Fastenal, supplier of industrial fasteners and tools, has expanded its footprint on West Burlington’s Broadway Street, with a 5,000 square foot warehouse and assembly area addition. The increased footage will permit the supplier of nuts, bolts and related equipment, to efficiently meet the rapidly evolving needs of both local industries and individual consumers.
Fastenal was established in Winona, Minnesota in 1967 and now has 3,000 outlets scattered throughout North America. The company came to Burlington in 1989 and in 2004, the purveyor of a wide range of industrial fasteners moved from its Roosevelt Avenue location to its present location facility.
Fastenal’s local general manger, Wesley Peitz, explained the recent expansion was necessitated by the consolidation of the Fort Madison warehouse operation into the West Burlington location. The synergy created by centralizing the two operations also will allow Fastenal to respond to a changing market place in an efficient manner.
“We are seeing an uptick in demand from existing customers,” Peitz said, “and we have gone back to serving non- corporate accounts. We had stopped selling to individuals that walked through the door but with our expansion we can again offer that service.”
“Walk-in” business is just one of a number of changes the agile company is pursuing to serve its customer base. A number of Fastenal’s eleven employees are not employed on-site but work out of the tool cribs and supply stations of the company’s major customers.
“In those situations we keep track of the customer’s inventory needs. We do on-site inventories, generate an order, see it delivered and put it away. We monitor not only their fastener needs but also such things as house keeping and safety supplies. It is a more complete service that we are able to offer as we are become more of as partner with our customers.”
The recent warehouse addition also will permit Fastenal to more efficiently conduct a “kiting” service offered to major industrial customers. Kits are individual containers holding selected fasteners and related supplies as required for a specific assembly build. The kit is then delivered to the assembly line as needed.
The Fastenal corporate entity is also dealing with demanding conditions in its supply chain. Tariff increases are adding additional costs to foreign sourced hardware but Peitz reports Fastenal is working aggressively to mitigate these increases and to minimize the pass-on costs to customers.
The company is constantly reconfiguring its services and offerings to meet changing market conditions. “People often drive by our Broadway Street building and later remark to me that they seldom see very many cars in out parking lot and they wonder if business is in a decline.
“I have to explain to them that our business is changing and 95 percent of traffic is now out of our truck docks at the rear of the building,” Peitz said. “The business is constantly changing.
Source: The Hawk Eye