Global Fastener News

1988 FIN – The Fastener Mall: Providing a Shopping Center for Fastener Distributors

August 04
00:00 2010


By Dick Callahan

August 31, 1988 FIN – The Fastener Mall, Inc. is the name of a new company formed to offer fastener manufacturers and distributors the advantages of a public warehouse operation.
The Fastener Mall concept will be put into operation in the New York area soon and will later be extended to areas like Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta. We’ll explain how this operation works shortly, but first we’ll tell you about who’s behind the new venture.

The Fastener Mall was formed by Morris “Moe” Epstein, former chief executive officer of Allmetal Screw Products Corp., which the Epstein family sold in 1985.

Epstein, a computer specialist, was responsible for opening a total of 15 branch offices for Allmetal which were all linked by a single computerized network.

Epstein, president of Kings Point, New York-based The Fastener Mall, noted that the concept of a public warehousing is nothing new, but its use for the most part has been limited to large bulky items that are easy to keep track of and easy to handle. The Fastener Mall extends this concept to the fastener industry, Epstein told FIN.

Under its structure, fastener suppliers, both domestic and overseas, can store their fasteners at the mall and distributors can buy all of these inventory items through a single, completely automated environment. The Fastener Mall bills the distributors and collects the money, thereby removing the entire responsibility of storing, shipping, billing, and collecting from the supplier.

Epstein explained the basic system as follows: Any supplier selling to fastener distributors can store his inventory in the Fastener Mall and can maintain his own warehouse while using the Fastener Mall to sell broken keg quantities. Whether the supplier uses the Fastener Mall in conjunction with his warehouses or stores all of his inventory in the Fastener Mall, the chances are the fees for the Fastener Mall will be about half the cost of operating his own warehouse, Epstein told FIN.

The supplier has one or more terminals that constantly keep him in touch with his inventory as before which allows him to enter orders for customers who are not subscribers. Although many different suppliers may be storing their inventories at the same Fastener Mall warehouse, no supplier is privy to data for any other supplier. The fact that there will be many suppliers on this database, some of whom will be offering the same items, offers a unique marketing opportunity, says Epstein, for both the suppliers and their distributor customers.

With this large central database, distributors wishing to buy from these suppliers can subscribe to the Fastener Mall and be granted access to the central database by way of one or more microcomputers located at the distributor’s office. With their terminals, they can obtain instantaneous quotations from all suppliers on the system with a single inquiry. Likewise, with a single entry, the distributor can order parts from a number of suppliers, all of which will be shipped as a single order with a single paperless invoice.

The supplier has complete control over his pricing and also receives a semi-monthly inventory report showing the number of times each item in his inventory was displayed on distributor terminals during that period.

Although the distributor may be buying parts from several different suppliers on a single order, he will be billed by the Fastener Mall on a single invoice. There are two payment periods each month. The first period of the month will be from the first to the fifteenth day of that month. The second period is from the sixteenth to the last day of that month. Payment is to be made one month after the close of the period, giving the distributor the full advantage of the float.

Both the distributor and supplier will be debited and credited through the Electronic Funds Transfer System as directed by the Chase Manhattan Bank. To assure that the funds will be available on the payment date, the distributor will be required to establish a standby letter of credit when he first joins the Fastener Mall. The supplier pays an entry fee, a monthly service charge, and container handling charges.

The Fastener Mall’s corporate office is located at 12 Pine Tree Dr., Kings Point, NY 11024. ©1988/2010 Fastener Industry News






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