Ababba Bolt: Standing apart in the Industry
I am always interested in how successful people ended up where they are. Sometimes it’s a carefully planned path; other times, it has some randomness at the start. I have known Jim Law for years. He is full of life, both quick with a joke and very serious about his company. The company was founded in 1975 in San Diego County. I asked him how it began. Why fasteners? He was gratuitous enough to share some of his story – Dennis Cowhey, President, Computer Insights
Ababa Bolt History
It was 1974, and Jim Law was at the pinnacle of his career path as a medical research technician, and he was looking for his next career path.
His Mother and Father had dismantled their life- long business adventures of Ababa Demolition, Ababa Surplus, Ababa Trucking, and Ababa Hardware and wound up land rich and cash poor. His parents needed to start something new, but it had to be out of the Los Angeles basin’s choking smog. His mom chose San Diego, and his dad chose fasteners.
As his parents were putting together their plan, his dad asked Jim if he was interested in making his career change with them. At that point, he was in a committed relationship with Cathy, now his wife of 44 years, and he had to sell her on the idea. They were both young, fearless, and ready for a new adventure.
A used step van was purchased and stocked with MRO supplies to service the automotive repair shops. His dad’s knowledge from his own truck maintenance experience allowed him to speak their target customers’ language. His father was the outside salesperson, and Jim manned a small office location in San Diego, CA. Product was stocked on shelves around the walls with a table in the middle for packaging and sorting mixed plated products.
It was a modest beginning, but the business grew fast. In 1977 Jim and his parents opened a second location in San Marcos, CA, called North County Bolt Company.
When his dad passed away in 1979, Jim incorporated the two companies under the name Ababa Bolt.
Ababa Bolt Stands Apart
Ababa Bolt stands apart from many competitors by its commitment to continuous product training for employees through in-house education and reaching out to vendors and engineers for technical education. Being a family business from the start, it’s no surprise that their company culture is family-oriented. The company focus is on long term relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, and strategic partners.
Ababa Bolt provides the largest selection of industrial hardware San Diego has to offer. Serving the needs of the manufacturing, electronic, marine, construction, and MRO communities, Ababa has over 45 years of experience in the fastener industry and is committed to providing superior customer service online, over the phone, or at their two convenient San Diego locations. Their huge selection of commercial fasteners, competitive pricing on bulk orders, and inventory management programs are just a part of what makes Ababa a resource for fastener and custom part needs. Whether you need electrical connections, eye bolts, anchors, or hard-to-find bolts and fasteners, Ababa has the product you are looking for at a competitive price.
Ababa Bolt’s focus is to help choose products and make decisions about the specific or specialty hardware needed to get the job done. Because they know it’s important not only to get the job done correctly and on time, they maintain a large in-stock inventory. Their substantial in-stock inventory allows customers the freedom and flexibility to make even last-minute decisions without having to worry about missing important deadlines. With locations in both El Cajon and San Marcos, Ababa is a centrally located provider of San Diego industrial hardware, and their customer service team is available for any immediate pricing or inventory questions.
Ababa Bolt offers quality products for most any size job, big or small, with competitive pricing and discounted pricing for bulk orders. Ababa can handle the nuts and bolts of your manufacturing, construction, or electronic projects.
Ababa Bolt’s ideal customer is large manufacturers. They also service MRO customers at their two counters along with a healthy inside sales staff selling the small to large manufacturers in many industries barring, for the most part, aerospace and military.
As a supplier of fasteners and industrial supplies, Ababa Bolt has been deemed an essential business. Since COVID-19, they have made all of the necessary precautions. They have installed Lucite shields on the counters, sanitizers, supplied masks for employees and customers, check temperatures, and practice social distancing.
You cannot stay in business for forty-five years without making some changes along the way. A few years ago, Jim and his people decided to make a huge change and replace their existing ERP software. I asked him what he tells people about this experience. He shared, “We left our legacy system for The Business Edge™by Computer Insights, bringing more and better solutions along with wireless warehousing. Our next step will be paperless warehousing. Everyone at Computer Insights is readily available and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. Along with their VPN Support, we have several VMI customers that this software is well suited to. This software supports Ababa’s tagline very well, ‘Not A Source, A Resource.’”
This article appeared in Distributor’s Link Magazine, Winter 2021
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