Lab Safety Supply is the parent company of WW Grainger. I'm not sure
that a hardware company getting taken over by Grainger is a bad thing
at all, especially if they keep the brands separate, which they seem
to be planning to do.
Here's the press release:
Actually, it's the other way around. From the press release you cite below:
"Grainger, a leading North American industrial distributor, today announced
its Lab Safety Supply (LSS) subsidiary has acquired substantially all of the
assets of McFeelys Square Drive Screws of Lynchburg, Virginia. [...]"
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Mmmmmmm. We are all making a lot of assumptions here.
McFeely has developed an asset worth a lot of money.
Maybe it was time to move on.
I just hope that Granger can keep that "AwChucks' image alive, an
image I found so endearing and was willing to pay extra for.
That one-on-one relationship is so damned rare these days. Will
Granger say: "I'll get on it, Rob, btw, how is your sister?"
Not bloody likely.
The whole square drive profit centre will get a good thinning, and
they'll keep those few things which will make them money. Guys like
McFeely also had parts and pieces, not as a profit centre, but as a
complement to a profit centre. Granger's MBA's are not likely to give
a damn about that.
McFeely was a Festool dealer as well....that makes for an interesting
My gut-feeling tells me that McFeely did all right, WE are not likely
to benefit. Granger will likely rape the brand.
Maybe we'll get square-drive screws made in China, which may or may
not fit our drivers.
You seem to be making a lot of assumptions based on a gut-feeling...now I'm
not going to say that your predictions are NOT going to come true, just the
LSS and Grainger have been doing business for a long time and don't tend
towards the "buy and gut" method that many other companies do. LSS started
out in a dudes garage, was easy going and easy to deal with then and nothing
about that has chaged in the past 20 years or so that I've dealt with them.
And no...I have no connection to them other than having the same ZIP code.
This deserves a bit of clarification however.
While we do import fasteners, they're made to our specifications. We
don't just buy what's available and trust me, there is a lot of
questionable stuff available to buy.
Also, it's important to note that we still do business with North
American distributors. The industry changed on us and many of our
manufacturing partners became import/export brokers after it became
impossible for them to compete otherwise. I was there during the great
change-over (as we like to refer to it) and it wasn't something for
which we lobbied. We accepted it only after it became clear that the
fasteners being brought over would meet our specifications. I know how
seriously Jim Ray took the change as I was there to watch him write
the letter to our customers.
As an aside, as a part of our standard testing process, we check for
torsional strength and the quality of "bit fit". That's not to say
that we never make a mistake but we're not about to accept inferior
products just because they're cheaper. It goes against who we are. Our
imported screws match and even exceed the torsional strength of our
previous North American-made product.
Back on topic, when our manufacturing partners changed to import/
export brokers, we lowered our prices. Why? We felt that a cost
reduction should be passed on to our customers. We did that even
though the quality was equivalent.
Trust me, there's no desire to get rid of what makes us special. Yes,
we're part of the Grainger family but we'll never lose focus of those
responsible for our success. And I'm pleased to say there's been no
effort to make us do so. Our goals are all related to improving our
service, not lowering it.
And we have you all to hold our feet to the fire. If we fail you, call
me. My contact info is in my profile and my #1 professional goal is to
make sure we don't let you down.
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