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Distributor's Link Magazine Summer 2018 / Vol 41 No3


70 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK GLOBALFASTENERNEWS.COM by JOHN WOLZ EDITOR SFA PANEL: U.S. TARIFFS HIKING STEEL PRICES BTM Manufacturing received two loads of steel over a three-week period with price increases of ###COLUMNCONTENT###.04 per pound on each load. Southwestern Fastener Association panelists agreed steel tariffs are not creating jobs – just price increases. The panel on “Past, Present & Future” featured SFA members representing different age groups. “The steel industry is taking advantage of it,” BTM president Jake Davis opined. Supporting the domestic steel industry does not create many jobs, panelist John Longyear of Metric & Multistandard observed. The steel industry is heavily automated, Longyear explained. Where there used to be 100 working in a steel mill, today there can be 30 or fewer. Tricia Dyer of All America Threaded Products agreed that domestic steel mills are upping prices “because they can.” Panelists doubted steel tariffs will change the fastener industry. “Nuts aren’t made here and they are not going to be,” Longyear observed. The exception would be special production runs. Longyear, a 46-year veteran of the fastener industry described doing business in the 2018 economy: “If you can run fast, you can make the sale.” “There was no ‘online,’” Longyear recalled of his start in the industry in 1972 with Metric & Multistandard. It was long before faxing too, he added. “Nobody had computers. You ran back and forth in warehouse and physically looked at shelves for inventory.” Longyear recalled there were only three companies selling metric fasteners when he started: Zelenda, Veteran Tool & Supply and Metric & Multistandard. All three were New York based. Metric was a niche industry with 80% of sales to end users. “Distributors didn’t want to touch metrics,” Longyear explained. Today distributors “can’t not sell metrics.” Nor was there an not-so-many years ago. “Everybody is affected,” declared Davis, who is with manufacturer BTM and distributor ISSCO Inc. It makes traditional fastener distributors a “niche business.” It is increasingly easy for commodity buyers to just go online and click to buy, Davis said. However, Dyer finds that contractors have not moved en masse to Amazon and remain buyers from distributors. Tips to attract millennials include offering more than a job. “People want growth,” Dyer said. “Does your company have a plan for the future?” Longyear asked. “This is not a glamour industry even though it holds the world together.” “It is easy to get stagnant,” Davis warned. Each generation is new, Davis observed. There were Baby Boomers (1945-1964), GenXers (1965-1980) and now Millennials (1981-1996) in the workforce. “Everyone was a new generation,” Davis noted. Millennials are so computer data oriented, Dyer observed. Today customers can see what time thread is being cut on what machine, she pointed out. That customers can look at inventory online “makes you a better salesperson,” Longyear suggested. It means companies need to keep up with their websites. Longyear, noting he may be the oldest manager in the room, said he pushed for an upcoming Metric & Multistandard website. Your position on a Google search is vital, Longyear said. Customers “will never get down to twentieth.” BUSINESS FOCUS ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 146

On June 7, 2018, SWD Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate a 26,000sq.ft. expansion of their existing 160,000sq.ft. facility. In attendance were Village of Addison Officials, representatives from BMO Harris Bank, and members of Laub Construction. With this addition, SWD projects growth of 15% in year-over-year sales and expects that anywhere from 12-15 new positions will be created. The extra 26,000sq.ft. will help with process flow in this state-of-the-art coating production facility. It has been designed to allow for more warehousing with an automated racking system for part storage along with new office space for centralized shipping, receiving, and order entry processing. The million addition follows a series of investments. This expansion is aligned with SWD’s mission to “Bring our customers the highest level of quality and service in the metal finishing industry”. SWD Inc. specializes in Black Oxide, Passivation of Stainless Steel, Phosphate coatings (Zinc, Manganese & Iron), Fastener Sorting and licensed application of High Corrosion Magni, Dörken and Yuken coating systems. Last year, SWD introduced a state-of-theart robotic organic coating line with unprecedented production capabilities. This project is expected to complete in November 2018. For more information, contact SWD Inc. by Tel: 630- 543-3003, or visit them online at THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 71


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