Voice of FCH Sourcing Network
Fully Threaded Radio
Feb. 19, 2021

Episode #161 - Not Lonely

Episode #161 - Not Lonely

As dark winter storms freeze the country, MWFA president George Hunt III plans for a heated race come summer, and ever expanding product lines for Brighton Best International (1:27:54). Expansion keeps good company as  Würth Industry North America VP of Marketing, Becky McMorrow describes another prime acquisition, and a new digital media offering for the industry giant (13:12). G.L. Huyett CEO, Tim O’Keeffe joins Mike McNulty on the Fastener News Report, and gives the podcast its first ever country single debut (44:45). Plus: Carmen Vertullo’s Fastener Training Minute covers the cause of rust on stainless (1:18:19). Brian takes a significant step, and Eric flies solo but he’s not alone.  Run time: 02:20:33 


Topic:       Episode # 161 – Not Lonely

Date:         February 18, 2021

Hosts:       Eric Dudas

                  Brian Musker

Duration: 2:20:33 Minutes


Intro:              It's Fully Threaded Radio, Episode, 161.

                        I am coach. And I'm here with a couple of my friends from the Tough Mudder Pro-Team, Hunter and Kareena. We're in front of Electroshock Therapy. Now I have a couple of tips for you before we complete this obstacle. Number one, we're just going to get psyched up. Number two; we're going to link arms with our friends. Number three; we're going to keep our nice pace throughout this whole theme.

                        Keep on moving and number four; you better look out for them pesky hay bales. Let's do this. I have a few fun facts about this fantastic obstacle. Number one, it came to the top of the scene in 2011. Number two, it's 800 square feet of electrical madness. That's 10,000 bolts that are going to come right through you. And number three, we have two rows of hay bales to make you stumble throughout. Pretty exciting.

Eric:               It's time for Fully Threaded Radio voice of the FCH Sourcing Network. Yes, it's another Odyssey along the ethernet helix. That is the fastener industry. And this is the talk radio podcast that gives you a view of each exciting torque induced turn. Thanks for clicking in.

                        Hi everyone, Eric Dudas with you. And the co-host of Fully Threaded, who is almost always with us for these openings is not here at the moment. He's usually, Brian Musker. Well, he still is Brian Musker, but he's not here right now. I'll explain that shortly. Kind of get a lonely feeling when I say that, but hey, you're here, I'm here.

                        And it's Episode 161 of the podcast. We're publishing this one on February 18th, 2021. And that still has a strange sound to me, but this is where we are and it's colder than a well-diggers ass in the Klondike across much of the country. Hopefully you're making the best of it.

                        We don't like to dwell too long on the obvious here on the show, but parts of the fastener industry have been affected. Places like Texas, for example, where the wind turbines froze solid and added to the misery. Lot of delayed shipments is the point the fastener industry has been impacted. So, it is fastener related. I guess some people were thinking they help prevent the rolling blackouts and guess the frozen wind turbines aren't, proving to be that great of a viable, alternative energy source.

                        Oh, well, even in Texas who would have thought. Some disruptions are clearly not weather related though, such as the chaos at the ports, which is continuing, that's an ongoing theme here on the podcast and let's see the lovely and talented Lynn Dempsey shot me a link. This is a video comes from a site called American Shipper Daily, and it's an aerial view of the backup at the long beach ports.

                        And it's just unbelievable, frankly. There's no other way to say it. Get up to American Shipper Daily or I'm sure there are photos of this all over the place, but you know what I'm saying? Be it weather, be it port congestion or any one of a number of things. There's a lot to discuss on the podcast today. At today's feature segment, we're glad to have a returning guest.

                        He's the new president of the MWFA. He's also, I believe a national spokesperson for the Argyle Action Committee. He's G. H. Three, George Hunt III from Brighton-Best. He's got a lot to share during this conversation, including how the aforementioned cargo turmoil is impacting distributors.

                        Plus, he's working with Bob "GQ" Baer to make the fastener industry Tough Mudder event, a huge success this summer. And Brian was here for that conversation. So those of you who are already missing our Texas friend, don't have to wait too long and he drops kind of a large bomb at the top of this segment.

                        I really wasn't expecting him to do that, but I think you'll be glad to hear Brian's news. That's all coming up on today's feature. We'll kick the episode off with a conversation with Becky McMorrow of Würth Industry North America, she's VP of marketing and business transformation.

                        And she has word on an all-new digital media endeavor that we'll be launching very soon. It's called Würth Knowing. Looks like a very exciting new video series featuring a couple of guys from Würth who really know their stuff. So, there's more company out there on the fastener media landscape. Welcome aboard.

                        Also, a big surprise here Würth just announced another mega acquisition. If you haven't caught this one yet, Becky's got details for us. On the Fastener News Report. McNulty talks to G. L. Huyett President, Tim O'Keeffe. They run down the latest fastener distributor index numbers. Also don't miss Mike today because he does another great back page report with another one of his famous thread pills.

                        And then we wind his segment down with a new country track by lonesome Tommy O'Keeffe. Yes, he's the son of Tim O'Keeffe. And I'll tell you the kid isn't bad. And if you like what you hear, I'm going to play this tune in its entirety at the end of the show today. So, stick around. Tommy O'Keeffe getting tons of plays out there on Spotify with this new track. So, it's really great to share this with the industry. And of course, Tim's very proud.

                        Brian is not here, but Carmen Vertullo most certainly is. This time on the Fastener Training Minute, he'll be speaking about stainless steel and oxidation, otherwise known as rust. Why does this happen? It's not supposed to, well, Carmen knows why of course. That's the Fastener Training Minute. We're so fortunate to have Carmen on the podcast.

                        He does these training minutes off the cuff in many cases, I ambush him on a Saturday. Sometimes he'll be working around AIM Test Lab. I just call him. He drops everything and records, amazing guy, and will do anything to help you out. Check out aimtestlab.com and the Fastener Training Minute rounds out a full lineup on another great episode of Fully Threaded Radio.

                        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’, Brighton-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. This is just an outstanding group of companies supporting the podcast and the FCH Sourcing Network. We very much appreciate it.

                        And Brian and I hope that everybody out there in the audience will let them know when you have the opportunity to tell them how much you appreciate it. Thanks in advance. Thanks also for listening in, get with us anytime. The email address is ftr@fullythreaded.com and we added a little widget to the fullythreaded.com homepage where you can now leave a voicemail for Brian and Eric.

                        And this is a simple thing. You click on the link and drop a voicemail, right under the website, who knows what we'll do with these things. Just testing this out might be fun. Please don't use the voicemails though, for requesting services from FCH. Get out the fastenersclearinghouse.com, contact us that way, just like usual.

                        And, I guess with that, this is going to sound like one of these gushy things you hear on talk radio all the time, which I hate, but somebody asked us recently to put some testimonials together and I had a chance to talk to a pretty good-sized group of FCH members, scrubber clients. Some of you guys who've been around for quite a while, and it's hard to believe actually how long we've been working with some of you. Some of you have been with FCH 15 years since we started.

                        And a lot of the scrubber clients that we've been working with have been several years also. So that's a great thing in and of itself, but in requesting some of these testimonials, some of the wonderful things that were said. I just want to say Brian and I really appreciate it. Not very good at this again, I hate these things on talk radio, but I guess what I'm leading up to is something bigger.

                        Getting myself off the hook, because in reality, I owe a few people a call back. We've got a few people who have been inquiring about getting on the podcast, advertising with the podcast and some scrubber business that is waiting. And these are all wonderful things. We're doing as much as we can, as fast as we can please be patient, we'll get with you.

                        Sometimes feeling like plate spinners at the circus. So fastenersclearinghouse.com is the website. You know it, as the FCH Sourcing Network, we appreciate it when you're out there. It takes a lot of plates spinners is my point.

                        And that leads into one other reason Brian is not with us here, is we had a couple of scrubber projects all jam up at once and he just got overbooked. And he said, hey, we can spend the morning recording, but I really have to do these couple of critical projects. They're really at important stages. So, I said, "Hey, you know what, I'll fly solo this time for a little while. Hopefully you can hop on at the end."

                        Like I said, we've got his voice for you on the G.H. three segment. It's a great one. And I'll do the best I can to keep those plates spinning all by my lonesome. Well, thanks for listening, everybody, Fully Threaded will return with some exceptionally entertaining and informative fastener related conversation. So, there's no need for you to feel lonely. We'll be back with Becky McMorrow immediately following this short break.


Online Fastener Talk Radio. At least it kills time on long road trips, Fully Threaded Radio.

                        Your tools first and foremost must be reliable no matter what line of work you're in, they should perform consistently and be intended to make the job easier for the consumer. Ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue on the body and longer use on the job site.

                        The Goebel riveting tool family provides this, whether you choose from our cordless battery, manual or pneumatic hydraulic tool options, all our tools provide the optimum power and reliability needed for fatigue free work. Our most important attribute is the assurance that our tools are reliable and provide a solid level of craftsmanship. 'Quality the First Time'. Goebel Fasteners, gloebelfasteners.com.

                        Stelfast customers say it all. Tim Minter, Northern State Supply. I've been in this industry for 40 years and I can never remember basically when Stelfast hasn't been a part of it, they've taken care of us over the years helped us grow. Quality outfit, quality people. This goes back to the days when Sorano and you call up to Toronto. And we ran out of some 70's jam nuts, and they were basically just opening Cleveland. I believe at the time. And president and company took care of it.

                        And got us what we needed in about three or four days and saved us from shutting down the production line and they'll bend over backwards and take care of your needs for you. It's more of a personal relationship with the group. Very good group of people.

                        'For Service You Deserve and People You Trust'. It's Stelfast.

                        At Brighton-Best, we continue to expand our wide range of products, including stainless steel and metric fasteners. Our family of brands include preferred 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 master distributor of fasteners in the USA, 'Tested, Tried and True'. We are Brighton-Best. To learn more about Brighton-Best, visit brightonbest.com.

Clayton:        Hey, this is Clayton Allen from Buckeye Fasteners in Cleveland, Ohio, and you're listening to Fully Threaded Radio.

Eric:               Frequent listeners to Fully Threaded Radio know that positioning fastener companies for success in this rapidly changing world is a constant theme. We keep discussing it and the pace of change continues to accelerate. Joining us now to continue on that subject is someone who understands a lot about it. Her title at Würth Industry North America is Vice-President of marketing and business transformation. She's Becky McMorrow and she's with us now. Thanks for being here, Becky.

Becky:           Eric. Thanks for having me. It's really a pleasure. I've been in the fastener industry just a couple years, but in distribution many more years. And it's really great to be on the show and I'm a long-time listener and you've had quite a few of my colleagues on. So, it's really a pleasure to be on today and talk through some really important topics we have going on in industry.

Eric:               Well, glad to have you. And, yeah, thanks for being out there. We plan to jump right into a conversation about the digital transformation happening all around us and scanning LinkedIn for any pertinent breaking news ahead of connecting with you. Sure, enough Würth is right in the thick of the news with another huge acquisition announcement.

Becky:           That's right, Eric, we just recently announced the acquisition of Atlantic Fasteners, and really, that helps round out our construction platform. So, we have several companies that make up Würth Industry North America that are uniquely devoted to serving the construction industry.

                        So, we have Würth House of Threads. We have Weinstock Brothers, Würth Action Bolt recently came back into the fold and now we have Atlantic Fasteners. And Atlantic Fasteners is really important to rounding out the product assortment as well as services that we can offer the construction customers nationwide. Because they're not only a distributor for the construction business, they're also a manufacturer and they manufacture key anchor bolts, which really are the initial drivers to any construction opportunity.

                        So, we're really excited about having Atlantic Fasteners as part of the Würth Group. And we were really excited about kicking off a marketing promotion campaign. Truly talk about how our new customer focused division of construction can really help be there to support construction nationwide.

Eric:               Well, it looks like another opportunity for you to practice your skills of applying state-of-the-art marketing strategies. That's for sure, no shortage of those around Würth these days. And thinking about the Atlantic acquisition and how Würth is executing on your strategy of providing expert supply chain solutions. In this case, within the construction services arena, you have this group of operating companies. I'm wondering what kinds of things can we expect to see from you as you digitally transform this business?

Becky:           Well, having Würth Action Bolt, come back into the Würth Industry Group. It was part of the Würth Wood Group for several years. But it really is more suited in the industrial and construction space and they have an e-commerce platform, that we intend to utilize for all of our construction customers.

                        So not only are we able to provide the vendor managed inventory solutions to the construction industry, with the structural fasteners, that is our bread and butter everyday. We also are available to, with the e-commerce platform, offer them, the ability to purchase, tools and other, MRO safety equipment online. Because we do understand that although we're really focused on being there for our customers in person, delivering fasteners everyday.

                        We also understand the need for our customers to order online, and have that contact list, capabilities, for ease of use. So, we're going to continue to invest in e-commerce platforms, not only for the construction business, but for our industrial customers as well.

Eric:               We were talking a day or so ago when we booked this conversation in, and you were telling me that you were launching a new YouTube channel that was going to be I guess, a video podcast of sorts. Is that going to be used as a device for promoting all this? I hope so. Sounds exciting.

Becky:           Absolutely. The Würth Group is still very much under the influence of its founder Professor Würth who is over 80 years old and very much involved with the business. And that's a business that he built into a very profitable business, $15 billion Goebel Fastener Company. But what I love about working for Würth is its culture. And what they stand for is to really inspire customers, not just sell to customers.

                        And we're very much a selling organization, but we want to make sure that, we provide a well-rounded offering. And, as a marketing guru and having built a strong marketing team at Würth over the last couple of years, we really wanted to see how we could take this guiding principle of inspiring our customers, and reaching our customers with education.

                        We support the Fastener Institute. We, do Fastener Academy trainings, but we really wanted to reach a wider audience. And, Eric the video channel, YouTube has been a hit and TikTok, and everyone's glued to their mobile device watching videos. So, we thought, how can we reach our prospective customers? How do we reach our employees across the US in a really fun and engaging way?

                        And talk about the brand and talk about fasteners and educate more people about, fasteners and all of the different topics that we hear everyday from our customers that they want to learn about. So, we really put our heads together and said, how about launching a program featuring, Randy Lammers, who, if you've ever had a chance to meet, he is fantastic.

                        He's been in the industry for a really long time. And, he has been training young engineers and he's been in customer locations, and he's just got a lot of knowledge to share with everyone. And he's been doing these Fastener Academy, programs in person at customer locations, but he can only do about 10 of those in person a year. And we said, "How do we get Randy in front of more people?"

                        And, we talked to them about our idea of launching a YouTube program, which is really a 20-minute Q&A session and covering a topic that's near and dear to our customers' hearts. For example, the first topic we'll be covering is all about torque and how do you measure torque in a fastener? And, when we first approached Randy, he's used to doing things one way, in person. And it took a lot of convincing, with Randy to say, "Hey, this could be fun." And, you could reach people.

Eric:               Transformative.

Becky:           Transformative. We didn't want to scare him too much with a bunch of marketing lingo, but we did paint a picture of how he would be able to reach more people. And so, basically, we started taping the first couple sessions and we're looking to launch this YouTube channel, March 10th. And, we'll do two episodes a month and we hope to continue as long as we've got interested viewers.

Eric:               Okay, now I don't want to jump the gun on this, but is there a title for this new entity?

Becky:           Yes.

Eric:               Is that yet to be unveiled?

Becky:           Yes. I am happy to share it's called the Würth Knowing. So, it's all of the topics and key points of confusion if you will, that are worth knowing. And obviously we have a little play on words there with the Würth brand and, and Würth Knowing. So, that was what, Randy, so it's not only Randy, but we also have Aaron Keevan, he's a younger engineer on staff.

                        Those two came up with the title and, this is kind of their baby and their focus. And we're going to give them as much creative license as is possible within the marketing and brand, confines. But, they're real excited about it, and of course we're excited to bring a little bit more, innovation in the fastener industry and showcase how cool it can be to talk about fasteners. And I know your listeners already know, and absolutely, respect that because you've had a lot of innovative topics over the years.

Eric:               Oh, a hundred percent. I think Fully Threaded listeners are going to be some of your best viewers because let's face it. They're already dialed into the joys of learning about fasteners on a digital platform. So, we do a little bit of that around here. Now I'm hoping that Randy and Aaron have some hydrogen embrittlement topics that they're going to put on their list, but we can get to that down the road, I suppose.

Becky:           They do. And I can't wait for that episode because, not being really from the industry I have a lot to learn. So, I'm going to be glued to my YouTube channel, certainly as these episodes come out and continue to listen to Fully Threaded Radio, of course.

Eric:               Okay. Well, thank you for that. I had conversations with you previously, and I'm actually surprised that you have a relatively short tenure thus far in the fastener industry. You really do know the industry pretty well, I would say. And you're certainly enthusiastic about your profession marketing. And what is the background? Where did you come from? How did you get here?

Becky:           Well, I guess I would say my background is more in distribution. I spent quite a bit of time at, Newark Electronics, part of Avnet, which is, a $7 billion operation in the US and that's really where, I learned more about distribution. We had a very robust e-commerce channel, multi-channel approach to servicing our customer, in the distribution industry. But I think, if you look at the electronics industry or, the fastener industry, they're similar in that they service manufacturing.

                        And I also really started my career in marketing, in the manufacturing industry. I worked for a home textile manufacturing, a startup, right outside of Chicago for several years. And then I did, more of an industrial knob manufacturing, part of a large manufacturing group.

                        Once you understand manufacturing, you understand the customer. Working on the other side in distribution really helps you be a better marketer because you understand what issues manufacturing faces. And really, they're always looking to save costs. They're always looking to improve their profitability and be more lean. And, it's really kind of a good fit, when you know the customers, it makes it a little bit easier.

Eric:               Well, you don't seem to have lost your stride coming to Würth because I have noticed, and I think a lot of people have noticed that, well, let's just say in the last recent while there's been a lot coming out, that's very impressive and it's definitely on an uptick. Put it that way.

Becky:           Well, I appreciate that. I have a great team and it's really been exciting to build a supplier marketing team too at Würth and do some, like I said, innovative things. I'm really fortunate that I work for a business that appreciates, innovation that allows us to take risks. And, last year we did the first in the industries, Virtual Supplier Day.

Eric:               Wow.

Becky:           And, Sarah McDaniel who came up with that idea, ran it by me. And I said, "I think it's great. Let's do it." She's like, "It's never really been done before, and I'm not really sure how it's going to work out." And I said, "Well, you know what? We got to try it." And, that's kind of the direction I always take with my team, to push the envelope, fail fast. Don't be afraid of failing.

                        And when you create that environment in the team, they're always willing to come up with really, really crazy ideas and some of them work and some of them don't work. But I'm certainly pleased with the way that the Virtual Supplier Day came out. It was great for our team to meet with our different suppliers.

                        What was really interesting about that, we didn't think about in the initial planning was it gave us more opportunity for different teams in the Würth Group to meet with our suppliers and chat with them. Because certainly, we can't fly everyone right to one location, even pre-pandemic. The costs are just too high for everyone to meet face-to-face, but we had our international colleagues join in.

                        We had, different groups like our business development specialists right out of college. They got a chance to meet with suppliers. So, it was a really unique and really cost-effective way to meet with our suppliers. And, once everyone got over the technology, when we first launched it that day. I think people, sat back and said, "Hey, this isn't that bad. I think we can do that."

                        Not that it replaces a face-to-face interaction, but for the time being, it was a good solution. And I'm glad we did it, even though, I'll be honest. The team was very stressed out about making it work. So, I'm glad it turned out.

Eric:               Well, the weirdness of the tech is offset a little bit by all the participants' willingness, I think, to accept that. And then they're prepared to have some rapid-fire high bandwidth interaction. So that makes it nice. What was the biggest takeaway from it that you learned? Where did you pick up the biggest amount of information to improve the next one?

Becky:           Probably doing a trial run with the suppliers, would have been helpful. I don't think it was really offered through the platform. We did a lot of planning upfront, making sure that all of the collateral like videos were loaded, properly and logos were loaded properly. A walk through of what they were supposed to do, but when it comes down to it, anything new with technology. You're going to run into some issues.

                        So, whether some had bandwidth issues or it had a hard time getting some of the videos to work, it always helps if you've done it once before. So, I definitely think that, the next time we do it, of course, I'm praying that this pandemic will be over as soon as possible. We can go back to face-to-face interactions, but if not, we'll be ready and our suppliers will be ready and more prepared, feeling more comfortable, I should say, using the technology. Using their own avatar and probably even more excited about creating an avatar to do the supplier day.

                        So, certainly learned a lot. I think everyone learned a lot. And the other thing that we learned that suppliers liked was with the digital platform. you get a lot of data. And that's really critical because traditional trade shows you spend a ton of money bringing people together, and that networking is really hard to qualify. It's important. We all know it's important, but when you get the bill at the end of the trade show, and it's $150,000, and you have a couple leads, you're like, Ooh, was that worth it? Because you really can't quantify that.

                        And, while everyone's looking for cost savings, you have to justify every dollar. Well, the data out of the virtual trade show is really robust. So, who downloaded a video, who looked at a sales presentation, who logged on, who spent time at each booth? And we provided that all to our suppliers after the event. So, they could really understand which area of the Würth Group.

                        And given that we're a pretty large group, which areas we're interested in, which part of their product line and who they should follow up with because all of that data was provided to them. So that was really a good, positive feeling from the suppliers after event. Like, wow, this was time well spent because I have a lot of actionable data coming out of the show.

Eric:               Oh yeah, that's huge. And that kind of business Intel, especially digitally, like you have it, that's big. And it also minimizes the chance that you'll accidentally lose your folder of very precious leads at a bar in Vegas somehow.

Becky:           Exactly.

Eric:               Not that that's happened recently.

Becky:           Very true.

Eric:               Well, speaking is sort of the anti-planner and the off the cuff artist that I am. I could tell you going back a few moments, what you said, rehearsal, and pre-planning that sort of a thing. It never hurts. So, I think that's probably another great takeaway. Yeah. Well, another thing that I bet you learned is that your users or your attendees figured out ways to use the technology that you weren't expecting.

                        I'll tell you, we're constantly amazed by that at FCH, when we see inquiries and source finders flying around and the information that companies pass back and forth, it's almost like it's not an RFQ or an inquiry. It's more like a transaction on a social media platform. People, they use technology in ways that you don't expect.

Becky:           I agree. And, certainly a company's overall and Würth is also in this boat. We need to do a better job nurturing the leads that we spend so much money to get. So, whether it's a lead through Fastener Clearing House, what you provide, what we do in our marketing activities. When we collect information, via the web or at a virtual trade show or in-person trade show.

                        I do think putting together a better process of understanding who those leads are, what we should do, how we should segment them and what resources we can put into the different segmented leads, to get our most bang for our buck. And I think, any sort of digital efforts needs to take into consideration how we transform leads into actual customers.

                        And what is that process, because you can't keep spending money on leads if you're not going to do anything, but there are so many ways to collect leads and find new So, business. It's more of an overwhelming of the data that you need to think about these days, than the actual, collecting more data. We all see data all over the place, but is it actionable? What are you doing with it? And, is it the right activities driving it?

Eric:               Yes. The many nebulous mysteries of the sales funnel. I could see you've got your arms around that, Becky.

Becky:           We're trying.

Eric:               Well, I've got a, sort of a hot take question for you dove-tailing on this idea about people using these various platforms, like social, you're probably very aware that people are switching their social media platforms in droves of these days. So, it's happening for a variety of reasons, but thousands of users profess that they're either closing or leaving their accounts.

                        And I'm talking like the majors. Facebook, Twitter, so forth, and they're going elsewhere, or, just like sulking about it, I guess. A question for you. What do you think the impact of this trend is going to be on us as marketers in the fastener industry, if any, it's a big shakeup?

Becky:           Well, to be honest, I don't view it as a permanent thing. So, everything we're facing these days. I think not only do we have Zoom fatigue, but we have overall digital fatigue. And, I understand that, as a consumer that, I'm bombarded with far too many emails and you also get tired of, the standard social networks, and sometimes you need to take a break.

                        And I know myself for, I have colleagues that have just said, you know what, I'm taking a break for a little bit from Facebook, or I'm taking a break from LinkedIn, and you need sort of to reset and step away. I don't think it's a trend, meaning that everyone's going to step away forever. Because we're still very social human beings and we need to connect.

                        And, as we continue through this pandemic, even though we need breaks, we're going to go back to trying to find connections. But I will say, those businesses, whether it's consumer business or it's a B2B business, we do have to be more innovative. And in the social arena, you can't just keep putting out the same social post on, what new product you're coming out with, you get fatigue, viewer fatigue a lot.

Eric:               Exactly. It's like every time I go on to LinkedIn, boom, there's Würth another acquisition, it gets boring.

Becky:           Well, I have to tell you working through the operational aspects of those acquisitions are really, really tough. So, when we finally get to the fact that, we are acquiring and we're integrating, and we're expanding, I get pretty exciting. Now I understand that, if you keep reading those, you might get a little fatigued, but, that's where we certainly do need to vary our content.

                        And, I think it's really important to add humor into our social posts, even if, as a fastener company and a fastener company that's been around for over 75 years, because you still need to laugh every day and you need to have a positive outlook. And generally, humor does that. Now we're not going to get too crazy because, we're still part of a really strong family brand.

                        That's fairly conservative, but I think we could all use a little bit more humor in our lives. So, I'm hoping that you'll find our social posts continuing to be engaging and maybe a little funny and like our new YouTube program, so that you won't get fatigued. Or even if you need to take a break, you come back. So that's my hope.

Eric:               We're not expecting those kinds of posts end anytime soon. And I'm looking forward to meeting Randy and Aaron, you gave me an idea, I'll talk to you about it offline.

Becky:           Oh exciting. Okay.

Eric:               One other thing. I send an email over to Würth's CEO, Dan Hill, a while back asking him to please not buy any more FCH members. That message must have wound up in the spam box. So, if you could pass the request along.

Becky:           I certainly will, but I think you've had enough interactions with him to know that, he marches to his own beat of the drum. So, he'll probably keep continuing to grow the business and make sure that Würth is around for a really long time.

Eric:               Yes. I think we're counting on that. Well, before you take off Becky, I'd like to mention that while I was scanning LinkedIn ahead of our conversation, I also saw a post, Oh, this was yesterday. Announcing Würth is once again, a sustaining sponsor of the Fastener Training Institute. And that's very thematic among other things, because that support is enabling the training Institute really to develop a much-needed virtual training platform. So, I know the industry appreciates it and I appreciate it.

Becky:           Well, thank you. Yes. We're very appreciative of what you do, what the Fastener Training Institute does. The different platforms, whether it be your podcasts or the more formal trainings through Fastener Training Institute, really help educate our team. And they really appreciate the partnership and seeing that Würth, make sure that they're investing in education.

                        Educating not only their employees, but the industry as a whole. Because we're in this together and we appreciate all of the efforts we like to invest in education. And yes, we're going to continue as long as we can with Fastener Training Institute and all of the other great education opportunities in the industry, because it is important and we all want to grow, in our career. We all want to grow professionally and personally, and we're going to continue to invest in that.

Eric:               We've been speaking with Becky McMorrow, she's Vice- President of marketing and business transformation at Würth industry North America. And Becky, you clearly have an extremely full to do list. So, I really appreciate you taking the time today.

Becky:           Eric, pleasure's all mine. I really appreciate the time.

Eric:               Stay with us everyone. McNulty's up next with the amazing results of the fastener distributor index numbers from January. It's Fully Threaded.


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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'.

Pam:              This is Pam Berry with advanced components. You're listening to Fully Threaded Radio.

Eric:               Hello, thread lovers. We'll come back to more of this fastener fandango. We call Fully Threaded.

                        It's the News segment. And a lot of people really enjoyed this part of the podcast. We're pleased to bring it to you. Volt Industrial Plastics sponsors the Fastener News Report each month. They're makers of the world's finest plastic fasteners of course. Couple items before we toss it over to McNulty.

                        This time, he'll be speaking with Tim O’Keeffe on the FDI. Got a call from Bob Chiricosta over there at Fastener Fair USA. I hope you all know that Fastener Fair after being postponed, canceled, postponed, it's now sitting at November 9th and 10th at the Huntington Convention Center, Cleveland, Ohio.

                        Bob was wanting to know, hey, you figure this is going to cause a problem because what they did over there at Reed, the operators of Fastener Fairs, they doubled up on the dates. They got caught in the pinch that everyone else did with trying to get these shows in.

                        And so, they're all stacked up at the end of the year now, including the largest fastener show. I think it's still the largest one the planet. That's the Stuttgart show. And as it turns out, that's happening also November 9th and 10th. Now his question, I think it was almost self-answering, but they pretty much came to the conclusion that there's not going to be a problem with conflicting schedules because let's face it. Nobody's expecting international travel to really bounce back quite that quickly.

                        So, Fastener Fair USA in Cleveland will be happening during the same time period Fastener Fair Stuttgart is going on. I know where I'll be to see out there. And Brian and I actually have a jump this time around because we've got our booth picked out. It's 224 right next to Eurolink Fastener Supply Service. So, if that works out, we'll see you there. Hope it does get out to fastenerfairusa.com for details on that one.

                        Another event you should all be aware of. It's coming up just around the corner, actually. We talked about this one last time. It's the NFDA virtual conference and executive sales planning sessions. This is open to all members of the fastener industry. So, you've probably never had a better opportunity to mingle with the NFDA, try it on for size, meet some new people.

                        And the ESPS sessions are really the way to do that. It's a way to sit down in a room with suppliers and really get to know them. This of course is happening in a virtual setting this time around. It's one of the most popular things that the NFDA does actually. And again, they're welcoming non NFDA members.

                        So, plug in over at nfda-fastener.org. And you will notice if you look down the schedule of events; day one, that's March 3rd at about 3:30 or so. Oh no, 3:45. There's going to be a panel discussion that I will be moderating. Rich Megliola of Vertex, Melissa Patel of Field and Marc Strandquist from Optimas will be on board for that. There's a lot of other great things happening.

                        And then of course, the next day, March 4th, are those ESPS sessions. Well, worth your time. While I'm speaking here, I'm getting a couple of messages from some people that I know in Texas. We've been doing an affiliate project and we've got a guy working for us down there in Texas. I'm not exactly sure where he is, but all I know is he's in the middle of these rolling blackouts because things keep getting delayed. You can't get a hold of them.

                        And then all of a sudden, he'll pop up and he's apologizing profusely, but let's face it. There's not much he can do. They're sitting there in the dark in a lot of cases. Who could believe this almost like they predicted it, this dark winter thing? Well, it's like, there's an agenda happening, rolling out here in the year 2021. It's looking more like a cross between Atlas Shrugged and Dr. Zhivago down there. Hang tough Longhorns. And I know they will.

                        And one other item before we toss it over to McNulty. Looking at the latest Distributor Link Magazine prepping up for today's podcast, Stelfast has kind of an unusual full-page ad it's on page 29. I don't recall ever seeing one come out of Stelfast like this headline is 'What is a Master Distributor'? They say, "Today, when you need domestic inch or metric fasteners, and you're not connected directly to new core Stelfast is a part of LindFast Solutions Group is your distributors distributor. For those new core domestic products. Stelfast maintains an average of 1500 tons of new core stock ready for you to draw from. Stelfast, already drop ships for lots of their distributors. And there's no reason they can't do it for you too. Contact your Stelfast representative for quotes and orders." 

And Stelfast, of course, they're now part of the LindFast Solutions Group. And they're one of the great title sponsors of Fully Threaded Radio as our Brighton-Best International and Goebel Fasteners. We say it all the time, but it's true. They do a lot to bring you the podcast and everything else. Brian and I try to bring to the fastener industry.

                        I mentioned at the top of the episode today, but don't forget, we're going to close out this Fastener News Report and then the podcast itself with a really great country tune produced by Tommy O'Keeffe that's Tim O'Keeffe's Marlboro red smoking son. I don't know if he actually smokes but somebody sings about it. So, make sure you listen to the entirety of today's report. Think you'll get a kick out of that. Thanks for listening everyone. Here's 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.

                        Football games in America have come to an end until late summer. I would like to tip my hat to the players, coaches, and fans at the professional college and high school levels for their efforts to navigate the pandemic without having to wear double masks threatened to go on strike or lecture the general public about science, danger or data.

                        Now let's see what baseball has in store for us this spring, other than cardboard, cutouts of fans and empty seats and fake crowd noise. But until then, I am still focused on fasteners and ready to deliver today's Fastener News Report.

                        In this episode, Tim O'Keeffe, chief executive officer of G.L. Huyett 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 Würth Industry North America, as well as newsmaker headlines from Dyson, Bolton, KAMAX, Brighton-Best International, Tri-Fast, Bossard and the Fastener Fairs.

                        On the back page report, we're going to talk about a helpful collaboration between government higher education and the fastener industry. 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 January, 2021 came in at 57.7. Moderating slightly from December's very strong reading of 62.6, but still showing nice growth. Fastener distributor index data is collected and analyzed by the FCH Sourcing network. The National Fastener Distributors Association and Baird.

                        The FTI seeks to identify demand pricing and outlook trends within the American Fastener Distribution Industry. To get some insights on these results we talked to Tim O'Keeffe, chief executive officer of G.L. Huyett.

                        Hi Tim. Thanks for joining us on the Faster News Report.

Tim:                Thanks for asking me.

M McNulty:   It's good to have you back on the show. Last time you were here was in July. Lots happened since July, 2020 and, the FDI results are pretty solid, but modering a bit. What do you think about the latest results?

Tim:                Well, we benchmark the FDI to the sales reports for Fastenal, Granger and MSC, along with industrial production and our own sales. And when you look at that chart, the FDI is a sentimental chart. And so, it usually is a little above or a little below what appears to be the reality of the consensus of the numbers reported by peers.

                        I would say, though, if you talk to people in the industry, everyone is I think taken aback somewhat by how strong business and the kind of consistent theories I hear are that, there's a feeling out there that people have taken the money they were spending on airlines, hotels, trips, that sort of thing. And they're buying lawnmowers and weed eaters and ATVs and boats, and those all go on trailers, they're building houses. And so, business is good out there in the faster industry right now. And I think the FDI reflects that.

M McNulty:   Yes, I think even in the last episode, Brian and Eric were alluding to, things being different in the industry than they seem to be in the rest of the world. So, yes, these numbers are pretty solid. One of the comments that I picked up. Baird does the PDF report every month with these results.

                        And in the analysis, it says quote, "The seasonally adjusted January FDI, slightly moderated versus December, but this was entirely due to the seasonal adjustment factor. Which slightly adjusted the FDI downward as January is typically a very strong month relative to seasonal expectations." So, I guess that means that the numbers are actually a little bit better than the 57.7 because of the seasonal adjustment.

Tim:                I could see that. I could see that. What will be interesting as we move forward is, we have the supply chain being so stressed. There's a lot of delays at the ports, a lot of increased costs in the global transport side of things. And then internally here inside the United States, trucking costs going up. A little harder to, get freight.

                        We had a recent incident where we had a container that had to sit for extra days because there just wasn't enough drivers to piggyback up and take it to us. So, how will that start to set in and affect all this along with all the distractions from shortages and commodities and the commodity prices?

M McNulty:   I think you're tapping into something was definitely on the mind of all the respondents. We'll jump over to the comments part of the FDI. It said the transportation issues and price inflation were the overwhelming themes of respondent's commentary. And it said nearly every comment touched on the current logistics and transportation issues. Like you've mentioned.

Tim:                Yes.

M McNulty:   Here's a couple quotes. Somebody said, "Logistics and transportation are a mess. Steel prices are out of control and supply is limited. Automotive customer schedules are erratic. There's a supply and chain pressures and the inability to get everything needed. And the lunar new year start soon." So, it's making for an erratic supply chain and also putting some pressure on pricing too, I think. You've seen that as well?

Tim:                Yes, it definitely is. And, the thing with the pricing is there's obviously the accounting side of margin squeeze inside your business, but there's also the distracting behaviors where, suddenly parts of your organization have to shift their focus to work on negotiating price increases with customers. Negotiating costs increases with suppliers.

                        And I think the whole freight and soft cost part of this adds another layer of complexity. Usually, it's just one or the other. This is a situation where it's both. And so, there's a lot of balls in the air for an organization and it's very distracting. And I think just give me a lot of margin pressure out there for everybody.

M McNulty:   Let's see. We had another comment. "Steel crisis and crisis on the West Coast are very concerning, many seeing forecasting logistic headwinds to persist to at least the first half of the year." Do you think it's going to take several more months to get everything straightened out?

Tim:                It seems that way. I think a lot of that too is going to depend on the economy. There's a lot of talk about possibly passing, another stimulus package.

M McNulty:   Another 2 trillion.

Tim:                Well, yeah, with the health of the population, if the virus starts to subside, if people feel better, they're probably going to spend even more money than what they've been spending. And they're going to have another stimulus check in their hands. And so, I think the production side of things could continue to escalate. And if that happens, I think these issues could go to the end of the year.

M McNulty:   Wow.

Tim:                As of right now mid-year feels about right, but you throw some more gas on the fire and that fire gets a little hotter.

M McNulty:   Right. And it wouldn't be the first. Last year taught us that, thing can last longer than you expect.

Tim:                Yes, absolutely. I never believed for one second though, that this virus would be subsided by fall. There was some talk internally inside our business. We talked about end of 2021. We'll be dealing with this until the end of 2021 on some basis.

M McNulty:   Yes. There's a lot of people that said 2022 will be when we get back to normal.

Tim:                And speaking of international, I saw an article last week, but there's a lot of talk that international travel will not return to any degree of normalcy until 2024.

M McNulty:   Wow.

Tim:                That's crazy.

M McNulty:   Well, let's jump over to the forward-looking indicator and looking forward stuff, which kind of ties into how soon things are going to get resolved. But the forward-looking indicator actually went up this month to 66.7, which is the eighth straight month of positive outlook. And, the percentages though went moderated a little bit.

                        Last time, 79% of people thought things would be better six months down the road. This time it was only 69%, which is a little bit of a moderation, which is probably from these transportation and price inflation issues, as well as maybe the virus not getting under control as quickly as we would like it to be.

Tim:                Yeah, that forward indicator seems to me to reinforce what you were saying earlier about the Baird analysts on adjusting seasonally, the actual January, the sentiment is greater than what was actually reported in January. And that forward indicator would seem to indicate that to me. And I would agree that I think business is still very strong from a reality standpoint, but people are worried about it phasing out because they can't get product or pricing is going up so much that it becomes untenable.

M McNulty:   It will be a challenging year to keep up with the demand. The sales number in January came back down to earth. It was 59.7. December had the astounding number; the highest one I've seen of 90.0. So, 59, 60 is still a pretty good number, but it's coming back down to earth and then pricing and employment were up again and inventories were mixed. I think, people are bringing workers if they can bring them on staff. And they're trying to get extra price out of their customers.

Tim:                Well, I think that reflects too another inflationary input. We have three distribution locations and we're seeing wage inflation in all three from competition from other key employers. We've got Amazon down here in Phoenix. We've got FedEx in Memphis, and then there's been quite a bit of local manufacturing addition in North Central Kansas that, we're seeing a lot more competition out there for entry-level operations plant type of personnel.

M McNulty:   Yes. Definitely a lot going on in the distributing at the final hundred feet to your porch at doorstep.

Tim:                Someone's got to pick the order once it's inside your warehouse.

M McNulty:   Right, right. And get it distributed. It's funny, in this pandemic spend a lot more time walking around than we did in the past. I have a dog and it used to be that, he knew the look of the mailman and the look of the mail delivery persons trucks. But now he recognizes UPS trucks and Amazon trucks. And doesn't like any of them.

Tim:                Well, some of them we noticed, you see a lot more U-Hauls because there's so much surge in boxes that, some of the Amazon and even FedEx guys, they rent U-Hauls to get the boxes out.

M McNulty:   Yes. Outsourcing. Definitely. Well, let's finish up. We had some comments on sales numbers here. Somebody said, "Our January sales were 22% higher than January 2020 and 21.5% higher than January, 2019, following a very good December." Which reflects what you were saying about business being way better than normal. Surprisingly.

Tim:                I do feel that last year, at this time, it wasn't recessionary, but you could feel that the accelerator was lifting even before the pandemic. And then, I think it was mid-February, there was a lot worried about the pandemic, at least overseas and Wuhan, for example. And they have started to really hit the numbers in March. I think, as we get through March and April and May with the FDI and similar sentimental indexes like that, it's going to be really hard for people to gauge where they're really at, because it was such a drop during that time a year ago.

M McNulty:   Right. Yes. That's true. Hopefully we're not going to see that one ever again.

Tim:                Well, yes, let's hope we lick this virus and it doesn't come back or another variation doesn't come back either crazy times.

M McNulty:   Crazy times is right. But the fastener industry is chugging along and we're dealing with transportation and price inflation, and it's good to have some problems to deal with.

Tim:                Well. It's good to have those kinds of problems to deal with. A year ago, it was, am I going to keep my doors open and am I going to die. So, it's a nice set of problems to have.

M McNulty:   I agree with you there. Anything else on the FDI? If not, we can move on. You can let me know what's going on or let the listeners know what's new at G. L. Huyett.

Tim:                We continue to work on expansion. We had three regional sales managers last year, and those guys are assimilating themselves well. Right now, we're doing a lot of backend technology trying to improve our security storage things that aren't necessarily customer facing.

                        We were looking for continued product expansion. We'd like to try to find acquisitions out there that complement our product lines. I know this past month we paid a final earn-out payment to Roger Szafranski from Precision Specialties. I've had a really good close relationship with him. Chuck Smith, from, AZ Lifting Hardware. So, we'd like to find another business to buy out there.

M McNulty:   Some more partners to give them a nice payout.

Tim:                Partly that, but it's also partly extending the legacy of the owners, your business into another generation and sustain and taking care of the employees and customers and such. So, it's something very meaningful to us. It's something we want to continue to expand on.

M McNulty:   Well, that's a good approach. And I forgot to mention at the beginning, congratulations on being inducted to the Fastener Hall of Fame in 2020. And, it's quite an honor and I mentioned on one of the podcasts I think a lot of people enjoyed your presentation and the acceptance speech. So, congratulations in person over the internet.

Tim:                I was shocked, very appreciative of the people that I've learned from over the years. And I hope to be able to give back. I know, coming here March 4th. I think it is. I'm doing a part of the ESPS with the NFDA on a leadership and management seminar. And I wanted to continue to try to give back, like people have given to me. So, I was honored and I was shocked. I think it's only appropriate that it was the COVID year. So, it reflects a shortage of candidates I'm guessing.

M McNulty:   That's good. And you guys did a good job, even though the acceptances were done video recorded, you guys did a good job with it.

Tim:                Yes. Well, John Wachman was well-deserving as well. He's a good, man.

M McNulty:   Yes. And he had a good speech too. And, also you had the young--

Tim:                --- Jessi Solt.

M McNulty:   Yeah. Yeah.

Tim:                Proud of Jessi. She's a self-made successful person and really has applied herself. So, it's really nice to see that.

M McNulty:   She wrote out something about writing something out on a bar napkin and a folding chair, I think.

Tim:                She's about right. It's about right. Her husband works for us in our manufacturing area. And they're kind of two peas in a pod. They're both committed, always commitment to excellence. They do a lot of exercise. And we did a Dave Ramsey program at G. L. Huyett a couple of years back. And they were among the people that really committed themselves to personal debt reduction. I think we had a quarter of a million dollars in credit card debt, wiped out from people.

M McNulty:   Well, that's a good advertisement for Dave Ramsey. And I can tell I did a little bit of research with him in 2020 myself.

Tim:                I think a lot of people did because we didn't know what the future was going to bring.

M McNulty:   Right. With some belt-tightening and that going on. You're like, "Hey."

Tim:                Absolutely.

M McNulty:   So, thank goodness for the YouTube videos.

Tim:                Yes, yes, definitely. So, yes, it's nice to see people working to make themselves better and it's nice to work with people like that.

M McNulty:   Good. So, it sounds like you guys are doing a lot of good stuff out there in Kansas and Phoenix. And where's your third location?

Tim:                The Memphis Tennessee area. We're actually, moving that facility and developing a new warehouse there literally as we speak. So, we're looking forward to that. It's good.

M McNulty:   Good. Isn't that close to where Dave's Ramsey is. Maybe he's somewhere in Franklin, Tennessee, I think.

Tim:                I don't know.

M McNulty:   I think so.

Tim:                That means he's got a lot of money because Franklin is where all the rich movie or cashy music stars live.

M McNulty:   Okay.

Tim:                Just South of Nashville. Well, heck if I'm doing a plug, my son, Tommy O'Keeffe at Spotify. He just released a new song on Spotify. I encourage you to go listen to it. It's his best song so far.

M McNulty:   What's the name of the song?

Tim:                It's, I'd Rather be Lonely.

M McNulty:   Okay. That's good. A subject for the last year.

Tim:                I was going to say. He should have released it a year ago.

M McNulty:   Well, good luck to him and good luck to you guys and everybody at G. L. Huyett. Keep up the good work. And, we look forward to having you on the show again.

Tim:                And Mike, we always appreciate what you do and Eric. Your good promoter and recognizer, I guess, if you will, documentarians of the industry. And I know the industry appreciates you too as well.

M McNulty:   Thanks for saying that and, thanks to Eric and Brian for giving me the platform.

Tim:                You bet.

M McNulty:   Good. Well, we'll talk to you down the road and hopefully in person, before we do it on the radio again.

Tim:                Let's do it. Thanks for having me on.

M McNulty:   That was Tim O'Keeffe. He's the chief executive officer at G. L. Huyett.

                        The FDI number for January, 2021 was 57.7 versus 62.6 in December of 2020. Visit fdisurvey.com to participate in the process and get a detailed PDF copy of Baird's monthly analysis.

                        Now for today's top story. Würth Industry North America also known as WINA has acquired Atlantic Fasteners Incorporated a mainstay in the structural industry with 36 years of history, manufacturing, structural bolts, and distributing standard and specialty fasteners.

                        Atlantic Fasteners will join Würth's new construction services, business division Würth Construction Services. This acquisition fits into when a strategy to provide expert supply chain solutions of structural fasteners, safety and MRO products. And it compliments Würth Industries, strengthen the construction market.

                        The acquisition also gives WINA new manufacturing capabilities, the construction services division is made up of Atlantic Fasteners, Würth House of Threads, Weinstock Brothers and Würth Action Bolt & Tool. And it is backed by nearly 230 years of service to the construction industry.

                        Next up, today's fastener newsmaker headlines. In acquisition and expansion news. Dyson Corporation has opened its newest location in Houston, Texas. Bulten has inaugurated a new production facility in Taipei Taiwan through its subsidiary, PSM Fasteners Taiwan.

                        The KAMAX group has partnered with Robert Schröder group of companies. MiddleGround Capital has added to EDSCO Fasteners with the acquisition of Attala Steel Industries. TR VIC part of the Trifast group of companies has added a Carlo Salvi cold former to its growing portfolio of machinery. And Auto Bolt has opened a new shipping and receiving warehouse.

                        In personnel news. Martin incorporated welcome Doug Mannion as VP of finance. Brighton-Best International has promoted John Brown to assistant warehouse manager at the BBI Cleveland Ohio location.

                        The Bossard Group announced that David Jones has succeeded Steen Hansen as CEO of North America. And that Rolf Ritter is taking on the new role of head of strategy and business development.

                        In event news Fastener Fair Stuttgart was postponed to November, 2021. Fastener Fair Mexico was moved to October. Fastener Training Week will be presented in March in Houston, Texas. And the NFTA virtual conference and ESPS will also take place this March.

                        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 in print edition at fastenertech.com.

                        Now let's turn to the back page to talk about a helpful collaboration between government higher education and the fastener industry. Regular back page listeners may have the impression that I am totally against government in general, but that is not the case. I am certainly suspicious of governments getting too big and powerful and descending into tyranny and totalitarian actions, but I'm always quick to admit the proper roles of government and to applaud helpful government activities.

                        An example of this can be found in the story that comes to us from the United Kingdom that shows a nice collaboration between the University of Sheffield, Advanced Manufacturing Research Center. Also known as the AMRC and LISI Automotive through its BAI UK Fastener Company.

                        Together they have jointly secured 970,000 pounds in funding from the Aerospace Technology Institute. Also known as the ATI. A joint government industry program in the UK to unlock productivity, gains new markets and reduce waste in the fastener industry through the integration of industry 4.0 technologies.

                        A pilot production line for high precision aerospace fastener at BAI's UK facility in Warwickshire, England will help define the smart factory by pioneering the use of machine learning, data analytics, indirect fault detection and other cutting edge digital technologies. The aim is to deliver a smart dynamic manufacturing line that minimizes waste improves worker safety and efficiency and sets a new benchmark for productivity in the aerospace fastener industry.

                        LISI's BAI UK Company, and the AMRC will work closely with fastener machine builders and tooling providers throughout the 27-month program. And LISI Aerospace recently announced a contract extension with the Boeing company to provide close to 6,000 different part numbers in support of all Boeing's commercial aircraft programs, including the 737, the 747, 767, 777 and 787 products.

                        I say hats off to all involved in this project, which is in my opinion, is a classic example of a useful collaboration between government higher education and a regular industry that employs regular people that are making high quality fastener products.

                        And finally, for our back page bonus question, did you know that the federal government, which plans to rack up the second highest deficit ever in 2021 after setting the world record in 2020. Employs nearly 1.4 million people in over 300 different agencies with an annual salary budget of almost $120 billion. That works out to an average annual salary of more than $80,000 per employee.

                        Furthermore, in 2019, well over 100 people made $300,000 or more per year, including everyone's favorite, 80-year-old Dr. Anthony Fauci, who comes in at number one in 2019 with an annual salary of $417,608. A 9% increase over his reported pay for 2018.

                        So, if he got similar raises in 2020 and 2021, then he is closing in on half a million dollars in annual compensation. What the heck is going on here and who is doling out these massive salaries, mostly to so-called medical officers that certainly didn't protect many Americans from this current and possibly perpetual state of pandemic.

                        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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Carmen:        Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Fastener Training Minute. This is Carmen Vertullo coming to you from the Fastener Training Institute and AIM Testing Laboratory in beautiful El Cajon California. As is often the case, today's Fastener Training Minute comes out of an email that I got. And that email actually turned into a little bit of a consultation and the topic has to do with stainless steel and rusting of stainless steel.

                        In this case, fasteners because we're in the fastener business, but this particular concept we're going to talk about. When it comes to rusting and stainless steel and that process, you all know as passivation actually applies to any stainless steel, not just stainless-steel fasteners.

                        When we come back, I'm going to tell you some things that are going to be very helpful to know about passivation of stainless steel. What it is, what it isn't, why it matters to us and why sometimes an authoritative citation can be a very powerful tool in your bag to help guide your customers out of a problem. See you in a few

Eric:               Knowledge is the key to success in the fastener industry and the Fastener Training Institute has the tools you need to succeed from advanced to beginner's training courses. The Fastener Training Institute provides a wide variety of resources to boost your team's ability to operate at an elite level. Go to fastenertraining.org, to see the schedule online and in person classes coming up and reach out with any questions or requests for custom course materials. The Fastener Training Institute, fastenertraining.org.

Carmen:        Welcome back to the Fastener Training Minute. This is Carmen Vertullo talking to you today about passivation of stainless steel. Now, most people that are in the fastener industry that sell or deal with stainless steel fasteners are very familiar with passivation.

                        You probably know that it's a relatively simple process, not very expensive where the stainless steel is immersed in an acid solution. Usually acid solution at some temperature, some specified concentration. The acid is usually nitric acid, but it can be other acids for a certain amount of time.

                        The stainless steel is taken out, out of that acid. It's exposed to air it's rinsed. And now the surface of that stainless has gone from what formerly would have been classified as possibly active to now it's a passive surface. That is, there is no activity going on Virto that surface that would lead the stainless steel to corrode.

                        So, you might ask what the heck was wrong with the stainless steel in the first place that would need us to do this passivation thing to it. Well in the processing of stainless-steel components, it doesn't matter if they're fasteners, knives and forks and spoons, pots, and pans, whatever you may be making out of stainless-steel machine parts.

                        The tooling that that stainless steel is exposed to will leave behind on the stainless steel. What's called free iron or iron particles or steel particles, carbon steel, ferrite, whatever you want to call it on the surface of the stainless steel.

                        Now under normal conditions probably would not ever make any difference. But if that stainless steel is exposed to moisture or any kind of an electrolyte, now we have an opportunity for those particles that have iron in them to begin to corrode. And it looks like our stainless steel is rusting. Our stainless steel actually is not rusting. It's that crap that's left behind on the surface that's rusting.

                        So, the passivation process does two things. First, it removes all of that crap. Now it won't remove everything. So, it's very important, before we go into the passivation process that our product is clean. If you have scale on it, for example, from the hot heading process. That scale should be removed either through a much stronger acid process or possibly through an abrasive cleaning, such as sandblasting or bead blasting the head of the fastener, or even machining it off.

                        Any oil or grease or left behind goup from the machining process needs to be removed. Then we put it into the passivation fluid, which is acid. Now the passivation processor is not going to want to put your dirty parts in their passivation tank because it's going to contaminate their tanks. So, they're probably going to do some kind of cleaning first, but if your parts are excessively dirty, they're not going to like that.

                        So, we start with a clean part, put it in the passivation acid, take it out the passivation acid will have dissolved those free iron particles on the surface and remove them. Number one.

                        And number two, once the stainless is exposed to oxygen in the air, again, a very nice, fresh veck. Good. Veck is relative because it's microscopically thin, but coating or layer of chromic oxide is formed on the fastener. Chromium Oxide might be the better way to say that. And that chromium oxide is what makes stainless steel non-corrosive, it's the secret sauce of stainless steel.

                        And so, from time to time, and this is what precipitated this particular Fastener Training Minute. The customer will receive some bolting. They'll put it in place, lo and behold it rusts. They call the supplier and they complain, "Hey, this stainless steel is not really stainless steel." "How do I know?" Because it's rusting.

                        In this particular case, some very large diameter ASTM A193, B8 and B8M you know what that is? B8 is 304 stainless, B8M 316 stainless. Both these bolts, large hot form bolts. Sold to someone who put them in some kind of a pipeline. I don't know what kind, because I just saw a photograph of a large flange and the heads were rusting.

                        So, the customer complains to the supplier who becomes my client. The supplier calls me up and I say, "Well, were they passivated? They said, "No." I said, "Were they cleaned on the head?" They said, "No." Oh, it turns out that ASTM A193 specifically says that if you want clean, bright, shiny heads, you have to request that on the purchase order. Otherwise, you could get black, hot formed heads on any product stainless steel or otherwise.

                        Secondly, ASTM A193 does not even provide a provision for passivation even in the supplement. You have to go to its companion specification. ASTM A1962, A1962M both of these are M standards. By the way means they include metric product. In that standard. We have a supplement at the very end. It's a big number like supplement 70 or 71 or something. Where it says, if you'd like this product to be passivated, call out this supplement and it will be passivated to an ASTM standard.

                        None of that was included in the ordering information of this product. So technically there is no cause for rejection of the product. And so that was the authoritative citation that we used. We ended up writing a nice technical opinion around that.

                        Hopefully even though the customer probably will not be happy, at least they have a technical opinion, which also states by the way, there's no detrimental effect to that surface rust. If it's not going to hurt anything, it's not going to go in deep, but doesn't mean that fastener itself is ever going to corrode. Assuming it's in a normal circumstance where it would otherwise be fine, it's just unsightly. If you don't it clean it off, if it comes back, paint over it, there are ways around that.

                        So those are things that are very helpful to know. And actually, what's most powerful is being able to provide that answer in a quick scenario, under which the customer is sitting there waiting around. Can I use these bolts? Do I have to remove them and replace them? Give me something that I can use to understand that there really is not a problem here.

                        And the next time I order this product, I'll know how to order it. So as to prevent my beautiful B7 and B8 stainless steel bolts from corroding in the application. Well, now you know, about as much as you need to know about stainless steel passivation when it comes to fasteners, but what's most important is that you're able to apply it to solve a problem. This has been Carmen Vertullo with the Fastener Training Minute. Thanks for listening


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Baron:           Baron Yarborough with Spring Bolt and Nut Manufacturing, the best beard in the business. Sorry, Chris. And you're listening to Fully Threaded Radio.

Eric:               Eric back with you Fully Threaded. Now continuing our regular feature segment programming. Hi, Bri.

Brian:            Right. Our regularly program feature.

Eric:               Yes. With us now. You'll love him. You know him. He's George Hunt, III. G. H. Three.

George:         Eric, how are you? Brian. Thanks for having me back.

Brian:            That's right. Good. Thanks man.

Eric:               We were on a call the other day of the Naperville Fastener Association, Zoom meeting. And I said, it's been too long. We have to get George back. How are you, man?

George:         I'm great. How fun is that? You've got, I don't know, 10 to 15 guys all across the industry that are kind of local, but really have a lot of different flavor and more knowledge than probably most. And it's just so good to enjoy that kind of comradery amongst competitors and friends. So, I'm glad you guys keep that up.

Brian:            Well, I'm not very good at keeping it up. I had other things I had to do this day.

Eric:               Yeah. Where were you man?

Brian:            I was down answering questions. Like, "Name two people who were involved in writing the Declaration of Independence?'

Eric:               Oh yeah. You got big news. I didn't know you were going to blow that open on the show.

Brian:            Yeah.

Eric:               Don't upstage G. H. Three. You have to get in on this, tell us about it.

Brian:            Oh, well.

Eric:               You don't mind sharing a little of your time with, Brian, do you, George?

George:         Not at all. I actually was going to bring it up. So, I'm glad he brought it up first. This is big news, man. Big news.

Eric:               It is.

Brian:            I've been in the States for 37 years, and clearly, it's my country of choice to live in. I used to have this, I don't know, strange attachment, even though I have no desire to live in New Zealand again, I had my strange attachment to my New Zealand passport. When I first came to the States, you had to disavow publicly your citizenship. If you took US citizenship.

                        I was never really quite ready to do that because I still got my family that lives there. However, they've stopped applying that rule. And so now you can really have two citizenships. So, I decided two years ago, okay, I'm going to apply for US citizenship. And it takes a lot of time. And of course, the whole immigrant thing made everything very, very, very difficult. No matter who you are or what color, it's all complicated.

                        And the day that they finally decided to go ahead and they said, you've got to come and have what they call the biometrics, where you get your fingerprints and all that sort of stuff, photos.

Eric:               And of all days.

Brian:            That day was the day that Illinois shut down. So, then everything stopped. And then I got a note about six months later, to say that they had all been delayed by a year.

Eric:               Oh, this is going way back. I thought you were going to lead up to that's why I missed the Naperville Fastener Association Meeting.

Brian:            So, it is.

Eric:               How long this is going to take? George is waiting, Bri.

Brian:            Well, the immigration department, how, it works. It set Its own timescale. Okay. It's very, very bloody slow.

Eric:               I know it sounds like you've kind of caught the bug a little bit.

Brian:            Yeah. Right. And so, they finally allocated the time where you have to go and have your final interview where they ask you questions, I guess, call civics questions to work out. Can you read, can you write, how many justices on the Supreme court and things like that. And so that was Thursday the same day as the meeting.

Eric:               Wow.

George:         So, you're more versed in civics and United States government than probably the common man or woman.

Eric:               Than your average Senator or representative for sure.

George:         Absolutely.

Brian:            In fact, I asked the teenage kid over the road last night. I asked him how many justices on the Supreme court. This is a kid who of course done his whole section on civics in high school. Had no idea.

George:         Well that that's awesome, Brian, congratulations.

Brian:            Yes. I still have to go back to Washington, its got to be approved. There's a lot of layers of decisions that go through it.

Eric:               We're going to have a big party and we'll make an announcement when the big news comes, but I'm sure you'll pass with flying colors. It's hard to play by the rules sometimes. It takes a little longer when you actually go by the book. George, you know all about that, don't you?

George:         Yes. But sometimes it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission. In this situation, I don't think you can do that.

Brian:            Oh, no.

George:         Ninety percent of the time.

Brian:            Right now, no jokes, no nothing. I'd be very careful. But anyway, we're back off that now. So that was why I couldn't join the Naperville Fastener Association and other things I was doing.

George:         Well, I'm sure we'll get together again soon. Hopefully in the summer when all this stuff breaks and get back to normal or whatever this semi new normal is going to be. And we can all have a beer and maybe a fist bump, not a handshake.

Eric:               Have you been to downtown Naperville since all this setting George?

George:         I've been out and about. And you're taking all the necessary precautions and all the other good stuff, but I've got cabin fever. I can't stay. And I'm a huggy kissy, feely type guy. I think you guys know that. And it's going to be difficult for me to do whatever it is that we're going to be doing, in person because, as you know, I've got this nice beard go in and the Gator mask really isn't doing much for my style right now. So, we need to get back. We need to get back.

Eric:               Well, we're going through all this sanitation and helpfulness theater lately, but the people with beards are really pushing the envelope because let's face it. That thing isn't doing anything, but making you look compliant, which you have to do these days. So yes, I really, I really feel for you, George.

                        Well, during our conversation, which, Marty brought all that together, which is weird, because he's an Ohio guy, but you're an Ohio guy now too. And you're in the Chicago land. Matter of fact, you have taken the MWFA by storm and you are now the president of that association. Congratulations to you, man.

Brian:            Yes.

George:         Thank you. Thank you. It's a great honor. And it's a great group of people. It really is. And, coming from Ohio, as you said, coming into Illinois and to be in an industry that, you know and love, but different market segments. And different people, different competitors in different field. I was blessed to have people like Rich Cavoto and Bob Baer and Wayne Wishnew to really take me under their wing and help me. In the other industries that just doesn't happen. Those are competitors.

Brian:            Yes.

George:         In this industry, it is, it's all about comradery. It's all about, helping each other out. And if it wasn't for those three gentlemen, I don't think I would be as successful as I have been. So yes, it's a tremendous honor and I'm glad to be a small part of the association.

Brian:            Yes. It's one of these things that just always surprised and interested me, which is very unlike many, many other industries, but you can actually get a whole group of people in a room together, all of whom compete at some level. And you'd never know it because they're just friends at a different level and I've managed to work out how to make, how to do that, this industry and particularly the group round here in Chicago.

                        I'm sure if you did, in Los Angeles would be just the same. It's very interesting how a group of people who are in the same market competing in the same market can really get on really well together and look forward to seeing each other.

George:         Absolutely. We all share the best business practices. The only differentiation really between us is the secret sauce, whatever makes you that much more important or whatever, however you want to describe it. And yes, it's been great almost 25 years now I've been in the industry. And it is true what they say, once you're in, you really can't get out.

Eric:               Yes. We've heard that.

Brian:            I've been trying to get out for a while. I haven't been succeeded yet.

Eric:               This is going to be like, what a five-year business Bri. We had that plan, five years. Hit it hard get out didn't work.

Brian:            We had no idea what we were really going to do at the end of that five years, but still, that was the thinking.

Eric:               I'm not complaining mind you, but that was a little delusional in hindsight. Well, who's on the board now of MWFA? What's the new lineup because I know a lot of the old regulars are now, what do you call it? Trustees

George:         Yes. Directors. So typically, what happens is, you have a regime change in the fault directors, but really, they do a lot. And, as you know, Paula Evitts the former president of the association for the past two years, taught a great job, just a fantastic job of really directing our association through this COVID mass in 2020. And she really kept us moving in all the right directions. So, it was good for us. Paula has done a great job.

                        Then we have Matt DeLawderr who's with SWD. He's the Vice President. Bob Baer at Abbott Interfast, he's our treasurer. And then, bringing up the reins is Jake Davis from BTM Manufacturing. Who's our secretary. So those are the officers. We have some new blood as well, which is great to really try to turn over this association and the board members. So, we can get a new flavor of individuals. And we got young too, which is good. So, Jill Lewis from Integrated Packaging is now a director and also Bobby Wagner from Beacon.

Brian:            Okay.

George:         So really adds to the guys like Rich Cavato and Wayne Wishnew, and David Gawlik and Tabitha Herbst and Paula that will be our directors and who can forget Nancy Rich, who really is the heartbeat of our association. I like to say we're the eye candy. Nancy really does all the work. So, with those members, we're really poised to have a great 2021.

Brian:            Cool. Well, we look forward to everything starting up and picking up where it left off because everyone wants that.

Eric:               Yes. Let's face it. Everybody knows that Nancy's really pulling the heavy weights over there. And when you think about it, Nancy, and, over on the West Coast, Vickie, her team, they're like the deep state of the fastener industry in a way. They're the people that really make things happen.

George:         Yeah. The silent assassins. They really do a lot. And for Vickie and Nancy. It's not like they do one association, they do multiples and we're all great people, but we get some strong personalities on the MWFA. Try to hone those in on a two-and-a-half-hour board meeting. She does a great job.

Eric:               So, here's an issue that you guys have probably been kicking around. What's the outlook for Fastener Tech, given everything that's going on in the world?

George:         We're, really excited about this year because Fastener Tech, we're going to try something different this year and we're going to have a fastener week. And what we learned in 2020, was that we need to be more proactive rather than reactionary. I think in 2020, we really didn't know what we wanted to do and how we wanted to get information out to our members.

                        And, I think we did an amazing job, but at the end of the year, I think we came together and said, we need to be more proactive in getting information to our members. Already alone this calendar year, we've had three events, all virtual mind you, but still good industry topics. Like logistics and like OSHA and like lobbyists that, get the ever-changing winds of what's going on in our economic climate today out to our membership. So, they can make better decisions on how they're going to run their organization.

                        So that's the first part of it. Trying to be virtual, trying to get information out to our members and trying to get them to understand what we think is going to go on. And then we're hoping that this herd immunity will kick in and we can go out and have a beer together again.

                        So maybe in August we have a Fastener Week that allows us to have a golf outing, have a tabletop, have some networking events and throw in some of the social aspects of our association into one week. So, we can hit that restart button and get back to business as usual.

Eric:               Okay. So, when do you expect this to be formally announced? Because I'm not seeing anything out there right now. When do you think that this will be formalized?

George:         Well, it is formalized we have sent the schedule out to the FIC and everybody else who has their website. It's actually on our website right now. So, the week of August 16th through the 20th.

Eric:               Why am I not seeing that?

George:         We're going to be having, our anniversary dinner.

Brian:            Okay.

George:         Which is going to be morphing our 74th and 75th together as well as our tabletop. And, we're going to have our golf outing plus the networking event that we have, with the students, that will be doing Fastener Training Week in Chicago that week. So, it's going to kind of all be blended together and maybe a big surprise, at the beginning to try to kickstart our week with some friendly competition, if you will.

Brian:            I'm not sure quite what to read into that actually.

Eric:               I don't know either.

Brian:            What are you actually saying George?

George:         They call that a hook or what do they call that in the radio business? I can't throw that softball up any easier for you, Eric.

Eric:               Well, that was definitely on the topic list because getting back to the Naperville Fastener Association. One of the great topics that we spend a lot of time on and this actually goes back to the previous episode of the podcast, George, because it was "Coolhand" and, Jake "Valdez" Davis from BTM Manufacturing. Now on MWFA board, strangely enough, but they had signed on to Bob's Tough Mudder and I think without really fully appreciating what they'd gotten themselves into.

                        So that really caused some conversation offline after the podcast. And it looks like this thing is just mushrooming and now. " "GQ is the leader of a movement and you're a part of it too.

George:         I think I'm just helping, Bobby out, with all the things that need to go on here, but I'll tell you what Jake "Valdez" Davis is gold. You should win an award for that. If there is anyone you pinpointed in a nickname, it's that, so that has to stick whether or not Jake likes it or not.

                        So, we've been talking about a Tough Mudder for five years now and it really started with, our appreciation or disdain if you will. When, Bobby "GQ" Baer is walking around in his three-piece suits and looking svelte and fit and just talking about some of the things that he does to keep up with his daily regimen. And, he just threw out Tough Mudders and warrior dashes and Spartan races.

                        And then it’s kind of morphed into that. Okay, we've got to do an industry one and now we've been talking about it and then this year it was okay, we're doing it. So, I'm pretty excited about it, but what we're really looking to do is Saturday, August 14th, prior to Fastener Week, there is a Tough Mudder event in Rockford, Illinois.

Eric:               So, you did lock in on that one?

George:         We did.

Eric:               And is it the 3K? It's the more manageable one, we'll say it that way.

George:         It is. It's the 3K, 3 mile about 3.1 miles, it's got 13 plus obstacles and it's short and long enough to get our industry just excited about getting together and, rolling around in some mud.

Eric:               Okay. So that's the next step in the progression of this thing. We announced that last episode, now we're dialed in on the exact date. It's actually in Rockford. So that's not terribly far from where the show will be happening. It's not right there, but it's manageable.

                        And so, the next stage in this George is we've got to begin recruiting the team. Now you can give us an idea about who we think is on the team who are maybe's and then what is the training protocol going to be? Because I think that's where we have some opportunities for some really solid fastener industry entertainment.

George:         Sure, Absolutely. We're really looking for about a team of 15. We have 10 open slots right now and you're absolutely right. Eric. What we're going to do is we're going to ask you to train for about five to eight weeks prior to the event. And I'll be sending out an email to those individuals that at least expressed interest to either Bob or myself in previous discussions. And then from there it could really morph into, "Hey, this is a great idea. You go ahead and forward it off to, whomever you think might be interested."

                        That five-week regiment really is kind of simplistic. It's got some practical fitness challenges, some skill challenges, and even some extra credit, which are more so like healthy initiatives that really help you out to get ready for this event. But I will tell you, it's really based on the honor system really. It's going to be that thing where you look at and you're going to do. And when you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror, are you going to be able to, step up to the plate when the bell sounds?

Eric:               Sounds like Brian's morning ritual.

Brian:            Yes. I'm already up at quarter to six every morning heading off to the gym. So, but I'm not sure you've made it sound attractive enough yet George, the rolling round in the mud, I'm not sure if that's like the attractive sounding part of it.

George:         Well, I have been told not to scare anybody, Brian.

Brian:            Right. I can understand that.

George:         So sometimes I get a little exuberant when I talk about things like that, but my excitement for something kind of turns into scaring the crap out of people. So, I've been told to tone it down a little bit. But I will tell you it's a challenge and it's a team effort and we're out there for fun. And it's kind of a Fireman's mentality where we start as a team, we end as a team. And then at the end we drink as a team.

                        And I just think it's a great opportunity for us to just get together and do something that we can tout to our industry friends and try to make it as big as possible. And who knows, maybe we can add another tattoo to Solution Man, or something like that, for accomplishing the Tough Mudder event.

Eric:               I think tattoos are definitely going to be happening, not for me, but they're going to be happening. And I think you've got a lot of excitement already building for this. You caught a lot of attention; I think just in drinking at the end. Yeah. You're going to have a crowd there at least cheering us on.

George:         Absolutely. We hope so. And, and I hope everybody gets involved. I mean, even if you aren't part of the team or don't want to be part of the team, you're going to be in Chicago anyway for that week. Why not come in on a Saturday and make your signs and, make the best of it and cheer us on. So, it's going to be a great time.

Brian:            That's true.

Eric:               Well, it's toughmudder.com. There are pretty plentiful photos and everything out here of the events and everything. I think they did a lot to make it look appealing to a wide variety of people. Little, did they know that "GQ" is busily practicing his, electrocution exercises? He's just upping the voltage everyday a little bit. So, I hope you'll be ready come August.

                        You know, that's how he has to wake up at five 15 in the morning every morning, just to get out of bed, to motivate himself, to do a hundred laps in the pool just to get whatever his regimen is. That's for sure.

Brian:            Stick your fingers, straight in the end of a power socket point. Okay.

George:         Absolutely.

Brian:            Wait until you hear or stands up on it. Oh, now I'm ready.

Eric:               Now. Has anybody reached out to Kirk Zehnder over at Earnest because he's one of these mind over matter kind of guys, takes showers in ice water and stuff, make sure you put him on the list, George?

George:         Absolutely. Yes. He's on the list. We got a short list, Kirk and Marty and Mike Robinson, Bob Baer, Frank DeVito. I better see you out there, Eric. Right now, I'm putting in front while all your listeners can hear, are we going to see Eric Dudas out there in an ice bath and rolling around in mud with, Bob "GQ" Baer and G.H.III.

Eric:               Thanks for asking George, because we're working with our management on that, we're trying to get sponsors to make this happen and if things go our way. I think we're going to have something to announce in the next couple of episodes, George. So, thanks for asking and believe me, you have our full support whether Brian and I are there on the course with you or we're playfully mocking you from the sidelines we are with you.

George:         Good, good. We need all the help we could get and we do need the cheerleaders and the support, so thank you.

Eric:               This is going to be good. Okay. So that was great. Hey, by the way, I just got a text here from "Valdez". Did you see, by the way, I just saw an email come out from T.S. And he has interviewed Jake for his blog, which is this ongoing series. I'm sure most of, you know, fastenerblog.net.

                        So, Jake "Valdez" Davis, his latest subject and, texted over there to him and said, "Hey, you're famous now, Jake, and how's the training going?" And he says, "Pretty good if you call this training." So, I'm not sure if he's started yet, frankly, but I think it's beginning to dawn on him, what he's set himself up for.

George:         Well, that's the thing. And that's why this email's going to go out. There's a lot of people who want to do it until they've got to do it. Right. So, we'll see who actually signs up.

Eric:               Okay. Well, we're counting on a big turnout and I'm sure it's going to be a success as will your Fastener Week. So, I see it now here on the MWFA website. Not sure why I missed that before. I think what I was looking for was the event in June is what it is, George.

George:         We moved all of that for two reasons. One, we wanted to really make a splash in a big kind of event. It's been almost two years guys since we've been out and about with each other. And, man, we're going to need more than four to six hours to blend that in. So, we thought a week would be good. And we still have to get through some stuff. With, pandemic and everything else. So, we think August is really going to be the dial back point as to when we could get back out there and do things again.

Eric:               Well, we're all hoping that's true. We're all hoping we can get through this really crazy period that's going on in the fastener business. There are tons of things happening. I know you're right on top of it because we didn't point it out here. We are talking with G.H. III. He's the branch manager for the great Brighton-Best International in Chicago.

                        And, I've done a terrible job of making note of that. So sorry, George. But you see a lot, you talk to people every day and now they're starting to actually see the ripple effects from the cargo issue and everything, lay it on us. What are you hearing? What are you seeing?

George:         First of all, your last episode with Chris Donnell was fantastic. Kudos to you for having him on and kudos to Chris. We actually had him on as a speaker for one of our Logistic Lunch and Learn at MWFA and he reached an audience about 70 strong.

Eric:               Wow.

George:         And, it was a great hour of just understanding what's going on out there. And as you guys said in your last podcast, and that is, it's not just doom and gloom. When you get done with it, I think you kind of exasperated and then said, okay, let's get to the good stuff, now. It just is what it is.

                        You're looking at close to 70 vessels off the coast of LA that are waiting to get in. And then from there, they've got to find trucks and they've got to find rail and try to get it into wherever you're getting it from. So, it's a trickledown effect and it's really causing some major delays in the industry.

                        It's important. It's important for those importers that are the smaller importers that are out there and trying to figure out what they need to do and how they need to adapt in order to get their inventory. So, they can still service their customers, with the Chinese New Year and everything else. I think things will start to level out after that.

                        But I think a lot of our distributors and a lot of customers want to know that (A), it's going to get better and (B), we're looking at the situation and making sure that everything is being done in order to service our distributors. And from a Brighton-Best perspective, I can tell you that that's absolutely happening.

                        Our inventory levels are where they need to be. We have containers that continue to come in. So, I think our distributors need to be cognizant of the fact that there is an issue. It will get better and you can count on Brighton-Best for support.

Brian:            Wow. Well said. They pay you to say that don't they George?

George:         They do. Ultimately, you're going to be the judge. If I carry out what I say is going to happen.

Brian:            Wow. Supremely confidence. Like Dwight Eisenhower when he's ready to vacate the Normandy landing. Hell.

Eric:               Well, based on what you're hearing out there, do you see, or do you sense any particular commodity areas, for example, that maybe are experiencing more problems right now? Usually there's always one part of the product mix. That's a pain point.

George:         That's a great question, Eric. And, really, it's third world countries. Mostly when you're looking at the countries in which this industry gets their goods from, it's going to be China, it's going to be Taiwan. It's India. When you start getting into Vietnam and Malaysia and those countries, it gets a little harder. Harder to source when you're going to countries that have manufacturers or vendors, suppliers that are smaller in scale.

                        Or you're going through a trading company in order to get to the manufacturer that you need to get to. That's when you're going to start seeing some of these delays. Some of your pain points, the headaches that we're dealing with today. Domestically, we really shouldn't see any issues or concerns. I know that, domestically here, what's going on, but with guys like the Brighton-Bests and the Stelfast, and the Excell's and the Stars of the world, you really should be able to get what you need in a timely manner.

                        And I think that's what we talk about at the beginning of the conversation that we had today. Although we are competitors, these are huge organizations that are doing their due diligence, both here and abroad to ensure that our industry is going to stay strong and carry us through these tough times.

Eric:               Okay. That's the master distributor still playing an important role in the fastener business. Do you see any particular areas that you want to put a spotlight on in terms of pricing? Because we're of course continuing to hear all kinds of pressure on materials. Where's that rolling through, into what distributors are actually seeing on the street now?

George:         I wish I had a crystal ball and I could tell you that, in Q2 of 2021, everything's going to stabilize.

Eric:               We're not asking for that, George, all we're saying is what's the outlook right now? What are you seeing today?

Brian:            I'm asking for that.

George:         Everything's going up, everything's going up from ocean freight to air freight, to material costs to currency. I could name all of the hit points and the variables that people talk about, what goes into a price of a fastener, it's all going up.

                        I would say cognizant of what's going on out there and getting with your market leaders and making sure that, you have all the information you need to make adjustments. And I believe that you will continue to make adjustments until probably the end of Q3 of this year. There are some significant escalators out there that are causing our pricing to go up.

Brian:            Yes. Including the US currency. It was just saying a few percent, against all the other major currencies. So that automatically makes prices increase.

George:         Absolutely. And then there's a whole litany of things that go into a price of a fastener, as you guys know. And, we're doing our due diligence of trying to get that information out in the field. So, you know exactly what's going on. So hopefully together we can get through this and it's not all doom and gloom.

                        I know a lot of people are busy out there. That's the other side of this coin. Although the pricing is going up and freight is going up and all the other ancillary issues, everybody's busy, everybody's having record months. Everybody's pushing a lot of volume out there, so it's not all bad.

Eric:               Well, we just heard the latest FDI. It's a little sagged, but it's still way above 50 and the outlook is just sky high. So that's continuing on. Well, if you want to talk about a specific category, commodity category, the new Distributor Link Magazine just hit the street. I'm looking at the back cover Brighton-Best loud and proud right there. People who are looking for metric washers, certainly know where to go. That's your latest George on your back cover. Blow your top on that one, man.

George:         So, a lot of people and I still get this Eric, from time to time as I go and I talk to our distributors and I sit down and before I can even open my mouth, they'll say, "Wait, hold on, George, please tell me you still sell fasteners?" Yes, we still sell fasteners. And it's really still the foundation of how our organization was built and something that we are going to continue to invest in.

                        Fasteners are our identity. Fasteners are not going away. And although we are diversifying our portfolio and getting into a lot of different commodity lines these days, we're going to continue to round out our lines in the fastener section, metrics.

                        We're doing a considerable job of metrics and a good job of bringing in the tweener sizes, the different kind of 10.9's to 12.9's, the 8.8's. We're rounding out our washer metric line as well as our nut line. So, it's really important for us that we create a one-stop shop approach for our customers to come in, cut one PO and get your inch, your metric, your stainless, your low carbon, your medium carbon. And if you want to throw on a glove or two. Maybe even a hand tool, we'll have that for you as well.

Brian:            Or if you happen to be running out of your workout gloves and you suddenly find another set there, it doesn't have to do with fastener work.

George:         Not at all, be it fishing or deadlifting, we got what you need.

Eric:               Ironclads got you covered.

Brian:            This extra emphasis on metrics stuff. Is that a result of increase in demand for metric stuff?

Eric:               Yes.

Brian:            Interesting. Isn't it?

George:         It's very interesting. Because we were told something different.

Brian:            Yes.

George:         We were told that it's not going to catch on. We were told it's going to go away and then we've got the ISO versus the DIN situation. And what's more extraordinary about that is even though there are end-users, government officials and other market segments, trying to absolve a certain specification. There are still customers out there that want it to that spec. That need it to that spec and don't care what the industry pundits are saying.

Brian:            Right.

George:         So really what's driving our portfolio is our customer base. Our customer base tells us what to source, what to add and what to hang on to.

Brian:            Yes, it must be. I'm come to think that manufacturing in the US must be quietly, slightly leaning more towards using metrics sizes than they were in the past. Because ultimately that's, what's driving requests for you. Isn't it? Someone's making something in metrics and they have to get it from somewhere and they get it from some distributor who gets it from you.

George:         Absolutely. Brian, it's the European initiative. And you've got a lot of customers and a lot of end-users that have, industry presence in those European markets. And there's still a driving force in the States today.

Brian:            yes. Right. Another thing I've noticed is that, we, for years and years we have kept stats. Not because anyone else was interested except me, because I came from a world where metrics were in use. And it always interested me that DIN numbers were so much more prevalent in the US. What I've noticed just when I go back and I look at the stats for last year.

                        If I went back two years, the ratio of people searching for DIN numbers versus searching for ISO numbers was about, 10 to one sort of, DIN to ISO. It's changed in a year. And last year over the whole year was about, say two to five, three to four. And it's a strange ratio now. A lot more people using ISO numbers.

George:         You're seeing the market switch. And you're seeing that in the bin packages that are going out today, and I agree with you where you saw more prevalent in DIN sizes when they're calling out specifications on their bin packages. Now it's ISO. And unfortunately, now it's nothing, they're not calling out an ISO or a DIN. So that's when you're really in trouble. And you've got to find out what the customer wants.

Brian:            Oh yes.

George:         The whole initiative that we have to maintain, that we got to stay away from part numbers. We've got to get people interested in what they're actually quoting and understanding what they're quoting, not a part number. Oh, let's get away from that.

Brian:            That's been our mantra ever since we started. A part number to us is irrelevant. What is it?

Eric:               Then there's the old, I need an M6 X 2 inches long.

Brian:            We do have that.

George:         And it stops there.

Brian:            Yeah. Or a metric, some sort of metric cap screw in Grade B7. I said, "What is it that?"

George:         We have seven different variations of that. Which one do you want?

Brian:            People, I presume there's a need for it. I would've thought the metric material specs would have been enough to satisfy anything that they want to build on metrics.

George:         Yes. Metrics is a big part of who we are and what we want to do. So, it makes sense to round out that line.

Eric:               As evidenced by this ad, right on the back of the latest Distributor Link Magazine, don't miss it. Of course, everyone knows where to get ahold of Brighton-Best International. So, George, before we wind this conversation down, we've got to get a few specific training tips from you.

Brian:            Right.

Eric:               Including what kind of Ironclad gloves you're going to be using for your training and what you're advising, who knows maybe Brighton will even be kicking in a few pairs for some of the trainers. I don't know. That's just a guess. I don't mean to put you on the hook, but what's the rub?

Brian:            We'll have to see. I've got to talk to upper management and see what we can do to see if we can get a couple of sets to fall off the back of the truck. But I would definitely see the Mach 5. Those are the fingerless gloves that are typically used for framing, but I'll tell you what they do wonders when you're working with weights. We'll see what we can do.

Eric:               Electricians gloves might come in handy too. I've heard.

George:         I don't know about that. They're too bulky and big, you're not going to be able to get through it. Plus, when you get hit with that electrocution, it's going to go through, regardless if you have gloves on or not.

Brian:            So, thanks. You just turned off another whole group of people.

George:         Exactly. Remember I'm not supposed to scare people, so you can't leave me with those kinds of questions.

Brian:            What's a little bit of electricity, really?

Eric:               I guess it depends where it hits you.

George:         Exactly.

Brian:            True.

George:         But when we send out the regimen. I think you guys are going to find that it's relatively easy. We're not asking you to bench 250 pounds and run on a treadmill for three hours. It's more, 50 push-ups, a hundred jump ropes and walk on a treadmill. You put together a regimen every other day, and you do that for five weeks and have some downtime on the weekend. You'll be fine. You guys will be fine. And we're going to have a lot of fun.

Eric:               And no pressure to get the tattoo at the end. Am I right?

George:         No pressure, no pressure at all. But something tells me maybe a few of us will be in the chair.

Eric:               I think you're right. I think it's happening. I think it's happening.

Brian:            It's funny.

Eric:               Alright. G. H. Three, Brighton-Best own. It's always great to talk to you on the podcast and we appreciate you being part of our home association. A big part, that's the MWFA. First ones to ever, accept Brian and Eric, pretty much anywhere in the fastener industry. We'll never forget that.

Brian:            Right. That's true.

George:         We love having you and I can't tell you how much I appreciate you having me on today, Eric and Brian. It's been a pleasure.

Brian:            Okay, Maddie, will you get back to worry about your metrics. Okay.

George:         Will do.

Eric:               We'll see you out there in the course, man. Thanks for listening. Everybody. We'll be back in a minute. It's Fully Threaded.

Brian:            ND Industries has been increasing the safety and reliability of fastener assemblies by developing innovative materials and processes since 1955. Names like ND Patch, Thermoloc, Electroloc, and Vibra-Tite serve a wide variety of fastening applications across North America and around the world to see our full line of innovative products or to discuss your application requirements, contact ND Industries today at www.ndindustries.com.

Jake:              This is Jake Davis with BTM Manufacturing. And for over 50 years, we have been a leading manufacturer of bent wire and threaded products, including U-bolts, single and double ended studs, anchor bolts, and many more per print items. Based in the heart of America, Kansas City, Missouri. BTM supports Fully Threaded Radio because they support our Fastener Industry. Being a part of FTR is almost as good as a hot cup of industry favor, U-Bolt blend coffee. And if you still don't know how good that is, call BTM manufacturing today and find out for yourself. BTM manufacturing, 'Commitment to service'.

Eric:               ‘Quality Products, Quality Service, Quality Customers’. That's 3Q, Inc, a fastener distributor unlike any you've worked with before. With its unique remote managed inventory, stocking programs, wide array of secondary service offerings and wholly owned cold forming capability. 3Q, Inc has been supporting fastener distributors since 2008. 3Q offers a wide range of 100% American made fasteners, including ITW SEMS Lock washers, as well as specialty and imported parts. Give 3Q a call today to discuss your needs and experience 3Q quality for yourself. 3Q Inc, www.3q-inc.com.


Solution Man can. Solution Man. You're my fastener hero. Just doing my job, ma'am. S-O-L-U-T-I-O-N, S-O-L-U-T-I-O-N. Solution Industry. We are solution.

Joanne:         Hi, this Joanne of Star Stainless in Wood Dale, Illinois. You're listening to Fully Threaded Radio.

Eric:               Back with you folks, Fully Threaded Radio. Safe and effective, which seems to be so important to people these days. And it's Brian and Eric, back with you. Hey man. Glad you made it.

Brian:            I'm out from under the piles of crap. Okay. So how did everything go? Were you lonely without me?

Eric:               You caught that. So, we've developed that theme, I think pretty well today on the podcast. Also, the plate spinning theme. I think what you were involved in. They're taking care of some plates spinning, otherwise known as scrubbing in this case. It's good to see all these projects come in. I'll tell you people were saving them up for the beginning of the year, I guess, but man, it's a crush of people getting their data ready to go online. Huh?

Brian:            Right. Yeah. I guess the plate spinning is really like all the little disks spinning around all that store and all those crap on.

Eric:               I didn't think of that metaphor. Well, it's good to have you a better, late than never. And see folks I told you, Brian would do everything he could to get back into the game. And here he is.

Brian:            Right.

Eric:               And I'll thank the guests on today's podcast as well. And they were George Hunt III with Brighton-Best. Tim O'Keeffe with G. L. Huyett joined Mike McNulty on the Fastener News Report today. Thanks so much for turning us on to lonesome Tommy O'Keeffe, Tim.

                        We're going to play the whole track as we roll the show out today. Great tune Carmen Vertullo had the Fastener Training Minute and we kicked everything off with a conversation with Becky McMorrow over there at Würth Industry North America. Remember folks there's a new video podcast coming out in the near future called, Würth Knowing, keep your eyes open. Think it's on a YouTube channel. We'll keep you advised on that one.

Brian:            Oh, good title too. Interesting.

Eric:               How do you pronounce Würth with an umlaut and without an umlaut. I've always wondered that. Sometimes when you're typing it and you don't have a chance to find that little special character, is it pronounced differently? I don't know.

Brian:            Yes, it is because where the little umlaut goes is where they've missed an 'e' out of edge. Pronounce, it's like cologne, Koeln is K-O-E-L-N or K-O with two dots L and Würth is W-U-E-R-T-H. So that's how you'd spell it in Germany. If you didn't have the two dots on your keyboard.

Eric:               I've seen that before, but is a matter of simple pronunciation. Just for the benefit of the audience and everybody who does business with Würth. And there are a lot of them in the Fully Threaded listening audience. Brian will pronounce Würth with an umlaut. Please pronounce Würth.

Brian:            Well, I'm not too good at the 'U' thing. Okay. I can tell you the exact difference in an 'O'. Okay. So, one has 'coln' that's without the two dots and 'kern' is with the dots. It's a slightly different sound and Würth would be worth, but then it's worth, it's sort of closer to how we pronounce it in English actually.

Eric:               Alright. I think we'll just drop this for the moment.

Brian:            Yes. I know.

Eric:               And maybe we'll get the guys from Würth Knowing on the podcast, they can explain it to us.

Brian:            Exactly. I don't think that's the real pronunciation here.

Eric:               Although I don't think that's actually the kind of material he'll be covering. I think that's more inanity left for FTR, but who knows? We had a great lineup of sponsors on the episode today and we'll reverse roles as we close out. Bri, shoot it out.

Brian:            You're right. Now it’s my chance to say something. 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, 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, despite the fact that I wasn't here to say that earlier, still be sure that I value having great sponsors. And both Eric and I do. We need them and the rest of the industry needs them too, otherwise you wouldn't be getting this great podcast.

Eric:               And nobody would want that.

Brian:            Yeah. Right.

Eric:               Let us know what you think folks. The email address ftr@fullythreaded.com. And also mentioned earlier, you can go to fullythreaded.com and leave us a voicemail who knows what we'll wind up doing with this? It's an experiment could be fun. Try it out fullythreaded.com.

                        We'll see you online in the meantime, everybody at fastenersclearinghouse.com, the FCH Sourcing Network, big things are happening there. Keep your eyes peeled. And just before we roll out of here, getting back to G. H. Three and the big Tough Mudder event coming up this summer, Bri. It's really getting ahead of steam. The list of people that are locked in for the team is growing.

                        We'll have more details on that on episode162. I'm imagining GQ is beside himself with joy. He has been trying to really pull the cork off of this one for several years. And here it seems to be materializing.

Brian:            Well, I would think it's much called metaphors, a little closer to a snowball rolling downhill rather than a head of steam.

Eric:               Or possibly even a train with no brakes. operating.

Brian:            Yes. The runaway train thing.

Eric:               Right. Well, that folds well into our closing theme today because we've got trains and feeling lonesome, and that's going to take us out of this episode, 161 to the podcast. Thanks so much for listening everybody. And I'm pretty sure both Brian and I will be back next time. You're going to be here?

Brian:            Yes. I don't want you to be lonely. Why would we want that?

Eric:               I know someone who'd rather be lonely. That's Tommy O'Keeffe. We'll hear all about that one. Thanks a lot for listening. Everyone for Brian Musker, this is Eric Dudas. Get out there, sell some screws. You're in the mudder, starts training. Talk to you next time.

Brian:            See you next time folks.

                        [Singing- Tommy O’Keeffe]


Fully Threaded Radio is a production of Fasteners Clearing House.