Global Fastener News

2011 FIN – Atlantic Fasteners Celebrates 30 Years As Chairman Retires

August 05
00:00 2015

Feburary 14, 2011 FIN – Massachusetts-based commercial and aerospace supplier Atlantic Fasteners turns 30 this year, marking not only a key anniversary but a new chapter in the company’s 30-year transformation from small local company to national supplier.
“Once a tiny, unfocused business adrift in debt, Atlantic Fasteners was purchased in 1981 by an executive intent on using big-company strategies to breathe new life into small, entrepreneurial ventures.”
Today this “small venture” achieves $13 million in yearly sales and has an aerospace division that has been growing, despite recession, at an annual compounded rate of 27%.
President Tony Peterson attributes much of the company’s current strength and future potential to consistent adherence to strategies put in place by its founding partner so many years ago.
Consequently, the company is marking several other important milestones that convey the company’s “coming of age” and promising future.

In 2011, the company reports:
 •  The retirement of Atlantic Fasteners founder Patrick O’Toole.
“Pat O’Toole’s Harvard MBA and high-powered career at Lestoil and Standex International prior to purchasing Atlantic Fasteners gave him a clear view of how to create a powerhouse supplier with a clear focus on quality and service for industrial markets. His early commitment to computerized inventory, barcode management and differentiated, guaranteed services sparked the creation of systems that still drive the company’s growth in commercial and aerospace industries.”
 •  The 25th anniversary of service guarantees. Atlantic Fasteners’ early service guarantees have truly distinguished the company in a segment where few such assurances exist, even today.  In 1986, Atlantic’s first guarantee of next-day delivery, backed by the promise of a $50 credit, demonstrated the company’s expertise in inventory management and efficient processing of orders the same day received. Later, Atlantic expanded to six guarantees and increased the promise to $100 in credit.
“The systems we put in place years ago still serve to keep our focus on exceptional service,” said Peterson, who as a minority partner was the primary architect of the company’s guarantee program.
 •  The 7th anniversary of Atlantic Fasteners’ Aerospace. Atlantic Fasteners’ competence in documenting every aspect of its service was instrumental in the creation of its aerospace division, which moved to new quarters in West Springfield in 2010 and also maintains sales offices in Maine and Missouri. Like the company overall, the division is distinguished by higher-than-average performance, which is tracked within the industry as Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) scores. Atlantic Fasteners Aerospace also has received service awards from defense industry and aerospace customers, including a prestigious Lockheed Martin STAR Supplier Award.
A recent new contract with a Chicago-based aerospace supplier also expanded the division’s offerings by bringing Atlantic’s trademark barcode-based vendor inventory management (VMI) program to the aerospace industry. This first contract gives Atlantic Fasteners Aerospace the responsibility for managing more than 680 aircraft parts.
 •  The 5-year anniversary of 100% employee ownership. As majority owner, O’Toole also had the foresight to help Peterson convert the company to employee ownership well in advance of his retirement. This was accomplished in late 2005 through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), an ownership structure with a good track record for increasing staff productivity and company stability.
“I watched a lot of my friends sell out to these ‘rollups’ and conglomerates,” O’Toole says today. “In every case, it decimated the business.”
He chose instead to preserve independent, local ownership, noted Peterson, who considers employee ownership to be one of his proudest collaborative achievements.
“Employees make good owners,” he said. “This has added to the stability and competitiveness of our company.
“I think many company owners feel this is something they can’t afford,” Peterson noted. “But we were pleasantly surprised at how smoothly we could accomplish it to everyone’s benefit.”
The ESOP structure has been good not only for business, but for employees, he said. Some have built up substantial ownership value, giving employees the same bright future prospects that Peterson sees on the horizon for Atlantic Fasteners. Sales for the anniversary year are already ahead of last year.
For more information on Atlantic Fasteners, contact Marc Dionne for aerospace and military at 800-313-1487 or John Kraus for commercial at 800-800-BOLT (2658). ©2011  ©2011/2015 Fastener Industry News.
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