In recent years, Fastenal celebrated two major milestones related to its FAST Solutions program, surpassing 100,000 active FMI Technology devices within customer sites and, later, 1,000 Onsite partnership programs. In October, the company added a third significant milestone to the list, for the first time reaching $1 billion in eCommerce revenue within a calendar year.
Fastenal provides a broad offering of industrial supplies, including fastener, safety, and metal-cutting products, to manufacturing, construction, and state and local government customers via more than 3,300 in-market locations, spanning 25 countries.
Fastenal’s eCommerce platform officially launched more than 20 years ago but, historically, it represented a relatively small share of the overall business. This began to change about five years ago with a strategy positioning eCommerce as a critical component of the company’s high-tech, high-touch service model.
While many retailers and distributors were racing to move their offline business online in pursuit of a lower cost to serve, Fastenal took a very different approach — using its eCommerce platform to identify opportunities to migrate customer spending from a transactional (and, for the customer, higher-cost) online environment to a more strategic and efficient environment anchored by the company’s onsite and FMI (Fastenal Managed Inventory) programs.
“We don’t often think of eCommerce as our primary go-to-market strategy, but it’s become a vital part of our ‘digital footprint’ — the technology we provide to streamline and illuminate the supply chain,” added Dan Florness, president and CEO of Fastenal. “Thanks to the hard work of the entire Blue Team, we’re taking eCommerce in new directions in our industry and finding new ways to create value for our customers.”
This focus on big-picture value creation has accelerated Fastenal’s eCommerce revenue growth. Five years ago, in 2017, the company’s eCommerce sales were $245 million, representing 5.5% of total company sales. After hitting the $1 billion milestone in October, Fastenal’s eCommerce sales represent 17.4% of total company year-to-date sales (and 19.9% of its October 2022 sales).
“It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come, especially over the past five years as we positioned eCommerce to strengthen our strategic partnerships,” said Kirk Talmontas, Fastenal’s VP of eCommerce. “It’s a testament to the innovation and dedication of all the team members who have made this happen.”