NIKHIL AMIN of Andes Coil Processors talks about production flexibility, capacity and applying skills to meet challenges
Face Time: NIKHIL AMIN of Andes Coil Processors talks about production flexibility, capacity and applying skills to meet challenges
May 2023- Q:How are coil processors adapting to meet customers’ changing, and often demanding, requirements?
A: The steel supply chain has experienced volatility—customers have shorter windows to react and are seeking faster delivery cycles, and inventory positions are subject to fluctuations. Coil processors are in the midst of increasingly erratic supply chain dynamics and are feeling the yo-yo effect. As there is no indication that this supply chain volatility will subside in the near or longer term, coil processors must adjust to a new reality. Consistency and reliability of service have become more critical than ever in this environment. At Andes, we are constantly working with customers to try and minimize supply swings by offering flexible receiving and warehousing solutions, restocking services or just-in-time delivery services. In parallel, continued investment in systems that foster accurate and timely connection and communication with customers, such as enterprise resource planning and scheduling tools, is key to maintaining the utmost quality in customer service and responsiveness. Cross-training employees provides the flexibility needed to respond to these changes quickly.
Q:Do you foresee inflationary pressure in the U.S. economy having an effect on the industry? Are there any other potential headwinds?
A: Our industry is not exempt from the persistent inflationary pressure throughout the U.S. economy. Potential headwinds do exist for our sector, especially because coil processing is capital intensive and both operating and financing costs have crept up significantly. Inflationary pressures faced by Andes and other processors are similar, including utilities, fuel and other operating costs, and the biggest challenge continues to be hiring and rising wages. Fortunately, continuing strong demand for processing and warehousing services seems to mitigate recessionary fears in our markets, at least for the time being. We are well-prepared to weather a possible downturn, given our strong customer relationships throughout a geographically diverse footprint and a continued focus on operating efficiencies. We are excited about our growth prospects in 2023 and beyond yet remain optimistically cautious and continue to manage our operating costs.
Q:Can you provide any details on recent investments and upcoming plans?
A: Andes’ strategic locations have allowed the company to build strong and lasting relationships with customers, particularly in North Texas. All our facilities are rail served, and an in-house truck fleet assures a strong, timely supply chain. In April 2023, we opened our third location in North Texas, which has 150,000 square feet under roof. We have installed one slitter in Fort Worth, with plans to add a cutto- length line later this year. We also invested in a software upgrade in Texas that provides increased efficiency in all operational areas. In Northwest Indiana, we added a fourth slitting line a little over a year ago. That facility’s capabilities include slitting, CTL and embossing, along with storage. Above all, the passion of our employees, their dedication to serving customers and their unmatched processing expertise will always be a key driver of the company’s success.
Q:What are the keys to remaining competitive— now and in the future?
A: Opportunities for growth abound. In the current economic climate, keeping costs low is paramount to remaining competitive, in addition to providing a quality service that is consistent in value and delivered on time. Finally, investing in people ensures a tenured and experienced team that keeps turnover low. Andes strives to provide customers with peace of mind—consistency and reliability in service and quality. Being competitive means trying to understand customers’ business and work with them to deliver an optimal, customized solution to their needs. Remaining competitive also requires continued investment in equipment and technologies. These initiatives, combined with internal operating efficiencies, such as minimizing changeovers and crosstraining employees, are key elements of continued success. Lastly, leveraging employees’ expertise is critical to a company’s ability to remain competitive. Andes remains committed to providing its talent pool with a safe and secure environment and opportunities for professional growth.
Andes Coil Processors, 888/686-5815, http://andescoil.com/