Everyone likes getting awards, and the metals industry is no different. Each year executives gather at the American Metals Market (AMM) “Awards for Steel Excellence” gala event to recognize those companies judged to be “best in class.” Finalists are selected in 15 categories with winners being announced on the night. And just as the film industry waits to hear, “And the Oscar for “Best Movie” goes to …,” steel industry execs want to hear who wins the prestigious “Steel Producer of the Year” award.
This year ArcelorMittal, Gerdau, Nucor and TimkinSteel are the finalists in this category, and demonstrating the depth of their commitment to customer
satisfaction, each is a finalist in at least one other award category too. Also uniting the four, each uses tools from SAP to automate, run and improve their business processes.
Also up for the Environmental Responsibility, Best Operational Improvements and Best Innovation: Process awards, ArcelorMittal works in partnership with customers to provide innovative solutions to their current and future needs. An example of this can be seen in how they work with automotive customers. Resident Engineers are placed with almost every manufacturer, including at Toyota’s design center in Japan, to gain a better appreciation of the issues and
challenges customers face every day. This intelligence gets channeled back to ArcelorMittal’s R&D activities where it’s used to create new and improved
Also a finalist in the Best Innovation: Product category, Gerdau has a strong focus on sustainability, as evidenced by it’s position as the largest recycler in Latin America. As part of an effort to make itself easier for customers to work with, Gerdau is developing e-commerce capabilities and has opened a customer services department in Tampa, FL. Already customer engagement has increased markedly, leading management to commit to a roll-out of the new electronic capabilities.
The largest steel producer in the United States, Nucor is also in the running for the Best Mergers and Acquisitions award after adding Gallatin Steel of Kentucky to the group. Nucor focuses on improving the customer experience, with the goal that customers go back to Nucor for all their steel and steel product needs. In 2014 both production and utilization rose over the previous year, showing the results of their efforts.
Recently spun off from the Timken Company, TimkenSteel is differentiated from other steel producers by a strong focus on research and development for product customization. This enables the company to create tailored products and services for their customers’ most demanding applications. TimkenSteel is also a finalist in the Best Innovation: Process award category where it goes up against ArcelorMittal.
Different, yet similar
The four steel companies introduced above serve diverse customers in different markets, yet each demonstrates a strong focus on satisfying customers. Something else they have in common is using SAP products and services for process and production optimization. This frees them from routine tasks, creating the time necessary to develop and implement strategies for meeting customer needs. One of the four will be the 2015 Steel producer of the Year, but all are already winners.