Where Customers Are Family

Fasteners Direct
Written by William Young

Fasteners Direct of Webster, New York, carries everything relating to industrial and construction fasteners. The company was founded by Herb Parr in the 1990s and has always embraced being a family business.

The head of a family of seven boys, Parr initially began a painting and wallpapering business in the 1970s; around 1980, his business began supplying collision and repair shops with small fasteners like nuts, bolts, washers, and screws. The business continued to evolve and expand over the years, switching focus to manufacturing and structural sectors, as well as supplying to bigger repair shops than before on a business-to-business level.

Over time, each of Herb’s sons became involved with the company in various positions, and as the current Director of Marketing and Sales Tim Parr explains, Herb’s grandchildren have become involved in the business as well.

Fasteners Direct “just kept growing, and we kept pushing it to have work for the family,” Tim Parr says. However, it is not just the Parr family that benefits from the close-knit culture. The company strives to promote an employee-friendly atmosphere, with effort put into its values of honesty and integrity.

“Atmosphere is very important because it translates to customers,” Parr explains, meaning that a harmonious business leads to a satisfied clientele, which the company has had since the beginning.

Even after more than forty years, Fasteners Direct is ever-evolving in its approach to the various markets it serves. In the past few years, it has been developing systems to help customers come up with more efficient procurement systems, as well as working to simplify the process of fastener manufacturing and distribution using methods like inventory control systems, specialized packaging, and the effective leveraging of its global network.

These new developments have been developed alongside its classic services, including its inventory management systems, custom kits and labeling, and client rebates. In doing so, the company has been developed into a more structured business that continues to help customers become more efficient.

To maintain the personal customer experience that is the bedrock of its style, the company works to deliver every order by way of the client’s preferred shipping method. The team will show the customer all the things they can do from a services standpoint, while letting the client choose what they feel is most important, allowing Fasteners Direct to customize the order to these choices.

This could be anything from priority shipping and packaging to staff measures or anything else under its purview. The approach supports the company’s trademark personalized experience, one that often bests the competition’s customer service, as other companies can be unwilling to offer this level of individualized assistance or lifetime assurance.

Companies across the sector are still calling on Fasteners Direct for its attitude and products as strongly as ever. Parr and the company are seeing strong and steady growth in the construction industry at this time, with stock shortages and supply chain issues that sprouted from the pandemic now reducing quickly. Many of its vendors and competitors alike have a large amount of stock, even tending toward overstock in some places, and are more heavily promoting sales resulting from this surplus product.

Both the company and the broader industry are very strong, a welcome change after several years of struggle; however, this does not mean that the company is resting on its laurels or that it is unprepared for any potential shakeup. Parr recognizes that as market pricing evens out, as it has been lately, the pendulum can often swing the other way making pricing, in his words, “a bit weird.”

The company is adjusting to conditions as fast as possible and is keeping itself nimble in preparation for any surprises to come. Parr explains that, at times, clients believe that retaining the services of Fasteners Direct is only a small piece of a project, but what is more often the case is that the need for specialty items is unanticipated and then becomes an emergency.

At all points, the company ensures that this kind of stressful situation does not happen through its commitment to personalization. It accomplishes its goals of equipping every client with what they need rather than simply talking about them.

Looking ahead, the company will be investing in state-of-the-art kitting technology to assemble multiple products into one package. It is in the final stages of signing a million-dollar investment in new machinery that will speed up this kitting process, which will be especially helpful as manufacturers prefer to have parts that are used for building a very specific unit in their business.

The team will also be examining the prospect of modernizing their packaging processes, an aspect of the business that seems to be the biggest need across the industry right now and is one of the company’s premier services.

Another of the company’s attentions is on shifting further afield. Up to around three years ago, it only worked within a 150-mile radius of its home in upstate New York. However, in the last six months or so, the company consensus is that it is more beneficial to find customers in need of its systems, even as far out as 1,500 miles to states like North Dakota and Texas.

This change to a larger physical spread has also led to being more specific in choosing the customers with which the company works. “Our personalized services aren’t needed by everyone but the ones that need it really need it,” Parr points out. To meet this new objective, the company will be spending time expanding its onsite systems and updating them, while creating new and modern technologies that will help both itself and its existing customers. A new scanner system is just one improvement on the way.

With all these themes in mind, Fasteners Direct will also offer modern advancements to customers as soon as they are released. The main goal for the rest of the year will be to make sure existing customers are up to the level that the company wants them to be, which is why setting up its new kitting machinery and having the sales department drive that aspect of the business will be of utmost importance. Otherwise, the company will be keeping true to its classic customer-centric approach, as it has served the business well for so long and continues to do so well into its fourth decade.

Fasteners Direct aims to continue to serve as the go-to provider for its specific services and systems while remaining family-oriented—as it has been since the beginning.



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