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Distributor's Link Magazine Summer 2022 / Vol 45 No 4

26 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

26 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Rob LaPointe AIM TESTING LABORATORY Rob LaPointe is a noted authority in materials and fastener technology. With extensive experience in the management and science of materials testing laboratories combined with master’s degrees in physics and education, he excels at bringing solutions to the client. Working specifically in the fastener testing industry, he has developed expertise in mechanical, nondestructive, metallurgical and chemical testing. With a background of 20 years in physics education, Rob is effective at communicating complex ideas in a simple and understandable manner, communicating well with clients enabling them to make informed decisions about their products and business. AIM is located at 1920 Cordell Court #101, El Cajon, CA, 92020. Tel: 909-254-1278, email: sales@aimtestlab.com or online at www.aimtestlab.com PROCUREMENT IS NOT A FOUR-LETTER WORD Fastener procurement is something all manufacturers, distributors and users of fasteners must accomplish. It is also something with which many professionals have difficulty. I’ve helped many colleagues, over the years, with procurement tasks because they were unaware of the process and skills needed to do the job. I’ve often perceived that those coming for help are frustrated, fearful and somewhat intimidated by fastener standards and the procurement process. If you’ve found yourself in this position, then hopefully, this article will help assuage your fear of procurement. Procurement is the process of putting together the components of a job or product. Procurement can be as easy as making a trip to the local hardware store and grabbing some 3/8-16 X 3-inch hot-dip galvanized carriage bolts, washers, and nuts for fixing your outdoor patio railing or as complicated as orchestrating the manufacture and sale of a 1/4-20 X 1 1/4-inch hightensile super alloy socket-head cap screw to hold exhaust components of a jet engine together. Even though these examples have significant contrast in their levels of precision and importance, both jobs require the same major steps toward accomplishment. These major steps comprise the path of procurement and are the essential architecture of the process. They include identifying the need, finding or making the product that can fulfill the need, and inspecting or testing the product to ensure that it satisfies the need. TECHNICAL ARTICLE FIGURE 1 A FRUSTRATED FASTENER PROFESSIONAL WHO IS TASKED WITH A PROCUREMENT JOB Identifying The Need All procurement projects start with a need. “I need to fix my deck railing,” or “I need to bolt these exhaust components onto my jet engine,” are both examples of a need that can be satisfied by getting something (procuring) that allows you to fulfill the observed need. Along with recognizing the need, one must have an idea of what that something is that can satisfy the need. “A 3/8-16 X 3-inch galvanized bolt will hold this broken railing nicely” or “the designers of this aircraft specified a 1/4-20 X 1 1/4-inch hex cap screw made of A286 manufactured to the standard NAS 1352, or more specifically, a NAS1352N4H20M screw to do this job.” Most of the time, as fastener professionals, we don’t have to make choices among options. CONTINUED ON PAGE 126

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