EUROMETAL regional work group of SSC from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland gathered in Neunkirchen(NRW) on last 08 November.
The meeting was hosted by EMW Stahl Service on the historical site of the Schäfer founding family.
Jens Lauber, EUROMETAL president, did chair the meeting.
At the start of the conference, Alexander Bartsch from Henseler + Partner, a compliance lawyer, introduced the assembly to the strict EUROMETAL compliance guidelines, governing any of EUROMETAL’s meetings and events.
Michael Mockenhaupt, CEO of EMW Stahl Service, presented the history of EMW Stahl Service as well as the associated companies of the Schäfer group.
Guest speaker to the meeting was Dietrich Böntgen, Head of Sales of XOM Metals. Dietrich Böntgen gave a broad overview on present status of digitalization in steel distribution & SSC. He considered that digitalization has done already considerable progress in steel distribution and trade in Asia, Russia, the Balkans and Austria. Southern Europe seems to be lagging behind for the time being. A major problem for the progress of digitalization are the many different existing ERP systems which make it difficult and expensive to find solutions for matching ERP systems of upstream, midstream and downstream. On the other side, the rise of “Generation TOUCH” as well as servicing low volume proximity customers in a more efficient way will be pushing for the digital transformation of steel distribution business. As a strategic step forward in digital transformation would be considered the linking and combination of e-shop platforms with e-logistics platforms. An animated debate followed the presentation.
Another point on the agenda were Quality management and Claim management.
EUROMETAL presented to the participants the latest statistics and charts regarding steel distribution and SSC market monitoring, the position of SSC in the steel supply chains as well as key bench marks, the structure of SSC business.
A last point of the meeting was present situation and eventual developments of EU steel safeguard measures and anti-dumping steel trade cases.
As a matter of fact the meeting noted that regarding flat steel products, the increase of non-EU imports during the first 9 months of 2018 represented only +1,0 %, leaving little if any room to a speculation that former flat steel imports to the USA, or other destinations, might have been deviated to the European Union in the wake of US section 232 and protectionist measures elsewhere.
The meeting concluded with a site visit of EMW Stahl Service.