It’s getting close now. Everywhere I visit it seems the International Fastener Show is coming up in conversations. Kind of odd to be going to a new location and only for one year but, it is what it is. See you at the Circle Bar?
Just in case you have not heard, the press release below was sent out to suppliers (at the least the one that shared it with me – thank you Ross Shepard). I confirmed with show personnel that this was announced before I decided to share it here. All that being said, I’ll see you in a couple weeks at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the 2017 show!!
The International Fastener Expo is getting you BACK ON THE STRIP at the Mandalay Bay Resort in 2018 with an even bigger venue that brings attendees and exhibitors that much closer to all the action that Las Vegas has to offer.
In 2018 IFE will be held over three days: October 30 – November 1.
Mandalay Bay is conveniently located just 2 miles from the airport, located in the southern section of the iconic Las Vegas Strip. Not only is Mandalay Bay the “gold standard” in accommodation and meeting space – it offers everything you need under one roof including a Poolside Beach Club with a wave pool, Shark Reef Aquarium and underwater viewing area, and multiple award-winning restaurants and bars like The House of Blues and Skyfall Lounge. Of course, there are four Hotel options within walking distance of the show floor.
The Mandalay Bay is going to be “the place to be” for the Fastener Industry again in 2018!
Dinner and lunch plans are being made, flights are being booked, hotel reservations are made. Just one question. Where are people hanging out at the new show venue?
Recently, on Twitter, I asked where the hospitality suites were going to be this year. It did sound like there were going to be several in the Westgate Hotel, which is the “official” host hotel. I went a step further and spoke with Morgan Wilson from Emerald Expositions and he put me in touch with their Marketing Specialist, Daniel Acuna. Daniel sent me a press release that suggested the International Bar (aka, The Fastener Circle Bar) would be the official, unofficial bar for fastener people to mix and mingle amongst their peers. It is located just off the steps of the main lobby in the Westgate.
To support this spot as a central meeting location, Emerald will have a “Whiskey Night” and also beer and drink specials on October 18-19. According to Daniel the bar is open 24/7 and that ought to work out well with the fastener crowd. I’m going to check it out a little further online.
Some folks will still be staying down on the strip and there could be some gatherings down that direction, I imagine. In case any of you are wondering what happened to the old Bourbon Room, here is a little update on what is now called “The Dorsey”:
It’s not been announced officially where the Fastener Show will be located in 2018 but I’m sure that announcement will come before, or certainly at the show.
Where are you going to be hanging out in Vegas??
I recently attended an out of town wedding for a young lady who grew up in my home town of Strongsville. When I was entering the church I pointed out to my wife, “there’s the mayor of our town”. I quickly recalled that the father of the bride worked for the city and consequently he invited his “boss” to attend. Later, at the wedding reception, I was introduced to the mayor as a citizen of Strongsville and also as a small business owner there. The mayor asked about my occupation and I told him I worked in the greatest industry known to mankind – the fastener industry.
Before he became our long tenured mayor, Tom Perciak was President of a local bank. He came to the office with a very strong business background that has served our city very well and he will most likely be reelected until such time as he decides he no longer chooses to run for office. So, did I talk about the city, his banking background, or something else to do with the city?? No sir! Our conversation went like this:
“Mayor, in my industry, three of the country’s largest importers of fasteners are Brighton Best, Stelfast and XL Screw. Across the country and throughout the industry, those are three of the biggest industry names and all three of them are located within our city limits. Also, I know that Applied MSS (former Parts Associates & UZ Engineered Products) is moving its headquarters to Strongsville by the end of this year. Interestingly, Strongsville has become a landing spot for several top companies from my industry. ” I also mentioned that there was going to be a national trade show taking place in downtown Cleveland in April, 2018, Fastener Fair USA. The mayor responded by asking for my phone and email and asked me if I would join him and the city’s Director of Economic Development for lunch. He said he wanted to learn some more about our industry. We went to lunch on Friday, September 1.
Our city is a nice community and a great place to raise a family. We have a mall, loads of great restaurants, plenty of shopping, access to the Cuyahoga Country Metropark system, a Cleveland Clinic Hospital branch location and countless other conveniences including a terrific recreation center. But the mayor and his Economic Development team know what makes the city’s engine run – busineses. Manufacturers, distributors and all businesses in between. Strongsville sits at the cross section of Interstate 71 (running north & south) and the Ohio Turnpike (running east & west), both highways that extend well beyond Ohio into several other states . The city has several business parks. There are a couple screw machine operations, a manufacturer of ceramics, a manufacturer of truck latches and several other manufactures. And, Strongsville also happens to be the home base, and international headquarters of the R.L. English Co.
With a combination of industry and civic pride, I frequently see trucks roll through town with logos from fastener distributors located throughout Northeast Ohio. They are all picking up parts from the above mentioned importers located in town. I enjoy seeing the fastener trucks rolling in and out of Strongsville . If you are a fastener supplier looking to locate a warehouse somewhere in Northeast Ohio, you should take a look at Strongsville. Your customers are already driving into the area to pick up other parts.
Lunch with the mayor was great. He has done a terrific job in office and it was a very enlightening opportunity to sit down and hear firsthand about some of the things going on in my hometown. And I give him credit for taking an interest in the fastener industry and trying to find out a little bit more about it. He appreciates those business that have located here and recognizes the importance of retaining them. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet him or his economic director walking around Fastener Fair USA in April.
Walking up my office stairs yesterday I felt something give out in my knee. I screamed out and could tell my knee couldn’t bear any weight. Near the top of the stairs was a Solution Industries baseball bat which I grabbed and used to support my weight like a walking cane. Ended up going to Cleveland Clinic Express Care which only served to get me an appointment to see an Orthopedic doctor sometime in early August. Seems a little better this morning but I still can’t climb stairs any better than one at a time (right foot up, then drag the left to the stair. Right foot up..). So, I’m staying put in the office today and that finally gives me a few minutes to post something on this sight which I have largely ignored for months. And candidly, it has been the better choice. Nothing against blog posts or social media stuff but business has just been outstanding. Activity has been outstanding. There are not enough days in the week to get everything done that comes to my mind and I’ve just been chasing too many income producing ideas to sit still and write much. And it also seems that the industry has been in that same mode. Not a ton of news lately other than a few stories here and there.
Acquisitions are always a topic of interest out in the field. Everyone wants to hear or talk about who might be acquiring who. I don’t always hear a lot of rumors and would not write them if I did. But I have heard that plenty of fastener distributors are aggressively looking to acquire other fastener distributors – they are very open and public about that. Lately, I think I have heard more talk about distributor activity than I have about suppliers looking to acquire other suppliers. Then again, one would think that stuff is being kept pretty quiet anyways. And until something actually happens, it’s all just talk anyways.
2017 has seemed to be a very strong year. I read an article in Fastener Industries News reporting on and NFDA meeting. In the article it quoted economist/speaker Alan Beulieu saying “there is so much positive going on”and added “these are the ‘good ol’ days'”. To get his full report, either read the article or join NFDA and hear it live for yourself but Mr. Beaulieu is very optimistic. The Fastener Distributor Index headed up by Fasteners Clearing House would also support the fact that we are enjoying a very strong market. The FDI has been above 60 for the last couple months! And if you do not know what the FDI is then go check out the Fasteners Clearing House or Fully Threaded Radio websites.
We are still in vacation season but past the 4th of July now. we are turning the corner and heading into the 2nd half of the year. All good the 1st half. Soon we will be talking about the Vegas Show and where everyone will be staying this year and where the show will be in 2018. And what are you going to do about Fastener Fair USA anyways? All I know is that it is my backyard and I’d offer to have a cookout at the house but Cleveland weather in April can be iffy. I’ll buy you a drink on E. 4th though if you hang around in the evening.
Feel free to share any thoughts or observations on what you see going on in your market. It’s like we are keeping up until we run into each other in Vegas.
FCH Sourcing Network
For immediate release:
FCH to Award Fastener Training Institute Scholarship
June 15, 2017, Ravenna, OH – The FCH Sourcing Network has teamed up with the Fastener Training Institute for a fourth year to announce the promotion and selection of a scholarship candidate who will be awarded full tuition to the Fastener Training Institute course, “Fastener Training Week”. Once completed, the course qualifies students to sit for the Certified Fastener Specialist exam, a distinguished industry credential.
To qualify for selection, candidates must work within the fastener industry and must submit a brief essay, approximately 300 words in length. The essay should address the importance of training in the fastener industry, and the impact of training on the candidate’s career. Candidates can be nominated by owners or managers, who are welcome to submit an essay on behalf of a nominated candidate. There is a limit of one nominated candidate per company if the nomination is being made by a manager on behalf of a candidate, however there is no limit to the number of individual candidates from any given company who submit an essay on their own behalf.
The deadline to submit scholarship candidate essays is September 30th, 2017, and the winner will be announced during the Las Vegas fastener show, October 18th, 2017.
In addition to the grand prize, four runners up prizes will be awarded. Runners up will receive a significant discount to Fastener Training Week and an FTI reference manual.
The FTI will also provide vouchers to all scholarship applicants to attend an online training webinar, so there is no reason not to get applications in ahead of the deadline.
Scholarship essays become property of the Fastener Training Institute. Applications may be submitted via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the FCH Sourcing Network:
The FCH Sourcing Network serves the industrial and commercial fastener industry, providing online services related to inventory sales and fastener sourcing on the Internet, as well as the online fastener industry talk show, Fully Threaded Radio. Located at the website www.fastenersclearinghouse.com, FCH was founded in October, 2006, and is based in Naperville, Illinois.
About the Fastener Training Institute: The purpose of the FTI is to enhance fastener use, reliability and safety by providing the highest quality fastener product and technical training at all levels through classes held throughout the country and via online webinars. Based in Long Beach, California, class schedules and details can be found at their website, www.fastenertraininginstitute.org.
The North Coast Fastener Association’s Distributor Social will take place this Thursday. Over 200 people are already registered and that doesn’t include the feet draggers who register late.
On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., representatives from both Emerald Expositions and Mack Brooks will speak briefly about their respective industry trade shows. Better to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
If you are going to be in town Wednesday evening send me a note and let me know as there will be a casual gathering of fastener industry people who are in town for Thursday’s Social. Kind of a “warm up” for the Distributor Social.
See you at the Social!
It happened again today. Another article in my morning paper, this one by Danielle Paquette of the Washington Post. The title of the article was “Women needed as jobs go vacant – Blue collar industries need workers to replace boomers”.
The article explains, once again, that there is and will continue to be a shortage of qualified workers as boomers are “vacating construction sites and body shops and 18-wheelers”. And, I would add, fastener manufacturing plants. The article calls it a “baby boomer retirement tsunami” and goes on to state that by 2029 all boomers will be older than 65, meaning one-fifth of the U.S. population will have reached retirement age. The article continues to explain that Millennials do not seem interested in pursuing careers in the trades and adds that the “opioid epidemic has zapped some of the male workforce – men are more likely than women to both use and overdose on illicit drugs”. You’ve all heard this — can’t pass the drug test!! It’s a problem.
I’ve read several articles like this and attracting skilled workers continues to be a challenge. One group that is confronting this challenge is Rock Valley College. I’ve written about them before – they are the Rockford based college conducting Cold Forming Classes. In fact, there is one currently underway and their first class will be graduating on May 25, 2017.
Orientation for their next Cold Forming Class will be held on Thursday May 18, 2017 at the Samuelson Road Center (4151 Samuelson Road, Rockford, IL 61109) at 8:30am until 12:00noon. This orientation is for individuals interested in becoming cold heading operators and companies that have employees that are in need of additional training.
The Fastener Industry Coalition is happy to host representatives from Rock Valley College who will be speaking at the FIC’s Fastener Summit on June 7, 2017 immediately following the conclusion of Fastener Tech ’17.
For a list of all the Fastener Summit speakers, visit http://www.fastenercoalition.org/
I recently was exchanging messages with Ray Southam of fastenerdata – www.fastenerdata.co.uk
I’d encourage you to check out his fastener related website. I asked Ray how things were going in the UK and asked a few questions about (what I referred to as) Brexit. After several exchanges I invited Ray to share some thoughts on this site as a Guest Blogger. Ray’s thoughts are shared below. Interesting times in Europe with elections in France and the UK. I’m not always up to speed on these things but here are Ray’s thoughts:
Britexit is the biggest thing to happen in my lifetime, having experienced numerous recessions and the instability that comes with them; oil fluctuating between 140 and 20 Dollars a barrel and wars in the middle east and the Balkans; Britexit has the greatest potential for change .
The British government joined the common market in 1973 and the British people confirmed entry by referendum in 1975. At that time voters in the UK thought that continued membership would give them prosperity, they did not expect that membership would come with baggage. What many did not envisaged was the slow movement towards a federal European Union, centralized in Brussels with a common currency, and the loss of Control by the UK electorate.
In the early days, there were sticking points; the common fisheries policy that put many UK fishermen out of business, the mountains of food and wine lakes keeping prices artificially high and the subsidies paid to farmers not to produce. These issues were balanced against the benefits of free movement, removal of tariffs and the expanse of financial influence in London.
The entry of ten new member states in 2004 with eventual free movement, put pressure on the UK; many in the eastern bloc saw the UK as the road paved with gold. The UK had seen mass movement in the 1950’s with immigrants from the West Indies and in the 1960’s from Pakistan; these migrations were not problem free, integration proved slow and in some instances incomplete. A combination of migration, loss of sovereignty, membership costs, loss of control of the legal system and the heavy handedness of a Brussels government, tipped the balance.
Not everyone is in favour of leaving the EU; Londoners who’s jobs may be at risk, younger people who have not experienced the UK pre-1973, and areas of the country that have benefited from European development grants. Britexit has divided; a show of hands at the British association of fastener distributors showed a 50/50 split and this was mirrored in the 53/47 exit vote.
What now, well none of us is sure; the predicted collapse of the UK economy has not happened, the weakening of the pound has been a double edge sword. It is in both the interest of the UK and the EU that the split is amicable; the EU sells more to the UK than we sell to it. As with other market changes we need to take the long-term view, this is the thinking behind a general election on June 8; whoever gets into power will not have to go back to the electorate until 2022, three years after Britexit concludes.