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2 posts categorized "Fastenal news"

July 18, 2012

Back to the beginning - Fastenal's vending machines

I realize this is not really new info. Winona nuts and bolts powerhouse Fastenal has been intalling industrial 'vending machines' for the past few years.

G111086ex13_pg011cBut I hadn't really looked at this in depth. Vending machines accounted for about 20 percent of net sales this past quarter. Fastenal has 13,036 vending machines in operation right now.

"We believe industrial vending is the next logical chapter in the Fastenal story, we also believe it has the potential to be transformative to industrial distribution, and that we have a 'first mover' advantage. We are investing aggressively to maximize this advantage."

The cool thing about this, to me, is that Fastenal's founder Bob Kierlin actually envisioned vending machines as the original concept for the company in 1967.

The technology of that time made that problematic, so he decided to open stores.

And now his first idea is quickly becoming a major piece of the company's business.

I guess Kierlin's legendary frugality keeps him from throwing much away, even old ideas.

August 16, 2010

Fastenal takes aim at combat contracts

08162010fastenalbrucebrinkmanHere's something a little different.

Fastenal Co., the industrial supply and fastener company in Winona, recently landed an $850,000 contract to provide spare parts for U.S. military's MRAPs - Mine Resistant Ambush Protected - vehicles being used in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  Military contracts aren't new for Fastenal, but this is a new angle with a lot of potential for the future.

Here's some from an article I have on this in today's paper. The full piece is posted here.


Fastenal Co. is gearing up to go into battle supplying parts for U.S. military vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After about a year and a half of preparation, the Winona-based fastener maker recently won a $850,000 contract — $185,000 per year until 2015 — to supply 23 different washers, nuts, bolts and screws that are critical components for use on Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in combat.

While Fastenal has worked with the U.S. military for many years, this contract signals a new level of involvement with the Dept. of Defense.

Fastenalco. The contract awarded in late July is with the Defense Logistics Agency's Defense Supply Center, which supplies directly to troops in combat.

"This really is a niche," says Donnalee Papenfuss, Fastenal's executive director government and diversity affairs.

To win this contract, Fastenal had to create a new process channel direct from the Winona headquarters to meet the packaging, RFID labeling and testing standards required for this area of the military.

And that means a new market is now open.

"We believe we're at the beginning of something big," says Papenfuss. "You can't just come to a contract like this and just win it. You have to prepare for it."