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2002 FIN – Textron Fastening Announces Global Reorganization

February 16
00:00 2013

2002 FIN – Textron Fastening Announces Global Reorganization

March 19, 2002 FIN – Textron Fastening Systems announced a major reorganization and a new management team. The new structure replace industry-focused divisions with four global business units: threaded fasteners, engineered products, blind fasteners and automation systems. Previously Textron Fastening was divided into three market groups: Automotive (56% of TFS revenue); commercial (38%) and Advanced solutions (6%).
There will be sales & marketing, finance, legal, human resources, Six Sigma, supply chain, technology, information technology, quality & customer satisfaction and e-business.
The reorganization will likely take six months to implement.
“We intend to aggressively pursue new business where there are clear growth prospects in high-potential markets,” Textron Fastening CEO Jake Hirsch declared. “These include electronics and aerospace, where our products employ new materials, and automation technologies, which add value for our customers. Our goal is to achieve a healthy mix of profitable businesses while maintaining strong relationships and worldwide leadership in the automotive industry.”
Hirsch said that while Textron Fastening will “grow our strong customer relationships in the automotive industry,” that he intends to “achieve a healthy mix of business.”
Hirsch said the reorganization “is our blueprint for growth, diversification and technological leadership.”
The reorganization will include the sale of commodity product lines “that do not fit goals for growth and technological leadership,” Hirsch said. Textron Fastening recently sold its two Michigan-based wire-processing businesses.
He expects as much as 25% of its future revenues from vendor managed inventory and other value-added services. Web: ©2002/2013 Fastener Industry News
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Marh 19, 2002 FIN – The CEO of Textron Fastening Systems uses a “show & tell” approach to give a glimpse of the future of the nearly $1.7 billion company.
Joachim (“Jake”) Hirsch places an engine mounting plate on the conference table and declares, “This is a fastener.” Textron Fastening designed the part to reduce the number of fasteners and complexity and simplify assembly. “This helps us move up in the value chain,” Hirsch points out.
It may not look like a traditional bolt or screw, and that is why Hirsch refers to such products as “fastener solutions.” “
The fasteners we are used to are not the fasteners of the future,” he declared. Fastener companies cannot just continue to do business as they have. “You need cutting-edge technology. Technology is always the key driver,” Hirsch said in a FIN interview. “We have to be more creative.” That technology “is driven by the requirements of customers,” he added. “You can create a need by supporting your customers.” Technology will be an issue in more than product development. TFS, a division of Providence, RI-based Textron Inc., has varying worldwide recycling requirements “that go across all industries.”
The engine mounting plate demonstrates why the word “solutions” is the surname of the three TFS fastening groups: Automotive Solutions, Commercial Solutions and Advanced Solutions.
“The future is more in fastener solutions than in individual fasteners,” Hirsch predicted. “Fastening solutions is more than being a plain supplier of nuts and bolts.”
Hirsch foresees an industry “transformation.” Watch for more globalization and more integration of services.
“There is a lot to be gained in technology. There will be lighter vehicles, and fasteners can carry their weight” in losing weight.
Different materials? Better mounting? New ways of assembling?
“R&D is more and more important.” Whatever the new technology, ultimately “you have to have what customers want,” he noted.
Hirsch succeeded Jack Sights in July 2000. Hirsch had joined the Kautex division of Textron Automotive as chairman in 1999 after being executive vice president of Magna Europe AG and serving 22 years in various management positions around the world with TRW Inc. He is a graduate of the University of Reutlingen in Germany, Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program and the American Graduate School of International Management’s (Thunderbird) Global Leadership Program.
Hirsch gets out of the suburban Detroit headquarters to review TFS businesses once a month and is out one or two days a week seeing some of the 100+ Textron Fastening facilities.
“It excites me to see our facilities,” Hirsch said. “It is important to see what is going on.”
The different groups are encouraged to talk frequently in hopes of gaining from what Hirsch termed “cross pollination.” “There are lots of things to be gained with synergies.”

Acquisition Trail
Hirsch described the 1999 industrywide, eyebrow-raising acquisition of fastener distributor Flexalloy as “strategic” and representing a “noteworthy change in the marketplace.”
Taking over inventory management and other services “is our opportunity” to increase Textron Fastening’s part of the value chain, Hirsch said.
Other acquisitions in recent years include: Oelschläger of Germany, Optical Boring & Cam Tool, InteSyst Technologies and Aylesbury Automation of the UK.
Textron Fastening sold its DIY business to Fastenal last year, a move which Hirsch explained by saying, “DIY was never really a focal point for us. It was part of an acquisition.
It is part of a “rearranging” of fastener companies, Hirsch suggested. “How can we maximize efficiencies?” he asked rhetorically. “It doesn’t make sense to manufacture fasteners at five locations with none of the five plants operating at maximum capacity.”
The Flexalloy and other strategic moves are designed to focus Textron Fastening on adding value with such service-oriented programs as logistics, engineering and “operational excellence.” Those value-added services will keep customers or bring them back should they try a competitor, Hirsch said. “Some of our competitors last only four to six months.”
E-auctions are making every nickel of cost important, but Hirsch said he remains focused on meeting the customer’s complete requirements, rather than just price. “We use that same principle with our suppliers.” ©2002/2013 Fastener Industry News
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Textron Fastening Systems
• Textron Fastening Systems was formed in 1995 by merging five Textron companies to form the global fastener group.
• 2001 Revenue: $1.68 billion. Profit: $46 million, or 8.5% margin
• 2001 sales by industry: Automotive, 69%; industrial & electronics, 20%; non-automotive transportation, 7%; aerospace, 5%.
• 2001 sales by product line: Threaded fasteners, 57%; blind fasteners, 12%; engineered products, 28%; automation systems, 3%.
• 2001 sales by geographic region: U.S., 50%; Europe, 36%; Canada, 5%; Asia Pacific, 5%; South America, 4%.
• During the period from 1994 through 2000 TFS sales grew at a 23% compounded annual rate starting at $600 million in 1994 to $2.1 billion for 2000.
• TFS provided 13% of Providence, RI-based Textron Inc.’s 2001 revenues.
• Major brands: Avdel, Cherry, Camcar, Elco, Boesner, Sükosim and Oelschläger.
• Global automotive sales topped $1.1 billion in 2001. Automotive and truck customers include: DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Freightliner, General Motors, Mercedes, Renault, Volkswagen, Delphi, Visteon, Volvo and most Tier One and Tier Two suppliers.
• 90 operating units on five continents and in 17 countries.
• 44% of the revenues come from outside the U.S.
• 43% of the 12,000 employees are non-U.S. based.
• Manufacturing facilities in 12 countries: Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom and U.S.
• Key executive: Jake Hirsch, chairman and CEO.
• TFS headquarters: 840 W. Long Lake #450, Troy, MI 48098. Tel: 248 813-6343 Web:,,,,,,, and
• Parent company: Textron Inc., a $12 billion multi-industry company based in Providence, RI. NYSE: TXT 51,000 employees in 40 countries. Businesses: Aircraft, industrial products & components, fastening systems and finance. Major brands: Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-Go and Greenlee. Web: ©2002/2013 Fastener Industry News
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