panies, helping them design new parts. This provides
those customers unsolicited cost-savings, and in a number
of instances, has resulted in Bolts & Nuts having large
contracts renewed without having to go out for bids.
“They’re (the customer) often kind of surprised, saying,
‘why are you giving us this discount?’” says Strunk. “We
do it because we feel it’s the right thing to do. If we can
find a different, lower cost part solution that will do the
same job, we’ll pass that on to them.”
Another service that sets Bolts & Nuts apart from many
of its competitors is its always-available customer service
phone line. Any time of day or night, including holidays, a
customer can call and talk to a live person.
“Over the years that’s resulted in numerous new
customers,” Strunk says. “A customer may have been
buying from someone else, but couldn’t reach them.
So they called us and we were able to bail them out of
trouble. I believe that’s one of the most important things
we’ve done over the past 20 years.”
Hadani’s background also includes serving as chair-
man of the board for Goodwill Industries, an aspect that’s
reflected in Bolts & Nuts’ role in the community. In 2014,
the company began its “Community Care” program,
which has included donations of books and uniforms to a
local Chattanooga elementary school, as well as swing set
repairs there, food and paper donations to the Salvation
Army, and even a “Moustache Movember” – an aware-
ness drive that raised $2,889 for a local charity. Along with
that, Bolts & Nuts gives all employees a paid day off each
year to do community service.
“Service business by its nature is a relationship
business,” adds Hadani. “You can’t claim to have a
relationship with people in business without also having
relationships outside the workplace. That’s core to this
company’s ethos, and was even before we got here.”
Internally, the company makes sure to take care of its
own, which is largely why half of Bolts & Nuts’ employees
have been there at least 10 years. During the 2008-2009
recession, all employees, including the entire management
team, took pay cuts to minimize cutting staff.
Part of the company’s efforts to be transparent inter-
nally is its Flow Committee, which began around 2007.
Headed by director of operations Mike Tucker, the committee facilitates the flow of the work throughout the
company. Consisting of department managers and key
employees, the group meets every couple of weeks to talk
about how operations are affecting different departments
to eliminate potential problems, and acts as an implementation team whenever there is major changes, such as the
“We have different ideas and opinions about how
things should be handled, and that’s the place we can get
together and air everything out and reach compromises
that keep the business going smoothly,” Tucker says.
That mantra of putting people first led the company
to achieve 20-plus percent sales growth each year from
2010-2012. That growth led to Bolts & Nuts to partner
with Nebraska Heavy Industries, a Lincoln, Nebraska-based
investment firm. The capital and marketplace contacts
gained from that partnership has allowed Bolts & Nuts to
accelerate that growth and expand its physical and geographic presence.
Today, Bolts & Nuts is well on its way to becoming a
nationwide OEM industrial distributor and service provider. In the past two years, the company has opened
new facilities in Lincoln, NE, and Danville, KY, bringing
its branch total to seven, and just moved into its new
Customer Service, Operations and Technology Center in
Chattanooga that is more than double the space of its old
“It’s been very exciting, and time-consuming – all the
adjectives you could say about growth,” says Strunk.
“Fortunately, it’s been controlled and calculated growth.”
January/February 2016 / INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTION 15
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