TS: Patriot Bolt and Supply has certainly been active on social media sites this year. It caught my attention enough to reach out and ask some more questions about what is going on at Patriot Bolt as well as Patriot Sealing Technologies. And you are the President and owner of both Patriot operations, is that correct?
Kris: Hello TS, and thank you for the opportunity to talk about our organization. Patriot Bolt was started about 4 years ago with a few key partners including Jocelyn Midyett and Bryce Oliveira. We have a large stake in Patriot Sealing and oversee the sales and operations in the US. I have partners in the UAE that manage and oversee those two operations. We all collaborate well together to ensure the success of the overall organization and capitalize on the synergies that we all create for each other.
TS: What is your background? Where did you work before Patriot Bolt?
Kris: I have about 25 years’ experience in the gasket and fastener industry working for various major organizations and industry leaders. Most of that time was spent in engineering, applications and research and development working with end users and distributors to solve problems and improve equipment reliability. I have spent the last part of my professional career in a global commercial role managing major global supply agreements for products such as gaskets, hose and fasteners. I managed all aspects of P&L for branches and manufacturing facilities around the world in a variety of global markets including Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. These experiences have served me well and have resulted in so many great relationships with friends and colleagues around the world.
TS: How did this experience parlay into your starting Patriot?
Kris: I had spent my career in middle and executive management working for companies owned by public and private equity, holding groups and venture capital. In my experience, these companies can be great at managing high volume commodity products, but their ability to participate in specialty markets with demanding service levels is limited. Recognizing and acting upon this opportunity was the basis for the inception of Patriot Bolt. There was plenty of room in the industry for a reliable, high service level, specialty fasteners and gaskets supplier/manufacturer in the energy sector. Many of the companies that existed and flourished years ago, had been swallowed by these larger entities and the need in the industry was strong. I think we have capitalized on that in the last few years.
TS: Where did the name Patriot Bolt come from?
Kris: Any worthwhile organization will have a mission to serve and give back to the community that supports and provides for it. Even before the first order was processed, we chose to partner with select veteran organizations such as Wounded Warrior Foundation as a way to support those who defend our freedoms. The patriotic theme resonates with so many in the oil and gas industry and serves as a reminder that our work positively affects so many lives. In a world that increasingly relies on product and raw material that arrives on a container, we are focused on supporting American jobs and American raw material that arrives on a flatbed truck.
TS: More specifically, what are your main product lines? What is your niche in the marketplace? And what markets do you target?
Kris: We serve many markets but they all primarily relate to the oil and gas sector. This is a service industry with high expectations and high demands. It is not for everyone and only the most hungry tend to survive and prosper. While we can and do provide any type of commodity fastener or gasket, we focus on specialty engineered components that require a high level of precision and also orders where fast responses and turnarounds are required to meet an immediate demand. Even though there are countless fastener and gasket houses, this particular niche is an underserved market that we cater to.
TS: Supply chain issues have been a real problem for companies this past year. Have you experienced issues with getting materials or tooling?
Kris: Like most manufacturers and distributors in our market, we have faced some challenges but they have not slowed us down to any great extent. One of our great strengths is having a wide range of strong material suppliers and the versatility to modify finished goods or materials to meet customer demand. The greatest supply chain problems during the last few years have been with companies that import heavily from overseas dealing with shipping bottlenecks and tarriffs. This is another reason to support domestic suppliers and domestic manufacturers.
TS: Your LinkedIn activity frequently focuses on your quality systems. What would you like to share about the quality systems at Patriot Bolt?
Kris: Like most companies, our quality system is an evolving process. We achieved ISO9001 approval very early in our short history and have been audited by major end users and distributors with great reviews. We have an excellent set of procedures and documentation that provide a consistent set of guidelines for our daily work. Our internal culture is rooted in quality as many of our employees come from aerospace fastener backgrounds and have been surrounded by these concepts their entire career. For a company of our age and size, we maintain a very sophisticated analytical equipment arsenal such as XRF equipment for positive material identification, calibrated hardness testers to ensure mechanical properties are met and a library of thread gauges and plugs to ensure any thread standard is adhered to.
TS: You are located in Humble Texas but you also have a location for Patriot Sealing Technologies in Abu Dhabi. UAE. It is not real often that I see fastener or sealing companies set up in UAE for their second location. How did that come about?
Kris: Our original UAE location is in Dubai and we just opened a second facility in Abu Dhabi next to many of the major users. After a few years of growing Patriot Bolt, a friend and now partner in Dubai, Santosh Kumar asked about duplicating this success in another underserved market like the UAE. In our short time in this market, we have seen excellent progress securing many large projects for gaskets and fasteners and growing an experienced team. We are poised for great things in the years ahead in this market.
TS: Yours is a fairly young company. What are your plans for the upcoming years?
Kris: These last four years have been a whirlwind of success and challenges. There is more opportunity to grow in our current market. We are in the process of moving Patriot Bolt into a building that we purchased which is double the size of our current location. We have equipment that we have not connected because of space constraints and have plans to add more capacity and capability in the coming years. We also look to expand in other complimentary product lines and in other underserved markets where we can achieve the same levels of success.
TS: What else should we know about you and about Patriot Bolt that I haven’t asked about yet?
Kris: I cannot say enough good things about our team and the success we have had attracting great talent. I am fortunate to be surrounded by one of the best teams in the industry with a great sense of urgency and customer satisfaction. Most of us having come from a corporate world of private equity and holding groups who place emphasis on clawing back as much as they can from their employees, our focus is to take care of our employees. Every team member is treated as a stakeholder and their input is valued. We just started a highly matched 401K program and are constantly looking for ways to give back and take care of our employees. They are truly the strength of our organization and this will continue to be the case as we grow and move forward.