Northland Fastening Systems
Ken Godbout started Northland Fastening Systems in 1987. Prior to launching his own business, Ken spent 80% of his time on the road as a salesman for a stud welding company. With a growing family at home, he decided starting his own company was the best way to go.
Today, Northland Fastening Systems is based in Woodbury, MN and provides equipment, service, and training in the field of stud welding. Similar to flash welding, stud welding is a one-step fastening system which uses stud welds. Stud welding is the perfect fastening system if you need a weld that’s quick, strong, and aesthetically pleasing. Using a gun-like tool a single operator, with an automatic stud welding system, can make 30 stud welds in one minute, bonding all types of metals with a strong and reliable weld.
Stud welding is used in industries such as shipbuilding, aerospace, construction, and others that utilize metal fastening systems.
“When we started out, we probably had 80% of our business coming from the construction industry. If you remember back then, between Minneapolis and St. Paul, there were probably 27 cranes up in the sky and there was a lot of construction business,” said Ken. “Today, probably 80% of our business now comes from the industrial market and maybe 20% is in construction.”
Ken developed a relationship with Senior VP/Business Banking Brad Benesh when he started his business. At the time, Brad was working at Eastern Heights Bank in St. Paul. When Brad’s career brought him to North American Banking Company in 2006, Ken followed him.
“Ken has been an amazing customer and friend for almost 30 years and it is an honor to now be able to work with Jason and Brent,” said Brad. “Ken is an extremely hard worker, fantastic leader, and would do anything to help his customers and employees!”
Today, Ken is semi-retired and his sons, Jason and Brent, have taken over. Jason started working at Northland Fastening Systems in 2005 and became president in 2011. He manages the day to day operations, purchasing, and sales on key accounts. He also helps pack orders on busy days. Brent started in 2015 after a successful career in commercial real estate. He is responsible for inside and outside sales. Both Jason and Brent have known Brad for many years, going back to Brad helping Jason get an internship in the credit department at Eastern Heights Bank in 1998.
Jason attributes their success to their customer-first approach. “We’ve had people down in Iowa call us at 4 in the afternoon and say ‘We forgot to order these studs. We have a pour tomorrow morning. Can you help us out?’ And we’ve put them in our truck and driven them down to Iowa overnight. That’s how our business has grown. Our customers understand that we’ll go the extra mile for them.”
And that’s what they appreciate about working with Brad and the rest of the North American Banking Company team. “It’s like working with a friend,” said Brent.
“Or a neighbor,” interjected Ken. “But at the same time, working with someone that absolutely knows what they’re doing. You can trust them. More than anything, it’s a comfort knowing that we can go to him and say ‘Here’s what we want to do but we need your help.’ “
As Brent explained: “We take the deposit slips there every day and it’s ‘Hey Brent! How are you doing?’ every single time we’re there. They greet you with a smile. They’re just good people."