How did you get started in the fastener industry? Torque Magazine shoots this and more quick-fire questions at Sally Matthews, the Managing Director of Performance Fasteners – published online on the eve of BIAFD’s Annual General Meeting recognising the contribution of women to the UK and Irish fastener distribution industry…
How long have you been in the industry?
33 years, I started when I was 10!
What was your first job in the industry?
I started at Non-Standard Socket Screws. It was only a summer job between sixth form and College. I saw the job in the local paper, applied and started my fastener journey.
What roles have you had through your career?
Admin and sales at Non-Standard Socket Screws and their subsidiary, Embex Fasteners. Co-founder of Socket & Allied Screws and current MD of Performance Fasteners. I’ve also been taking an active role with BIAFD promoting women’s work in the industrial sector.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
There have been two major influences. John Varley taught me about fasteners, their uses and especially how they are used in the automotive market, which is a passion of mine. John Seeley is from an accounting background, I can’t remember making a major decision in my life without consulting him.
What’s the best thing about the industry?
This industry is all-encompassing, it happens organically, no-one chooses to work in fasteners but there are lots of interesting facets and before you know it you have product knowledge and have made good customer relations that you find hard to leave. The fastener trade has an excellent camaraderie.
What have been the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?
Computers and the internet have had a massive impact. Manufacturing was about a skill set based on experience and knowledge…you can Google anything now including methods. In an automated world, hand turning is almost extinct. Raw materials have also progressed performance and durability.
What are you working on now?
Raising the profile of Performance Fasteners and we have a new venture in the pipeline for 2018.
How can the industry get in contact?
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