Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for trusting us with your business during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work hard every day to honor that trust. In many ways, our ‘Blue Team’ at Fastenal is well prepared for this moment. They’re accustomed to making local decisions, solving problems, and taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to help customers in need. This spirit is what makes us a true supply chain partner, not just a ‘fulfillment company.’
What does this look like in action? Many customers are using our vending technology to monitor PPE and keep production running efficiently. Faced with global supply disruptions, businesses are relying on us for creative solutions, whether the item is sourced externally or produced by our manufacturing team. Manufacturers are asking for our supply chain support as they rework their operations to produce lifesaving medical equipment. And some customers are tapping our custom packaging service to quickly create ‘return to work’ safety kits for their employees – round-the-clock efforts involving hundreds of Fastenal personnel.
These may sound like examples of ‘rising to the occasion,’ but they’re the types of stories I hear on a regular basis, year in and year out, from customers and employees around the world. It’s what true partners do, and I’d like to thank the 22,000 leaders on our Blue Team for doing it every day, in good times and bad. As the economy begins to rebuild, we stand ready to support you every step of the way.
In mid-March, we made the decision to lock the front doors of our local branches in an effort to protect our employees and customers. Since I was the one who made this decision, please accept my apology for any inconveniences it created. However, adversity can inspire innovation, and in that regard we’re seeing more and more customers using our automated lockers to pick up their orders. We’ll be setting up thousands of additional lockers at our branches in the months ahead, providing an efficient solution to keep everyone a bit safer in our crazy COVID-19 world.
In the coming weeks, our world will begin to change once again as many areas take some first steps towards normalcy. At Fastenal, we will adapt to changing rules and conditions in ways we feel provide the greatest safety to our employees, our customers, and our communities. Decisions to reopen branch front rooms will be made on a community-by-community basis, so please call ahead to double-check before visiting. In the meantime, I encourage you to continue ordering in advance whenever possible, and to ask about our locker pickup solution.
As you would expect, the branches that do open up will follow appropriate guidelines for hygiene and social distancing. We ask that you please follow those guidelines in our branches to keep everyone as safe as possible. That said, most of our business ‘goes out the back door,’ meaning we bring the product to the customer, so we’re also providing our local personnel with PPE to keep your employees safe as we serve your facilities. If you have any specific safety requests, please let us know, and we’ll take a flexible approach to meet your needs.
As businesses reopen and ramp up, there will be heightened demand for safety products such as masks, gloves, and disinfectants. We remain on allocation from our manufacturers for most of these items and foresee this being the case in the coming months. We will continue to prioritize critical industries as the first to receive this limited inventory, followed by essential industries. We project that lead times will be backed up for the next several weeks and encourage you to monitor Fastenal.com or Fastenal.ca to check if needed items are in stock.
I opened with words of thanks, and I’ll close with a few more: Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your partnership. Thank you for trusting us with your business – and thank you to our Blue Team for earning and rewarding that trust every day.
President & CEO, Fastenal