WEST BURLINGTON, IA—Fastenal has expanded its footprint 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’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,” says Peitz. “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 housekeeping 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.