About 20 minutes, Southwest of ISSCO. I office out of ISSCO distribution, which is Lee's Summit, which is a suburb of Kansas City and BTM is Southern Kansas City. So, it's an easy 20-minute drive between the two facilities.

John:             I was going to say 20 minutes is nothing that you have here in California.

Jake:              No.

John:             That's the route, go and get milk.

Jake:              If I hit a couple lights, I start getting inpatient.

John:             How are you able to also do your board duties? I'll let people know that it's my first year on the Pac-West Board and it does take a lot of time and its great work and I enjoy the heck out of it because I like talking to people. But how do you do both businesses and also two boards?

Jake:              I think it helps, to be an empty-nester. Not that my wife would probably might disagree with that, but if I can get it on the schedule soon enough. And I know Nancy does a great job and Cari, with the SFA does a great job of scheduling our meetings. And that way I can just spend time preparing for it, and making myself available.

                        And just like you, John, I feel like the relationship part of it is the best part. And, I certainly miss being able to meet in person. We just had our first meeting with the MWFA last Thursday night and spend a couple hours on the Zoom with everybody. You just feel better, one, you get some business taken care of and two, you get to see your friends and spend some time.

John:             Agreed.

Jake:              Just make time, I guess when it comes down to it.

John:             Well, I'll be hosting the rest of this interview and I appreciate you speaking with us.

Eric:               I was wondering when that was going to come.

Brian:            We're just sitting here quietly.

Eric:               I just went and got another cup of coffee. And you're still going. That's good.

Jake:              BTM Coffee?

Eric:               See, I knew I hired the right guys for the job today.

John:             The official sponsor of Fully Threaded Radio.

Brian:            That's right.

Eric:               We're getting back to YFP then. Did you hear a couple episodes back when we had the three people from the YFP?

Jake:              Yes. It was good.

John:             What a great episode that was just awesome.

Eric:               Did you liked that?

John:             I did, I loved it. I even texted you, I believe. And I said, you know what? That's awesome because it was, fastener related, but it also got into the personalities of the people. You're not going to see Jake and I doing Taekwondo, at least I'll speak for myself.

Jake:              No. No.

John:             Taekwondo or Jiu-Jitsu or let's see, it was axe throwing and knife fighting. I believe it was, I don't even have a lightsaber, what can I tell you?

Jake:              Yeah. I'm low contact on the exercises I'm doing these days. So, I'll leave it to the true YFPers.

John:             Well, wait a minute. Okay. So, Bob Baer always wanted to have fastener people and to do a Tough Mudder. And I believe that you texted back or email back that you're ready to get into this with us.

Jake:              I do. Let's go. He's been talking about it. I think it'd be fun.

John:             Yes, exactly. And he had talked to me about this once before and I backed out and I'm like, you know what, if I don't do it now, I'm never going to. And my wife was telling me, she goes, "Why do you want to do that to your body?" And it's like, "Have you seen each race?

Jake:              It'll be a one-time thing and as long as there's no judgment. And we usually don't do that in our industry. Just go have some fun.

Brian:            I'm not sure if fun hinders into it. I'm sure that you haven't talk to Bob Baer quite carefully enough.

Eric:               And also, Jake, you must not read very many of my emails.

Jake:              No.

Eric:               Sure, some judgment.

Jake:              And that's a bit togue and teeth.

Brian:            Unless crawling across mud with electrical wires, scratching your back, represents the fun. Okay. There was endurance.

Jake:              I know.

Eric:               Let me get this straight. Are we documenting that Jake Davis and John "Coolhand" Butler are committing to doing a Tough Mudder with Bob "GQ" Baer and his posse?

Jake:              Yes. Absolutely. Somebody's got to bring up the rear and I'm happy to do it. So, come on. Let's go.

John:             And also, our fastener friend, Mike Robinson.

Jake:              Yeah.

Eric:               Vertex.

Jake:              Yes. We've got a small group started and hey, let's open this to the female Tough Mudders out there in this industry. They're probably better at it than us. So, let's get as many as we can.

Eric:               How many do you need?

Jake:              That part, I don't know. We're going to have to talk to "GQ" Bob on that. It's not going to be difficult to be any better at it than me. So, it's on.

Eric:               I'm really impressed guys. I didn't expect to cover this on the episode today at all. This is really shocking. I'm impressed.

Jake:              Well, I think if we can find a great spot to have it. Be it Chicago area, Cleveland area, Casey area. I don't know where, once everything kind of gets back opened up, but I think it will be fun.

Eric:               So, you haven't set an event date yet. Is that what I'm hearing?

Jake:              No, I don't honestly know. I don't know if there's any dates on their calendar quite yet, but we're all giving the thumbs up when things open up, we're in.

Brian:            Wow. So, I would say that when Bob Baer listens to this, he's going to be sitting back in his chair thinking, hmm, really.

Jake:              We had a small polling sample size on LinkedIn. So, he has an idea. So, there's a lot of pressure for him to perform and find us a good spot and a good date too.

John:             We just need COVID to lift and for me to get my Solution Man tattoo, and then I'll be ready to go.

Eric:               I forgot about that. So that didn't go down yet because the big thing with the Tough Mudder is if you do make it a lot of non-tattoo, people actually break their rule and they get that tattoo commemorating their accomplishment. I think that's in store for you guys.

Jake:              Definitely. I'm going to get the actual, Solution Man, not the words, but the Solution Man logo on my body here.

John:             I'll put a Tough Mudder on there. If I do it, let's show that I survived.

Jake:              I'm in, I've got a couple already.

John:             Excellent.

Jake:              So, I'm not opposed. I've got one in the works, a little bit of a tribute to my father. I just got to nail it down a little bit and go from there.

Eric:               Okay. I think that we have just possibly exceeded episode 158 groups. So, we're going to have to throw it back to them and see what they can come back with to surpass this. I don't know if they're going to be able to. Good work guys.

Jake:              I think all three of them should, I would consider them Tough Mudders.

Eric:               You got to get "Balboa" in there too. You got to get Frank "Balboa" DeVito with you.

Brian:            Yes. Right.

Jake:              Well, that's the thing. I need to find some people that can hang with Balboa John and I. And Frank would be up at the front of the class. As long as he waits for me at the end, I'm fine.

John:             Exactly. It's a way for both of us, I talked about it, I said, as long as you guys understand what last leg means, then you'll be okay in accepting my tardiness, shall we say.

Brian:            Frank would go one of these things with a book so he can sit down and read it at the end.

John:             So how are you finding business, Jake?

Jake:              It's been great. Just looking at December, both distribution and manufacturing were up year over year, double digit percentages. Both trending really well. And, I think Eric and I just got a text in when the index came out, the FDI and it just shocked me because December is always such a---

Brian:            --- crappy month.

Jake:              Yeah. Just a slow month. And, we didn't see it here and it appears no one else really saw it. I don't know if people were just getting stuff in before the change in administration or not, but it's been a great blessing. Our biggest struggle here has been helped. Just trying to find it, trying to keep it, and trying to fill some holes when it comes to employment.

Eric:               So, thanks again for the segue there, John. Are you seeing any problems with overland shipments of your cargo that's coming in? That kind of ties it back to the headlines that we opened this segment with.

Jake:              I haven't yet I'm hearing it from some of our larger customers. As far as waiting on engines, waiting on gas tanks, just a little over of a report that I've just gotten the last few days. And we talked about it at MWFA, our board meeting. And, if I can do a little self-plug, we've got a logistics lunch and learn coming up.

                        We just really don't have a firm date yet, but we're looking at that first week of February to try and throw a couple logistics guys, together. To where we can have them maybe discuss, current situations pricing for about 45 minutes and then get into some questions. So, we'll be putting that out there soon, hopefully within the next day or so.

John:             We at Olander had a fantastic December as well, and January is not letting us down either. We've already over our goal. If things trend the way like the first couple of weeks here in January, things would be just fantastic. So, we're setting numbers over here. It's all good. And of course, we too, at the Pac-West Fastener Association, we'll be having our lunch brunch later on this month as well. So be there.

Eric:               Now, you've got a webinar coming up also, right? We might as we'll squeeze that in while we're plugging Olander.

John:             We do. On the 29th, we are an authorized AVK distributor. We're one of the premier distributors for AVK and I host a learning session about blind inserts. The tooling, troubleshooting, design and engineer of AVK inserts and with Olander, three locations are proud to have AVK as one of our manufacturers.

Eric:               Now your first throw at these webinars. Wait, was the last one in AVK also?

John:             No, we had a Heli-Coil.

Eric:               Oh yeah.

Brian:            Yeah.

Eric:               The Heli-Coil. I attended that, I remembered it really clearly too, by the way. But it went really well. I just thought from a technical standpoint, I was watching to see how you pulled it off John. And, it was a very well-done thing. But did you learn anything, from the experience, have you fine-tuned your presentation at all for this one?

John:             Well, I think you're trying to say that I needed some fine tuning, but yes, Eric, you do learn from every one of these. We had a company that we do some business with and we were the only vendor that they had invited, for this vendor. I won't say appreciation, but to learn about the vendors that are supplying them with product. And, there was 140 people on there. And I was the only one that was a vendor that they had on there.

                        So, each individual division within this company, it's a rather large company. They were speaking on what they were working on and what the future holds. And then it turned over to me where the problem was is that I'm not controlling the slides. And unfortunately, with the way that I guess broadband works here, there was a huge delay and I didn't have printouts with me.

                        So always have your printouts ready just in case something goes on. Also make sure you use bullet points. It's a 10, 20, 30 rule. So, I'll have 10 slides, have it for 20 minutes and use 30 fonts. So, using the bullet points, otherwise everybody's just going to read along with you on your slides.

Jake:              Learn something new today.

Brian:            Yes. Good point. Good point.

Eric:               I think a lot of people are developing their presentation skills during this time. Let's face it, we've all had so much practice at it and we weren't counting on it, but slowly things are getting better. I wonder about your audience attraction capability though, and I hope the best for you for sure. But I just wonder, are people becoming more receptive to these types of meetings or are they burned out on them? I guess we'll find out.

John:             Well, the registration for this is fantastic. Last time we had, I think it was 140 people that registered and there was nearly a hundred people that attended. So, that's not bad.

Brian:            That's pretty good.

John:             When people can't attend because of change of plans. We're registering last week. We started and it's the end of the month is when the webinar is. Things change, bookings change. So, we send out a recorded version if they request it. So that way we get them in attention when we're doing it live, but we're able to share that information later on.

                        And we also put it on our Olander, YouTube site. So, you just reaching a greater audience, but it's the way of the times. And also, with Pac-West our next lunch and learn or lunch/brunch, I should say is going to be a little bit on that. It's going to be beyond Zoom, for 2021 and what we're doing.

Brian:            Good.

Eric:               What's the date of the AVK presentation, John?

John:             January 29th.

Eric:               Okay. How do people get info on that?

John:             You can go to www.olander.com. That's O-L-A-N-D-E-R, olander.com

Jake:              Spoken like a true professional.

Brian:            How else could we have spelled that incidentally?

John:             I could do my, little Buckeye Kelly personation here and go into Forest, but I'll leave that up to him.

Jake:              Let's retire along with Larry. So, God bless him. Congrats, Larry.

John:             Yeah, I'm jealous.

Eric:               I think he'll be around a little bit.

John:             What is he going to do? Ice fish and in the wintertime the whole time and then musky fish on the boat all summer long.

Eric:               Well, that's probably not a bad plan.

John:             I like it. I like it.

Eric:               Actually, yesterday I was out. Let's see, we got just enough open water right out in front of the ramp. I could squeeze the boat out and it was pretty cool because here it is mid-January, but we've still got open water on the main lake. And I was just cruising along doing some jigging right on the edge of the ice. And I was hoping that by the end of the day, it wasn't going to freeze over. So, I could, get the boat back on the trailer at the end of the day. But fortunately, that worked out. Live dangerously and have fun.

John:             On your ice-breaker were you perch and walleye?

Eric:               I was muskie fishing, meaning I didn't catch anything.

Jake:              Not on my fishing trip.

Eric:               It's a great way to explain how you never catch anything just them you were muskie fishing. Well back to the presentations online and everything. I think John and Jake, you must have been involved with that MWFA trivia night that they had with the Christmas party.

Jake:              Yes.

Eric:               I thought that was a lot of fun.

Jake:              Yes, it was fun. And we appreciate everybody coming out. It's just trying to figure out something different, to be we had a ventriloquist, that was on for about 30 minutes or so. And, I think once we got into the trivia, everybody, loosened up a little bit and just had some fun. Jim Sullivan was screaming out the answers, which didn't help. It was just fun. We were just trying to figure out something a little bit different, fastener related and Christmas related. But I thought they did a good job pulling it off.

John:             Yes. That was a fantastic time. And that ventriloquist was 30 minutes too long, you said.

Jake:              Yes. Well, I didn't want to say that out loud.

John:             But the trivia that was fantastic. The last question threw me up. It was the prior name to the Mid-West Fastener Association, which was correct me if I'm wrong. The Chicago Nut Bolt and Screw Association.

Jake:              Chicago. Yes. CBNSA, Eric.

Eric:               Yes, that rings a bell. That's before my time.

Jake:              I think Chicago Bolt, Nut & Screw Association.

John:             I got that one.

Jake:              Now's the time when we need George Hunt and Bob Baer the historians to tell us.

John:             That last one I waited too long and I got it wrong. And Kelly Charles came through with the win.

Jake:              And we also were trying to guess covodo's handicap, which didn't have anything to do with Christmas or fastener.

John:             I gave him much too much credit for his handicap.

Jake:              I'm sure he appreciated that. But Eric, to your point, I remember reading about Zoom fatigue but it does happen. Early on when I read an article or something about it on LinkedIn and it does happen because when you find yourself on numerous calls back-to-back to back, you do mentally, get tired. I think it would probably be the same issue if you're out there on the road and call after call after call.

                        I just think the in-person, the relationships can get you through maybe a slow afternoon or something like that, but I think we've all done a great job with it. The associations have the larger, with the shows and everything. They have done their best. But man, am I ready to get back to what we do best and that's in person stuff.

John:             I agree with you. The one thing I will state though is content. If you have really good content, you're going to keep people, engaged, FIZM, the Fastener Industry Zoom Meetings. They do a great job with that; Chris and Marty take care of that. That's awesome.

                        Last week, there was a learning webinar that was going on and these guys were trying to be cutesy and I made it through the first half hour. It was all day thing. Every hour, it was a different topic that they were doing and, no way, it was just killing me to sit here and go through this. You have to have the right people and the right content or else it doesn't make any sense. People are going to drop off.

Jake:              Yeah, that's key for sure.

Eric:               Makes me think of all these poor kids who are being asked to do online learning, or some of them are doing what they're calling hybrid course. There's a bunch of empty nesters here on this conversation, but I think that we can all sympathize with the people who are taking care of high school aged kids, primary school aged kids. Man, that would be so hard to keep your attention.

Jake:              Yeah. I had lunch with a college buddy last week and he was explaining to me, and it's better now of course, but his kids, his older kids are kind of hybrid. And his youngest kid is in elementary all five days, but early on, he was working from home.

                        His wife was a Special Ed teacher. She's trying to figure out how she's going to do her job virtually, which is almost impossible because I think her emphasis is on speech. And, I got three kids, we're all trying to do our work. I'm in the kitchen. I can't fathom it and some hasn't changed.

                        You look around the country and some of it has stayed the same. I can speak to it a little bit. I saw it in my son he's a freshman in college, down in Arkansas. Just the ups and downs of it. Not having the ability to get together on a routine basis and be quote unquote, social, and having to work really hard to find stuff that they can do.

                        And not be able to leave his dorm to go up to the campus, have a couple classes, see people, friends, you just saw his mentality and I'll say attitude, and that might be a different word, but just again, a little bit of a roller coaster. And I think you're seeing that all over the country.

Eric:               It's a high price to pay for much better quality Zoom meetings.

Brian:            Yeah, you're right.

Eric:               But that's what we have right now. So, this whole situation, I guess, that dovetails into our topic, Du Jour which I will reconnect with at this point, just to say that I tried one more time while we're still recording. The question is to what do we attribute the disparity or the apparent disparity between the stunning optimism and the FDI and the general bleak sentiments out there in the world at large. The fastener industry is on fire. Everyone else is dying of Zoom fatigue, what's driving this?

Brian:            What's the alternate reality are we in? There's the issue.

John:             I look at our customer base and a lot of that is medical device, it's going rather strong. There's very good optimism. There's, I would say upstarts that are now couple of years old that are doing really well. Summit conductor for us is doing really well. They continue to look at more and more business going through and more tools being manufactured.

                        So, it's really tough. I had, one of our biggest manufacturers, did a price decrease last year to be more competitive, with the competition and they're the leader in the brand, or the industry or product manufacturer. I don't see that for us, that supply is an issue. It's been going strong. They talk about the amount of room in containers. The amount of containers that are available, the cost of sending product on ships, getting to us and that being an issue as well.

                        I only had one supplier that had to increase the cost and it was a brand-new manufacturer. I've never used this company before. They're over in Asia. And, they were doubling the price and I asked them why. And they said it was due to the increases in everything from material labor and transport.

                        So, I don't know whether it's just because it's a brand-new vendor and they get you with the low price and then, increase it when they see that you're interested or whether that was truly what was going on. But that's the only thing that I've had so far as far as a real price increase.

Brian:            Wow. I'm just amazed by this. Okay. If you were to look at things in general and I guess the aspirations and hopes of lots of people in other businesses, it's hard to define that this is such a gung-ho period in the fastener industry. What about the rest of the world rest of the universe? How does it figure?

Jake:              It seems a bit, just have a little blip, I don't know.

Eric:               Hang on, hang on. What's the little blip? We're dealing with biblical occurrences all around us.

Jake:              No. No. I wasn't talking about that aspect. I was talking specifically to the fastener industry in respect to, just the 62, in December. Is it going to come way back down? That was my technical term, Eric.

Brian:            That's a number that relates to boom times. If you were to go look back in five years’ time at this year we've just passed. It would be very hard, I think, to define it as a boom year. Okay.

Jake:              Agreed. But yet we've seen it. We saw it on the distribution side with a record year, and our fiscal year is different. So, we're about six months in here and both are trending with double digit gains, it goes against what headlines.

Brian:            I agree.

Jake:              We're just a very tough, the word escapes me of the industry, but I think we've said hell to the headlines. We're going to do our job. We're going to get in it and do it to the best of our abilities. I think you've seen companies, for an overused word, pivot time and time again, to service customers that need service. And it's led to the successes we're seeing.

Eric:               Drop the mic, baby, drop it.

Brian:            Wow.

Eric:               I love it, man. Let's just bask in the glory that is the fastener industry, shall we?

Jake:              Absolutely.

Eric:               Overcoming all odds, much like a group of mid-middle-aged people doing the Tough Mudder. We'll say.

Jake:              I knew you were going to circle back to that. That's awesome. As long as they don't have an index for the Tough Mudder, I think we'll be fine.

John:             I need a handicap.

Jake:              There you go. Handicap

John:             Or I am the handicap.

Eric:               Well, I give you guys a lot of credit just for agreeing to make the attempt.

Brian:            Even mentioning it, actually.

Eric:               It's huge. That is a really, really substantial course. I always thought you had to be like a decathlete or something to do those.

Jake:              I might need to research it now.

Brian:            Oh, you need to do some very careful research, actually.

John:             It didn't say we were going to win or place. Come on, man.

Jake:              Just finish right. We're going to finish.

John:             In one piece, not in a stretcher.

Jake:              That's good stuff.

John:             You talk about the resiliency of the fastener industry and that's what it is. It is resilient. We are dependent upon people to purchase product, and then people to make products. So, I do worry about the amount of debt right now that, this country is getting itself into. And, somewhere down the line it's going to have to be paid for.

                        I don't mean to be Debbie Downer, but as long as we just keep on going, I'll be happy. And you worry about the grandchildren that are going to have to pay for that.

Brian:            Oh yeah.

Jake:              But don't you guys think, I spoke about it earlier. I've got customers that can't get product to make finished goods. And that might take, 30 days, it might take 45 days, but at some point, they're not going to be using as many fasteners. If they can't get product or engines or like I said, this logistics aspect of it.

                        And GH3 shared an email with us, just the number of ships that are lined up out at long beach. What are you going to do? You don't feel like you're ever going to get caught up again.

John:             It's a good thing to happen, right?

Jake:              I guess.

Eric:               Well, see, this is exactly why I raised the question because we've got these crazy optimistic FLI numbers. I think it's seven months in a row above 50.

Brian:            Yes. I know.

Eric:               And yet we all have these pending doubts, about what's going to be coming down. John, you mentioned the debt. Jake, you're talking about eventually the demands got to dry up. We all kind of have a sense about this, but yet we're all giving the FLI numbers really high ratings.

                        I don't really know what's driving it either. I just figured I'd throw it out there and nothing else, I guess, someday we'll look back on it and say, something to study, an aspect of human nature. We can all look back on and perhaps take stock in.

John:             We remain positive, and we believe that it's going to be coming. The American way is to keep on fighting and to get there. So, we may look back and go, "Boy, were we wrong?" But we're going to keep on trying to get there. We're going to keep pushing this. There's no quit.

Eric:               Boo ya boys.

Brian:            Wow. Okay, good. I'm glad they've got these people like you around. Okay.

Jake:              Faster Industry businesses succeed. If you don't have that type of an attitude, it's a win attitude.

Eric:               Stepping into the gap, "Coolhand" John Butler, Tough Mudder, extraordinaire.

John:             Oh, Lord. Help me.

Jake:              Long title John.

Eric:               And well-deserved Jake. I don't know about yours. Can you live with that? Or should we sort of put that one on the shelf? What do you think? You know, speaking of shelves, we never really ran with that from another desk drawer thing. I thought that was too up too actually. So, I latched onto the coffee idea, but I don't know. Maybe you don't like that one either. What do you think?

Jake:              I liked the coffee one. I liked the call one. Jake ""Valdez worked for me. A little bit of an alias, mysterious yet supplier of infamous coffee.

John:             There are always new people coming into our industry. All of a sudden, they go, "Oh, here, listen to this podcast" I do this to my people I work with all the time and say, "Hey, look, you ought to listen to this podcast. You got to listen to this Zoom."

                        But its new people coming in and they don't have any idea. So, they start researching, who is this guy, Jake Davis. And what's this coffee thing. And who's ISSCO and BTM. It's great. This is our forum. This is how we get our name out there.

Eric:               For all those new listeners that John's referring to. We consume Old Rusty Bolt Beer all afternoon at the Fastener shows. Then the next morning we're slamming U-Bolt Blend Coffee, courtesy of Jake "Valdez" Davis. That's how it works around here.

Jake:              That's how we make the shows work right there. That combo.

Brian:            That's a great combo too.

Eric:               And hopefully in the near future, we have an opportunity. Again, we announced earlier that they pushed Fastener Fair off to November now. They're still shooting for an in-person event in November and that'll be in Ohio and that'll be in Cleveland. So, I'm pretty excited about that. Hopefully that comes off and hopefully we see you guys there.

Jake:              Yeah. I think I'm going to attend everything I can attend once we get to that point.

John:             Right. I agreed.

Eric:               I think it's like a lot of things. There's this pent-up demand for it. Those first shows out of the gate, assuming everybody feels cool with things, they're going to be huge.

Jake:              There'll be a gangbuster. I agree wholeheartedly. It'll be interesting. I've got a little bit of a trial balloon coming up. I think here in March or April, Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association is actually having their supplier showcase show here in Kansas City.

                        And as of right now, they're still planning to have it. We'll see. That might change, but that'll be interesting, just to be able to see what looks different. If it looks the same as the ones we've done in the past, but right here in my backyard, a lot easier to get to and spend time at.

Eric:               Sounds like a good warm up. Well, it's been great to have you guys on because it's a little slice of what we usually take for granted and hopefully it won't be too much longer before we roll out of here. What's going on at the Olander Company, we should all be aware of John. We know about the AVK webinar. You might want to shout that out one more time. I'm sure you got something else.

John:             Exactly. So, January 29th, we have our AVK webinar. We also have a new CEO and that is David Byrne and he has done great things. We have a new CFO, Paul Johnson, and we also just brought on board, vending machines and lockers, to add to our offering for our VMI programs.

                        Remote programs are a great way to broaden our reach. We are reselling to 45 different countries every year. So, we just keep on trying to be better at what we do, and we don't jump into things without making sure that we can't handle it, or we're not going to do a great job with it. So, I'm very, as we say, Olander proud.

Brian:            That's good.

Eric:               Right on. Mr. "Valdez". What's going on at BTM?

Jake:              Just, the same, we're as busy as we can be. John kind of touched on it. We're trying to get better. Better with quality, better with delivery. Trying to expand our reach. I did have a guy, my outside guy, local guy retired and so we're kind of taking it slow to replace him, but certainly interested in doing that.

                        He lived in the Kansas City area. He traveled to all the shows with me, Bruce Kuhn and he's going to be missed and he just missed the relationship aspect of it. And he just felt like him and his wife were in a good spot that they could do it, but he just didn't like sitting at home.

                        It doesn't sound right, but now he's going to retire and sit at home, but he didn't feel like he was treating BTM well by not being able to see customers and that. So that in a nutshell is, like I said, just trying to stay busy, stay in front and, watching steel increases and dealing with those.

Eric:               Well, a lot of people are pulling the plug or shaking things up at this point. And, so I guess that's to be expected, but hopefully we'll come back bigger and stronger. And if some of those new listeners that "Coolhand" mentioned a little while ago, if they call BTM and inquire about what's going on over there, they might find themselves with a complimentary couple of bags of U-Bolt Blend Coffee too.

Jake:              Yes. Absolutely. We've always got it on standby. You know that the roasters are ready.

Brian:            As long as you happen to be there. There's no way to control them because you've also got these other things with the various associations and actually occasionally trying to run both your companies.

Jake:              Exactly. Exactly.

John:             Now we know why it takes you so long to get to the other facility when you're riding your donkey.

Brian:            Yeah. Right.

Jake:              I should look into an upgrade in that transportation.

Eric:               Not really guys. I don't know if you notice, but we got this green new deal setting in, I think it will be perfect.

Jake:              Right. 1.9 trillion. That's going to be nothing compared to that.

Brian:            It's just a drop in the bucket.

Jake:              Hold on, boys. Hold on.

John:             Check please.

Eric:               John Butler, Jake Davis. Thanks for joining us guys.

Jake:              It was a pleasure. I always enjoyed the time together.

Brian:            We having fun too.

John:             Thank you so much for having me on and thanks Jake as well. Jake's a vendor of ours, so I appreciate it.

Jake:              Good to talk to you, John.

Eric:               We'll be keeping you all advised each episode on how the training for the big event will be coming folks. And until then, Brian, and I'll be back, it's Fully Threaded.

Jake:              Jake "Valdez" Davis with BTM manufacturing here. And boy, did we miss sharing our U-Bolt Blend Coffee with everyone this past year. Our Roasters at Eleos Coffee are on standby, and we're looking forward to connecting over some U-Bolt Blend Coffee real soon. BTM manufacturing is thankful for your continued support and wishes all of you continued success in 2021. BTM manufacturing, 'A Commitment to Service'.


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Frank:            This is Frank DeVito from Solution Industries and you're listening to Fully Threaded Radio.

Eric:               Well, Bri, I'm not sure if the date was changed or if he just misspoke, but "Coolhand" just texted me. It says the webinar for the AVK that he mentioned it's happening on the 28th, not the 29th.

Brian:            Well, just as well he caught up then. Nothing's worth us sitting around waiting for one of these Zoom meetings to start and realizing that maybe you got the time wrong.

Eric:               That happened to you too. Huh?

Brian:            It has.

Eric:               Welcome to my world. And in this case, since it was a day later, having it a day early, you could always log in the next day. But this kind of a mistake, don't forget folks. The Olander Company, AVK Seminar, it's happening on January 28th, not the 29th as previously mentioned here on Fully Threaded Radio.

                        Well, I don't know if we succeeded in explaining why things appear to be so good for the fastener industry right now, Bri. Although chaos around the world, but we sure had fun kicking it around. Huh?

Brian:            We did sort of strange, but good. We need some music to go with it, I think. Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo.

Eric:               It is Twilight Zoning around here for sure. The chairs against the wall. We said it at the top of the show. We'll say it again here, but hey, it was good of "Coolhand" John Butler of the Olander Company and Jake "Valdez" Davis with BTM Manufacturing, ISSCO for joining us today to discuss all that.

                        Also, Chris Donnell of Scanwell Logistics and Craig Penland of Eurolink Fastener Supply Service. Thanks, guys, for giving us your take on the subject of the day.

Brian:            Right.

Eric:               Dave Manthey too. Actually, when he appeared with Mike McNulty on the Fastener News Report, the FDI is on fire still folks. So, it'll be interesting to see what the January number looks like. Keep your fingers crossed and maybe the strangeness and the goodness continue.

                        And I won't forget to mention Carmen Vertullo and today's Fastener Training Minute. He's a nut, but we love him.

Brian:            And you can pick up all actually of the Carmen Vertullo the Faster Training Minutes. They're all on the, FCH news sites. We go there, click on news on one of the links on top of the page, you'll go there and you can choose whether you want the FDI Reports or whether you want the Faster Training Minutes. They're all been transcribed. Okay.

Eric:               Fastenersclearinghouse.com.

Brian:            Right.

Eric:               The title sponsors of Fully Threaded Radio are Stelfast. 'For Service You Deserve. And People You Trust'. It's Stelfast. Brighton-Best International, 'Tested, Tried, True'. Briton-Best and Goebel Fasteners, 'Quality The First Time'. Goebel.

                        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. 3Q, Inc., Volt Industrial Plastics and Würth Industry North America.

                        As we said at the top of the show, pretty much everything we do here at FCH and Fully Threaded is made possible by this list of companies, let them know you appreciate it everyone, and we appreciate you tuning in every episode, get with us to let us know how we're doing. The email address is ftr@fullythreaded.com.

                        And the other thing we covered with "Coolhand" and Mr. "Valdez" earlier, Bri, was this Tough Mudder contest. I don't know if they know what they got themselves into.

Brian:            Oh, I would say by now they've had a look on the web and they've figured out that maybe a little difficult.

Eric:               Maybe a little more than they were bargaining for, but you know what? I think they can do it. They're both guys with a strong will and furthermore, they've committed to it in front of the whole industry. And I looked up online to see when is the most likely event.

                        And I think Jake mentioned it. It's true. There's one in Chicago. This is happening August 14th and 15th. Actually, it's not Chicago. It's in Rockford, which is Northwest of the city, but they have the classic 5K and then they have a shorter one, which is a 3K.

                        And I'm not sure which one has been slated by Bob "GQ" Baer who is really the ringleader of this whole thing. But my guess would be that if anyone in the fastener industry, if you're in the Midwest or you want to travel in for this thing, assuming it comes off, Bob "GQ" Baer over there at Abbott-Innerfast would be thrilled to add to the posse.

Brian:            Yes.

Eric:               And he's got a really interesting crew lined up already as we understand it. So Tough Mudder, Chicago, August 14th and 15th, 2021. At least you've got the benefit of knowing. You're probably not going to be bringing up the rear, Bri.

Brian:            I thought you're going to say a live for much longer. I don't know what the stuff was for.

Eric:               I think the backdoor slots are filled up, although you never know this, these guys may hit the training table with a fury, knowing them. They probably are, so who knows what the final lineup will look like, but I plan on keeping this front and center as we approach that date, Bri.

Brian:            Okay. I thought you might.

Eric:               And we'll start with that on episode 161 of Fully Threaded Radio, when we've got GH3 Brighton-Best's own George Hunt, he'll be with us. He's going to be in the Tough Mudder race. We'll also be talking with Becky McMorrow from Würth Industry North America. She's doing a ton of great stuff with their marketing over at Würth as if you haven't noticed lot of new stuff has been coming out, especially over the last year from them.

Brian:            Oh yeah.

Eric:               So, it's going to be a good episode, plus lots of other surprises and probably some additional strangeness. I don't think we'll be quite through this phase by then, Bri.

Brian:            No, I don't either.

Eric:               And that's going to put this episode of Fully Threaded Radio in the can everybody thanks so much for clicking in.

Brian:            And if you figure out what really is happening and which universe we're really in, then let us know, please.

Eric:               Ftr@fullythreaded.com for that folks.

                        For Brian Musker. This is Eric Dudas. Get out there, sell some screws, get that training started and we'll talk to you next time.

Brian:            See you next time folks. Keep selling fasteners okay.


Fully Threaded Radio was a production of Fasteners Clearing House. Music provided by Audionautix.