Borstlap family lays the foundation of Fabory.
From left to right: Annie, Joop, Borstlap Sr. and Karel.
Karel Borstlap was 24 when he and his father started selling screws and tools. Taking place in the storage room under the stairs of their parental home in The Hague and later from a garage box. On March 10, 1947, his father wrote J.M. Borstlap registers Borstlap & Sons with the Chamber of Commerce.
John, Charles' son, is introduced to the world of fasteners at an early age. In addition to sweeping the workshop, he can turn nuts on bolts. So soon, there are fifty bins of nuts and fifty bins of bolts in the garage, at a selling price of 50 cents per bin.
A shed with several storage rooms replaced the garage box. Then, in 1963 the family moved into a large building in Scheveningen, where after a few years, the company also took over the surrounding premises to continue growth.

The growth of fastener sales was under the new brand name Fabory. This brand name stands for Family Borstlap Hardware.
In 1964 the first edition of the Borstlap fastener catalogue was published. Articles are innovatively coded, and they can be found easily in the book that is later known as "the Fabory bible". Fabory set the trend in the fastener market! Even today, customers still consult the catalogue daily, but digitally.

Wim Jansen is the first employee from Tilburg who, in the 1960s, took the train from Brabant to Scheveningen every day for his induction program. Read his story here.
 
Borstlap grows and moves to a new warehouse in Tilburg.
The buildings in Scheveningen are becoming too small. The municipality of Scheveningen offers no possibility for new construction, while Tilburg is looking for employers with growth ambitions due to the declining textile industry. In 1968 the company moved to the south, but Borstlap kept the Scheveningen site for the first few years.

On the Zevenheuvelenweg, a piece of land is for sale, and the then-mayor Becht makes thirty rental houses available for Borstlap employees from The Hague. Some children from these families still work at Fabory today. Turnover increased from NLG 4 million to NLG 8 million within a year, mainly thanks to the fast and complete material delivery.
The Masters in Fasteners are moving abroad. With takeovers in Belgium and Suriname, Borstlap took the first international steps. Borstlap also dared to be the first wholesaler of bolts, nuts, and screws to introduce the metric system in America.

John Borstlap: "This market differed enormously from Europe, especially in numbers. In the beginning, it was trial and error. Eventually, we opened several branches to meet the great demand for 'metric fasteners'."

Later, acquisitions in Canada, the Antilles, Iceland, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom followed.
A broad and deep range of fasteners is what the Borstlap company has been focusing on from the start. So for all variants that customers need, they can go to Borstlap, under the motto 'If Borstlap doesn't have it, it doesn't exist.

In the 1980s, the organisation expanded its services to offer even more value to customers. In addition to supplying products, the company increasingly supports stock management, as shown in this photo at NS, where Borstlap ensures that employees never miss out on items when carrying out maintenance.
Borstlap employees visit Peiner in Peine, Germany. Due to the excellent cooperation with suppliers, Fabory can continuously expand its assortment. John Borstlap explains: "Employees wrote down which items we did not have in stock if customers asked for them. As a result, the service level was always very high."
Borstlap initially focused mainly on the OEM market and expanded its services to the MRO market. In the seventies, companies were acquired that focus on the MRO market. These takeovers continued from the nineties onwards because Borstlap wanted to grow further in the MRO market in the south of the Netherlands and Belgium.

Borstlap opens the Haheti branches, of which Harry Heffels from Tilburg is the founder. These branches are called 'Fabory Centers' from the end of the nineties. Fabory obtains a unique position in the market with these "nuts and bolts centers". The same happens with WSB, where Fabory takes branches in cities like Helmond and Sittard. Here, too, the word 'Fabory Center' eventually appears on the fa├žade.
Borstlap strengthens its position in Belgium with the complete takeover of Combori in Antwerp. Combori then has about 150 employees. Many customers come from the OEM market and are active in the petrochemical industry. In addition to its headquarters in Antwerp, Combori has branches in Flanders, Wallonia and France.
The foundation stone of the automated warehouse is laid.
In the 90s, the company worked hard to streamline the organisation further and set up a more efficient stock management for clients. Finally, in 1996, Borstlap started using the automated miniload in the central warehouse in Tilburg. A special moment because Borstlap is the second party in Europe to install such a computer-controlled warehouse! This step is typical for the progressive character of the company.
In October 1997, an audit took place in the laboratory, and in March 1998, Borstlap received its A2LA accreditation. A confirmation of the high quality for which the company has been known since the early years.

With its accredited laboratory, the company distinguishes itself from technical wholesalers. Clients can rely on a team of recognised specialists who support them from the lab with advice, analyses, calculations and client-specific certificates. Borstlap takes care of everything from A to Z.

See also: The advantages of your own laboratory.
With the new millennium insight, the organisation enters a new phase. John Borstlap, the last member of the family with an active role in the company, said goodbye in 1999. He says that employees' enthusiasm, in particular, made him happy. "People were enormously involved."
John Borstlap: "We look back with great respect on the management team of the late 1990s. Hans Pijpers, Cees van Kampen and Harrie Heffels were responsible for the Dutch and Belgian Fabory Centres. Leo de Jong was successfully put in charge of the branches in America."

In the same year, Fabory launches its first webshop. An important step in meeting customers' digital needs. Several upgrades and migrations later, Fabory now welcomes 10,000 visitors online every day.

The further streamlining of the organisation took off when Borstlap started the implementation of SAP in 2000. Until then, the various branches were still working on Totics, while the head office was using AS400.

With the implementation of SAP, the entire company works on one system, ensuring more effective data processing, more efficient information flows between the branches and better insight into the stock. An investment that supports the further growth of Borstlap and brings customer service to an even higher level.
Borstlap's growth goes hand in hand with larger purchasing volumes. Therefore, the company decides to cooperate with producers in China and Taiwan. This means guaranteed materials at a competitive price while maintaining good quality for customers. That is and remains the most critical thing for Borstlap.
Once created at the kitchen table of the Borstlap family, the company officially changed its name to Fabory in 2006. Fabory, which stands for Familie Borstlap IJzerwaren (i.e. the Borstlap family of fasteners), is the brand name Borstlap has been selling fasteners for many years now and is certainly no stranger to fastener sales.

The name is associated with high-quality products and strengthens the uniform identity of the group. Also, the name is easier to pronounce by people from all over the world.

Read here also the interview with four former employees in which they look back together on the 'good old Borstlap time'; when washers instead of quarters were put in the coffee machine.
A new office and warehouse are built in Brno, Czech Republic, to support Fabory's Central and Eastern Europe growth. Today, Fabory operates in 10 European countries with over 1,000 employees. Different countries mean different cultures, but all have one thing in common: the drive to support customers with safe, reliable connections.
On September 1, 2011, Fabory became part of Grainger International, a Fortune 500 company and one of North America's largest suppliers of maintenance, repair and operations products.

With Grainger at the helm, the strategy changes. A broader product range, including fasteners and a more comprehensive range of tools, safety products, and industrial supplies. The acquisition provides stability and allows the company to invest in the further digitalisation of the organisation.

The laying of the foundation stone of the new building on the Zevenheuvelenweg in Tilburg is a fact. In addition, a new distribution center with offices to accommodate additional stock. And that is necessary with the continuous growth of the company. From this location, Fabory can serve customers even better throughout Europe.
A new distribution center with offices provides space for additional inventory.
In 2019, Fabory launched the MyFabory app. With it, Fabory is fully committed to digital convenience for customers.

The FastScan function makes it even easier to order quickly and without errors. And the app provides anytime, anywhere access to the MyFabory self-service portal. Customers can use the portal to quickly check the status of current orders themselves, download invoices and place repeat orders.
Fabory returns to Dutch hands. Investor Torqx Capital Partners acquires the company from Grainger. Under the new owner's leadership, Fabory also returns strategically to the organisation's foundation: fastening technology. Strengthening its position as a fastener specialist has priority and forms the basis for further expansion.

Fabory is again focusing entirely on fastening technology.
2021 is a year full of challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting social, civic and economic life. In addition, we are facing unprecedented market conditions, with raw material scarcity, threats of anti-dumping measures and a shortage of sea freight capacity causing upheaval.

Fabory is doing everything possible to continue to serve customers effectively, even in this extraordinary situation. Thanks to the right partnerships, global sourcing and the expertise of our supply chain experts, we continue to deliver the quality, knowledge and service customers are accustomed to.
Fortunately, 2021 also has highlights. Fabory is bundling innovative logistic solutions under the name Fabory Logic as part of its new strategy. Fabory laid the foundation for this back in the 1990s. Fabory Logic supports customers in optimising their inventory management. Innovative dashboards provide insight into consumption, allowing for more intelligent, more efficient, and cost-effective operations. RFID, Weight Scales, Optical Bin; Fabory offers a solution for every inventory challenge.
A new milestone: Fabory celebrates its 75th anniversary! With the recent acquisition of industry partners Kebek, Importinox and Fastto, we strengthen our position as Masters in Fasteners. Also, the construction of the fully automated 'hall 10' has started, which offers space for 28,000 pallets. This means that we are better able to create peace of mind for our customers now and in the future.

Our dedicated team supports with advice, tests and calculations. This is how we arrive at the right design and application of specific fasteners. Fabory looks forward under the Torqx banner to the coming decades with a leading market position in which assortment, intelligent solutions, and quality research are central.