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SUMMER 2011

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Distributor's Link Magazine Summer Issue 2011 / VOL 34 / NO.3

66 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

66 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Atlantic Fasteners 49 Heywood Ave., West Springfield, MA 01089 Tel: 1-800-800-BOLT (2658) Fax: 413-241-2184 www.atlanticfasteners.com CUSTOMER SATISFACTION PROGRAM AT ATLANTIC 25-year-old service guarantee program yields few payouts Industrial companies and their money-back service guarantees rarely appear in the same sentence. Fears of devious customers, profit erosion due to mistakes and even bankruptcy are key reasons companies avoid them. For Atlantic Fasteners, however, a well-managed service guarantee program has been a key tool for attracting and keeping customers for 25 years. And while the company prides itself on outstanding service, the guarantees continue to enhance their service further. In 1986, Atlantic Fasteners launched a bold, nextday delivery guarantee throughout New England, backed by the promise of a credit. It was an instant success, driving new business and differentiating the company by demonstrating its efficient processing of instock orders the same day received. Today the company offers six guarantees that represent diverse aspects of their operation. The most recent, and aggressive, is a guarantee of 100% satisfaction. The promise was also increased to a 0 credit – in writing, without conditional fine print. Guarantees Enhance Performance President Tony Peterson attributes Atlantic Fasteners’ stellar 99.96% accuracy and reliability rating to several key components inherent to the program: • Customer complaints and employee-discovered errors lead to real-time operational audits • Immediate root cause analysis provides opportunity to Atlantic Fasteners founder Patrick O’Toole with the company’s first credit in 1986. quickly fine-tune processes • Credits encourage coworkers to perform flawlessly since the firm is 100% employee-owned Compared to the hundreds of thousands of transactions the company has processed, the slightly more than 1,100 credits issued in 25 years represents a tiny fraction of the total orders shipped, Peterson said. “Acknowledging a mistake, fixing it and making good on a promise not only builds loyal customer relationships, it forces us to look at every step,” said Peterson. “Enhanced automation and employee training is a result of discovered flaws. Guarantees keep us on our toes, which has been key to our continuous improvement efforts.” A Year for Anniversaries Atlantic Fasteners, whose guarantee program hit the 25-year mark in February, also celebrated the company’s 30th anniversary in January. The 100% employee-owned hardware supplier serves commercial and aerospace/military markets, and holds AS9120 and ISO 9001:2008 certifications. They’ve been pre-qualified to serve industry leaders such as Raytheon Missile Systems, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Atlantic maintains a higher-thanaverage DLA score for CAGE Code 1QYC9. For example, its mid-May 97.5% score compared to the average vendor score of 91.9%.

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