On January 21st, 2021 the invite-only ‘Fastener Industry Zoom’ (FIZ) group was invited to Earnest Machine for an intro on how companies are using technology to enhance customer care and experience. Kirk Zehnder, CEO and generational owner of the fastener distribution and manufacturing company that began distributing nuts and bolts in 1948. Kirk shared insights and a virtual tour with the group of industry leaders, demonstrating how his company is leveraging technologies to connect with and grow his customer base.  

The restrictions that COVID has put on our work lives is something that must be dealt with by new ways of thinking.

So, Kirk was kind enough to take the members through a process he explained as a new and very successful marketing tool.

During a customer call last April, Kirk suggested doing a Zoom call spontaneously with no prior set up date. He suggested he would quickly send over an invite and could then show him the factory floor where the customer’s parts were being machined. The customer LOVED IT! It was a ‘light bulb’ moment for the Earnest sales team. Kirk shared that the lifetime value of the client has since increased 900% just by taking initiative to show them what other manufacturing capabilities your company has, by visualization. This new company practice has resulted in 30-40 additional tours with clients. Earnest account executive Dianna Barnes shared that from a sale perspective it was a great benefit for her to use while interacting with clients. Allowing customers to see your capabilities live gives them a view of your company they have not experienced before.

Kirk used a tool during the FIZ session which he uses with clients that allows him to give a walk-through tour and the zoom in feature that allows the client to see secondary processes visually, all without making the client feel seasick. LOL. You’ll never post a shaky video again. The accessory for your phone is called the OZMO 4. It costs around $149.00, well worth the value we think. Buy on Amazon.

We highly recommend that you consider trying this as a marketing tool for interacting with clients in 2021 and beyond. Clients love the interaction and the accessibility of seeing their parts being made or recognizing another need is proving to be a successful marketing opportunity.


The FIZ group has met monthly since April of 2020. Industry veterans and executives meet to discuss trends, forecasts, COVID, economy, industrial supply chain and more. Leadership has supported other members on how they have implemented: work from home schedules, warehouse/office sanitization, PPE in the workplace, fastener demand, fastener prices, raw material pricing, container shortages and the like.

Having a support group during these challenging times is so important. As separated as it might feel that we are, somehow, we are listening closer, hearing one another, and growing together as an industry. If you would like to be added to the FIZ list, please forward your contact details to Cris@FastenerNewsDesk.com.