INTERVIEW: ForgeFix MD Michael Brown

The distribution game never stands still and ForgeFix has responded to the evolving marketplace by staging 24-hour events for its customers for the first time this summer. Torque quizzes Forgefix Managing Director Michael Brown on the company’s new approach…

How’s business?
In a word, good. Figures across the board are up on last year and we’re seeing sustained growth both in sales and customer numbers.

Far from seeing this success as a cause for complacency, we view it as an indication that we’re doing things right – in terms of our product offer, our prices and our service and support. As an ISO 9001 accredited business, the challenge now is building and improving on these levels.

What was the thinking behind the 24-hour events? What did they involve?
We decided to stage the 24-hour events because we’ve always been a business focused on strong relationships. Establishing and maintaining those relationships takes face-to-face contact, even in this increasingly hi-tech and digital world.

The 24-hour events enabled us to showcase the business and, more importantly, the people within it. It gave customers an opportunity to meet the ‘behind the scenes’ team they deal with on a daily basis – from key contacts in areas like accounts and despatch to some of our sales office co-ordinators.

The 24-hour events also served as the ideal platform to explain our future plans and to launch our brand new ForgeFast range. These woodscrews raise the bar in a variety of areas and are being positioned as elite, rather than simply premium, products.

We also wanted the day to be a mix of business and pleasure – presentations, demonstrations and product launches took place in the morning whilst the afternoon allowed guests to network over leisure activities such as golf or laser clay pigeon shooting.

Is it the first time you’ve staged the 24- hour events? Will you run them again?
This was the first time we’ve staged the 24-hour events but it won’t be the last. We plan on staging additional events in the future to accommodate even more customers and as the business continues to evolve and expand.


What can you tell us about the new ForgeFast elite performance wood screws?
The launch of the ForgeFast range represents an exciting breakthrough moment not just for ForgeFix but for anyone that sells or uses woodscrews. For some time, the premium woodscrew has represented the ultimate in performance. What ForgeFast screws do is advance that. In independent tests, ForgeFast screws outperformed all premium woodscrews currently on the market in areas such as drive-speed, cam-out reduction, corrosion resistance, shear prevention and even environmental protection. For this reason, we are positioning them in a new and ‘elite’ performance category.

Developing the new ForgeFast range, which includes both Pozi and Torx head screws, took some 18 months. During this time, we worked closely with our international suppliers to ensure the end product stayed true to our vision for a genuinely ground-breaking woodscrew. The ForgeFast range is available now. Customers can contact their local area sales manager to find out more or they can speak to the team at our sales office who’ll be more than happy to help.

ForgeFix has done new deals with DeWalt and Wera – how did they come about and what do they mean to your customers?
We began working with DeWalt because they had launched a new fastener range and wanted a wholesale partner to help them take these products to market. They recognised the strength of the ForgeFix brand as well as our specialist expertise and our penetration into the fixings and fasteners market.

We evaluated the new DeWalt fasteners and it became clear there was no overlap with the existing ForgeFix offer. It was a good fit – a case of two great brands combining strengths.

It’s a similar story with Wera. We’ve begun offering screwdriver bits from this well-known manufacturer because they complement our extensive choice of screws.

Both of these partnerships create win-win situations for everyone involved. The different partners benefit from our existing market reach, we get to expand our range with suitably high quality products whilst our customers enjoy even greater product choice from a single source of supply.

Any further points to share?
These are exciting times for ForgeFix. The business is undergoing a period of significant development and change as we seek to build on our success and to drive the company forward.

From a product perspective this will result not only in a bigger range but also one that is more focused and honed around the needs of the professional fixing and fastener user. As well as pioneering new products, we’re continuing to pioneer new standards of service and support too. This will entail building on our existing enduser focused marketing efforts and offering an even greater choice of merchandising materials to help create sales pull-through.

Ultimately, we recognise that driving our own business forwards depends on our ability to drive success, and sales, for our customers.

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