Tata Steel Realigns Distribution Activities in Europe
This completion of a company-wide shift in sales structure has led to a clearer focus on customer end-market sectors and product groups, and a closer relationship between Tata Steel’s sites.
Following the realignment, each distribution and service center has sector experts dedicated to the individual needs of particular industries, such as automotive, construction and lifting and excavating. Tata Steel is now able to offer a more targeted response to end-customer markets, and tailor its products and supporting services to better meet the specific needs of its customers. The realignment reflects a closer working relationship between Tata Steel’s distribution, sales and service teams, its steel production plants in the Netherlands and the UK, and the company’s research and development organization.
In addition, sales from all of Tata Steel’s locations in continental Europe have been arranged by the light or heavy gauge product group and processing services they offer. They have been clustered so that customers can access the group's entire product and service portfolio from one point of contact.
At the same time Tata Steel continues to invest in improving its production and processing equipment. The latest example is a new slitting line for Service Center Gelsenkirchen, Germany, which is scheduled for completion in early 2014. The line enables the company to process advanced and ultra-high strength steel, which is used to manufacture state-of-the-art automotive components. The total investment in the expansion of the production facility as well as in the new slitting line is worth around €9.5 million.
Jens Lauber, managing director of Tata Steel’s European distribution arm, said: "The purpose of the realignment and such investments is to make a lasting improvement to our market position, both quantitatively and qualitatively. We aim to increase our sales through our distribution network in continental Europe by 30 per cent in the next three years — to 1.8 million tonnes of steel per year — while significantly increasing the proportion that differentiated products make up of that amount. Overall Tata Steel aims to have a sales volume of 40% in customer-specific differentiated products by 2016. These are products offering distinctive capabilities for specific applications.”
By supplying its customers from the best-qualified and closest location for the specific application, Tata Steel is also improving its service quality. The company’s distribution network offers hot rolled, direct rolled, cold rolled and metallic coated strip products, pre-finished steels and plates. Its facilities enable the supply of material that is cut and finished to the exact size and specification of the customer.
Tata Steel operates the second largest distribution and service network in Europe in terms of regional coverage, with a particularly strong presence in western, north-western and northern Europe as well as in the UK. Following the realignment in continental Europe, the sites are now grouped as shown below:
Light gauge Germany/Benelux: MultiSteel (Maastricht, Netherlands), Degels (Neuss, Germany) and Service Center Gelsenkirchen (Gelsenkirchen, Germany)
Light gauge France/Spain: Unitol (Corbeil-Essonnes, France) and Layde (Durango, Spain)
Heavy gauge Europe: Blume Stahlservice (headquarters in Mülheim / Ruhr, other locations throughout Germany) and Feijen Service Centre (Maastricht, Netherlands)
Joint ventures in Scandinavia: Norsk Stål and Norsk Stål Tynnplater (Nesbru and Gamle Fredrikstad, Norway).
Tata Steel operates a similar network for the distribution and processing of steel in the United Kingdom and Ireland.