Buying steel from all over the world, processing it with specific treatments and delivering it to client companies meeting their specific needs. This is the objective and distinctive feature of Steel S.p.A., a Piacenza-based company that has been active in the sector for almost 30 years. Thanks to the skills and experience it has developed over the years, it can to source materials even in a complex period such as the current one, which makes procurement very difficult. ‘What makes the difference are the ties we have developed with suppliers all over the world, which allow us to be able to buy practically anywhere,’ explains Marco Gatti, the company’s managing director. The increase in gas and energy costs, in fact, has caused European steel prices to rise by as much as 100-200%; it would be impossible to continue purchasing here, but we manage to overcome the problem by turning to the eastern market and India’.
In 1995, Gatti and his brother Stefano, who had already been working in the steel sector for some time for other companies, realised that there was a growing demand for customisation on the market, to which the companies were unable to respond. Hence the decision to set up on their own. Those were the boom years of the steel industry and the company was able to take full advantage of them, kick-starting 27 years of continuous growth to date. The numbers speak for themselves: in 1995 the company had a 5,000 square metre warehouse, while today’s is 50,000 and customers are small, medium and large companies from all over Europe.
The strategically winning choice came along the way, with the decision to add steel processing to the distribution business. So today the company is able to cut solid round bars to the size required by the individual customer and, since 2006, has been one of the few distributors in Italy to carry out heat treatment in-house, which is fundamental for the production of specific patented components. ‘Distributors who are not able to do this have to commission the processing to other companies, with an obvious increase in costs and time,’ adds the entrepreneur, emphasising how today’s companies need to ‘receive the material as soon as possible, so as not to have to stop their own production’. Delays or difficulties in obtaining steel, on the other hand, would put several sectors of the Italian economy in crisis. Steel S.p.A., for example, supplies steel bars to businesses operating in the automotive, oil and gas, and also for the moulding of various types of components. So, with world trade going through a critical phase and the cost of raw materials constantly rising, it is also very large companies that rely on distributors. In this way, they benefit from greater flexibility at the bureaucratic and fiscal level, as well as having the possibility of recovering the required material in a short time. And Steel S.p.A. succeeds in this task by deploying all the skills and relationships built up over decades of activity at a consistently high level.
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