Southern Duo-Fast began in 1956 in Birmingham, AL after Bill Rue, Sr. and B. R. Albright purchased the Albright Duo-Fast Company from Dudley Albright. Following a successful first year, the partners decided to move into a former grocery store in Montgomery, AL. In 1962, with fastener sales increasing, a new sales/service branch and several salesmen were added in Amory, MS to serve the growing upholstered furniture market. Back in Montgomery, the success of the business required more space and employees, so Southern Duo-Fast moved from the old grocery store to a new Corporate office and warehouse nearby.
In 1970, Bill Rue, Jr. joined the company and, in 1971, with North Alabama sales increasing dramatically, two new sales and service warehouses were opened – in Birmingham and Decatur. Ricky Albright joined the Company in 1975 and, as the business continued to grow, three additional sales/service locations were established; Pensacola, FL (1977) and Jackson, MS and Mobile, AL (1978). The ‘80s brought more expansion to Southern Duo-Fast and the Company added office and service personnel, and opened two new branches – Dothan and Haleyville, AL.
The ‘90s brought about continued growth for the Company, as well as the challenges of a rapidly changing industry. The Company responded to the challenges by building a new headquarters facility and primary warehouse in Montgomery. The Company expanded into the large Georgia market, opening branches in metropolitan Atlanta and Douglas. The end of the ‘90s saw the Rue family become sole shareholders of the Company. Additionally, Les Rue (Bill Rue Sr.’s grandson) joined the Company as a construction sales specialist, signifying the start of a third generation of the Rue family at the company.
The turn of the century saw continued growth as the Company expanded into Arkansas and Louisiana. In 2004, the company name was changed to Fastening Solutions, Inc (FSI), more accurately reflecting the broad spectrum of brands and products it was now offering.
FSI’s steady, profitable growth and fiscal management style enabled it to successfully weather the significant economic downturn which began in 2008 and lasted for the next 5 years. During this period, another third generation family member came aboard, another of Bill Sr.’s grandsons, Will, joined FSI in 2009.
In 2011, the acquisition of All Pak, Inc., Jacksonville, FL enabled FSI to begin offering customers a wide range of industrial packaging products – Steel/polyester/polypropylene strap, strapping tools & machines, stretch film, edge protection – in addition to nails, staples, screws and the tools that drive
2015 marked the opening of two sales/service branches in Tampa and Orlando, FL, enabling FSI to better serve customers in the Central Florida market.
In early 2016, with its eye on continued growth – and a focus on customer service – FSI opened a sales/service branch and warehouse in Grand Prairie (Dallas), TX.
July, 2016 saw FSI celebrate 60 years in business – as an independent, family owned operation, something unique in American business. Even more unique, FSI is part of the 13% of U.S. family-owned businesses that succeeds into a third generation of leadership. Will Rue, III joined the Company in 2009 and, together with cousin Les (who joined FSI in 1999) the two form the nucleus of FSI’s senior management team. They, and FSI, are committed to the principles that have lasted for 60 years – constant growth and outstanding customer service.
In October, 2018, leveraging its 60 years of experience servicing the Mississippi furniture market FSI opened a branch location in High Point, NC From this location, the company will service furniture customers, while offering other industrial manufacturers, dealers and construction contractors an option when looking for a knowledgeable, dependable source of power fastening and industrial packaging products.