A few weeks back a fellow editor asked if I planned to cover the announcement of a "strategic alliance" between Bosch and Simpson Strong-Tie. I told him, "no way — why would any tradesman care about that?" But then I saw something that changed my mind.
I was at the STAFDA show in Orlando and at the Simpson booth there was a mockup of a store display (see photos below). It was split down the middle, with Simpson product (anchors, adhesive, and installation tools) on the left and Bosch product (rotary hammers and bits) on the right. The alliance suddenly made sense; now everything the contractor needs to install anchors can be found at a single location.
According to the press release the alliance is a joint distribution agreement intended to help distributors "compete against direct sellers". The direct seller would be Hilti, a longtime single-source supplier of anchors, tools, and accessories. Bosch and Simpson may also be thinking about SB&D, which owns DeWalt and purchased Powers Fasteners last summer.
The agreement might even lead to some new products. At the Bosch booth they were showing a specially outfitted L-Boxx — it was lined with dense insulating foam to prevent the contents (Simpson adhesive) from getting too hot or cold. Simpson displayed some of their fasteners in customized L-Boxxes. The boxes were black instead of blue, and subdivided inside so various anchors could be stored loose without fear of mixing.
The boxes are compatible, so it would be possible to take a black Simpson L-Boxx filled with anchors and clip it onto a blue Bosch L-Boxx containing the rotary hammer and bits used to install them.