Global Fastener News

1988 FIN – Fastener Services Inc: Turnbull’s New Vehicle for Growth

June 29
00:00 2011

By Dick Callahan, FIN Editor

March 7, 1988 FIN – Mike Turnbull, president of Tri-West Products Inc., announced structural and personnel changes that have recently been put into place at Tri-West and its affiliated group, Tennessee Bolt & Screw Co. of Memphis Tennessee.
Last year Tri-West – which had recently purchased Tennessee Bolt & Screw Co. – restructured itself to accommodate its new manufacturing capabilities.

Briefly described, a holding group called TWP Holding Corp. (owned 80% by Turnbull) had been established as the owner of both Tri-West Products, which was a fastener distributor servicing mostly auto subcontractors in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio areas) and Tennessee Bolt & Screw Co.

Tennessee Bolt was then a 37-year-old manufacturer of #6 to 3/8 diameter screws up to 4 inches long and an importer of other types of fasteners).

Tennessee Bolt & Screw was reorganized by Turnbull into four divisions. Each with it’s own general manager consisting of: The Manufacturing and Plating Division headed by Richard Wike; Maintenance, headed by Gary Baltimore; Memphis Division, headed by Buddy Thomas; and the Nashville Division, headed by Gerald Toledo.

Bill Gassaway retained his position as president of Tennessee Bolt & Screw. Turnbull told us he was looking at expanding further through other acquisitions.


On March 1, 1988, a new management company called Fastener Services Inc. was activated with two major functions: 1) to acquire profitable well-managed distributor companies in the US and Canada and 2) to assist the operating managers of acquired fastener distributor companies on their day to day management duties.

FSI (which is headed by Mike Turnbull as president) is made up of three individuals:

Turnbull whose duties will include mergers/ acquisitions reviews, directing relationships with suppliers, reviewing P&Ls against budgets, and following up on strategic plan goals and objectives for various divisions; Gary Edick – who joined the company recently from RB&W – vice president for sales & marketing, who will work directly with operating managers and their sales people; and Jim Finn, vice president administrator and finance.

Turnbull tells FIN that all of the operating divisions are doing well these days. He also updated us on what these divisions are doing.


• The Tri-West Products Division is headed by Dick Luce, general manager. Increased business for this group, says Turnbull, has come from more automotive outsourcing as well as more emphasis on just-in-time delivery systems.

• TEBCO Threaded Fastener (the manufacturing division) is enjoying the dollar/yen differential and the movement to source fasteners as close to home as possible by companies already in the Memphis area and those moving to the southwest. Dick Wike is general manager of the division.

• TEBCO Plating Division (primarily zinc electroplating and some organic finished now available), which used to be totally dependant on in-house manufacturing, now has begun serving outside accounts. Bill Baxter is general manager.

• TEBCO Products Division (the year-old Nashville distribution division) is, says Turnbull, rapidly becoming a mini-Tri-West. It specializes in special, production quantity parts and is making inroads with growing southern-based auto business. Gerald Toledo is general manager of this group.

• TEBCO Maintenance Division (the MRO group) has extended its sales area from a 75-mile radius of Memphis and has added salesmen in cities that are within one day of Memphis via UPS. Gary Baltimore is general manager of this group.

• TEBCO Products Division (based in Memphis and the fastest growing of all the divisions) has added special lines from Tri-West, including the Huck Line, and has seen a big sales surge in the Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Alabama areas. Buddy Thomas is general manager of this group.


In the future, Turnbull is looking to add at least one company per year between now and the year 2000. That should, he says, make the current pace of around $20 million a year grow to about $150 million by the turn of the century, the other half fueled by internal business.

Turnbull, incidentally, as outgoing president of the National Fastener Distributors Association (NFDA), will have the responsibilities of that position lifted from his shoulders next month, and he will be able to zero on in the acquisitions of those 12 companies he hopes to add by the year 2000.  ©1988/2011 Fastener Industry News

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