Fastenal expands into metalworking

Over the past year, Fastenal has invested aggressively to establish itself as a major national supplier to the metalworking industry.

A Fastenal vending machineThat includes providing a turnkey cutting tool vending solution, positioning trained Metalworking Specialists across the country, and dramatically expanding its product offering.

Earlier this month, Fastenal rolled out its latest FAST Solutions, the FAST 4000CT and FAST 2000CT, designed to provide point-of-use dispensing of individual inserts and round tools. These low-cost, compact vending machines make it cost-effective to install multiple units throughout the shop, providing workers with secure, 24/7 access to tooling without leaving the work cell.

Similar to Fastenal's popular FAST 5000 program, the local Fastenal store provides the machines and keeps them filled with needed product, helping customers eliminate inventory, improve productivity and reduce cutting tool consumption – all with no capital expenditure.

Fastenal has made industry training available to all sales personnel, while deploying Metalworking Specialists across the U.S. and Canada to support local stores and customers. These specialists undergo three levels of training, including training at key suppliers' facilities. With 38 specialists already trained and deployed, the company anticipates adding additional specialists in the future to meet market demands.

"Our specialists don't stop at the sale," said Fastenal's metalworking sales manager Dan Gernes. "We stay engaged with the customer to make sure they not only have the right products for the job, but that they're running them for optimal performance. We consider ourselves partners in their overall productivity."

Product Expansion
In addition to expanding its product offering from Walter, OSG, Chicago-Latrobe and other key suppliers, Fastenal was recently named the North American National Distributor of the WIDIA Products Group, a complete portfolio of precision-engineered metalworking products. Through the partnership, Fastenal's 2,500-plus stores now offer thousands of milling, turning, holemaking and tooling systems products from WIDIA metalworking brands.

In conjunction with these expansions Fastenal is adding tens of thousands of metalworking product SKUs to its Indianapolis-based central distribution center, dramatically expanding the breadth and depth of inventory available for 24- to 48-hour delivery.