The inspiration for this article came to me last week when I got a pack of 4×6 poly bags out of the box in the cupboard. We use these to bag up small quantities of screws, nuts and other hardware. I try to keep a pack near the scale and another next to the cash register. The pack was the last one in the carton so I knew that I had to order another box so I didn’t get mad at myself next time I went for them. I looked up the item on my store supplies sheet to see where I got them last, the quantity and the cost. I keep track of all this kind of stuff. It must be the German in me. Actually I think it dates from my early days at the barrel factory, where we kept track of maintenance spending with “traveling Req’s” that noted all this information on them. Anyway it got me thinking about Hill Hardware “by the numbers.”
First those pesky poly bags. In the last eleven years we have used over 8000 of them. That’s a lot of little screws that we’ve sold! Other items that I could make a count of came readily to mind.
One item that I can only make a rough guess on is keys. We make many door and padlock keys, along with any automotive key that is lucky enough not to have a chip in it. A rough guess would be about 7000 keys over the years.
Another thing we do a lot of in the warmer months is to fix screens and windows for people. Screens are by far the more common. 1220 since we started. It’s amazing that I’ve done so many, and still sometimes have trouble with them!
Unlike some house cleaners, we also “Do” windows, both wood framed and aluminum storms, 210 to date. We charge “time and material” to fix windows. Wood windows aren’t complicated, but they take a lot of time. Aluminum storms can be either easy or hard, depending on how they are put together, and I guarantee you, no two are the same!
The last numbers are my favorites, toys. To date we’ve sold 51 steam engines from 6 different manufacturers, both vintage and new. Add to that 14 “Big Bang” carbide cannon and you can see that we are a lot more than just nuts and bolts, here at The Old Hardware Store…