Fastenal Internship

Fastenal: What is the business?
I started working at Fastenal during the fall semester and turned it into an internship for the spring. The business is distributing industrial supply to local companies and industrial vending. There are three Fastenal stores in the city of Philadelphia, but the branch I work at is in Port Richmond servicing most of North Philadelphia. Fastenal manufacturers most of the hardware we have in China, but has particular lines that are certified “made in America”. The other products (tools, safety equipment, and electrical) have brand names that are exclusively sold by Fastenal. Walk-in customers buy product from our store with cash or credit card. An account customer is one that has the option to “charge” their purchases to a line of credit that is paid within 60 days. The account customers such as General Electric, Menasha and HMC tend to make up the majority of a branches’’ profits.

Fastenal: What I got out of my work
Fastenal has been a great experience that has taught me a lot about the sales and industry in America. I was given the responsibility of managing a couple key accounts at our branch. It was my job to make sure we were selling as much product as possible and delivering great customer service. A major take away for me was the realization that price is not the most important factor in a purchase. Often times Fastenal would be at a higher price point than our competitors, however, the companies would still buy from us. This is because of the relationship that has been built between the workers and myself and the purchasers in their corporate and myself. People want to buy from those they trust and like. I found that through integrity, honesty, and competence you are able to win business. I saw this having a big connection with the world of adverting and media sales. Companies use agencies and media reps that they trust and have relationships with. Winning an account and their business is largely dependent on perception, so it is my job to make them feel as comfortable as possible when making purchases. This is something I found that I not only enjoy, but am also very good at. I look forward to using the business and interpersonal skills I have cultivated at this job in my future careers.

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